ARIZONA STATE OF MIND
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
Please allow my humbleness to permeate through the
Zen-like pages of Dirt Bike magazine. I have changed
domiciles, as I now reside in the wonderful state of
Arizona. As a senior member of our riding community
( 55), I don’t need horsepower. I’m running 13/52 now and
wonder if you would recommend dropping a few teeth
on the rear. I don’t want to embarrass myself by trying to
get into clicker settings, although I would appreciate your
thoughts about going a few clicks stiffer on compression
and rebound up front. The rear I know is too soft, but at
my age, I was hoping to retrofit a TT500 seat on the ’07
CRF250X. Your infinite knowledge on all things pertain-
ing to dirt bikes allows me to humbly ask for help. Please
remind your groupies that there is nowhere to ride in
Arizona. It’s impossible to get an OHV tag. Tell them all to
go to Portland. Yes, that’s it—Portland, Oregon.
Sent from my big-bore two-stroke iBike
Okay, 55 and still alive, let’s talk about your reluctance to
start a relationship with a side of your machine that craves
attention—the suspension. While it took a while for you to
actually clue me in as to what brand and model of machine
you plop your aging fanny onto, the Honda CRF250X is
a nice, albeit quite soft, trail machine. Also, you failed to
give me your stats—weight, height, IQ, etc.—so I surmise
that the machine is drooping under a load and blowing
through the travel. Adding compression damping will help
hold the fork up, though you will most likely require stiffer
fork springs. I rely on Race Tech to steer me in the proper
direction. Race Tech stocks nearly every coil known to
man. Gearing-wise, I always choose sprocket sizes that
allow me to use second gear for tight work, leaving first
for get-out-of-jail canyons only. So, if your Arizona trails
have you working between second and third, I would drop
one to two teeth on the rear sprocket. About retrofitting a
TT500 saddle onto your CRF250X, this is a notion fueled
by madness! Seat Concepts makes a wonderful kit that is
wider at the back and is hugely comfortable. And last, I
have spent many quality days riding in Arizona, albeit mainly in Prescott and Flagstaff. I will do some digging here and
see if others are struggling with this dilemma.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I need new soles on my size- 9. 5 Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS
boots, but have found that
the replaceable soles are no
longer available. Where can I
get them? I’m in San Diego,
California. Thanks for your
Motonation’s main man, Bill Berroth: “That’s
not true. We have hundreds of soles! Standard MX, enduro
and Supermoto too. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and he
can sell you directly what you need.
SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE GENIUS
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
After reading your suggestions regarding spoke tun-
ing on page 116 of the March 2017 issue, I just had to
respond. I’ve worked on motorcycles for 50-plus years and
have tightened quite a few spokes, especially at a Honda
dealer from 1974–1984. Customers often brought their
dirt bikes in for service with wheels that had very loose
spokes, as I’m sure customers still do. I currently tighten
spoke nipples the same way on my 2014 KTM EXC 500 as
I did on my 1974 Honda 250 Elsinore.
1. There are nine sets of four spokes on most every dirt
bike I’ve ever worked on.
2. To begin with, if the wheel has any spoke that is
severely loose (and the rim is not bent), I literally finger-tighten the nipples just to snug them up. And, in general,
never tighten any spoke more than one turn at a time.
3. Starting at the valve stem (or any other reference
point), tighten the first set of four spokes.
—Then, skip two sets of four spokes.
—You will now be at the fourth set of spokes. Tighten,
skip two sets, tighten, skip two sets, etc.
4. Eventually, you’ll come around to that first set of
spokes again at the valve core.
—So, move to the second set of spokes. Tighten, skip
two sets, tighten, skip two sets, etc. Eventually, you will
come around to the second set of spokes again. So, move
to the third set of spokes. Tighten, skip two sets, tighten,
skip two sets, etc.
Doing this cycle two or three times
has always worked for
me without ever causing
a wheel-alignment problem. Also, I’m generally a
believer in using a torque
wrench, but when it comes
to dirt bike wheel spokes, I
always use sound pitch for
the final torque adjustment.