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Old 01-04-2012, 03:30 AM   #10621
Africa_Twin
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Not at the same wavelenght, Squilly... but close, wouldn't you say?...

Around 410 kg with rider and passenger on the 1st pic, around 360 kg on the 2nd pic... it's not sand, I know... but I have no shimming on my AT

Cheers





Same track as the 2nd pic...

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Old 01-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #10622
Squily
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Africa_Twin View Post
Same track as the 2nd pic...



What a brialliant ride!!!
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #10623
Africa_Twin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squily View Post
What a brialliant ride!!!
Why!!! Thank you!!!

Here's a few bits of that ride, including me losing a lunch bet with Ricardo, my GS1150 rider friend, over a "I bet you can't lift the bike on your own" argument... towards the end of the vid; a lunch well deserved!!!

Trip 2010 - Picos da Europa from Daniel ratax Matias on Vimeo.

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Africa_Twin screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 06:32 AM Reason: To embed video
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #10624
Stormforce8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squily View Post
I think I know what you're referring to- my AT in standard form felt like it had a hinge built in. But I'm already running upgraded rear (not adjustable, but nice and firm for my big but).

However- she starts tank-slapping on the sand at speeds over 120. Don't think that's got anything to do with the rear suspension.
Hey Squily,

I reckon you just ain't goin' quick enough............



Seriously though, it could be a number of factors, suspension set up, tyres, luggage, steering bearings, etc.

I haven't seen a steering damper fitted to a standard set of AT forks - only on a WP conversion - but anything's possible, just need a bit of metal-bashing to make a bracket and then get it setup.

Firstly, the Africa Twin handles very differently to a regular dirt bike - so comparisons and anecdotes for these kind of bikes donít make sense. The Africa Twin is much heavier, the steering much slower and is generally pretty steady through rocky terrain that would have a light dirt bike deflecting much more.
Also, for similar reasons, itís not like a sports bike - so again, comparisons and anecdotes for these donít make sense..

If youíre carrying quite a bit of weight on the back - panniers, etc and are riding quite fast, the dynamics of the bike are going to be off.

In the wrong terrain, having a damper is more likely to contribute to fatigue and bad handling (if itís turned up enough to be active). Really technical rocky terrain - or ruts - or mud ... you need to be able to make small adjustments quickly.

This is just my own opinion with my limited experience riding in sand on bikes both with and without steering dampers - the bottom line is that having a damper wonít prevent a tank slapper in sand. It might help you save it - but thatís got as much or more to do with your size and strength as much as anything.

In short, donít let me talk you out of one. But my limited experience has been that theyíre not essential - take a look at your bike first and try and iron it out without resorting to a damper.

Tyre seated correctly and at optimum pressure for the terrain
Check the steering bearing is perfect and torqued correctly.
Have you tried running at speed on sand without luggage? - do you still get headshake?

OK - that's enough BS from me on the subject
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2002 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD07A - RWB
1989 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD04 - HRC
'Maybe I'm just simple - but can't we all just get along..........'
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #10625
Africa_Twin
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Spot-on advice Storm...
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:19 PM   #10626
Ladder106
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With that much stuff on the bike, I'd say that headshake at 120 is acceptable.....best idea....ride slower. If you and the bike can handle all that in sand at slower speed IMHO, you've nothing to complain about.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #10627
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Squily - I just remembered that one of your fellow countrymen, ATGreg, has fitted a Scotts damper to his RD04 (but not on original yokes or forks)

Take a look at page 5 of his thread over on the XRV forum.

As he regularly rides the same kind of terrain as you - might be worth dropping him a PM about it.

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #10628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormforce8 View Post
Hey Squily,


If youíre carrying quite a bit of weight on the back - panniers, etc and are riding quite fast, the dynamics of the bike are going to be off.

In short, donít let me talk you out of one. But my limited experience has been that theyíre not essential - take a look at your bike first and try and iron it out without resorting to a damper.

Tyre seated correctly and at optimum pressure for the terrain
Check the steering bearing is perfect and torqued correctly.
Have you tried running at speed on sand without luggage? - do you still get headshake?

