The Library of All Knowledge

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Bike tips:
  1. If you like to ride off road then you should install a tug strap on the back of your bike.  First remove the fender mount bolts from the subframe.  Then take an old piece of tug strap fold one end over and poke a hole in the folded over end.  Reinstall the fender bolt with the strap between the subframe and fender.  Repeat for the other side.  Now you have a tug strap with which you can lift the back end or the bike when you get stuck.
  2. If you want to repack your silencer but don't want to spend the bucks.  You can use standard house insulation.  Some hardware stores sell small bags of the stuff for stuffing cracks. Or you could scam the stuff off professional insulators.  (If you ask nicely, they'll give you some scraps)
  3. To save your brake and clutch levers, wrap a layer of plumber's teflon tape around the bar before installing the perch.  Then tighten it down until it's snug.  This way if you crash, the lever will spin on the bar instead of break.
  4. Another way to "save" your levers is to drill a small hole in the lever in the middle.  The aim here is to have the lever break in the weakest point.  This will still leave you with enough lever to ride with.
  5. If the lever does break I have heard of people using a hose clamp to tie the pieces together.
  6. If you ride in lots of mud then you can spray underside of the bike with PAM cooking spray or WD-40 to prevent mud from sticking.
  7. If you have a skid plate, then take a piece of  foam, coat it in Scotch Guard and put it between the skid plate and the motor.  This will prevent a build up of mud between the plate and the case.
  8. When you're installing new grips on your bike, you can spray the bar end with hair spray, enamel or nail hardener.  This will make installation of the grip easier and then glue the grip in place.
  9. If you have to replace your wheel bearings, go to a bearing specialty shop with the old bearing.  They can find a match for much cheaper than a bike shop.
  10. If you have a problem with getting the greenery between your shifter or brake and case, you can make you own brake snake.  Buy the longest bicycle brake cable you can find.  Then go to the hardware store and buy a couple 1/8 inch cable ferrules (crimp-on cable clamps) Loop one end around the brake or shifter, (you may have to drill a hole) and crimp.  Do the same to the other end around the frame.
  11. Another trick to prevent getting stuff between your shifters and the frame is to zip time a piece of foam, scotch-guarded of course to your lever, so the foam takes the place of all the greenery.
  12. If your out riding and discover that a paper gasket is leaking.  You can cut a new one out of cardboard.  (i.e. potato chip box.) Just coat it in oil or liquid gasket before installing.
  13. If the chain slider on the swingarm is worn out, you can make a new one out of a broken fender or similar plastic. (Who's hasn't got at least one broken fender?) Remove the old slider, bend it flat and trace it out on the fender. Then cut the tracing out. Then install on the swingarm.  Old fenders also make great guards for barkbusters.  And they have the benefit of matching the rest of the plastic.
  14. If you are worried about flats but don't want the hassle of a mousse.  You can get an old inner tube, cut the valve stem off and slit the tube lengthwise so it becomes a long strip. Then wrap it around the new tube.  Now you have a double thick tube.  Also remove the rubber strip around the rim that covers the spokes and replace with several layers of ductape. This offers a bit more protection.
  15. Also you can make a small foam donut and place it around the valve stem to prevent sand and grit from entering the tire.
  16. If you find that your pipe and silencer joint is a little too leaky, you can try this makeshift repair. Take a aluminum can and cut the ends off and down one side so you get a sheet. Then take an old hand grip and cut it in the same fashion that you cut the can. Take both (aluminum on the inside, rubber on the outside) and wrap it around the junction and clamp it down with a pair of hose clamps.
  17. If your fingers keep slipping off the brake and clutch levers, then get some heat shrink tubing from an electronics supply place, slide it over the ends and use a hair dryer to shrink the tubing into place.
  18. You can fill your hollow axles with silicone sealant, to prevent them from filling up with mud and rusting.
  19. On dusty events you can use a pair of women's "Peds" (short nylon foot stockings) as prefilters to keep the dust at bay.  The stretch over the regular filter quite nicely.
  20. If speed is of the essence when working in the shop then color code your tools. (ie: blue for 10mm wrenches and sockets, etc.)
  21. You can wrap a piece of rubber hose around the kickstarter for a better grip when kickstarting in the mud.
  22. You should also remove the countershaft cover to prevent mud buildup. But keep the metal spacer in place. It protects the case from a chain failure.

Rider tips:
  1. If you're riding for a long time, you can help ease the aches and pains by crushing two aspirins and mixing them in with your drinking water. Ibuprofen seems to work better than acetaminophen. (Save the alcohol for AFTER the race.)
  2. Attach a clear piece of plastic (such as a old goggle lens) to your visor to keep the mud off your face when riding in muddy conditions.
  3. Also if you ride in mud, wrap duct tape around the tops of your boots.  This will keep most of the water out as well as mud, small rocks and twigs that would be a pain in the butt if they found their way into your boots. Some fishing supply stores may have neoprene gaiter that can fit over the tops of your boots.
  4. If you have a Camel-Bak and are looking for a way to keep it clean between rides.  The are two ways to keep the slime from the drinks from forming. You can either rinse it out, stuff a paper towel into the top getting it into the corners, inflate and hang upside down.  The paper towel will absorb the water. then remove the towel when all the water is absorbed. Or after rinsing it out you can place it in the freezer. Another trick I use is I taped a piece of wire to the hose, this way the hose stays in place. Also don't forget to tape the mouthpiece to the hose because it sucks when they get lost.
  5. Fluid tricks:  Get several clear plastic pop bottles (1 liter and two liter sizes) Tear off the labels and place a strip of masking tape up the side vertically. Then using a measuring cup pour a measured amount of water into it and mark off the level on the tape.  The measured amount corresponds to the amount of transmission oil, coolant, and two-stroke oil needed. The coolant bottle has two marks, one for the amount of anti-freeze needed and the amount needed for the mixed coolant. The two-stroke oil bottle has markings for the amount of oil needed for 5, 10,15, and 20 liters of gas.  This way I have the stuff I need and I don't have to worry about measuring.
  6. When you get a new pair of boots, waterproof them (I use a non-drying wax like Dubbin) and you can apply a bead of silicone around the boot where it attaches to the sole. This protects the seams from wear and tear and keeps the toecap from snagging stuff on the trail.
  7. You can use some bar soap to prevent fogging. Rub the soap on the goggles and let dry until a haze is formed. Then wipe off.
  8. In dusty conditions, you can prevent dust from getting in your goggles, by applying some baby oil to the foam on your goggles.
  9. Some riders use anti-perspirant on their hands to prevent them from sweating and causing blisters.
  10. You can help prevent arm-pump by cutting off the cuffs on your jersey. This aids circulation and lets cooling air up the sleeves.

Caution! I put this here for a good laugh.  Do not try any of these unless you want to be injured or maimed.
  1. Do NOT repack your silencer with steel wool.  As nice and durable as it sounds, the stuff WILL catch fire. Use standard home insulation, it works.
  2. Do NOT "armor-all" the seat no matter how nice it looks. You'll slide around like crazy.
  3. Do NOT fill your dented exhaust pipe with water and place in the freezer. This will cause the weakest part of your pipe to break. And the weakest part is the welding seams of the pipe not the dented in part. Also don't pressurize the pipe with any type of gas. One mechanic pressurized the pipe with nitrogen, an inert gas. Well the heat from the torch still ignited a deposit of oil and caused the pipe to explode. So leave this stuff to the professionals.

Fanny Pack Contents:

I put this here to give you some idea what should get stuffed into these things. (One word of warning I have a bad habit of stuffing everything including the kitchen sink into one.)

Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.