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Old 11-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #481
Warin
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Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 1,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
I am still learning to stand up. I can stand up over dips, and decent quality washboarded road, but I feel like I have... too much steering input? By standing up on rock piles, etc. If it's just a small clump of rocks, and I'm already standing, I can keep doing so, but I feel like my weight being higher makes things more unstable in certain situations, so I turn chicken. It's something I'm working on.
Move yer bum. Simply - if you want more steering then move forward. Bent knees is the key.

Unstable - side to side?
Get used to the bike moving around under you. Even if you were sitting down the bike would still move, and you'd be moving with it too - throwing yer head around... Much better standing up - the bike can move around but you don't so are in better shape to control and see.

Unstable - forwards / backwards?
Yes - going downhill move yer bum backwards on the bike. This will move yer weight further back than if you were sitting down. Reverse for going uphill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Mastering is such a strong word. I would say that I tolerate the sand now. This is different from earlier, where I was deathly afraid of the sand, and avoided it at all costs.

... I still don't think you'd ever catch me riding on a beach...

Mostly my sand technique is to try not to steer at all and have my legs extended to dab me in the right direction when the sand gets uppity and decides it wants to kill me. I also go like 5-10mph. I look ridiculous. But I get through it, which is more than I could say about before!
For sand, speed is your friend. You also need to stand up on sand - keep the front wheel light and yer bum back.

For mud it is all on being smooth with everything!

Masterly? Not me, I just know what to do.. after I haven't done it. Siting and thinking before you try something is good.

Good luck with the recovery.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:04 PM   #482
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettn Jim View Post
Good stufffff Fey! Great story...........
You know the sag/rake is goood when the bike is rock steady at high speed passing trucks!
And yup wheel and/or fork swaps are a sure fire way to need to get things set up properly again, as I had to do with Des'.

Peace,
Jimbo
Trial and error! Haha! Fair enough... I will get this sorted out one way or another!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGir View Post
Tankslappers,especially those on tarmac, are the result of the bike and rider reaching a resonant oscillation in some part of the bike/rider system.This is why they often happen at a specific speed but lessen if you go faster or slower.The bike/rider system is like a whole bunch of springs and pendulums traveling down the highway at 80mph.You've got a flexible joint between the rider's center of gravity at around belly level and the bike's CoG near the engine.The tyres flex and the supension moves up and down.Also the steering moves and is linked by the rider's arms to the rider's CoG,but also to the bike's CoG,making it a very complex system.
The reason moving the rider's position,changing tyre air pressure,fixing worn suspension or moving/changing luggage stops tankslappers is because it changes the frequency of resonance.Loosening your grip on the bars reduces the coupling between the rider's weight and the steering mass and can kill the resonance.It's like how lengthening a pendulum's string will change the frequency of it's swings.

Another technique that can kill a tankslapper while it is happening is to drop your torso down onto the tank,this removes much of the flexible joint I mentioned previously, between the bike CoG and the rider CoG.
Agreed. It was definitely a pendulum effect. Thanks for the explanation, it makes a lot of sense! I think if this happens again I'll be slowing down and trying to shift my weight forward, but hopefully it won't happen again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
Hi Feyala!
In answer to your reply:
"Hey Jeff, glad you're enjoying the ride! I'd never heard of green loctite before! That would save me a lot of time... is it as strong as the blue? How well does it wick in there?"
Loctite has many products such as thread lockers and sealants of various colors. Just google "Loctite" and check it out!
The 290 threadlocker which is a thin green liquid holds as well as the blue. It's wicking action works through capillary action like penetrating fluids and will migrate into the threaded joint with no problem. It is somtimes used to seal porous welds and castings.
I wanted to comment on your helmet condition. Even though a helmet can look fine after a crash, visual appearance cannot say if the internal crush foam has been compromised. The helmet is designed to crush internally to absorb the impact force to save you from injury. This may not show up as damage on the outside of the helmet and there is no way of testing the helmet that I am aware of. I spent a week in the hospital with a concussion after a motocross crash and there were no marks on the helmet! That helmet went in the G can. I know good helmets are not cheap but how much is your head worth?
Best Regards and ride safe....just jeff
Interesting! I will keep my eye out when I am in auto parts and home improvement stores, maybe somebody has it stocked. It would definitely be good for "peace of mind", especially as I seem to be going over rougher terrain with more vibration as time goes on. My kickstand almost rattled free out in death valley!

I tend to go with cheaper helmets (I think this one cost like $130?) so it's not like I'm replacing a $700 Shoei or something. I'll think about it and we'll see, but thank you for the advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish1 View Post
If you have a big head, I have both a Nolan 102 and a Shoei Syncrotec pop-up helmet I'd UPS you just so you keep your noggin intact and we can continue to live vicariously through you. Both are new, one's a dark blue and the other's Black and both are Male size large.Let me know and have fun. I stopped riding because of getting run over by a drunk and the back damage that combined with old back damage from arresting a very large guy years ago means I just don't have much flexibility left.
Unfortunately I think my head is on the small side. How would I tell? Go to a Cycle Gear and get measured I guess? Tape measure? Thanks for the offer in any case, I really appreciate it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_Stomp View Post
The rear brake thing... me too! I adjust my rear brake pedal way down to the floor so that I can put my foot over it as much as possible when sitting without having to lift my toe in an unnatural way. The kind of riding requiring standing and steering with the feet seems to be a kind of nimble, ginger riding which only requires throttle as needed and some engine braking. Minimal braking seems to be required, so usually the front is safe. It's like when power is needed, use it, and when you're coasting at the desired speed, the obstacles you are overcoming are enough to slow the bike. It's like the offroad version of "pacing", where brake is used minimally. And sand slows down the rider quite a bit. It's down to practice, I fully understand. The fear of the front brake is a big obstacle, in many cases. I am familiar with this. (Especially in cornering in loose terrain where brake is needed.) We're dealing with a realm of riding where there are no stoplights or blocks or lane changes to accelerate or decelerate for, so a lot of it is throttle modulation only.

