Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

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Rewards of maintaining your bike

Posted by desflurane on January 12, 2012

I really have tried to keep my beloved 2009 XC-W 300 as close to perfect as I possibly can. I’ve regularly changed the oil, cleaned the air filter, spark plug, etc. etc. But I have limited myself a bit because I didn’t want to spend money on bike parts. Well to be honest, I DID spend money on bike parts, I just should have spent a little MORE money on bike parts.

For instance, I think I have hung on to my Uni air filter for a bit too long. I’ve cleaned and re-installed it a few too many times – to where I was thinking to myself “I should just trash this one and get a fresh filter.” But I never did. The bike still runs pretty strong and it looks ok, so all is well.

Come 2012. Lo! Behold! Check out the new KTM two-strokes! The ultra-sexy 300 XC with the linkage suspension and all! Or the gorgeous Husaberg 300 TE. Wow! Gotta get me one of those, right? All the other guys I’ve been riding with lately are sporting shiny new bikes, why am I on the dingy, beat-up, “old” motorcycle?

I announced my intentions to upgrade the steed to my wife. She replied “Sure! You have quite a bit of money in your Romaniacs savings account, just use that…”


Long story short – I would much rather keep my current bike than risk coming up short-funded when the 2013 Romaniacs rolls around, so I’m going to keep “old faithful” around for now.

BUT! I’m splurging a little bit and doing some stuff to her that has needed doing for a while. And I’m not worrying about the money it costs! It’s a LOT cheaper than a new bike!

Anyway, thus far I have replaced my FMF Gnarly which has been beaten into submission many months past. Even with the sturdy P3 carbon fiber guard it wore – it was no match for the rocks I mercilessly pounded it into. My good friends at RMS were able to heat it up with a torch and pop it more-or-less back into shape, but it hasn’t been “right” for a very long time.

Additionally, the pipe’s hunchback appearance led to a poor fit where it inserts into the cylinder. The nice ROUND port machined into the aluminum casting of my intermediate flange eventually was wallowed out to a ragged oval. Smoke would leak out like crazy every time I started the bike up, and nasty oily spooge was forming a miniature tar pit on my pipe where it looped in front of the leaky flange. So the intermediate flange had to go as well.

While I was waiting for my new pipe to arrive, I decided to take a look at my reed valves – since I had never done so before. Pulling them was an easy task since I had the exhaust and gas tank off already. To be honest the reeds looked pristine, but somewhere I learned that Mototassinari has come out with a VForce 4 reed set which appears on the 2012 KTM and Husaberg 2t’s. Dirt Bike Magazine reviewed the VForce 4 and said that it worked great – more power all over, especially in the bottom-end.

Well, I’m there! I’m all about more low-end power! So for a mere $148 a lovely new reed block was added to the mix.

And, I finally put a fresh filter on…

The point of all this is that when I started her up and went for a test ride in the vacant lot next door (the neighbors must just hate me!) I was AMAZED at how much power my bike has!

I was amazed after I did the top-end job last winter. This power increase blows that completely out of the water! I need to tweak the jetting a little bit – as she is bogging a little bit right off idle. But past 1/4 throttle the thing is spectacular! The front wheel just doesn’t want to stay on the ground any more! When the “hit” hits – it’s like a bottle rocket! I nearly flipped the darn thing over at least three times in five minutes!

I can’t wait to get out and ride it for real!

I took a few photos of the new reeds. I’ll put them in a separate post.


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