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Speed...Yup, ethanol could be the culprit on the H-D, though two months would be short time for any damage...The needle could be stuck in its seat. Light tapping with a screwdriver handle at the float bowl will usually loosen the float needle. Quick story: My vintage Honda XR350R dirt bike set for over a year with no Stabil in the tank and "winter" (likely MTBE additive) fuel in the tank. The dual carburetors each had clogged, with the primary carb's pilot jet low enough to be submerged in the fuel bowl. The engine would not idle nor would it respond to mixture adjustments. I dropped the primary bowl with the carb in place and sprayed carburetor cleaner directly upward through the pilot jet. The jet would not clear out. I eventually removed both carburetors (not a simple task) and rebuilt them with $20 (apiece) overhaul gasket kits from Honda, rather pricey for nothing more than O-rings and neoprene gaskets. The pilot jet on the primary carburetor was so impacted with encrusted ethanol fuel that it was impossible to clean out. No amount of soaking in caustic carburetor cleaner would help, either...You cannot "drill" through plugged jets, the brass will yield and cause the hole to elongate, which increases fuel flow and modifies the fuel mixture. A new pilot jet (Keihin) and thorough carburetor rebuild and staging later, I learned not to leave "modern" ethanol or winterized fuel in the carburetor bowls. I run the engine to stall with the petcocks turned off and the bike upright. Stabil does work within reason, though fuel quickly loses its volatility when stored. In my experience, three months is the maximum age for fuel performance, and that's already a loss in performance. I like to run the bikes down low on fuel before storing, add Stabil or equivalent, then run out the fuel in the bowls. Motorcycles and ATVs/UTVs, even Jeep 4x4s, often get stored for lengthy periods. The additives in contemporary gasoline can raise havoc during long storage... Moses
Although it isn't a place for serious off-roading, some of the roads at Happy Valley can be a bit rough, especially in the early spring or late fall. Although 4 wheel drive isn't a necessity there, it is still a nice place to go and drive down some of the roads, check out the dam and the lake and maybe have a small picnic. It is perfect for people who just want a place to go that isn't full of crowds, like malls and shopping centers. Happy Valley is located on route 104 outside Mexico, NY, which is north of Syracuse, NY and south of Watertown, NY, off of route 81. According to the DEC website, the exit is exit 34, off route 81. The place is actually described as a protected state lands area, and there is a DEC office on the property. The property is about 9000 acres total, with roads, some old abandoned farm buildings, the lake, and a few campsites. They do allow overnight camping, but you have to reserve ahead of time. They don't allow alcohol on the site except by permit as far as I know. ATV's and UTV's are allowed in the summer, and snowmobiles are allowed in the winter once the snow gets deep enough. Also, for you adventurous fisherman, just north of Happy Valley, in Pulaski, NY, is the Salmon River that has salmon fishing in the late fall and steelhead from October to early spring. The NYS DEC website will have more information on when the season starts and ends for each type of fish. I know, I sound like a tour guide for Oswego County, but I lived there for quite a few years and loved it there because there were so many things to do summer and winter. Along with touring Happy Valley and fishing, it isn't very far from Lake Ontario, and a couple hours south of the Thousand Islands. There is also dog sled racing, hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails in the winter and ATV racing and trail riding in the summer, boating on Lake Ontario, and a bunch of historical areas for the history buffs—like Fort Ontario in Oswego, which has a very diverse history, or the lighthouses that are scattered up and down Lake Ontario. Oswego, NY also has a major boating festival in the mid summer, called Harbor Fest, that lasts for an entire week, but you don't have to own a boat to be a part of it. Harbor Fest isn't really an activity for kids, it's mostly to promote the boating and local alcohol-making establishments in the area.
Each of us has places we would like to go 'wheeling or dirt motorcycling...Some plans are readily fulfilled, others get placed on your "bucket list". Regardless of the intensity and obstacles, this is the forum to share your most sought after trip ideas and get realistic feedback from others who have been there! Whether you travel by 4x4, OHV or a dual-sport motorcycle, use this forum to post inqueries about trails, routes, foreign travel and safety concerns surrounded trips you have planned!—Moses Ludel