Dirt Bike Repair Q&A

Powersports pro John Talley is always ready to answer your questions about Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha motorcycles when he does his weekly live Q&A sessions every Friday at 3pm Eastern.

From oil problems to electrical and carburetor issues, John addresses a few questions about Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha dirt bikes.

Dirt bike repair questions and answers

Honda Dirt Bike Repair

I put too much oil in my 2000 XR100R and now it smokes and lost compression. Any ideas? 

John Talley: That’s odd that it would lose compression, and having too much oil, that usually causes problems down the bottom end. It actually foams up the oil because there’s too much down there, and I guess it could’ve hydro-locked and they do lose compression on the rings. But at any rate, if you’re sure that it’s lost compression, and you’ve ridden it enough to where it should’ve settled down with the additional oil, let’s say 10 or 15 miles after you extracted the right amount of oil out, then it’s probably time for a top end job. You can probably get away with just doing rings on it, honestly, but do measure the walls of the piston to make sure they aren’t worn out as well.

Watch the video above to see how to do an oil change on a Honda dirt bike.

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Kawasaki Dirt Bike Repair

I have a 2015 Kawasaki KLX 110 that will only start with the kickstart. When I push the electric start button, it just makes a slight buzzing noise. I replaced the battery, and the switch in the wiring harness, so what could it be? Stator? Starter motor? 

John Talley: Well, if you’re actually pushing the button and it’s making some type of noise, that tells me that it’s not going to be one of the fuses. You’re telling me you just put a battery in there, and that should be enough to kick it over, but it’s not sending enough amperage in there to make the connection inside that starter solenoid, so that’s probably the direction I would want to go next. It sounds to me like you know you’ve got a good battery, you know you’ve got a good start button, but that contactor is not fully making the connection in there, it’s just straining to make the connection in between those two posts. One goes to your battery and the other one to your starter, and it’s just sitting there buzzing, so I would aim for the starter solenoid next.

Watch the video above to see how to test and replace the battery on a Kawasaki dirt bike.

Watch the video above to see how to test starters.

Yamaha Dirt Bike Repair

My niece has an older Yamaha PW80 two-stroke that will only run with the choke on. We cleaned the main and pilot jet, and we still can’t seem to get it idle without choke. Any ideas? 

John Talley: The pilot jet, especially on something as small as a PW80, is going to be tiny. You can let it sit in carb cleaner for a day and if it’s really stopped up, it can’t clean out a passage because it’s so small. Typically a pilot jet diameter is the same diameter as a cleaning brush bristle, it’s that small. And the chances of being able to clean it once it’s really gummed up is zero. So I would say go ahead and invest just a few bucks for a new pilot jet and you should be good to go. 

Watch the video above to learn more about cleaning, repairing or replacing a carburetor.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.  



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