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Don't Ask



By Rick Sieman












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.








Rick, I just had to share this story with you.
For many years you entertained me with your stories, and now I think I have one worthy of your time.

Two and a half years ago, on a beautiful October afternoon, I wanted to go for a ride on my '02 WR 250f. However it had a flat front tire. No problem I grabbed my son's CRF 250 and went out.

About three miles from the house, there is a trail with an obstacle we call "Toothless". Don't know why, but the kids named it.  I was feeling good and admiring the handling of the little Honda and decided to try and jump Toothless.

Big mistake! I looped out and had the worst crash I ever had in thirty years.
When the dust settled, I lay there in the dirt. I was fortunate that my son saw the whole thing and came to my aid. Why did you keep the throttle open"?

He called my wife, she called the EMT and I got my first ambulance ride!
After the x-rays and MRI, it was determined that I had separated my pelvis. Hurt like hell!  I spent two weeks in a rehab hospital and four months using a walker.

Enough said, you now know the back ground.

This Memorial Day weekend was the first time I have been riding with my pals, whom I've ridden with for thirty years. Needless to say I wasn't riding as I used to and was very scared of another crash. But I finished the ride with no crashes, some close calls, but I did well.

My pals had a hay day with me. The needling and jokes of my tight style of riding. "You sure are tight, must be the way your cracked ass healed" HA HA.

Back at my house we enjoyed a few beers and I thought I would get even with them.

I had a couple bottles of Magnesium Citrate in the pantry and offered the guys a nice cold glass of hard lemonade. "Sure" they said." I mixed the Magnesium Citrate with lots of vodka and they sucked 'em down.

After awhile, they had to leave, being it was Memorial day weekend, they had BBQ's to go to.

I live twenty five miles south of Albuquerque where Bobby and Willy live, so I went in showered and later got I got a call from Willy's wife, Della.

The boys had not showed up and she was worried. I said they would be home soon.

After a couple hours, Della called again and said the boys were sick. "What did they eat?"

"Nothing" I said. "Just a few beers."

"Well they have diarrhea real bad. There is ca ca all over the drive-way!"

“Well Della, I feel fine, they must of got a stomach virus." Click, hang up.
I laughed my ass off, I couldn't stand up!

I could only think of what Super Hunky would say. What a terrible picture. Two drunks with diarrhea!
Perfecto Garcia


Mr. Garcia, I found your diarrhea technique most reprehensible and actually, quite effective. I'll keep your chemical trickery in the back of my brain for future reference. You are one sneaky bastard.








Hey Mr. Sieman:

I used to read your column in Dirt Bike when I was a kid and it was my favorite part of the magazine. I got a link to your blog from the Vinduro yahoo group, and i'll be a subscriber from now on.  

You rock!

Jim Farley


Come on in, the water's fine. Our site, like the original Dirt Bike Magazine, was designed for riders of our era. All others need not apply.








Hi Rick,
Glad you're still kickin!  I've contacted you a time or two over the past few years with questions about our bikes.  I really enjoy your writings and especially appreciate your mechanical advise.

Here's my question:  While checking a motorcycle forum, this question seems to come up frequently and it always seems to wind up in the same category as which bike is the best.  Always seems to boil down to more opinion than any real difference.

The question has to do with oil.  So nowadays, I've worked my way up to an XR650R plated for street use, too.  Knowing that this is a fairly sophisticated engine I want to make sure I'm not shortchanging her on oil.  But there is no honda dealership without a four hour drive, otherwise, I'd just get the honda oil.

I think I even asked you once about using Mobil 1 15W50 in my old Yamy 125 two stroke and you said it was ok.  I did and no probs whatsoever.  But modern four strokes are a different animal.

So...is it ok to run Mobil 1 (right off the Walmart shelf) in my XR650R?  The guys on the forum were saying not to because of some kinds of additives or rating not up to snuff.  I love this bike and really don't want to screw it up.  But I'm somewhat of a synthetic oil is synthetic oil guy.

What say you, Mr. SuperHunky, Sir?


