One XT down, one to go

It’s “annual XT service” time in our household, which means that I get to spent a disproportionate amount of time with my favorite 225cc thumpers.

I did my XT over the weekend, finishing up last night, with a surprisingly minimal amount of drama. I guess one benefit of not putting many miles on the bike is that it takes a while for things to go wrong. 😉

The only trick was that the service manual claims that there’s a “T” marking on the flywheel for setting the piston to top dead center, but there’s not. There’s something that looks like an elongated “H” and then a vertical line. Anyway, I misread it and ended up accidentally adjusting the valves at the end of the exhaust stroke instead of after the compression stroke. That made for a very noisy bike when I started it back up!

The boards suggested the following trick: put your thumb over the sparkplug hole when you manually crank the engine. That way, you can feel the “suck” and “squeeze” strokes and you’ll know when the piston is at TDC (basically, after your thumb gets blown off the sparkplug hole). It worked like a charm and the guys have now made me an honorary redneck backyard mechanic. 😀

Hopefully the other XT will get done shortly as well…I need to put a little extra love into that one as it’s going on a road trip soon! Peter decided after riding the DRZ400 in Australia that he really doesn’t want his XT anymore, so I’m going to bring it up to Seattle and leave it next to Colleen’s garage. That way, I can fly up to Seattle and go off-roading with Colleen and her KLR whenever I want! I’m super excited about that.

With any luck, therefore, I’ll be riding the white XT up to Seattle around Labor Day weekend and Colleen will ride her KLR down to meet me partway. More on that as it unfolds. 🙂

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