DON'T ASK JUNE 2010
DON'T SAY WE DIDN'T WARN YOU
By Rick Sieman and Matt Cuddy
DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T WARN YOU
BY RICK SIEMAN AND MATT CUDDY
If you choose to email a question to this forum, then you must conduct yourself accordingly. Therefore, the following rules are in order:
1. Do not write your email to me IN CAPS. If you do so, I will print out your question and do terrible things to it.
2. Do not request a personal e-mail response. Since I get thousands of questions each month, trying to answer them all would cut deeply into my leisure time, which I value more than your current state of confusion.
3. Try to spell at least in a semi-correct fashion. If you choose to mangle the English language, expect no mercy from this quarter. You might be mocked severely.
4. Do not ask for me to send you copies of my many manuals and literature. I am not in the library business, nor do I want to spend the bulk of my day at the copy machine just because you're too lazy to ask your dealer, or look around a bit.
5. Don't bother me with truly stupid questions, like how to get 50 more horsepower for a buck and a half
6. Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!
Oh yes … I’ll leave your e-mail unedited, for what it’s worth.
SUBJECT: PICKING THE RIGHT BIKE FOR AND OLDER GUY
Hello Super Hunky,
I'm just about done building up a 1989 YZ125 basket case that I got for
a song. My intent was to get my dad to go riding with me up north this
summer. We rode the trails last year, but he rode his 4X4 ATV, so it
was not as fun as it could have been. He is 58 years old, 5'11" tall
and has never ridden before.
I'm thinking this YZ125 might be the wrong bike for him to learn on. I
think something like an older XR200 or XR250 might be better. In your
infinite wisdom of all things dirt bike, what do you recommend? I
think he would prefer a 4 stroke over a 2 stroke, and electric start
would be nice.
Keep in mind, I'm not made of cash, but I'm getting pretty handy with a
wrench. I'm thinking an XR from the 80's or '90s would be about right,
maybe I could sell the YZ and use the cash to get one?
Other than that, I'm at a loss. What do you think?
An XR200 would be ideal. It’s easy to ride, reliable as a claw hammer, easy to start and is not too tall. Later on, when he gets better, think about a clean KDX200, most any year. It’s one of the best bikes ever made.
SUBJECT: HOW TO THROW RIMS INTO YOUR NEIGHBOR’S POOL
was reading,enjoying your site, lmao at your articles, wishing i was in san flippy for the 250 this weekend,watching mi amigo tony tellier,and generally lamenting being at work.
work meaning lacing (4) new DID rims for a 1973 can am mx-1 and a 1977 can am qualifier 175,when i stumbled across your "quick and dirty" wheel lacing article.
my question after step 3, re: "remove damaged rim from the spoke cluster and throw it into your neighbors pool." how much jail time do ya think i will get for throwing (4) beat to snot,greasy,yuccky, "D'd",wasted rims into their pool? should i launch only (1) rim, kind of like a 'recon" mission and see what happens? throw (2) and complete 50% of my efforts and wait and see ? or just launch all (4) on a no moon night and hope for the best?
timing is everything and your article hit it on the head as these damn useless objects some call "vintage" wheels are coming apart and forming an entire new shape that does not even resemble round!
thanks for the laughs
Ideally, you should throw the rim in their pool when they’re having a BBQ party and everyone is drunk as hell. This way, they won’t know where it came from.
SUBJECT: RIDING/RACING WHEN YOU’RE OLD
Super Hunky,what a ride this has been!I can’t believe it but I’m getting my first Social Security check in a week and a half!And I’m only 30-ish (oh yeah,that’s in my mind).?I started riding dirt in the late ‘60s and started running enduros and hare scrambles in about ’72.I also found Dirt Bike about the same time,and there was a guy who wrote the editorials each month who cracked me up!!!! As time went by,probably by the mid or late ‘80s,I stopped getting the rag and actually stopped riding dirt in favor of street (what was I thinking?).
