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Know a little something about maintenance, fixing, tuning, or modifying adventure dual sport motorcycles? Or, maybe you have mad skills riding or racing them? Whatever the case, if you have valuable knowledge & experiences that relates to adventure dual sport motorcycles, please help your fellow riders by sharing your best tips, tricks, and how to articles.

    MentalGuru
    I'll start with the basic components and try to explain how this system operates from there.

    Here's an component abbreviation table

    MAP = Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor

    The MAP sensor is used to read Barometric pressure at key on. It monitors engine vacuum which it used to determine engine load by comparing it to the TPS reading. This would be how the ECM checks altitude also. It may also sense altitude change at WOT if programed to so.

    TPS = Throttle Position Sensor

    The TPS sensor tells the computer what position the throttle is in. It's as simple as that.

    CTS = Coolant Temperature Sensor

    The CTS sensor provides the engine coolant temperature using a voltage reading, transmit it to the ECM.

    O2 = Oxygen Sensor

    The O2 sensor monitors the oxygen level(air/fuel ratio) in the exhaust so the computer can adjust as need when in closed loop mode once heated by the exhaust. The sensor outputs voltage about how much 02 present in the exhaust. (used by the ECM for monitoring combustion efficiency). They allow the electronic fuel injection to operate in a closed loop system improving emission control and fuel economy dramatically. They help determine, in real time, if the air–fuel ratio of a combustion engine is rich or lean. Since oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust stream, they do not directly measure the air or the fuel entering the engine. Instead they measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust after combustion. The information supplied from oxygen sensors is coupled with information from other sources, it can be used to indirectly determine the air-fuel ratio. Closed loop feedback-controlled fuel injection varies the fuel injector output according to real-time sensor data rather than operating with the predetermined (open-loop) fuel map. The O2 sensor used in this system is normally a narrow band type O2 sensor

    IAC = Idle Air Control valve/stepper motor

    The IAC is a air bypass valve that is used to control the engine speed at idle. The throttle body allows a predetermined amount of air past the throttle blade and the IAC controls the extra air flow needed to reach the correct idle speed and prevent stalling. The IAC is a stepper motor that allows extra air into the engine to control the idle speed. The throttle closes slightly further which decrease emissions on deceleration. When the RPM drops low enough the IAC takes over to control the idle speed. There is a minimum air flow specification that the throttle stop screw is adjustment determines. It is preset by the factory and may be painted so tampering can be determined.

    CPS = Camshaft Position Sensor

    The CPS identifies the camshaft position, can be used to sense when the engine fires.

    CKP = Crankshaft Position Sensor

    The CKP sensor identifies the crankshaft position, RPM and can be used to sense when the engine fires (or even misfires).

    IAT sensor = Intake Air Temperature sensor

    The IAT monitors the air temperature going into the engine. Cold air is denser and has more oxygen in it. It is used in combination with the other sensor values to help determine the correct air/fuel ratio.

    ECM/PCM = Engine/Powertrain Control Module

    EEPROM = Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory

    The part of the controller that stores it's memory.

    MIL = Malfunction Indicator Lamp (aka check engine light)

    DLC = Data Link Connector

    The connection used to extract codes or sensor readings and perform reprograming.

    OBD = On Board Diagnostics.

    The tests and parameters the ECM uses to establish DTC's

    DTC = Diagnostic Trouble Code

    BAS = Bank angle sensor

    The Bank angle sensor monitors the bikes angles and shuts it off when crashed. It is designed for safety where in if the bike is laid down or in a roll over, the fuel pump is shut down so as not to potentially cause a fire.

    VSS = Vehicle Speed sensor

    Monitors vehicle speed.

    Open loop is when the engine is monitoring the sensors and running on base programing.

    Closed loop is when the engine is monitoring the sensors and adjusting as needed to maintain the "desired" air/fuel ratio to achieve complete combustion.

    The controllers and sensors normally use a 5 volt circuit just like automotive sensors do. The principles of operation are also the same.

    A high impedance digital volt/ohm meter should only be used when testing is done.

    Note: Do not use a analog meter or low impedance meter for testing. System damage may result...

    System operation

    There are multiple open and multiple closed loop cells. In open loop the ECM monitors the TPS, MAP, CKS, IAT and the CTS sensors mainly and the engine runs on the just the compensation tables programed in each memory cell. It uses these values to determine what base programing cells in the computer to use for the current conditions present.

    In closed loop operation the ECM also monitors the O2 sensor, using it to provide the information the computer needs to achieve the desired air fuel/ratio results to meet the ECM goals for the compensation tables in each memory cell. It does this by adjusting by the short term adaptive memory and long term adaptive memory as needed to the reach these programed operational goals. Adaptive memory is the computers ability to adapt to and remember what is needed to achieve the desired air/fuel ratio in closed loop mode. It has the ability to add or subtract fuel as needed. The ECM monitors the short term adaptive memory adjustments and converts them into long term adaptive memory adjustments so it will retain its ability to meet the desired operational goals that are programed quickly by storing adjustments for your next ride. Short term memory is quick and volatile, constantly changing as needed. It isn't stored after engine shut down

    During mid to full throttle operation the ECM reverts back to open loop mode since the O2 sensor is unable to read the air/fuel ratios needed at this time. Some systems also operate in open loop at idle.
    .
    The live adjustments done by the adaptive memory are kind of like having a tuner along for the ride to make adjustments as needed for maximum fuel economy.

    It is quite difficult to program a plain set of compensation tables to run correctly in all conditions. Adaptive memory can subtract or add fuel to meet the operation goals exactly. Without adaptive memory the compensation tables are more of a close enough type of system which wouldn't be viable to use to achieve as accurate state of tune, low emissions and maximum fuel economy.

    Hopefully this information will come in handy when modifications are performed to the engine for performance and tuning reasons.

    Reprograming is necessary for many modifications or to adjust the power delivery by changing the open loop memory tables as needed.
    KONFLICT MOTORSPORTS
    I wanted to take a moment and bring some issue's with the PDS equipped KTM's to light, share some tips on how to prevent the issue, as well the solutions we offer in house here at Konflict.
     

     
    The WP PDS shock has been around for a long time, and implemented on the KTM's since the early 2000's on both big and small bikes. If you own a 125-525/530/500 and 950/990 KTM Adventure's these are all equipped with a PDS unit dependent on the models.
     
    The main issue we see is frozen rebound adjuster's due to a number of reasons.
     
    Firstly it is a very poor design, and sealed in an improper place which allows moisture to enter the system. The main problem is that the shock clevis is made of aluminum and the rebound adjuster itself made of steel. Once a bit of moisture enters the system, it immediately starts to corrode. Adding to the poor design is the overall design of the rebound adjuster itself, it features a hour glass shape with threading on the far end (physically threads into the shock clevis) when you make rebound adjustments actuating the rebound needle which either raises or lowers when you are making adjustments.
     
