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RD 4 NZ VMX Marton - 26 November 2017 
RD 2 Vinduro NZ Virgin Swamps - 3 December 2017 

The year is quickly coming to a close and I have three vintage bikes in the garage that are all working. 

At Hawkes Bay I was struggling a bit with the jetting of the TE 185; it was running to lean in the top end and mid range, so the best I could on the day was to raise the needle one notch and hope that would be enough to get through the day.  That made a power of difference but over the last week I have fitted one size larger main jet just to keep things balanced. We will see how things pan out at Marton noting that I might be able move the needle back to centre position  again. Other than an oil change, top up of the CCI, clean of air filter and a general lube up – that’s been about it. 

For the KT Pig Hunter, I had two tasks to complete. The first is that I had to reseat the trials tyres as after my first trial both the front and rear tyre beds dropped off the rim a little resulting in a bit of a wobbly ride. While I had pumped them up real hard and used lube on the beads it became obvious that they hadn’t quite seated correctly. Ironically while trials tyres are nice and soft the beads of the tyres are a real bear to get seated on the rims. A few questions at the Twin Shock Trial in Bulls revealed that the best way to do this was not only to pump the tyres up to about 80lbs with plenty of lube but also take a rubber mallet to the tyre to encourage any parts of the tyre bead that was misbehaving to fully seat.  Sounds a bit extreme but sure enough it worked. 

The last thing to do on the KT is to fit a pencil holder. Two things I didn’t know that were useful was to have a bull dog clip in which to hold your scorecard to your number plate and a place to put a pencil to mark scores.  The latter is best addressed by use of some rubber tube mounted to the triple clamps or handle bars.  Hmmmmm, other than that the KT has required nothing else other than a slight tweak of the air screw on the carb to make for easier starting.

 So the main effort  has been the XL 175 Enduro bike. Long story short after five years of thrashing the bike in Enduros and VMX it progressively gave up the ghost during the last season. You name it I experienced it. Frayed ignition wiring, failing ignition coil, shorting stator, slipping clutch, broken throttle cable, broken clutch cable, leaking forks, worn piston and cam chain ……………………….you get the picture. A total teardown and rebuild was in order.

So everything that needed to be replaced has been replaced plus a little bit more including valve grind, updated kick start unit, cam and rockers upgrades by CSL race engines, fresh paint on the tank and new side covers. Whew - reassembly  was straightforward enough and to be fair working on the XL is easy but you always get to that final point on the rebuild when it comes time to start the bike. 

Kick kick kitty kick – nada. Crash start – nada – not a peep. WTF I couldn’t believe it. If I could of laid my hands on a shotgun it would have got both barrels. Dejected I pushed the heap back into the garage. 

One day on - lights out in the garage revealed no spark. This didn’t make sense at all as on the final installation of the engine and ignition it all tested out ok. The only thing I had done since then was put oil in the engine, gas in the tank  and fitted the side covers. Hmmmm, closer inspection of the side covers revealed that the ignition wire from the magneto to the coil had come apart when routing the wires past the back of the side panels. School boy error really but easy to fix and secure properly.  Two kicks later the bike was up and running. A bit of testing since then has revealed some tweaking to carb has also been required, in this case leaning the pilot jet and main jet by one size each.  So hopefully we will now be good to go for Riverhead! 

Speaking of which there are two events to get in your diary now. RD 4 of NZ VMX at Marton on Sunday 26 November and then the following weekend VSE at Riverhead on Sunday 3 December. For the NZ VMX event at Marton we are at the same property and location as last year and it’s a great venue. So please rock along and support the event – it will be a great day out. Craig Taylor and Cam Smith are promising a nice rolling green track! Please note also we are looking for a Race Starter and Three Flag Marshalls – we are happy to pay for these services, if you have a friend who would like to help out on the day and earn a few greenbacks please just contact us here at 

And for Riverhead, its is RD 2 of the NZ Vinduro series. I have a love hate relationship with Riverhead. This venue in many ways is the home of the Waitemata Motorcycle Club and Enduro in NZ – I have spent many many hours in Riverhead both as an organiser and a competitor. Most of the time as a competitor Im normally either flailing around at the back of the field in the mud or fixing broken bikes.  This year I hope for better things and the little XL will run nice and smooth – fingers and toes crossed.