Keri Packham on the Liquorland WFO in Bergville

Highlights – the big climbs.. Awesome – the girl power.. Was awesome to be part of the team – finishing was HEAVEN.. – The terrain is beautiful Low points – experiencing the real lows in the sport.. I was properly stuck on one decline (managed to get my bike wedged and couldn’t move it) and […]

Highlights
– the big climbs.. Awesome
– the girl power.. Was awesome to be part of the team
– finishing was HEAVEN..
– The terrain is beautiful

Low points
– experiencing the real lows in the sport.. I was properly stuck on one decline (managed to get my bike wedged and couldn’t move it) and 3 youngsters came down and the one came up behind me… Swore at me, got off his bike and proceeded to lift and chuck my bike over the side of the path and proceeded to leave me there… ??
– Markings, I found he markings quite bad and I got badly lost twice (the second time was for about 20mins)

Learnt
– peg weighting on off-camber can literally save your life, I have a few near death experiences ??, the off camber was along the lower side of the mountain (single path- lots of pressure) and the drop was into a deep river so if you fell the wrong way ur bike was GONE – swallowed by the river gods!!
– biggest lesson: I don’t give myself enough credit, I did everything without assistance and spent most of the route alone… I paced myself and didn’t take shame in walking a section if I felt necessary…
– I learnt how to do HUGE step-ups on a serious incline, off camber and next to a river ??
– I learnt that sometime being pushed outside of your comfort zone is the only way to acknowledge your true capabilities and the capability of these awesome machines!!

Route
– route was awesome,keri2 can’t complain
– 40km is longer than one thinks and feels even longer when it’s terrain that you not used to
– there were two sections I felt were pretty dangerous (and I got lost at this section) – long long grass with HUGE sink holes that you couldn’t see.. So maybe better marking and big warning signs in those areas

Overall a great experience – one I will never forget and will DEFINITELY re-visit, now that I know how to prep for it!! ??

Essential Maintenance Tips

That’s a time-tested piece of fire fighting advice that also applies to things like our health, security, and yes—even your dirt bike! Routine dirt bike maintenance can prevent catastrophic mechanical failure, accidents and injuries, and costly repairs.   Wash your bike after every ride. Be gentle. We recommend simply using a bucket of water and a […]

That’s a time-tested piece of fire fighting advice that also applies to things like our health, security, and yes—even your dirt bike! Routine dirt bike maintenance can prevent catastrophic mechanical failure, accidents and injuries, and costly repairs.

 

  1. Wash your bike after every ride.

    Be gentle. We recommend simply using a bucket of water and a selection of brushes to knock off mud. You can use a pressure washer, but be careful to deflect the water away from the bike, so you don’t force water and dirt into areas where it can damage engine or electrical components. Consider using an airbox cover to seal off the carburetor from water and debris.

  2. Dry it before you inspect it.

    Make sure your bike is clean and dry before you inspect it for maintenance issues. You can use a dryer or leaf blower to speed up the drying process.

  3. Check for leaks.

    Once your dirt bike is clean and dry, look for oil drips on the ground and underneath the motor. Also, inspect for coolant and brake fluid.

  4. Inspect and clean your chain.

    If your dirt bike’s drive chain is particularly muddy, allow the mud to dry overnight, so it can be more easily removed with a nylon brush. Once the chain is clean, lubricate it with a high-quality chain lube from Klotz, Maxima, Bel-Ray, or other trusted brand.

  5. Check your chain tension.

    Remember, the chain should never be taut—there should be some slack to compensate for suspension movement. On the other hand, if you are able to remove the chain from the rear sprocket, it has become too loose and should be replaced. No matter how much travel your dirt bike’s suspension has, the ideal amount of chain free-play is ½-inch or 13 millimeters when the swingarm is parallel to the ground.

  6. Inspect and tighten bolts.

    Check your hardware to make sure bolts haven’t loosened under extreme vibration.

  7. Check out your controls and control cables.

    Inspect your throttle and clutch cables and replace them if they are frayed or kinked. Then, test the throttle control for the proper amount of free play. An easy way to test for free play is to place the bike on a work stand, start it up, and let it idle. Then, rotate the handlbars through their full range of travel and listen for any increase in engine rpm. If an increase occurs, you need to add free play to your throttle cable. Also, test your throttle for responsive operation, making sure it snaps back crisply when twisted.

  8. Check and clean your air filter.

    By maintaining a clean air filter, you’ll not only improve performance, you’ll protect your engine from costly damage. You can use a quality spray-on air filter cleaner or clean it with a mix of water and a household cleaner like Simple Green. Once the filter is dry, coat it with high-quality air filter oil.

  9. Check your tire pressure in between each ride.

    Use a tire pressure gauge to set the proper pressure based on the terrain conditions. We recommend 8 psi (front tires) and 6 psi (rear tires) for muddy conditions and 14 psi (front) and 12 psi (rear) for dry conditions.

  10. Change your oil.

    If you spend most of your time in the dirt or mud—or if your dirt bike sees extreme duty—you need to change your motor oil often. Some say change your oil after every ride; others say change the oil every eight to 10 operating hours. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations, but remember—the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will likely live.

  11. Check your fluids.

    You should replace your brake fluid periodically, because it is inherently conducive to absorbing moisture. Most manufacturers recommend DOT-4 brake fluid—an alcohol-based fluid—for dirt bikes. Also, check your coolant level and top off as needed. Plan to flush and change your cooling system once per year.

  12. Grease it up.

    Grease seals out water and dirt and provides lubrication for important components. Inspect your air filter’s sealing area, swingarm and hardware, wheel bearings and seals, shock seals and forks, and steering head bearings. Use a good PTFE-based, petroleum-based, or moly grease where necessary.

2017 YAMAHA YZ, YZ-F, YZ-FX, AND WR’S ANNOUNCED

For 2017, there is nothing earth shattering coming from Big Blue, just some minor and medium sized changes, primarily focused on the 250 four-strokes. The YZ250F and YZ250FX see a new cylinder head and intake system, transmission changes, some minor chassis changes, and suspension valving changes to match. The YZ450 only gets four minor changes: […]

For 2017, there is nothing earth shattering coming from Big Blue, just some minor and medium sized changes, primarily focused on the 250 four-strokes. The YZ250F and YZ250FX see a new cylinder head and intake system, transmission changes, some minor chassis changes, and suspension valving changes to match. The YZ450 only gets four minor changes: a new air box cover, new rear brake disk material, new Dunlop MX3S tires, and new graphics. The WR250 and 450 are the same as last year’s models except for black rims and the new air filter cover. The two-stroke motocross models are still available and the YZ125 and YZ250 both get 270mm front brake rotors (up from 250mm).

Here are all the changes to each model coming straight from Yamaha. For full specs and features go to yamaha-motor.com

MOTOCROSS

YZ250F

YZ250F

The 2017 YZ250F has changes to both the engine and the chassis.

NEW FOR 2017:
New Cylinder Head and Intake System
The compact four-valve cylinder head features revised intake geometry for additional downdraft effect, matched to shorter intake funnel in the airbox, for improved top-end power. Inside the head, more aggressive camshaft profiles and valve springs boost output further, while larger valve seats ensure excellent sealing and reliability.

Stronger Connecting Rod and Crankcase
The entire die-cast crankcase features a new heat treating process to increase strength. Inside, a new nickel-chromoly steel connecting rod offers additional durability to handle the increased power output.

Updated Transmission
New gear dogs, revised gear tooth designs and a host of smaller changes create a smoother overall transmission with improved shifting, as well as a stronger overall powertrain for improved durability.

Updated Frame and Suspension
Revised engine mounts and a reshaped swingarm pivot section of the aluminum frame improve lateral rigidity, while 5mm lower footpegs help lower the rider’s center of gravity for improved machine balance and control, revised suspension settings front and rear to match the chassis updates.

Simplified Servicing
Redesigned air cleaner cover helps prevent contact with the quickrelease quarter-turn Dzus® air box fasteners and provides tool-less access to the air filter, positioned at the front of the bike to avoid roost.

YZ450F

YZ450F

Big blue’s big bike saw small changes for 2017.

NEW FOR 2017:
Simplified Servicing
Redesigned air cleaner over helps prevent contact with the quick-release quarter-turn Dzus® air box fasteners, providing tool-less access to the air filter that’s positioned at the front of the bike avoiding roost from the rear wheel.

New Rear Brake Rotor
Updated rear brake rotor material that has better heat resistance providing better durability and braking feel.

New Dunlop® MX3S® tires
For 2017, the YZ450F features soft-to-intermediate terrain tires, the Dunlop® MX3S®.

New Graphics
Stylish new graphics treatment brings the YZ450F even closer to that pure factory racer look, that are molded directly into the plastic, for extended durability, resisting both peeling and damage.

YZ250/125

YZ250

Courtesy Of Yamaha

The only update to the two-strokes is a larger front brake rotor.

NEW FOR 2017:
New Front Brake
New 270mm front disc brake (up from 250mm) also features a new brake pad material for exceptional stopping power and control for aggressive corner entries.

CROSS COUNTRY

YZ250FX

YZ250FX

The YZ250FX received all of the changes that they YZ250F got, plus a few more, like the kickstarter being removed to save weight.

