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Old 08-18-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
maxjewell OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Skagway, Alaska
Oddometer: 12
Newbie KTM640 advice (Alaska to Argentina and back)

Hello All,

I am a serious newbie planning to ride a recently purchased KTM 640 adv to from my home in Alaska down to Argentina and possibility back. I am doing this trip with my dad and a friend of his. I am 100% new the world of adventure touring and long distance bike riding and have a lot of silly questions involving the KTM, general motorcycle maintenance, and the availability of high quality engine oil , special antifreeze, and tires south of the boarder. All suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated (accept, you should have bought a KLR ) ;) ! Hopefully I will repay you with a great ride report this fall and winter.

Now for the Specifics:

Engine Oil: My manual says I need to run only fully synthetic oil that meets JASO MA standards. Can this stuff be found down south? Will any fully synthetic oil work and is this easier to find? Also it recommends I change my oil every 4,000 KM, does this sound accurate?

Antifreeze: In my owners manual it says use only high grade antifreeze (Motorex) will any old antifreeze, or just plain water work in a pinch?

Tires: My dad says he expects to get at least 5,000 miles out of a set of tires. Can tires be found all the way down to Argentina, and any recommendations as to where? We have been thinking to order the tires while we are on the road and have them shipped ahead.

Chain / Sprockets: Not sure how many miles these take to wear out during On / off road riding. Should I pack an extra sprocket set?

Jets: Should I bring a jet kit for the temperature differences and elevation changes?

KTM Dealers: It looks like there are a handful of KTM dealers along the way. Does anyone know if these guys stock engine parts?

Any other spare parts / tools I should think about bringing along? Ive got a full service manual, spare water pump, and gasket kit. I want to be as prepared as possible to fix whatever issues come up along the way. I would hate to get stuck somewhere for a month and a half waiting for some back ordered part from the states.

Also my dads bringing a BMW GS 1150 and his buddy a KLR so any dealer / tire info for them would be helpful.

Also how have your 640s been of trips like this?

Alright thanks very much for helping me out with these questions, Im just nervous that I am getting in over my head mechanically speaking with this trip if something were to go wrong. I cant wait to swing a leg over this bike and hit the road. I have gotten to ride it very little this summer. Whenever I get some spare time I will head up into the Yukon and out into the mountains and get a little saddle time in before our big trip. Maybe I will post some pics up. Thanks again to everyone, I really appreciate the advice!
Max
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:57 PM   #2
sparklr
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Joined: Mar 2010
Oddometer: 52
I am amazed at the lack of response from the Inmates. With such a worldly and knowledgeable group, I would have thought that there would be more input. I myself lack the sufficient criteria to offer any real assistance. But I have a distinct feeling this plan was hatched over some Brewskies and will end up with Daddy smugly admonishing " Told You So".

Judging by the information provided or lack thereof, my suggestion is that you seriously consider ABORTING any such Adventure notions. Daddy 1- Son 0.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:16 AM   #3
lexluther11
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Oddometer: 1,071
Welcome to Adventure riding your going to have a great trip. I ride a KLR so I can't give you any tips for the KTM. Reading that your going to ride someplace hot I would recomend Engine Ice coolant, it's dropped the temp down in my bike. Try and get a reuseable stainless steel oil filter, that saves on packing spares or trying to find one when your on your trip. I don't think you'll have any problems finding synthetic oil. New chain, sprockets and battery before you leave. X-ring chain will last longer than O-ring. Mefo Explorer can get up to 10,000 miles on a set of tires and are a 50/50 tire. Tires are very pricey in South America so maybe plan to have them changed just before you get to Mexico if your old tires make it that far. Carry spare tubes, tire pump and 3 spoons to change your tires. Spare clutch and throttle cable, front brake lever, clutch lever and shifter. Check your brake pads replace or bring spares. Grease up your wheel bearings if they are not sealed.

The KTM guys should be able to give you some tips on what can go wrong with your type of bike.

Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxjewell View Post
Hello All,

I am a serious newbie planning to ride a recently purchased KTM 640 adv to from my home in Alaska down to Argentina and possibility back. I am doing this trip with my dad and a friend of his. I am 100% new the world of adventure touring and long distance bike riding and have a lot of silly questions involving the KTM, general motorcycle maintenance, and the availability of high quality engine oil , special antifreeze, and tires south of the boarder. All suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated (accept, “you should have bought a KLR” ) ;) ! Hopefully I will repay you with a great ride report this fall and winter.

Now for the Specifics:

Engine Oil: My manual says I need to run only fully synthetic oil that meets JASO MA standards. Can this stuff be found down south? Will any fully synthetic oil work and is this easier to find? Also it recommends I change my oil every 4,000 KM, does this sound accurate?

Antifreeze: In my owners manual it says use only high grade antifreeze (Motorex) will any old antifreeze, or just plain water work in a pinch?

Tires: My dad say’s he expects to get at least 5,000 miles out of a set of tires. Can tires be found all the way down to Argentina, and any recommendations as to where? We have been thinking to order the tires while we are on the road and have them shipped ahead.

Chain / Sprockets: Not sure how many miles these take to wear out during On / off road riding. Should I pack an extra sprocket set?

Jets: Should I bring a jet kit for the temperature differences and elevation changes?

KTM Dealers: It looks like there are a handful of KTM dealers along the way. Does anyone know if these guy’s stock engine parts?

Any other spare parts / tools I should think about bringing along? I’ve got a full service manual, spare water pump, and gasket kit. I want to be as prepared as possible to fix whatever issues come up along the way. I would hate to get stuck somewhere for a month and a half waiting for some back ordered part from the states.

Also my dad’s bringing a BMW GS 1150 and his buddy a KLR so any dealer / tire info for them would be helpful.

Also how have your 640’s been of trips like this?

Alright thanks very much for helping me out with these questions, I’m just nervous that I am getting in over my head mechanically speaking with this trip if something were to go wrong. I can’t wait to swing a leg over this bike and hit the road. I have gotten to ride it very little this summer. Whenever I get some spare time I will head up into the Yukon and out into the mountains and get a little saddle time in before our big trip. Maybe I will post some pics up. Thanks again to everyone, I really appreciate the advice!
Max

lexluther11 screwed with this post 08-20-2011 at 01:04 PM
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
charapa
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Huanuco, Peru, SA, home in Mid-Coast Maine, USA
Oddometer: 400
Alot of Questions..

That's alot of questions guy, but I will address a few of them.

Yes, you can get BelRay synthetic oil most anywhere in South America. No, tires aren't that expensive. Pirellis are made in Brazil and shipped all over SA. I prefer the MT-21. It is called a RallyCross, knarley, but runs smooth on asphalt, hard enough to get 8 to 10k even on highway. If you are 18" and 21", you will have no trouble finding tires in SA.

Carry sprockets, but you can get good chains most anywhere.

I have one question. 3 riders. WHY # DIFFERENT BIKES!!

Enjoy!
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #5
garfey
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Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Deep East Texas
Oddometer: 4,150
PM Follows ...

... when I get done changing exhaust systems on the Street Rod and piddling with the Brick and riding the SHawk.

Summary: I have plenty of spare tires and a disassembled 640. You need plenty of the small oil filters but can reuse the large one.

Why 3 different bikes is a darn good question. It'd be a lot easier to carry/preposition spares & supplies if they were all the same.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
gunnerbuck
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: N.V.I, B.C.
Oddometer: 3,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxjewell View Post
Hello All,

I am a serious newbie planning to ride a recently purchased KTM 640 adv to from my home in Alaska down to Argentina and possibility back. I am doing this trip with my dad and a friend of his. I am 100% new the world of adventure touring and long distance bike riding and have a lot of silly questions involving the KTM, general motorcycle maintenance, and the availability of high quality engine oil , special antifreeze, and tires south of the boarder. All suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated (accept, you should have bought a KLR ) ;) ! Hopefully I will repay you with a great ride report this fall and winter.

