Outfitting LC4 for a LONG Trip

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by rpilottx, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

    Feb 16, 2004
    El Paso
    I own a 2006 LC4 and plan on taking it to Tierra del Fuego next year. I have read several threads on the HU site and just finished going thru "Riding the World" by Greg Frazier with emphasis on preparing the bike.

    Here is my list of equipment(bike specific not camping or living) which I already have or will get prior to heading south: 1) wolfman expedition beta bag and tank panniers, 2) happy trails panniers, 3) ktm tank bag, 4) tool kit specific to the LC4, 5) chain oiler(probably scott), 6) accessory plug for electric vest, 6) stainless steel oil filters, 7) inline fuel filter, 8) SWMotech sidestand, 9) heated grips.

    In addition, I plan on replacing all light bulbs, getting a new battery, a new chain/sprocket depending on mileage.

    So, what else should I do/add to the bike to prepare it for a ride of 15000 miles?
  2. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Jul 12, 2004
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Less is more. The more crap you carry, the harder the bike has to work. Let's ask some questions about the trip.

    Dirt/Pavement ratio?
    Time - ie, are you planning it all in one shot?
    How much weight are you carrying?
    Are you going to work on the bike yourself, or planning to find a shop?
    Camping/Moteling/Hosteling/Wingin' it?

    LC4 is a great bike but has weaknesses and things that have to be paid attention to.

    The battery thing is hit or miss. Vibration is the enemy of a battery, so you might be good for 500 miles o5 15,000. No one knows.

    The hydraulic clutch keeps me awake nights. I have had these things fail, and your SOL when it does. Have a contingency.

    You need to evaluate your load and build the suspension to suit the lading. Take the bike apart and relube *everything* - learn how to repack bearings, and any seal that looks suspect, throw it away and replace it. Throw the OE rims away, and have some heavy duty wheels (Suns or Excels) built with oversized spokes and HD nipples. Learn how to rejet the BST carb while on the trail. Get proficient changing tires and tubes. Learn how to adjust your valves, and change oil on the trail. Also get proficent and sourcing sprockets and chains, and learn how to repair the o-ring failure on the transmission output shaft. Learn how to repair the waterpump seal and bearings. Learn how to change suspension linkages and shock bearings. After all that, you'll know what tools you need and how to improvise, and you'll now have an inventory for your tool kit.

    When you have stuff in your pocket, your ride will go by the numbers. Have a great trip. :thumb
  3. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

    Jul 16, 2005
    I am setting my 640 Adventure up for riding Russia, Mongolia and beyond.
    I will leave in June.
    I have ridden from the A-circle to TDF so been there and done that but not on a KTM. I made the trip on an old BMW.
    That convinced me that KTM was the way to go. I rode with all the other BMW's, KLR's, Honda's.
    Your choice of bike is right.

    Frazier has a book on riding Central and South America. It is still the most valuable book on the subject so get that and a Footprints guide, maps and a GPS with world map loaded. You need to attach it. KTM makes a mounting system and so do others but get the GPS mounted where you can see it with the tankbag. This is important.

    Not sure what the Wolfman Beta bag with tank panniers is but no tank panniers for you. Blocks airflow and cooling is affected.
    For a chain oiler I would go with the Proiler. I have one. It works slick and not affected by temperature changes. SS oil filters(I don't know but dont trust), I use paper and change them every third oil change. Carry one spare set.

    No accessory plug unless already installed. Come off battery with a fused auto push-pull style hookup, carry a couple of spare ends. No inline filter, when they break fuel everywhere is dangerous and they are not needed for SA.

    Do not leave Dodge without NEW brake pads, chain and sprockets, tires, tubes and spare tubes, battery. Replacement cables. New grease in steering head bearings, suspension dogbone,swing arm.
    Do it yourself so you know.

    You didn't say which year or how many miles but you gotta get grease in all the wheel bearings.
    Consider a new aircleaner.
    Renazco seat.
    That's a start. Listen to Gaspipe, he is the expert.
    Fear nothing.
  4. Darin

    Darin WYSIWYG (WIZ-zee-wig)

    Mar 1, 2004
    Retired military lounging in FresYES
    I would highly suggest packing the fork seals with waterproof grease, run them up and down a few times and wipe off excessive grease. Then most importantly cover the USD forks with a neoprene boot or sock to keep out dirt and mud. I blew out two seals within 6,000 miles on my 05 640, listened to some good advice and I've had zero problems since


    I would also consider some type of aux lighting like HID's b/c they draw less wattage.

