Don’t Ask: Rick Sieman Answers Your DirtBike Questions

The legendary Rick “Super Hunky” Sieman revisits dirtbike topics old and new in his latest edition of’s Don’t Ask column.

Super-Hunky-Dont-Ask-07-14-2016Don’t Ask!

Go ahead, but if your question is stupid, you’ve been warned…

If you choose to email a question to this forum, then you must conduct yourself accordingly. Therefore, the following rules are in order:

1. Do not write your email to me IN CAPS. If you do so, I will print out your question and do terrible things to it.

2. Do not request a personal e-mail response. Since I get thousands of questions each month, trying to answer them all would cut deeply into my leisure time, which I value more than your current state of confusion.

3. Try to spell at least in a semi-correct fashion. If you choose to mangle the English language, expect no mercy from this quarter. You might be mocked severely.

4. Do not ask for me to send you copies of my many manuals and literature. I am not in the library business, nor do I want to spend the bulk of my day at the copy machine just because you’re too lazy to ask your dealer, or look around a bit.

5. Don’t bother me with truly stupid questions, like how to get 50 more horsepower for a buck and a half

6. Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!


Who was Wheelsmith Racing back in the late ’70s? And is there any relation to the Wheelsmith Racing currently operating and tuning bikes north of the San Francisco Bay?
Garon Burwell

Here are a few thoughts from some of our readers regarding Wheelsmith:

I’m not sure that Darrel really rode for Wheelsmith or if it was more like he rode for the Maico importer and had some support in Wheelsmith parts and probably had his engine tweaked a bit by Wheelsmith (porting, pipe, reed valve, carb?) At the time Wheelsmith was the sort of unofficial US development arm of Maico. They made parts to improve performance and reliability of Maicos and sometimes got advance samples of production parts and some works parts and the like from Germany.

I was reading a story in VMX about Wheel Smith awhile back. They were so big at one time here. When Macio went bankrupt, they were saying that the Wheel Smith Shop went out of business a few years later. They talked of throwing away dumpster after dumpster of Maico and Wheel Smith parts. Can you see that! Could you see what a lot of those parts would fetch now days. If only we old timers knew then what the value of our old “junk” would be worth, we all could have been rich! Anyway, when ever I hear Wheel Smith, I think of the late Gaylon Mosier, what a champ he was. Thanks for a blast from the past.

Wheelsmith Racing
Paul Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
Web: Phone: (415) 491-5920
Marc Salvisberg

Wheelsmith Racing is a privately held company in San Rafael, CA and is a Single Location business.Categorized under Wholesale Motorcycle Parts. Our records show it was established in 1985 and incorporated in California. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 621628 and employs a staff of approximately 10.,/em>



You are one of my heroes. (My son “John” … quite a handsome devil … met you once in Mexico … he was on a surfing safari … met you somehow… you invited him and his friends to your hacienda … he told you I was a “MX-er” and you gave him some posters of classic vintage motocross bikes !!! …. or, so the story goes)

Anyway I grew up in south Louisiana … enamored with motocross… and couldn’t find any motocross faces anywhere in rural south Louisiana… so, as you might imagine, I was elated whenever the latest edition of dirt bike magazine became available…. I begged my mother to pur’s chase same, and she always acquiesced…

Thank you so very much for what you have done for so many people… I would love to meet you … Just a quick, happy little story. Every couple of years I reread your list of “the Ten Worst DirtBikes of all time.” (I really enjoy that article!!!)

I must confess…
I’m 57…
I’m a vintage MXer… and…
I love my YZ490…
I love my SC500… and…
I love my TM400 !!!!!!!

Please jot me a note… if you can, just to let me know that you “got” this message…

Wishing you “all the best”
Rex Preddy
San Diego, CA



DirtBikeGreat memories! Here’s My Little Buddy imitating Kookie, or at least trying, the TW doesn’t go fast like a Husky.
John Wright



You have a new product review waiting.
Reviewer: Jesse
Rating: 5
Review Text:
The funniest book since Tom Sawyer. Worth every bit of the price. I’ve bought it twice, because I loaned it out and didn’t get it back. A literary masterpizza, with everything!


Hello, Rick.
Remember about a year or so ago my story about stopping the “Old Fart” wearing the “blown-out Maico T shirt” in the WalMart parking lot? Old dude has a vast collection of Maicos and other fine vintage dirt bikes.

Well, it happened again today.

Leslie, one of her grandsons and I stopped at this indoor swap meet-type place, “Picker’s Paradise” to eyeball the junk. I scored a nice 1/4-inch drive Craftsman socket set, standard & metric ($10!). “Jacob” scored some Hot Wheels and a toy jet plane.

Anyway, I went out in the parking lot for a smoke and this “Old Fart” came out wearing a threadbare BSA hat. I just had to ask: “Got a BSA?”

“Don” said, “I got 9 of them!” He told me he’s 79 years old and has been an avid BSA collector and racer. I forget the one particular race he mentioned he’d won, somewhere in Oregon in the 1950’s and his partial list of BSA’s. He said he also has “…two Triumphs and two Yamaha TT500s.”
Now he’d gotten my attention!

So, we chatted and I told him of my first “real” motorcycle, the 1968 BSA Starfire and my three TT500’s.

Long story short, he invited me out to his place anytime to look at his collection. He lives Chiloquin, Oregon, about 105 miles away, a hop, skip and a jump for any vintage motorcycle enthusiast! I’d be a fool to not take him up on his offer!

I’d asked hm if he had an email address so I could send him pictures of my 1979 Yamahs “BSR650” thumper, my “Poor man’s Gold Star”.

“Nope! I don’t even own a cell phone, much less a computer!” My kind of guy! I do own a computer, but I don’t believe in cellular phones. “Too easy”. Real men use phone booths!