NEW FOR 2017:
New Cylinder Head and Intake System
The compact four-valve cylinder head features revised intake geometry for additional downdraft effect, matched to shorter intake funnel in the airbox, for improved top-end power. Inside the head, more aggressive camshaft profiles and valve springs boost output further, while larger valve seats ensure excellent sealing and reliability.

New Piston
A new lightweight forged two-ring piston uses a flat piston crown surface with additional strengthening ribs and a shorter, more durable piston pin with diamond like carbon (DLC) coating. The new piston is lighter, significantly stronger and together with revised EFI mapping, improves combustion performance for a faster, more thorough burn, resulting in excellent pulling power.

New Crank and Connecting Rod
Optimized crankshaft and counterbalancer designs feature a revised balance ratio, predictive power delivery and reduced vibration. A new nickel-chromoly steel connecting rod offers additional durability to handle the increased power output.

Stronger Crankcase
The crankcase features a new heat treating process to increase strength, for protection, the frame welcomes the addition of a rugged plastic skid plate.

New 270mm Front Brake
270mm front disc (up from 250mm) brake coupled with new pad material offers outstanding braking power and performance.

Revised Suspension Systems
Both front and rear dampers feature optimized settings for 2017 to further boost overall suspension performance, while the front fork utilizes a stronger oil seal system for enhanced durability in the toughest conditions.

Updated Indicators
Thanks to a new WR®-style fuel level sensor in the tank, the 2017 YZ250FX includes a convenient fuel level and engine warning indicator on the handlebar.

YZ450FX

YZ450FX

The YZ450FX sees minor changes for 2017, one being the kickstarter being removed to save weight.

NEW FOR 2017:
Revised Suspension Systems
Both front and rear dampers feature optimized settings for 2017 to further boost overall suspension performance, while the front fork utilizes a stronger oil seal system for enhanced durability in the toughest conditions.

Simplified Servicing
Redesigned air cleaner cover provides tool-less access to the air filter, positioned at the front of the bike to avoid roost from the rear wheel.

Updated Indicators
Thanks to a new WR-style fuel level sensor in the tank, the 2017 YZ450FX includes convenient fuel level and engine warning indicators on the handlebar.

Style New black rims.

YZ250X

YZ250X

Just a larger front brake rotor for the 2017 YZ250X

NEW FOR 2017:
New Front Brake
New 270mm front disc brake (up from 250mm) also features a new brake pad material for exceptional stopping power and control for aggressive corner entries.

Style
Black rims.

ENDURO

WR250

WR250F

Small changes for the WR250F.

NEW FOR 2017:
New Front Brake
New 270mm front disc brake (up from 250mm) also features a new brake pad material for exceptional stopping power and control for aggressive corner entries.

Style
Black Rims and new air filter cover.

WR450

WR450F

Small changes for the WR450F.

When to Replace Your Clutch

Checking clutch components is generally not part of the pre-ride check nor is it really something addressed when performing routine maintenance. Usually, the first sign of trouble is when the gears slip. Since most seasoned riders can trouble shoot their way from there, because other issues mimic clutch problems, that’s quite often when the clutch […]

Checking clutch components is generally not part of the pre-ride check nor is it really something addressed when performing routine maintenance.

Usually, the first sign of trouble is when the gears slip. Since most seasoned riders can trouble shoot their way from there, because other issues mimic clutch problems, that’s quite often when the clutch gets changed, if needed.

Other issues that affect the gears include worn out chain and sprockets and/or inappropriate slack on the chain, a clutch cable that’s frayed or not adjusted properly, or the clutch lever needs lubrication or adjusting. Once you’ve ruled out these problems, the likely cause is the clutch.

Therefore, when the gears slip, you’ll need to use a micrometer (or digital vernier caliper) to check the manufacturer’s recommended thickness of the following:

  • Drive plate (or Steel) thickness
  • Pressure plate surface
  • Fiber thickness on the pads of the clutch plate

The clutch plates and drive plates make up the clutch pack. The clutch plate fiber (looks like cork) lines the surface of the plate. If any components display thickness below recommended limits it’s time to replace the clutch. If the drive plate shows warpage beyond the recommended limits, you’ll also need to replace the above segments.

Checking the thickness of the Pressure Plate using a digital vernier caliper

Keep in mind that most clutch kits do not include a cover gasket, pressure plates, the hub and basket together. You’ll have to buy everything separate including the clutch pack. However, a typical clutch replacement changes just the clutch pack consisting of the drive plates and clutch plates, the pressure plate and springs. Therefore similar to the chain and sprockets, replace the clutch pack, springs and pressure plate together.

