Donít Ask: Superhunky Answers Off-Road Dirt Bike Tech Questions (Aug.)

Aug. 09, 2010 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 Ö Iíll leave your e-mail unedited, for what itís worth.


on my 88 cr 205r i want to get a new exhaust on it, currently i have a fmf gold series pipe but stock exhuast if i buy a pro circuit end pipe will that do anything or what?
Kaleb Parry

The first thing youíll have to do is learn how to communicate better than a drunken field mouse. I never heard of a CR 205r. Could you mean a 250 CR? One never knows these days. If you have an FMF pipe, why would you need another pipe? Will the Pro Circuit pipe do anything? Hmmm. Itíll give you yet another reason to spend money on your 88 cr 205 for no apparent reason. 



hey rick,
Im into the 1980-90 model 2 strokes and i had a guy offer me a trade for my 850$ rc truck. It is a Kawasaki KX 250 as he said. He siad it was an 86 but i really dont think so. Ill try to send a picture. heres the url if that helps. thanks and tell me if its a good trade. he says he has sanded it down and painted it since then and it has an fmf pipe and new renthal bars.
Dylan Earls

I could tell virtually nothing from the URL that you sent me. However, some general advice might be helpful. If the bike runs good, just about any mid-1980s Kawasaki KX 250 is about the fair price for the bike, assuming it runs okay. Sitting down and taking a bike and making it look pretty doesn't mean that it's a bargain. The most important thing is how it runs. The FMF pipe and the new Renthal bars are just pluses. Again, it must be a sound bike mechanically for to be any kind of a bargain worth considering. Hereís a photo of an í86 KX 250.



i accidentally got water in the mufflers while rinsing off my dirt bike. what happens to the water when it gets into the mufflers of my 2006 honda 250 cfr.
James Kovac

First off, the bike is a CRF, not a CFR. It was the TWO exhaust four-stroke bike that was made for only a short period of time, then Honda went back to a single exhaust system. When you get water in the mufflers, the single best thing you can do is to fire the bike up until it's good and hot and water in the muffler will get blown out or vaporized.  Any time you do wash your bike off, you should plug off the muffler(s) to keep water from entering. A simple rag in the end will do just fine. About the worst thing that can happen to the muffler is that the water will mix with the oily exhaust residue and then seep down into the fiberglass packing of the muffler and shorten its life span.



Could you please tell me the year, model, and cc from this serial # 3V4-050265.
I just purchsed this bike and don't know this info as I do need to get parts. Thank you.
Darin R

Itís a Yamaha DT125, 80 or 81. And the next time you write, have the common courtesy to include at least the brand of the bike. If you donít know that, then you shouldnít be allowed to have a dirt bike.



Dear Mr. Sieman,
What do you think about the new Maicos that are coming out? Could Maico ever be as big as it once was? What do you think about the Maico 700cc two-cycle?
Krister Samuelson

Maico has been hopping from one manufacturer to another over the last few decades. Right now, they're being produced in rather limited quantities and they don't have much of a dealer network here in the United States.  Frankly, I don't see them ever becoming a force they once were.



i have klx250 1995 i can push start it but not kick start it why

It probably won't start because the maintenance it received is about the same quality as your e-mail: sloppy and poorly done. If you would just go through the bike, clean the filter, put a fresh sparkplug in, clean the bowl of the carburetor and blow out the jets, chances are it would probably start and run quite well.



Where can you find parts for the 1984 to 1986 KTM 250
Ron Bereman

Just about any of the really well-stocked, larger KTM dealers will have parts for older bikes in their inventory. Failing that, here's the main contact for the distributor in the USA: KTM North America Inc, 1119 Milan Ave. Amherst, OH 44001-1319 map. Phone: (440) 985-3553



I submersed my 2000 RM250 for maybe 2 to 3 seconds. It fell on its side, as did I...
I got it started again and it ran breifly while spitting out white from the pipe (water I assume) and then it stalled so i left it alone. I have now drained and replaced all fluids and ran clean gas through the carbs for a few seconds. the bike will kick start after about 8 kicks but will only run for 1 second or so.

What should I check next? Reed petals?
Swamped It

If your bike sucked in a bunch of water, then you have to do more than just run clean gas through the carb. And yes, it only has one carb, not multiple carbs as you suggested. You should take the carb completely off the bike, including blowing out all the jets. Then the filter must be serviced from ground zero. If you said that you put fresh fluids in, thatís fine, but you should also put a fresh sparkplug in the bike. Then it should start and run okay.



i have a nomad-72 that says was built by the snow company of omaha nebraska. i was wondering if there is any information on it or somewhere i get get parts for it
James Raddatz

We didn't have much information about the Nomad model made by SnowCo, but here's what we do know about it:

The Snowco line of three-wheel vehicles offers utility as well as sport. And a front ski attachment which replaces the front wheel permits year-around use. Sportiest is the Tri-Scat with metalflake fiberglass body (shown), leather-type bucket seat, and low-bar, low-pressure ATV tires. It's available with 5-hp or 7-hp engine, and the 7-hp model comes equipped with standard head lamp and roll bar. The 7-hp Tri-Scat is also available in a deluxe model with 12-V key starter, head- and taillights, chrome front fork, roll bar and hubcaps. More utilitarian is the Nomad, also available with 5-hp or 7-hp engine, and equipped with wide, low-pressure knobby tires. Headlight and roll bar are standard on the 7-hp model. Addition of an optional cargo carrier makes the machine a utility vehicle for hunters, fishermen, farmers and many other users. The "baby" of the line is the 2 1/2-hp Mini-Scat, produced especially for youngsters, but far from a toy.