Yes, all relevant, but maybe looking at the pics is creating the wrong impression


I don't go 120 on the sand with a load like that. I was quite happy with the way the bike was set up before and it provided excellent handling on the bitumen (straightline and cornering stability) as well as well balanced off-road. Except for riding sand- just too heavy. Not enough power to get the front wheel up on the sand. If you can get it over and maintain >70kph, she's ok. But getting there...

Having moved down to Esperance, almost all our tracks here are sand. And overgrown. One beach is so soft, I can't get the XR600 out of 2nd gear. I've taken the AT (unloaded) on some of these tracks, but generally she was just too heavy, and quite a handful. And its unloaded on the beach that she starts tank-slapping. Mostly it's just a case of a bit of back-break (don;t close the throttle) and she'll come ok. But I did loose it a while back at relatively low-speed (about 45?) when I was leaning a bit forward and she took me by surprise. Made for a spectacular dive and spary of sand

Also, witht eh varying conitions we have here (intermittent sand, lime stone ridges and granites, changing tyre pressures is not practical. You'll probably inflate/deflate tyres every few kms. So I run 140 ont eh rear and 250 up front contstant (unloaded)

Whilst I'm doing the rebuild (can you believe it's been a year already?), I rebuilt the suspension and steering etc as well. So all is in good condition. I've also decided to make a more sand- and track-orientated machine and maybe even use for the odd Enduro/rally event. So what does all this mean? I need:
  • Slimmer machine for the overgrown tracks
  • More ground clearance
  • Lighter machine
  • Different weight-distribution
So with that in mind, I did/am doing the following:
  • Already upgraded the engine for more hp
  • Replaced the standard fairings/lights/clocks with Boana and Vaportech gear
  • Removed old pannier brackets and panniers- Will be going for a higher mounted (the panniers get caught in deep-ruts), slimmer soft luggage system to reduce back width by about 30%, and aloow me to "waddle" if I have to go slow- my feet get caught under the panniers currently
  • New crashbars will have skid-plates on the side to prevent then from going "into" the sand and the fairing breaking as a result of sand being pushed up into it (problem with the old setup)
  • Sticking with the 45l tank, but loosing the additional fuel/water cans up front. Will be constructing two side-cover tanks for water (inside the luggage, but permanently fitted to the frame lower than the seat). I guess similar to the rear fuel tanks, but not going "over the back"
  • Building an 18" back wheel
  • Fitting an additional coooling fan to left radiator, as well as small fan to oil cooler for the hard-going sand riding
  • Keep as much weight off the front as possible- 45l tank already heavy enough
So hence the question about the steering damper- since I'm already doing all the other work and I know she's likely to become unstable at speed- and the faster you can go, the faster you will go Previoulsy it didn't bother me too much, as I know the AT would probably have maxed out at about 135 on the sand anyway, but after the engine mods, I'm expecting to see 150. So now 120 is my "sound-barrier" target.


Yes, I was hoping ATGreg woukld have some advise, but like you said- his bike is an RD04 and he used CRF450 front end. So different ball-game. But I was interested to hear if he thought the damper added benefit.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #10629
Ladder106
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Modding for your particular condition is what this is all about.

Please take plenty of photos since I (for one) would like to...errr....borrow some of your ideas.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #10630
Stormforce8
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Squily - what have you done with your original suspension? - upgrade shock spring / re-gas, and fork springs, heavier fork oil? How often do you run your HUGE tank full?

I know ATGreg is running a single disc USD setup - have you thought about going down that route? - would save weight particularly going to a single disc/caliper. If you're worried about the single disc, you can run a 4 pot caliper on a 320mm disc on a set of WPs - stunning performance increase over the original Nissin brakes.

IMHO the biggest and greatest upgrade to the way your Twin handles and rides is with the suspension - get this setup correctly and the only limitation will be the rider.

For the water tank - take a look at the 'Desert Storm' site for ideas - replace the rear panels with tanks, or put the water down lower and use the bashplate side pods.

Soft luggage is definitely the way to go for riding sand - personally I really like the Giantloop range.

