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Old 11-13-2009, 05:14 AM   #1
Colebatch OP
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Location: Schmocation
Oddometer: 3,960
RTW X-Challenge Adventurization

Well not quite RTW, but Trans-Siberia, four times on this bike. 135,000 km (which is 3 - 4x more than most RTWs) and about 80,000 of them off road.

I have a few PMs in the past week asking me for more info in what I did to 'adventurize' my X-C to make it suitable for RTW travel, and why ... and what do I think of the mods now, having done the miles. Its easier to post here than to reply to the PMs.

The answers are probably mostly on here in various bits n pieces and spread out over a bunch of threads and times, and on my blog site. But for the sake of completeness, its a good chance to put it all together in one place.

This is where I wanted to get to .. a bike thats happy on the steppe in Mongolia, having done over 50,000km to get there.











To save newcomers to the post wading through all 100+ pages, here is a summary of the noteable modifications:

- "Hot Rod Welding" 9.5 litre "Jumbo X-Tank" (page 24)
- "Hot Rod Welding" custom luggage rack (page 24)
- "Touratech" rallye fairing (page 1)
- "SR Racing" exhaust (page 64)
- "Rayz" seat (page 1)
- "Hyperpro" rear shock (page 2)
- MaxKools airbox mod, with Unifilter
- "Touratech" rear chain guide (page 2)
- Bixenon Projectors with "HID50" bulbs and ballasts (page 5)
- "Scheffelmeier" wheel spacers (page 15)
- "Touratech" rear steel subframe (page 22)
- "Barkbusters" handguards (page 22)
- "Scheffelmeier" case saver (page 22)
- "Double Take" Ram mount mirrors (page 22)
- "WP" 48mm forks and triple clamps from 640 Adventure (page 23)
- "Hyperpro" fork springs (page 23)
- "Hyperpro" custom fork revalving (page 23)
- "Excel" A60 front rim (page 23)
- "Haan Wheels" KTM front hub (page 23)
- "KTM" 990 front fender (page 23)
- "Scheffelmeier" rally bash plate and Odyssey battery (page 25)
- "Ironman" rear sprocket (page 25)
- "Excel" rear rim (page 59)
- Hot Rod "X-Rack" luggage rack (page 80)
- Hot Rod KTM 690 Rally Replica Fairing (page 74 and p106 & p109)
- Shorai Lithium battery (page 68)
- Marzocchi 50 mm dual chamber (closed cartridge) forks (p 112)
- Adventure-Spec Magadan soft luggage (page 112)
- OSCO chain oiler (p118)
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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

Colebatch screwed with this post 05-20-2013 at 01:18 AM
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:26 AM   #2
Colebatch OP
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Ab Initio

The bike began its life as BMW off road school bike, based in what is now becoming BMW aftermarket HQ in the UK ... Ystradgynlais in Wales. The BMW off road school is there, Touratech is there, the BMW road riding school is there, Globebusters (BMW UK's touring affiliate) is there, bike builder Bernie Wright is there ... etc etc.

I only got to collect the bike on February 20th ... I had less than 6 weeks to prep the bike for the whole Sibirsky Extreme Project ... 50,000 km full of unknown and unridden roads across Siberia. I was scheduled to leave, from Touratech, on March 29th. The bike was pretty much stock when I got it from the Off Road School, but it had 600km on the clock and had just had its 1000km first service done. There was a new Talon sprocket on the front, an Afam on the back and a F650 gear lever on it. It also came with one cracked mirror and a whole bunch of scratched plastic.

As Evan, the Off Road School mechanic, knew what I was going to be using it for he had gone over the bike quite thoroughly and done a few small bits n pieces. For a lighter throttle (feels like better throttle response) he had removed one of the two throttle springs ... that will save the wrist when riding all day.

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

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Old 11-13-2009, 05:43 AM   #3
Colebatch OP
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Useful Input

I had my own wishlist of general things I wanted to get done to the bike, but when it came down to specifics with the bike ... what was crap and needed to be replaced, or if I want to improve this component, whats the best option etc, I turned to MaxKool - of this parish.

