Stillwater 12-20-03

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Mar 23, 2000
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#1
Weather cooperated so that I could get my new '01 KDX220 out to the 500. The bike had an EFM auto-clutch on it, so I was looking forward to trying it out.
Terry, Scott and I showed up at the same time and we got geared up to go. Terry was on his WR250, and Scott had his newly aquired '89CR250. We did a couple of short loops and the auto-clutch performed as expected. It took a little bit to get re-trained with clutch lever that was now a rear brake. The more I rode, the easier it was to up the speed a little. Terry and Scott weren't cutting me any slack in the speed department, so I had a few 'oops' with the clutch/brake lever, but nothing that put me down.
After a couple of miles, I was very comfortable with the new set-up. We stopped by the camp and picked up Dwreck and his new recruit, Jeff. (Both on KX250s)
The 5 of us set out for a longer loop and I ended up just running along in 3rd gear, letting the auto-clutch take over in a tight corner. The slippage was perfect, you could do the same thing with a manual clutch, but it's no effort with the auto. The 220 has noticeably better pull at low rpms, (of course). We ended up running fast trail pace, no problems. Periodically I would go full out, had a few reflex situations that didn't cause any problems other than loosing some speed.
There was one gnarly hill that I took with absolutely no problems. Jeff had taken the left line and stalled out on some rocks/roots. I took the right line which was all rocks. Did it in 1st gear, and when bouncing up the rocks at the top, there was no hesitation 'cause of the spot on feel of the clutch. It was a matter of giving it enough gas without overreving/overclutching. Nice control.
My son and his buddy showed up and took several short loops. They are new to trail riding, so we stayed on the close trails so they wouldn't get any suprises. Both tried the auto-clutch as well as the manual KDX200. Chris had a little trouble on the first couple of rounds, and no problems later on the manual clutched bike. I think since he was so new, that he had a real steep learning curve. Clay had the auto on the later loops, and said it was more fun to ride than the manual.
Final impressions. (Bearing in mind that after 6+ years of participating in enduros, there are NO trophies at my house. I am a trail rider that enjoys enduros because of seeing new areas, and having a sweep crew behind me!)
The auto-clutch is great for play/trail riding. When I wasn't pushing, it was fun to let it take care of me.
For racing, (for me), I think it will be a mod that helps more than hurts.
Time will tell, one of the 200s will always be around. At this time, I'll be keeping it manual.
 

tdjok

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Feb 16, 2003
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#3
The day was wonderful. Beautiful weather, great friends, red mud and dirt bikes. As usual, Craig and DWreck never let us see the underside of their bikes. Scott, Jeff and I took a few soil samples just to ensure that we had the correct tires for the conditions. Actually there was no soil where I went down, only rocks and tree roots. I believe this was the gnarly hill that Craig referred to. The Devoll radiator guards paid for themselves once again.

Thanks Craig, DWreck, Scott and Jeff. It was a blast riding with you. Hope we can all do it again soon.