    With this delicate/sensitive design and most riders not adjusting their rebound all too often will typically end up with a frozen rebound adjuster dependent on where and how often they ride.
     
    If you have your suspension serviced regularly most shops pull the rebound circuit apart, address any issues and apply anti seize as well pack the area with waterproof grease to help eliminate the issue.
     
    If you are one who overlooks having their suspension service often, lives in an area you see a lot of moisture take a look at your rebound adjuster and check the condition.
     
    The first item we would like to discuss is the replacement rebound adjuster housing we offer. This unit is anodized orange and features a o-ring seal against the back portion of the clevis creating a more controlled seal. There are other options available that seal in the front but they are relying on a sealing surface on threading. The OEM unit does not have any seal on the housing itself.
     

     
    This is a fairly simple install only requiring a 15mm wrench once the shock is removed from the bike.
     
    Its imperative to check your clickers often and make sure they are balanced, as well ensuring they are operational.
     
    Please ask any questions you might have.
     
    More to follow.
    XLADV
    By Paul Olesen, Industry Powertrain Engineer & Publisher of www.diymotofix.com
     
    How many of you become disheartened when spokes break, bend, or a rim becomes permanently damaged necessitating a rebuild of the wheel? I know a lot of people think rim building is a black art and are willing to shell out serious dough to avoid the job altogether. This week I want to debunk the black art of wheel building and provide you with an overview of the process, allowing you to take on your next wheel build yourself. Next week, I’ll cover the second half of the project by showing you how to true the wheel.
     
    As you can see I have a great example of a wheel assembly that is way past its prime. The spokes are bent, loose, and the nipples are mostly all stuck. On top of that, the rim is cracked in a couple spots necessitating further repairs.
     

     
    Before getting started disassembling the wheel, measure the distance from the rim to the ground. When the wheel is built the rim will need to be blocked up at approximately this height. Blocking the rim up will make the wheel much easier to assemble.
     

     
    The spokes will be offset from one another. Often times this offset necessitates the use of different length spokes. The spoke kit I received came with two different length spokes and there was no indication of which went where. If there are no instructions provided with your spoke kit and your wheel features spokes of different lengths you will need to determine the correct layout of the spokes. This can easily be done by removing two of the old spokes, measuring them, noting their lengths, and positions.
     

     
    Once you have determined the spoke length you can go to town cutting the rest of the spokes out of the rim using a cutting wheel or other suitable tool.
     

     
    Remove all the old spokes, then closely inspect the rim for damage. On my rim I had two nice size cracks I had to deal with.
     

     
    Once the rim has been replaced or repaired, preparations for lacing can begin. Since the wheel will be exposed to dirt, mud, water, and whatever else nature throws at it, I like to coat all my spokes with anti-seize before assembly. The anti-seize will provide a little extra protection against corrosion and help keep the spokes turning freely for a long time.
     


     
    Separate the spokes according to their lengths so that there is no confusion during assembly.
     

     
    Next, center the hub and block up the rim. Refer back to the measurement you took to establish the correct block height. As long as the rim is not offset to one side or the other it will not make a difference whether you start with the sprocket or brake side.
     

     
    The outside spokes will be laced first. If you try the inside route you will quickly find that maneuvering the outside spokes into position won’t be possible. Simply install a spoke into its corresponding hole in the hub then align the spoke with its corresponding hole in the rim. The rim may require some rotating to align the spoke with the correct hole in the rim, however it will be glaringly obvious where the spoke must go since the holes in the rim are all angled.
     

     
    As the spokes are installed, thread on nipples to retain the spokes. Only engage a few threads as you install the nipples. Keeping the rim loose will allow all the spokes to be installed easier as you go.
     
    Once all the outside spokes have been laced in one side, lace all the inside spokes on that side. Don’t be afraid to pull the rim a little bit from side to side to help generate enough clearance so that the end of the spoke can easily pass through the hole in the rim. The rim may also have to be moved up and down a little bit to help center the spoke.
     

     
    Next, flip the wheel over and begin lacing all the outside spokes on the remaining side. Pulling the rim from side to side and up and down will be necessary to get all the spokes aligned with their respective holes. By the time you are finished lacing you should have a nice fresh wheel assembly.
     

     
    A good way to check to make sure the spokes have been installed correctly is to compare the thread engagement on each spoke. With all the nipples tightened only a few turns the remaining threads showing on the spokes should be about the same. If the remaining thread length is vastly different between the inner and outer spokes there is a good chance the spokes have been installed incorrectly. If this is the case, the longer spokes will need to go where the shorter ones currently reside to even things out. If this isn’t done, there is a good chance some of the spokes will run out of threads when the spokes are tightened.
     

     
    After the wheel has been laced, the nipples on all the spokes will need to be tightened. Tightening of the nipples should be done evenly and gradually. An even pattern can be used to tighten the spokes so that the rim does not become offset radially in one direction. Most wheels either feature 32 or 36 spokes. Every 4th spoke can be tensioned to create an even 8 or 9 step tightening pattern. Once this pattern is completed, the next spoke in the sequence can be tightened and the whole process repeated until you have worked through all the spokes. In the picture below all the red arrowed spokes are tightened first, followed by the greens, then the yellows, and finally the blues.
     

     
    As the nipples are tightened, checking for evenness among the remaining threads is a nice way to gauge symmetry. You may find that there are small differences between the inner and outer spokes in relation to the remaining threads left on them. Instead of comparing the inner and outer spoke threads to one another, only compare similar length spokes as you work. The more care you take to ensure the spokes are tensioned evenly now, the less work it will be to true the rim later on.
     

     
    Check to make sure that the heads of the spokes fully seat in their holes in the hub. Some heads may get hung up and will require a tap with a punch and hammer to seat them. Relying on the nipple to pull the head into position doesn’t always work well.
     

     
    Another sign that the job has been done properly is that the spokes will not pass through the ends of the nipples.
     

     
    At this point you should have a rim that feels tight, is tensioned evenly, and is ready for truing. Check back next week for a write up on the truing process!
     
    If you found this post beneficial and enjoy tackling projects yourself, you may find my eBook, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook a great read. The book is packed full of in-depth precision engine building knowledge, a detailed overview of performance part selection, and many photographic examples which outline what to look for in problematic parts during a build. The eBook comes in PDF format, is sent immediately to your email inbox, where you can read it or print it off and bring it into your workshop. Right now we have an awesome deal running where all website visitors get 20% off when they enter the discount code thumpertalk2015 before purchasing. To learn more about the book, check out the Table of Contents, and read some testimonials, click here.
     
