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Old 10-11-2007, 09:20 AM   #31
LukasM
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Ok, now that the BMW vs others debate is over, I'll chime in (although my DR650 is clearly the better bike )

How about using soft side luggage with some Pacsafe nets?



Maybe add a thin alarm cable if you wanna be really sure. Then go with a good locking top box (Alu or even the Gobi plastic ones that KTM sells). This setup would weigh only a fraction of the good quality hard bags like Jesse's, will keep your leg safe and have pretty good security as well.

I would definitely (and have on my DR) replace the handlebars with some high quality tapered bars (Answer/Pro Taper, Magura,...). Touratech sells kits for the Dakar as well.

I don't think that the switches are generally a problem. That being said, the ones on my used and abused 11y old DR have a broken turn signal button and the kill switch sticks sometimes. I have had good luck with the small CEV brand switches that KTM uses on their hard core offroad bike (EXCs) and will thus put them on my bike when I get around to it. Bit of a pain in the ass as I have to pin out the connectors and make new ones - if I can ever figure out what to connect where
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:46 PM   #32
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LucasM,

Thanks, I have considered that for other reasons - like clothing and bagged gear. Simple innovative takes up no space and keeps a honest thief honest.

I currently have two "Pacsafe" items a seat bag and their handy cable lock. But that net may be something to add.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:09 AM   #33
NBeener
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I'm way out of my depth here, but green with envy at the prospect of what you're planning.

One question. I remember reading, years ago, about a couple of dudes on dual-sport bikes doing Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Somewhere, in SA, one hit a sharp rock and punctured the oil pan.

They were near a tiny town in the boondocks, got some groceries for a cookout, and a couple of six-packs of the local brew.

Drank all night, cutting little 3" (or whatever) circles out of the bottom of every beer can as they finished each.

By morning, they had a stack of 3" in diameter discs that they were able to take to a welder and have him weld the lot together, and then weld it into the hole in the oilpan.

So my question is: could you -- not literally, but almost -- rip your bike apart with the tools you have, rig whatever you didn't have parts to fix, and get yourself going again ... in nearly any conceivable mechanical situation?

If not, then -- if it were me -- that would be yet another place that I'd want to focus on: just gaining those skills and a really intimate knowledge of my bike's mechanicals.

Shit happens, dontcha' know

Best of luck!!
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:57 AM   #34
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Yep, thanks NBeener, Most of that is already in my tool kit and the bike is pretty well protected.

Not sayin' that shit happens, but that is precisely the reason I want to replace some highend Beemer parts for low end generic MC parts. Mechanically inclined, yes.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:30 PM   #35
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What a lot of Americans don't know about the 3rd world is just how capable some of the small town, small shop mechanics can be. Welders are everywhere, even Mig and Tig in larger towns. Some good ones some not so good. Always ask around at mechanics shops to get reviews of local welders.
Perhaps there only fault is they tend to build things too strong and too heavy.

The other thing is price. Your could have whole assemblies built (like racks and ALu bags) or a total rebuild for less than a tune up in the USA.
Wheel truing, straightening, axle straightning, chain repair, bearing replacement, even major tear downs....I've seen it all and its always at a tiny fraction of the cost in the USA.

It's unlikely you will find a mechanic specifically expert on your specific bike...but not to worry. Many of these guys have incredible mechanical apptitude, years of experience and amazing improvisational skills. But always ask around to get a consensus about the best Taller.

You will find skilled machinists in the most unlikely of places. A good read of the travels of other RTW travelers will reveal this. From Ted Simon to Helge Pederson (a machinist himself), to the Striking Viking and the hundreds NOW on the road, you hear reports of seemingly divine intervention regards making a part from scratch, welding the impossible or figuring out how an assembly works and making it right again.

I have several stories myself, from mostly Mexico. From brazing the acuator arm on a water pump (on my old truck) to a local Taller guy digging around in a huge scrape pile to find the right sized bearing (XR600 wheel bearing).
He found one!!! Machined it down just a hair and it fit!! Damn! The Braze job on the water pump arm never failed....truck was sold with it on there ...and a spare whole waterpump for luck. Never needed.

It's simply unbelievable what can be achieved if you don't give up! Have some faith in the locals and don't over pay them as the ugly American might do....
this just makes it tougher for the next motoquero in need of assistance.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:42 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django Loco
It's simply unbelievable what can be achieved if you don't give up! Have some faith in the locals and don't over pay them as the ugly American might do....
this just makes it tougher for the next motoquero in need of assistance.
So true, about someone who doesn't have a degree from MIT or never went to an engineering school, but can take anything and make it right again or better with a life skills and hands on experience.