I thought I was through with the dirt scene,even though my two sons still rode.As it turns out,they had different ideas and took a street bike I’d been trying to sell and traded it for a ’86 YZ250 for me( I’d gone from OSSA to Penton to Husky and finally the Jap bikes).As soon as I threw a leg over it,the thrill was back and within a few rides,I was fast as ever(not that I was ever THAT fast).Except for that hiatus of about 3 years,I rode and raced from then til about four years ago.
Since then I’ve kept a bike and ride sporadically and have actually run 3 enduros in the last 3 years.I’m now 62 (for real) and last October had my prostate removed due to the Big “C”,but within the next few weeks I plan to be back on my KTM and I’m thinking strongly about racing this season.I miss it more than I can say! As a side note,at one of the last enduros I rode a couple of years ago,I left the starting line with my son(Jason Chancey,reigning SETRA enduro champ,and my grandson Matt! I thought to myself “This is too cool”.I wouldn’t take all the money in the world for the time I’ve spent with my sons and grandsons on dirt bikes.
And part of the great memories are all the times I spent laughing my ass off at those editorials written by a like-minded soul years ago.Thanks for the memories,I appreciate it more than you know.PS I’m going to order a couple of copies of Monkey Butt to give to friends,then maybe they’ll bring back the copy I’ve had for decades,LOL.
Steve Chancey aka Fossil.
Go racing, Steve. Hey, I turned 70 and raced the Vintage Class last Sunday. Painfully slow, but racing nonetheless.
SUBJECT: MORE ON THE FOUR STROKE DEBACLE
Super Hunky, thanks for the articles on the 4 stroke rebuild costs, now I know why I wont own one, I have been happy with 2 strokes and now that fuel injection has made the big time, does any one know what some of those replacement parts cost. My latest ride is a 2009 KTM 250 2 stroke,not a bit of trouble with it other than rejet it a couple times. I am not against technologic progress it just does not make any sense to own something that is going to cost you 30 to 40 percent of the base price of the bike to keep running more than 20 hours. I am planning on buying another 2 stroke before I retire (2011) I just want something I can work on myself and affordable repairs. Thanks for the great website!
Stay tuned for an expose on how, why and who caused the four stroke debacle.
SUBJECT: WHICH BIKE FOR VINTAGE RACING?
Good day Rick.
I am retired and I am considering racing GP1 125 and 250 (1975 to 1977) with the CALVMX guys. Competing in two classes will give me a lot more track time Which bikes would you choose taking into consideration production numbers, parts availability, and performance?
I am 56 years old, 6'2'' and weigh 195lbs. My cardio and legs are strong, however I will have to work on my upper body strength. Any suggestions? My current bikes are a dual sported 650R, KTM 300XCW and two Greeves 380 QUBs that belonged to my Dad.
In high school and college my favorite reading material was DB. Your impartial reviews were certainly appreciated. I bought at least two bikes based on your recommendations. After almost forty years I can still remember individual From the Saddle articles. My all time favorite was the account you gave of cleaning out your truck.
The best all-around bikes to ride in the 125 and 250 class is GP1 would be the Suzuki RMs. The suspensions are decent and you can still find parts for them.
SUBJECT: NAME THAT KTM
Hello Rick, been reading you columns for years, love em. I was wondering if you could help me identify this bike? Tank clock shows Feb 82 vin is 8207 10738. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Aaron
The bike is a 1982 KTM 500 four stroke. It was a good bike, but very heavy.
SUBJECT: MARK CHARLES WORK STAND
I recently found your website online while doing a search for information on the old ("vintage"!) Mark Charles dirt bike stands. I am located in southern California and want to fabricate stands like this, but am having little success finding detailed information and photos of these original stands. It seems as if they are very scarce. Would you have knowledge of anyone that would be willing to provide photos and measurements of these stands? Better yet, do you know of anyone in SoCal with these stands, that I could actually look at and measure? Thank you for any assistance you may be able to render!
P.S. The words, "SuperHunky", bring back many good memories of my youth - rushing to the magazine store for the newest Dirtbike magazine to read your column and the latest news. Thanks for the memories!