Damn, I hope to ride offroad with you someday. Not that I'm any better or even think I am. I am just sitting in my offroad theory armchair right now and wishing I had a piece of the action. Your posts drive me further into motivation to get out there!!
Ahh, yeah, I know what you mean. I try to ride that way when I am standing, but it also limits the amount of speed that I can get up to, because if I go above 20-30, I will find myself coming up fast on a sharp corner and have to sit down and brake, which breaks up the 'flow'. I also have issues with downhill for this reason - it is only VERY recently that I have even begun to feel the slightest bit okay with engine braking in first, and I know that I am supposed to be standing going over the nasty terrain. But if it's steep, I don't feel safe, so I usually sit down, ride the brakes, and dab. Terrible, but practice practice practice... Fucking sand. The only time that I almost lost it on my saline valley adventure was when a big pit of sand in a sharp corner snuck up on me in the dark, and it was only my foot that saved me from dumping it.

I'm glad I'm a motivating factor! It'd be fun to ride with you, I think! Once I'm able to "keep up", I'll probably stress less about my technique, but 10mph on sand is just atrocious for covering any sort of distance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracks1 View Post
Just finished reading the entire thread. Love your adventure, all of it. Thanks for being so open about your life. You're a gifted writer and I have no doubt that you could travel the world and make a living by writing about it. You need a paypal account! I and others here want to buy you some GAS so that we can continue to read about your unique adventure!

Notes about the dynamic vibration which caused your high speed off: It looks to me like the custom designed Panniers are mounted to far aft. Their CofG (Center of Gravity) needs to be forward of the rear axle by several percent, more is better in this case. For your kind of adventure try soft and smaller as this would help too, these are the latest tech ones: http://www.adventure-spec.com/defaul...-panniers.html You've moved the overall CofG of the bike to far aft and thus it's to close to or aft the Neutral point. This will cause instability to develop at a new speed (when compared to the previous configuration) in this case lower.

The rounded corner shape of the custom Panniers may be dangerous and thus cause an Asymmetric lift distribution in a cross wind gust such as when passing at speed and thus excite the dynamics of the total system.

If you don't remodel, then be sure to load all of the heavy item to the front and don't exceed a tested limit.

Good luck, stay rested and safe.
David
Hey David, thanks for the comments! I'm glad you've enjoyed reading about my adventures. Stay tuned about Paypal, I should have that sorted in a few days.

I mounted them pretty far aft on purpose, as I'd read a lot of stories where these types of panniers trapped and broke people's legs when they attempted to dab off road, due to their width. When I mocked up the design and test fit them centered on the rack, I found that I couldn't stretch my leg very far back and could definitely agree to the injury potential. As I am still a relative amateur when it comes to riding off road, I need to minimize the chance of injury as much as possible.

Soft and smaller would definitely be ideal, but given that I need to be prepared for anything that is thrown my way, for an indefinite period of time, I need quite a bit of storage space. As I learn and grow at this lifestyle, I will no doubt condense and simplify. For now, I am going to build some tank panniers, and move the heaviest items (such as my tools) to the front, to hopefully minimize this issue in the future. When I first got the bike, I had it up to 110 indicated no problem, on knobbies and lower gearing, with only the bare necessities bungeed to the racks. I have no doubts that the extra weight and increased air resistance are affecting the handling, but there is only so much that I can do and still carry all the crap I need or "need".
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #483
TO Scootz
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Fayela, you mention that your photo stitching program is on the blink. Do you have access to a regular computer. Considering your lifestyle, you might want to know about open source software. I'm currently running Ubuntu Linux on my desktop, and both it and DigiKam are free. Digikam has a very good and easy to use photo stitching module. BTW, if you were a canuck, all your medical expenses would be paid for by the state.

TO Scootz screwed with this post 11-26-2012 at 07:15 PM
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #484
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
It has also been theorized that excessive unintentional operator input forces increase the oscillations to a point of control failure. The solution advised is to LOOSEN UP ON THE BARS AND RIDE IT OUT. Not easy to do in a panic situation.
Regards....just jeff
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoothillRyder View Post
There it is...

I've preached that exact point my entire riding life (goin' on 50 years on two wheels now). RELAX.
This was definitely a contributing factor. Whenever I am going faster than my comfortable cruising speed, I tend to tense up a bit, simply because the bike feels less stable. Do bikes normally feel less stable at faster speeds, or is that a byproduct of the incorrect configuration? When I went 110 with less gear, I felt unstable, but that was also due to the wind produced at that speed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracks1 View Post
I agree if the bike is in the tested stock configuration. However, having moved the CofG aft and thereby reduce the Margin (distance between the CofG and the Neutral point) will lower the speed of oscillation onset and increase its magnitude. It needs an increase in the Margin and a Damper. Fey was fine until the new Head Bearings were installed which reduced the steering friction. There is also the rear steering aerodynamic effect of the radius'd panniers in a cross wind gust.

If I recall correctly, Fey made a comment about how the bike was easier to turn after loading it with all of her gear. This is an indication of reduced Margin and lower stability.

Rule for dirt tires on hard surface roads...slow down or you will crash.