Now for the Specifics:

Engine Oil: My manual says I need to run only fully synthetic oil that meets JASO MA standards. Can this stuff be found down south? Will any fully synthetic oil work and is this easier to find? Also it recommends I change my oil every 4,000 KM, does this sound accurate?

A good diesel engine synthetic works great in these bikes and should be available at a good many locations... You can also run non synthetic diesel oil as well but should change it more frequently as it tends to break down quicker... I've been running Shell Rotella 5/40 synthetic in my 640 for over 100,000 kms and find it to be good stuff... I change my oil about every 5000-6000 km and alternate filter changes... I change only one filter at each change and reuse the other....


Antifreeze: In my owners manual it says use only high grade antifreeze (Motorex) will any old antifreeze, or just plain water work in a pinch?

You can use regular low silicate {non foaming} antifreeze and yes water will work in a pinch {rainwater is best to avoid mineral buildup}... Your best off though to use a coolant as it will in effect raise the boiling point to help prevent steam losses in the hot weather/slow speed situations...

Tires: My dad says he expects to get at least 5,000 miles out of a set of tires. Can tires be found all the way down to Argentina, and any recommendations as to where? We have been thinking to order the tires while we are on the road and have them shipped ahead.

I find that my average tire lifespan is about 5000KM with the more aggressive tires I normally run... I think if you pick a more streety less aggressive tire the tread will last much longer if you run at a moderate pace... Why not check with SA bike shops along your intended route and see what they carry...

Chain / Sprockets: Not sure how many miles these take to wear out during On / off road riding. Should I pack an extra sprocket set?

I run KTM steel sprockets along with DID X Ring chain and manage about 20,000-25,000 km per set while riding a lot of abrasive gravel road... The cleaner you keep the chain the longer it will last... I would recommend you carry a spare countershaft sprocket, bolt/washer, seal and a couple o-rings in your parts kit along with a small section of chain + several master links...
Make sure someone in your travel group carries a chain breaker/ rivet tool of decent quality.... 520 chain is probably the most common used chain size and available at most bike shops... The 640 will fit any KTM later model rear sprocket, you just may have to settle for using whatever tooth count is on hand at a dealership...
Jets: Should I bring a jet kit for the temperature differences and elevation changes?
The BST 40 being a vacuum operated carb deals pretty well with elevation
changes and may work without fiddling but expect a pretty high performance loss in the Andes... Jets take up little room so carrying a size smaller main along with some spare parts makes sense... Carry a spare needle jet/jet needle combo as these things wear out along with a spare float needle... Also carrying a spare fuel pump diaphragm, carb slide diaphragm and assorted carb o-rings make sense...
KTM Dealers: It looks like there are a handful of KTM dealers along the way. Does anyone know if these guys stock engine parts?

Any other spare parts / tools I should think about bringing along? Ive got a full service manual, spare water pump, and gasket kit. I want to be as prepared as possible to fix whatever issues come up along the way. I would hate to get stuck somewhere for a month and a half waiting for some back ordered part from the states. The spare waterpump stuff is a good idea and also look at carrying a spare set of cam follower roller bearings as well...

Also my dads bringing a BMW GS 1150 and his buddy a KLR so any dealer / tire info for them would be helpful.

Also how have your 640s been of trips like this? Get in touch {PM} with ktm bmw bill as he has travelled many miles abroad with his 640 and has a good handle on what spares to carry....

Alright thanks very much for helping me out with these questions, Im just nervous that I am getting in over my head mechanically speaking with this trip if something were to go wrong. I cant wait to swing a leg over this bike and hit the road. I have gotten to ride it very little this summer. Whenever I get some spare time I will head up into the Yukon and out into the mountains and get a little saddle time in before our big trip. Maybe I will post some pics up. Thanks again to everyone, I really appreciate the advice!
Max
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