By Winston “Boss” McKannick
WHICH BRAKE PADS?
It looks like I need to put in new
brake pads on my Honda 400EX,
but I’m not sure which kind would
be best for me. When shopping, I’m
seeing different materials listed,
such as sintered, carbon, metallic
and organic. Some are called heavy
duty or extreme performance. Would
one kind be better if I rode mainly
in mud and water? Would another
kind be better if I rode mainly moto-
cross? What are the basic guidelines
for longer wear versus better grip
and feel? Thanks for sharing your
Tom, it does get confusing with all
these terms bandied about! Some
of these terms are descriptive and
others are ad hype. The harder the
brake pads, the longer they will last,
and there will be less brake friction
for a given braking effort and with
less “brake feel.” The softer the pads,
the shorter their life, but there will
be greater friction for a given braking effort and with more brake feel.
For sand or mud, I recommend sintered brake pads. These can also be
called metallic due to the compound
being infused with copper bits for
greater friction and their ability to
handle high heat.
SPORT QUAD SHOOTOUT
I just read in your November 2013
issue about the comparison between
the 2014 Raptor 700 and Suzuki Z400.
How do you think my 2009 Suzuki
LTR450 stands up to the new Raptor
700? My quad has the Cherry Bomb
chip, aluminum airbox and K&N filter. Can it compete against the bigger engine?
Truck Stop, TX
Lewis, my boy, I wish you were
a bit more specific with your “can
it compete?” question. Compete
where? What type of riding/racing?
If it were for MX, XC or flat-track
racing, I would pick the LTR. If I was
trail riding, I would pick the Raptor.
If I were duning, I would pick the
Raptor. While there is nothing wrong
with the LTR, I personally prefer a
less high-strung quad on a day-to-day basis. You will be on par as far
Got a problem with your ATV?
Send your questions to Dirt Wheels
“Dialed In,” P.O. Box 957, Valencia,
CA 91380-9057. Our e-mail address
is email@example.com, and
include your name, city and state
as straight-line horsepower. Torque
up a sand dune and you might find
the larger engine hard to beat.
YFZ450 FUEL-FILTER FEEDBACK
In your December 2013 col-
umn, Tom Roch was asking about
a replacement fuel filter for his
Yamaha YFZ450 without buying
the whole fuel pump. If you look up
Profill-Australia.com, they sell this
fuel-pump filter for $30, plus $3 ship-
ping to the USA. Thanks for your
Dan, excellent tip! The website’s
images seem to show a quality product. It seems like the best alternative
to an expensive fuel-pump replacement. Their gas tank pre-filter socks
are definitely a novel way to deal
with dirt in the fuel—stops the dirt
at the fuel cap! I am sure our readers will appreciate this tip. The only
downside that I heard about was
gas station pumps tend to froth the
fuel so much that the air/fuel mixture
doesn’t want to flow through the gas
tank socks very fast. This would not
affect the fuel-pump filter socks on
the YFZ450, though.
KICKING THE BOSS’ RANCHER
My actual boss has a 2007 Honda
Rancher that I use at work a lot. It’s
the EFI foot-shift version. I’ve been
having trouble getting it to start. The
other morning was 20 degrees and
it turned over and fired up, but quit
running after three seconds. (Yes, I
checked and made sure it wasn’t out
of gas). Today was 50 degrees, and I
tried starting it again with the same
results. I even tried kicking the tires,
which actually worked one time with
my dirt bike. Boss, can you help us
before we’re forced to take it to the
While not well known, there is a
direct link between cold-starting ability and kicking the tires! Seriously, son,
you might try Honda’s recommended
tip for starting in very cold weather.
With the transmission in neutral and
the ignition switch on, open the thumb
throttle all the way. This shuts down
the fuel and ignition. Start cranking
the engine over with the starter button. At the same time, slowly release
the thumb throttle. At about quarter
throttle, the fuel and ignition are re-enabled and the quad should start.
Immediately release the thumb throttle and let the engine warm up at idle.
SPORTSMAN SHIFT INDICATOR
I have a 2013 Polaris Sportsman
500 with about 100 hours on it. When
I shift it into low, it shows N (neutral)
on the dash. In high it shows an H,
in reverse it shows an R, and in park
it shows a P, like it’s suppose to. The
problem is, you can’t engage 4x4 from
low because it thinks it’s in neutral.
You can only engage 4x4 from high.
The dealer sold me an electrical part
for $77 that plugs into the shift arm.
He said it would fix the problem, but
it didn’t. No one seems to know how
to fix this, so I’m asking the top expert
now. Boss, do you have any ideas?
I assume you mean I’m the “top
expert”? Thanks! I just got my degree
from the school of hard knocks! Your
problem is either located in the six-position gear position switch or the
gear selector resistor pack, which is a
small black box under the seat with a
six-pin weather pack connector. Both
should be disassembled and cleaned
and packed with dielectric grease.
You should obtain a service manual
for your Sportsman 500 and perform
the gear position indicator test outlined in the manual. The expected
resistance values for the gear selector
resistor pack are high 620 Ω, low 300
Ω, neutral 160 Ω, reverse 75 Ω and
park 24 Ω. Also, check the continuity
between the six-position gear position switch to the gear selector resistor pack, and from the gear selector
resistor pack to the back of the speedometer. ❏