Earth's Ends: Riding DR650's from End to End

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by micko01, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Franque

    Franque n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    I'm bumping this to the top (in the hopes that we can get an update? :D)... I read what you guys posted on Facebook, does that mean that we'll still be getting updates? Just wondering, I've been really enjoying reading this RR!
    Tan101, OldPete, Foot dragger and 2 others like this.
  2. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Sumter, SC
    this is a great read! I was chuckling when I ran across "Pilipino". I know that if you asked a Filipino what his/her nationality is, you would get, "I am Pilipino/Pilina". Them "F" sounds are tough on our people.
    Tan101 likes this.
  3. mriderking

    mriderking Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    18
    How do i find these guys on FB tired of not getting any updates i love this blog !
    Tan101 and TreasureState like this.
  4. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains Oz
    They're back in Perth after riding across Oz the hard way from Brisbane where they and their bikes arrived from SA. Dunno about the FB thing.
    Tan101 and ONandOFF like this.
  5. manx16

    manx16 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    spallumcheen
    Search earth's ends using FB search
    Tan101 likes this.
  6. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,016
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    So fun to come back and get the updates. This lifestyle is pretty rugged to say the least. Lots of great places, but those few days you don't travel, seem to be filled with blog writing and/or maintenance. Thanks for taking the time!
    Tan101 likes this.
  7. Phrog

    Phrog Terra Australis

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    34.0544°S 150.6958°E AUSTRALIA.
    Tan101 likes this.
  8. Tan101

    Tan101 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    back in west oz
    Hey guys!

    Well it has been ages now hasn't it! So here is a long long long overdue update (that I have lazily just half copied off our Facebook page).

    So we have returned to Australia. Reason being that we were just ready to head home. For some time now Mick and I had realised our feet had stopped itching and we were starting to feel ready to wrap up our travels. We found that as we started to plan our next movements in South America we noticed we weren't excited by the road ahead which might sound strange to anyone that hasn't traveled for almost 3 years straight.

    We still had a list of awesome places we wanted to visit like Peru, Colombia and Brazil (all places we still want to go). But the drive and excitement for doing it was gone. We realised we were ready to head home and have a stable base and work on other projects. We never had a strict time plan or itinerary and always said we would stop the trip when it felt like time to do it.

    And it felt like time to do it.

    The decision wasn't a hard one to make. We felt ready. And we had no doubt we will do a trip like this again. So it was with great ease that we booked flights back to Australia. We traveled to Santiago, Chile again and packed up the bikes and returned home. But we were still hankering for one last challenge before settling down. We had big plans for an Oz ride.

    We got home and after a minor battle we got the bikes out of customs and immediately set about doing some minor repairs, replacements (my hastily repaired swingarm) and some modifications (namely adding a secondary oil cooler to help with the high temps we now faced with the new 790 kit).

    Then we joined our mate Mark who we met and rode with in Southern Africa and set about doing a double unsupported crossing on the Simpson Desert. It was a trip where lots of stuff seemed to go wrong ......none more so than having the desert flood (in October!) on the western side of the desert making a double crossing turn into a single one via the Hay River Track. But it was a great trip nonetheless. The bikes performed awesomely in the desert and the were set up so nicely I swear I couldn't even feel the weight of the 58L of fuel 15L of water I was carrying. The 790 kits made it almost too easy. It almost felt like cheating. And Mick's addition of the little pit bike oil coolers really helped in keeping the temperature down by knocking off at least 5-10 degrees C. From the Simpson and the Hay River Track we rode through the guts of the country to get to Perth.

    Some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    working out how all the plumbing was going to work.

    [​IMG]
    Mick making something on the lathe. Mick's Dad chipped in and made some barbs to bolt into the oil cooler, it had come with banjo fittings but they were too small to use with the hose ID Mick wanted to use so was much easier to make custom fittings from scratch out of some 12mm rod with a 10mm barb on one side and M10x1.25 thread (a quite unconventional size) on the other.


    [​IMG]
    Checking the clearance and where it would sit - he wanted it away from the head and exhaust to minimise the radiant heat BUT close enough that it would still be protected by the tank. A good compromise was found and the coolers are very safe but still effective.

    [​IMG]
    the mount is kinda visible - its mounted off 3 of the stator cover bolts and offset out about 25mm. The oil-cooler is clamped in between some pieces of rubber to add some vibration damping.

    [​IMG]
    the final position. On the other side of the motor, the oil line from the OEM cooler to the head was cut and now feeds to the new cooler which then flows back to the head. This means the new cooler doesn't drain when the motor is off and there is no increase to the amount of oil the oil-pump must pump on start up before oil gets to the head. Mick didn't want to increase the amount of time the motor has low oil pressure at start up.

