YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
By RICK SIEMAN
GO AHEAD, BUT IF YOUR QUESTION IS STUPID, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
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.
SUBJECT: THE GOOD OLD DAYS
I miss those old days. I rode hodaka, then kawasaki, then yamaha, with two ktms i worked at bike shops back then, and getting rid of my used bikes was no problem.then i got the bikes i lusted for-maicos. I bought a close-out '81 250 for cheap. That bike was magic, until the first rough uphill straight took the rear shocks away. I got aftermarket shocks, but they were not adjustable and the bike was sold to a wheelie and stocking-hat guy. Some more back story on the 250. I wanted a 440, cuz i'm not a big guy, but the dealer said get the 250 as the 440 was not competitive with the 490. The 250 then was modeled on the cr250, cylinder-wise.
Things change. This bike had no discernabke power. I got the dealer to clean up the ports, but he took a lotta metal and i had only top-end. Then i worked on the cylinder myself with rat-tail files, lotsa time involved, but i liked looking at the result. Was a runner after that, but the rear suspension was pitiful, so i sold it.
Then, i got a screamin' deal on an '83 490. It was rough but cheap. Worn-out top end, so i took my rat-tails to it_40 hours worth-and, what a runner. That wide-ratio gearbox didn't matter at all. The supercross took over, hey, you can have a local event in a horse arena. The bike was too much, so i got an '89 ktm250. Tall seat, no power, i quit, early, cuz of that bike.
Don't be so hard on the 4-stroke guys. Used racing 2-strokes are only good for wheelie/stocking-hat guys. They are universally hated in campgounds, with their tm and cr antics, yeah, low pipes in the 21st century. So, what we need to revitalize racing is a formula class. Something i can ride, any brand, and compete. Just enough power and 10" of suspension. And affordable, i am a charter member of team lo-budget. Bracket drags saved the strips, car of tomorrow bailed nascar. Everybody wants this bike, and i can sell a used one with a clear conscience. Hey, you got my email address. Lemme know.
I agree with you on everything except the four strokes. They have ruined dirt bikes as we know it. They are horribly expensive, very difficult to maintain and break all the time very quickly. As far as racing or riding goes, a good two-stroke is the only way to go.
SUBJECT: FEEDBACK FROM THE MAGAZINE CD SET
From the saddle was always special. I would turn to that part of the magazine first. My favorite ever was the story about how you calmly threw your gloves down the porta potty hole while brain faded with pre-race jitters.
Mine is while working on a bike late at night, probably with too many beers, i sat on my bsa to see if i had the new handle bars set correctly. I lost my balance and the pant leg of my coveralls caught in the peg when i put that foot down to stop my tipping over and i very slowing went down with my leg pinned and the bike on top of me.
Since no one was going to find me for days i finally managed to extract myself. The leg was badly bruised, but that was it. I felt like i had played rugby on concrete. I knocked myself out several times, but that garage fall onto concrete hurt more than the next five most painful falls put together.
Mostly i remember how it happened in absolute slow motion and there was nothing i could do to save myself.
I was lucky enough to go to college in europe for two years and followed the moto-cross circuit for most of 68-70. I was based in sweden for those university years and would go down to a two car garage sized shop, in uppsala, sweden, and talk to torsten hallman. He was shop owner as well as the mechanic when he was not off racing. Here, most outlaw lawn mower repair shops in small towns have more space. You dropped into torsten hallman’s shop and there was torsten hallman. It all seemed so natural, just like going down to san luis obispo when i lived in paso robles and there was gene romero (my favorite flat tracker) just working on bikes in the shop like any other employee.
I ran into john banks playing pool in lichtenvoorde, holland and became friends with him, dave nicoll and andy roberton (who was, at that time, saddled with an atrocious ajs). They would look for me at later races and get me pit passes. I remember arnie kring driving around to the races in an old 240d hauling a home made trailer. I don’t think anyone even had a box van: it was trailers towed by diesel cars, or very small vans, and vw transporters.