    Do you have any helpful tips you want to add? Please leave a comment below and share your experiences!
     
    Paul Olesen

    Matt Snyman
    Are you a real adventure biker or just a shameful, charlatan and pitiful fraud!?
    Recently there has been a generous amount of violent disagreement pertaining to the definition of adventure biking.
     
    What makes it ‘adventure biking’? Is it the type of bike? Is it where you ride it? Do you have to camp? Do you have to leave the country?
    Well good news is here! I can help! I have managed to define adventure biking, and I have decided to impart this ground-breaking knowledge unto you. The water is now clear and all is well in the jungle, ‘order’ has been restored.
     
    Through thorough, highly scientific, and precise collaboration, and under the influence of a range of substances, my carefully assembled dream-team of adventure bikers has managed to formulate a decisive list. This league of extra-ordinary gentleman (and gentle… women) originate from a host of different countries, and from all walks and crawls of life. “Home’ ranges from Africa, to Turkey, to Italy to ‘I’m pretty sure I’m from Arizona’ and many more. Washed and unwashed, veterans and rookies, holiday makers and hobos, even going so far as to include one Honda rider (but not two); all opinions were carefully considered and peer-reviewed.
     
    I present you with this new modern marvel, a first for world peace and what I hope to result in a Nobel prize:
    YOU ARE AN ADVENTURE BIKER IF! :
    You have said at least once: ‘I’m sure somebody will drive by soon’ You’ve put your bike on a boat (essential) You consider, with great deliberation, whether you really need a third pair of underwear Your motorcycle and the term ‘resale value’ are mutually exclusive You have caught yourself viciously bargaining with people over US$ 10c on repeated occasions You have a picture of yourself with some guy in military uniform and a floppy hat holding a massive automatic weapon (essential) You can tell the difference between 85 and 90 octane by smell A local has informed you that the road was completely flooded or a bridge had been washed away, but you still had to see for yourself… after trying to convince them otherwise
    Yeah, I think the bridge might be out... You have lost luggage off the back of your moving motorcycle
    It probably came off because you packed it like THIS You’ve been carrying the same 500g bag of rice 1 meter from your body for the past 3 months and will carry that same bag of rice for the next three months You have had to ride through herds of animals (essential) – extra points if they are wild animals
    Martin from TR15A rides past a herd of tarted-up alpacas You speak to other motorcycle travellers about buying tires like they are hardcore drugs e.g. ‘I heard you can get Pirelli’s really cheap from this guy Jorge in Medellin, he has the really good stuff’ A one-way street means NOTHING to you.
    Or a pedestrian-only market, those also mean nothing to you You have sneezed viciously and messily inside your helmet and just kept on riding Your GPS has repeatedly tried to take you up and down flights of stairs, and every time you still catch yourself looking up the flight thinking ‘I reckon I could pull it off…’ You have eaten something which is considered a pet in most developed countries
    Mich about to dive into some tasty guinea pig You hide valuables inside your boots because no sane human being with even the slightest stitch of self-respect would dare to venture near them You have packed you entire kit before realising you forgot some crucial item, after which you seriously consider just leaving it behind and buying a new one because its such a damned mission to pack They have had to wash the actual wash bay after cleaning your bike
    This was one of those times You can intimately describe over 20 different types of mud… by taste.
    This mud tasted like regret You have spent time editing high-level media on vastly inappropriate hardware in a ridiculous surroundings
    Megan editing RAW photos on a Macbook Air whilst stealing electricity from a street-light in an abandoned park, just another night on the road You’ve convoyed with cyclists for security reasons You’ve trusted someone to guard your bike who has an annual salary of less than a month’s gas money You’ve matched letter shapes with those on a map because you have so little clue of the native language You’ve convinced yourself that your GS actually handles really well on sand (mine actually does though)
    See? Perfectly capable in the sand You’ve listened to, and agreed with opinions contrary to the Geneva convention merely to satisfy your drunk host You can turn any conversation (including political or religious) into one about motorcycles in under 30s You have mastered the ability to eat any known food group through a full-face motorcycle helmet You can fart whilst riding sand and not shit your pants You haven’t seen an original official document in over 3 months Half the resale value of your bike (not saying much, see point no. 4) is hidden in the frame You have ruined a dorm room for all the other inhabitants
    And this is just me on my own in my own room, imagine two of us with five other people in here... You have become completely comfortable with your body odor after 5 days without a shower You have viciously panel-beaten a pair of expensive panniers with the back of an axe You have received the advice: ‘I think you should see a doctor about that’ You have waited out a bribe by dodgy police for over 40min because you were merely too stubborn or poor to just pay the bastards You’ve sat on a disgusting toilet seat thinking that’s its probably cleaner than you anyway At least 35% of your motorcycle’s dry weight is made up of cable ties and duct tape You have performed major surgery on your bike, in the middle of nowhere, possibly in the rain, with absolutely no trainingPeru... my faultChile - also my fault Because of the deplorable state of it, you have asked a local if you could please NOT use their toilet and use the garden instead. Which for one of the panel, resulted in them having to relieve themselves off a bridge. He felt you should know this… You have gotten into numerous very awkward situations because you don’t speak the language, this includes ordering ketchup for your french-fries and being presented with a beautiful bowl of hot tomato soup instead. You have crossed more than one international border with forged paperwork or a fake number plate
    My numberplate has taken a beating - still the original one at this stage, or what's left of it. It is now a laminated piece of paper that is impossible to read You have attached an over-sized, highly overboard weapon to your motorcycle
    Readying the weapons!
    Sharpening up for the jungle with newly acquired machetes A secret, well disguised, mutual hatred of backpackers You have provided smiles to numerous poverty stricken children by seating them on your still-running bike (essential)
    Mich takes a young'n for a joyride in the Selvas You have unsuccessfully fixed a puncture more than once
    Sweating like a champ to change an inner tube in the desert You have crossed an abnormally large body of water on your motorcycle without testing the depth beforehand You have contracted severe, life-changing diarrhoea on a big riding day or on the top of Machu Picchu You drop your bike at least once a week, and something breaks on it at least once a month
    This is a REALLY common sight MOST importantly of all, and the only absolutely essential item on this list: You are an adventure biker if you KNOW you are absolutely rad whenever you are on your bike, and wouldn't have it any other way
    Ladies and gentleman... Mr Ed Gill

     
    Now please people… this is a work (of ART!) in progress, so if you have anything to add, please let it be known in the comments section and it will be met with serious consideration to be added to the list. Although hard to believe, it is impossible for the panel to hit every mark the first time round
    Let us know what you think should be added!
    Thanks in advance – I am off to change my name in attempt to get off of Interpol’s watch list, which I am undoubtedly headlining after this article. Hey… at least I’m headlining something.
    Consider the floor OPEN!
    Thanks to our expert contributors:
    Matt Snyman Megan Snyman Martin Lampacher Mich the German Ed Gill Erdem Yucel Michnus Olivier Josh Smith Chris March Erich Rennspies And our various part-time consultants…

