Hero? Legend? Fool?

Discussion in 'Racing' started by JMo (& piglet), Oct 4, 2009.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

    Joined:
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    Hi everyone...

    As some of you (almost certainly those who frequent the 2008/2010 Tenere threads) may be aware, last year I bought a brand new Yamaha XT660Z Tenere, shipped it to the US, and spent six months riding more than 23,000 miles all over - from Badwater Basin to Pikes Peak, the Mohave Desert to the Florida Keys - coast to coast, then back again, including the Trans-Am Trail, the high peaks in Colorado, the slickrock in Moab, the forests in Oregon and the deserts in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico... hell, I even had a go at the Rubicon Trail - on my own, in November, with luggage...

    Suffice to say, both I and the bike survived, and on my return to the UK I have taken this perfectly good (if slightly used) adventure bike, and built it into what I now hope will be a competitive and reliable rally machine:

    [​IMG]

    The reason for this is I am entered on the 2009 edition of the Heroes-Legend Paris-Dakar rally, which leaves Paris later this month (the 22nd October!), and arrives in Dakar two weeks and 6500 kms later... hopefully with me and the bike still in one piece!

    Of course I'm certainly not the first British Woman to race from Paris to Dakar, but I am still a rarity in what is a very male dominated sport. As such, I would hope that what I am about to undertake is of particular interest, and feel there is an opportunity to do a lot of good out of what is essentially a selfish personal indulgence!

    I have two close friends who’s families have been terribly affected by Bowel Cancer, and continue to be so. Likewise, my own family history is not without tragedy in that regard, so I feel particularly strongly that this is a cause I would like to support in whatever way I can.

    My friend Ruth Turner has set up a JustGiving page as part of her London Marathon Campaign for 2010, and has asked me to join her in raising funds for Bowel Cancer UK.

    Of course I am more than happy to answer any questions about the bike and the build here in this thread, but I'd also really appreciate it if you could take a minute and consider the following link to the fundraising page Ruth has set up...

    http://www.justgiving.com/Ruth-Turner/

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this far, I look forward to answering any questions you may have,

    Jenny Mo xxx

    [​IMG]

    Donate Here

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. grimmboy

    grimmboy Chris Grimm

    Joined:
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    Best of luck from a 2008 Heroes Legend participant. Had a blast, made loads of friends, made it to the end and would love to do it again.

    Look after Clive for me please.

    Enjoy, Chris
    #2
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Thanks Chris - yes, Clive is riding this year!

    I'll do my best to have a GREAT time!

    xxx
    #3
  4. PPiA

    PPiA Pete

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    I saw a couple of those at the bike shop on Saturday. They look like fun.
    What changes have you made to get it ready for the H-L?
    #4
  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi PPiA - well where to begin?!

    The stock bike is great as an adventure/trail bike - very stable, great fueling, good ground clearance and surprisingly good suspension for something quite basic... however, when you start to press on (and I mean 50mph+ sort of stuff on rough piste tracks for example), you can feel the weight of the stock wheels start to overwhelm the damping a bit... of course it's fin if you back off (and the bike never gets out of shape), bur for race speeds, I felt it would need a few improvements...

    Wheels
    First up the stock rear wheel is 17 inch, so that needed to be changed to 18 inch to run Michelin Deserts and Mousses - I got Talon to build me a set using Excel rims and 9 gauge spokes, plus their cush-drive rear hub which is the spec they suggest for rally bikes. The rear wheel is a custom build for the Tenere axle/disc carrier, and uses a 240mm Braking Wave disc. The front wheel is the same pattern as a KTM EXC, and uses a single oversize 270mm floating Braking Wave disc - I also changed the stock master cylinder for a smaller Brembo one - basically the same set up on a 690 rally bike.

    Forks
    The forks are WP 4860's, specially valved for the weight of the Tenere, and the fact it will be taking big hits. The triple clamps are CNC'd by a company in Germany (OTR Off-The-Road.de) and mount the WP forks to the steerer/headtube of the Yamaha, at a fork spacing of 190mm so the KTM wheel fits straight in. I went with this set up primarily because of availability, plus if I need any spares on the event there should be plenty of other bikes with a similar front end. The front mudguard is the KTM Adventure type, mounted to the WP forks with the Meca'System brackets.

