Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A friend of mine purchased a Hardknock Kikker 5150 a while ago. While he likes the bike, he finds the customer service of this company is less than stellar. The fact that it took them three months to ship the motor for his bike and the constant back and forth with the company on this issue has left him less than satisfied. If your in the market for one of these bikes, do a little research before you make your purchase. One bad review, does not make a company. These pics are of the 5150 he bought.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Sad Day For Motorsports Enthusiasts

Paul Newman dies at 83, he was one of only two actors that I consider being able to put their money where their mouth is, in the world of motor sports. The other being Steve McQueen. A great actor, a great driver, a great humanitarian, A sad day indeed.

Photo from datsunhistory.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At Least Somebody's Riding

At least Gymi Jr. and his buddies are getting some off road riding in.

After I'm done Painting these last two motorcycles, I'll be able to join them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mini Choppers

Looking for a scooter but really want something with a bit more visual snap. Look not further than Vilano Bike's HardKnock Bobbers. They come with 49cc or 110cc 4-Speed 4-Stroke Engine
Jockey shift & Forward Controls, Kick & Electric Start, 15" Rear 18" front wheel, Front Disc Rear Drum Brakes, Springer Suspension, Weight 200 lbs, Top Speed 57 mph
80" Long / Seat height 25" No Plastic Parts. For only $1,499.00 you get a lot for your money. You can get the skinny on them here.
photos from Hardknock's website.
Or maybe something a with a bit more radical styling is more to your liking, take a look at what Mobstyle Choppers are offering for sale. For more on what Mobstyle is offering check them out here. Photo from Mobstyle's website
I really don't consider thse bikes scooters, 3/4 Choppers would better describe them.

Till Next Time.............

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I See Light, It's a bit dim, But It's There None The Less

Now that there is a hint of fall in the air, it will soon be time to set down my paint gun and air brush for the season. I have done more paint jobs this summer than I have in years. Between painting bikes, helping others on their bike projects and my own house hold projects, I have seriously neglected the XT. If I already didn’t have the old ZRX to ride, I probably would have finished the XT quite some time ago.
It has been relegated to the back of the garage for most of the summer. But with the fast approaching fall and winter, I will be renewing my interest in it. After all I need something to keep me busy at least for a little while this winter. The parts are all in order and the motor is back together, it’s just a matter of getting the whole shooting match into a functioning motorcycle.
I have a couple more paint jobs waiting in the wings, so it will be a couple weeks or more before I am able to put wrench in hand a actually start tightening some bolts. I kinda want to get the XT back on the road. This bike was in the worst shape of any bike I have ever worked on and I would like the satisfaction of bringing her to some semblance of her former self. Even though she does not have any real value to anyone but me. Well it’s about seventy five and sunny as hell, and I can hear my ZRX calling me.

Till Next Time............

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Electric Chopper

If your current bike doesn't get good enough mileage for you, you may want to give this electric bike a try.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

You Know

It's going to be a good day when you open your pop tart and there is a motorcycle on it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Matter of Timing

Getting the cam/valve timing right. 99.5 % of my engine building experience is on two stroke motors. Almost everyone who has owned dirt bikes or two stroke street bikes had to tear down the engine for an over pop or rings. You had a couple of options, you could pay someone to do the rebuild for you or you could do it yourself.

I have had a ton of two stroke bikes, mostly street bikes. Most of them were Yamaha RD 400's and a couple of Kawasaki H2's. My dirt bikes where of the Suzuki RM 125 and 250 variety Those of you who have owned these bikes, usually messed with the engine to get more performance. Or in the case of the 79' Daytona Special had the two piece crank split in two on you. I have no idea why Yamaha went with this set up for the Daytona, but in the end you would have to replace it with a single piece crank from a 78' or earlier RD. My collection of RD’s were in various states of repair, and I was constantly messing around with them so I became familiar with their motors in a hurry.

I do not have a whole lot of experience with four strokes other than giving them tune ups, adjusting the valves and carbs every now and then. This is the first four stroke rebuild I have done other than a lawn mower engine or two. And the biggest concern I had was timing the cams. This procedure turned out way easier than I thought it would, at least on this bike.