    A good few additions to the list were just put together by Jason and Lisa from Two Wheeled Nomad - give it a read! - 2 wheeled nomad
    Suspenders
    A Q&A FOR UNDERSTANDING FORK SEAL AND DUST WIPER PERFORMANCE, FAILURE AND MAINTENANCE

     
    Q- What is the most common cause for a fork seal to fail and how can it be prevented?
    A - A fork or shock seal will leak for a variety of reasons but 90% of the time the seal fails then leaks because the bike was washed. Yes, washed. When you wash a bike you wash away a thin but crucial layer of lubrication that the seal needs to survive. Additionally, most washings also leave behind water spots, which is a hard mineral build-up that act like teeth against the lip(s) of the seal.
    The cure? – always wipe or blow off any water spots before storing the bike and ALWAYS wipe or spray a suitable lubricant on the lower fork tubes and shock shaft after each washing. Using a clean dry cloth with some suspension fluid on it is best. Avoid solvent based spray lubricants such as WD-40 near any seals or dust wipers, and always protect the brake rotors and brake pads to avoid getting any lubricant on them.

    Q – What else can cause a seal to fail?
    A – Other causes may be dirt or debris in the seal or a nick or dent on the tube. Nicks are usually caused from roost that comes from your own front wheel or from the roost of the rider in front of you. Nicks are like craters on the moon – they have an indentation with a ring around them that protrudes upward. The ring is what causes the lip of a seal to get cut or sliced. In most cases, a nick can be smoothed down and with a new seal, may offer trouble free performance for many more years. A dent will seldom cause a seal to get cut or fail, but may cause the seal to leak each time the dent is passed under the seal. The best fix for a dent is to replace the tube.

    Q – Can dirt or debris in a seal be cleaned out?
    A – Yes. Dirt or mud that is built up around the fork can be forced into the seal and trapped between the lips of the seal or between the seal and the wiper. Dirt and such can also build-up between the main seal and dust seal (also called a wiper). So yes, cleaning these areas is a good idea, and in many cases can revive a leaking seal.

    Q – What is a main seal and what is a wiper?
    A – The “wiper” or “dust wiper” is the semi-flexible seal that presses into the bottom of the upper fork tube. The wiper can be visibly seen and often has a metal tension spring-ring around the outer parameter. The wiper can be tapped out from the upper tube using a small flat screwdriver, cleaned and lubed and pressed back into place, with the fork on the bike. The wiper attempts to push dirt and debris out of the way, protecting the main seal. The “seal” presses up and into the lower section of the upper tube, and is retained via a press fit and by a large thin clip. The seal cannot be removed or slid down unless the fork is removed from the bike and broken down. If the clip holding the seal fails, the seal and wiper will get blown out and a large amount of fluid will follow.

    Q – What are the best seals?
    A – Seals made by SKF and NOK. They are well priced, easy to get, and offer the best performance – an ideal compromise between friction and sealing. If your seal is green or has the NOK name on it, it’s a good seal. Note that in 2012 KTM started shipping most of their bikes with SKF seal sets. In 2013 they changed the color of the SKF seal to red. NOK seals are the OEM seals used by Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki.

    Q – Are there seals that should be avoided?
    A – Yes and no. Sometimes a seal is basic enough that most of them will get the job done. So…it may just come down to budget and availability. That said, you typically get what you pay for so low budget seals may not be the best choice. The best thing is to find a seal that works for you then find the best source for it.

    Q – I’ve heard about certain advantages to using a different seal, from the same manufacture, than what my bike originally came with. Is there any truth to this?
    A – Yes. There are a host of possible combinations between families of seal sizes that may offer some type of performance change. For example, the 04 YZ 48mm seal is a common upgrade for off-road riders on the 05 to 13 YZs. Seals vary based on how well they seal to how much dynamic friction and static friction (“stiction”) they produce. It’s always a compromise – one for the other. With that, there are some good options, and there are also some things that should not be done.

    Q – I seem to have chronic seal failures? What should I do?
    A – It’s most likely not the seal. It could be from dry tubes, damaged forks or poorly aligned fork tubes. But a good well maintained seal should last a very long time. For most of us, seal failures should seldom if ever happen.

    Q – Where should I get seals and wipers and bushings?
    A – The stock (also referred to as “OEM”) Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and KTM bushings and seals are of very good quality. You can’t go wrong with these other than the higher than necessary price. Suspension shops typically have better pricing on seals and bushings and will most likely have a better understanding of the options available. You can now also order SKF seals on eBay by going to eBay and searching for “SKF fork seal”.

    Q – What about the PSF? What should I do?
    A – Starting in 2013 the Honda CRF450R and the Kawasaki KX450F came with a Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) which uses a pressured chamber of air to hold the bike up instead of the more traditional metal fork-spring. If the PSF has a fork seal failure, the fork will lose this pressurization and ride lower in the stroke.
    Making the matters of a seal failure worse, the PSF uses a counter or balance spring that opposes the compression forces for the first 173mm (about 6.8 inches) of travel. In other words, once pressure in the chamber falls below 32PSI, the fork will suck the front of the bike down. It is also not too uncommon for a PSF equipped bike to have a double seal failure. When this does happen the bike may lose additional pressure after being loaded and strapped down, causing the bike to fall over or come undone from the tie downs. A block of wood or plastic between the tire and fender is a good option when owning a PSF equipped bike.
    With that, fork seal maintenance is more critical than ever on a PSF. Follow the advice noted earlier. Additionally, it would be highly advised to run the SKF-PSF fork seal kit, which is an HD version of the standard SKF fork seal kit. If you choose not to run the SKF-PSF kit, then it would be best to only run the 2013 Kawasaki KX450F main seal on both the KX450F and CRF450R, (that is, until the new updated PSF seal from Honda is made available).

    Q – How often do I have to replace bushings?
    A – Not as often as you think and not as often as most suspension service shops or magazines tell you to. Dirty fluid and very fast riders are what destroys bushings the fastest. If you can see through the black Teflon coating anywhere on the bushing, it’s time to replace the bushing. Inspect them closely. However, sometimes bushings that pass inspection are replaced so that a new bushing will last the full duration of the next season or service cycle. It is money well spent.

    Q – Do I have to replace the dust wipers each time I replace the seal?
    A – No, but it depends on the conditions that you run the bike in. Most applications don’t present an issue. Thick mud, on the other hand can present some problems or create additional wear.

