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Porting can be one of the best performance mods you do to your bike; especially if it’s a 2-stroke. It can also be the demise of it if not done correctly. You see, the bike factories build the engines to certain specs so that it has the best overall and usable power. So by changing the port timing and dimensions alone, you’re not going to see a huge gain in performance, and possibly a loss. If done right, you will merely be changing the power-curve or peak horsepower, depending on what you’re looking to achieve.
Easier Said Than Done
Porting itself is not a difficult task, but it takes a lot of knowledge and patience to port an engine and produce more power, which is why professionals can charge a few hundred bucks for a simple port-job. If you don’t have experience or training, I highly suggest you send it out to a professional engine builder. Most of them know what they’re doing, and all you have to do is tell them what you want more of (horsepower/torque) and where, what fuel you’re going to use, and they’ll take care of everything else.
Bigger Is Not Always Better…
Any skilled engine builder you ask will tell you that bigger ports alone aren’t going to produce more power. In fact, more often than not, it will reduce power. Like I mentioned before, there’s a reason why the factory made their engine a certain way; to produce the most power over the broadest RPM range. So if you grind off just 0.5mm (.020″) from any of the ports in the wrong direction or location, it will lose power somewhere and gain little to no power elsewhere. Porting is an art; not a job for a hacking grease-monkey.
Bring It To The Best
There are many good bike tuners across the States, so do a little research to find who’s close, in your price-range, or if they can get the job done the way you want it. Eric Gorr (Forward Motion), HPBikes, Pro Circuit, and Max Power are a few that come to mind if you want quality. Generally, the more you pay, the better job will be. But, make some calls to these guys and see what they say. Most of the really good builders are easy to talk to and will get it done right, and fast.
On the flip-side, those of you that are mechanical and willing to do some modifications to your engine (with a risk of ruining it), I will make another article in the future on how to get the most of it while keeping it stock. This is done by blueprinting…
Sick of the boring look of a stock pipe? Want some extra power out of your 2-stroke? Pro Circuit’s trick Works Pipe is the pipe that was used on the factory Pro Circuit Teams, so it’s the best of the best.
I put it on my 2004 KX125 because the stock power-curve is not aggressive enough for my liking. It has a strong bottom-end hit for a 125, with a punchy mid-range, but compared to other 125’s it falls short on top. Simply put, it needs more on top, including a more over-rev.
The Pro Circuit Works Pipe slips on the bike fairly easy and the fit is snug. It is hand-welded and has a bare metal finish, which gives it that awesome “factory” look and sound. The brackets and stingers are reinforced, and the flanges are CNC-machined, preventing cracking and leaking.
The PC Works pipe gives the bike a good increase in power almost everywhere. Bottom-end might not have as much hit, but the mid-range is nasty. Pro 125 riders needed top-end power, but mid-range is also a must to get out of corners and tough situations. The 2-stroke Works Pipe gives my KX 125 just that. The power-band is now like it should be. Comes on strong and just keeps going. You can rev it to the moon and it will still pull.
The one downside to having a “Works” pipe is that you have to maintain it after every ride. You have to clean it after every ride, so it’s not very difficult. But if you forget, it will get rusty over time and look awful. Other than that, the Pro Circuit Works Pipe was a great addition to my KX125. I would definitely consider buying another one for my future 2-stroke motocross bikes.
Arm-pump is a pain in the butt. Well, actually the arms…. Anyway, arm-pump is one of the leading causes of dirt bike crashes. Riders get tired and weak, and when the strain is too much, they can’t control their bike, so the bike ends up controlling them.
I personally know what it’s like to race, or just ride in general, with and without arm-pump. Without any doubt, it is SO much easier to ride without your fore-arms burning up. Now I’m not here to tell you that there’s a fix-it-all solution where you take a drink of something and it and the soreness disappears! No, arm-pump won’t go away overnight, or at all in some cases, but…. I will show you a few simple ways to greatly reduce the inflammation that can start working today.
1. Dehydration Is Your Enemy
I know it’s common sense to keep drinking fluids when riding, but I see too many riders not drinking nearly enough liquids, and then they ask why it’s so difficult to continue riding… First of all, energy drinks are NOT for hydrating. Whatever you do, do not drink energy drinks on race-day; it will only make things worse. Water and gatorade (or similar) are your friend, and you should be drinking them by the bottles, ESPECIALLY on scorching hot race-days. Also, it takes about 20 minutes to hydrate your body, so begin drinking well before you start riding. Keeping hydrated will give you more energy and keep the blood flowing, reducing your arm-pump. If you have a long race, or just want to drink while you’re riding, a Camelbak Hydration Pack is a perfect solution.
You’re basically asking for an accident if you don’t stretch before riding. Racing on a tight and un-stretched body is one of the worst things you can do, and it greatly improves the chance of crashing your dirt bike. Doing simple stretches before riding or racing will greatly reduce stress, allowing you to stay loose and ride harder for longer. I like to stretch out my arms, hands and shoulders, and it doesn’t take much time. Just think, a couple extra minutes of stretching can reduce arm-pump, and possibly prevent an accident/injury.
My biggest problem with arm-pump was from not being able to relax. I was trying and holding on too hard with my hands, causing my arms to “pump-up” and eventually lock up. The instant I started to relax and not “death grip” the bars while racing, I could feel that arm-pump wasn’t as big of an issue as it used to be. Just by releasing my grip on the handlebars a little, breathing slower but more, and staying calm allowed me to ride 2-3 times longer than before at a fast pace. I was literally shocked at how big of a difference it made, and will continue to do this for as long as I ride.