Max had built up a good knowledge base, thru trial and error, of what could and should be done to the X, and I have to say now, looking back, Max's advice has been spot on. I cant think of anything he advised or recommended to me that I now disagree with having done the miles. Hopefully this doesn't mean Max gets bombarded with PMs now that he is officially "Master of the X".

So the first thing I did with the bike was to take it direct from Wales to Holland. I didnt even pass go. Didnt even go home. There was not enough time. I just picked the bike up from Wales and headed for Holland.

I had been trying to find a decent aftermarket exhaust for the bike. My first thoughts were not to worry about it, save some cash and stick with the stock exhaust ... but I had a dream of having problems with the catalytic converter out in the middle of Mongolia or Siberia, and along with my drive to save weight and get more throttle response out of the bike, made me seek a new exhaust option before departure.

As I picked the bike up from the Off Road School, Evan, the mechanic there, suggested Simon had a spare Remus lying around that he wont be needing now that the 2009 Dakar is finished and BMW would be going forward with 450s from now. I jumped at it, strapped the exhaust to the back of the X (we couldnt fit it as we had no gasket) and told Simon and co the cheque will be in the mail

And so my ride to Holland was actually with a small backpack and Remus Titanium exhaust strapped to back of the bike - this in itself was quite a feat as there are no mounting points at all on the back of the stock bike.

The Remus

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

Colebatch screwed with this post 11-14-2009 at 07:53 AM
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:05 AM   #4
LukasM
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Location: On a RTW ride - currently Central Asia
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I'm in!

Have read a bunch of stuff about the bike on the SibirskyExtreme page already but am very interested in more details.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:06 AM   #5
Colebatch OP
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Erik and the X-Tanks

In Holland the destination was Erik's skunkworks. Erik is the welder / fabricator who along with Max put together the X-Tank. I had initially spoken to Erik about the X-Tank ... but as time progressed we talked about more tweaks I wanted to do and Erik was going to help with with some of those other things too , effectively becoming the central figure in the whole X-Challenge adventurization project. Home base for the bike while the adventurization was going on was Erik's workshop.

One of the obvious needs for the bike was a larger tank. I had toyed with the idea of getting a Touratech tank, then an X-Tank ... and even at one point considered both ... over 30 litres of fuel both forward and aft. I had seen Erik manufacturing the X-Tanks on an earlier visit to Holland, and asked if it would be possible to make a custom wider X-Tank ... with an extra couple of inches between the two pressed shells. When Erik said yes it could be done, it swung my mind in favour of the Xtank. If I could get a 10-13 litre X-Tank, that would be enough, and it would be a neater, simpler solution than the Touratech tank. It would also keep it nice and simple for cleaning air filters etc.

The initial plan was to add 50mm of width to the X-Tank. Erik felt this would be the maximum he would feel comfortable with. The wider the tank, the more offset the mounting regime is, and this will lead to additional torsional stresses - especially with the increased weight as well as the increased offset. At the last minute, as he was about to cut the 50mm strip, I got greedy. To hell with the risk, lets do 60mm I said. And so 60mm was added to the X-Tank, giving the tank a volume of 12 litres (and the bike a total of 22 litres).

Looking back, I probably should have stuck with 50mm. Erik was right. There are some signs of torsional stress and the extra 0.8 litres I pushed for was probably not game changing. However the tank has worked very well.

The only problem in the whole fuel set up was a result of an air leak where the electric connection for the main fuel tank penetrates the tank. Once that connection was sealed up with silicon, normal X-Tank service has resumed. So no problems with the X-Tank, but need to keep an eye on the airtightness of the main tank.

here's Erik welding the X-Tank 'fat boy' custom:

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

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Old 11-13-2009, 06:20 AM   #6
Colebatch OP
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Fitting the X-Tank

The combined 22 litres at my average consumption for the whole trip of 4.3 l/100km gave me an average range of about 515 km.