    Q – Do those neoprene wrap around seal savers work?
    A – The simple answer is yes, but not really in the way that you may think. They do offer a shield towards dirt getting tossed directly at the dust wiper, which under certain conditions (such as sand roost) may make a difference. But in general, the fork guard does a good job of protecting the interface of the seal to the tube. Additionally, the neoprene wraps tend to trap dirt which leads to a ring of debris that remains at the face of the wiper. However, that doesn’t mean that the wiper or seal will pull the dirt in. The main reason why the neoprene wrap most likely prolongs seal life is that they keep the seal and wiper lubricated. This takes place from the material wicking the fluid and maintaining contact with the tube.

    Q – Is it true that WD-40 sprayed on a leaking seal may cause the leak to stop?
    A – In some cases, yes. WD-40 causes the material in most seals and wipers to swell which creates a bit more clamping force against the tube. This is not a really a fix, but it may save the day or give you a few more hours of ride time. But ideally, WD-40 should not be used on most seals and o-rings. The solvents in contact, carburetor and brake cleaners will also cause seals and o-rings to swell.

    Q – My fork has a build-up of oil down where the tube connects the lug, but replacing the seal did not cure the leak. Why is this?
    A – There is a problem, that mostly happens with KYB fork tubes, where the joint between the tube and lug (also called a casting) slowly fails. This allows fluid inside the bottom of the fork to escape and pool around the upper lug. If you have this condition, you need to stop riding the bike and get the fork repaired. In most case, it’s best to replace the lower assembly than it is to attempt a repair, as the integrity of the joint is always comprised once they come lose or once they are repaired. KYB forks are mostly seen on 98 to 13 YZs, 06 to 13 KX450F and 09 to 13 CRF450R.
    Additionally a common reason for leaking at a fork lug is due to using longer than oem bolts to secure your fork guards. The additional length of the bolt will bottom against the chrome tube many times creating a leak.
    XLADV
    By Eric Hall, Sr. Editor and Bryan Bosch, Publisher
     
    You’ve probably heard the saying, “Stock sucks!”. But, we’re not sure that’s always the case. Many of the factory components found on today’s bikes are rather good. However, when it comes to factory footpegs, more often than not, they can best be described as “adequate”. Most are simply too small, offer limited grip, and are not especially strong for off-road use. Footpegs simply aren't key points of evaluation for buyers, the manufacturers know this, so most don't seem to spin too many development cycles in this area.
     
    Consider this; your footpegs are a primary connection to your motorcycle, having an impact on your ability to position your body as well as accessing your foot controls. Adventure specific footpegs are typically larger because bigger (and heavier) bikes require more input, thus more time on the footpegs. For leisurely riding, “adequate” performing footpegs will surely do the job. But, if you’re pushing the performance envelope a bit or doing longer trips (especially off-road) on a 500+ lb. adventure motorcycle, we think that footpeg upgrades make a noticeable difference in terms of comfort and control.
     
    The most obvious common trait of aftermarket adventure bike footpegs is size; they are noticeably bigger, both in their width and depth. They also typically include a more open design to aid in the clean out of mud and snow as well as a variety of cleat materials, shapes, and lengths that offer better grip in slick conditions. Some aftermarket footpegs are lighter than stock (typically machined aluminum), but can be less crash-worthy than some stock steel units. Others made from cast stainless steel are stronger and even heavier, but none so much that you'd ever feel the difference. You'll likely pick up more weight from lunch. There are also ergonomic benefits for riders with legs and feet that have dimensions that fall outside the "normal" ranges.
     
    The purpose of this article is not to determine which is the best performing aftermarket footpeg for you, but to showcase some of the aftermarket offerings and to highlight their more standout design features. Be sure to refer to the product attribute matrix below for a quick comparison of the brands covered. In no particular order:
     
    KNIGHT DESIGN FOOTPEGS
     

    Trakker Tread Pattern Pictured
     
    Knight Design is a small, family owned manufacturer out of Corvallis Oregon. Their specialty is high quality lowered footpegs (drops of up to 1 ⅛”) that provide more rider comfort. Sure, you’ll lose some clearance (depending up footpeg selected and make/model), so factor this into how and where you’ll ride your bike. However, their drop values are in sync with the range of adjustability of the stock shift & brake levers, so control access and functionality is not compromised. Long legged adventurers will likely appreciate the less cramped sitting riding position more than any loss in footpeg clearance.
     
    KD footpegs feature a replaceable footbed that comes in two distinct patterns for off-road capable motorcycles. The Hunter footbed pattern uses boot friendly pyramid shaped teeth while the pin style teeth of the Trakker footpeg are taller to reach through dirt/mud for better grip. Both use an open design to shed mud, but somewhat more closed as compared to some in the segment.
     
    In speaking with KD, very soon they’ll be shipping their footpegs with replaceable footbeds made from stainless steel for increased durability. They also said that they are growing quickly and adding new models regularly.
     
    FASTWAY ADVENTURE FOOTPEGS
     

    Fastway is a brand owned by ProMoto Billet (PMB) who manufactures their products in Nampa Idaho. Their “Adventure” footpeg is claimed to be the strongest and most adjustable billet aluminum footpeg on the planet.
     
    Keep in mind that stock steel footpegs might actually be slightly stronger than even the best billet aluminum units. However, PMB still tests their Adventure footpegs (and competitive offerings) to failure using a hydraulic press, so they are confident that the product is far stronger than whatever force a rider can put on them and likely stand-up to most trail abuse. It took “several tons” of down force before their Adventure footpeg cried “uncle!”.
     
    In terms of adjustability; this is where the Fastway Adventure footpeg shines:
    Patented reversible collar system allows footpegs to be run in the standard or “low boy” positions. Choices in cleat styles (shapes), cleat lengths (10 & 12mm), and even how the cleats are oriented/installed on the footpegs three rows. These options allow the rider to dial in the level of traction, impact on soles, & foot freedom for how they ride and what feels right. Patented FKMS Kamber bolt allows the rider to set the amount of inward “tilt, either for increased rider comfort or to put you in a better for position for squeezing the bike when riding rougher terrain.

    Fastway Adventure Footpegs come in a variety of anodized colors (at an extra cost), but some options may take a bit longer to get depending upon popularity. We’ve tested these footpegs, so click HERE for a more in-depth review.
     

    SW-MOTECH FOOTPEGS
     

     
    SW-Motech is a German manufacturer who distributes its products in the US through Twisted Throttle. While not the most feature rich footpeg in the line-up, it’s value priced and represents a nice upgrade over most stock hardware.
     
    It retains its street cred by including removable rubber isolators with a textured top and a slider tip on the outside lower edge for riders that peg drag their ADV bike. Pop out the isolators and the footpeg is ready for the dirt.
     
