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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5 Responses to One XT down, one to go

  1. Mike says:

    Somebody used to make a small whistle threaded to fit spark plug holes for just that thing. On compression, the air is forced through the whistle and makes a good audible indicator. Works well for larger engines that take two hands to turn over, or for times that you can’t reach the wrench and the plug hole at the same time. Don’t know if they come in bike sizes, but a little work with a welder or some epoxy and one could probably be fabbed up easily.

  2. carolyn says:

    Now *that* is pretty darned cool.

  3. Stephen Lee says:

    Ok, 2 questions:
    – Have you compared the XT225 with the TW200? I’ve read a bunch of opinions on the differences & was curious if you had one (as a fellow short-biker).
    – Are you going to do a write-up on the rest of your trip to OZ? I saw the pictures of your walk across the Harbor Bridge (and at sunset… how awesome!). That’s been on my “must do” list for a long time; I wasn’t sure they were still doing it until I saw your pics. What was it like? Tips?

  4. carolyn says:

    >- Have you compared the XT225 with the TW200? I’ve read a
    >bunch of opinions on the differences & was curious if you had one
    >(as a fellow short-biker).
    Nope, I’ve never even sat on a TW200. I am useless to you in this regard. 🙁
    >Are you going to do a write-up on the rest of your trip to OZ?
    Oh good lord, that would take forever. 😀
    The Harbor Bridge walk in Sydney was really neat…very recommended. We did the slightly more expensive “sunset” option, but I think it was worth it. The whole walk seems kinda hokey at first but it really grows on you and we had a great time. It’s a bit overpriced but is a very cool experience that, frankly, you’d never find in the litigious US of A.

  5. Alex says:

    Stupid exhaust stroke TDC! The easiest way I’ve found to repeatably get the right TDC, is simply to watch the valves while rotating the motor to TDC. Right after the intake valves depress is compression TDC. A bendy-plastic straw down the sparkplug hole works pretty well to let you know when your at (or past) TDC if the mark on the flywheel is hard to locate.

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