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Author Topic: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find  (Read 5137 times)

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Offline tyrroneous

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Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« on: November 21, 2013, 11:20:54 AM »
Long post with no real purpose ahead!!

Backstory---Like many here, I am crazy for motorcycles.  Its really my only hobby/passion.  I don't hunt or fish or golf or anything else really.  But I do, at times, feel guilty for leaving my wife and three kids at home while I'm away on a weekend trip or trackday, etc.  Luckily, my wife rides as well, so she is very understanding, and I don't take very many overnight trips since the kids are all under the age of 10.  But still, I do feel a little selfish at times.  So to help satiate my desire to ride motorcycles and yet spend time with the family,  I've got a goal to outfit everybody in my family with a dirt bike.  The idea being to haul the bikes to an ORV park, camp and ride together as a family.  I get to ride bikes and be a loving dad at the same time.  WIN!!

I let my wife ride my XR400R.  She can ride it, but its really tall and kickstart only.  So if she dumps it in the woods, on a slippery trail, she's going to have a hard time getting it started again.  While Angela likes riding motorcycles, she's not as, uhh, passionate about them as I am.  So I want to make riding off road as easy and stress free for her as possible.  She needed something smaller and with a magic e-start button.  Thus began my search for a Kawasaki KLX140L.

I answered an add on Craigslist...2008 KLX140L for $950.  The description in the add was something along the line of "runs great, missing one piece of plastic and broken kickstand, new battery, ends of both clutch and brake lever were broken but still work".  The picture in the add didn't look too bad and he's only 4 hrs from me on the AL/GA line.  Called the seller.  He cranked the bike up while I was on the phone.  It sounded ok.  I asked about chain/sprockets and tires.  Everything is in good shape he tells me.  Just come pick it up and ride it.  I offered $700 for it and he accepted.

I hooked the trailer to the van and hauled butt all the way across Alabama with my 4 yo. daughter as a traveling partner.  When I got there (out in the middle of nowhere), the seller met me at the end of his driveway. 

I looked the bike over and it was much rougher than I had hoped.  I guess his idea of good tires and chain/sprockets was a lot different than mine!  The rear sprocket teeth were hooked worse than anything I've ever seen.  The chain appeared to have never been cleaned/lubed.  The tires were both badly worn.  And the plastics were sun bleached and had what appeared to be mildew/mold spots in places and fasteners had been replaced with zip ties to hold on the plastics.  But, the bike ran/shifted fine, didn't burn oil and didn't appear to leak any either.  I loose any ability I have to think rationally when it comes time to purchasing motorcycles and I talked myself into buying it because I hate to drive 8 hrs round trip only to come back empty handed.  Plus, I kinda like the idea of fixing this little bike up.  I lowered my offer to $650 since it was in worse condition than he described.  We shook hands, traded money, and loaded the sad little machine onto the trailer.

When I got home, my wife took one look at her new bike and said it reminded her of Little Orphan Annie because it looked so pitiful.  So that is what we're going to name the bike...Little Orphan Annie.  I assured her I will turn the bike into something she is proud to ride.  I'm not done yet, but I'm getting close!



 

     

Offline TwistedT

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 11:28:15 AM »
Sounds like it could be a fun project, post some before and after pictures.  :bigok:
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Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 11:37:24 AM »
Sounds like it could be a fun project, post some before and after pictures.  :bigok:


Crap!! Forgot about the picture.  I took one cell phone pic once I had already started the teardown.  So it won't really be a great 'before' picture.

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« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 09:31:33 AM by tyrroneous »

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 12:18:48 PM »
 :thumbsup:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

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Offline Moto Morphin Power Ranger

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 01:14:09 PM »
 :clap:

please post your progress
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Offline Stargzrgrl

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 02:52:05 PM »
I love these kind of posts!   Looking forward to the after pics!

Offline CLAY

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 09:01:22 PM »
I love these kind of posts!   Looking forward to the after pics!
+1!

I love the process.   :thumbsup:
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Offline JonS

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 06:11:41 AM »
I think that you did good with your purchase. Tires, sprocket and chain, and plastic are all fairly inexpensive on dirt bikes. Looking forward to the after picture.
You can't avoid aging, but you don't have to get old.

Offline Royal Tiger

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 09:32:09 AM »
The KLX140L is the bike I want to get for my daughter as she has long since outgrown the PW80.  Good luck and congrats!
~Dan

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Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 09:53:08 AM »
Quick update:

Little Orphan Annie is nearing completion!  I rode it around the yard a bit yesterday and she seems to run pretty well.  The bike is cold blooded though, took a while to warm up and there is a bit of an off-idle stumble.  Will probably try and change the jetting to improve those two minor gripes.

