So, under clear skies and bright sunlight, with temps in the high 50s, I said “enough is enough” and went to work on my bike, a Yamaha XT-250 “dual sport” (meaning street-legal dirt bike). It’s a tiny thing by most standards, but plenty big enough for me.
A few weeks ago I finally tracked down a 14-tooth sprocket for the front, one tooth lower than stock. Very hard to find—got it from a custom place in Oregon for less than $20.
I change the oil and filter. I tightened and oiled the chain. I put air in the tires (the gauge didn’t even register at first). Using a trick that Jayson Maynard showed me, I drained the carb float bowl so it would have fresh gas. I pushed on the starter and it came to life almost immediately! Prior to changing the oil, I warmed up the bike and took it down on the highway. Fifth gear is now usable! Before, fifth was for going down long hills. Now I can keep up to the speed limit (60 mph) even going uphill. The sprocket choice was a good one. The speedometer reads high, of course. The local radar sign says 71 indicated is 60 real.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is for lots of sunshine and warmth. I work four days a week and Friday is my day off, so I’m heading for the Montrose Dunes. Check back tomorrow for a report.