    SW-Motech footpegs are made from high-grade, corrosion resistant stainless steel and its teeth are a boot friendly series flathead and x-shaped teeth. On some models, the footpeg bed is not fat, but convex in shape, allowing the rider more room for the bike’s foot controls and a more natural feel when getting over the front or rear of the bike.
     
    This footpeg is height adjustable, offering a stock and -15mm position.
     
    PIVOT PEGZ FOOTPEGS
     

     
    Pivot Pegz is a company out of Australia making footpegs since 2000. Their main point of differentiation is that they… guess what? They pivot! The benefit of pivoting is this increases comfort and aids in control. It also leads to less wear on the soles of one’s boots. There’s a spring that returns the footpeg to a level position as well as another spring that will return the peg if it were to fold up.
     
    Pivot Pegz have been run in Dakar twice, so they are tested and proven. This is the footpeg that I’ve had on my ‘11 GSA for four years now and their stainless steel polished surface looks nearly as good today as when I pulled them out of the box.
     
    Some say the pivot makes for an easier transition from seated to standing (maybe tired knees will appreciate) and that you always have contact with a full platform. However, it can also make gripping the bike with your knees difficult as well as pivot away towards the back when you're trying to weight that outside peg and expect it to stay put. Some riders will rig the peg so it only pivots forward.
     
    MOOSE RACING FOOTPEGS
     

    Hybrid Model Pictured
     
    Moose Racing is offering a couple of models of adventure touring/dual sport footpegs that are likely an upgrade over the typical stockers at a very budget friendly price. The Onyx and Onyx ½” offset come in at $89.95 and the slightly upgraded Hybrid model is just $10 more.
     
    Both models & variants of each are made from durable, cast 17-4 stainless steel, but the Hybrid model is given a solution based annealing treatment for more strength & longer wear. All models use the same 90mm X 57mm platform that is slightly convex (center teeth are a little taller) that give good grip, but allow for easier foot repositioning & controls access. Also, both models are offered in a ½” rearward offset to compensate for their increased depth, maintaining stockish distance to foot controls. However, they are not lowering footpegs.
     
    The Hybrid footpeg uses a more aggressive cleat that is shaped somewhat like a philips head screwdriver. These will offer better traction in muddy conditions, but with increased boot sole wear. If you don’t ride in these conditions, the less aggressive Onyx cleats will likely be the better choice.
     
    Lasty, both models are finished with black powder coating, but the outer edge of the Hybrid model is polished stainless, adding a little bling bling.
     
    TOURATECH FOOTPEGS
     

     
    What doesn’t Touratech make? Many big bike riders will probably buy this footpeg, having never escaped their labrynthian on-line catalog that they’re so well known for, but one could do much worse. This footpeg (Works model) has a very open design that probably has the best clean out properties available. Rather than being lowerable, the Works peg comes in a standard and lowered (20 mm) model.
     
    IMS RACING ADVENTURE II FOOTPEGS
     

     
    IMS is one of those long standing dirt racing companies founded back in the 70’s in Southern California. They make a variety of off-road bits, mostly larger fuel tanks, reinforced shift levers and yes, footpegs. Their Adventure II footpeg (one of five models available) is probably their most distinctive, as it has kind of an extra "lobe" that comes off the back end of the footpeg. IMS is a big believer in using high quality 17-4 stainless steel and claims an aluminum footpeg will break too easily as well as teeth wearing too quickly. Some model fitments are lowered more than others. They’re made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty.
     
    A couple of drawbacks may be that some riders have reported difficulty being able to get their weight to the back of the bike with so much platform on the back of the footpeg, as well as possibly getting in the way of putting a foot down in a hurry. That said, these footpegs have been used by some very impressive names in off road racing.
     
    BLACK DOG CYCLE WORKS FOOTPEGS
     

     
    Black Dog Cycle Works (BDCW) is a company out of Sandpoint, ID headed by Kurt and Martha Forget. BDCW is probably best known for their skid plates. This footpeg is one of the larger ones out there and may hit the sweet spot for size as even just an inch of your boot hanging over your footpeg can noticeably reduce your comfort and ability to control your adventure bike.
     
    BDCW was the first manufacturer to come out with an ADV footpeg that has an integrated bottle opener; a key selling point for those who like a frosty one at the end of the trail. BDCW interestingly reports they sell more of the lowered model footpeg than standard height, which tells you that it’s probably not a bad feature to consider for your next footpeg. BDCW’s footpegs are also Dakar tested by Kevin Muggleton as well as in the Mexican 1000 by Chris Vestal.
     
     
    WARP 9 ADVENTURE FOOTPEGS
     

     
    Probably most well known for their off-road wheel sets, Warp 9 now offers an interesting design for Kawi & Suzuki dual sports and KTM ADV machines. Warp 9 uses a two piece design that uses a Ceracote coated Chromoly steel pivot for what they refer to as the “ultimate in strength”. The pivot is then bolted to the replaceable 7075T6 Aluminum platform that is a very wide 5” X 2.5” deep.
     
    The cleats are not individually replaceable, but they are made from stainless steel for long-lasting performance. The platform is a little on the closed side, so if you ride a lot of mud, they might pack a bit more than some. Stock height is maintained and hey, who doesn’t like the bottle opener in the bottom of the platform as well as the choice of 4 anodized platform colors? Nice touches.
     
    In talking with Kevin Tanis @ Warp, soon they'll be releasing footpegs for the Yamaha Tenere and Triumph Tiger models. Good to know.
     


     
    BOTTOM-LINE
    We think that footpegs ARE a critical part of your bike's controls and because of this, it's worth the time and effort to investigate the different options out there, finding a pair that suits your particular needs. Increased rider comfort, more positive braking & shifting, and more bike control, all from from a relatively affordable, bolt-on product. It's one of those items that you can live without, but once you've ridden on any one of these footpegs, you'll likely never go back to most stock units.
     
