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Old 07-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #166
Adv Grifter
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Sounds like you guys have got this well figured. We use the buddy system too ... even in larger groups. We spread out but you stay with your partner, whether he is faster or slower. This has saved a few guys over the years.

Since about 1983 a friend of mine has led Baja rides. It's always an invational and limited to 10 or 12 riders. We've tried larger groups and just had huge clusterfucks and disasters. We've also tried chase trucks. Good and bad. Mostly, this group do not use any trucks ... but we have had to send someone back to the USA to get a truck to pull someone out of the desert.

But Baja is not as big or remote as the area you covered in Oz. But it has it's moments. Most trouble there starts when guys think they are pro racers. We've had bad crashes and injuries including: broken back, legs, arms, collarbone, ankle, wrist, concussion and on and on .... and we even travel with a Doctor ... sometimes TWO Doctors! But our main Doc is a drug addict and mostly uses Morphine and Duct tape to deal with injuries.

He is now in his 70's ... the old fart is still riding like a maniac.

We've left guys in the desert at night, had guys arrested (they deserved it most times) and had trouble at Mexican Whore houses involving guns.
But somehow we keep going back. Over and over. Our rides are typically only 12 to 14 days and cover between 1400 and 2000 miles depending on the route. Our main man knows all the secret routes and NOOB killer routes. I'm really to old to hang now. I haven't been in several years. It's very tough.


Steeper than it looks ... tough on my XR250
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:39 PM   #167
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FWIW, here are a few snaps of the trip.


Loaded to go, 4 deg with heavy fog and misty rain. All gear aboard, except the tent roll, which is in the 4wd.


Heading off to Canberra to meet up with the other early starters.


On the Cotter Road, on edge of Canberra and the early group is formed and about to head for Tumut and Narranderra.


The first carb rebuild on Dave's bike at the servo in Naranderra.


Lunch stop in Dangalli enroute to Yunta.


The clouds are gathering as we head for Blinman.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:48 PM   #168
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Still heading for Blinman.


And still enroute to Blinman


the full crew is now together and is preparing to leave Blinman.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #169
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A lunch stop at the Marree Pub. The cloud has eased a bit, but not for long....


Locked up solid, wheel, counter shaft, etc, 3.5 kms from Mt Dare enroute from Dalhousie with a burnt out clutch as a result. I ended up buying the trailer and we dragged it to Alice to effect repairs and get out of the rain and mud.


Ready to leave the Mt Dare Pub. Stopped raining for a few minutes...
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #170
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After Alice the group split and the long termers headed north, and we headed west towards the rock via Glen Helen and Kings Canyon. And the weather was great.







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Old 07-03-2011, 07:05 PM   #171
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Off to Leigh Creek.






And across the Gammon Ranges aka northern Flinders.


Looking back at the Gammon Ranges.


Camping by the Cooper at Innamincka.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #172
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The Innamincka causeway was just opened the day before. About 3-400 mm deep, and flowing quickly. We didn't have to get the bikes across, so went another way.


Cooper Creek to the lower left. Note the 2010 flood marker up the tree trunk. No wonder we couldn't get there last year!


The other crossing. Apparently it was about a metre over the handrail last year!


Off to Tibooburra.


And the old gold mining town of Milparinka.

And eventually home a couple of days later.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #173
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And I managed to break something else!

The speedo stopped working on the last day of the ride and its only this week I've got around to having a look. I assumed a broken cable but it proved to be the nylon drive gear was stripped of its teeth which gummed up the pinion driven gear and cracked the housing.

Off to the wrecker yesterday for a replacement, and after hunting through a box of Suzi speedo drives, found one thats OK. Interestingly, the wrecker reckons that the failure is not uncommon, and there were quite a few drives in his box with the drive gear missing that backed up his statement.

Might fit a Vapor or similar next time, and with hindsight, maybe should have this time.