Rule for street tires on soft surface roads...slow down or you will crash.

Cheers,
David
Interesting, so you think that the fact that it's easier to turn is due to the weight distribution and not the bearings being slightly loose? Is that correct?

I am normally pretty careful. I've talked about passing semis at 80 and doing 110 on knobbies but I am generally the first person on the road to slow down in windy or wet conditions, and I am usually not the fastest person on the road by far. I am simply not often in that much of a hurry. Guess this is a reminder to slow down more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boboneleg View Post
Hi Feyala,

I've only just found this excellent RR. Having just read 31 pages over two days I am in awe of your tenacity and courage to live your life as you choose. Go for it..........

cheers, Bob.
Hey, thanks Bob! This made me smile. I will definitely give it my best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
I agree with what David has said but it's unlikely that the bags/mounting design will be changed anytime soon. And anyway, the frame flex for DR/KLR's when heavily loaded has a lot to do with the onset of such instability and that cannot be changed without major mods. It is, however, a good reason to consider soft-bags set up on the current racks that hugs the bike and reduces the lateral dimensions compared to hard bags. Soft bags not as convenient to pack however, quite aside from being pricey.

However, with regard to steering head bearings, an old bearing only gets notchy and doesn't provide more friction for the steering. New bearings only makes it smoother back and forth but will also make no difference on the friction compared to a old one. Proper torque on the bearings is what provides good friction and a reduced tendency for the handlebar/front wheel to "flop" back and forth freely when off center. That is most important to check, Fey.

This is commonly set by getting the bike off the ground to free the handlebar/front wheel. Tightening the torque nut until that loose ability for the steering to flop is gone. Then go on a test ride... nothing should feel out of the ordinary. Too tight is obvious because the rider will have to physically input on the bars to steer the bike to right up from even the smallest turn and feels terribly unnatural to ride that way.

After all is said and done, slowing down when riding a DR fully loaded is the only sure way not to experience a tank slapper again.
Thanks for the tips, Ed! I can easily get the front wheel freely off the ground as you suggest. If given the choice between a torque wrench and using the "play" method you suggest, which should I prefer? I don't have a socket large enough for the steering nut (I use a custom tool Dave made for me when we did the bearings), but I am sure I could find one if need be.

Slowing down and redistributing weight is the easiest (also cheapest) solution, so it's the one I'll be going with. Something like a Giant Loop would be nice, but ease of packing is definitely important to me, because I live on the bike. As it is, I have to dig through the boxes multiple times a day. The idea of doing that with everything bungeed on or another solution that doesn't allow ample room to dig through stuff makes me shudder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenZens View Post
I just got caught up with this fantastic ride report. Feyala you have done an awesome job here and it is inspiring to read about your adventure and outlook on life.

Like you I really do not like doctors, hospitals and all that crap. Even though it will be costly get it checked out, get it checked out. I was involved in a motorcycle crash and did not get looked at because I figured I was fine and it was only bruises and a bit of road rash. However I had dislocated my hip and eventually it got to the point where I couldn't even get my leg over the saddle. Because I was moron and waited like a month to get it looked at it took nearly four times as long to recover from. The worst part is it made miss almost an entire riding season.
Beside I am sure we all want to hear more of your adventures!

Ben
Hey Ben, it's great that you find my life inspiring!

It's terrible to hear that you were injured badly. I hope that you've recovered fully since then? I have been keeping a pretty close eye on all of my injuries, and other than the broken wrist, things seem to be OK. I have been keeping the closest eye on my knee and shin, as the degree of pain when external pressure is applied is about a 9 out of 10, but regardless of how I move it, flex it, etc, I can't find any weak points that would suggest anything other than bruising trauma. A bone bruise compresses the honeycomb shape of the bone down flat, so it's nothing to laugh at, and they can take weeks to months to heal. At least it's easy to avoid kneeling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aldntn View Post
with rest up/ heal up time. When in doubt about a broken bone, better to do the x-ray even if its just for peace of mind. I broke a small bone in my wrist many years ago while dropping my CB550F. The wrist swelled up like crazy and I rode my bike wearing a cast (clutch hand no less) for quite a while. I should have done more heal up/rest up. My wrist reminds me of that every once in a while.

Heal quickly and well
Cheers
Ouch! Did you develop arthritis in that wrist? I have been very eager to get on the road, especially because it's such a small injury and I have a splint which keeps it straight, and I seem to be able to ride with it like this... but yeah. I definitely want to take it easy until it heals. If nothing else, the tire patching episode proved that I will be pretty much useless if I need to fix anything on the road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivyleague View Post
Which side of your wrist hurts? Ortho Specialists are better early than late

http://www.uwhealth.org/sports-medic...nd-wrist/11483
or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_fibrocartilage

Hope you heal fast
Thanks for the reading material. The radial side is the one that aches, when it does. Once the bone knits I will definitely need to keep an eye on the triangular fibrocartilage, as it describes issues I had been having. I can't really do any stress tests until the bone knits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
Hi Feyala!
Good to hear from you! Quit saying you're sorry. You don't have to apologize to anyone here. We were just concerned when we didn't hear from or about you suddenly right after your crash. Our concern just shows what an important part of this community you have become. Having said that.... Take some time, relax,rest,recuperate, regroup and get ready to roam. That's more than 3 R's but I think it works.
From snowbound Canada,
Best regards....justjeff
I'm sorry! Haha. I feel like I am letting people down here when I don't post for a while. I realize it is free entertainment, and you get what you pay for, but I also feel like I have a responsibility to keep this thing going and up to date. I enjoy doing so, don't get me wrong, but when I am being a procrastinating slacker (like recently), I feel like I am not doing my "job". I realize that nobody is expecting this of me but me. We are always our harshest critics.

