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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by YT Dave, Jun 15, 2013.
Well there goes the neighbourhood
My sincere thanks goes to my good friend Dave (YT Dave) for kicking off this thread....also his (and his wife's) massive encouragement, constant phone calls while up north preparing, keeping loved ones in the loop with updates, etc etc.
Also thanks to Paul with CH2MHILL at the Deadhorse shop for doing a front and rear tire change for me on a moments notice.
And yeah, can't forget the cutie at Wal-Mart in Fairbanks for her allowing me to spread my tools out all over the concrete while I did the engine & final drive oil changes next to the building.
For being more or less a total rookie at this UCC ride compared to others who have successfully achieved an outstanding overall time, I learned some valuable lessons in the short leg of this I ran from Prudhoe to Fort Nelson. In retrospect, I guess sometimes that's what it takes.
After a couple weeks now of seriously mulling this over, there's really no other viable choice I can live with aside from hitting this attempt again.
A few other brief notes are on my website about this past ride, as will be more photos of my next custom fuel cell build....to be based on lessons taken from this past ride & the feedback the bike gave me.
Thanks for chiming in Dan.
What happened to you with the front tire blow-out, and what makes the GSA not the ideal bike, as stated on your web page?
This thread is reminding me of when Gary Eagan got this record for a few years at 101 hours on a Ducati Multistrada. He had problems in the first few hours when a big truck ran him off of the road, messing up a few things on the bike and making it so that he was unable to use the large fuel cell to extend the time between stops.
I know that he had arranged to stop at a specific dealer along the way where the bike could be serviced while he slept for a few hours.
Although I have no interest in riding more than about 500 miles in a day, I enjoy following those who like to try really long distances.
Minor damage to the bike, and none to me. Had I not been 12-13% ahead on time at that point, I'd probably not have decided to do this again.
My comment on the GS was in reference only to the stock plastic fuel tank for this one very specific ride. It was my own inexperience at high-speed in the dirt that led me to believe my rear-mounted fuel cell would pose no problem, but in reality I was fighting a near-continuous front-end wobble almost the whole time in the dirt, and to a lesser extent on blacktop if I hit any irregularity in the pavement. Aside from that, I couldn't let the bike slide gently through corners in the dirt because the rear end was just too planted on the road.
And on the blacktop the bike was just far too rear-end heavy. I was using Hyperpro shocks adjusted to MAX preload and several times I felt both footpegs hit the road at the same time due to bottoming out. Again not the bike per-se, but the placement of the fuel I feel was a contributor to that.
So plan B is taking shape for 2014 or 2015....the next run will be with a single, front mounted fuel tank with 13-14 gallons. I'm going to have to pull some tricks out of my hat to make such a tank look at least somewhat stock and keep the bike ridable.
Looks like you'll be in the market for a KTM 950/990 with the 10.5 gal. Safari tank and 2.2 gal. CJ designs rear tank for your next trip.
Just ride around with the Safari tanks full of ethanol gas in hot weather, I managed to one get 13.3 US Gallons in the tanks. Of course they were completely impossible to remove from the bike.
Seriously, if you are going to build a cell why would, you not look at building a version of the Tanji flat bed cell?
Perhaps the problem was a combination of the lack of a steering stabilizer, not having your suspension optimized for the ride and far too much weight on the bike. There are a lot of bikes riding the IBR this week with a similar set -up to yours, and Dick Fish did all his big rides on a stock 1150 GS( that had been totalled in a fatal wreck with a Jazz fuel cell, custom sized (very narrow) Happy trails panniers, steering stabilizer and perfectly set up suspension
Scotts now makes a complete stabilizer set-up for the 1200 GS & GSA
Dan, et al,
Sorry your first attempt at John's record ended prematurely.
I was living in FL at the time John did his record breaking UCC ride so made time to ride out to meet him as he was pulling into Key West.
John told me that he'd had two failed starts, once because he crashed on the Haul Road, and the second time due to a rock smashing a hole in the sump of his FJR. He had some locals in AK build him a custom sump guard.
It's interesting to read that you felt both your pegs touch the road a few times, on a GSA, John was carrying a comparable amount of gas on an FJR, albeit in that "super" custom tank of his.
From memory I believe you both lucked out with the weather conditions on the Haul Road, but of course a road bike like the FJR could never compete off road with a purpose built ADV bike like the GSA, despite John's great skills. I suspect that most other riders would not have been able to come anywhere near John's time on the Haul Road on a fully loaded road bike...
Best of luck on your next attempt, looking forward to the ride report.
That gas tank!!
I always thought the tank on my FJR was a little small but thats just ridiculous!
This gas tank certainly is not going to win any beauty contests but it sure was functional. John also told me that given his height the tank (with the tangbag on it) was the perfect height to let him rest the chin of his helmet on it...
And for those that are not aware of my friend John Ryan was killed last October 13th on his motorcycle.
John's UCC ride record was bettered by Will Barclay, riding a Harley Davidson, set the new record for the Ultimate Coast to Coast in 80 hours, 2 minutes.
Here's the ADV thread about his death: