airheads and water crossings.

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Gimmeslack, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    I follow some of the ride reports...and notice where the riding stops and other methods start.

    At some point trying to turn a motorcycle into a submarine gets silly.

    Any of a number of expedition trucks will breeze through any of that territory. Dig up an operational DUKW and skip ALL the bridges. Why take a motorcycle?


    Oh..never mind. This is turning into another "best survival knife" thread, I should know better...
  2. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    No, man, not at all, I'm just sayin' that our man here is dealing with a real issue. In the land of drought, I'm more concerned with keepin' dust and soybean husks out of my shit*, but it's an interesting topic.


    *I've always wondered, looking at Rooney's set-up, how much are water crossings an issue in OZ? I thought it was purty dry there.
  3. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    I bought an airhead recently...lots of water on the trails where I live....watching this thread with interest...

    :lurk
  4. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    A part of the trip I did was so wet the locals adviced not to take the planned route. They drove big Kamaz trucks that couldn't get trough the swamps or were not able to use the tracks because they were almost washed away.
    On the bikes these tracks were ok. Even the deep crossings were easy on the thumpers.

    For me the airhead will always be the bike that gives me the most fun. Although I know there are a lot of bikes more suitable.
    Making the airhead suitable for these kind of adventures is a big part of the fun for me.
  5. ontic

    ontic

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    Australia is very diverse and big with different climates, but in many places once you get off the black stuff and sometimes even on it there is a lot of water crossings. Even in the dry places it gets wet regularly. "A land of drought and flooding rains" as the poem goes.
    It doesn't look like much, but this turned our two airheads around (and actually every other vehicle from either side such as big 4x4's with snorkles)- it wasn't the depth here but the flow was just too quick and would have swept us and anything else off down into the paddock and through barbed wire fences... not fun.
    [​IMG]

    That sort of causeway crossing is very common here, so are basic river rock and sand and mud bottom ones. Floods somewhere in the country are usually a yearly event. In my travels in Australia I've done many more water crossings in 4x4 drive rather than on a motorbike and a lot of these would be way too deep for a standard airhead, and these were mostly just regular water levels.

    In short, in turning an airhead into a do-it-all more dirt-capable adventure bike, I think there is plenty of need for some to increase the water depth they can work at- in this country and others. Prutsers case the most obvious and photographically evidence case in point:deal
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I think the carb, trans, and final drive breathers are pretty useful for anyone looking to take an airhead off-road. A snorkel for the airbox is definitely a less common necessity, but for some it definitely is.
  7. Sibbo

    Sibbo Been here awhile

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    That looks like the duck's nitz , straight out the top!:clap
  8. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Ummm Tank Bag? Fitting one of those over the top might cause excessive fuel consumption... You'd also want to be careful with the sealing between the tank and the carbs...
  9. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Danny Liska in Costa Rica

    <a href="http://s814.photobucket.com/user/hardwaregrrl/media/dannyliska_zps5603f1d6.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz66/hardwaregrrl/dannyliska_zps5603f1d6.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo dannyliska_zps5603f1d6.jpg"/></a>

    Just ran across this pic in the new Overland Journal, hadn't ever seen that pic of him. More here: Danny Liska

    <a href="http://s814.photobucket.com/user/hardwaregrrl/media/danny_zps77a20940.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz66/hardwaregrrl/danny_zps77a20940.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo danny_zps77a20940.jpg"/></a>
  10. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    :huh Umm .. I don't think I'd have the engine running through there .... less trouble to push it through and drain it on the other side if the engine is not running and injecting water..
  11. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    ya, think that's self-propelled.
  12. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Does anyone here have a sense of humor?
  13. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    NO :pissed

    edit: Wow, I'd never heard of him before. The pictures google turns up are incredible

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair

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    Dredging up an older thread for a relatively simple mod to increase wading depth on Paralever Airhead GSs (at least for bikes sporting 40mm carbs).

    I have had issues with stream & river crossings where the carb float bowl breather blocks, the bike starts to cough, potentially you lose the bow wave, & the bike sucks water. Fortunately I haven't completely stalled mid stream, but it&#8217;s been close too many times.

    One of the things we discovered earlier is that there are a number of carb variants, with three of these noted in post 48, & so solutions for older bikes will be different / may be more difficult.

    Prutser came up with a very elegant solution for his bike, back at post No 83.

    My bike is a &#8217;91 R100GS with 40mm carbs. The carb nos are 94/123a (left) & 94/40/124a (right). These have a round steel press fit cover over the external exit of the breather, on the side of the carb facing the engine block, adjacent to the choke.

    The internal exit of the breather is at the top of the float chamber, & shown in the carb in the attached photo.

    [​IMG]

    The press fit covers on the outer side of the carb are blanks.

    [​IMG]

    I have had my machinist flick off the engine / choke side press fit covers, & then drill & tap a spigot into the breather tube. I have then run tubing up from the spigot, up the choke cable, & then onto the main frame of the bike to give a higher wading depth. Whilst not as cosmetically pleasing as Prutser's mod, I think this is an easy, cheap, & practical mod to resolve wading depth breathing issue.

    [​IMG]

    Reassembled on the bike, the mod is not really visible. Be aware that I have yet to test this in an actual stream crossing, so it&#8217;s all hypothesis & theory at this stage.
  15. Steve in NZ

    Steve in NZ scared/cheap

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    hi Steve.


    what's that's small body of water sth of you. Saves using Blue bridge. Good luck .:norton
  16. Mendodave

    Mendodave Road Scholar

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    I rode the Sheetiron on my R80G/S and took a hard split by accident. naturally there was a water crossing. lots of people falling over and getting hauled out, so I set up and went where they were NOT going. No problem.

    Water was over my ankles standing on the pegs.

    Mendo
  17. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    The weather varies :rofl from the northern monsoons near the equator (S 10.9 degrees) to the southern 'english' types of weather (S 43.9 degrees). We have a few deserts too .. where 5 years worth of rain can fall in 3 to 5 hours .. and then nothing for the next 5 years .. or more. So pick a place in OZ and then determine the weather there - that will give you some idea of the potential for water crossings.

    For comparison - the US 48 states go from N 22.5 (Baja) degrees to N 48.6 (knuck boarder) degrees, so OZ spans a greater radius .. and the bottom bit sits in the roaring 40s - with the cleanest air in the world (cape grim Tasmania) and the weather that goes with it.
  18. Mendodave

    Mendodave Road Scholar

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    I rode the Sheetiron on my R80G/S and took a hard split by accident. naturally there was a water crossing. lots of people falling over and getting hauled out, so I set up and went where they were NOT going. No problem.

    Water was over my ankles standing on the pegs.

    Mendo
  19. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair

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    Would need a longer breather & a long snorkel. I'm game if you are...You lead the way.
  20. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Nice job Steve, we will have a little creek crossing set up for you about 1 km into the C2C. :D the rest of us will watch then go around the road way to the other side. Bit to early for me to get my feet wet:rofl