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Old 12-02-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
rotorhead511 OP
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New to me GasGas, I'm in!

Hey all,
I just jumped on the trials wagon with a 2004 GasGas 280. Any issues or mods I need to worry about? I know 280 might be a bit much for a noob but at $1500 I couldn't pass it up. My current ride is an '08 KTM 450 EXC-R and love it but hope the trials will improve my skills. I currently ride jeep trails, ST and MX on the thing.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
amcross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorhead511 View Post
Hey all,
I just jumped on the trials wagon with a 2004 GasGas 280. Any issues or mods I need to worry about? I know 280 might be a bit much for a noob but at $1500 I couldn't pass it up. My current ride is an '08 KTM 450 EXC-R and love it but hope the trials will improve my skills. I currently ride jeep trails, ST and MX on the thing.

Thanks
Congrats, rotor and welcome!!! That's a heck of a price, congrats!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
DerViking
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Avoid banging the shifter on anything if you can, a bitch to fix.

If you ride much trail on it, or develop a fondness for big drops keep a close eye on the rear suspension linkages and the shock bearings. They like to walk loose, wallow out, and cost you a grand.

If I remember right, it has the air filter down through the seat? Tricky the first dozen times, and depending on how flexible or large your hand is, you may need someone smaller to thread in the bolt.

I recommend mounting up handgaurds, saves you a fortune in levers, though it isn't common in trials.

280 is a fine starter bike, and that is a good era. I don't see the point of underpowered bikes. You might as well learn clutch and throttle control to begin with, and the 280's and 300's are much more fun on the transport sections.

Congrats! Ride it like you stole it!, and buy a newer one when it blows. (I got a year out of my first used Gasser. The learning curve can be hard on equipment)
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
Happy Seal
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Congrats Motorhead! Fun Heh?
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:29 AM   #5
Sting32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorhead511 View Post
Hey all,
I just jumped on the trials wagon with a 2004 GasGas 280. Any issues or mods I need to worry about? I know 280 might be a bit much for a noob but at $1500 I couldn't pass it up. My current ride is an '08 KTM 450 EXC-R and love it but hope the trials will improve my skills. I currently ride jeep trails, ST and MX on the thing.

Thanks
Do you know the former owners? A cheap and yet pretty easy and beneficial mod is to get the clutch spring ordered from a 2006 or newer bike, replace your spring with it, makes the clutch a significantly easier 1 finger pull. But it might have already been done.

If nobody near you has told you, you need to move the levers as far in on the bars as you can, so you use only 1 finger on the levers. This makes it so when you fall over the bar ends hit 1st instead of the levers. I might find a picture to explain if yo dont get it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:16 AM   #6
laser17
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Dont kick start it like your other bikes. Engage the kickstarter 1st. Feel the pawl contact the idler and present a resistance in the lever, then snap through it while maintaining pressure.. If you just swipe away at it - it will break. Takes awhile to develop a good starting technique for most new riders - so be patient.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
Sting32
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Originally Posted by laser17 View Post
Dont kick start it like your other bikes. Engage the kickstarter 1st. Feel the pawl contact the idler and present a resistance in the lever, then snap through it while maintaining pressure.. If you just swipe away at it - it will break. Takes awhile to develop a good starting technique for most new riders - so be patient.
I slap kick all of mine, as the 2 times I ever did the pressure thing, the gear broke completely off the kickstart shaft. I have a technique so I shouldn't say it without a video explaining how my slap-kick, is soo very different than anyone else's might think...

Anywho, Here's a money saving and energy saving, time tested GASGAS starting tip: IMHO which will save a helluva lot of wear and tear on your kickstart, just because it will/does start my livery of raga 300's, on the 1st kick, even when it is COLD a hell out!

How to:

I...Pull up on shifter, putting the bike into 2nd or 3rd, turn on everything like normal: 1 choke 2 Fuel petcock.
II.. Then, Rock vigorously back and forth with the engine going back and forth to the compression cycle...
III. make sure you end at the pull the bike backwards. This lets you get a "run" at the TDC or compression, better chance to start.

I Do this for fair weather (70 F-90 F here in the states) a minimum of 5-6 times, in cold weather I do it more, warmer I might not do as many.

FWIW, I have had several pro's since the 2004 models. The My current livery of 3 raga 300's each will start, ON THE 1st kick, every time.
* assuming the bike is setup right, you kick it right. *

Why this works?
The Gas Gas kinda is "light" on the choke circuit... BTW, if you twist the throttle "at all" on the Delorto I believe, while or just as you kick, most times this nullifies the choke circuit, least that is what I think I have been told. Kehins act differently (opposite IIRC) the Kehins are on 06 and newer race models, 04 and newer raga's, again, IIRC...

your mileage could vary, I've started mine when it was 22F, after rocking 12 times, in 2 kicks or less, many times... If I ever shut off the bike at section, I do this rocking before I start it, like while waiting my turn as well...

this technique has worked for me, since the 1st "pro" model we bought, which was a plain old 04.

BTW, this works great, if it matters, worked as well on the son's lower CC models too!... and any bike that seems to need more choke to get it to start.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
laser17
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Yet another method - with more instruction on how not to break the KS.

From the GG parts importer - Jim Snell.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdM4q...e=channel_page
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:42 PM   #9
rotorhead511 OP
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Thanks all, it seems the biggest issue I'm going to have is starting the dang thing. Greatly appreciate the advice.

I like the clutch mod idea, thanks Sting32. Where is the best place to get OEM parts for these bikes?

Great starting video, Jim. May be calling you for a clutch spring.

I've got a spare set of hand guards I may throw on.


Bruce
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rotorhead511 screwed with this post 12-04-2012 at 04:11 PM
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #10
Sting32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser17 View Post
Yet another method - with more instruction on how not to break the KS.