Enjoy the snow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmasister View Post
Wow, I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on your thread! I'm extremely glad your crash didn't end up more serious that it was and love the support from the thread on identifying possible causes and remedies. I've learned heaps about tank slappers and aerodynamics! I am in agreement with the sentiments to have the wrist looked at, which is sounds like you are moving towards. No good reason to compromise a full and speedy recovery.

Your adventure is of particular interest to me as I purchased a DR650 a year and a half ago with the dream of extended travels. I fall on the 'planner' side of planner/spontaneous, so my exit is planned for next year. I'll spend the winter simplying, preping the bike and suspending my city/professional life. I am truly encouraged by your no schedule / agenda approach!

Take good care of yourself and I look forward to the coming adventures!
Yeah, the support on this thread has been amazing! I feel the love. It's great that so many not-so-strangers are coming together and trying to help me when I am down, definitely lifts my spirits up. :) I've learned a lot too!

I could use more planning, but I am terrible at it. It seems like every time I try to plan something, I only get into the first step or two of the plan before having to abandon it completely due to something cool coming up or mitigating circumstances. Eventually I just kinda gave up, and instead of planning, now I just sort of brainstorm possible cool things to do and see. I get most of my advice on where to go from other likeminded travelers, and thus far I have never been disappointed by following their recommendations!

I still have yet to figure out how to learn to scuba and hangglide on the cheap though.

Where are you going on your adventure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
Please set yourself up with a Paypal account! Loads here have suggested it. I don't make much, and wouldn't be able to give much, but I would like to help!
Stay tuned...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Hey Fey, glad to hear you're healing and that there was no major damage. Yep I can tell you that the thumb will take longer to heal! My rib was all done within 6 weeks, My thumb however has taken more than 9 weeks and it still hurt when putting too much pressure. Totally my own fault for not giving it a break! So yeah, if you can, leave it alone for a while!
Ouch! Yeah, I feel like the bone bruises and wrist will be around for another couple weeks to a month at least I hope I don't go nuts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Move yer bum. Simply - if you want more steering then move forward. Bent knees is the key.

Unstable - side to side?
Get used to the bike moving around under you. Even if you were sitting down the bike would still move, and you'd be moving with it too - throwing yer head around... Much better standing up - the bike can move around but you don't so are in better shape to control and see.

Unstable - forwards / backwards?
Yes - going downhill move yer bum backwards on the bike. This will move yer weight further back than if you were sitting down. Reverse for going uphill.

For sand, speed is your friend. You also need to stand up on sand - keep the front wheel light and yer bum back.

For mud it is all on being smooth with everything!

Masterly? Not me, I just know what to do.. after I haven't done it. Siting and thinking before you try something is good.

Good luck with the recovery.
Unstable side to side. I'll put it this way. On the road, if I wiggle my bum even an inch, the bike wobbles a lot. When I am off road I fear this same magnification of input, and I feel like I have less fine control over my motor skills while standing than if I am sitting down (better steering control when sitting, I feel). When I am going over large rocks and the front wheel is dancing around and I am trying really hard to relax and control it less, the last thing I need is to introduce some kind of weird wobble and send it too far off to one side.

For something like dips in well-graded terrain, I have no problem standing up, and in fact prefer it. Sitting while going through dips feels very unstable and dangerous. I feel more stable at higher speeds (30mph) standing on washboarded terrain, less vibratey. I haven't gained that feeling of stability yet when going over large rocks or on steep inclines. Practice, practice, practice. I know to keep the knees bent and not lock them, locked knees is a great way to damage the knees if I biff it too.

I regularly stop before I come across something I've never encountered before, or don't know what line to pick. Sometimes this bites me in the ass, like in that deep gravel... hahaha.

Thanks for the advice! I do need to try to go faster in sand, but it's just so hard.. the sand seems to whip around my front tire sideways surprisingly quickly if I am not careful with it, and the only solution I've found thus far is to slow down. I need to try to stand up on it though, you're right. Maybe if the front tire had less weight it wouldn't whip around so much...
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:12 PM   #485
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TO Scootz View Post
Fayela, you mention that your photo stitching program is on the blink. Do you have access to a regular computer. Considering your lifestyle, you might want to know about open source software. I'm currently running Ubuntu Linux on my desktop, and both it and DigiKam are free. Digikam has a very good and easy to use photo stitching module. BTW, if you were a canuck, all your medical expenses would be paid for by the state.
Currently I am staying with my parents, where I have stashed a desktop computer, so I'm set on the photo software front. I really would like to get a small laptop, as I've found it incredibly difficult to make posts of the quality I expect without the ability to have more than one application open at once. The droid is great for keeping regular notes day to day, and taking pictures, but combining all of these requires that I edit the photos, copy/paste, and other stuff that the droid can do, but much more slowly. Even something as simple as replying to more than one person at once takes a long time. It already takes me hours to do an update, I don't think I want to make that worse with inefficiency.

I have a dell laptop, but it is HUGE. Far too big to bring with me. I am thinking of trying to pick up a cheap EEPC, netbook, toughbook, or something similar.

On the nerd front, I am currently running XP on this desktop, but I spent most of my desktop-time in Portland running Mint (a flavor of Ubuntu). Oz uses Slackware, which drives me absolutely batty. I vastly prefer OSS to proprietary windows BS, but I can't be bothered to reconfigure this desktop when I am not going to be here for very long. I used to do server support at my last job, so I got passable at CLI.