    Perhaps loosing the low front fender ""ski" for a high fender.

    Best of luck on your travels.

  5. lordmaciek

    lordmaciek Long timer

    Mar 24, 2006
    hello bill, we are going on 3 KTM Adventures on the same direction at the same time. Maybe we me could meet somewhare to drink a beer or maybe two;)
  6. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Jul 15, 2004
    Calgary, AB, Can
    The fork covers are mandatory.
    Don't worry about extra lights. DONT RIDE AT NIGHT!!!!!!!! There are every sort of animal that lives on or near the road - donkeys, pigs, horses lots of dogs and herds of goats and cows. Also, sometimes the road is gone. You may not see this at night.
    I would recommend the touratech tank bag/panniers. The KTM tank bag does not fit a map very well. I will guess that you will be using a map, occasionally?

    I have spent allot of my trip lost in the back country of some CA countries. A GPS would be a nice thing to have. Also I have been lost in every city I have travelled through. I will be packing one next time.

    I don't agree with some of what Gaspipe mentioned. Being a super mechanic is great - but if you have a massive failure in the middle of Patagonia, you won't be able to fix it there. Unless you are carring parts for everything...but I don't want to pack 100 pounds of bearings, seals, tools and other spares.

    I am on an LC4, in Nicaragua heading to Argentina. The bike has been doing good. If you don't have the money for the rims don't worry. Remember to ride at about 50% of your ability - you won't hit any big rocks this way.

    Bring a master link for your chain. You won't have to push your bike 5.3 km into a town this way.

    Start taking spanish lessons.
  7. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

    May 2, 2005
    At first I would make the man-to-machine interface as comfortable as possible: softer grips, higher bar, seat – whatever makes you feel happier. Then I would tape electrical harness for vibration resistance. Electrical gremlins are the least you want.

    Everything should be in top-condition before departure. Check oil and coolant leaks, cylinder compression etc. You will need several sprockets during 15000 miles. At the same time you could play with the final gearing ratio. Double check every nut and bolt for getting loose every second or so days while on the road.

    The GPS would certainly make navigation easier.

    Learning to change oil, tires and tubes wouldn’t hurt either. Learning Spanish is also a great advice. You might read the Chris Scott’s Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

    Have a spare key with you. And have a good luck!
  8. desmonc

    desmonc Bike Rider

    Mar 7, 2005
    Perth, Western Australia
    I recently did a 15,000km trip through some fairly rugged country and was impressed with the reliability and strength of the Adventure, you should not have any problems. Do not carry more than 35-40kg in luggage and that includes the weight of the rack and topbox/panniers which usually weigh around 15-20kg. Use 8mm bolts to secure the Pannier rack. Buy spares and leave them at home, they can be air-freighted to you if necessary.
    Check out this thread.
  9. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

    Jul 16, 2005
    I will PM you.
    I didn't cut my fork boots off and rode for a whole summer that way not realizing they bind up on the fork guards so you never get full travel, at least my '02 is that way. Take the spring out and compress the fork. I think you will be surprised.
    I just bought a small two way snap ring pliers for my toolkit. You need one for the water pump and the rear wheel bearings. I also bought a grease needle so I can work some grease into the wheel bearings without pulling them apart(wrecking the seals).
    Especially if you get into water this could be nice but I haven't tried it.
  10. Reinhold

    Reinhold No, not Messner

    Jun 12, 2006
    Chuck City
    Never been a big fan of aluminum panniers. You might think of the soft ones like Andy Bagz (?) from Australia. Lighter, easier on your legs when you endo! Not great for security but easy to remove when you park for the night.

    Dont take a lot of camping equipment...try to stay as much as you can with the locals be it guest houses or cheap hotels. Order a light tent from Tarp Tent which weighs only 1.5 lbs for those unscheduled bivys. Took one to Prudoe last year...great piece of kit!

    Pack as light as you can. Buy clothing as you go. Take obvious spare parts that would help you limp in to the next town. Know your bike and learn to improvise. Have KTM shop contacts at home for shipping of parts if needed.

    If you have a family at home be nice to them and pick up a small sat phone. Its expensive but worth it for the long trip.

    Pick up the DVD from Horizonsunlimited.com. Great ideas from people that have travelled the world.

