Tech Tip 11 Salt Corrosion from Winter Road Riding

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Tech Tip #11

Salt Corrosion from Winter Road Riding

  If your riding habits lean to road riding your ATV during theundefined summer, chances are you do the same thing in the winter too. I won’t go into the legal or ethical ramifications of running an “off-road only” vehicle on the highways, however I will address the mechanical ramifications. Obvious road salt damage shows up on frames, chains, aluminum rims and engine cases.

Damage that isn’t readily apparent occurs to your exhaust system. Sometimes the headpipe is rusted into the exhaust port and only shaking or prying the headpipe will remove it. However, this prying or wiggling is not the best treatment for a severely corroded exhaust because, as with this particular pipe, the right pipe split lengthwise. Why did it split? The pipe’s walls were corroded paper thin. Welding was an exercise in chasing holes.

undefinedTo close the split in the right pipe in preparation for welding, it was bolted into a spare head that was secured in a vice. The collector was bent to close the gap then the welding began. And about the same time, the corroded joint between the left headpipe and it’s flange broke completely away! The official HMCA position at this point was”Take this rusted piece of crap out of here!” No amount of work will ever make it good again. If you dare touch the welds to clean then up visually, the paper thin walls will give away again. Just pop 0 for a new factory headpipe (Yes, 350X headpipes cost that much!). What about welding it up the best way possible and continue to run it? Check out the condition of those clamps that slide over exhaust studs! They are almost rusted away too! Also note the right pipe flange that required welding back on.

And how do you prevent this from happening? Either stay off the salted roads (although some kids only demonstrate enough riding skill to hold the throttle wide open down the middle of a highway) or hose off the machine to remove the damaging effects of sand and salt.


“Farr” Out Controls

 I recently stopped by “Best By Farr” Farms/Sno-Fun Huntingundefined Preserve to pick some raspberries and I spied an unusual setup on a 1986 Honda TRX250 utility. The controls were reversed! There was also a hand shifter, this I had seen before as an accessory sometimes used when plowing. However, the reversed controlls was something different. The throttle now resided upsidedown on the left handlebar and the left electric control, was now upside down on the right. I found the owner, Richard Farr for an explanation of this unusual arrangement. Richard explained that because of the loss of his right hand, the throttle needed to be on the left and the tape on the right grip aided his grippers in holding on to the handlebars. Also because of an artificial left leg, the hand shift was also needed. Richard definitely is creative in the face of adversity. Visit his web page by following the Sno-Fun Preserve link.
    Note: All pictures were “shot” using the new Sony digital Mavica FD-71 floppy disc camera.

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