hey neostrider - yeah I tried to set keys using other methods, though i am not sure if I was going about it right. I am pretty sure it had something to do with character sets. I ended up comparing my character sets to the model provided and realised that mine had a lot of extra junk which, once I deleted, seemed to sort out my problem.
of course - now I have a new problem!:headbang: when I attempt to cycle the first twenty frames of my walk animation by setting the curves to pre/post infinity>cycle with offset, the leg controls and hand manipulators start to lag behind the main body making the limbs act wierd...here he is at frame 250.