The attached photo is of the unfortunately named tri-scat, which was the big leader in the airline of the TVs. Send us a photo of your nomad to share with our6 readers. As far as finding parts, lots of luck.



i have recently bought a 98 yamaha rt 180. it was ran through water 4 years ago then it sat. the guy before me owned it for like a week thinking it was a 4 stroke. it will start but it smokes bad and sounds rough when your kick starting it. can you give me a checklist or somthing to go over the bike with.
thanks, matt

The Yamaha RT 180 was a near bulletproof bike and you had to do something pretty bad to it to make it stop running. I would do a normal checklist on the bike to see if it's sound or not. This should include a fresh plug, cleaning the filter, completely cleaning the carb, including cleaning all the jets, changing the transmission fluid and getting rid of the old gas and putting in some fresh fuel. Then you should do a compression check on the top end to make sure everything is sound. If nothing is mechanically wrong at this point, the bikes should start and run nearly for forever.



Hi there,
I recently bought a 1989 yz250 with ignition problems. It turned out to be the ignition coils, and after changing them i found some spark. My problem is that now it will only run in reverse. I've tried advancing and retarding the timing, but still starts in reverse. Any advice would be appreciated.
Bryn Morris

If your bike is running in reverse, it means that the ignition timing is far too close to top dead center. This was a very common problem in many of the older European bikes, especially with Bultacos. The timing should be around 2.5 or 3.0 mm before top dead center, but if you let it slip to something like 1 mm, many bikes would indeed start and run backwards, scaring the living hell out of most people in the process. Recheck your timing and make sure you're in the ballpark and the problem should go away.



i have a 2000 yz 125 which plug is best for racing br8 or br9 it has fmf pipe is bored out and has vforce reeds

Any time that you're going racing, you want to use the coldest plug possible. In the NGK line of spark plugs, the higher the number, the colder the plug. Therefore your eight is warmer than a BR9. Definitely go with the BR9 for racing. For casual use or trail riding, the eight is just fine.



Regarding Yamah Vintage Dirt Bike ID Guide
Can you tell what series dirt bike I have? I don'[t see it listed above. The serial # is 2A7-003906

You have a 1978 DT175E.



Are the intake valve and the exhaust valve for a 50cc baja dirtbike the same

Not only do I not know what that the specifications on the valves are  on your 50cc El Cheapo Chinese pit bike, I could care less. The fact that you have one of these pieces of crap tells me that you've don't care at all about quality. So please forgive my outburst and take your bike somewhere else for information. Where that is, I don't know. And only a few people care.



How do I check / change the front brakes on a 2003 TTR 125.

The Yamaha TTR 125 is a neat little bike and changing the pads on the disc brake up front should be no problem whatsoever. Just remove the old pads and put in new ones. Check there for warps, rust, or score marks on the rotor. As long as everything is okay, just button it up and go riding.




How can I get electrical parts for a 1990 Yahama RT 180 made in Brazil?
Jason Muller

Now this might come as a shock to you, but you could probably go down to your local Yamaha dealer and find what you need right over the counter. Lots of bikes are made in Brazil, including many Honda dirt bikes, and you won't have any trouble getting parts for those either.



Rick, you're exactly right about how this tool should've been around a long time ago. I'm gettin one as soon as it's available at Zoom cycle in Sant Clara. My boys both have YZs and now I can remeber how many times we went chasing why the bikes kept throwing chains.

You called that one right on the money. I've been around bikes for almost half a century and was stunned by how simple, easy and effective this tool was. For those who didn't catch it first time around, go to the July and read the article.



Re: Yamaha Vintage Dirt Bike ID Guide
my 78 250 has T-Z 1 on the right side engine case . do you have any info about this?
Scott Zupner

Itís just a casting code on the cases.



I have a rm 250 2 stroke and its making a buzzing noise from the engine, i just changed the oil in in a few days ago and i just cleaned the carb two days ago because the float kept sticcking. after i put everything back together thats when it started making the buzzing noise, what can that noise be?
Sean Garvey

Normally, your e-mail would simply get tossed into the ďdon't answerĒ basket, but I recall back to a mid-80s RM250 that I owned that did the same thing. I traced it down to a reed valve that was frayed and about ready to break off. So I would check this first.



Regarding Ten Worst Dirt Bikes of All Time
Brilliant piece of journalism! Reading about the CZ250 Enduro I could stop laughing imagining all that happening in 100 yards! Great stuff.

Thanks for the kind words on that article. I had a lot of fun doing it, and it brought back a great deal of memories from years gone by.



i have an old yamaha i dont no wat it is but i do have the serial number its 1m1-108323 thats all i have.
matthew williams

Your bike is a 1978 DT250E.  By the way, you write like a chimp.



RE: Suzuki TM125 Challenger Vintage Dirt Bike
do you know which years the tanks on these model suzuki's were aluminum? i cannot find any information online indicating. i currently have one suzuki gas tank (seems to be about a 1973/1974 enduro style) that is aluminum but pretty banged up. am looking to search for a replacement and didn't know what years the aluminum tank was offered. thank you. - amy
Cafe Amy

All of the TM125 tanks were steel. 


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.  Youíll 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, youíll 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, youíll 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 whatís 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:

Mailing address:
Rick Sieman
36607 W. Costa Blanca Dr.
Maricopa, AZ
Go to for more info on other products, including posters, CDs and the Monkey Butt book Newsletter
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