Old Bikes Long Rides - How to prepare

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by vanislejay, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Yep, I had an opening cable break on my 900 Z-1 Kawasaki while out of state. I pulled the tank of, which on these bikes you can do in about 30 seconds with no tools, and with acsess to the throttle linkage,I took the closeing cable and attached it to the opening side.
    I rode into town that way to meet friends and unable to find a new cable I later switched the closing cable to the opening side of the hand throttle. When I did the rig on the side of the road I was opening the throttle by rolling it away from me. Try that sometime for a mind bender.
    #21
  2. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

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    I guess it comes down to personal preference. If you're going through the "Park' pack a lunch as they say. If you decide to ride down the Matapedia Valley there are more places for food, gas etc. Either route will be enjoyable.

    Woodgrain
    #22
  3. More_Miles

    More_Miles ├╝ber-n00b

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    A) Do you trust your bike?
    B) Do you trust your own ability to cope and improvise?

    If the answer to these is yes, then pack and go!

    I took my '83 BMW south a couple years ago. Only problem I had was that sickening feeling of a clutch cable breaking 50% of it's strands! :eek1 Nursed it into a town, found a library and got on here with a shout out for anyone in the area who had or could recommend where to get a spare. Made a couple new friends on that trip. By the way, I started in NB, Canada and at one point ended up in northern Georgia!

    I see you're striking out from Montreal. If you want some peace of mind, get the mid level CAA coverage. They will tow a motorcycle up to 200 km. Might not get you home but should get you someplace you can get fixed up or abort and transit home.

    And I'll second the Matapedia valley (through Amqui and onto Matapedia) and the 299 through the park. I was up there in April camping on the bike. I didn't much care for running along the coast(s). Unless I can be on the water it holds no lasting interest for me. Riding through the mountains and valleys now, that's something!
    #23
  4. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    cables are always worth having spare. and you don't need to pack them. Just buy new cables, fit the new cables, but leave the old cables in place, that way they are ready to fit if you have a cable break. cover the ends of the old cables with some cloth, and tape them up to keep the dirt out.
    This way you only have to reconnect the cable, if you have a break :deal
    #24
  5. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    I bought one bike that was almost new, and used it myself for about 20 years. Now unregistered, it is being used off road. The other bikes I have owned have all been several years old, but all have been OK for long trips.

    I wouldn't do a long trip on an old bike just after i have bought it. It is better to use them for a bit, and get anything that might be dodgy put right. After that it is just a matter of keeping up the routine maintenance, and doing any preventative or remedial work as needs arise. Thus I feel confident in the bike for any journey.

    Before a long trip I'll do an oil change, and give the bike a general once over.... get anything that might need attention sorted, and the bike is good to go.

    For myself, I don't plan too much. I just have a few objectives (not too many), then head off to see what the adventure brings. I travel daily light, with just basic tools and a puncture repair outfit, rain gear, and a couple or three changes of clothes. Don't burden yourself down with spares you are unlikely to need. Any other gear depends on the nature and purpose of the trip, but in essence "less is more".
    #25
  6. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Old bikes can be just as reliable if you go through it and check out wear items. They do have weak charging systems, so make sure they are up to snuff. I'd apply die-electric grease to every contact to seal out water at the connections. Have a safe trip. Check out Anna's RR.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831213
    #26
  7. bbjumper

    bbjumper Been here awhile

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    I bought my 1982 Suzuki GS850G two years ago last February with the intention of taking it loon long trips. It was my first bike after a 20 year absence and nostalgia got the better of my good sense. I can safely say that theirs nary a screw, bolt or nut on this bike that hasn't been touched by me at this point including a complete engine tear down. Seriously a mechanical restoration, I quit keeping track of the finances early on and am afraid to look. But I now have a very sweet ride that I can and do take anywhere I please in total confidence.

    That's the great part about doing the work yourself, intimate knowledge of your ride. Along with a few additionts to the basic tool kit plus a pocket multi tool, a Qtip, paper clitp and duct tape I can pretty much fix anything that would strand me. I do carry an extra throttle and clutch cable, a spare headlight and tire pump and plugs.

    There's something about taking an old bike on the road. People love to talk about them and there a great conversation starter. Been on several 1000 plus rides on the "Zook" already and planning one to Tyler TX from my home in PHX in October.

    It certainly isn't as comfy a ride as the Beemer but when I get on it I'm thirty years younger..:clap:lol3:eek1....[​IMG][​IMG]
    #27
  8. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Looks like others have already told you what you need to know; proper maintenance before the trip, design flaws ( if any) worked out ahead of time...
    Bring essential spares, inner tubes, ignition coil, capacitor (condenser), points...

