What better way to spend half a day than to adjust the valves on a buddies bike, set up my new GoPro hero 5, and then test ride the new xtr 250. I learned a few things, some new flashes of brilliance and others just reiterated information I already new.
First, believe it or not, dirt bikes run better when the intake valve isn’t constantly open one half of an inch. once adjusted properly and we fired it up the second new tidbit was revealed to me, but more importantly to my young friend. Apparently, he thought once it started running crappy, that the key to fixing it was to turn the idle all the way up instead of doing a routine valve adjustment. You can imagine my excitement when I fired it up and it immediately climbed to 10,000 rpm. Number three watching all the YouTube videos in the world about GoPro placement doesn’t make you an expert. This I personally found out the hard way,after two hours of careful consideration I decided to mount it on the side of my helmet only to later realize that I placed it right where my goggle strap rides. I know I’m terribly old fashioned with the strap stretched to capacity around the back of my helmet, but all my gear probably needs upgraded. For example my boots are 15 years old and 2 sizes too big which I bought used for $25 from my friends 15 year old brother in law , my pants I got new from a neighbor who bought 3 pairs because if one is a good deal why not buy 3, only problem I have a 30 inch waist and the pants are 36’s . A large strategically placed safety pin has been able to hold up my britches for the last 8 years with moderate success with only a couple of small puncture wounds to show for it . Dragon Goggles with a stretched out band and lenses so scratched that when riding into the sun you can’t tell wether you are on the trail riding gallantly into the sunset or riding straight into the fiery pits of hell. Nicest piece of riding gear I have is a jersey that my dads wife gave me for my birthday, unfortunately it quickly became the most dilapidated piece of gear because a mouse got in my storage box and tried turning it into a nest for its babies. I choose lemonade over lemons and remind my myself that the tiny holes only and to its cooling and sweat wicking capabilities.
Forth thing I learned, combustion engines run much better with gasoline to burn (I choose 110 octane race fuel for 3 reasons high octane, exhaust smells fabulous and no ethanol to clog the arteries). I’ve developed a great habit of turning the gas off during transportation, but 9 times out of 10 I ride away from the truck with it still turned off only to be baffled 5 minutes later as to why my bike won’t run, Today was no exception.
I only rode a little ways to start to break in the motor and get a feel for it overall. I tightened the chain because is was a little loose and made a slapping sound when decelerating. It took 2 minutes to loosen the axle and jam nuts and tighten the bolt to adjust the chain tension. The tension marks made it easy to adjust both sides evenly.
My first impressions are, it’s a comfortable bike with great balance, I love that it has disc brakes and the electric start makes getting going effortless. I didn’t do any technical riding, just around the farm,but it seems to have a good power to weight ratio. The power is nothing comparable to a four stroke 450 or a two stroke 250 but it has plenty of low end torque to make it a great trail bike. I think the best way to describe it is crf250x components on a crf 230 motor and frame. When I showed it to a friend this week, and I think he said it best when he said “all tools look the same on the shelf.”
I think that was his nice way of telling me “get on with it already!”