Good idea on the additional fans - for both radiators and cooler - as Ladder106 has asked, please share photos

I know you've done the Boano front conversion on the bodywork / lights / subframe which will significantly reduce weight - swap your original bars to alloy, replace original front brake lines to a twin braided setup to save a few more grams - but aside from a complete change of forks, yokes, brakes, discs, hub, wheel, etc - there's not a lot more you can do to lighten the front end.

Of course in answer to this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squily View Post
  • Slimmer machine for the overgrown tracks
  • More ground clearance
  • Lighter machine
  • Different weight-distribution
There is this...............

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2000 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD07A - Rugged Roads Rallye Sport,
2002 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD07A - RWB
1989 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin RD04 - HRC
'Maybe I'm just simple - but can't we all just get along..........'
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #10631
atgreg
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steering dampers, ah a constant source of debate on all sorts of bikes Here's my feelings

FARKING MAGIC

For a big bike the AT is not to bad in sand but really the damper improves things out of sight. The damper really improves the sand related head shakes and even on a gravel road makes it more relaxing. I turn the slow speed damping right down for rocky tracks but having the high speed damping up it will still damp rapid kicks but not lock solid on other bumps, on sand depending on the depth I have it turned up pretty high on the slow and high speed damping and in between on gravel roads.

For me the bottom line is that in sand riding with the damper is like chalk and cheese to without ( all being equal with having good suspension setup to begin with)
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:56 PM   #10632
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the only other damper Ive seen on an AT is one a friend had custom made to fit here in sydney at , http://www.mscmoto.com/




As far as I know they didnt tool up for it just did a 1 off but might worth a call
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #10633
Squily
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Storm:

Not sure exatly what was done to rear shocky- a bloke did it for me a few years ago during a rebuild. I know it's a much stronger spring, and I'm happy with it, not that says much, but compared to anything else I've ridden, it's the bee's knees. It's not adjustable, but then again I can't seem to figure out how to use the adjusters on any of my other bikes .

Front shockies are Wirth with thicker oil.

Did consider single disk, but decided against it. Already have the hoses and rest. Might change the disks themselves in future for waves, but all-in all, I don't think I'd save more than 2kg going single above my current setup (Yes, I did weigh them). And as I'm now running high mud-guard without the cross-brace over the wheel, I don't think the weight-saving is worth the flex in the forks from a single disk setup during hard braking.

Thanks for the links for the water tanks. Absolutely what I want and perfect, but uhmmm, the price... I'm a cheap-skate and I reckon I'd probably try making my own shitty-looking ones 1st till I get some more money somewhere.

And I always run a full tank when I'm going bush. No fuel out there and depending on which way I'm heading, 400-600km return. Trail riding around town, I might only run 25l, which on the sand gives me arange of about 300km. Sounds like a lot, but it's not- that's only half way to Cape Arid National Park and back, or Stokes NP and back without playing. We're slightly isolated...



ATGreg

Thanks for the info. Have called them and They'll get back to me. Lady still remembers the job.



This is what makes this forum great- all these links and info. I'm not dissing anybody's advise as it's all good. Part of what I'm after is the best return on investment- I reckon I might benefit more from a steering damper than buying a Ohlin or similar (espesially after what Greg said).

I'm also quite cautious of people giving setup advise (no offense meant), as I'm big and heavy and people tend to tell me waht works for them when they're 70kg and 5'8". My XR is totlally unrideable for anybody that fits in this class and I've been told several times how to "change" it. But their setups don't suit my long frame and heavy arse. The bottom line: I manage to keep up with the CRF450's with "perfect" setups (except when it comes to power delivery) so my setup can't be that bad...

So thanks again all and keep it coming...
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:18 PM   #10634
atgreg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atgreg View Post
the only other damper Ive seen on an AT is one a friend had custom made to fit here in sydney at , http://www.mscmoto.com/
As far as I know they didnt tool up for it just did a 1 off but might worth a call
found a pic;

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:26 AM   #10635
atgreg
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here's another damper that might be able to be fitted to an AT with some creativity

http://www.werproducts.net/WER-Steering-Damper.html

and another Oz made damper who might do a custom one off

http://www.rocstompa.com/steering/
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