Each month we receive an overwhelming mud slide 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise not to let Mikey use your name and embarrass you in front of your buddies.
Ask: I'm ready to get my Honda running, but I have an ongoing problem. My 1986 TRX200SX has no spark, and I think it just might be the stator. Is there a way to test the stator before I tear into the motor? I don't want more aggravation than necessary.
Mikey: Tear into the motor? If you're not getting a spark, I seriously doubt you'll find any answers riding circles on the crank or hanging out in the transmission. The stator could possibly be the cause of your headache, and it can be checked before needlessly handing over your paycheck. I don't have a TRX200SX manual in my inventory, but a service manual will detail the procedure for testing the stator. Diagnose the problem before you tear into the machine and create compound problems.
Ask: I recently bought a 2009 Kawasaki Prairie 360. I was riding the other day and sunk it. It flooded the engine but I was able to get it started within 10 minutes. I checked the oil and of course it was milky white. I changed the oil several times, but it is still slightly white. Is there a better way to get the water out of it, or do I need to keep up with the oil changes until the water is out?
Mikey: I'm glad to see you checked the oil for contamination and hope this was done immediately after you went on your search for sunken pirate treasure. Playing Jacques Cousteau can be a costly game if you're not careful. You should also check for water in your CVT as well as contaminated front and rear differential fluid. This could create another issue for you to resolve. I'm guessing you were running this machine with water in the oil to get back to your garage or vehicle. Water has likely circulated throughout the system and is in the oil filter and oil cooler. Change the filter along with the oil, and it wouldn't hurt to change it a second time in the near future. Oil is extremely cheap compared to an engine rebuild.
Ask: I have a 2006 KFX700. My problem is that it seems like when I go to take off at half throttle I have to give it a considerable amount of gas to get it up to speed. Maybe I'm starting to get used to how fast the bike is or it seems to me like the bike doesn't have as much torque. The owner's manual says the belt needs to be tightened after 100 hours, but mine isn't close to that. I don't smell the belt burning or see any white smoke coming from it when I'm riding. When I removed the belt cover from the side, there seemed to be little wear on the belt though there seemed to be some play in the belt between the two pulleys. I don't know how much play there is supposed to be, if any, between the pulley... If there shouldn't be any play, how do I tighten the belt?