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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you say you've ridden dirt bikes before and some still do. I was just wondering if ya know dirt bikes mechanically. I have a old school 1980 Suzuki DS 100cc dirt bike, have had it since I was a kid, the damn thing doesn't start up. It's my fault though, because I never take care of it in the winter time. I usually just take it to the All Bike Centre in Richmond, for them to fix it up. All they do really is clean the carbo., the air filter, and put a new spark plug on it, and charge me like $175ish. If any of ya know how to fix dirt bikes, can ya give me a hand and let me know how I can maybe fix it up myself, and help me save some dough.

Thank you.
 

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glowing ghostie!
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The fundamentals of the internal combustion engine are fairly simple: proper air/fuel mixture, compression, spark, VROOM! It doesn' really matter if your bike is a simple old putt-putt or a complicated piece of modern machinery; do the basics and you'll get it to start.

Carbs, spark plugs, and air filter are the basics. (Of course you need a charged battery too :) ) Plugs and filter are easy, the carbs a bit more fiddly. But with an old bike like that, it should be easy to access.

That bike would be a great place to learn the basics of motorcycle/general engine mechanics. If you want to learn and don't mind getting your hands dirty, find an experienced friend with tools to help you. Buy a book too.

If you are simply looking to save a buck, find a cheaper mechanic. Doing it yourself will take time, and you will be swearing at bloody knuckles and oily hands :)

A third, more long term option, is to take a motorcycle mechanics course from a community college. I took a course through Vancouver School Board last year. It was great! Eight 3-hour sessions, once a week. You brought your bike, watched a video/were instructed on theory, then you went out into the shop and did the practical on your own bike with the instructor and others there to help. Tools were supplied too. BUT this is more general maintenance stuff (ie. how to do a tune-up).

To be honest, you can do more if your bike is a bit older/simpler. You won't be reprogramming your fuel injection or anything like that :) But they do cover valve adjustment! Fairly simple on an older bike, but it's pretty complicated on our modern DOHC mult-cylinder engines. But there will be someone in the course who has an older bike and you can still get a lot ouf of it as you peer over their shoulder and see them working.

Check it out. Great deal for the price of that course IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't mind doing it myself. I want to learn. I just don't know what to do or how to do it. And I don't have any friends that know about that kind of stuff. I'll try to find a book though.
 

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glowing ghostie!
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There's a bit of info at the Vancouver School Board website: http://www.vsb-adult-ed.com . Search for "motorcycle".

I still have the handout on what we did. These are the highlights:

- oil and lubrication
- valve and cam chain
- electrical (battery and spark plugs)
- carburation
- brakes (disk and drum)
- tires
- suspension (understanding spring rates, dampening)

At the end of the course, you had covered enough to do a 25 point inspection/tune up.

I thought it was very interesting and great fun! But you have to be comfortable getting your hands dirty, and being attentive to the instructor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's cool. Although, it says that the class is full. Do u know when new classes usually start?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I was to clean the carburator myself, how would I do that, and what about the air filter?
 

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glowing ghostie!
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Sorry, I don't know much about the VSB scheduling. But people sometimes drop out or don't show up, so it might be worth phoning to see if you can get on a wait list or something.

Doing the air filter should not be too hard. Depending on the type, you might just have to clean it and put oil on it, or simply replace it.

Doing the carb is a bit trickier, but not impossible. And since there's only one, it's not too much work :). You will need to remove it from the engine/airbox, take it apart very carefully, wash/wipe away any gunk and spooge that has built up inside, reassemble, and reinstall.

I suggest you find an old Haynes or Clymer manual. It can step you through things and show you how to put them back together :) You might be able to find something in the public library!
 

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glowing ghostie!
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If your air filter is paper, then you can use compressed air or just replace if it's really nasty. OR you could have just a foam filter. In that case, you can gently wash it in warm water then pour some egine oil (?) in when it's dry.

I don't see why you couldn't use hot water on the carbs, but if they're really gunked up you can get special carb cleaner in an aerosol can from Canadian Tire. Spray on, let it sit and work itself in, then wipe clean.

At the end you want to make sure everything is CLEAN. You don't want any dirt or dust or gunk in there. That will plug up the jets and mess up the fuel/air ratio.

When you are handling the jets and needles you must be very gentle. Don't go poking pipe cleaners or wires through the jets to clean them. BAD! BAD! Everything is shaped and sized to specific tolerances. You don't want to scratch or scrape or bend anthing. Then again, for an old dirt bike like that, you may not worry so bad about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also, the hose that connects the carburator to the air filter is warped and doesn't fit right, do u know maybe how much that might come for, or if it will be easy to get?
 

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gordopolis said:
There's a bit of info at the Vancouver School Board website: http://www.vsb-adult-ed.com . Search for "motorcycle".

I still have the handout on what we did. These are the highlights:

- oil and lubrication
- valve and cam chain
- electrical (battery and spark plugs)
- carburation
- brakes (disk and drum)
- tires
- suspension (understanding spring rates, dampening)

At the end of the course, you had covered enough to do a 25 point inspection/tune up.

I thought it was very interesting and great fun! But you have to be comfortable getting your hands dirty, and being attentive to the instructor.
that's pretty cool :)
thanks for the info.
i'll see if i can take get into it later in the summer
 

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glowing ghostie!
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The hose between carb and air box? It's a hose!? You probably mean rubber "boot".

Here's something to try if it's bent out of shape: soak it in hot water. That loosens up the rubber. It might bounce back into shape. When the rubber gets old it gets hard and can crack. When that happens, not much you can do.

Maybe a little duct tape can fixe it? :p
 

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glowing ghostie!
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Genuine said:
Cool man thanx. Anything else I should maybe know to keep my bike running good?
What else can I say but "educate yourself". Read some books, take a course, maybe there's a video at the library.

I have always bought a shop manual specific to my bike. The official company manuals can be expensive, but if you have a bike that's a few years old, you can probably get a Clymer or Haynes manual for less. Read it, go through the diagrams, point to things on your bike.

Don't be afraid to tinker, but be cautious and don't bite off more than you can chew. I'll reluctantly admit that a lot of my knowledge came at the expense of my bikes :) I'd take them apart, put them back together, and always have it in the back of my mind that they ran better BEFORE I messed with them.

I'm more confident now with the simple things like oil changes, spark plugs, brakes, etc. But even that is daunting if you're inexperienced.
 

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glowing ghostie!
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Oh, and of course, be proactive with your bike maintenance. Change the oil on time, check your tire pressure regularly, do the necessary preparation if the bike is gonna sit unridden for a while.

You will be WAY farther ahead if you take the time now and follow the recommended maintenance schedule.
 

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if you manage to start it up it'll charge by itself :)

otherwise you can a charger from any hardware store i hear..
 
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