Advice please

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Hayate, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Hayate

    Hayate ADV Monkey

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    I know everything is already answered on here but I can't stay up til 3am reading anymore, LOL So here it goes, can someone with the knowledge and experience give me a summary on these questions? I'm on an 09 800gs and recently started tackling more offroad. Price is a big issue so please let me know what the options cost as well. I've got the bike pretty well protected from Touratech (about $2500 into them already), so my questions are about anything else I need, mechanically or for myself to have a safer or easier or better time on the trails.

    Boots? I'm wearing cheap ATV boots that offer a decent amount of protection but the toebox is huge and it's a bit hard to work the foot controls.

    Other body protection? I'm just wearing a decent Tourmaster jacket and pants currently. I'm interested in the Leatt gear but I know there are better/cheaper options out there right? Which pieces are the most important to start with?

    Steering dampener? It sounds like this is a wonderful upgrade to make trails safer and easier, but the cost might be prohibitive.

    Throttle stabilizer/control? If this is what I think it is I can see how useful that would be on these bikes. And the simple ones are reasonably priced but is it needed?

    Front shock? Eek yes I have jumped and bottomed out the front so easily, not to mention just stopping hard. But this one costs a butt ton right?

    I'm sure there's other things that I'll read about and get excited about this winter, but for now this is the bits that I'll try to limit my push button spending to.

    Cheers! And thanks ahead of time for any and all advice.

    Consolidated, organized summery of responses for myself and anyone that may stumble upon this thread in the future (feel free to correct anything I get wrong):

    Bike
    Front Shocks - low priority for me at the moment, moving up as offroad speed and frequency increases. Expensive, Springs $250+, complete upgrade $500+
    Steering Stablizer - low priority. Everyone that has this mod seems to swear by it, but seems to be an expensive luxury for me at the moment. $500+
    Throttle control - low priority. Various levels of technology and expense for fine tuning throttle response. Inexpensive options. $80-500

    Tires
    - The first and really only thing this bike needs to adapt to the trail for starters.
    Make, Model, On/Offroad, Cost, Best source, Notes
    Continental TKC-80
    s 40/60 $270 a set (comp accessories best price?), have served me well (2 fronts, 3 rears, 10k miles per front, 7k miles per rear)
    Metzler Tourance 90/10 $310 (local shop, Hitching post, haven't priced them on the web) Good street mileage tire, 12k+, better than OEM battlewing offroad
    Heidenau K60 Scouts
    50/50 $265 a set (revzillia cheapest and best inventory?) Long lasting, like a Metzler Tourance, perormance closer to the TKC's offroad,
    Full Bore M-40/41 75/25 $165 a set (motorcycle maniac store... never shopped here) (just found these...same as shinko?)
    Shinko 705, 80/20 $140 a set (Moto Superstore) $150 a set (Revzillia) , Inexpensive!
    Kenda Big Block 50/50? $210 a set (Dennis Kirk), very low miles on street, probably not worth the savings over TKC's
    (I've owned and only have experience with the TKC-80's and Tourances, my next set will be the K60 Scouts)

    Brake Pads
    OEM, Dealership $55 rear.
    Carbone - Sintered metal (hard on roters), $60 full set front, $30 rear (beemerboneyard.com)
    Galfer - Black rear $25, Green Front $67 full set front (happy-trail.com)

    Body
    Chest Protector - Fox Racing Titan Sport armor $150, Leatt Chest $120, Leatt full body $230, (neck, Leatt GPX pro II $250 additional)
    Boots - Oneal Element boots $100?, Garne SG 10, TCX Pro 2 and Sidi Adventure $400-500 (out of my price range for the near term, but I'll save up and suffer with what I have)
    #1
  2. Hicks

    Hicks der Überluber

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    a) hyperpro progressive springs under 200EUR
    b) bitubo springs + cartridges ~500EUR
    c) Ohlins
    d) should be something from Tractive soon (next year?) dont know
    #2
  3. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    hey I never noticed that in advice is ADV :rofl. Sorry that I can't help you on this one
    #3
  4. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    You didn't mention tires. That to me would be my first priority.
    I would also get some boots that allow you to properly operate the bike, and offer decent support.
    As far as performance upgrades go, it all depends on your weight, ability and riding terrain. Since you're already bottoming the forks, that is where I would start. Spring and oil changes can make quite a difference on a budget, and they may bay due for a service anyway.
    :freaky
    #4
  5. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

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    You can adjust the shift lever, might help out with your current boots.