Using a Feeler Gauge to check for warpage on a Drive Plate

A major clutch overhaul, which includes changing the hub and basket adds a bit more time and effort but isn’t done as often. Visually inspect the hub and basket while installed on the bike. If there’s any indication of wear pull them and check to see if they are in spec with the manufacture recommended wear limits. The micrometer used to measure the pressure plate and fiber thickness on the clutch plates is also used for measuring the hub.

Mechanic’s Tip: Pressure plate wear, broken fibers plates or warped steel plates are also indication of clutch basket and hub wear.

Though changing the clutch pack isn’t an arduous process finding out it is necessary during pre-race practice at the track can throw some unnecessary complications your way. If you don’t have a spare clutch pack, for example, good luck grabbing the holeshot. Otherwise you’ve got to get back to the pits and get to work?real fast.

Use a digital vernier caliper to check the thickness of the Clutch Plate Fiber

Eliminate this hassle by incorporating a regular clutch check into your maintenance schedule. You don’t need to do this every time since the clutch lasts a number of rides and veteran riders usually know when it’s getting close. It’s simple and takes just a few minutes to unlock the clutch cover, pull out the clutch pack, do a quick measure and pop back into place if they exceed the factory specified limits. If you find the clutch needs replacing, you’ve saved yourself time and a big headache.

TESTED: PRO-PEGS TITANIUM FOOTPEGS

(1) Material. Pro-Pegs titanium footpegs are manufactured with high-grade titanium, known within the aerospace industry as Ti-6AL-4V. This titanium is lightweight, incredibly strong and corrosion-resistant. It can also be heat-treatable. The material has a composition of 6-percent aluminum, 4-percent vanadium, and slight traces of iron and oxygen. The remaining substance is titanium. Each piece of the […]

(1) Material. Pro-Pegs titanium footpegs are manufactured with high-grade titanium, known within the aerospace industry as Ti-6AL-4V. This titanium is lightweight, incredibly strong and corrosion-resistant. It can also be heat-treatable. The material has a composition of 6-percent aluminum, 4-percent vanadium, and slight traces of iron and oxygen. The remaining substance is titanium. Each piece of the footpeg, from the bracket to the cross-section to the outer platform, is TIG-welded together. As a result, the Pro-Pegs have a factory look with impressive strength characteristics.
propeg4
(2) Weight. Footpegs that come on production motorcycles are most often made of cast stainless steel, a durable and strong material that is inexpensive to produce; however, it is heavy compared to titanium. Stock pegs are generally over-engineered to ensure that failures (generally caused by impact or stress) don’t occur. There’s nothing wrong with making a footpeg that is bombproof, but Pro-Pegs trimmed excess material to lessen weight and still maintain structural integrity. As a result, a Pro-Pegs footpeg for a Yamaha YZ125 weighs only 6 ounces. A stock footpeg is 8.4 ounces, or 28.57 percent heavier (shown above). The weight savings won’t be as noticeable if swapping stock titanium footpegs (i.e., Yamaha’s line of four-stroke pegs) for the Pro-Pegs.

(3) Width. The platform width of a standard footpeg has changed dramatically since the early days of motocross. It’s not uncommon for a stock footpeg to measure over 50mm wide. A larger platform aids in stability while riding and helps distribute the forces that are sustained in a heavy impact. A stock YZ125 footpeg measures 55mm at the widest point and has 20 individual teeth, while the Pro-Pegs titanium footpeg spans 60mm and has 29 teeth. The grooves in the Pro-Pegs teeth are also twice as deep as those in the stock YZ125 pegs.

(4) Price. At $268.00 a pair, the Pro-Pegs aren’t cheap. Then again, neither are any other aftermarket titanium footpegs. To compare, British-built Raptor titanium footpegs are $314.95, Works Connection Superlite titanium footpegs are $219.95, and Scar titanium footpegs retail for $343.06.

propeg2

(5) Installation. Pro-Pegs includes two new cotter pins with every kit. This is a good selling point, because it’s not smart to reuse the old cotter pins. Do yourself a favor and use the included cotter pins during installation. As for swapping out the footpegs, it didn’t take more than a few minutes to install the Pro-Pegs. Note that the Pro-Pegs use the standard springs.

(6) Performance. Even the most sensitive testers didn’t notice the weight savings, but every test rider was pleased with how much grip the Pro-Pegs provided. Better yet, the pegs remained sharp after months of riding. The wide, 60mm platforms gave us the confidence to blast through treacherous sections of track or flat land from big jumps (it happens) without the arches of our feet getting wrapped up like pretzels. The Pro-Pegs have the distinction of being large without being chunky.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The support brackets underneath the footpegs are scooped. Some testers noticed trapped dirt in these areas.