    Planning these trips is half the fun...sorry for rambling on...a little bit off topic as far as the bike goes.:D
  11. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Aug 19, 2003
    Bow, WA USA
    start racking up local miles, toughen your ass. you'll need it w/ the stock seat. that would be the first thing I'd replace:evil

    make sure your happy with bar position etc... i'd replace the tubes w/ heavy duty jobs w/ jizz if it doesnt have em stock.

    re no hard side bags as reinhold suggested, you could always go with a lockable trunk, then with soft bags. you gotta have at least one lockable . learned that early , some asshole rifled though my bag and stole a fresh 40 oncer of barcardi in canadian rockies, ( low budget trip on a SL100 ) that hurt at the time.

    have you seen the lower tool kits made of 4" water ( or electrical) pipe , screw caps ends, hose clamp it on the front of the skid plate, pack your heavy tools in it, tire irons etc.. keep the weight low and centered ( hhmm might of got that from Grant on HU )
  12. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

    Nov 30, 2003
    Have heard that a steering damper is a very good safety addition.
  13. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Aug 19, 2003
    Bow, WA USA
    in case you arent already, bring a tube of aluma-weld, in case you smack the crankcase. a tube of silicone gasket stuff too.

    if you yank any wires off prepping use dielectric grease on re- assembly.
  14. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

    Aug 3, 2004
    I got this stuff from MSR called quicksteel, and also quickaluminum. Not sure of the difference between the two. But it is very trick stuff. It is a two part putty, you slice off how much you need and then kneed it in your fingers and apply. It sets up in a few minutes, but is not full strength for a while. I like it better than liquids because you can form it into any shape you want, and I'll often use only a pee-sized portion to fill in scrape marks etc.

    I saw the quicksteel at an advance auto recently.
  15. woodworkernyc

    woodworkernyc dirty

    May 23, 2006
    North East PA
    In one of Gaspipes ride reports (transam trail?) there's an interesting breakdown of gear/tools/personal, wich I read as: how little can you get by with, what can you get along the way with a liitle planning/luck, and how many pairs of underwear do you Really need.

    Rpilotx, you're on an Adventure, correct? More room for stuff than a Lc4e, although I'm not sure why ..... (I've seen some loaded up like LT's) Myself, I'm trying to go more the stripped down philosophy. How long do you plan to be out? I'm sure the longer you're on the road, the more you miss clean skivvies - although the crew around here.....:eek1 I'm going to start with about the about the TransAm amount, plus maybe 15-20% for 6-8 weeks in S.A. on an Lc4e.

    Btw- I asked my smart friend (BMW master tech) what the best bike for this trip would be, and don't ya know he says, "XR650r" & he's hardcore Beemer (and a man of few words) "Uh, how come" Because Honda parts are available almost anywhere. Right, well true but with the kind of prep our smart guy's are talking about, I believe the lc4 is definitely up to it - let's both hope.

    Some random thoughts:

    Heated gear - Interested to know what peoples max cold riding temps are before reaching for the wires. Mines prob around 35-40. Several days at a time is a factor too, as anybody can tough it out till they get home that night. Heated grips crazy not to have, though!

    Oiler - Do they make minicans of chain lube, or is it crazy not to have one? -oiler.

    Sidestand - one that works with the CS, as of the two I think the center is the one to have on a trip like this.

    Tire Balls? - Clearly the wackiest shit I seen in a long time, and not cheap as I recall. Then I thought about changing a tire and in the middle of nowhere in Chile........ Plan maybe to take a second looksee at that site.

    Last - every single post to your thead has had really great info ( been tacking notes) Highway - sorry to hear about the bacardi - stealing a mans likker is HARSH! Great tequilla is cheap south of the border you know.