    Shock
    The rear shock is an Ohlins (available for the Tenere) together with shorter linkage bones to give +35mm increase in ride height. Together with the 18 inch rear wheel, the bike now has 60mm more ride height/ground clearance front and rear.

    Exhaust
    The stock exhaust is heavy, and was replaced with a titanium SR racing single can (100mm shorter than their standard replacement, and no cat.), saving a good 5Kg - likewise I removed the rear light assembly, passenger footrests and bar-end weights which all add up...

    Bodywork
    An aluminium bashplate (OTR again) replaces the plastic guard, and I've fitted modified XR400 side panels for the race numbers. The bodywork and plastic fairing panels have been painted in a homage to the retro Yamaha Tenere colours.

    The front screen has been replaced with a slightly taller one as the navigation equipment I'll be using sticks up above the stock screen. the screen uses Dzus fasteners for quick access to the wiring etc for all the navigation gear.

    Navigation equipment
    I have repositioned the stock instruments infront of the bars on a custom bracket, and fitted the roadbook and IMO in the now vacant position in the fairing - the GPS will mount next to the IMO (once the new bracket arrives!).

    The Etrack satellite tracking unit (required on this event) will fit on a bracket above the bar clamps - the twin aerials are mounted on the rear fender panel behind the seat.

    Controls
    The risers and GPR steering damper are from my other rally bike (XR650R), and Renthal RC High bend bars are my preferred choice. Acerbis Rally-Pro guards and foam grips, plus the remote for the IMO/roadbook fitted to the left bar. I also had the standard seat reshaped and recovered. Footpegs are IMS superstock.

    Engine
    The engine is stock other than a DNA open airbox lid and oiled filter, plus a Powercommander V to get everything running smoothly with the airbox/exhaust mods. GMX also built me a heavy duty radiator - 20mm thicker than stock.

    Oh, headlights are 100w high and low beam - the stock headlight unit is actually very light (plastic), and this set up is much cheaper and lighter than HID with ballasts etc. and I wanted to keep the wiring as simple as possible.

    There are dozens of little bits and bobs and custom fabrications etc. I had to do to get it all together and looking as 'factory' as possible, but those are the fundamentals at least...

    Glad you like it!

    Jenny xx
    #5
  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

    Joined:
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    This is how it came back from the USA:
    [​IMG]

    CNC triple clamps are for XT660R - needed to be modified to fit my risers and steering damper:
    [​IMG]

    Wheels on at last!:
    [​IMG]

    Open airbox and PCV:
    [​IMG]

    Nav. gear in position behind stock screen:
    [​IMG]

    First roadtest (even the sea-gulls were checking me out!):
    [​IMG]

    Tarty seat cover, but I like it!:
    [​IMG]

    Paintwork finished:
    [​IMG]

    Single titanium exhaust saves a lot of weight:
    [​IMG]

    My home for the next two weeks:
    [​IMG]

    GMX heavy duty radiator:
    [​IMG]

    Ready to go! Side panels and graphics fitted:
    [​IMG]

    xxx
    #6
    4x4family1 likes this.
  7. mkp

    mkp Atacama Desert

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Chile, SouthAmerica
    Nice work Jenny.
    Wish you good luck in Paris-Dakar Rally.
    I'll be on the look out to your news.
    Kind regards from Atacama Desert, Chile (Dakar 2010).

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Baillsy

    Baillsy Lets ride

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    JMo,
    Congratulations on the bike and i am impressed with the end result. :clap
    I have been following your stuff over in the Oz tenere forum and it seams that your will to achieve will never limit your ability.
    All the best in the legends - heros PD and i wish all the encouragement and safe travel to you and may you have the best experience.
    God Bless and travel safe.
    Craig
    #8
  9. PPiA

    PPiA Pete

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    Jenny, looks good.
    A couple of things that would give me some concern are the unprotected radiator, and the size of the airfilter.
    Not sure how dusty the H-L gets, but I'd suggest some sort of prefilter or sock if it's possible to fit.
    #9
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi PPiA - don't worry, the rad is having a stone guard fitted - it's just not arrived from the lazer-cutters yet!