Never give up trying.

Can't has never been in my vocabulary.

And cheers to the next person who doesn't raise inflation by handing out money and egregious tipping along their way!

I remember a night in Pattaya Beach Thailand when the Navy was in town and the Army showed up (us), the price of everything was marked up 200% from the week before.

Mi di, phom pen thahan bok nui rop pee set, phom pen pratet Thailand lie lie klong. Phom luu waa karong cheap. Tou rye - pang, my pang?

(Translation - No way, I'm Army Special Forces, I've been to Thailand many many times. I know what the regular price is. Is this going to be expensive or not?)

NOT!!!
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:08 PM   #37
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Here's my advice.
Hard bags all round. Happy trails of Jesse's, they are all good IMO but Happy trails are a few 100 cheaper. Yau can walk away from the bike and not worry your stuff being ripped off.

18" wheel is a good idea and not that expensive. I've had problems getting 17's of my choice. Mailing them ahead is great if things go according to plan.

I'd ditch the beamer or at the very least take the "rich" look off it. You go to poor contries with a "I've got lotsa $$$" and you will soon find out what desprate people do to buy food for their familys.
A used $2500 KLR with some farkles will do the trip twice.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:02 PM   #38
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Thanks WW, I have considered turning it into a "rat" bike, so the value of it looks like - take someone eles's "Nothing to see here, these are not the droids you are looking for".

There is a flip side to the Roundel as well. There is a lot of world wide respect for it; why steal a bike you can't possibly profit from; the police can find an exotic bike faster than a local one. If your bike IS stolen in some poor town, you put a $500 cash reward on it and some other poor fellow will find it for you, maybe even before the bike gets to the next town. Word-of-mouth travels fast in some parts of the world, and in some religions of the world - stealing is the lowest form of existance.

I've heard of few if not none - of anyone having their bike stolen unless they just offered it up over night in a bigger city. Pick-pockets (cash), and things left unattended: cameras, jewlery, weapons and other small end items that can be easliy traded or sold. Those are the things to keep tightly controlled. JMO from lots of travel.

Taking a KLR (nothing agaisnt one) goes back to ditching a great adventure/tour bike that I already have.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:40 PM   #39
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Point taken. A Beamer will stand out like a sore thumb for anybody trying to offload it.
My point is that if they see Mr $$ rolling into town with a BMW, whats in the hard bags. Ipod, camera, GPS, sat phone......

This they will rip your bags or break locks for. I grew up in a poor country and I know from experience that when thieves see an expensive car = expensive stero.

The guy on the front cover of "adventure motorcycling" is a well packed individual who would not get a second glance in a poor country.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:23 PM   #40
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Cheers,

I don't plan to ever be far away and may invest in an audible alarm, I will carry the non-replacable items you mention with me.

Hell, I once paid a begger with no arms below the elbow (both blown off from a land mine in Cambodia, and probably his own fault), to keep the other {200} beggers away from me. It worked rather well, and he made out far better than if I had given him nothing or the change in my pocket (a few cents). I don't support handing out money to beggers, it only breeds more beggers, children get to me sometimes (I have a soft side) , unless I have been there long enough to know the scam.
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:19 PM   #41
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Lights...

Good for you for putting this together! I know aboslutely nothing about riding around the world, metal vs. pelican cases or thumpers for that matter. I do however, know about motorcycle lighting and pluses and minues on how to set that up.

I would go with an HID conversion kit in your main headlight. If you have the funds, I would also go HID for aux lights, or put HID kits in halogen aux lights if there is clearance for the bulbs.

Your light output will be dramatically better, but the light pattern will not be ideal as the reflectors are made for the shape and position of a halogen bulb. The advantages are:

Lower power requirement than even standard halogen bulbs
Brighter light
Bulbs are not vibration sensitive as halogens

Disadvantages;

Pattern is not optimal (however you might not even notice)
You'll have to locate a mounting location for ballasts

I would not worry about carrying extra parts for the HID lights as if you have a failure, you can simply remove the HID bulb, and replace with a stock halogen IF you have wired it for an easy change. I doubt seriously that you would have a failure though.

HTH...

Good luck!
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