I know about and envy your health care system. I lived in Denmark for a year and it was incredibly relieving to have access to that kind of care. I plan on ranting about this subject when I get to the aftermath of the crash. Sadly, your country doesn't even like me to visit because I don't have steady employment. C'est la vie.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:37 PM   #486
Adv Grifter
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I'd love to hear your thoughts on our broken health care system ... and your experiences. Kind of a pet peeve of mine as well. (I'm uninsured at the moment! )

I haven't read your whole thread ... but picked up on your crash. So glad you survived and you'll get better! I ride a DR650 too ... so I check in once in a while to see where you are. You rode right by my house, just north of San Francisco.

Most singles can develop a weave at around 80 to 90 mph. At least all the ones I've owned have done. (XL's, XR's, KLR's, XT's, KTM's and more) But a full tank slapper is not usually the outcome. I've owned three DR650's ... my current '06 (now up to 50,000 miles). All my DR's would show a mild weave, none went into full tank slappers even over 100 mph. (tail wind, downhill! )

Lots of input here about T-slappers. All good stuff, mostly. I do agree that "Death Gripping" the bars can make things worse. Relax your grip, let go your hands, steer with your knees and feet.

Several of the things discussed can contribute to T-Slappers. (tires, tire pressures, bearings, suspension, over loaded, and on and on). Some even believe the high front fender causes it. I don't buy that.

Don't go crazy on your bike changing a bunch of stuff. Most of these guys don't own a DR and never will. Ask the DR community before you make changes. Boatloads of combined knowledge and combined hundreds of thousands of miles specific to your bike. ... BTW .. how did you ever get a RED DR650? I've never seen a RED ONE!

I was hoping you were headed down to Tierra del Fuego. With your newly acquired dirt skills ... my guess is you'd do good. You had good teachers! Sand takes a while to learn, after a day's riding it ... it gets easier, believe it or not!

Firmer suspension and knobbies seem to help in deep sand. Standing, for me, is a must. Most IMPORTANT is vision and where you look. If you look way out ahead .. you will do OK. Look at your front fender ... you're going down.

Come over to the BIG DR650 thread in Thumpers if you have any DR related problems/questions. What's next on your trip? Mexico? Baja?
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:50 AM   #487
More_Miles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala
I'm sorry! Haha.
Are you sure you aren't Canadian? (Says the Canadian.... )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Currently I am staying with my parents....
Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you. And love it.

I don't have any riding or medical advice, others have chimed in here with more and better than I ever could. Okay, I lied, I will say this: Have that wrist and knee looked after. I realize it's probably not going to be cheap. Take it from someone who hasn't (quite) hit the big four-oh that it's going to be less expensive than waking up with joint pain every time the weather changes in 20 years!
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More_Miles screwed with this post 11-27-2012 at 01:56 AM Reason: I kan't spell
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #488
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I have a dell laptop, but it is HUGE. Far too big to bring with me. I am thinking of trying to pick up a cheap EEPC, netbook, toughbook, or something similar.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #489
Warin
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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Unstable side to side. I'll put it this way. On the road, if I wiggle my bum even an inch, the bike wobbles a lot.
Something is WRONG. The bike should not feel this way. Yes I have a DR, and a few others.. I work on all my own bikes.

Does it do this with no luggage?

Then I'd be checking tyre pressure - increase it. Knobby tyres could explain it though.

If the tyres are ok then bearings - look for any 'play' - elevate one wheel at a time and grabbing the tyre see if you get any small moment before you get resistance by exerting small forces to the side. Do it on the bottom/top and front/back of the tyre. The different edges force different bearings, so you need to do more than one test on each tyre.

Forks can also develop play - grab the bottom of the fork - tyre off the ground, and push it backwards and forwards. Any play means its needs fixing. This would also check the steering head bearings.

If it only does it with luggage then you have
weigh distribution - usually too much weight on the back.
And/or
aerodynamics. Ugly to find out what is causing this... unless you have a full sized wind tunnel I'll leave that ...unless you find it is?

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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
When I am off road I fear this same magnification of input, and I feel like I have less fine control over my motor skills while standing than if I am sitting down (better steering control when sitting, I feel). When I am going over large rocks and the front wheel is dancing around and I am trying really hard to relax and control it less, the last thing I need is to introduce some kind of weird wobble and send it too far off to one side.
Ever had the same wobble/movement at low speed? I hope not - if you do then ... something is really wrong! And it is not aerodynamics. And probably not weight.

At reasonably low speed you are still steering with weight .. try it ... on a sealed (tar) surface- ride in a straight line standing up.. now put more weight on one foot than the other -- the bike will turn to one side .. not much but a little! More weight -- turns harder.


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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
For something like dips in well-graded terrain, I have no problem standing up, and in fact prefer it. Sitting while going through dips feels very unstable and dangerous. I feel more stable at higher speeds (30mph) standing on washboarded terrain, less vibratey. I haven't gained that feeling of stability yet when going over large rocks or on steep inclines. Practice, practice, practice.
One trick - for practice of balance - put your front wheel on top of the gutter, rear wheel in the gutter where the water would be. Ride like that - the rear wheel will try to climb the gutter and you'll have a hard time keeping the front on top of the gutter .. all balance. I'd only do this when you are prepard to fall off, and when the rear tyre is due for replacement. There is a yoga position - stand on one foot, sole of the other foot to the knee of the foot your standing on. now raise your hands... the higher your hands go the more difficult it gets. To start with have a wall in reaching distance of one hand and put that hand there. Yoga might be a good thing to do while your not traveling? Improves balance, and relaxation. And flexablity - for moving your bum around on the bike while standing.