    I would say just get out there and ride some dirt, see what you think you need. A lot of those upgrades are just fine but you can still go out and have a good time on the bike as it sits! IMHO!!!
    #5
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    If you just "recently started tackling more offroad," then your money might be more wisely spent on upgrading your skills rather than on more farkles for the bike. These DVDs are a good place to start:

    http://www.dualsportriding.com
    #6
  7. Hayate

    Hayate ADV Monkey

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    Thanks. Yeah tires are the most obvious thing for changing terrain. I think I've got a clue in that area. I was overjoyed by the first change out of those Battlewings to Tourances and the little hill climb it allowed at my buddies backyard motocross track. Since then I've run a few sets of TKC's which I absolutely love and don't at all mind the few extra pennies per mile for the options they present. I actually just picked up a free set of Metzler Saharas for free off craigslist, but they were free for a reason (checked the code and found to be 13 years old... and now I'm too paranoid to put them on probably). Anyway, I'll give those K60 Scouts a try next after reading so many good things.

    My boots are MSR VX-1 ATV which I know aren't the best but aren't the worst protection-wise anyway. The only boots I keep on looking at as ones I "have to have" are those Sidi Adventure ones... but I'll have to start offering myself after hours to strangers to afford them anytime soon (oh wait I already do that and don't make any $ on it).

    So springs possibly? I'm 210# and 6'0" and want to be fearless without killing myself (call it adventurously cautious as I'm closer to 40 then 30 all of a sudden). Those progressive ones seem to be the best value option? And yeah I probably do need to do the service already... I passed right by the 24,000 recommended oil replacement on the front shocks as just the normal 12k maintenance broke my bank that month. Since then I've picked up the service discs and am tackling a lot more on my own so maybe that's my next DIY learning experience?

    @Mr. B, yeah I've moved the shift lever up a bit but not so high that it's impossible while wearing my Redwing boots (more typically). The problem is that if I go any higher then downshifting is really awkward. New boots someday...

    @Woodworks, thanks, that's probably the most astute suggestion. Got a long winter ahead here anyway, plenty of time to watch and read. I keep on sitting down to read that guide from BestRest at least, but honestly I'm not very far into it...

    Anyway, thanks for the response.
    #7
  8. speedmonkey7

    speedmonkey7 Been here awhile

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    I am on the opposite side of you and just started riding street so offroad is in my blood. In my experience chest protection is the most often overlooked piece in peoples gear when getting into offroad. I have gotten speared in the chest by my own bars after coming off in some deep whoops, and I had the unfortunate experience of seeing a guy die from crushing his chest landing from a jump in the sand. It sounds like you have a handle on the rest of it. Make some friends that are good offroad and go ride with them. Heck I'd even go out for a practice day at a local mx track if touch can. Just make sure you can get your bike home if you bend something!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2
    #8
  9. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

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    good advice. I have also cracked ribs 2X in tight woods bouncing off trees. Then I bought a chest protector made for someone bigger then your typical 125lb MX kid.

    These new neck braces look interesting as well. It sucks crashing with a hit to your neck that makes you feel like a hangover, without the benefit of staying up all night drinking :evil.

    But nothing beats the experience gained riding off road, like when the reaction to role on an over the bars crash becomes an involuntary reaction. :huh

    But even now after 40 years of off road riding, I know I am going to crash every time I ride off road, I wait for it. "Great, now that that's over with I can get down to business". :deal

    Looking back, hard core off road is best started when young, you heal faster and forget the pain. But learning how to crash really helps as you get older.
    #9
  10. Steveman

    Steveman Been here awhile

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    Concerning the boots go and get GAERNE SG 10 and your offroad life gets remarkeably better. If you ride a lot through rivers and you hate to put on wet boots next morning go and get TCX Pro 2.1 boots with inner booties. A bit harder to close but still very good with a little less feel for the controls than SG10.

    Steve
    #10
  11. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Do the springs first after your bike protection bits. I started with Hyperpros on both ends. A good bang for the buck, but I would go with a .60kg Bitubo spring on the front and a Hyperpro on the rear.

    Stock is .46kg front. Hyperpros are .52-74kg. The bike alone will compress the lighter coils together and you will be riding on the heavier section of the spring. I never came close to using all the travel I had, which is kind of the point of it all.

    I had the .60kg spring with my Bitubo cartridge and found it too harsh, but the cartridge is pressurized adding to the effective weight of the spring. Should be about right on a stock cartridge. The spring is longer than stock, so you should remove the spacer. If you bottom it, you can add a shorter spacer.

    The real culprit on the forks is the valving, it has the equivalent of hydro locking under fast fork compression.

    My Bitubo works well with a .55kg Ohlins, but it requires special equipment to revalve or service.

    The Hyper pro rear spring is OK on the shock. Mine has gotten better with age as shock wear has decreased it spiking and rebound is still good.

    To deal with the abrupt throttle I went with both a fuel module and a G2 throttle tube. The real culprit is lean low rpm fueling cycling quickly into a richer mixture at higher rpm. If your off road keeps you in the 2,200 rpm range or higher you may not notice it or at least can control it. It is a band aid fix, but made plonking along possible.

    I have a Scott's stabilizer. It can save your butt is sand or silt. The front goes into and out of ruts easily. Gives the bike a heavier/stable feeling on pavement.