Joel robert was in the 250’s of course and i would see those races when i could. My passwords are still some weird combination of his name and some numbers. It was all so simple then: i remember watching a bsa mechanic paint by hand the 16 dave nicoll raced under one day – no stick on numbers, no graphics - just a guy and a paint brush sitting on a trailer fender with the number plate on his lap – and they ended up looking like they had been done by a moderately talented 5 year old. Modern day super cross racers would have a heart attack to see how simple, open, and welcoming the riders were back then. I doubt if anyone has ever been much faster than decoster, robert, mikkola and freidrichs, yet they would talk to a perfect stranger like me.
Wow, your memories of meeting those great legends of the past make my stories pale by comparison.
SUBJECT: 1982 YZ 250 HARD STARTING
I hope this message finds you. I have a vintage 1982 yz250. That was the first year it was water cooled with the radiator behind the front number plate. Power valve was first introduced also. Anyways, this bike has a new piston and rings. I've gone through the carb and put in all new jets. New reeds. Timing is set.
She just doesn't like to kick start when cold. She'll bump start and run
great. She'll kick start after it warms up. Right now, i always park my van on top of hill so i can roll down and get it running. Have you noticed any trends about hard starting, older yz's?
south elgin, il
You might have new jets, but it sure doesn't sound like you have the correct pilot jet. Your best bet is to go up two sizes on the pilot jet and this should make your cold-weather starting much easier. The Yamahas, especially the first watercooled one, was very sensitive to starting circuit jetting. Give it a try and let me know if this works.
SUBJECT: YOU HAVE REACHED A PLACE THAT DOESN'T CARE A WHOLE LOT ABOUT STREET BIKES
I have a set of mikuni bs40 carbs fitted to my gt750 suzuki and am getting surging when you throttles back have you any suggestions on how i can stop this happening.
While we appreciate your many thanks, it's only fair to remind you that we could give a rats ass less about street bikes. I'm sure there must be something out there like street bike.com that could answer your question.
SUBJECT: SHIFTING WITHOUT A CLUTCH
Dearest mr. Super hunky,
i went for a great ride on the trail system just north of cadillac mi
last weekend. I was on a freshly-rebuilt 1984 cr125 and the bike did
really well. I noticed with this bike that i could shift gears up and
down like butter without using the clutch at all. My '85 it200 and '87
and '88 yz250s never used to let me do that. It really made riding
easier. Can this cause any damage? Is shifting without the clutch a bad
habit? This transmission is filled with type f atf.
Thanks and praises be heaped upon thine head, o great one!
Some bikes shift really well without using the clutch. Hondas, Suzukis and Maicos come to mind. But when you go to the other side of the coin, that is a bike that shifts really awkward, the Yamaha models seem to head the list. While any bike will have the transmission last longer by using the clutch when shifting, the Yamaha gears will wear rather quickly and need replacement. Kawasaki's aren’t too far behind. For years and years I have used my Maicos for practice and racing and only when racing do I not use the clutch. I make sure that the trans-oil is changed very often in these bikes to keep the trans fresh and alive, but absolutely whatever gearbox you're using will last longer if you use the clutch.
SUBJECT: WHAT EXACTLY IS A HUNKY?
Was watching an old all in the family. Archie was talking about a hungarian friend of meatheads. "hungarians are the only people who can go behind you in a revolving door and come out first." arch thought mikes friend was going to take advantage of gloria while painting her in the nude. Arch: "i don't trust that hunkys hormones!"
No doubt you're referring to my nick-name, Super |Hunky. I got this name because I used to be an Olympic weightlifter and have a Czechoslovakian heritage. But it's common practice to call anyone from Hungary, Poland, or Czechoslovakia a hunky. It's sort of like calling a white person a gringo or a Mexican person a beaner. In this day and age of political correctness, you’re hearing less and less of this stuff.