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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
I regularly stop before I come across something I've never encountered before, or don't know what line to pick. Sometimes this bites me in the ass, like in that deep gravel... hahaha.

Thanks for the advice! I do need to try to go faster in sand, but it's just so hard.. the sand seems to whip around my front tire sideways surprisingly quickly if I am not careful with it, and the only solution I've found thus far is to slow down. I need to try to stand up on it though, you're right. Maybe if the front tire had less weight it wouldn't whip around so much...
Practice without luggage - that makes it easier, both for the riding and picking up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Whenever I am going faster than my comfortable cruising speed, I tend to tense up a bit, simply because the bike feels less stable. Do bikes normally feel less stable at faster speeds, or is that a byproduct of the incorrect configuration? When I went 110 with less gear, I felt unstable, but that was also due to the wind produced at that speed...
Are you taking mph or kmh? Mph would be the upper limit of the DR. Not where I'd be cruisin.
Kmh would be fine - not unstable .. well a little less that at say 80kmh (50mph) but not much.
My brother says I speed up by 10 kmh on dirt compared to tar - I find on dirt that the slightly higher speed is more stable.


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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Slowing down and redistributing weight is the easiest (also cheapest) solution, so it's the one I'll be going with. Something like a Giant Loop would be nice, but ease of packing is definitely important to me, because I live on the bike. As it is, I have to dig through the boxes multiple times a day. The idea of doing that with everything bungeed on or another solution that doesn't allow ample room to dig through stuff makes me shudder.

If nothing else, the tire patching episode proved that I will be pretty much useless if I need to fix anything on the road!

I still have yet to figure out how to learn to scuba and hangglide on the cheap though.
Packing is an art form.
I find I get better .. after say 2 months of travel on the bike I was really good. That was too long ago and I've lost some of it. Never mind it will come back on the next long long trip. Best packers I know of are http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/duval/ but it does not look like they have bothered to put that in print.

For fun http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...avelling-35017

Fixing stuff .. well learn to do your own servicing will help.

Yet to do the scuba diving ... something like 1% of the population do it .. yet there is more sea than land.
Try sailplanes (gliding) ... as well as hanggliding... see which one you like best?

--------------
If you have the space one way of 'traveling' without traveling is to host other travelers as they come through? You'll get americans from this site .. but anything can come your way on the HU site .. join a community there and see? http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #490
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Glad to hear...

that you were nursing your thumb on a video game controller and not laying in traction all this time.

Allow me to start the Healthcare discussion for you...

Alot of us activists were working on Single Payer Healthcare even before candidate Obama made promises for Single-Payer when running against Hillary. Obama-care kind of stole the wind from the public debate after that election but never delivering as much in return. That's not to bash the president... he is only one man reflecting the wishes of so many Americans who just want to enjoy the security of health insurance to get elected now battling a huge profit making healthcare industry who are after all the milk-cows of investment bankers.

Improved Medicare for All is really the only way to economically cover everyone without costing us any more than we (as a country) currently spend on our broken "sick-care" market. We truly have no healthcare system for all the built in inefficiencies of a market system designed to siphon profits first and foremost while delivering some passable form of health services for those that can afford insurance while ignoring the rest. That some Americans cynically say Medicaid covers all those that can't afford health insurance only illustrates the overwhelming ignorance in this discussion.

Ignorance is after all part of the design. Organizations exist to actively dilute public debate with misinformation and fund loud-mouth astro-turf organizations to stand in front of corporate controlled news cameras... all the while enjoying the fact that local governments hurting for funding in this economy first choose to ax money for public education. We all know it takes an intelligent and informed public to keep a democracy. That is what those who benefit from the broken status-quo are most afraid of a true functioning democracy to foil their profit-generating systems even as the world around them crumbles.

My wife and I are activists on this front because both of us are naturalized Americans originally from countries that developed and currently enjoy a true healthcare system that covers everyone. We both still hold citizenship to those countries as our "medical escape hatch" since we both ride. We know from personal experience that True Universal Health Insurance is affordable, realistic, and ultimately civilized. From our perspective, those who are still confused about this issue are simply afraid, are having their fears manipulated, for they stand to lose the most by not coming together to solve this social challenge in our country... by improving and expanding Medicare for All Americans.

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Ed~ screwed with this post 11-27-2012 at 03:55 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #491
TO Scootz
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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
Currently I am staying with my parents, where I have stashed a desktop computer, so I'm set on the photo software front. I really would like to get a small laptop, as I've found it incredibly difficult to make posts of the quality I expect without the ability to have more than one application open at once. The droid is great for keeping regular notes day to day, and taking pictures, but combining all of these requires that I edit the photos, copy/paste, and other stuff that the droid can do, but much more slowly. Even something as simple as replying to more than one person at once takes a long time. It already takes me hours to do an update, I don't think I want to make that worse with inefficiency.

I have a dell laptop, but it is HUGE. Far too big to bring with me. I am thinking of trying to pick up a cheap EEPC, netbook, toughbook, or something similar.

On the nerd front, I am currently running XP on this desktop, but I spent most of my desktop-time in Portland running Mint (a flavor of Ubuntu). Oz uses Slackware, which drives me absolutely batty. I vastly prefer OSS to proprietary windows BS, but I can't be bothered to reconfigure this desktop when I am not going to be here for very long. I used to do server support at my last job, so I got passable at CLI.

