Each month we receive an overwhelming flood of technical questions from our readers. Everyone at ATVR including the night janitor carries an extremely heavy workload, so as a last resort we were forced to put Mike Newsom in charge of answering your questions. Mikey is one of the most talented mechanics we know, but it's his off-the-wall remarks and repulsive attitude that keep him locked away in the garage. If you dare to bear his response, send your questions to email@example.com. We promise not to let Mikey use your name and embarrass you in front of your buddies.
ASK: I just bought a 2006 Grizzly 660 4x4 at a salvage auction in San Antonio. It runs great, but when I'm riding it and accelerate fast, it tries to pull to the right and the front end shakes from side to side. One wheel seems to be toed in slightly when pointed straight. I was told that the left lower A-arm was bent, and it does seem to have a little damage. I'm planning to replace the arm. Can you tell me what to look for in the front end that would cause it to be uncontrollable at high speeds and semi-controllable at low speeds?
Mikey: If you already know that one wheel is toed in and that you have a bent A-arm, do you really need Mikey's help to figure out why your Grizzly is outta control? Take a close look at that front end to be sure the tie-rod is not bent and inspect the frame for any signs of damage. I wouldn't recommend any additional high-speed test runs until the damaged arm is replaced and you have correctly set the toe. Don't become a statistic!
Ask: I own a 1989 Yamaha Warrior. I was just out riding it and it seems that it doesn't rev as high as it should. Does this quad have a rev-limiter? Could my Warrior possibly be having carburetor problems?
Mikey: Unlike the newer Raptor 350, I don't believe the '89 Warrior has a rev-limiter. The Warrior isn't known for having an abundance of uncontrollable power to begin with, so if you're getting off of a YFZ450 and jumping on a Warrior, you're going to be disappointed. Improper jetting or restricted fuel flow could be causing your machine to feel sluggish and bog in the top-end, or maybe your thumb just isn't strong enough to pin that old beast!
Ask: I just got an ATV, it's a Tao Tao 110cc. Honestly, I don't know anything about mechanics. The ATV is really a piece of junk, but I want to at least get some riding time out of it. From the little that I know I tried changing the solenoid; that didn't work. Then I bought a new battery; that didn't work. Now, I don't know much but I was thinking that if I go directly from the positive wire of the battery to the starter and I ground the negative wire, that should start the starter making the motor start, right? I have no idea what to do next! Could you please give me some advice?
Mikey: Unfortunately for you, I'm not and don't plan to become familiar with any of the Tao Tao models, so I can't give any model-specific information. Your connecting the battery directly to the starter idea would be a way to test the starter, but it wouldn't be the ideal method of starting your machine. I would recommend investing in a service manual to track down your electrical problems. Trust me, it won't be a waste of money. I can assure you that your Tao Tao will have you referencing that book on a regular basis. A cheaper alternative would be to transform your Tao Tao into a downhill racer if you trust the brakes.
Ask: My Honda Big Red three-wheeler with pull start won't run. It has fuel to the air cleaner and spark, but it still won't start. I dumped out all the old gas and the tank was clean with no rust. I then took off the carburetor and it was also clean. It has a new spark plug and all lines are good. I can't figure out why it's not starting. With a spray of ether, it will fire but won't stay running.