    Ride Safe!:clap
  16. triumphant

    triumphant Been here awhile

    Mar 6, 2006
    Dallas, Tx
    Rode that road beginning Christmas day '06 for two months. Here are my impressions of the ride and the bike.
    I opted to ride a brand new '07 R1200GSadv - and would do it again any time. It will be the most fulfilling event of your life. Or one of!
    Make your seat as comfortable as possible. You will marry that bike everyday for as long as it takes. I used a custom 'Sargeant' seat and recommend it strongly. Pay attention to tires. I used Metzler Tourances for my trip of almost 14,000 miles without replacements. They will work for all surfaces. I would recommend the Garmin 276C GPS unit with World Map software. It bailed me out many times when local maps failed. It is not absolutely foolproof - but I consider indespensible. (My power cable broke and I eventually repaired it. Took four days - and I missed it terribly).
    Hand guards should be enlarged for full hand coverage. No matter what time of year you go, you will encounter inclement weather. And a rock thrown up by an eighteen wheeler or car can cripple your hand.
    Make sure your helmet is 'Fog proof'. I remember strong feelings for my Nolan 'flip-up' helmet because the chin enclosure made the helmet water, sound, and wind proof. Believe me when I say this is indespensible in the Patagonia desert and the ride through Peru which is all sand. And it blows unbelievably hard. DO NOT WEAR A HELMET WITH A VISOR. The winds are so strong at times it will twist your head off.
    I met a group of 600cc bike riders from the states who regaled me with stories of winds that almost stopped them in head winds at full throttle. I experienced those winds and loved the strength of a 1200cc beast.
    I did not have any electric clothing. And never needed it. But use common sense when choosing clothing. Wool is better than cotton for cold. And I carried two riding jackets. One heavier for winter and a lighter jacket for the extreme warm riding. You will experience both.
    Wear one pair of good boots. Comfortable, and easily removed and put on. None with laces.
    Figure out a way to carry your change easily retrieved for the unbelievable number of stops to pay tolls. Some countries allow bikes to bypass the toll booth. But most don't.
    Learn before you leave how to air your tires for the different road surfaces. The most extreme riding will be the very deep ripia (gravel) and your riding style must adhere naturally. Learn to ride standing on the pegs for long distances and adjust the handlebars for that position. (Risers are almost absolutely necessary).
    You will encounter the most violent extremes of riding styles on this ride. Here are my thoughts about what you will encounter.
    There will be many hundreds or thousands of miles through mountain terrain with switchbacks to test the very best 'Tail of the Dragon' rider. Believe me when I say you must be aware of the traffic ahead and behind at ALL times. The truckers see you as a bug on their windshield and will take you out without hesitation. It is up to you to be alert. Everyone drives without regard for anyone on the road. And most times, speed is extremely high. If you can't keep up - then get out of the way. Do not ride if your concentration wavers. A bad nights sleep or bad food can prohibit your ability to ride safe. You will feel it like never before.
    My best advice is to NOT approach this ride as an Iron Butt ride. I did it both ways. NEVER RIDE AT NIGHT! Nuff said.
    If you hook up with South American riders be prepared to ride very,very, fast. I rode with more than one in various situations. They are very, very, good.
    You will develop an extremely strong bond with your bike. It will become apparent that this machine is your only link with the reality of your home. Without it - you are on a deserted island. I lost my bike shortly after arriving back home. I am going through a grieving period. That bike and I bonded. There was nothing I wouldn't do to make it survive if it could make it so I survived. And it did!
    And have a great trip.

    This is the bike as it gets ready to go into a container for shipment to Houston from Valpairiso Chile.
    By the way - the bike never went down.
    Another last minute thought. That top box may look strange - but it turned out to be indespensible. Locking up the helmet at food stops. Keeping paperwork in a safe locked box.
  17. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

    Oct 1, 2001
    OK Guys-

    I setting my 2002 up for a long trip as well. It has 13 thousand miles on the clock now and will have well over 30K by the end of the trip. Haven't had any trouble with the water pump or transmission output seal. Do you suggest I rebuild the water pump and replace the output seal before I go just to minimize the chance of having to do it on the road or just study up and be ready to do it in the event it becomes necessary?
  18. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

    Jul 16, 2005
    My suggestion.
    If you never overheated the machine, just buy the parts for the pump but include a new shaft and bearings and for the countershaft get a new sleeve plus seals, o-rings and gaskets and an impeller. I redid my pump at 17K miles and it was fine, the bearings still had grease in them. Not sure about the countershaft. Mine went at 11K, fine since.
  19. Loadedagain

    Loadedagain making chips

    Jan 1, 2003
    West Vancouver, BC
    jaysus gassy... you got almost all into a few pretty simple lines. missed fuel and air filters, but i guess that sorta thing is a gimme.

    i'll give a second on those wheels. get rid of them! don't even dream of riding outside north america on them.

  20. triumphant

    triumphant Been here awhile

    Mar 6, 2006
    Dallas, Tx
    A point about cooling system. I didn't need to worry with a new bike. But you can count on experiencing abnormally high engine temps because of altitude changes and slow stop and go traffic in high heat areas with a bike that is overloaded no matter what you do. Watch for mud buildup on the exhaust and or blockage on the radiator. I experienced both on the ride. Another factor is the less than desirable octane you will find in many of the countries.
    Seems I remember more as time goes by.