Job Carpenter


I have used synthetic oil with no problems whatsoever, but a word of warning. You must break your bike or car in with regular oil until the parts are seated. Then and only then can you switch to synthetic oil. On a car it usually takes about 3 to 4000 miles. Depending on your bike, I would guess about 10 to 12 hours running with regular oil would be sufficient. Then you can run your synthetic oil with no problem.






hi Mr. Seiman I am so glad that in this sea of missinformation  you could clarify a question for me. I love the smell of klotz bean oil and have heard it is good oil. Do you think that if I mix it 50 to1 it will provide the lubrication that is needed to carry my considerable mass  at warp speed. Hopefull  I will keep my old ktms from burning up with this mix. I remain allways ready to increase my carbon foot print " as soon as I find out whos ass to kick"!! thank you

Chris Nelson


Bean oil does have certain magnificent fragrance about it. In the early days of racing, the smell of diesel would waft out of the exhaust of the rows of dirt bikes on the starting line. Those days are largely gone. A few things about bean oil.


First it is phenomenally effective in conditions that would ruin an engine on a regular oil. In other words, bean oil is attracted to hot spots in metal-on-metal contact, where regular oil just bubbles up goes away. The minus side of the bean oil, is that it is very, very dirty and carbons up very quickly. You could take the motor part that's been running bean oil for a short period of time and you'll find carbon build up on the exhaust port and carbon building on the dome of the piston. There are a number of bean oils available that say that they are clean running. These highly refined bean oils are not as effective in metal protection as the old-style dirty bean oils. If you do choose to run a bean oil and put up with cleaning a bike’s internals periodically, do not attempt to run it at “modern ratios” such as the new synthetic oils use. Most bean oils run in the 20:1 and 30:1 ratio. Trying to run them at 50 or more parts to one is asking for trouble.






I wanted to commend you guys for pushing against the 4-stroke
grain.  I used to ride a RM100 as a  kid in the early 80s, had my
obligatory subscription to "Dirt Bike", & rode almost every day after
school.  That 2-stroke was a breeze even for me to work on back
then.  Did my own top-ends & it cost less than $100 for everything.
I think I changed that top end twice in 2 yrs, & that was most likely
overkill.  In fact, I never messed with the jetting because I wasn't
up to speed on it then.  The engine still ran.
FFWD 30 yrs, & I'm now into shifter karting running a '99 CR125
(aka "Stock moto") in a GP8 chassis.  While the European ICC
2-stroke engines are still the thing in the shifter class in Europe,
the CR125 has become the preferred choice for shifter racing
here in the states because it's a durable, reliable, & low-cost
engine.  One of the tangiential concerns (& I'm not alone) is that
the this popular US-based class could potentially be overtaken by
4's, same as MX, if Honda ever decides to stop supporting
production of the "Stock Moto" engine package that Honda has so
far been faithfully putting out for us in the karting market.  It was
a small miracle that the deal was even struck with Honda Japan at
all, but they've been putting out the spec package (in kit form,
shipped state-side to US engine builders) & the specialty market
for parts that enable it to be bolted & used on a modern shifer kart
chassis has been doing well because of the popularity of the class
The European 2-stroke ICC's are more maintenance intensive than
the CR125, which is why they were overtaken in the market here, &
they don't have the Honda support network in the states to provide
the quality, low-cost parts that Honda is able to keep us supplied
with, when needed.  Conversely, if 2's die, & the 4's are the only
option available in the shifter category, it'll kill the sport.  This is
even more true in karting than MX, as we run the engines primarily
in the upper RPM band, where the 4 is going to be highly susceptible
to failure.  Since karting represents aan even smaller market than MX,
it'll signal the death-nell of the shifter class, should it stop being
I've always wondered why Honda bothered developing the DI EXP-2
when they had no intention of continuing 2-stroke production.  I'm
sure you know, Orbital has perfected DI 2's, & Yamaha makes for
outboard motorboat application.  It just proves it's about the same old
addage: follow the $$$.

Spencer Uzri


We have really been getting on case of the manufacturers and their rather cowardly retreat from the two-stroke technology into the new four stroke hand grenade technology. This is being led by Honda, who has a green approach to all of their products. In other words, they don't want to use two strokes on anything from lawnmower engines, to both motor boats, to dirt bikes. To this, the staff of our site gives Honda a hearty kiss my ass salute.