SUBJECT: BROADENING THE POWER BAND OF A 1980 YZ 250
having just finished restoring a 1980 yz250g, i had forgotten that the power was abrupt, to say the least. What did you guys do back in the day to broaden it out. It has very little bottom which transitions into in impressively strong midrange (think cessna to f-16 in about 100 rpms) then signs off to no top end. Just wondering if there is anything i can do? It has a stock pipe, fmf spark arrestor, 60 pilot, stock needle at the leanest (highest clip setting) and 450 main. I live at 2300 feet. Running 32:1 motul 800 with premium pump gas.
Any advice would be helpful.
That was actually a great bike and I raced one for almost all of 1980 and did quite well with it. Yes, the power hit hard down low and at id range and the bike did sign off rather early. What really helped my Yamaha was installing Boyesen reeds and modifying the reed cage by cutting off the vertical reinforcement ridges. Then I bumped the timing up a little tiny bit, and the gain in high rev power was noticeable. Give it a try.
SUBJECT: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE BIG OLY BRONCO?
Dear mr. Sieman, my name is steve i live in the phoenix az area and have logged onto many a web site that is off road racing oriented, and i have thought of the bronco that you had created quite a while back. I was wondering if you would know where it is at the present time, know of it's whereabouts, or even know if it still exists? Perhaps if you know do you know if there are any current pictures that are available, or is it possibe to visit the vehicle? I followed the build in the magazines, then caught it a one of the mint 400 races (i think) where you were close to jean nv in the silt bed headed east, and then under the train tracks, and headed back to the north, i realize that this was quite a while ago, but i still remember some things about the truck.
Again my name is
And any info that you have would be helpful
I raced that Class 3 Bronco for quite a few years in the SCORE/HDRA professional off road racing circuit. We did quite well, but because we ran a rather mild 351 engine with only about 300 hp, it was down quite a bit on horsepower. I eventually sold the complete chassis to someone in the San Fernando Valley. The engine was sold to someone else. The last I heard the chassis was still sitting on the patio in the San Fernando Valley, but that was many years ago. The best part about the truck was the suspension. It had Fox shocks front and rear and was the first really long travel Class 3 truck ever built.
After the Bronco was sold, I built a Class 4/8 Ford truck based on an F-250. It started out life with a 460 motor, but I decided this baby was going to have some horse power, so I made it into a 520 with over 700 hp. Big mistake. No matter what I did whenever the truck was pushed hard for any period of time, it started to run hot. It led any number of races, there was just too much down time cooling the motor.
SUBJECT: REBUILDING GIRLING SHOCKS
Hey super hunky,
Just wanted to drop a note to say hi and hope you are feeling ok?
I do have a technical question for you.
A friend of mine said you did an article on rebuilding girling shocks?
I have a '73 husky wr 125. Shocks need rebuilding. Any ideas?
Shafts good, leak oil and have no compression or rebound.
I don't ride it much, but want to keep it original.
Let me know what the almighty one has to offer.
The article on rebuilding the shocks was done a long time ago, and it consisted of drilling a hole in each shock and replacing the oil. At that time, the Girling shocks were not re-buildable. You can find that article in the 1971 through 1974 Dirt Bike CD set that I offer in our store section.
SUPER HUNKY T-SHIRTS
They’re finally here. Brad Lackey printed up a bunch of Super Hunky
T-shirts and they’re available now. Sizes are M – L – XL and XXL. If you don’t know what those letters mean, you’re too stupid to have one of these
Collector’s Items. White shirts only (so far) and the cost is $20, including postage in the US. Contact Rick for any questions, or to just bench race.
SUPER HUNKY SWEAT SHIRTS
Sweat-shirts are available now. Sizes are XL and XXL only. If you don’t know what those letters mean, you’re too stupid to have one of these collector’s Items. Shirts are white, with two-colors, the logo in blue and the image in black. They’re heavy duty with a crew neck and the quality is high, as it should be, because Brad Lackey made them. Cost is $30, including postage in the US. Contact Rick at: firstname.lastname@example.org