Trouble on the mountains


Staff member
So I had this sweet camping trip planned to go to arrowhead and survey a certain Adopt-A-Trail singletrack.

I had planned for my top end gasket set to arrive just prior to leaving. Fingers crossed!
It came right on time and I assembled the engine and installed it in the cradle in about an hour. Threw the WR and KDX in the back of the truck and off we went. I didn't care, I was going to have a good time.

First off, I forget my Gopro and the back up batteries of the camera I did bring. :smirk:
In frustration I slice my index finger wide open on my rear fairings in a "smooth move." :banghead:
Once the bleeding stops and I weld my flesh back on naturally, I start my bike for the first time since the top end job. Kicks over smoothly and fires right up. Suddenly the engine dies uncontrollably. What?!?

It won't start again unless I give it 3/4 throttle and it only gives 2K rpms... which is not prescribed for break in... I notice a leak at the base gasket. Small bubbles, but enough to give concern. It's dark and I am more interested in beers/fire than riding in the dark on the first night. To the campfire I go to warm up. I think it got down to 10 degrees wednesday night.:crazy:



Next morning, same thing. Bike starts with choke, then dies. Then it'll only start with a 3/4 throttle and the engine speed can't be greater than 2K. Stop all that nonsense, I'm fixing the base gasket!

I get the engine out and cylinder off. I left the cylinder head on, as the metal gasket shouldn't be disturbed once seated. Apparently I forgot to remove some of the old gasket material. :banghead:
So once cleaned up I reassembled and tried again.... Same problem. Time to pull the carburetor.

Lunchtime and chores in between I'm back at it. Carb off, pulling the slide out, I drop the carburetor and it snaps the jet needle in half... :shocked: Sweet. What else can I do to NOT ride...
I pull the needle from another 38mm mikuni I happen to have and It's taper looks similar. I'll give it a try.





Pull the bowl off the carb and out falls the idle jet. :banana: At least I now know why it was acting up.:rant: Screwed that bad boy back in with proper torque and re-installed carb with improvised needle. First kick, we're idling perfect and the engine revs so snappy. It's wicked.
Following the break in procedures found here > I got to the point where I ride it for a while. Now it's getting closer to nighttime and a few buddies have rolled into camp and we have began to party. 2 days and no riding... oh well, I'm having a great time!

Last day and the bike is ready to try. I roll out, geared up, ready to ride. Warm her up and click into gear with my brother riding his KDX. Off we Go! The different needle made it sort of hard to ride but it was doable. We got about 6 miles out and mike's bike stops shifting. He's got a stripped shift shaft and no amount of torque can cinch it down! So we vise grip him into 2nd and head back. He struggles with a few hills (not being able to downshift) and it took about 1.5 hrs to get back.





Despite all this trouble, I managed to get 3 full days of GOOD TIMES in also! -BIG DAN:thumb:
Im screwed:banghead: if I EVER have to do anything to fix my bike on the trail! I like your attitude about it all. You dont give up, you make the best of a situation and you over come. Nice pics. It sure is beautiful up there. What are the trails like around Arrowhead? Need to be plated? I have access to a beautiful home on the lake up there. I've been thinking about bringing my dirt bike up there. I've sumo'd around Arrowhead and over to Big Bear but never rode dirt up there. Im confused...isnt there snow everywhere up there right now?
That Yammi looks stuck:lol:
Thanks for sharing your fun:thumb:


Staff member
Thanks everyone!
My Yamaha was most certainly stuck for a few minutes.
Almost NO snow is left below 6K ft. Greensticker legal but a plate will allow you to connect bigbear-arrowhead/silverwood-cleghorn-baldy mesa. For now I have to stage at each.
Arrowhead is mostly fireroads, quadtrak, and more fireroad. There is also 3 miles of legal singletrack. Along with river crossings and hillclimbs. Apparently nothing like gorman but still somewhat mountainous...
You can ride a gentle 30 mile loop or an all day 70-80 mile march. The choice is yours.
I am willing to meet anyone in arrowhead and show them around the trails. I have only been there a few times, but know my way around pretty good.-BIG DAN:thumb:
Awesome write up as usual Dan! Had a great time out there, despite your unexpected problems! That "sink hole" still amazes me, glad you got a picture of that! Can't wait till the next ride.


Staff member
I was just thinking about this trip today. It's amazing how the "hard times" become the "good times" in your mind over time. :cheers: