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About ssaulnier

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  • Bike
    1996 Beta Techno 250

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  • Location
    San Antonio, Texas

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  1. Trials Superstore in Arizona has a good web site and fast shipping.
  2. I used 3 of these 0.005" thick shims. Five of these shims was too much, 2 worked pretty good, but 3 seem to work best for my 1996 Beta Techno 250 in order to eliminate clutch drag. McMaster Carr part number 91437a555 will get you 5 of these shims. https://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/126/3456/ 18-8 Stainless Steel Shims for Shortening 16mm Diameter Screw Shoulders, 0.005" Thick Cheers, Steve
  3. Clutch drag was further reduced by spacing the clutch pressure plate out a total of 0.015" (by adding a third 0.005" spacer washer under the clutch pressure plate bearing washer). The 0W-40 Mobile 1 Euro motor oil actually INCREASED clutch drag significantly over the GM AC Delco Transfer Case Fluid Auto-Trak II. Using the mobile 1 I was unable to shift gears or find neutral while stopped and shifting was more difficult even while moving. So I have gone back to using the 450ml of the GM AC Delco Auto Trak II fluid in the Beta Techno gearbox so am able to shift gears and find neutral with the engine running while stationary. I rolled the bars further forward to good effect, per Dan's suggestion. I left the Beta in the shed last Saturday and rode my 2004 KTM 200EXC on a very muddy work day at our local Dirt Bike Ranch. Due to my trials practice on the Beta I observed improved balance and confidence in the sloppy mud and water ponds whilst riding the Enduro bike. Looks like even Old Dogs (62 YO) can learn new tricks!
  4. Dan, yes I have read though your procedure several times and performed that clutch plate glue removal and tab filing/polishing, totally eliminating my really bad cold launch issues. The clutch engagement action was also improved, but still to abrupt for my liking. Clutch drag was then improved by spacing the clutch pressure plate out 0.010" and clutch pull was reduced by installing 3mm washers under the clutch spring bolts. Note that the Techno manual states that there should be between 0.4 and 0.6mm free play in the clutch disengagement pushrod assembly, so you need to be careful not to add too many of these 16mm ID x 0.005" thick shims. The Amazon delivery guy left 5qts of Mobile 1 0W-40 Euro oil on my porch this morning as I left for work! I think my "Italian Princess" is going to get an oil change tonight. Hopefully this Mobile 1 Euro will make the clutch just a little less grabby and will be the icing on the cake. We will see. My Techno manual calls for 500ml of 20w-30 clutch oil, but I have read that ends up being too much oil as it increases clutch drag. 500ml seems to bring the oil level to the top of the sight glass on my engine case. The Techno manual says to keep the oil level at the bottom of the sight glass or higher. I will try 450ml this next oil change and see where that falls on the sight glass and add oil if needed to get in the sight glass window.
  5. Dan, thanks for the trials clinic! I was looking for some Ryan Young videos on line but thanks to you now I have lots to practice! After initiating a turn with peg pressure on the inside peg I was confused about the advice to weight the outside peg throughout the turn so I am glad that doesn’t make sense to you either. I like your picture language about centered weight balance and no contortions. I will try your trick of pulling on the bars to improve traction on an uphill. I have some 3 or 4 foot tall steep soft dirt ditches that would be perfect to try this on. I have tried alternately squatting down and standing up during the same hill climb and felt much more stable squatting. Your description of the physics explains that. I am an electrical engineer so relate to physics pretty well and appreciate a good first principles explanation. You are right about the grabby clutch engagement causing the front tire to skid on the soft dirt while practicing slow off camber turns on the hillside. Will report back if the 0w-40 mobile 1 euro oil helps with that along with dropping front tire pressure to 6 psi.Waiting for the Amazon truck to arrive with my oil..... Thanks for taking the time to explain all that. I will have to get the Beta out of the shed and do some figure 8s today! Cheers Steve
  6. Dan, I see what you are saying about the handle bars and levers. I have already rolled the bars slightly forward from the previous photo and they feel better. I suspect that they are still too far back so will roll them forward a bit more per your observation and adjust the levers a bit as well. My biggest problem at this point is that when slow turning the front tire slides, scraping sideways over the top of the dirt, as I slip the clutch. I am trying to be more gradual with clutch engagement and have been trying to lean forward doing these full lock turns to put a bit more weight on the front wheel (but not sure that is helping). Have also taken a turn less preload out of the front fork spring adjuster so the bike has a bit of free sag in an effort to get a bit more weight on the front wheel for better traction. Preload adjuster has almost 5 turns of adjustment and I am at 4 turns of preload. Front tire may need a bit less air as I think I am presently running about 8 psi, I think I will try 6 psi next time. Front tire is also very old. Not cracked or worn but is a Made In Spain Michelin so I suspect it is likely pretty old. I am suspecting a new tire might give better traction on our dry South Texas dirt. Are the Michelin trials tires the go to trials tire or should I be looking at something different for Texas dry powdery dirt, rocks, trees and cactus?
  7. Dan thanks for the suggestion to pierce a small hole in the carburetor vent lines above the float bowl in order to stop fuel being siphoned out. I used a sharp pick to pierce the two vent lines without destroying their integrity too much. I tested this modification by cleverly falling over twice yesterday while practicing my off camber slow turns on dry dirt hillsides. With the bike laying on its side, fuel was flowing out of the vent pipes as expected. But after righting the bike there was no siphoning action and the fuel flow stopped (unlike previous rides when siphoning was observed). In addition the clutch drag was much reduced throughout my 2 hour practice session as a result of adding the two 0.005” spacers under the clutch needle bearing. And my knees were more tired than my clutch finger so I suspect reducing the preload on the clutch springs by 3mm helped with no downsides noted. The clutch still grabs just a little more aggressively than I would like so will try some of the Mobile 1 0W-40 European engine oil and only fill to the middle of the sight glass, about 475ml I think.