    If you do have any experience with these products, if you would, please give them your rating in our Review System. We'd love to have your thoughts and thank you in advance!
    Bryan Bosch
    Goggles are a crucial accessory in any off-roader’s gear bag. They can be the difference between a comfortable ride and a dirt-in-the-watering-eyessunburned-face miserable experience. It is important, however, to properly select a goggle that best suits one’s riding tendencies and locations. There are so many types of riding, as well as many different riding conditions, and the proper goggle (and lens) can make all the difference. Every goggle should have these core features:
    Quality hydrophilic foam
    Interchangeable lenses
    Silicone-lined strap
    Venting
    Polycarbonate lens

    The aforementioned features are vital to the performance of the goggle, but it is also very important that the goggle fits the riding application, face, and helmet. The better a goggle fits inside the opening of a helmet, the easier it is to create a nice seal of foam around the eyes. When choosing a goggle, have your helmet close by. A goggle may fit nicely around your face alone, but it may fit completely different with the helmet on, or even the opposite. Sometimes a goggle can compliment a helmet by naturally fitting inside the opening and creating a seamless connection of goggle and helmet. With your helmet on, try different goggles on, making sure the strap is even and straight around the sides and rear of the helmet. Grab the sides of the goggle frame and adjust the fit inside of the helmet opening, doing your best to seal the foam around your face. Make sure the goggle does not press down too much against your nose; for this can limit your breathing through the nostrils.
    Once you have found a frame that matches well with your face and helmet, it is time to choose the best lenses for you style of riding.
    Every off-road enthusiast should have a clear anti-fog lens. They can be used in all conditions and perform the primary function of goggles---protection. As conditions vary, and can potentially hinder vision, different lenses can be used to compensate. The following breaks down a variety of lenses offered by Scott, including their tint and ideal application.

    In addition to standard lenses, thermal models are also available for cold conditions. Offered by Scott in a variety of tints, these dual-paned lenses work under the same principle as a home’s storm windows. The insulating airspace between the two lenses reduces the temperature gradient between the outside environment and the eye port. This drastically reduces fogging in harsh conditions.
    For a lot of riders, motocross and off-roading are more than just a hobby. For some, it is about racing, competing, winning, and advancing. For those riders, more advanced goggles and accessories are available to help provide an edge over the competition. Goggles equipped with multi layered face foam, tear-off posts, and attachments such as noseguards and ventilation visors used along with tear-offs and film systems are the best tools to battle roost, mud, rain, and sweat.
    Tear-offs: stacks of thin, clear shields that cover the original lens. When the top layer gets covered with mud or moisture, the rider can tear off the top layer, revealing a fresh, clean layer, and thus providing a clear view. Film Systems: An alternative to tear-offs (or used in conjunction with) is a film system. Using the same idea of a camera, a film strip is stretched across a goggle lens with canisters on either end. As the goggle gets covered with mud, etc the film can be advanced to reveal a clean section and a clear view through the goggle. In the most extreme cases, film systems and tear-offs may be used in one system, such as the Scott WORKS Systems available on NoSweatXi and HiVoltageIII goggles.
    Bryan Bosch
    I know that there are purpose built, slick siphoning kits that you can buy that allow you to transfer fuel bike-to-bike, but here's a cheap & effective alternative for your DIY'ers.
    Note: if your fuel tank has a screen in the filler cap hole that is not removable, this technique will not work as the donor bike.
    Materials List
    1. Fuel line hose (I prefer clear).
    2. A small shop rag.
    You'll need to make two lines; one long enough to reach from bike-to-bike, all the way to the bottom of the fuel tank on the donor bike. 4-5' is should be sufficient. The other hose only needs to be about 1.5' long.
    How to Use
    1. Insert one end of the longer hose into each motorcycle gas tank.
    2. Insert the shorter hose into the tank of the donor bike. It does not need to be deep into the tank. A few inches is adequate.
    3. Use the small shop towel to create a seal around the two hoses that have been inserted into the donor bike's tank at the tank's filler hole rim.
    4. With your hand securing the towel to maintain a seal, blow strongly into the shorter hose. This will create positive pressure into the donor bike's fuel tank, forcing fuel to escape to the recipient motorcycle. You may have to plug the hole with your tongue and blow more than once to get the fuel to being flowing.
    Once the fuel beings to flow, it will continue to do so because of the vacuum that you've created. However, gravity is in effect, so the further the recipient tank is below the donor tank the better. To stop the flow, simply remove the long line from contact with the fuel on the donor bike.
    This kit is cheap to make, easy to use & store, and best of all, no risk of fuel coming in contact with your mouth.
    XLADV
    We all know what threadlocker is, but do you know which to use and where? Here's a guide put out by the folks that make Loctite. Naturally they want you to use their stuff, but regardless of what brand you choose, the guide still contains some good info for DIY motorcycle mechanics.
    You can download the article here:
    http://www.henkelna....Users_Guide.pdf
    If you can't open a .pdf file, go here:
    http://www.adobe.com.../readstep2.html

    XLADV
    Breaking in Your Brakes!
    Maximize performance with proper bedding in of your new brakes
    By Scott Hart - www.crfstuff.com
    To get maximum trouble free and fade free performance from your new brake pads or new pads and rotors it’s necessary to break them in properly. This process is often called “bedding in” or burnishing, which is the process of gradually warming up your brakes through repeated brake applications to transfer pad material to the rotor for a nice smooth working surface.
    We’ll describe the bedding in process later in the article. Please note that the average week end play rider may never apply enough loading to the brakes to experience fading due to improper bedding in. But if you do ride aggressively and want the most out of your brakes, it’s well worth the 15-20 minutes it takes to properly bed them in.
    Most modern full size off road bikes come equipped with good quality sintered metal pads, which require bedding in for maximum safe performance. Smaller play bikes may have organic pads, which bed in pretty quickly just from normal riding, but usually aren’t found on larger off road bikes as they are not up to the task of repeatedly stopping a 400 lb dirt bike and rider at high speeds. If you are running an organic compound, it is still important to properly bed them in to avoid a condition called “Green Fade”.
    Why You Need to Bed in Your Brakes…..
    The reason for bedding in your brakes is 2 fold. First is to create a nice smooth working surface between the pads and rotors. Granted, they may appear to be smooth right out of the box, but when viewed under magnification, the pad and rotor surfaces are actually quite rough, resembling a series of hills and valleys. When mated together new, only the tops of the hills touch! So the first part of the bedding in process is to smooth those surfaces out. This occurs through the first 5-10 medium force brake applications described in further detail below. Brake pad material is transferred to the rotor surface and fills the valleys in the rotor dramatically increasing the contact area. See Figure #1

    Now that the pad and rotor contact area has been optimized, the second function of bedding in occurs during the remaining 5-10 brake applications, which will generate much more heat to cause the compound binding chemicals (organic pads only) to be burned off. During this process, you will smell the hot brakes and may even see some smoke come off the pads. This is normal and a very important part of the process. If this process is not completed properly, you can experience a condition called “Green Fade”.
    Green fade occurs when pads that have not properly been bedded in, rapidly reach high temps that causes the pad binding chemicals to off gas. The off gassing creates a liquid state between the pad and rotor and results in greatly reduced braking power and in some cases glazing of the pad. Gradually bringing the brakes up to maximum operating temp in the last 5-10 brake applications of the bedding in process allows the gasses to be burned off without glazing or complete fade.
    Glazing is a condition where the pad surface becomes extremely hard from rapid heat build up. If your pads glaze, you might be able to salvage them by removing them and block sanding them, but we recommend replacing the pads for best results. Please note that modern sintered pads do not utilize the chemical binders that can cause Green Fade, so the above information applies mainly to the use of organic pads. See Figure #2