Note: With 15t front sprocket (often highway miles) my average consumption was 4.1 l/100k and with 14t sprocket (often dirt miles) my average consumption was 4.5 l/100km ... really not a lot of variation (less than 10%) between highway miles on taller gearing, and dirt miles on lower gearing. You wouldnt get that on a KTM!

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

Colebatch screwed with this post 11-13-2009 at 06:37 AM
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:41 AM   #7
Erik RS
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How nice. I'm taking a subscription to this thread
Walter, I can't wait for you to show up here and discuss the details of your trip (and of course the mechanical/technical ins and outs) over a few beers

Back-on-topic again
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:53 AM   #8
Colebatch OP
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Luggage

The next essential stage was some sort of luggage system.

I always work on the basis there are three essential mods to sort out an adventure touring bike (1) make sure it can take enough fuel (2) make sure it can take your baggage and (3) make sure it can take a few hits (protection).

Everything else is optional.

With fuel now sorted, the next "essential" was luggage. I personally have never subscribed to the germanic notion of steel or aluminium boxes. They are heavy. Very heavy. The frames required to support them are even heavier. A solid steel frame plus pair of aluminium boxes will typically weigh about 20 kgs empty. (Many custom made 3 piece sets are a good 25 kgs a set.) I don't want to start a debate about hard vs soft luggage here, but I will say I have been riding to every continent over the past 15 years, and never used hard luggage, never needed hard luggage and do not see the need to start now. My opinion on then is that they are fine it you are sticking to highways and fast dirt roads, but are a major liability on anything more adventurous. ... P.S. and they are also up to 10 times more expensive than soft luggage

I had decided to try something different on this trip,and picked up some ortlieb bicycle panniers. They were super light, waterproof and easy to mount. When I got them in the mail I did have a few worries about the mounting system. They mount with 15mm closeable plastic loops. In falls, I wondered how the plastic loops would hold up. Only one way to find out ... suck it and see.

Erik started from scratch with the rack. We had a few mounting points on the bike to work with, and we knew we needed 15mm steel tube.



Later on down the line - with the Ortlieb bag:


One huge advantage of both soft bags and custom racks is the ability to move the bags forward. Standard fittings for hard luggage, even for bikes that are only going to ever be ridden solo like an X Challenge, always have the luggage positioned as far back as possible. So not only is the hard luggage heavier, but it sits higher and much further back. This is really bad for handling and puts additional stress on both the subframe and the suspension.

The flexibilty of soft bags allows you to paddle, even with the luggage close in. We managed to rig it up so that the ortlieb bags were carrying the weight in the same plane as me riding in a sitting position - i.e. very close to the shock.
__________________
*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

Colebatch screwed with this post 11-17-2009 at 02:07 AM
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:15 AM   #9
bigdon
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n
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #10
superkram
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch
Well not quite RTW, but Trans-Siberian, twice. 50,000 km (which is more than most RTWs) and about 20,000 of them off road.



In honor of your bike & all it's carried you through, I'm using the above photograph as the background on my desktop.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
dkoerner
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Sweet!

love this bike.

-dk
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:02 PM   #12
DaveyDave
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I'll come in on an order for one if it goes ahead.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:41 AM   #13
frostyuk
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Ironman Sprockets

Ok so i make that 9 interested so far:

DaveyDave
McGiggle x2
Colebatch x2
EtronX x2
jessehere
frostyuk

and a 47 tooth count.

I'll let Nate at Ironman know.

Is this worth putting in a separate thread?
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:28 AM   #14
clearandlock
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Oddometer: 163
Yes Please Clayton +1

Yes Please Clayton +1 for a 47t.

thanks


Quote:
Originally Posted by frostyuk View Post
Ok so i make that 9 interested so far:

DaveyDave
McGiggle x2
Colebatch x2
EtronX x2
jessehere
frostyuk

and a 47 tooth count.

I'll let Nate at Ironman know.

Is this worth putting in a separate thread?
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:11 AM   #15
magno
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Ironman sprockets

I'll have 2 (47T) but only if they can be delivered to UK before 15th July 2011. Set off for Siberia after that date.

Anyone got any idea of price on these yet?
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