    It was the last mod I added. I would love to hear from the last poster I recommended that advice. He ignored it.:rofl

    As for tires, I have run a bunch of them. In summer hard pack with a little gravel the non knobbys are adequate. Gone through several sets of TKC as a general purpose tire. Currently a Pirelli knobby on the rear. I am not expert enough to feel any real favorites.
    #11
  12. Hayate

    Hayate ADV Monkey

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    Thanks for the advice, but honestly to the novice mechanic here I'm a bit overwhelmed with all of that. I guess what I want to hear is "get these springs, they don't cost much, follow the service instructions and replace the OEM parts".

    That sounds great... running out of ruts and failing causes at least half of my falls. But really, over $500? Nothing cheaper and/or is it really worth it?

    I did mention being on a budget right? At what point is it cheaper to get a second bike that's a "true" dual-sport for a couple grand? (maybe that's what I should learn on anyway, but I truly love the idea of a bike that does it all!)
    #12
  13. deguoren

    deguoren 该出手时就出手

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    I have the Sidi Adventure but I use them for road riding. For longer offroad use they seems not to be stiff enough + sole not hard enough. For that I use ONEAL Element 3 boots, which you can get for around 150 Euros or less. For that price they do a very good job. Since more than 2 years in my case.

    chest, knee & protective pants is a must have in my opinion & proper gloves, not the soft mx style ones.

    I love them ! Used TKCs before but the back tire lasted only like 2500 km, and I get 10.000 km out of a K 60 Scout. Its always a compromise but this tire does street & offroad riding reasonable good.
    #13
  14. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Buy a Bitubo .60kg front spring, run 10 wt fork oil. Air gap is some what personal. Stock is 60mm with the fork collapsed and the spring out. I would start with a 110mm air gap.

    Loosen top fork bolts. Loosen fork cap. Remove forks, take the cap off. Replace oil, spring and leave the spacer out, if the Bitubo spring is longer than stock, as I remember it to be.

    Remove shock. You need a spring compressor to remove spring. Replace with a Hyper pro. Make sure you tighten to shock bolts to 74ft lbs.

    I ran the bike with the modded suspension for 2 years without a stabilizer and lived to tell about it. I have ridden for 45 years and it was my first one. I think it is worth it, but it won't fix suspension shortcomings.

    I just priced the Bitubo spring. Ouch!!. Contact member LaPorte for a second opinion, he used mine and liked it well enough to buy one.
    last post: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19810188#post19810188
    #14
  15. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    Look at Race Techs. Reasonably priced. I'm about your body weight and the .75's and 10wt is working well for me. They also offer a .95 rate. Ability, terrain and expectations are all factors though. There is no magic answer. YMMV
    It took me 5 months to get mine though, so clarify that before you put money down.
    Don't bother with their rear spring. It is just an off the shelf Eibach that can be easily had for half their asking price.
    #15
  16. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I have asked this question before, so hope you know. Have you ever zip tied the fork to see how much travel you are using with the Race tech springs?

    The spring weight they recommend is so much higher than what is used on comparable weight bikes, such as a KTM 950. There are other aftermarket springs offered for the F800 that are much lighter.
    #16
  17. Hayate

    Hayate ADV Monkey

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    Thanks, finally someone suggests something that doesn't cost $500. That's the thing I wasn't prepared for... the crazy costs of everything, and how many bits and pieces there are.

    Geez, seriously? Burning a rear TKC-80 in 1500 miles? What are you doing to them? I know I run my tires all the way out just to be cost effective and they are worthless in muck at the end, but... This rear I put BACK ON after it had 6k miles and ran it another 1k before this past weekend where I will now admit it is past useless.
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    Yes. Reasonably aggressive riding on rough deactivated foresty roads leaves me ~30mm of unused travel. Big hits take it to the last mm.

    I cut the stock 30mm plastic spacer in half to 15mm. 120mm air gap. I'm 210 without gear. This nets me ~67mm (29%) static sag.
    I also have an 1100lb/in (19.6kg/mm) spring in the rear. Race tech claims stock is 15.7-16.7kg/mm. I run ~1/3 preload and ~1/4 turn from full hard. (Without luggage)

    Race tech also offers a .95 front spring. Their rate calculator suggests I should have a .91 for my weight. I went with the .75 at the recommendation of my local dealer. He had concerns about the stock cartridge having enough rebound damping. I suspect the .95 spring is geared for the TT fuel tank.
    #18
  19. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    It all about your right wrist. I have had tkc's last from 2500km to 9000km depending on what I was doing with them. I ate an E-09 in 1500km once, but the current one has around 7500km on it, and still a little life left. It has been almost exclusively pavement though.
    #19
  20. deguoren

    deguoren 该出手时就出手

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    I live in a big city and need to drive 1 hour motorway to get into the dirt.
    + in the land of the free there is no speed limit on most motorways. :wink:
    #20