2016 The XR400R Lives!!!

I have to admit that I was getting discouraged with the bum carburetor and was thinking of either buying a pumper carb off of eBay (not with a students budget) or, gasp, selling the bike as was, but I decided that I needed to give it another go for if it was elbow grease that was required, I had plenty of it and time on my hands.

It rides again!

I've had nothing but trouble with the carburetor, and let me be the first to admit that this was a learning process for me from start to finish. When it comes to the fuel part of the 'Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow' of the combustion engine, it is a very important component, and it was never right from day one of owning the bike.

The bike ran, but idled not well at all, in fact it didn't idle at all, and you had to have your hand on the throttle the entire time, coupled with it's tendency to dump fuel out the overflow pipe as soon as you stopped to take in the scenery.

Varnish and dirt
Soaking just wasn't as effective as this spot sanding pen

I pulled it off the bike and tinkered with it, cleaned all the jets and passages, scrubbed off some varnish, and shook my head at how useless the spray 'carb cleaners' were during this process. I'd suggest an ultrasonic parts washer if you go with the 'soaking' process, as 24 hours in solution did little for the jets.

Next, the float valve needle needed to be replaced, but I only found this out after the third time the carb was off the bike. So I ordered in an aftermarket part from Australia and awaited it's arrival.  The floats are supposed to put upwards pressure on a wee plunger and spring in the back of the needle that will push the rubber tip into the needle seat, shutting off the flow of fuel, but that spring was weak, and rehab simply pointed up that fact. Spend the $20 bucks on the needle straight off.

Here is a neat trick to test your float needle valve using a vacuum pressure gauge... Apply vacuum to the fuel inlet hose going into the carb. At 3 psi you have  a bad needle that is letting fuel past it. A brand new needle will see over 20 psi.

While you look at the float needle, take the floats out and test them in a container of fuel to ensure that they float! If they have a pinhole and fill up, you have a problem.

 Have a look at the float needle valve seat. It could be changed, or if you have a carb like mine, you will need to clean it out. I used a Q-tip, a power drill and some brass polish to clean out the varnish and make it mirror shiny. It's important that your new needle get a perfect seat when installed.




I had a broken petcock filter inside my tank, and the petcock itself was passing fuel past the washer when in the 'off' position. Dirty fuel was making it's way into my carburetor, and that is simply undesirable to say the least. I replaced the petcock, but forgot to order in a new washer, so the old 'tank to petcock' mating washer got reused with success, i might add.



Some new 5/8" clear fuel line got added and I had planned on an inline fuel filter, but the smallest one I could find was too cumbersome to fit and still be able to operate the carb mounted choke lever.

I ensured that when I installed the new carb needle that I set the floats to 14mm and 19.5mm as suggested by thumpertalk.com 

I had that carb off about eight times in the past two years, and in the process I mangled a five dollar gasket between the intake and the head, so when I thought I had a good carb installed again, I lost my high speed circuit due to no vacuum through the carb because of the massive air leak at the head.

I'm not sure, but I've had those bolts in and out of that aluminum head so often that I think one may have spun on me, so  heli coil inserts will be my next purchase if it doesn't hold out.

It's alive! And while a bit hard to kick at the moment (a brand new iridium plug is going into it tomorrow) I had a blast on a shakedown ride yesterday, that served to remind me that the last time I rode a dirt bike in earnest was on Darryl's farm four?! years ago. I've got a lot of confidence to regain, and am looking forward to the practice it will take to get there. :D

Rain couldn't wipe the smile off of my face today!

The helmet is where it should be, ready to ride!


2016 Alma and the Bay of Fundy

Well, Sunday threatened rain, but it also threatened a weekend without a serious ride, as my brother and his wife were visiting from Ontario, and Saturday was their last day with us on the island.

I'd asked if the boys were up for a ride, along with our friend Mike on his Suzuki Bandit 1250, and Mike offered up Alma as our destination so early Sunday morning I heard a knock at my door as my sister asked me if I was still planning on joining them for a ride. It happens, sometimes you take a back seat and let others do the planning. Wendy made us all breakfast before we rode out to meet Mike, but I left a few minutes early as I needed some cash in my wallet so I could pay the 18.50 toll to get off of the island.

"Meet me at the Irving at 0945"
We few, we happy few.
Borden-Carleton PE to Alma NB and return

 Okay, so what if it was closer to 1015? Mike knows us.

Please may we leave the island?
It's free to come to the island, but they charge you $18.50 to leave by motorcycle, and those two guys on the end? The one on the Triumph Scrambler and the KLR? It's their first time riding a bike across this bridge. :)
Tyler got stuck behind a slow mini van for the entire trip across the Confederation Bridge, all 11kms of it.

 Have a look on the map and you will see that the Confederation Bridge is located at the end of a pretty straight stretch of road. It's darned straight and chock full of RV's and other tourists, along with a smattering of tractor trailers... But none of them take that gem of a road, the 955 along the coast. You won't be dragging your knee on it, but it's a lovely twisty windy bit of road that meanders along the coast and hooks back up with 15 to Moncton further to the North West. Enjoy!

Mike on his Bandit

Ryan on his Mom's Bonnie

Dad on his Beemer

Nate on his borrowed KLR

Tyler on his Scrambler

Somewhere on the road to Alma

Once you get over the Petit Codiac or "Chocolate River" in Moncton onto the Riverview side, it's pretty much one road that leads you straight down to the Hopewell Rocks, The Bay of Fundy, and Alma NB then up and over Fundy National Park. The ride South is the fun bit, and takes you through a few small towns, and along the coast where the world's highest tides have a great impact on the rivers and streams. If you time it right, your ride will be near low tide so you can swing into the National Park at Hopewell Rocks and really see the sights they have to offer. It's a busy park, so if you don't mind colder weather, you will find it not nearly as busy after Labour day in September.

I'll not forget this street name...

You know you're home when you see your last name on street signs instead of wanted posters.
My ancestors were United Empire Loyalists and settled around New Brunswick, and thoughtfully named some mountains, streets after us, then went on to populate the province. :)

The pictures just don't do this justice.
Sorry gang, there are many more shots of this area and the coastline in my other albums that are hot linked at the bottom of the page. 


We got stuck behind some slower moving bikes that didn't have any rearview mirrors

Sigh, all we need is a good stretch of road to pass three bikes at the same time (they aren't leaving enough space for a single pass)

We made it!

Nate got taken up by the local constabulary for excessive speed, his defense was to show them the KLR and all charges were dropped.

Up and over the park!

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Tyler loses it, and BRAPPPPP! He's in the lead!

But, it's a Triumph and was blowing oil past the rings, or maybe he fouled a plug... :P

When we hit the Transcanada 1, we got hit with some sprinkles of rain, and I had to stop in Sackville, so when they stopped roadside to gear up, I waved adieu and took off towards Moncton. Slabbing it back saved me riding in the late afternoon rain for the most part, but it was a bit boring so I'll leave you with these two shots.

Rain clouds over Moncton

Can I sneak by? Yes!!!!
 And it was back to the island for a nice hot cuppa after filling my tank, but alas, the rain came and I tossed my tea and headed for home.

I took more pictures of the gang, as I've ridden out this way four or five times in the past couple of years, so search this blog for 'Alma', 'Fundy', and 'Hopewell' for more.