Super Sherpa thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by AZstrommer, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. oldtrialer

    oldtrialer Trials since 74

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    Since the bike came with Kenda 270's, I went for a street ride today to see when I hit reserve. Five roads over mountains, some 55MPH valley roads, 35MPH back roads. Hit reserve at 110 miles. 1.66 gallons to fill tank. 66.27 MPG. Not too bad considering I put on a 13T countershaft for off road. Still cruised at 55 - 60 when needed. Doing about 6100 RPM at 60 MPH. Can't seem to get a proper idle. I can see why some complain about the brakes. Off road is fine, but at higher speed they are lacking a bit. Just a few things to work on over the winter.
    jhonny ro likes this.
  2. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    White Mountains NH
    I paid $17 for a front rear pad set and $13 for a braided front line. My brakes are ok now. The front went from wooden and squishy and dive, to, dive.

    I think you can't really say how fast you are going (edit, unless you check on GPS). Changing tires changes the apparent speed and the revs at apparent speed. I think you are plus/minus 10%.
    I changed tires and bought a speedohealer and will post after I install/calibrate.
  3. AngryHandyman

    AngryHandyman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Welcome to my latest Sherpa maintenance adventure! I had noticed on my last trip to Sooke on the Super Sherpa in June that the clutch was starting to slip, so I ordered some new friction plates and springs as I had no idea the last time they had been replaced. The parts finally arrived after a back order from Japan (for clutch plates!), and I finally took things apart and found this!

    http://www.nickolet.ca/uploads/6/4/4/8/6448798/img-0992_orig.jpeg

    I've posted previously about the nightmare maintenance the previous owner had subjected this poor bike to! (Catch up on all the sordid detail here for an epic tale: http://www.nickolet.ca/kawasaki-super-sherpa.html)

    Argh! The previous owner has screwed me again! Instead of replacing the $40 clutch wheel for the 2 broken spring posts, he used JB Weld or epoxy or something and fastened 2 short bolts from the back, and then used 2 more short bolts from the top to compress the spring plate. Not cool!

    So now I've got the clutch wheel on order. Grrr...

    Fast forward a couple weeks...

    The Sherpa clutch is all back together again, she's back in action! Took a lovely easy ride out Nanaimo Lakes today putting the clutch through it's paces. The Sherpa is running great! Frankenstein's Monster definitely is looking sweet! :-D

    http://www.nickolet.ca/uploads/6/4/4/8/6448798/img-0107_orig.jpg

    http://www.nickolet.ca/uploads/6/4/4/8/6448798/img-0115-resized_orig.jpg

    edit: having trouble with the images Chrome based browsers blocking http linked embedded images from advrider which is https. Adding URL links instead to the images.
  4. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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    Interesting story! No pics showing for me however?
  5. oldtrialer

    oldtrialer Trials since 74

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    According to specs, the stock Bridgestone front is .16 bigger in diameter than the K270. Tire pressure can make that much of a change.
    jhonny ro likes this.
  6. AngryHandyman

    AngryHandyman Adventurer

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    Vancouver Island
    edit: looks like Chrome based browsers are blocking the images, probably because the embedded link is http while ADVrider is https. I'll add the image URLs to the post.
  7. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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    Could be. I am however not using chrome? Good luck!
  8. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    My SpeedoDRD from 12 O'clock Labs got me to where at 60 mph on the speedometer it agrees with 60mph on my GPS. Easy to install, just unplug the speedometer's 3-wire speed plug and insert the DRD inline and tie wrap it inside the head area. I wrapped with a baggie first for extra water protection. The computer part is very small, just big enough so you can hold it and press the one button.

    Setting up is easy but requires (for me) frequent re-reading of the instructions, and test rides. They have an online % calculator which seems to be within 1-2 mph and some fine tuning after test riding gets it right.

    I am glad I removed the distraction of wondering how fast I am going when I look at what the speedometer tells me. I put these on all my bikes in recent years.

    With a 15 tooth sprocket and the Conti road tires, and a tiny tach, it shows around 3500 rpms at a true 38 mph.

    This morning on a flat section of interstate, in 6th gear, she topped out at 70 mph. Downshifting would probably get that higher. This bike is safe on the highway but not a bike to choose for a long highway run.
    oldtrialer likes this.
  9. Paul1955