After tightening the 10mm bolts to 29 ft. lbs. the 6mm bolts to 7.2 ft. lbs. and the head nuts to 14 ft. lbs in the proper sequence, it was time to install the cams and line up the timing marks. The intake cam has a I on it for intake and the exhaust is marked with an “ex”. Then you need to Align the flywheel T mark with the stationary pointer on the crank case.
Next step is to rotate the exhaust cam to line the timing mark with the left side cap mark. Do the same for the intake, put the cam chain on and adjust the whole shooting match till both cam marks and the timing mark are aligned in their proper positions. Torque the cam caps and timing chain guide bolts to 7.2 ft. lbs.

Now it’s time to reinstall the tensioner assembly. First remove the blind bolt, then insert a screw driver into the blind bolt hole and turn clock wise until it stops completely. Install the tensioner and gasket and torque to 8.7 ft. lbs. pull out the screw driver to release tension and set the blind bolt to 4.3 ft. lbs. Reinstall the valve cover and gasket (not in that order)and you’re ready to install the engine in the frame.

Just a case of following the manual and every thing fit together like a glove. This procedure was not too bad on this single with overhead cams, but I suspect it is just a tad more complicated as the number of cylinders increase. Next is the electrical and charging systems, I suspect this is what took this bike out of service in the first place. It basically needs to completely rewired as most of the wiring is shot.

Till Next Time......................

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back in Running Order

Not my XT, no that wouldn’t make sense, I have not finished procrastinating on that project. We revived Curly’s YZ yesterday after a engine tear down to take measurements and to replace any parts that were in need of replacing. All it really needed was a new set of rings, some new reeds, a powervalve cleaning and a good old carb cleaning and adjustment. The bore was within specs for the .20 over pop that was already on it. The piston looked like new and measured out that way.
It also was a chance to brush up on our drilling and tapping skills. I cannot remember ever snapping off so many screws and bolts. We must have broke off about twelve altogether. Most were all securing body pieces and a couple on the engine cases, so there was not too much drama.No need to crack out the old Helicoil set.

The bike was a bit dirty, mainly because it is a dirt bike. But the frame has quite a bit of boot rash and a few stone chips and such. My pleads to Curly to take off all her clothes so I could give the frame a good going over and a fresh paint job fell on deaf ears. He wanted to get the bike going in a reasonable amount of time, so figuring my bike is still not done, he did not want to wait till December to finish his. I had to remind him, though my bike is almost finished, the first thing I did was strip and paint it. At least all the parts look great.
He said if he was going to keep her, he would consider buying her a new set clothes and putting some make up on her. But he is just looking to turn her around for a quick profit. So after we snugged everything up, added the proper amount of fluids, she started on the third kick. I love two strokes, they are easy to work on, and easy to trouble shoot.
Here are a couple of pics of Curly putting her through her paces. So after about a hour of running her up and down the street to make sure all systems were operating properly and to promote goodwill towards Curly’s neighbors, we figured we had the old girl pretty much sorted out. She ran like new, power wheelies in the first four gears, even with a couple of fat guys pouring the coals to her. I almost forgot how fast two stroke two fifties are, even twenty year old ones.

Till Next Time...............................

Sunday, July 20, 2008

If There is a Way

For me to take even longer finishing my bike, it would be helping a friend rebuild his new turd. This just happens to be the exact situation I am in right now. Obligations to others seem to have a profound impact on getting the projects I have sitting around done. They tend to stay sitting around even longer.
Curly, just recently acquired a 1987 YZ 250 from a mutual friend. It is in pretty rough shape by the looks of it, but turns over freely and seem to have good compression. All it probably needs to get it running is a good carb rebuild and cleaning. But there are other issues like the chain and sprockets have seen better days, and the plastics are in bad shape. The tires are also shot. This bike pretty much has been sitting around since 1995 so a tear down and complete going though is in order.
So I made Curly a deal he couldn't refuse, I would help him put a good coat of wax on his turd, if he would reciprocate in kind. My bike really does not have a whole lot left to do to finish, but sometimes a couple of friends working towards a common goal is the best way to get on the stick and get your projects completed.
So in addition to the completion of my bike, I will have another bike to work on and write about. We popped the top end off and things look pretty good so far, just take a few measurements and see where we stand.
Should be fun, stay tuned.

