Tech Tips: Reed Cages 2

If you're a two-stroke fanatic, then your motorcycle has a few less moving parts compared to their four-stroke brethren. But that means each one of these part hold even more performance value, such as the often forgotten about reed cage/reed valve. If your reeds are cracked, deformed, or damaged in any way, it can majorly effect the power and way your bike reacts. Honestly, the reed cage is something that's simple to inspect and should be watched carefully, as with many things on a two-stroke it's just easy to work on and change if needed.

Remember, if you need to get your hands on replacement reeds or a hole new reed valve as an upgrade; hit up

For any other motorcycle parts, accessories, or gear needs, you can find them at

Transcribed version:

"Hey, this is Michael Lindsay from Vital MX. We're here at Chaparral Motorsports today. You know, for quite a few years a lot of us have been on the four-stroke train, but there are still a lotta hardcore two-stroke riders out there, and one of the key components, of course, in a two-stroke is reed cage, so today we're gonna show you how to open up one of these and change it out.

So getting to the reed cage of any two-stroke definitely differs depending upon the year, brand, and bike model you're working with. We've done a lot of videos now on how to actually get the subframes off the bikes, throttle bodies, carburetors. If you wanna know more on how to get through those steps, check the links below, but for now we're just really gonna dive in and show you directly how to work on the reed cage itself.

Being that two-strokes just have more room to work with, there's a lotta bikes you can just loosen the carb, pry it back to actually get to the reed cage. Some bikes, you may actually need to remove the subframe. Now, specifically, once the carburetor's outta the way, this is a very simple process. There is four bolts that will hold the reed cage in, typically eight millimeters. And once those are removed and pulled out, you'll be able to actually pull this reed cage out of the cylinder, and this is what we'll continue to work with here.

So as you can see right now we're examining our reed cage, we're actually looking down inside of it. And while there is sometimes a little bit of light that shines through these, back pressure usually sucking down. As you can see, the set we're working with is warped, as you can see a lotta light on one side and very little other. The reed pedals themselves have been warped and twisted so we're actually gonna replace them. So like I said, we wanna actually get in and replace these reed pedals here. You can see our bolts are up there. The way you get to 'em, at least on this KTM version, is we need to remove these backing safety screws. You always wanna be really careful when you're working with small allen or Torx bits like this so you don't just get 'em in there just crooked enough that they spin or mess up the ends of teeth on 'em, just because when they're this small there's...metal is so soft and easy to mess up. So now that we have our reed cage bolts out, we're able to remove the pedal section here. And as you can see now, it's much easier for us to actually get to the bolts to remove the pedals to change them.

Now to get to the inside two reed pedals, you have to split the little teeth cage here. There's bolts on each end that hold this into one solid piece. By removing these, we're gonna split this cage section. We have a little center spacer, and now we're able to remove either of the inside pedals as well to replace 'em.

So when dealing with the actual reed cage and reed pedals itself, there's just a lotta little parts in here that can create a performance difference. If you feel like there's something wrong with your bike, it's usually there can be a sealing problem amongst these. So with the reed cage, we do have some seals in here. You always want to check to make sure they aren't cut, or split, or just dried out. And then as we move down, we have the pedals. As we mentioned earlier, you can look in to see the air. You can also get these pedals out and lay 'em down on edges or just kinda visually look at 'em to see if they're warped. You also wanna look for any chipping, or cracks, or sections that have broken away from the pedals that aren't allowing 'em to seal. Beyond that, another problem is if you're still getting a feeling like the reed cage isn't sealing, but the pedals are straight, there is a slight chance that the actual plastic holders themselves can be deformed or warped from time to time so that the pedals won't even sit on them correctly because them themselves are not flat. So you wanna take time to actually look over every little piece to see if you have any problem, otherwise you're just gonna put it back together, and you're gonna continue to run into the same problems.

Once you've examined 'em all, you can decide what parts need to be replaced. If you need a whole new reed cage, whether it be for an added performance reason, or you just need to replace 'em, or if you just need to do a couple little parts to get all the performance back that you need. So now we're gonna rebuild our reed cage here, we're gonna take one of our center teeth, we're gonna place an inside pedal on it, nice and flush, take our center spacer, place it back on. Once the middle spacer's in, we're gonna put in an inside reed pedal for the other side, and then take the other side of the cage with a screw, place it in, line up both bolts. So now we've got everything aligned, we just wanna be real careful here to slowly start tightening all this back up...especially with these being plastic, just making sure we're not cross-threading anything, just taking our time. Also keep everything lined up so the reed pedal doesn't slip out. Once we've ensured that the entire center part of the cage is back together, everything's lined up, you can snug these back down. Once again, be real careful. We're dealing with really small bolts here and just basic plastic. Now once the center of the cage is back together, we can move to the outside and place the outside pedals back on. Once we have our pedal area rebuilt, we can go ahead and place it back into the outer cage, line up our bolts here, and finish putting our reed cage fully back together. So we can go ahead and install it back in. All right. 

Once you've done a little once-over to make sure you actually have everything perfectly tight on your reed cage, it's always good to rebuild it with some fresh gaskets for both the front side of the reed cage, going towards the cylinder, and the back side, where the boot coming off the carburetor fits in, just to make sure once again there's no air leaks after you've gone through all the effort of rebuilding this. Once you get this back on, you can take your bike out to the track, enjoy some cleaned-up performance, and make sure you check back on for more tech tips."

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