Steve
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:49 PM   #174
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Nice pics Steve

that mud is mindbogglingy sticky hey? I ditched a bike trailer in that stuff once. was towing it with a 2wd hiace couldn't steer out of the spoon drain, when I slipped and slid around the back to unhook I couldn't see the trailer just a big poo colored meteorite hooked up to the van

you up for some coastal exploring and a WA trip? not too much mud I promise
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:12 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by BergDonk View Post
And I managed to break something else!

The speedo stopped working on the last day of the ride and its only this week I've got around to having a look. I assumed a broken cable but it proved to be the nylon drive gear was stripped of its teeth which gummed up the pinion driven gear and cracked the housing.

Off to the wrecker yesterday for a replacement, and after hunting through a box of Suzi speedo drives, found one thats OK. Interestingly, the wrecker reckons that the failure is not uncommon, and there were quite a few drives in his box with the drive gear missing that backed up his statement.

Might fit a Vapor or similar next time, and with hindsight, maybe should have this time.

Steve
I've broken a couple speedo cables and one speedo drive on this DR and another earlier one. The last two cables broke because the speedo cable routing was not correct and the guide was out of position. When you get off road and start hammering over miles and miles of Whoops, the cable gives up.

Vapor is a better way to go for sure. I've used Bicycle computers. Cheaper, not fancy but do the job.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:31 PM   #176
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Nice pics Steve

that mud is mindbogglingy sticky hey? I ditched a bike trailer in that stuff once. was towing it with a 2wd hiace couldn't steer out of the spoon drain, when I slipped and slid around the back to unhook I couldn't see the trailer just a big poo colored meteorite hooked up to the van

you up for some coastal exploring and a WA trip? not too much mud I promise
Mud is like concrete

I think i'm going back to the Flinders next month for the TK memorial ride, not sure yet, so nearly half way to Esperence if I did, Hmmmmmmmm

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:45 PM   #177
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I've broken a couple speedo cables and one speedo drive on this DR and another earlier one. The last two cables broke because the speedo cable routing was not correct and the guide was out of position. When you get off road and start hammering over miles and miles of Whoops, the cable gives up.

Vapor is a better way to go for sure. I've used Bicycle computers. Cheaper, not fancy but do the job.
Which is why I assumed it'd be the cable, and even have a spare in the shed, expecting it to fail at some point. Its stretched a bit with the longer forks too, but its fine.

I still have a bicycle computer on the old XT250 and my 501 Berg, and used them in the past on my IT250 and IT490. And I have a vapor on the wifes KLX300. For road riding though I prefer an analogue speedo and the stock DR one is fine, and I can get a readout from the GPS too to calibrate it.

Enforcement of constantly varying speed limits over here is stupid. People spend their time watching the speedo and not the road. The road safety philosophy here is based on speed, fatigue and alcohol, ie obey the posted speed limit, and don't drive when asleep or drunk and everything will be OK and we all know there is more to it than that, but not the road safety behaviourist experts in their ivory towers in Sydney, who can't drive/ride themselves, rant, rant

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Old 09-08-2011, 01:44 AM   #178
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Been out to the shed this afternoon to do some prep for a possible ride on the DR650 on Sunday. All good, except the cush drive bearing, the fancy SKF double row, is on the way out. Its got 9,919 kms adventuring on it and I can move the sprocket teeth about 2-3 mm laterally, so I've swapped it for a new one. Wheel bearings are still tight.

I've also checked the swingarm pivot alignment with the axle and frame and its all within 1 mm, which was about as good as I could measure it. It would no doubt last longer, and I don't think the double row would collapse as quickly as the single rows did previously, but putting a new one in makes me feel happier. I last checked it about 1,000 kms ago in White Cliffs and it was still tight. New cush rubbers went in with the double row too.

I was hoping it'd last longer!
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #179
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Been out to the shed this afternoon to do some prep for a possible ride on the DR650 on Sunday. All good, except the cush drive bearing, the fancy SKF double row, is on the way out. Its got 9,919 kms adventuring on it and I can move the sprocket teeth about 2-3 mm laterally, so I've swapped it for a new one. Wheel bearings are still tight.

