Posts Tagged ‘KTM Talk’
Thursday, March 17th, 2011
Tags: BRP, Bullet Proof Designs radiator guards, Dirt Bike Magazine, Dirt Rider Magazine, Flexx handlebars, FMF, GNCC, KTM 350 SXF XCF EXC, KTM Talk, Scotts damper, Simon SmartBody
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Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Forward: I called my dealer, Elite Motorsports, in 2009 and asked to be on the list for the upcoming 350. I received the bike in the late summer of 2010 and have been testing and building it ever since for a magazine test with Dirt Bike magazine. The bike is currently in California being tested. The magazine should hit the stands in February or March.
I picked up the 350 SXF for testing to learn about the new rear linkage suspension and to determine if the engine could be made trail worthy, not for high speed pussy trails but for Colorado’s nastiest rocky, rooty, switchback trails. After initial testing of the stock motocrosser I thought that I had made a big mistake. I’m not a fan of conversions, especially since KTM makes a model for every discipline imaginable, and the extremely harsh suspension and soft low-end power had me concerned.
To make it more enjoyable for engine testing, I attacked the suspension first. Since the forks are virtually the same as last year’s SXF models I already had developed some great settings, but instead I decided to wipe the slate clean and look at the fork set-up with a new set of eyes. I was happy with what I had developed for last year’s bikes but it can always be better. Resting on past accomplishments is never a good idea. I’m always trying to soften/improve harshness and deflection yet gain overall firmness that improves steering, stability, bottoming resistance, and improves the overall precision of the chassis. Also at the top of my wish list is a suspension that helps the rider when he makes a mistake, like hitting a wash-out at high speed that he didn’t see or hitting a root hidden by a shadow at a bad angle. Good suspension should make up for small pilot errors, not exacerbate the mistakes that we all make. When discussing the testing of the 350 fuel injection, Dave Simon commented ” I was hitting shit (with the Slavens Suspension), that normally gave me white knuckles, like it wasn’t even there. I kind of forgot about the suspension and just rode and didn’t want to stop. It was the most fun I’ve had on a bike in a long time, maybe ever”.
Like most forks used for rocky rooty conditions, they just don’t flow fluid quick enough to respond to sharp square edged hits. This slow response gives that harsh, deflective, hacky feedback that makes us puss out and turn the throttle in the wrong direction. Addressing those issues is always my number one concern on all off-road forks and the WP closed chamber bladder forks have an additional issue that needs attention. Because of unwanted fluid migration from the outer chamber to the inner chamber, hydraulic pressure builds in the inner chamber and makes the fork become stiffer as you ride. The inner chamber has a check valve to release the pressure but as pressure builds in the outer chamber it overrides the pressure relief valve and the harshness increases. I developed a series of machining processes that greatly reduce the pressure called the Pressure Balance System (PBS). I combined the PBS with my high flow Next Level compression pistons that we design in house that are machined with a CNC water-jet machine to get the ports shaped for maximum flow. The mid-valve compression and rebound shim stacks and pistons along with the base valve compression stacks are all modified to increase performance and stability and spring rates are adjusted to match the rider weight. Other details; Italian made SKF seals are installed to reduce stiction and increase service life, Shock Sox are installed to increase seal life, the cartridge fluid is vacuum bled to remove excess oil gas (air) and the bladder pressure is increased to improve sealing to reduce oil migration. The final detail is installing STR Speed Bleeders and Clean Speed aluminum compression adjusters because the stock plastic adjusters crack and fail. The end result is a fork that stays up in the travel, has a firm and precise feel yet plush enough to track straight through gnarly rocks and roots.
The shock is much easier to correct than the forks. The new linkage system gives the shock the ability to handle a wider variety of terrain whereas the linkless PDS system is more sensitive about set-up and is more job specific. When correctly re-valved the linkage system soaks up square edge hits that would cause a PDS shock to kick. I make major changes to the dual compression control adjuster to alleviate harshness, add low speed valving to the compression shim stack to increase bottoming resistance and prevent wallowing , lighten up the high speed compression to make it more responsive to rocks and roots, reshape the rebound valving stack to increase overall stability and make the shock slightly more responsive to increase traction. A big mistake that most professional and home tuners make is bleeding the oil gas from the system by hand. A correctly valved and assembled shock will perform poorly if the fluid is aerated. The only way to properly bleed the system is with a WP vacuum bleeding machine. We have one of the few in this country and have been using it with great results for a long time. The final touch is a spring thrust bearing and high quality Slavens spring that is made in Holland and has correct dimensions that allow full shock travel. Many U.S tuners are using aftermarket springs that are designed for Japanese shocks and the springs will coil bind before reaching full travel.