    Paul1955 n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2021
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    western Massachusetts
    Howdy, I'm a noob!
    About a month ago, a friend told me about a barn find "dirt bike" that he found while doing a roofing job, and I went to check it out.
    Turns out it's a 2001 Super Sherpa with 588 original miles on it!
    It belonged to a 73 year old farmer, who bought it new. Apparently, sometime before mile 588 he did what we used to call an "endo", and crashed the bike. Then he put it in the barn.
    Both levers had the ends broken off, the rear fender has a VERY small piece broken out of it just under the taillight.
    The taillight was replaced with what looks like a brand new OEM Chevy truck taillight from 1938. It looks cool!
    Anyhow, when I went to look at it, it had been sitting in his barn since 2003, according to him. And it looked it. The bike was covered with dirt, dust and what I can only assume was some type of animal crap. BUT...it cleaned up nicely with the only rust appearing in the bottom quarter of the gas tank. So I did the muriatic acid treatment to the tank, cleaned the acorns and what was left of the stock air filter out of the air filter box, cleaned the petcock and carb out thoroughly, slapped in a new battery after I changed the oil and filter...and it fired right up. It now runs and shifts great. I'm having a helluva time trying to find (both) side covers for it, which seems to be the only thing missing. Since I'm not going to plate it, and the rubber mounts for the turn signals had disintegrated, I unplugged them, took them off and stashed them away.
    Amazingly, EVERYTHING WORKS!
    I can see why these bikes are so popular. What a blast this little 250 is to ride!
    So I've ordered up a rear knobby, some grips, a few extra oil filters and a tall front fender for it. I'm waiting on the fender to see what size 21 I can fit on the front.
    So...no "off" position on the petcock? Weird.
    Thanks for reading and any advice about the bike will be appreciated!
  10. bajasam

    bajasam Been here awhile

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    It's got the normal Kawasaki vaccum operated petcock, after stewing in dirt and raccon shit i'd rebuild the diaphram or order one for a yamaha xt250 and eliminate the vacuum one, as long as you can remember to shut a manual one off and on it's much more reliable.
    Paul1955 and jhonny ro like this.
  11. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    Petcock - on is off.
    Paul1955 likes this.
  12. Paul1955

    Paul1955 n00b

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    Yep, I cleaned the hell out of the petcock and it seems to work as it should. I read in this thread about the XT replacement, but I figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Anybody know how tall and wide of a 21 I can put on the front with the high fender?
  13. AngryHandyman

    AngryHandyman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    September 6-9, 2021
    What was intended to be a 5 day camping trip with the Super Sherpa and 2 other friends, ended up being cut short by torrential rain that started in the late afternoon on day 3. The Sherpa held up admirably and packed me and my gear across hundreds of Kms of logging roads, forestry roads and 100 Km/h highways with the entire trip totalling 1084 Km travelled.

    VI 1000 Map.png
    Day 1 was a lot of highway Kms, to get to Campbell River. We then enjoyed some forestry roads and logging roads to Gold River, then went on to Tahsis where we were unfortunately unable to get a camp site at the first come first serve BC Recreation Camping site just outside the village. In Tahsis we were glad to get set up at a RV site for our first night. It was nothing rustic but was clean, dry and had a great view.

    IMG_0133_resized.jpg
    IMG_0139_resized.jpg
    IMG_0141_resized.jpg
    IMG_0147_resized.jpg
    Day 2 was a lovely warm day, traveling almost entirely on logging and forestry roads. After back tracking into Gold River for gas and lunch we began the trek out to Woss, making quick pit stops at the Vernon Lake rec site which was, to our surprise, fully occupied after the Labour Day long weekend, as well as checking out what remains of a rail road logging operation just outside of Woss. After a tip from a fellow rider at the Woss gas station, we spent the night at the Atluck Lake Rec site which we had essentially to ourselves.

    IMG_0162_resized.jpg

    IMG_0170_resized.jpg
    Day 3 It had rained overnight and continued to fall while we packed up in the morning. The morning rain didn't last too long and we headed out on some terrific forestry roads, riding from AtLuck Lake on our way to Port Alice.

    Two interesting stops along the way was Devil's Bath and Eternal Fountain. Devil's Bath is the largest cenoté north of Mexico. What is a cenoté? Basically it is a big hole in the ground filled with water. This unique geological feature measures 360 metres (1,180 ft) around and 44 metres (145 ft) deep. The entire area around the Benson River displays karst features (sinkholes, springs that flow out of the ground then go underground again), of which Devil’s Bath is the most prominent. At Eternal Fountain, the creek falls over a limestone ledge before reversing direction and disappearing into the ground. It does looks like a water fountain. The waterfall tunnels twist and turn as an underground stream continues downward into a cave.

    Just as we were getting closer to Port Alice in the late afternoon, the rain retuned coming down pretty hard. We got into Port Alice hoping for a motel so we could dry out, but all the accommodations in town had closed in recent years after the pulp mill had closed. The the rain was coming fast and furious, we gassed up and booked it to Port Hardy where we managed to get the last room out of the 3 motels in town. We were very tired, cold and hungry!