I know about and envy your health care system. I lived in Denmark for a year and it was incredibly relieving to have access to that kind of care. I plan on ranting about this subject when I get to the aftermath of the crash. Sadly, your country doesn't even like me to visit because I don't have steady employment. C'est la vie.
Even a used toughbook is going to be pricey. I've carried my Acer netbook (dual boot, XP and Ubuntu 12.04) around a bit, but my Wee Strom is not a dirt bike, therefore the Acer gets a (sort of) easy ride.

Our country would be happy to have you visit, but with no job for you to go back to, they're afraid you might make the visit permanent.
My daughter's boyfriend is American, and they both get hard times at both sides of the border, because of their long stays, and for moving housekeeping gear across both borders.

Best of luck with the injuries, and I hope you heal well and quickly.

TO Scootz screwed with this post 11-28-2012 at 07:44 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #492
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Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
My wife and I are activists on this front because both of us are naturalized Americans originally from countries that developed and currently enjoy a true healthcare system that covers everyone. We both still hold citizenship to those countries as our "medical escape hatch" since we both ride.
That works if you can get out.

I know of two people who have flown, one with a broken jaw (hit at LA airport), the other a broken leg. Both lied to get on the plane. Flying with any serious medical injury makes commercial flight a no go. Simply they don't want any problems. Any thing that could rupture at low pressure will get you off the plane.

Good luck educating the rest of the 'merican population. Or enough of it to make a difference.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:13 PM   #493
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Lassen and Truckee (Oct 18th)

I packed up and left early. I had slept well. Perhaps a bit too warm, but better too warm than too cold. The nine miles of dirt were a great way to get started on the day. Between dodging a few trucks, I practiced standing until I reached pavement.

I was surprisingly close to Lassen National Park! As I headed towards it, the morning air was cool, but the road was interesting and twisty. I spied a doe loitering on the side of the road, blending in quite well with the dappled shadows. Yikes! Slow down...


I passed the checkpoint, digging out my annual pass card, and consulted a map once inside. It's a shame I couldn't spend a bit more time, with names like Boiling Springs Lake, it seemed that there were a number of geothermal hotspots to explore here. My friends were expecting me north of Bishop though, so I pressed on.

Some nice views of Mt. Lassen. Most of the trees were coniferous, but there were just enough leaves changing color to spice things up.


The road didn't stop being fun and twisty once inside the park! The trees shrunk, and the views over the valley below were amazing.




Curves and switchbacks, the road continued to climb up into the mountains, eventually hitting over 8,000 feet. I had no problems with the bike due to altitude. I think it got up to 9k further on, but this is where I took the photo.


Around a few more bends, some of the trees gave way to pastel dirt and rocks.


Helen Lake was beautiful. Clear, deep blue water. If it had been warmer, I'd be tempted to go for a swim, but I'm sure that the water is ice cold!


Not far away, I stopped at the parking area for Bumpass Hell. I had read that this little three-mile round trip hike was quite worth it, as there was a popular geothermal area at the end. As I cable locked all of my riding gear to the bike, a couple piled out of their rented RV and we chatted a bit about the natural beauty of the place. The guy got a grin and indicated his wife, "We've got a passion for Lassen!" I managed to avoid a groan.

The informational signs around this area had a lot of really great quotes. I love reading about the history of places I visit. It gives them a bit more depth.


"We took up the line of march with Mr. K. V. Bumpass as a guide, an old and experienced mountaineer, whose services we had secured to conduct us to these infernal regions. On turning the ridge, all the wonders of hell were suddenly before us."

"Our guide [Mr. K. V. Bumpass], after cautioning us to be careful where we stepped, that the surface was treacherous, suddenly concluded with Virgil that the "descent to hell was easy" for stepping upon a slight inequality in the ground he broke through the crust and plunged his leg into the boiling mud beneath, which clinging to his limb burned him severely. If our guide had been a profane man I think he would have cursed a little; as it was, I think his silence was owing to his inability to do the subject justice..." - Editor, Red Bluff Independent, 1865

Unfortunately, Mr. Bumpass lost his leg to that 240-degree mudpot. It shed some new light on all of the "Stay on the trail!" warnings. Apparently, some people fail to learn from the mistakes of others, and a handful of people are severely burned each year as a result.

The hike was quite pleasant, it was good to stretch my legs and get out of my riding boots for a while. I was able to get a nice view of the lake and the road together. Sometimes it can be difficult to capture the essence of a place without a bird's eye view.


The hiking trail was rocky, and my ankle was having some difficulty at certain angles, due to having twisted it a few days prior at the cave.


I quickly learned how best to place my foot to avoid twisting it further, but the ache would be a constant companion for the rest of my hike. Undaunted, I pressed on, enjoying the crisp mountain air and the amazing vistas the high vantage point afforded me. I wish I were a better photographer, sadly I don't think I really do this area justice.




Eventually the trail began descending. The rocky trail gave way to cracked dirt, and eventually I did see "all the wonders of hell" through a gap in the trees. Neat!


It was another half a mile or so to get down into the volcanic area. Occasionally I'd get a whiff of the rotten egg stench of sulphur when the wind was right. I climbed a little hill and sat on a rock, taking a long drink of water and enjoying the bubbling, steaming activity around me. The panorama is worth a closer look.


Volcanic areas always seem otherworldly to me. Crystal blue, bright yellow, you don't often see these shocking colors in a normal landscape. It would be interesting to go back in time, to a period where volcanic activity was more common...




(For scale, notice the boardwalk in that second pic. These pools were pretty big!)

