Everyday we receive an overwhelming amount
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 used '06 LT-R450, and I'm wondering what to use for the clutch lube? I noticed a fill cap but didn't see where you check the level. Does it get its lube from the crankcase oil?
MIKEY: The LT-R clutch is lubricated from the crankcase, and there is no dipstick to check the oil level. This is where routine maintenance comes into play. So change your oil on a regular basis. If you can't figure out a simple problem like lubricating your clutch, you'll never figure out how to drain the crankcase oil on your new Suzi. At the bottom of the left crankcase are two bolts that appear to be average crankcase bolts but are, in fact, the drain for your crankcase oil. This should prevent you from asking Mikey where the drain plug is in the next issue of ATVR.
ASK: Hey Mikey, I've had my Honda TRX350FE FourTrax with electric shift in storage for a little over a year while I worked elsewhere and the mice had a ball. They chewed up a bunch of stuff, which I am now repairing. My problem is that they chewed up the vacuum line coming out of the side of the carb, and I can't find any info about vacuum lines in the Clymer manual I am using. The single line from the carb divides into several lines as it passes over the top of the frame, and I have no idea where they go or what they attach to. Three lines go through the retainer on the neck of the intake duct assembly for the carburetor's breather and appear to just end-not connected to anything. I'm sending pictures. Can you give me a hint as to where to run the lines, or should I just forget them? A diagram would really help. Also, is there a real shop manual available to owners of this ATV?
MIKEY: I'm going to answer your questions to the best of my ability but in no particular order. Yes, a real shop manual would be helpful for someone who had a clue as to what they were doing. No, you definitely shouldn't just forget about the lines, but I'll bet that by the time you receive this magazine you will have eliminated your carburetor's vent system. And yes, the lines do just end and aren't connected to anything. The reason for this is that they aren't vacuum lines. They are actually vent lines that are routed to a shielded area not likely to be subjected to the elements. This clarification should help with the replacement of these damaged lines. Good luck.
ASK: How does the Yamaha Big Bear 350 behave while driving on a standard road? I've heard it doesn't have a high top speed (about 25-30 kph) or so, but still a high rpm. Is this true? Or can you drive it faster and normal without getting deaf or kill the engine?
MIKEY: I commute about 40 miles to work each day, and my Big Bear does great at highway speeds. When I approach a traffic jam I just pull to the shoulder of the road and keep it pinned. I couldn't have made a better choice for a daily driver. Honestly, what kind of question is this? The Big Bear was designed to be a bulletproof mud and trail machine, and that's where it performs at its best. It is a very capable of reaching fast trail speeds, but it is geared low to provide the necessary torque to claw its way through any mud pit imaginable. The kph note indicates that you could possibly (hopefully) be located somewhere in Europe where ATVs are street-legal, and if this were indeed the case, I would opt for something with taller gearing such as the Yamaha Grizzly.
ASK: I want to get a 400EX since they aren't very expensive. Is not having reverse annoying when you are trail riding? I will probably get an older one since the new ones with reverse are too expensive. What's your opinion on reverse?
MIKEY: My opinion is that reverse is only necessary when you need to back up. This phenomenon occurs when you make a mistake like getting hung on an obstacle, if you miss a turn or if you didn't think ahead when you parked your ATV in front of a tree. I spent many years on machines without reverse and it was never an issue. Nowadays a majority of ATVs have reverse as a standard feature, and I rarely utilize the function. Ten years from now you'll likely be contemplating the purchase of a used auto that doesn't have a self-parking feature. It's only a necessity for those who don't possess the skills and knowledge to park their own car or operate an ATV in your situation.
ASK: My 2007 YFZ450 will not start. I can see that there's no gas going in the carburetor, but I can't figure out why.
MIKEY: Congratulations, it appears that you have figured out why your YFZ isn't starting on your own. It obviously isn't starting because it's not getting adequate fuel for combustion to occur. This should be a simple fix. Let's start by making sure there is fuel in the tank. Sorry, I have to state the obvious. Make sure the tank is properly vented by blowing into the fuel tank's vent line. The line shouldn't be obstructed. Is the petcock operational? Make sure fuel flows freely in the on and reserve positions with the fuel line disconnected. Remove and check or replace the fuel line that connects the petcock to the carburetor. FYI, the petcock isn't a friendly, feathered farm animal with feet at one end and a pecker at the other. It's the on, off, reserve valve that's connected to the underside of your fuel tank. Your tank does have a small mesh strainer inside the tank to prevent debris from entering the fuel system that's connected to the petcock. It's easily accessible by removing the petcock. Once again I'll state the obvious. You'll need to drain the fuel before attempting this procedure.