    [​IMG]
    In front of the iconic Birdsville Hotel at the crack of dawn. This was not what we had planned. The plan was originally to ride out to the top of the Hay River track on the Plenty Highway and head south to the Queesnland/Northern Territory border then turn east to Birdsville. The benefit of this route was that we'd hit the tallest dunes when we were carrying less fuel and more importantly we could arrive at the Birdsville Hotel and celebrate with a cold beer. From there we were to take the Inside Track up to Poeppel's Corner then go west along the French Line. However when we tried to get our permits we found out that flooding between Purni Bore and Mt Dare had about 27 groups stranded needing supply drops and recovery once the water went down enough (in perhaps another weeks' time). Even for cars there was insufficient range for anyone to turn back. We would have been in serious strife if this had happened while we were out there.....or if we did as some tourists do and didn't bother getting the permits and the potentially life saving information that went with them. So we changed the plan and left from Birdsville and traveled north up the Hay River Track. We'd done the French Line before but were disappointed all the same....especially for Mark missing out on 'the dunes of death'

    [​IMG]
    Getting ready for Big Red - The first of 1,140 parallel dunes in the Simpson Desert. At 40m she's the tallest of the lot and we were hitting it fully loaded. By this point I had 52L, Mick had 58L and Mark had 48L. We all had between 15 and 18L of water each. We were carrying a lot more than Mark's unmodified DR as our new 790 kits were thisrtier. Mick expected Mark to use about 50L and each of us 55L (a worst case estimate). But everyone used about 48L. Mick puts this down to the fact that the 790's were now just so torquey that you didn't have to rev them out as they were just creating so much power down low. They might not be much to look at and might send us nearly broke running them on the highway.....but I'm in love with these bikes.

    [​IMG]
    Bikes made it up no worries.

    [​IMG]
    Very close to the QLD/NT border. We expected to get there by about 1pm but were there by 10:30am and feeling fresh. We had a great run. One of us greater than the rest with not a single bogging or drop.....but in the interest of group harmony she shall remain unnamed.

    [​IMG]
    The Hay River Track sign demonstrates how unfrequented this route though the north of the Simpson Desert is. Its Native Title land so take a few weeks and $100 per bike to get a permit. We were told that generally no more than 7 bikes a year go through.

    [​IMG]
    At the southern end of the Hay River track. This section was sooooo much like the French Line but more windy and fun...not that it looks like it in this pic.

    [​IMG]
    Really fun riding.

    [​IMG]
    The dingo bore at the northern end of the Hay River Track

    [​IMG]
    The stars are hard to beat out here.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The rock!

    Fear not. Blogs are coming.
    dave6253, just jeff, JagLite and 23 others like this.
  9. Dalmatino

    Dalmatino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Prison Planet Earth
    An amazing report! Thanks for taking the time to share.

    Could you give us a bit more technical detail on the second oil cooler please. Thanks..
  10. Tan101

    Tan101 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    170
    Location:
    back in west oz
    Sure Dalmatino

    I'll get Mick to add some comments below those pics.

    EDIT: some extra captions added with some more info - but we will track down some more piccies and add them in later.
  11. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Excellent as always Tan and Mick!

    Gonna wrap up SA also?
  12. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,216
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    :clap Good deal, Tanya!

    Family time? ;)
  13. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,907
    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    I've been debating the 790 swap for a few years. Damn it, Tan, you're pushing me to do it!

    How about a complete review of the swap? I know you like the power, but any concerns (oil temp, obviously).
  14. Cuzen

    Cuzen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    361
    Location:
    13 Miles from Richmond Indiana
    Glade you are home safe....what a ride:clap So much to read and learn.....I still go back and look at the pics of the rats sniffing out land mines.
    Chef Gareth likes this.
  15. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,216
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    Mick is an amazing tinkerer. He's come up with a lot of neat stuff for those bikes.
  16. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Base of Mt Princeton
    Great to hear from you Tan. Glad to hear all is well and you are home again, if only for awhile. Your itchy feet have provided us with a phenomenal look at various parts of the world. Thank you, and Mick.
    TreasureState and ONandOFF like this.
  17. TheDecepticon

    TheDecepticon Wannabe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    503
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Great stuff again, guys, heard you were back in Aust. Interested in the 790 feedback as well, mine is nearing 90,000 hard km and am considering a full rebuild. Extra oil cooler,eh? So I'm guessing combustion temperatures are up? :hmmmmm Dumb question, I guess the carbies have been re-jetted?
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,216
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    Picked up on that, eh? ^^^

    On a sad note, another attack in Congo. :fpalm
  19. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,126
    Location:
    Body's back home, but soul is in the Andes
    I rode Mick's bike in Chile. Lots of instant grunt, low down. He & Tan have FCR carbies - can't recall the size.
    JagLite, ONandOFF and 10ecjed like this.
  20. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    425
    Location:
    overcrowded Northern Colorado
    Mick and Tan,

    It has been wonderful to be able to follow your amazing adventures these past years. Your great writings and inspiring photos have kept many of us glued to our PC screens for hours at a time, eager for more. It is sad that this part of your journey is over, but certainly wish you both the best in your future travels. Thanks again for taking us along for the ride!

    Ride safe,

    Taz9
    nuggets and TreasureState like this.