    Day 4 was still raining. We had decided to cut the trip short the night before, as the weather forecast was showing 100% rain over the next several days which was disappointing as there were still several destinations we wanted to get to. We had a brief break in the rain as we headed out, but that didn't last long. South of Port McNeill was the fiercest wave of rain yet! About half way along the highway skirting Nimpkish lake the Sherpa engine started cutting out and quickly died. I was pretty sure I had a wet spark plug as I have experienced this before, usually after washing the bike. Water tends to pool in and around the spark plug boot. In the down pour, I managed to dry out the plug and boot with a couple napkins, and after a shot of WD40 into the plug boot I was off and running again.

    The rain continued for about 2 hours until just outside Campbell River. At this point we noticed the temperature had also started to rise and we were no longer freezing cold, just "regular" cold, not to mention, completely soaked. At the final stop in Courtenay for gas, I noticed my rear brakes were not responding, and a quick inspection at the gas station showed that at some point, somehow, I had lost a rear brake pad! Well, I still had front brakes and was off again, determined to get home! I arrived home mid afternoon, wet and very tired. What a trip! It was a lot of fun and was just a taste of the vast areas to explore on northern Vancouver Island.

    I left all my gear on the bike, went inside and immediately had a long a lovely shower, followed by some food and a glorious nap! I didn't unpack anything until the next day which was warm and sunny. I dried out the tent and all my gear and took apart the rear brake to see what happened and needed to be repaired.

    Next day...

    Well, the seal blew out on the Super Sherpa rear brake and the remaining pad was very worn down. Since everything is pressure mounted and held by the pad spring and the piston, I can only assume that the blown seal, piston, and very thin brake pad had managed to allow the pad slip out of position and fall out completely. The piston looks in pretty bad shape, rust and pitting but the rest looks like it will be OK after a good cleaning. On the parts order list is new seals, piston, pads, and brake rotor. I'll do the pads and rotor on the front brake as well.

    caliper 1.jpg
    caliper 2.jpg

    Attached Files:

  14. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    Dec 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    White Mountains NH
    The brake saga above shows the bike had a long life and was used a lot. Easy to get back in shape.

    My carb progress - mentioned before, my bike came with two carbs, a 20 year old one that "did not work" and a new one that ran bad, leading to seller giving up on the bike with 1,890 on the odometer.

    Derek showed me how to think of the carbs, and I got the old one set to OEM USA low altitude, by the book. Somebody had put in a #30 pilot air jet, it wants 17.5, this is a jet nobody ever suggests changing. It had #30 main with the other common jet change (forget what it is) which I put back to OEM, and a broken o-ring above the air bleed screw. The float level was a few MM too low.

    Now the bike runs perfectly. I follow startup procedure as in manual, and in 2 minutes she runs perfect with no choke. I am at sea level and it has been above 70F lately.

    I am not sure why people at sea level need more than to properly adjust the thing, meaning tune it up the same as setting valves or tire pressure or oil level. Set up by the book, it needs nothing more to run perfectly.

    Except the airscrew under the anti tamper plug is always an illegal must-do.

    Nobody at sea level is going to get more power, in any significant amount, by mods, except the 300cc path.


    I have had other carb bikes that ran better with washers and and jets, and I never checked the float level. TW200, EX500, GS500, XJ600, on and on. I wonder about those now.

    I remember when I was a kid, reading my first motorcycle magazines, an editorial said to hop up the average bike you would be wise to get it back to stock, before going beyond stock.


    I have the "new" carb on the shelf now. It was not set up at all by whoever put it on, (a Harley Dealer in LI NY) the air screw was zero turns out and the float very low. I set up with Derek's Greek parts, and something is wrong, maybe the choke, can't get it to idle right, it stalls after a run when pulling to a stop, then idles ok, with plus 300 minus 300 after restarting. It throws off a lot of heat after parking with that carb on it. Does not make more power.

    Postpone further carb tinkering to the spring, new pegs are next then seat and Wapiti rack. After that, suspension and a Royal Enfield 650 is getting closer to my inbound pipeline.

    The bike is a lot of fun on my local roads, with road tires and +1 front sprocket. Feels fast when going slow = perfect.
    V0R2G0 likes this.
  15. motolab

    motolab Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
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    7,268
    I hope you're not implying that I recommend the OEM USA low altitude settings.
    I don't think they even make pilot air bleed jets as small as size 30 (let alone size 17.5). If you're referring to the pilot jet, that is indeed a size 17.5 stock, and some do install/advocate installing a size 30 (which I completely disagree with).
    I don't think they make a Mikuni large round main jet as small as a size 30. If they did, and you installed one, the engine wouldn't really run if the throttle was opened.

