Motorcyclist - - Garage - Got a ques­tion you want an­swered? Send it to mc­mail@bon­nier­ BY AR I HENN I NG


I have a 1985 Honda ATC200 that is smok­ing pretty badly. The color of the smoke is white, and it smokes more when it’s al­ready warmed up. I looked at the oil, and it doesn’t seem like the pre­vi­ous owner put the cor­rect oil in. It looks pretty thick, and the smoke smells like burnt gas or some­thing. Help!

Maicol Me­jia


The look and smell of the smoke cer­tainly sug­gests the en­gine is burn­ing oil, sug­gest­ing that you prob­a­bly have some worn top end parts. A handy di­ag­nos­tic would be a leak­down test, which will give you an in­di­ca­tion of the con­di­tion of your pis­ton rings, your valves, and valve seats. An eas­ier test is a sim­ple com­pres­sion check. Make sure the en­gine is warm and you’re hold­ing the throt­tle open when you crank it over. Any­thing less than, say, 110 psi sug­gests very worn rings, which would al­low oil into the com­bus­tion cham­ber.

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