Till Next Time.........................................

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember your first mini bike?

I still have fond memories of the old wildcat minibike that hooked me into a life long love of motorcycles. Getting to relive that moment again through the eyes of my boy, was just as good a feeling for me as when I first laid eyes on that old wildcat many moons ago.

I had the pleasure of reliving a first time bike again the other day. A friend of mine called and said he was going to surprise his boy with a KDX 50. He came by and picked me up and we made the trip up to pick up the bike while his wife was running errands with their kids. When she returned home we were waiting with the bike. The look on Levi’s face says it all, THAT’S MINE REALLY?????
He could barely wait to ride it of course, so we loaded it up and drove to a nearby field to give young Levi his first taste of two wheeled fun. After a few words of caution from his Dad, he was off like a shot out of a gun. Like most kids first time on a minibike, it was WFO for Levi right from the start. It’s a good thing this bike comes with a throttle limiter, because the boy would have probably rode right though a near by fence. Absolutely no fear from him, until the inevitable first crash. He got up, dusted himself off and was on his way again, (at a somewhat slower pace)

We don’t get to go back in time unfortunately, but at least we get to experience what it feels like to be a kid again with moments like these. Dad couldn’t resist testing out the little fifty for himself, I think he had as much fun as his boy did.

Till Next Time.............................

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Winter, Spring, Summer or..............

I don't think it has ever taken me this long to rebuild a bike. But after back burnering this project time and time again, progress is slowly being made.
Why spend twenty bucks when you could spend twenty cents.If a picture speaks a thousand words, this one does not speak well of my welding skills.
I whipped up a valve compression tool out of a couple of washers and bolts that I cut the heads off of. I welded the whole shooting match together, abra cadabra, presto and nothing up my sleeve, I saved my cheap ass some green backs. It also looks as if a monkey welded it together.It actually works great, it took me all of five minutes to compress the springs and replace the keepers.
More to come, I bet you can hardly wait.

Till Next Time..................


AH, the exploded diagram, I would be nothing without it. I am in the group of individuals whose best teacher is that of experience. Or to actually watch something being done. Text books are, for me at least, the last method I resort to. Mainly because I normally have to read most things about three times before the procedure I am studying actually sticks in my brain.
Before recordable video mediums became affordable to the general public, all my mechanical skills were developed by taking things apart and not remembering the proper way they went back together. Even though I would bag and mark the different sections of the bike, mower,etc. etc. etc.
Thank God for the exploded diagram. Here I can see how the bag of parts I am holding in my hand go together in their proper order. I would not remember the twenty three step procedure to reassemble intake tract and therefore spend extra hours tracking down the errors of my ways. So while I'm still working on finishing the XT,I have a few odds and ends to finish up. I will get to it as my schedule allows.

Till Next Time...............Gymi

Friday, June 13, 2008

Easy Come Easy Go

Seeing how I have been proceeding at the speed of light with the XT project, I figured I would probably be about Seventy eight years old by the time I got around to starting the YZ resto. So I had to let the YZ go. It took all of about twelve minutes to sell her once she was posted on craigslist. Got about fifteen offers in the first hour she was up there. She went to the first lucky suitor that made it to the house. Even made an extra hundy on the deal, not bad.
Same old story you've heard a bazillion time before, to many projects too little time. I'm sad to see her go, but the move freed up some much needed garage space.

Till Next Time....................

Sunday, June 1, 2008

If you Don't Like Spam like I don't Like Spam

If you are sick and tired of getting 3,263 spam bombs on your blog's email everyday, there is help. Tim Williams hates spam a little more than the rest of us. So much so, He has developed a couple of codes that hide your blog's mailto address from email harvesters. I have been using the basic one for six months now with excellent results. I recently switched to his java based program because the junk mail has started to creep in the last couple of days. So if you are getting more than your share of spam, give Tim's Anti-Spam ECM a try, you won't be disappointed.