    The idle mixture screws found on BST-series carburetors are fuel screws (air screws are quite rare in OEM 4-stroke applications).
    Using the term "float level" is a bit confusing as it's an amalgam of float height and fuel level. This is important because of their inverse relationship.
    BST34 carburetors have cold start enrichment circuits instead of chokes. A choke is closed when an engine is cold and opened when it is warm, whereas an enrichment circuit is opened when the engine is cold and closed when it is warm. A choke works by restricting the air flow and by lowering the pressure inside the venturi, which causes the existing jets to meter more fuel, whereas an enrichment circuit adds extra fuel without restricting the air flow. A choke requires a fast idle cam or something akin to it (or you have to hold the throttle open manually), whereas an enrichment circuit adds a little extra air simultaneously with the extra fuel, so the fast idle is already built in. Chokes are not commonly found on motorcycle carburetors nowadays.
    What does "properly adjust the thing" entail as far as you're concerned?
    Set up to what specification from what book?
    Aha, it sounds like you're saying that aside from setting the float height, adjusting the fuel screw is the only thing that should be done. I disagree with this because all road-legal motorcycles sold in the USA since the EPA started setting emissions standards for motorcycles suffer from lean mixtures from idle usually up to 25% opening or so in as-delivered condition, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is beneficial to address this. As I've stated before, the formula that has time and time again been proven to work best is to copy the setup from a country other than the USA (ideally also not Austria, Switzerland, or in later years Canada), but with the needle raised by one more clip position.
    Please define the words "significant" and "mods".
    Does the symptom improve or get worse as the engine warms? By what method was the fuel screw adjusted, and what is the resultant setting?
    More heat implies lean mixtures, but the Greek setup richens the mixture.
    What equipment are you using to measure this? What openings does it apply to?

    Regards,

    Derek
    thewbee and jhonny ro like this.
  16. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    Dec 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    White Mountains NH
    Many items, here we go. I am sure the 2nd carb will be better than the first once I redo it and find my mistake in the assembly. I try to do as Derek suggests but got something wrong.

    Derek never recommended to use a stock carb with OEM settings, but I have two carbs and one is now using OEM EPA complaint parts for low altitude and oem settings except for the fuel screw. It is my baseline. More precise than trying to remember "what it felt like before" in a way.

    The #30 pilot air jet, I think it was what I call it. The factory manual carburetor diagram is almost perfect for naming parts.

    Main, I think I meant #130 not #30.

    Fuel screw, air screw, ok. Point taken. Can we call it an idle mixture screw?

    Float level checked both ways shown in the Kawasaki shop manual. 14.5 mm up from the edge measuring the float dry with bowls off and upside down, then XX (I forget) mm up from the float bowl joint edge using a clear fuel line and gasoline. The two methods agreed.

    Properly adjust, = no new parts, just set up according to factory manual, chapter two. Then adjust the fuel screw.

    EPA settings; I agree, my 2nd carb will work better once I finish finding what I did wrong while assembling it.

    Significant power increase = make a 20 hp bike into a 30 hp bike. That is significant, in my opinion. Better to go buy a 30 hp bike if that is what you want. Again my opinion.

    The second carb, it has something really wrong, requires disassembly again. No doubt a mistake of mine. It gets worse as it warms, to where it is basically unridable.

    More power as measured by my arms, highly imprecise. Maybe the jump from bad running at lower rpms to cleaner running at higher rpm/throttle seemed like, more power. An illusion.

    I think the actual power will be enhanced with the 2nd carb, as measured by a dynamometer. Probably noticeable and more so if you have two bikes side by side to compare.

    Thanks Derek for supporting carburetors here and elsewhere.
  17. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    Dec 16, 2009
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    White Mountains NH
    the pic is of the Kawasaki shop manual for the sherpa. I hope it loads properly. Kawasaki calls the cold start enrichment mechanism, a choke. This is attriutabale to Kawi Group HQ @ Chūō, Kobe, Japan Minato, Tokyo, Japan and their recently segmented power sports segment.

    That shop manual is englishified, the choke reference is reminiscent of the common automotive dashboard check engine light that is a softly glowing orange line drawing image of old school American (Aussie) v8 with 4 barrel carb and belt driven radiator fan.

    Attached Files:

  18. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    pic of carb diagram and the part name, somebody put in a very wrong Pilot Air Jet 1 in my old carb. Runs better with the OEM one

    Attached Files:

  19. jhonny ro

    jhonny ro Been here awhile

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    For people following the dialogue between John and Derek, I am 100% on board, and in the morning will rip apart that 2nd Greek setup carb to see what I did wrong while installing Derek's parts. Will post happy answer soon enough.

    When the New England temperatures get colder I fully expect my first OEM setup carb to not work well.

    Today I tightened my " ahem" choke cable at its 17mm nylon fastening nut up near handlebar, it now does not slide down to off, on its own, so quickly, and the warmup is more predictable.

    Rode around today, in future will share pics of good rides instead of the bike tuning.

    Cheers all!
  20. motolab

    motolab Long timer

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    You said this jet had been a size 30. Are you sure about that? The smallest jet of this type that I know of that is available anywhere is a size 45.

    Regards,

    Derek