Hey, earlier today I hit a jump (and stupidly, let off the gas for half a second) I landed on my back tire, and the jolt made me hold on for dear life, and, in turn i pulled the throttle. I went off flying and the bike rolled a few inches and fell hard.

After getting up from my arse hurting like hell, i picked the bike up, hopped on, started and then pulled the clutch in to shift into first gear. To my dismay, i let go of the clutch and i didn't feel it move, i look down, and low and behold, it's jammed in place. I can unjam it by pushing on it, but i can't shift anymore. It sticks in place, no matter what I do.
Ridgecrest, CA


What you probably did is tweak the clutch lever badly enough to where it doesn't pivot properly in the lever holder. Based on your complete lack of ability to capitalize in your e-mail, I would recommend that you do not try to fix it because you'll probably just screw things up even more. Instead, go to your dealer and get a fresh lever and lever holder and put them in place. While you're at it, check your cable for being damaged and replace it also if necessary.







I have an old yamaha i got for a $100 it needed i dont no wat is

but the vin is there its 1m1-108323 please help me with this

I've gone threw hell trying to figure it out






You’ve got a 1978 DT250E.  For the price you paid, you could make a tidy profit selling it for parts alone.







Hey there Rick,
What's your take on the old Yamaha Big Wheel motorcycles? Specifically the 1985 Yamaha BW200N? I have a friend that is willing to sell one for $1000 in pretty good condition. I'm 5'8" tall and weigh in at 170 pounds. I've been riding for roughly 21 years (I'm 33 now) and I rode dirt bikes as a kid but it's been a good 15 years since I've played in the dirt.


My wife recently revoked my street bike privileges after I was in an accident (big surprise the car didn't see me) and I'm looking to get back into dirt bikes. At this point in my life I have no desire to race motor cross and I'm not an aggressive rider. I will mostly be doing trail riding in the mountains and perhaps going out to the sand dunes of western Utah occasionally.


Are BW200s worth the effort or parts too rare? I've heard that there was a 350cc model in '87 but I've never seen one except on the internet. Should I hold out for a few more cc's or does the 200cc engine have enough for a guy my size to putt around on?
Jacob Wattleworth
Salt Lake City, UT



To be perfectly blunt, I think beyond Big Wheels are truly horrible, wretched, pathetic, ugly pieces of crap. They handle much like a piano falling down the stairs. I'm sorry I’m so wishy-washy on the subject, but there it is, for what it's worth.





Get the first four years of DIRT BIKE Magazine on discs. Those early copies are getting hard to find and the ones in the first year (1971) are going for big bucks. Here’s what you get:

* Every issue from June of 1971 through all of 1974. That June ’71 issue was the very first issue. I worked on all of these magazines until that last issue in 1974. You’ll see a big difference in content in that last issue and the ones that preceded it.

* Every issue has every page included. All the color pages are reproduced in color. You can print out every page if you want to, since the issues were produced in Picasa 3 format.

* Or you can put it in your computer (or CD/DVD player) and simply enjoy a slideshow of each and every year. There are seven discs included in the package. Each disc contains one-half of a year (six issues) in order. This comes to about 4400 pages total.

Here’s how to work the discs: Pop a disc in your computer and open it. An icon saying PICTURES will appear. Left click it.

Another icon will appear naming the disc (ex: DIRT BIKE 2nd HALF 1974). Left click it. This will bring up a bunch of dates/icons. Left click on the first one.

This will open up Picasa 3 and the first page of the magazine. Go to the bottom of the photo with your cursor and this will reveal the tool bar for Picasa 3. It’s self explanatory. You can make the page bigger or smaller, rotate the page, edit the page in Picasa, advance to the next page, make a slideshow out of the magazine by clicking the arrow in the middle, or simply print the page out by going to the down arrow (far right), click it and follow the directions.

The seven disc set costs $70 plus $5 for priority mail. So get your very own piece of history.


Go to our STORE on www.superhunky.com for details.