    I've been taking a 500-1000 mile annual trip for 8 years now, along with two good friends on our 1950's and 60's BMW's, and while there have been a few issues (never with mine, knock on wood), we've almost always got them home under thier own power. (Backup plan is a good idea)

    [​IMG]

    (And the two real faiures were preventable had we brought the proper spares alomg in the first place; lessoms learned!)
    #28
  9. vanislejay

    vanislejay Been here awhile

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    I've been out of town a lot since I started this post, but I am planning on leaving next Sunday and I am going to get the electrics etc. sorted out this weekend. Also I am going to try to fit my hard bags from by Guzzi onto it. I have a bunch of good 1"x1/4" steel bar to make brackets from so it should work out. I am getting a fresh set of tires on Monday so I should be able to have close to 200km on them to get rid of that slippery coating before leaving on the trip.

    The bike has been running great so I am pretty confident overall, and even my wife has said she doesn't care if the bike brakes down. Although she has plenty of experience with waiting at the roadside while I Macguyver/fix things.

    I am starting to get really excited.
    #29
  10. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Suggestions:
    a) loctite the fasteners for your bags
    b) every time you stop, check for vibration damage of the brackets
    c) take a few good, strong, zip ties - its amazing what you can fix with those, but mostly,
    d) have a great time!
    e) let us know how it goes....

    Nick

    PS - it's 'breaks' down, not 'brakes' down (those are on your bike)!:gerg
    #30
  11. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

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    Don't hear much about those old TX 750's. Hardly saw any back when I rode one. Had a '74 TX750A in purple I rode for around 9 yrs through the 80's. Was actually pretty reliable.
    #31
  12. vanislejay

    vanislejay Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the tips. And yeah, I wrote breaks at first and "corrected" it after. 7 years of working with non English speaking coworkers has destroyed my ability to speak and write properly in English.
    #32
  13. vanislejay

    vanislejay Been here awhile

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    I've noticed there are a few of us on here that own 'em. It's been great, I've only had normal problems for a 40 year old bike, and so far nothing I haven't been able to fix myself. Like any old bike it's easy to tear apart and put back together with basic tools and mechanical knowledge. I don't regret buying it that's for sure.
    #33
  14. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Oh, you don't do so bad(ly)!

    Nick
    #34
  15. farmrjohn

    farmrjohn Been here awhile

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    I'm looking forward to hearing how your adventure goes with the TX. I'm considering something similar with mine.
    #35
  16. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Soon, we'll organize a rally..:1drink
    #36
  17. moosehead

    moosehead Been here awhile

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    south of the checkerboard....Bruce Penninsula
    I bought a 1982 R100RS off of craigslist in Vancouver a number of years ago. I bought it January and told the PO I'd be out in May to pick it up. Was told it had 42,000 miles on it and was from California originally. PO seemed like an OK guy and had a number of other bikes (Ducs, Moto Guzzi's etc) so I did the deal sight unseen.

    Off I went to visit a daughter in Vancouver for the weekend and pick up the bike. First stop was a few days at a buddy's place on Salt Spring Island. Changed out all fluids, added a few electric plugs (for heated vest, GPS etc) and generally checked it over. All was good. I've had a number of older airheads and was completely confident I would make trip home with no problem. I live 4600kms away in Ontario!

    Only problem encountered torn diaphragms I discovered in Dryden. Lost all oomph over 100kph. Wasn't too many places to buy diaphragms in Northern Ontario so did some MacGyver repairs with RTW black silicone and plastic shopping bag material....it worked. Got me home!

    Total trip, door-to-door, was 6348kms (including my detours in BC).


    Did additional 1700kms detour riding for a few days in BC around Vernon, Kamloops etc visiting with a few old friends.

    Maybe it was stupidity or my blind faith in the old BMW airhead technology that I made the trip without too much preparation.

    After carb rebuilds I then rode down the Blue Ridge to Asheville, NC and back with no problems either...again good luck and/or good machine.

    Here she is the day I picked her up in Vancouver:
    [​IMG]

    Altogether, that riding season I put a lot off miles on the old beauty...so that winter I treated her to a makeover. Pulled the heads and, Yikes,:eek1 the valves faces were paper thin and the seats had virtually disappeared! How lucky was I not to drop a valve or worse! And then I dropped the FD and the splines had just about gone too! Yikes again...soi off to Bruno for new spline and spline wheel dog. A fresh bath and TLC has got her back in shape and since then have added many more k's to her....she's happiest on the road! Here she is after the makeover:
    [​IMG]

    I think she had 142,000 miles on her looking at the rear drive splines ...but...she made it!

    I did a return trip a few years later to "deliver" a bike I sold to my friend on Salt Spring Island...a 1976 R75/6...never missed a beat!

    The challenge on older machines is fun but be prepared to MacGyver solutions along the way!
    #37
  18. moosehead

    moosehead Been here awhile

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    #38
  19. vanislejay

    vanislejay Been here awhile

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    Well, with a BIG hanks to Woodgrain I made it. Had some major troubles on the first day that created almost 3 days delay, but thanks to Woodgrain pulling over and giving me a hand and some resolve on the side of the road we made it through just under 1000 miles in what was essentially 3 days. We didn't get the whole peninsula in as we planned, but it was a great trip nonetheless. I'll post a link to the ride report here when I finish it, hopefully tomorrow.
    #39