4. Grip With Your Knees
This is in addition to relaxing your hands and arms. By gripping the bike with your knees and legs (especially through whoop and rough sections), you are taking much strain off your upper body, giving them a much needed rest. Gripping your dirt bike with your knees also keeps the bike riding straighter when riding over rough sections that can cause your bike to get sideways.
5. Fore-Arm Exercises
All of the tips above to reduce arm-pump can be done immediately and at the track. But for those that want to go a step further without spending much time or money, there are simple exercises that you can do to strengthen your arms. Some exercises that you can do a couple times a day are: pull-ups, push-ups, dumbbell lifting, and many more that will help strengthen your arms. One that will really works if you keep at it, is taking a rod about one to two feet in length and tying a string to it with a weight on the end. Hold onto the rod on both ends and spin it to wrap the string around it, pulling the weight up. Once you pull the weight to the rod, rotate the rod to lower the weight, then repeat. Caution: Do not do work-outs or exercises before you ride, or you will be sore and more worn out. Just do the stretches prior to riding. Injuries can and will happen. So if you crash often, it’s smart to Get Motocross Insurance.
If you really want to go far with your riding and training, check out the GetFitRideFast Training Program. It’s all on your computer, and will get you what you want if you stick with it. I can guarantee that you will notice a difference by doing some or all of these tips if you aren’t already. You will soon be flying by your friends when they are worn out after a few laps… Good luck, and ride safe!
How to sell a dirt bike or motorcycle
Almost every single dirt bike or motorcycle ad I see has at least a couple defects in it. This makes it more difficult to sell a bike, especially in this poor economy. So if you want some tips on how to make your ads more professional and how to sell a bike more quickly, listen up!
Making a bike look good:
People will be a lot more interested in your bike if it looks nice. That’s starting with making your bike clean. I always spray my bike with soap and water, then I scrub everywhere I can get to with a tooth brush. Taking the plastics off makes it easier and you can get into a lot more spots that you couldn’t before. If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money on New Plastics and/or graphics, then I highly suggest doing it. It will allow you to sell the bike quicker and you might get your money back doing it. It makes the bike look really nice and fresh because not everything is scratched up anymore. Make sure you don’t go overboard on replacing or refurbishing parts, such as repainting the frame, case covers, etc. along with plastic and graphics to make it literally look new, otherwise buyers might think there is something suspicious and get scared away. Make sure not to just clean it before someone comes to look at it, but also for the pictures, because it’s not very inviting to look at a bike that is dirty in the ad.
Pictures is an absolute must if you want to sell a bike. People don’t want to travel far without seeing a bike and find out that it’s an absolute wreck. I suggest that you post at least one or two pictures of your bike/item.
One of the first things you want is a good title, which isn’t very difficult, but I have seen quite a few ads that are titled, “Dirt bike for sale.” Now that may be true, but does that say much about what it is? Not really, and not many people are going to click on it if they just say that. So if you want a good title, make sure you have most if not all of the model info. For example, a good and simple title is. “(Year of bike) (Make of bike) (Model name).” It’s that simple. Here is a title that I have for one of my dirt bikes, “2001 Yamaha YZ125.” It’s really that easy.
This is where I see the most mistakes or defects in peoples ads. Anything from spelling, grammar, to too much detail and too long. To have a professional looking ad you want to write just enough info for people to see so they don’t contact you asking a million questions. All you have to write is a little bit about the bike, such as a sentence or two about its history, what’s been done to the bike, what aftermarket parts it has, and anything else that a buyer should know.
The price is one of the most crucial pieces to selling a bike. Many sellers think their bikes are worth gold because they have thousands in aftermarket parts, or that they just put two grand into rebuilding it. Aftermarket parts add next to no value to bikes. In fact, some people would rather buy a stock bike, so if you have stock parts, I would suggest you put them back on and keep the aftermarket parts, or just sell them with them off of the bike. Just because you put 1500 into rebuilding the engine does not mean it’s worth that much more, it means that they blew the bike up and other parts will probably need replacing soon. Rebuilds DO NOT add to value because they are just maintenance. Now for figuring out your price, it depends on the model, year, and what kind of shape the bike is in. If it’s in good shape then take a look at other ads people are posting. Usually they are asking 10-25% more than the bike is worth, so I suggest you post it for a little less than the average.
Replying to buyers:
First of all, if you are using Craigslist and are not going to check your email every day or two, then please put a phone number so someone can reach you!!! I see hundreds of ads that do not have a phone number, so I have to wait for them to reply on email, that is if they reply at all. If you do check your email every day then you should be good, but I would still say that a phone number is a must.
Selling the bike
When a buyer arrives, make sure you are kind to them and do not get upset or have an unusual behavior at all. Probably the number one rule I use when selling bikes is “being honest.” You have to tell the truth and not hide anything to the seller so that they won’t come back to you after buying the bike complaining about something you lied about. It is much easier for everyone if you’re out front with everything about the bike, that way you can be confident in selling your bike. Also make sure that the buyer knows that this is an as-is sale, and if something happens to the bike there is no warranty if it’s a used bike. If you happen to sell it you will either want to give the seller the title or make a bill of sale telling who bought it, who sold it, what the price was, VIN # of bike, name, number, so that nothing will come back it you if it’s stolen or something.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reply. Thanks for viewing, and good luck selling your bike!