This is another reason to stop and chat-up anyone wearing motorcycle-related clothing, especially those “Old Farts” who are all dying off.

Oh, he mentioned his grandson owning one of those Hondaha 250F-whatever high-strung hand grenade modern “thumpers” and his ride on it. He said he about looped-out when he hit second, ran it though the rest of the gears and that was enough for him! Too much weird power! When describing the bike, he said, “You know, those bikes with a piston skirt about this tall:” holding his thumb and forefinger about 1 inch apart. It looked like he knew enough that I didn’t have to tell him the 30-hour lifespan of those useless “modern” thumpers.

I’ll keep you posted.

David “TT500” Fruhling


I’m an amateur rider with a couple years under my belt. I ride motocross and occasional trails. I was thinking out a 150RB. I’m 5’10”, 130 pounds. I’m 14. What you think? Am I too big? I would be running moto and some GNCC.

Guess who else thinks that 150 Honda is a great bike? Brad Lackey, that’s who. Fred says he can turn lap times real close to what he can do any other kind of bike with that particular unit.


Hi. Rick
I found your name on your website. Can you point me to some place to list this 1971 CZ400 for sale or are you interested purchasing it? The bike is located in Chicago Illinois.
Matt McGinn


If the CZ you found was in really good shape it started and ran fine, you might get $4500 or so for the bike. But after looking at the pictures you sent and getting some basic information from you, you’re going to be lucky to get $500 or $600 for it. From what I can see, it’s not a resto bike. It’s a parts bike.



Good morning, Rick,
My memory is getting pretty foggy with age but, I figured I’d take shot and try yours. I know you probably have better things to do so I won’t take offense if you don’t reply. I could swear that Dirt Bike did a story on a fuel-injected Honda two-stroke back in the late ’80s, maybe early ’90s. 400cc? e400? Does any of this ring a bell? I’d love to find the article if possible. With KTMs release of injected two-strokes it started me thinking about the Honda. My friends think I’m full of it, regarding the Honda.


Thanks for your thoughts.
Tony Dincau
(a long time From the Saddle, Monkey Butt reader and former Sahara Club member)

They never released a two-stroke fuel injection. The Honda EXP-2 was an off-road experimental prototype motorcycle, designed in 1995, with a fuel-injected 400cc (24 cu.-in.) two-stroke engine. It was intended to serve global markets that still relied heavily on two-stroke technology, but to comply with increasingly strict emissions laws.



Hi. Terry from Canada. Call me crazy , but I just picked up a 1981 CR450R. I’m looking for any information on any 1982 480 head conversions. I actually found a complete second motor that someone has bored out to 89mm. Any information would be great. It’s hard to find parts and even harder to find good people who worked on them.

Thanks again,
Terry Batstone


I don’t know why you picked up a CR 50, because it was one of the truly bad Hondas ever made. I have heard about riders putting entire CR 500 heads in barrels on a bike and were very happy with it, but I don’t have any further information. Good luck.



Hello, Rick,

Somewhere along in 1973-74 at the Jackrabbit 100 in idaho, I came to see if I could get close enough to my her0, “Super Hunky,” whose articles I lived to read in Dirt Bike each month. After pushing through the crowd, I stood and watched as you and another fellow unloaded two brand new Yankee 500 twin-cylinders. I watched you kick it, trying to start it about twenty kicks and then you pulled the compression release and misted anyone who wanted to get close enough to observe, including me. The other fellow kicked and kicked on his Yankee, and you sat on your bike until he was totally winded. Out of breath he asked you, “What’s the trick to starting these things?” I still laugh at your answer when I remember that day. Do you recall what you told him?
Don Dwain


A few things need to be detailed out properly. We had a 501 Maico and a Yankee 500Z; we did not have a pair of the twins. I don’t recall what we said on that day, but we just talked with Keith Lynas, the man who knows more about Yankee twins than anybody else, ([email protected] ) and he gave us straight scoop. Here it is

Yankee 500Z Starting Ritual: Be absolutely certain the fridge is well stocked with barley soda. Depress rocker switch to “on” and turn on the petcock. Push down priming button for a few seconds, on both 27mm IRZ CT carbs. Then fold out kickstart arm. Pull compression release halfway (engages one cylinder). Apply effective boot pressure to kickstart arm rapidly while also slightly opening throttle while still applying compression release halfway.

Listen to the sound and watch the smoke from a running Yankee 500Z. Time for a barley soda…..

Or maybe a tuna sandwich with Marty Tripes…….



I got another “old fart” story!

I just got off the blower with a “Gary” who responded to my Craigslist ad for “antique tools.” The subject of motorcycles came up. He’s also 62 and started riding in 1968 on Hondas from the local Honda shop in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Long story short, he recently sold his 1958 Gold Star ($8000 + thousands in spare parts). Missed the sonofabitch! He said he rode it for years.

He went on with: “I owned 21 Bultacos at one time, but only own one today, a Sherpa T350” and a street legal Husaberg that he’s had over 100 mph. Didn’t say what engine size but it’s got to be a fairly large thumper.

We’re going to meet up someday, and I told him about my “poor man’s Gold Star,” the ’79 SR500 with its Hi-Per-Kinetics Stage Two 650 engine.

Will talk later, Rick.

David Fruhling



My new book, THE LAST RIDE, is at now out. It’s fiction and starts in 1969, when an 18-year-old kid just out of high school gets a chance to ride his Yamaha 250 DT1 from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles … all off-road. His adventures are truly amazing. The book then jumps 40+ years where the same person, now in his 60s, wants to get that old Yamaha back in his possession and return it home by riding it all off-road across the country again. The book is $15 plus $2.75 for mail anywhere in the US and for more information.

The email is: [email protected]
Paypal address: [email protected]