The engine was my primary concern and very few performance parts are available. First I geared it down 1 tooth on the countershaft (13T) because first gear was way too tall for goat trails and the factory riders use a 13 for their GNCC mounts. Next I bolted on a FMF MegaBomb and Q4 to quiet the bike and give a mild boost to the low-end grunt. In Colorado spark arrestors are required and as of July 1, 2010 we have a new sound law and ALL off-road bikes must be 96db or less using the SAE J1287 testing method. The FMF system helped but I still wanted a lot more bottom-end pull.
Most of my trail riding is from 7000’ – 12,000’ and the thin high mountain air kills the power, especially the low-end. I called Dave “The Bitch” Simon at Simon Smart Body and he asked me to bring the bike to Phoenix so that he could develop a Smart Body for the 350. Dave builds bitchin billet machined throttle bodies that utilize a carburetor slide that flows much better than the stock cast body with the restrictive butterfly valve design like used on lawn mowers. He makes the bore diameter slightly smaller and that combined with the less restrictive slide and his own unique bore shape, the turbulence is greatly reduced and the velocity is dramatically improved. The end result is a huge boost from bottom to top. It’s a monster motor now that will out goat a mountain goat.
Dave also combines his Smart Body with a custom programmed Bazzaz FI tuner that is set up to match his throttle body. It is an extensive wiring harness and electronic box that piggybacks on to the stock Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and has a port to connect it via a USB cable to a computer. From there you can easily tweak the fuel injection for different elevations, air temperatures, mufflers, etc. When connected to a computer the included software provides an excellent format with fuel information for variable throttle settings and rpm levels. The multitude of grid fields can be changed individually or in groups. It sounds difficult but even a caveman could do it.
• TUbliss system to improve traction, reduce weight, improve handling and eliminate pinch flats
• 18” rear rim from a ’11 XC was laced for additional tire choices
• Dunlop MX71 up front. Chosen for versatility. Pressure = 12lbs
• Mitas radial trials 400-18. I consider the Dunlop 803 the top performer but the Mitas is a close 2nd and last longer, won’t chunk on pavement sections, and has a more durable carcass that is more
resistant to cuts and has much less flex on high speed sections. Pressure = 6lbs
• Scotts top mount damper
• Flexx 10 degree enduro handlebars with Cycra handguards, BRP handguard mounts, Rigid bar end mounts , and Renthal Kevlar grips
• Prototype Pivot Pegz – they have stiffer springs that will soon be available to the public.
• KTM Hard Parts Tall gel seat
• Renthal o-ring chain
• Turntech 5amp battery – spins the engine quicker and reduces weight by 3lbs.
• Bullet Proof Designs – rear disc guard and radiator guards (the absolute best)
• Flatland skid plate – great protection, fair price
• PG GRIPZ graphics – very durable and look good
• BRP chain guide – more durable and longer service life
• STR rear brake pedal plate and rear brake caliper cooler (a must for brake draggers)
FYI: Everything on this bike is available at Slavens Racing.com
Tags: BRP, Bullet Proof Designs, Fastway, Flatland Racing, Flexx, Jeff Slavens Racing, KTM 350 SXF XCF, KTM Talk, PG Graphixs, Renthal, Revloc, Scotts Performance, Simon SmartBody, System Tech Racing, Thumper Talk, Turntech
Posted in Garage | 25 Comments »
Monday, November 29th, 2010
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Submitted by Jerome Lacroix
Sunday, November 14th, 2010
It’s a tireless, thankless, endless, and often overwhelming and discouraging job for the 1 percenters that are in the trenches day in and day out trying to keep YOUR trails open. Like the turtle, they need a lot of help to get up on the fence post.
So, I’d like to say thank you to all of the 1 percenters for everything that you do. I know that you guys participate and donate money and time and energy and I greatly appreciate it. Over the last 37 years I have donated thousands of dollars (Blue Ribbon, Colorado Trail Preservation Alliance, and COHVCO) and countless hours to trail access issues and trail maintenance and it still blows me away that 99% of dirt bikers won’t even give $20 to the organizations that fight for their trails.
It’s been my experience that those that complain the most do the least. They don’t belong to any of the groups that fight for land access, they don’t donate a single penny, they don’t go to meetings, they are ignorant about the issues, and quite often they ride LOUD bikes and destroy the trails.