From the GG parts importer - Jim Snell.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdM4q...e=channel_page
Sadly THAT VIDEO is the OLD engine with completely different kicking mechanism... is the abosolute wrong way to start the pro engines, sorry that is my opinion, The Pro engines needs a speedy kick where as that old bike engine needs a weighty full body weight kick.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
Sting32
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if I can explain, I doubt I can describe this good enough to creat a movie into everyone's head, with my lack of story telling skills, and poor typing skills, let alone type-oh's lol... but I will try.

Again this is how I do it, try it if you want, its your problem.

Pro kick levers are already way up on rotation, damn near 12 on the clock dial if you look at the rotation from the right hand side of the bike. From that position it is useless to put any weight on the lever, of course... While straddling the bike, I put the middle of my boot, on the kicker, and in a quick motion I begin the "kick. Note, at this point, the lever really CAN'T have any weight on it yet, it is at the awkward position and angles for your leg, we're talking about a couple rotation knee muscles, is all you can use. So from nearly 12 o'clock to 11 o'clock heading to 10 o'clock, were just flicking the lever back more than down, which IMHO flicks the gear into position on the start lever's shaft, mating it with the idler gear.

Before starting any PRO bike, I have rocked the engine backwards so it is almost 3/4ths of a rotation of the crankshaft, until it has compression, which allows me to aggressively keep adding my strength to the kick lever, while it is only progressively adding stress to kicking parts of the engine.

As I move the lever back and now more DOWN, as the lever passes the 10 o'clock position, my foot now starts getting strength from more muscles, it is starting to rotate the clutch basket which is spinning the crankshaft... I kick all the way through now to the footpeg which stops the lever at relatively 7 o'clock position, at most.

This is learned because it takes a "full kick" from the kicker to light a 300; A 125 not so much stress is placed on kicking parts, and it spins faster easier.

*explaination * what has happend to me on several of my early bikes was, Trying to do it like that movie describes is which is how I used to start every motorcycle I had previously owned... But, on these PRO's the kicking "elephant ear shaped gear" that moves in and out on the starter shaft, has to mate with the idler gear. Well, 5 times, I have had it fail to mate, or hardly mate due to spring that makes it move out and in on shaft or any other circumstances like on wobbly ledge and just needed the damn bike running, lol. (PS, in or out or up and down on that shaft, when you have bike laid down to work on these parts)... Each time, it was nicely place kicker up onto compression then swing at it with your weight and "might," Off pops the elephant ear.

BTWm I have not broken a gear since the year 2007-08, I would have been on the 06. My son & sone in law has broken a couple times since then, because I cannot get them to quick kicking it like it was a 450 honda with compression release... BTW he cant weigh 150 lbs.

Plus, if you try to load onto compression then kick through, you have lost 30% of the available travel of the kicker lever. I stand behind my statements above because I can 99 out of 100 attempts, start the bike 1 kick. If it takes you 10 kicks, you are beating the hell out of that kicker assembly, so I still think my way is more productive and less destructive.

Yes, I have had to replace idler gear, they are cheap, I do it if/when I have to reset the height of my clutch fingers...
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
laser17
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Thanks for clarifying your method. I cant comment on Jim's method - but the point he is really making in that video is that you cant just swipe away at the kick start. I can start my bike using that method, but I find it uncomfortable.

It sounds to me that you arent swiping at yours and you are taking up the slack before hitting it. Your method does sound like its easier to generate crank velocity as you are not fighting the full compression stroke. (important on a 300 for sure)

I will have to try your rock and roll method for cold starts on really cold days. I usually do a couple of easy primer kicks and then bring the full snap. (I roll my foot down to help create velocity). But it can take 3-4 swipes from dead cold with the std choke jet. On really cold days - I lean it over 1st for about 5 seconds and that helps.

My bikes starts 1st kick when warm - so no need for extra fiddling then.

Out of the nearly 100 pro's my dad sold, he never had to replace a KS pawl on any that were properly engaged (He did replace a few Idlers)- but he spent alot of time with his customers showing them how to do it and then watching them afterwards. He would always point out the riders who he saw swiping away and would warn them they would be buying a pawl & idler soon. . It was a bigger problem before they changed the faster pawl shaft and fixed the return bumper position. The one I broke - I swiped at. I was tired and on the wrong side of the bike (KS was on uphill side) - so I jumped up 1st. I wont do that again.

I think these are all good conversations as once you are aware of the issue, problems can be easily avoided.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #13
laser17
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PS - an Iridium plug gaped at 0.022 to 0.023" helps starting as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:46 PM   #14
jonnyc21
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Thumb Speedy is good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting32 View Post
Sadly THAT VIDEO is the OLD engine with completely different kicking mechanism... is the abosolute wrong way to start the pro engines, sorry that is my opinion, The Pro engines needs a speedy kick where as that old bike engine needs a weighty full body weight kick.
I agree that a speedy kick works better for me. Also for me being dirrectly over the start lever helps get a better angle to get that speedy kick, and is the case for all of the bikes 2 stroke and 4T I have ever had to kickstart.

good luck!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
DerViking
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I'll also have to try the rock and roll My 07 300 is getting to be a temperamental starter when cold, first easy kick when warm. I have not had any trouble with breakage on mine, surprisingly, as I have busted most everything else.

I lean forward and kinda lean on the bars, kicking backwards on mine. I swear the kicker is forward of plumb. So I push it backwards with progressive force, which seems to engage everything nicely, and reduces the force with which you bring your foot down on the peg as you bottom out. The clack of kicker and peg contact has always bothered me, but so it goes.

If she doesn't fire on the first few kicks, I run it through with the throttle open for several kicks, then close and kick. Not sure of the science on this, just habit from many years of starting recalcitrant machines.
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