To date:  New chain, new Renthal sprockets, new Uni air filter, replaced some missing plastics, bled front and rear brakes, built new ignition switch housing, repaired broken axle adjuster bolt, cleaned and lubed all rear suspension linkage bearings, changed oil, recovered seat, inspected valves.

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This is the old counter shaft sprocket with severely worn and broken teeth.  Remember, the owner said the chain and sprockets were 'fine'.  I'd hate to see what he deems needing replacement!!

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Axle adjuster bolt on right side of swingarm had the head twisted off of it.  I tried using an ez-out but was unsuccessful.  I tried slotting it and using a flat head screwdriver, but was unsuccessful.  So I drilled through it and re-tapped the hole.

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Repaired axle adjuster.  I had to grind down the head of the bolt so that a 10mm wrench would fit as I couldn't get a 13mm wrench to fit in the shallow recess around the bolt head.

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The old seat was cracked and torn in several places.  The seller had used black duct tape to 'repair' it.  I would not want my wife to have to sit on a crappy seat, so I purchased a sheet of grippy seat vinyl and went about the task of recovering the seat.  It took a few tries, but I eventually got the technique down pretty well. 

I also had to build a new housing for the ignition switch that resides behind the front number plate.  I don't know why, but the bike has two ignition switches in series, one on the left handle bar, and one behind the number plate.  The housing for the switch behind the number plate was gone when I bought the bike and it was just flapping around by the wires.  An OEM switch was almost $60, so I fabbed one up out of an old license plate.  It only looks slightly ghetto, but it works.  I may go in and eliminate the need for the repaired switch all together, since it seems kinda pointless to begin with.

I love the valve inspections on these 2 valve thumpers.  It took all of 15 minutes to do.  Both valves were smack in the middle of their allowable clearance ranges.

So the remaining mechanical item to repair before the bike is ready for the trails is to replace the clutch perch.  I had purchased a new clutch lever and when I went to replace the old, broken lever, I realized the clutch perch was not actually a clutch perch but a cable actuated brake perch flipped upside down!  Crap.  So I had to order a new perch and am waiting for it to arrive.  The bike needs new tires, but that will have to wait until after the holidays.  I would love to replace the old faded plastics, but I think since this will be a woods bike and will undoubtedly be seeing a lot of drops, its best just to let it look a bit rough for right now.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 10:06:02 AM by tyrroneous »

Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 10:04:12 AM »
Does anybody know any tricks to get the baked on dirt off of the cylinder fins?  I've tried engine degreaser and Simple Green and scrubbing with a tooth brush, but it doesn't really make a dent.  Plus, when I brush my teeth afterwords, I get a lot of grit and a strong chemical taste.   The cylinder still has this thin layer of crud on it that just makes it look dinged. 

Offline Veefer800canuck

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 10:25:34 AM »
There are those simple soda blasters that use compressed air, baking soda, and water.

But that's probably too involved for a dirt bike. More of a restoration tool for things that will stay nice.
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Offline giaka

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 01:23:13 PM »
Does anybody know any tricks to get the baked on dirt off of the cylinder fins?  I've tried engine degreaser and Simple Green and scrubbing with a tooth brush, but it doesn't really make a dent.  Plus, when I brush my teeth afterwords, I get a lot of grit and a strong chemical taste.   The cylinder still has this thin layer of crud on it that just makes it look dinged.

Clean it as best you can and use aluminum colored engine paint.  :bigok:
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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 01:26:30 PM »
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It's mildly acidic so rinse well.

Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2013, 01:32:46 PM »
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It's mildly acidic so rinse well.


Cool!  Thanks for the tip. 

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 01:39:09 PM »
Just be sure to read and follow the directions.  It's basically phosphoric and sulfuric acid. 




Oh , and unicorn farts.  I think that's the secret ingredient that brings out the shine.

Offline Stargzrgrl

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2014, 03:14:42 PM »
*BUMP!*. So, how's this project coming along?

Offline tyrroneous

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Re: Little Orphan Annie---The tail of a Craigslist find
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2014, 10:35:51 PM »
I am proud to announce that Little Orphan Annie is now a contributing member of the family!  For my birthday back in early december, Angela surprised me with a trip for the two of us to an ORV park outside of Birmingham.  We loaded up both bikes and headed East.  Luckily for us, this park had a kiddie/beginner track that was perfectly suited to Angela's skill set and comfort level. 

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She had a great time and Little Orphan Annie ran great all weekend long. 

Items that still need attention:

I still need to get new tires for it and for some reason, after I replaced the clutch perch, the cable became just a fraction too short.  I had to do some creative rigging to get the existing cable to work at all and now the clutch lever has no slack whatsoever and only works at the very end of its travel.  All of that adds up to make the bike a little akward to ride in that regard. Oh, and she's still really cold blooded but I haven't found any info on suggested jetting changes yet.