The organizations that are fighting our battles are working with pennies. It’s amazing that they get anything done with their tiny budgets. If everyone would donate, to the groups listed above or ones in their own region, it would be much easier to win trail access issues. FYI: Most of the staff members, for the groups listed above, work endless hours for you for FREE. Many of them even pay for their own travel expenses to the many meetings and events that they attend.
I urge everyone to become pro-active and protect the sport that we all love because if you keep doing what you’re doing then you will keep getting what you’re getting, more trail closures.
The bottom line is, are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Please become an ambassador for your sport and your trails.
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
I’m not a cleanaholic but I do like to keep my bikes looking good. After every trail ride I go to the car wash with my bike, spray-on chemicals, and a scrub brush. For the last few years I’ve used STP cleaner and degreaser but it has been discontinued, so I bought a spray bottle of Purple Power at the local automotive parts store. What a big disappointment. It does a very poor job of removing trail grime and leaves a difficult to remove scum film plus it stains and streaks aluminum parts like the muffler and swingarm. The streaks and stains are permanent and will destroy the sheen that your pride and joy may have had before. This is the worst motorcycle/automotive cleaning product that I have ever used. I will be contacting Purple Power about these issues.
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Rui Goncalves KTM 350 SXF in the pits at the 2010 Motocross of Nations in Denver, Colorado.
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
I didn’t say it. I should have. I wanted to. I’ve thought it many times when out riding, but it was Jimmy Lewis that coined the phrase “don’t be a loud idiot” in the July 2010 issue of Dirt Rider. Good job Jimmy!
As I’ve said many times before and will say many times again…..we are our own worst enemy. Every year I get invited to ride with someone or some group that I’ve never ridden with before so I always ask about the sound level/types of mufflers that everyone is using. I absolutely refuse to ride with loud idiots and I don’t want to show up and have a problem at the trailhead. When I ask “how loud is your bike?” I often get the response “my bike is not too bad”. To that I say bullshit. Not too bad is the same as not too good and that is just NOT acceptable. Loud bikes, especially 4 strokes, offend all other trail users and me. It pisses me off when some Neanderthal thinks that installing a loud muffler or pulling the insert out of his quiet muffler will give him that added horsepower that he needs to get down the trail. Well, unless you’ve recently won a National off-road event you probably can’t handle what you have, so dream on cowboy. FYI: Well known racer Shane Watts recently won the sportsman class at a GNCC with a DB Snorkel (84dBA) on a small bore KTM 200. He did it just to prove that quiet bikes can win.
If we don’t police ourselves we will continue to loose land access issues. So, I have to ask…..are you a loud idiot, or do you ride with loud idiots, or when you meet one on the trail do you talk to them about their loud idiot ways? Please ride a quiet bike and ask and persuade your friends to do the same.
Tags: Adventure rider, AMA, Blue Ribbon, CMTRA, COHVCO, Colorado motorcycle trails, Colorado TPA.org, Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance, Expensive KTM 300, Hidden Gems Wilderness, Jeff Slavens Racing, KTM, KTM Talk, Slavens Racing, Slavens Trailhead, Thumper Talk
Posted in Rants | 1 Comment »
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Come ride the Colorado 600 Trail Awareness Symposium with Jeff Slavens and other experienced Colorado trail guides. Don’t pass up this rare opportunity to show your true colors by helping keep open Colorado and Utah trails while experiencing excellent single-track and dual sport routes in this little used and absolutely gorgeous area of southwest Colorado.
The Texas Sidewinders Motorcycle Club is sponsoring and the AMA is sanctioning the Trails Awareness Symposium Workshop, a fund raiser and educational event to benefit the Colorado Trail Preservation Alliance. I will be supporting this with all my resources and will be one of the primary guides taking riders on some my favorite single track and dual track trails in Colorado.
This 5 day invitational only event will give participants the option of riding gnarly single-track or milder dual sport routes. You can alternate between guides and pick what type of riding you prefer each day. I recommend that you bring 2 bikes, DS and trail. All bikes must be quiet, will be sound tested (94dBA), and must be licensed and insured.
Each day will start with a free breakfast and rider’s meeting, then off to the trails or DS routes with the day ending back at the lodge for some beverages and BS. One free evening BBQ and a Friday banquet will be included.
Come join me and help support our sport.
For more information, click HERE.
Tags: Adventure rider, AMA, Blue Ribbon, CMTRA, COHVCO, Colorado motorcycle trails, Colorado TPA.org, Hidden Gems Wilderness, Jeff Slavens Racing, KTM, KTM Talk, OHV motorcycle trail access, Slavens Racing, Slavens Trailhead, Texas Sidewinders, Thumper Talk
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