Till Next Time..............

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mule Motorcycles

Richard Pollock simply builds the worlds most beautiful street trackers bar none. When I first saw this bike I nearly had a heart attack. To me this is the perfect street bike.

To see more of Mr. Pollock's handy work visit his website MULE MOTORCYCLES To see what a true artist can do given the right canvas.

Till Next Time..............

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Talk about Ugly

The engine is definitely one ugly hombre. But at least the innards are in remarkably good shape. I am in the process of cleaning up and painting the cases. It should be a whole engine again by this time next week. I'll leave you with the ugly-ness.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Meet The New Tank, Not Quite The Same as The Old Tank

What to do, My tank has more holes in it than a wore out pair of socks. I discovered this as I media blasted the old sucker to give her a nice new coating of House of Color Shimrin BC-26 White. But much to my dismay, I noticed a small amount of moisture had developed on the bottom of the tank.
I shut down the blast cabinet, and pulled the tank out and there was a little water trickling out. After I cleaned the tank of the old gas I put a couple of ounces of water in it before media blasting, just in case there were some pin holes that I might miss. It worked, although when using this technique, make sure you drain the water out and get some WD 40 in there as soon as your finished stripping the paint so rust does net rear its ugly head.
Unfortunately for me this had already had happened. There were several pin holes by the bottom seam of the tank producing water. I had a couple of choices to make now, try and fix the tank myself by cutting out the bad metal and replacing it with good. I thought this would be too time consuming given my limited metal working skills. So I could scour eBay looking for a used tank, and more than likely ending up with the same problem I have now. Buy a brand new tank from Yamaha for around four hundred bucks, which would put a serious dent in my rebuild budget. Or I could choose option four which is to buy an plastic replacement tank from Clarke Manufacturing and not have to worry about dents or rust for as long as I own this bike. Clarke makes replacement tanks for a wide variety of bikes, so if your looking for a replacement for your current tank, Clarke may just have what your looking for.
As you can plainly see, the Clarke tank route is the road I choose to point my bike down, For less than half the price of an OEM Yamaha replacement, I bought myself a tank I don’t really have to worry about. The tank looks about as good as the stocker and has a bit more fuel capacity 4.0 gallons to the stockers 3.2 this will get me a bit farther down the road. I have busted down the motor and am getting all its bits and pieces in order. I have not come across any surprises in the engine as of yet. Every thing has been within specs so far. I am getting the all the cases ready for paint and should be getting the motor back together in the next week or two.

Till Next Time...........................

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Time to Pop Her Top

She is a whole lot cleaner on the inside than the out.

Looks ok so far,More to follow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Little Work Horse

I recently picked up a Chicago Pneumatics CP7200 mini orbital sander kit. I’ve been looking for a setup like this for a while. It fills a need I have for a compact sander that I can use for spot paint repair and buffing fenders and side covers. I jury rigged a system that I used with my D/A that worked pretty good for my needs. But this little baby blows it away and allows me a level of control that I did not have with my D/A or Makita buffer.

I also purchased an 3M adaptor kit so I can utilize 3M’s Roloc system of mini disc abrasives with the 7200. This will make this about the most versatile tool I have in my arsenal. All this utility for right around a C note, can’t hardly beat that one if you tried.
The Specs for this little piece are as follows:
•Compact and lightweight for easy access in tight areas
•Rubber molded palm grip for added comfort
•Adjustable power regulator
•Two finger throttle for easier control and less fatigue
•Silenced handle exhaust directs air away from work area
Kit includes: mini random orbital sander plus (1) 2' and 3' backing pads, (10) 2' 320, 400 and 600 grit sand paper, (10) 3' 300 (10) 3' 320, 400 and 600 grit sand paper and spindle key packed in a heavy duty carrying case.

If your in the market for a mini buffer/sander/ polisher/grinder the Chicago Pneumatics CP7200 may just be the ticket you’ve been looking for. I’m starting the tear down of the XT motor next week, so I should have a little more to write about.

Till Next Time...........................
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