    As for the airfilter - that is the eternal question... the AUS spec bikes come with a factory foam air-filter instead of the dry paper drum type fitted to Euro bikes...

    The filter I'm running is the DNA oil-impregnated type (like a K&N) which should be better at trapping fine particles than the stock paper filter... that said, most filters end up passing the very fine dust through (I'll be cleaning/changing them each day as part of the service) and what we did on the Tuareg Rally last year was coat the inside of the airbox with grease which helped to trap any airborne fine stuff - messy to clean out, but it worked.

    I have got a fine mesh to go over the airbox opening (complete with lazer cut aluminium ring to secure it, when it also arrives) - however, the mesh is courser than the filter element anyway, so if the dust is fine enough to pass through the filter, it will certainly pass through the mesh too?

    I'm still waiting to see if I can get hold of a foam alternative here in Europe, otherwise I will either stump up for the o/e foam filters all the way from Australia (I can't get them here yet?!) or else go with the oil/grease trick in the airbox and keep my finders crossed...

    J x
    #10
  11. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    great efforts going into the bike and it shows !!!

    :clap :clap

    Hero - Yes !!
    Legend - you'll be
    Fool - we all are !!!
    #11
  12. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Georgia, USA
    Wishing you all the best in your endeavors JMo. The bike looks great !
    Hope to see you in the winner's circle.

    TC:D
    #12
  13. stteve

    stteve Been here awhile

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    Can't wait to read how it ride! Must be a blast. :clap :clap



    Aren't you afraid you are going to melt the headlight or reflector with a 100W bulb?
    #13
  14. G-Funk

    G-Funk That ... Umm ..... "Dude"

    Joined:
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    In ..... :lurk

    Hey JMo ..... :wave

    G.
    #14
  15. Molgan

    Molgan nub

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    I'm so glad I bought a Tenere, if I hadn't I might not have registered at xt660.com and totally missed Jennys adventures. Will be a thrill following this! :wink:
    #15
  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi Steve - I ran 100w bulbs for over 10,000 miles in the US earlier this year - no problem with the headlight lens at all (even though it is plastic) - the lens itself is pretty far forward of the actual bulbs...

    As for how it rides, initial tests (on road) are very good - the suspension is much plusher than the stock set up (which had done over 25,000 miles mind you!) and very controlled over bumps and undulations. The forks are slightly stiffer than the rear, which is what I wanted to soak up the big hits, while the rear squats slightly in comparison for traction...

    The steering is good - rake is essentially the same although the trail has altered slightly, and of course the wheelbase is a touch longer with the raised suspension and larger rear wheel (further back in the swing arm). Initial tip-in is perhaps slightly more relaxed, but it holds it's line very well, especially under power.

    I'm currently down in the south west of England, and planning on spending a couple of days on the Military train grounds (Salisbury Plain) where I can put the bike through it's paces off-road and at speed on gravel and dirt...

    Will report back once I've got the suspension dialed-in properly!

    J xx
    #16
  17. Tim

    Tim Long timer

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    Bike looks great JMo :thumb

    I am in the process of looking in to fitting my Scots damper to my Tenere (the damper is at Scots at the moment for a service) and wondered how you fitted the frame bracket for your damper, weld on tower maybe?

    Thanks.
    #17
  18. svizzerams

    svizzerams Rx Rangerette

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    Chelanistan, PNW: the arid edition.
    oooooh...very nice!!! Good luck. :clap
    #18
  19. canadaler

    canadaler Been here awhile

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    Southern Ontario
    If anyone who works for Yamaha is reading this thread....BUILD THIS BIKE!!!

    Well done JMo :clapand best of luck in the rallye.:freaky
    #19
  20. Gian

    Gian dreamer

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    Jenny, it would have been my dream to participate to Heroes Legend. This year has not been possible but I still have a little hope for the next one, and if I'll do it it will be with this one
    http://www.nightwings.org/Marathon/images/big/DSCN1169.JPG

    Your bike looks great and is being very "watched" here in Italy too! I have only a little suggesttion, maybe the engine protection should be larger than the stock one, especially on the right side

    My best wishes for the race:clap
    #20