Here are some photos of the stand. It’s owned by Stephen Gatreau. Hope this helps.
SUBJECT: FOUR STROKE FEEDBACK
I have read your articles for 25 years. I am 41(so are several of our racing buds) and have been racing two wheels since I was 5. I just wanted to say that me and all my racing buds of MANY years want to thank you for everything you have done for this industry. It is rare that anyone of any credibility in this industry has not sold out. Stay true to what you know is right and we will always be there to read and support.
I have passed on several of your articles on the 4 stroke fiasco. Our crew is not always the most popular at the traqck, but we have seen a changing of the tides at local tracks and our racing buddy Kool aid drinkers do not put up near the fight they used to on behalf of the 4 $trokes. Three of us are 41 and race 125 abd 250 2 strokes and yes we kick the young uns asses! When we line up on the gate you usually see us coming around the first turn in front of all the pigs. We will break out the 125's(practice bikes - 2003 models that are "outdated") and play "see how many 450's you can pass" just to hear "angry throttle" and watch them crash trying to keep a cheap old 125 from passing them. GOOD TIMES!
Keep up the good fight.
Thanks for the kind words, Rich. Stay tuned for plenty more articles on the four strokes and how they’re ruining the sport.
SUBJECT: MARTY TRIPES MIGHT GET SKINNY AGAIN?
It was great talking with you today. Speaking about Saddleback, Indian
Dunes and the blue grove at Carlsbad brought back a boatload of
wonderful memories. I heard Malcom Smith say in one of the follow up
``On Any Sundays`` That he felt so lucky to be involved with
motorcycling. I could not agree more. The best people I have ever met
in my 55 years all had something to do with motorcycles. I have no idea
what direction my life would have gone without them.
As for my super light Ossa project, now I am wondering if AHRMA with
all their rules will allow it. So before I spend a ton of cash....I
I will check out your website. I`m sure it`s great.
And as far as Dirt Bike Magazine, it was a monthly bible. I would go to
the magazine store daily to see if a new issue came in. I could not
wait, I drove the guy nuts. Later, when I moved to CA I got to meet
some of these guys I had seen in the pages of the magazine. I still
keep in contact with them. Now to see them and sometimes get to share
the track with them at some vintage event is really a special thing for
At Hardrock Cycle Park in Florida, in 08, I asked Marty Tripes to
please drop some weight, because I would like the honor of placing my
front wheel in the ditch next to his. I hope one day that will happen.
I have a picure on my desk of him, Chuck Sun, (who blew my doors off)
and I. i love that pic.
Rick, thanks for being part of the best times of my life. If you are
ever in Florida in the winter or NJ in the summer, look me up.
Those times are golden, indeed. I met with Marty Tripes a few weeks ago and he’s considering getting back to his old fighting weight.
SUBJECT: RIDING AFTER INJURIES
How have you been? It's been nearly or over a year since we last wrote. Most likely when I ordered your book.
I broke my pelvis riding my dirt bike in the desert ( Octillo Wells) back in March. 3 months later I'm ready to go back to work. I never saw the "kiddie track" deep cut outs that are caused by quads and three wheelers that go around and around circles and figure eights.
The desert was wet and raining as we started our ride leaving camp. The vision was OK but as you know, when it rains or when the sun is straight up you just can't see the shadows due to the flat light. I was going to slow and with a span of about 5 feet I dropped in slamming my pelvis against the handlebars as the m/c bottomed out and stopped. Upset that I got hurt just cruising out of the camping area and really no fault of mine. I guess it would be a better story if I was doing something wild or stupid.
Anyway, I pray you are fine and doing well.
God bless you,
Hope you heal up quick, amigo. I’m doing fine and even racing again … but slow.
SUBJECT: CHET HEYBERGER UPDATE
Dear Mr. Super Hunky,
As I grew up my father was such a fan of yours and the “Dirt Bike” lifestyle. So much so that he built a friendship with Chet Heyberger that lasts till this day. In “dirt bike” style their friendship started with my dad convincing Chet that the Puerto Rican government was going to hire him to race enduros... Ok, I know it sounds a bit strange and I am sure the truth is a lot stranger.