I've also checked the swingarm pivot alignment with the axle and frame and its all within 1 mm, which was about as good as I could measure it. It would no doubt last longer, and I don't think the double row would collapse as quickly as the single rows did previously, but putting a new one in makes me feel happier. I last checked it about 1,000 kms ago in White Cliffs and it was still tight. New cush rubbers went in with the double row too.

I was hoping it'd last longer!
Steve
This is turning out to be quite a mystery! Wow! Maybe next time you get it apart you could compare it to a "known good" swing arm, frame and Hub?
Got to be something not lined up, something bent ... no? After all the new bearings and Cush rubbers I can't believe the bearing is going bad again so soon.

I have NO CLUE what it could be ... but I hope you can suss it out and let us know the outcome.

We have six DR650's in my riding group ... and mine makes 7 (40K miles). Most are around 20,000 miles and do a fair bit of easy off road and lots of hard riding on twisty, beat up paved California roads and long 300 mile slogs on highway.

We've had a couple minor problems among these bikes ... but no rear hub bearing failures or wheel bearing failures. Quite a bit of rain riding but not much mud riding.

Could it be that MUD is the enemy of the DR650? I know it's hard on brake pads ... but bearings should be sealed pretty well against it ... at least for a while anyway. What you reckon?

Will be watching to see what you can come up with! Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #180
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This is turning out to be quite a mystery! Wow! Maybe next time you get it apart you could compare it to a "known good" swing arm, frame and Hub?
Got to be something not lined up, something bent ... no? After all the new bearings and Cush rubbers I can't believe the bearing is going bad again so soon.

I have NO CLUE what it could be ... but I hope you can suss it out and let us know the outcome.

We have six DR650's in my riding group ... and mine makes 7 (40K miles). Most are around 20,000 miles and do a fair bit of easy off road and lots of hard riding on twisty, beat up paved California roads and long 300 mile slogs on highway.

We've had a couple minor problems among these bikes ... but no rear hub bearing failures or wheel bearing failures. Quite a bit of rain riding but not much mud riding.

Could it be that MUD is the enemy of the DR650? I know it's hard on brake pads ... but bearings should be sealed pretty well against it ... at least for a while anyway. What you reckon?

Will be watching to see what you can come up with! Good luck!
There was no evidence of any of the crap that its been through getting past the dust seal. The grease between the outer seal and the bearing was fresh and uncontaminated. The spacer on the inside and the grease around it protecting the bearing, and the cush rubbers were all clean, and no evidence of any crud near the bearing.

Its also the second swingarm on the bike, one I acquired to get reinforced and not have the bke off the road while it was done. Issues occurred with the original arm too, so I don't believe its the swingarm. And as noted, the pivot to axle measurement is square to <> 1 mm. The wheels also align front to rear by the classic string method, and the front rim is centred in the forks. I've put the rear axle in a pair of V blocks and checked its trueness, which is OK too. Might have to get the frame and everything checked in a jig. I guess I need to sleep on it a bit more.

I had set up a complete spare cush hub and sprocket so a simple swap and its ready to ride again. I've got a couple of new bearings coming from the UK at the right price from ebay. The second one I got here was $75, and 2 from the UK is $47.74 delivered

I think I can live with a 10,000 km service life, if I can depend on it in the interim. Otherwise the last trip was almost fault free. A loose handlebar mount to the triple clamp meant the front wheel was moving about a bit relative to the left handlebar in the sand. 10 min fix with an Allen key. And a leaking fork seal after some wet sand. Fixed in another 10 mins total after acquiring a plastic drink bottle and cutting it up to make a seal scraper. All KTM bits anyway. Speedo now reads 32,520 kms.

On another subject, this last trip was in the company of a completely stock DR650 that had only some luggage and a Safari tank fitted. Airbox with snorkel intact, and untouched carb. FWIW the fuel economy comparison was to his advantage by about 10%. I know I can go leaner with my FCR, and I guess that is now the incentive, to match a stock bike, but even so, for me, its worth the 10% penalty for the improved rideability if i do nothing.

Steve
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