  8. Thanks for posting about the clutch shims. I tried it on my 1996 Beta Techno 250 and it worked great. I can now find neutral or shift gears at a stop. After doing the clutch plate clean up posted by Dan the cold clutch plate sticking was fixed but my clutch dragged so much that it would move the bike forward even with the clutch pulled in and was impossible to find neutral at a stop. I used two of these 0.005" thick shims I ordered from McMaster-Carr: 18-8 Stainless Steel Shims for Shortening 16mm Diameter Screw Shoulders, 0.005" Thick Delivers Tuesday, $6.45 per pack of 5, Part number 91437A555 It turns out that two of these shims are 0.010" or 0.254mm thick and in the video it looks like they tried 0.10mm (not enough), then 0.30mm (apparently too much, although unfortunately I don't understand Japanese) and then settled on 0.20mm thick, so two of these McMaster-Carr shims are very close (0.254mm). While I had the clutch cover off I added two 1/4" washers on top of the clutch hub posts under each of the 6 clutch spring bolt washers to reduce the preload on the springs and make the clutch easier to actuate and more progressive. Two of these washers stacked up reduces the preload on each spring by 3mm which is the same distance as the nice machined clutch spring spacers that Dan provided an image of on page 25. I used two washers, each 1.5mm thick that I ordered from McMaster-Carr: 18-8 Stainless Steel Mil. Spec. Washer Passivated, 1/4" Screw Size, NAS 1149-C0463R Delivers Tuesday, $7.08 per pack of 100, Part number 98017A660 It took me about an hour last night to make these changes and give the bike a test ride. When I came back inside my wife commented, surely you can't be done already?
  9. Must admit that I do feel like a bit of a slacker if I don’t do a bit of clutch disk polishing now and again..... Do you think I have a problem? And yes thank you for your informative posts (and snide comments). Entertaining and informative!
  10. Tonight I installed two 16mm ID shims 0.005” thick in between the washers that are under the bearing for the clutch pressure plate as shown on that Asian video. This increased the disengaged plate clearance from 0.9 to 1.3mm and has greatly reduced clutch drag so I can now shift gears and find neutral at a stop. In addition I installed two 1/4 inch ID washers 1.5mm thick under each of the 6 clutch spring bolts to reduce the spring preload and make the clutch pull a little more pleasant. I can’t really feel the effects yet, but the clutch action and hook up seems good with no slipping in 5th gear. Although I was using that really cool Techno headlight it is too dark tonight to play around in 6th gear. We have too many deer in our neighborhood and I hate crashing. I got the clutch adjustment ideas from Dans clutch fix sticky. Full disclosure I have cleaned and polished my clutch plates per his procedure to eliminate the cold plate sticking. However it seems that my bike also had 0.010” too much clearance in the hydraulic clutch actuators so adding those two 16mm ID x 0.005” thick washers made a noticeable reduction in warm clutch drag. Thanks for all the help guys! Steve
  11. Dan thanks for that tip about nipping a small opening in the carb vent lines to stop undesirable siphoning of fuel. I will give that a try since the bike runs like the carb is clean and properly jetted. I can always tear the carb apart later in the summer when it is too hot to ride if I need a carb maintenance fix. i think I am going to pop outside, nip the vent lines and try to add a couple 0.005 inch shims under the clutch pressure plate in an effort to get more clutch release travel in order to stop the excessive warm clutch drag. I am only seeing about 0.9 mm gap between the clutch disks and the pressure plate with the clutch lever all the way to the handlebar. If I add all 5 of these 0.005” shims that will equal 0.025” or 0.635mm. That should increase the clutch slave travel so I will see about 1.5mm gap between the pressure plate and clutch disks. I figure it’s worth a try. Not being able to find neutral at a stop is not good. I’ll report back.
  12. Huski thanks for the reminder to weight the outside peg to force the front tire to bite during turning. Making turns amongst the trees I tend to fixate on avoiding the trees and I don't consciously lean the bike enough on dry low traction ground. I will need to do daily drills to commit that practice to memory. Even so I have found that I am collecting small tree inflicted bruises on my arms. legs and upper torso since we have initiated a weekly Trials Tuesday at our San Antonio dirt bike ranch with a couple of the other Covid social distancers. I guess I need to social distance just a bit better from the trees. I inherited the Beta from a dear brother in law who lived in Maine, New Hampshire and Montreal. He rode the Bultaco Sherpa T in many trials events in Canada and the US and even got to free ride one cold rainy day in Canada the day before an event with Sammy Miller who lead him up and over things he never would have imagined he could clear. Wearing their leather riding pants, back in the day..... He bought the Beta at the end of his trials career so it mostly sat in the barn with the occasional recommissioning over the years when he wasn't racing sailboats, or skiing, or doing work or family.
  13. I just watched your shock repair video. You are very talented and resourceful! I am impressed. Thanks again.
  14. Thank you so much!
  15. I replaced the 38mm Paioli front fork oil on my 1996 Beta Techno and it was pretty dirty and thin. I noticed smoother fork action with the new 5wt oil. I suspect the rear shock oil is also in poor condition as well. Can I replace the oil in this shock? I think it is non adjustable, but have not seen the top of the shock yet. I have rebuilt Showa and WP pressurized shocks on enduro bikes, but never tried a trails shock before.
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