This is the "Big Boiler", and the sign informed me that it is the hottest fumarole within a non-active volcano in the world. It can get up to 322F! It's also getting larger over time, as the volcanic gasses eat away at the surrounding clay.


Even knowing that most of these pools will kill you, I still had an urge to take a dip in some of them. This one didn't look too deadly...


I thought about the people who built the boardwalk, especially in the context of Bumpass' leg and the brittle ground. Must be a risky job! Maybe they had some special safety gear?


The hike back to the bike was, happily, mostly downhill. I enjoyed the way that the trees tenaciously clung to life on the side of the mountain.


Some of them seemed to be held up by not much more than rocks!


Eventually I neared the parking area. It was fun to play "spot the bike". I'd spent way longer than I intended to, exploring this area, but I'm glad that I took the time and didn't rush it. I would not have enjoyed myself nearly as much if I were in a hurry to see everything before it got dark on the previous day.


I returned to the bike and geared up. I visited another nearby volcanic feature called the Sulfur Works, but even with the superior name, after Bumpass it failed to impress me. On the side of the highway there was a (relatively) small mudpot which engulfed me in a wet cloud of stinky steam. Glad I stopped to take a look, but the first one was much better!




I enjoyed the highway coming out of the park and aimed myself toward Truckee. I didn't stop to take too many photos, because I needed to eat up the miles. I discovered that I'd gotten a bit of a sunburn at Lassen, apparently I forget how quickly I burn at altitude. Whoops!


It was getting late, and I hit Truckee around dusk. I parked the bike and wandered around a bit.


I grew up in Truckee - well, we moved there when I was 8 and left when I was 10, but many of my childhood memories were from this place. It was interesting to see how it had changed.


It seemed like a lot of the knick knack shops I remembered from my youth had given way to trendy upscale restaurants and fancier, more expensive, kitchy shops. The town was trying to rebrand itself as a tourist destination for the middle and upper class, to shake off its small-town nature. I'm not sure how I felt about that.


For example, there were a lot of people dressed in period clothing wandering around the town. I discovered that this was for an adults-only walking tour of "haunted Truckee" but I didn't really want to spend $30 for the experience, content to just observe from afar. I later asked my parents if there had ever been something like that when we had lived there, and they were as dumbfounded as I was. Times change, I guess, especially in this economy, and at $30 a ticket, 20 people a group and multiple groups, somebody was raking in the cash.


I ate dinner in town, and found internet, where I discovered that there was a free campsite listed a few miles back the way I came. Score! I headed off into the night. Down a dirt road, I discovered that the ranger station was closed for the season, so they had closed the road, which led to the campsite too. I had to go the long way around to get to the free camping. Typical.

I took a wrong turn and ended up going up a different dirt road, which was both steep and very rocky. More than once I saw a large obstacle and hit the throttle... knowing I would crash if I went too slow. It felt very crazy and out of control. I wanted to turn around but the road just kept going uphill, so I stopped in the road to consider my options.

I tried to gas it, but the rear wheel just flung rocks around. Well, I guess that's the end of uphill then. I gingerly got off and s-l-o-w-l-y backed the bike downhill. It slid downhill at times, even with the front brake applied. There was a lot of cursing.

Somehow I managed to get the bike turned around and pointed downhill without dropping it. I crept downhill slowly, and was grateful for the fact that it was easier to pick my line as I could see a bit further. I was a bit shaken but proud that it didn't end badly.

I found the correct turn off. This road was tough in spots due to riding at night (why do I always end up doing this crap at night?!) and some rocks/potholes but I made it to the camp. I laughed at the "passenger vehicles not recommended" symbol on the brief little quarter-mile down to the campsites. No, really? What have I been riding on?

I picked the first campsite I ran across, having had my fill of nighttime road battles.

The night was cold. I was at over seven thousand feet in elevation, and Truckee had recently reported temperatures in the low 30s. The tarp kept slipping off, and I woke up frequently. I ended up adding another layer of socks and doubling up on jackets, managing to find unconsciousness at last.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:17 PM   #494
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This is literally the third time I've edited that batch of photos. I think it is worth it though, they look phenomenal in comparison with the previous iteration I did in an older version of the software. I have some high hopes for the rest of the photos!

If things look funky (too dark, too light, too contrasty) please tell me. I've done what I can to calibrate this LCD monitor, but so much of that is subjective.

Replies forthcoming!
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #495
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Eh? Help Feyala! I've been FRAMED! Have you?

Feyala,

May I suggest you invite other DR riders to meet up with you for a ride?

Trade bikes to see if their bikes feel the same, or different than yours, to you.
And, possibly more importantly, the other riders will be able to tell you if there is anything your bike needs.
New head bearings, wheel alignment, frame straightening, swing arm bearings, etc.

I have bought several bikes at insurance auctions that looked fine... if you don't line up the wheels vertically.
I mean that the stem head (where the forks attach to the frame) was just slightly twisted and you could see it if you sighted the wheels from straight in front or behind. The bike will ride fine with the wheels out of plane... until a slight oscillation begins at speed. At low speed it is not noticeable since it occurs slowly and you automatically correct without even knowing it. But as the speed goes up, watch out!

A series of fun s-curves in the road, a few bumps, or just about anything can start a weave that can quickly advance to a rider spitting high side tank slapper. A bent frame can kill you. Fortunately it can be fixed by a shop that specializes in frames.

Hopefully a bent frame is not the problem for you but by having other experienced riders, especially those with DR650 experience, will help you figure out what can and should be done to make your ride as safe as possible.

I hope this helps and that others in your area can set your mind at ease with your bike set-up.
And that you heal quickly to get back on your travels.
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