However I do know that Chet came to Puerto Rico several times. A car was put in our pool for a shoot that appeared in Dirt bike. There is even a picture of me wearing a dirt bike t-shirt that was definitely too big. Chet used to give me stickers from the sponsors... But I digress... So I know my father is a huge fan of yours. I can remember him jokingly saying, “what would Super Hunky do?” When I was young I thought he just liked the name but as it turns out it is deeper than that... Forgive me, I was only 5 and it sounded a lot like Chunky which was a heck of a good candy bar...
So recently I put a search in google for Chet and I got to a video on You tube about you racing your maico 450 at Saddleback. In true Super Hunky style the story left me laughing out loud. It sure brought back memories. Ah the Ossas, Pentons, Bultaccos... It reminded me how much my father liked your stuff. So for his birthday I would love to give him your book that I don’t think he has read. Is there any chance I could get you to autograph it to him. Of course, after I pay for it... I am sure the master can come up with something clever.
Do you think this could be done?
Thank you for your time, years of making time go by just a little faster and bringing happiness to my Father,
No problem with the book. I’ve got plenty of them and would be more than happy to autograph one. Chet is alive and well (but fatter than hell) and living in Oregon.
SUBJECT: THE SC500 AND MODIFYING AN RM465
Hello. I am researching the dreaded SC500, and I would like to know your opinions of what exactly was wrong with the engine. I believe you said it "ran hot, detonated fiercely, stalled constantly and seized regularly". Is there anything that could be done to fix this monstrosity? Are there any other problems with the engine?
Also, what are your opinions of putting a liquid cooled LT500R cylinder on an 82 RM465 bottom end with a KX500 rod in it? The cylinder lines up with 3 of the 4 base studs, and it needs to be spaced or shortened to deal with the stroke difference, the exhaust valve system will need to be removed, and the coolant system designed, but it should work. The KX500 rod is for a more appropriate rod ratio of 1.8125, just short of the optimal 1.875.
Thank you for your time!
If you refer back to Dirt Bike, you'll see how we fixed the seizure problem with the SC500. We just installed a condenser in the system. You can order a seven disc CD set of all the old Dirt Bike mags from our store. Forget about the cylinder grafting project on the RM465, as there are too many variables in the swap.
SUBJECT: YAMAHA XT 500 PROBLEMS
I have an Yamaha xt 500 1981. The bike had a bent exaust valve. The valve and guide have been replaced, ground ect.
The bike allso has a non standard home build aircleaner can with a sponge filter. Carburetor was totally jammed up with crystalised fuel gunge. This is now clean and the float level is set at 19mm as per repair manual description. The Carb is standard with original jets.
Bike runs unevenly and the plug gets very black and dies after a short while. It tends to wet the plug badly if i am not succesfull starting it on first or second kick. It starts hesitating at about 5000 rpm and from idle to about 2000rpm. It hesitates from idle then goes like a roket to 5000rpm where it hesitates and loses interest.
I have heard that jets must be changed if the airbox is altered. Could this be my problem and if so do i get what jets. Do i have to go to a bike shop to sort this or can i do it myself? I realy dont want to go back to the original airbox. Its more than my sanity worth to deal with that contraption.
Any help or direction apreciated.
Sounds like you’ve got the carb horribly out of wack, or someone forgot to put the valve guide seal back in when they redid the bent exhaust valve. You didn't say if it smoked black, white or blue.
Also the plug gets wet with what? Gas? Oil? Both?
If you don’t want to use the stock airbox (that Yamaha spent millions on designing with a computer), get rid of the homebuilt airbox/cleaner and get a Uni pod along with some radiator hose of the correct diameter that you can run back under the seat/side panel and get some breathing to that big motor. The homebuilt air filter might be choking the motor.
Check the slide needle too, that might have slipped the circlip, or it's in the wrong notch (too high).
That's about all I can think of that would cause the problems he's experiencing.