    The Bedding in Process
    The basic process of bedding in pads and rotors is to accelerate your bike up to 40-50 mph (about half throttle in 4th or 5th gear) and bring the bike down to about 5 mph by applying the brakes at about 60-80% stopping power. Cruise back to your starting point to allow some cool down time between braking runs. Do this about 10-15 times and gradually work your way up to applying maximum braking force without locking up the tires or coming to a complete stop.
    It’s important that you do not bring the bike to a complete stop using the brakes during the bedding in process. If the bike comes to a complete stop with extremely hot brakes, it’s possible to transfer a large amount of pad material to the rotor in a small spot, resulting in uneven transfer thickness on the rotor. This can lead to pulsing and inconsistent brake performance due to the changes in friction coefficient. (if this happens, you’ll be able ot see a dark discoloration in the shape of the brake pad on the rotor) Left unchecked, hot spots can develop that will permanently damage the rotor. If you catch it early, you may be able to remove the excess pad material by dressing the rotor with medium grit sandpaper (800-1000 grit) followed by a thorough application of Bra-Kleen.
    Keep in mind that the proper amount of pad material that is transferred to the rotor is very small, approximately .002-.004” and you can’t really see it, other than a slight grayish discoloration. What’s important is that the discoloration is consistent on the rotor surface.
    Do it Right, Do it Once!
    Read through the information above to make sure you understand the bedding in process and then make plans to properly bed in your brakes. Plan to spend about 15 to 20 minutes and make sure you have a safe place to do it. You’ll need a large area where you can safely and repeatedly accelerate up to 40-50 mph and then stop quickly. Make sure you have plenty of run out room in case you induce severe brake fade or boil the brake fluid and lose your brakes. That shouldn’t happen if you follow our instructions, but you should still be prepared for it just in case.
    Helpful Hints-
    Immediately after completing your brake pad installation, work the brake levers a few times to rebuild system pressure. Failure to do so could prove disastrous. It’s not uncommon for it to take a good 4-5 lever pumps to bring back hydraulic pressure in the system. If you are flying down the street or back alley of your neighborhood, probably w/o a helmet or riding gear, ( hey we’ve all done it!) and go to test out your newly installed binders only to find you got nuthin, your instincts are not going to be pump the brakes, it’s more like freeze up solid and panic! Avoid this by putting a piece of masking tape on your throttle grip or something to remind you.
    If you are changing pad compounds and using your old rotor, it’s best to clean up the swept area of the rotor to remove the old pad compound to prevent any compound compatibility issues that might prevent the new pads from bedding in properly. Use 800-1000 grit sandpaper followed by a thorough application of Bra-Kleen.
    Don’t forget to grease caliper sliding pins according to the instructions in your owners manual. If they get dry, they will allow the caliper to bind, resulting in uneven clamping force, which leads to poor braking power and potentially overheating the brakes, leading to brake fade.
    Common Brake System Terms
    “Bedding in” or Burnishing
    Brake power is generated by the friction material on the pads transferring and bonding to the surface of the rotor. In order for this to occur, the friction material must first be transferred onto the surface of the rotor. This generally happens during the first 10 – 20 stops of a brake system and is referred to as “burnishing” the rotor and pads. When a rotor is cleaned, it will need to be re-burnished again.
    Coefficient of Friction
    µ - pronounced “mew” A numerical indicator of the “grip” of a material used in brake pads. Coefficient of friction varies depending on the type of pad material used and for the brake rotor alloy.
    Fade
    Fade is a decrease or loss of brake power and typically occurs in two ways:
    Friction Material Fade When pads reach high temperatures they can sometime “outgas” chemicals that redeposit themselves on the surface of the brake pad. This decreases the coefficient of friction and results in a decrease of brake power. The lever will remain firm however the brake will not generate the normal amount of power. This is also described as when pads “glaze” over. Generally the result of improper bedding in / burnishing.
    Brake Fluid Fade This type of fade occurs when the brake fluid inside the caliper boils. Brake fluid is incompressible; however, if it is allowed to boil from overheating, a gas is formed within the system that is compressible and pressure applied to the lever goes toward compressing the gas instead of generating brake power. Water in the fluid (even in microscopic amounts) dramatically lowers the boiling point of brake fluid allowing the brakes to fade even under light loading.
    Modulation
    Controlling brake power without wheel lock up. Modulation is best with a brake system that has a “firm” brake lever, i.e. no air in the brake fluid and no flexing rubber hoses. Minimal lever stroke required to generate maximum brake power. A soft brake lever is generally more difficult to modulate and control.
    Pad Compounds
    Organic

    Organic
    Cellulose Fibers and organic materials bonded together with a resin. Not well suited to wet, sandy or muddy conditions. Poor heat transfer, can cause rotor overheating with continued abuse. Soft material provides good easy modulation for beginner riders, but also contributes to rapid wear.
    Sintered Metallic
    Manufactured using a process that molds a carbon fiber matrix compound under pressure at 1800 F for 600-800 hours to produce a very light high density pad that has excellent friction properties combined with a very high resistance to heat induced fade. Also excellent in wet conditions. Highest friction compound available for off road motorcycles.
    Swept Area
    The total friction area contacted by the pads during one revolution of the rotor.
    XLADV
    We all have one or more Philips head screw drivers in our tool boxes. It's pretty much impossible to be a DIY'er without them. But, if you own an a vehicle that was manufactured of Asian origin, chances are, the screws on it are not "standard" Phillips head. So, if you find that your Phillips head screw drivers are ruining your fasteners, it very will might be because you're using the wrong tool for the job.
    Lesser known is the Japanese Industrial Standard (AKA JIS). Bottom-line, a standard Phillips driver will not go into a JIS screw all the way because the corner radius of the screw is smaller than that of a standard Phillips driver. Because of this, it leads to what is referred to as "cam-out". In fact, the standard Phillips was created to allow this, so that you know when max torque has been reached, avoiding over tightening or worse, snapping fasteners.
    The differences between Phillips and JIS are not easily seen, so this illustration should help.

    Sometimes screws will be identified as being JIS if there is a dimple or dot on its head. But, this isn't always the case. But chances are, if you're working on a Japanese machine, the Philips head screws will be JIS.

    JIS screw drivers are not hard to find, ranging in price from the mid to high $20.00 for the budget stuff, on up to 3x (or more) that for the good stuff. Good tools, if taken care of can last a lifetime and the right tool for the job saves time and money in the long run.
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