SUBJECT: FLAT BLACK PAINT FOR AN ENGINE
Hello Great One,
I'm currently reviving a Suzuki TM 125 and would like to recoat the engine black. Do you know what kind of process Suzuki used? I tried flat black paint, and it looked like s*^t. Any advice?
P.S. Hope your condition is improving
Try using flat black engine/block spray paint instead. It works just fine.
SUBJECT: STOP THE FOUR STROKE MADNESS!
John Nicholas with twostrokemotocross.com, a friend of mine was
talking about you the other day, I hadn't heard your name ( Super
Hunky ) for years, so I looked it up and found your e-mail address.
You probably get alot of reminiscing type e-mails and I'm sorry
that this is somewhat another one, even though I do have a favor to
ask if I may be so presumptuous.
A little history, I used to live in Santa Paula Calif. years ago
when I first came across a copy of your magazine and your editorial. I
hadn't known at the time we were so close to Indian Dunes until I read
about it in the magazine. At that point I became a fan of the magazine
and always got a kick out of the articles and write-ups, some great
ones were of bikes like the Jawa/Cz enduros and so on. Classic, funny,
informative and always entertaining.
It's sad to me how we've changed as a nation and as a motorcycle family. No longer is it about what the rider wants, it's no longer about how the AMA is protecting us (America ) and what we want. It's about those that dictate the AMA and others because of the money they throw around. My biggest case in point is the hugely unfair treatment of the once mighty 2 stroke. If
the 2 stroke were invented now it would be heralded as the next big
thing since sliced bread. I don't need to tell you the advantages they
offer, what I do need to ask you is, how can we fight and push back
the tide of the 4 stroke machine?
Now comes the favor, if you can and have time, can you go to our
web-site ( with NO obligation what-so-ever ) and look at our shirts?
We are www.revanche2strokes.com and we are trying to do what we can to
save, promote and enlighten the mislead public back to the 2 stroke.
My favor is this, I would like to send you some shirts if I could,
tell me what you think and if you feel so inclined, give us a plug.
People who know you, respect you and trust you, a plug from you would
go along ways in helping us. Sure, we want to sell shirts but I hope
people see our passion first and foremost and see what we are trying
to do, then help us, help the 2 stroke.
Rick, it is an honor for me to even think you'll read a letter from
me, let alone have you respond back and help us if you could. Either
way, I appreciate your time, it was sooo cool to think about the good
old times when motorcycle riders were rebels and not followers of the
latest fad or do what they are told without questioning why and I
appreciate any help you can give us and your opinion of the shirts.
More than happy to help. Anything we can do to stop the insanity of the current crop of four stroke hand grenades is time well spent.
SHAMELESS PLUGS: BLACKWATER 100
Welcome to a celebration of The Toughest Race In America, the notorious Blackwater 100. Held every year in Davis, West Virginia, the race was designed by Dave Coombs to be a real test of survival. While the race is no more, the tales of this legendary race seem to grow with each passing year.
What we have here, is a collection of hundreds photos, stories and copies of some of the actual programs. These images tell you more about the nature of the grueling course than the many tales that circulate.
Included in this great collection are stories about the race by Rick Sieman, who competed in this event numerous times. You’ll also find a story and test on the legendary 760 Maico, the first bike ridden by Rick in the Blackwater race.
The Blackwater 100 is a two CD set. On Disc 1, you’ll experience a slide show with some classic bluegrass country music to accompany the images. Just put the disc in your computer, go to MY COMPUTER and hit the BLACKWATER 100 button on your screen. Make sure you turn your sound on for Disc 1.
On Disc 2, you’ll find the same images, but these are in Picassa 3 format and literally hundreds of photos are there. This means that you can stop any image, or copy what’s on the screen, make it bigger (or smaller) and print out anything you see. Just go to the bottom of the screen and a very simple menu is there.
Cost for the CD set is $20 plus $5 for Priority Rush mail. Paypal, checks or money orders OK. Paypal address is: email@example.com.
36607 W. Costa Blanca Dr.
Go to www.superhunky.com for more info on other products, including posters, CDs and the Monkey Butt book