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Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Colebatch, Nov 13, 2009.
can you show us a map of your supertrip? I always dream about doing something like you did
Hey: This has to be the best thread on this site. IMHO. You really preped your bike right and then had a great trip to follow. I can only dream of a trip like yours. Living in Eastern North America, there's not much real adventure left, except up in Canada and down Mexico. But it still wouldn't come close to the sights and history of your journey.
I'm working on improving my light setup from your post in the X challenge lighting thread, thanks again for the "right info".
I'm really impressed. Great job, keep up the good work and finally, good luck.
JB, i reckon if you werent planning on doing any challenging stuff, if you were just riding across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Highway, a stock Dakar (or 1200 GSA for that matter) would be just fine. For most people, that's going to be enough. But I think what an Adventurised X allows you to do is to be more bold than that. It allows you to look at a map of Siberia or Mongolia, point at somewhere obscure and interesting and say "fuggit, i want to try and go there" and be pretty confident you are going to have fun doing it.
Taking a bigger bike to some of those places turns it in a bit of chore, and takes away a lot of the fun - the whole point of going there in the first place.
I actually picked this bike for this project cause it was the lightest platform I could build a reliable adventure bike out of. I thought about a DRZ, but the lack of top speed and the lack of fuel injection is a bummer when facing low (80) octane fuel and 5000 metre passes. I thought about a 690e, but wasnt as sure I could trust the engine (and other bits) as much as I trust the Rotax.
Cheers Jack ... Europe is kinda lucky from that perspective. We can go all the way thru Africa, to India, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Siberia etc ... all without flying the bike. The most we need to worry about is a ferry. From an adventure biking perspective it the place to be.
Hell I used to live in Australia ... and you cant ride nowhere there except your own country, without major shipping or flying hassles. so yeah I feel a lot more spoiled now living in Europe.
Try here: http://www.sibirskyextreme.com/trip-data/
You might want to reconsider your choice. The feedback on Sidewinder stuff is mixed at best, and wear resistance is definitely nowhere near promised. Do a search here and on other sites.
Ironman sprockets seem to hold up much better, are lighter, and even cheaper. They are available from: http://www.dirttricks.com/ordering_sprockets.htm
I don't think they have one for the X yet, but I am sure you can either find one that interchanges or work something out with them. There will be other guys on ADV interested as well.
I think your mods are right on . I decided to do things a bit different, but Im not doing what you are either. Your decision to break-up your luggage load into smaller bags give the added advantage of if one fails, its easier to disburse a small amount of gear to other bags. I was very interested and impressed with your lighting mods, as I need improved lighting too. I was surprised to see that the stock alternator kept up with what you had + heated clothes???
On your rack/rear frame support, do you have a pic that could give clarity to the '8 bolt' attachment. I'm pretty sure I know what you did, but a pic would be nice.
I totally agree with your assessment of the X.
A X-Adventure now, I could easily wrap my mind around that!
Thanks Lukas ... I had never heard of them before. Like the thought they have put into their product. i will drop them an email!.
I've had an Ironman rear sprocket (looks just like the photo) on my Xchallenge since June this year. Definitely available.
I understand that the X-Challenge requires 95 octane fuel (ROZ/RON).
That always kept me from adventurizing one, how did you solve that ? Or isn't it really a problem ?
Its not a problem. I ran it on straight 76 octane on Siberia at one point ... totally empty tank and all I could get was 76 for the next 400 km .... no problems.
Simon Pavey briefed me about his experiences in rallying the X-Challenge before I left the UK. Apart from the 2009 Dakar, he also raced one Moscow to Beijing in 2008 on the TransOrientale rally with stock engine. He ran it several times in Kazakhstan on 80 octane fuel. Again no problems.
Simon told me to expect lower power because of this when running on lower octane fuel. As it happened, the few times I filled up either 76 or 80 octane fuel were very muddy and wet, and I didnt over-extend the throttle in any case on those days.
Most of the rest of the time I used 92 or 93 octane. Every now and again I filled up with 95 or 96 octane. The Dakar travelling with me (and with basically the same engine) filled up on the same fuel except he never bothered with anything more than 92 octane the whole trip. Neither of us had any problems at all.
I had the engine stripped down in Kazakhstan recently and the piston and valves were 100% normal, despite at least 40,000 of my 50,000 km being on fuel less than 95 octane, and down to 76 octane.
This is another reason reason I chose this bike for adventurisation - the superior BMW engine electronics that not only give very good economy but also allow it to run on such low grade fuel. That's something that BMW do better than any other bike manufacturer - the engine management systems.
thanks for this Colebatch, been looking at your stuff for a while and basing some mods on yours
I'm in the process of adventure-ising mine for a planned Americas trip hitting LA in Aug (too late to hit the TAT, so heading to the southern Americas first) plan on living in Argentina for a fair while then making my way back up to Alaska then?????
So far I have got the Britannia Composites fairing with HIDs (although they are 'keep right' set up, [shine higher on the right and in the eyes of traffic in Oz] should be fine in my planned trip), the TT safari bash plate, 12v under seat cig outlet, tool kit (can't remember where from but has all the stuff for the X I've needed so far can't fault it I'll see if i can find where i got it, USA based any way found it; http://www.advdesigns.net/bmwg650xseries.html), little compressor the 'Micro Tire Pump Kit Basic' advdesigns also, zumo 550, TT front 16L tank, but may be replacing with the XTank after reading your experience wth the XTank, H&B rear pannier frames, Steel Pony Panniers from an inmate in Oz (toying with whether I will go the H&B Alu panniers or stay soft, security is my main concern not sure it should be, but, hey?!)
Interested in the 400w generator, spacers, chain guard, seat and a top rear rack
this could produce a few interesting ideas on the XCA
oh and you're not an Aussie any more by spelling Adventurisation wrong mate or should i say buddy?! see how I turn out after my trip, I did have an accent change when i returned from service in the UK (party service that is, arr I miss old blighty and the mischief one can get into over there)
I sorta kinda hope to get over that way in 2011. Have done bits of South America before but didn't have time to do "the lot", so want to go back and spend more time there. Not sure if I will start South America end of 2010 or North America mid 2011. Depends on a few bits of timing.
They should be quite decent ... they are the same Hella 90mm modules Lukas was talking about in a different thread. How do you find them with the HIDs in there in terms of light output, even-ness of the spread of beam etc?? Do you have / could you make a picture or two of the low and high beams shining against a concrete wall or down a blank road?
You are probably asking the wrong guy. Like i said earlier I have never used hard luggage, nor felt the need to. What situations are you envisaging security concerns?
I take a small padlock for my tankbag, for when I park the bike to have lunch or something like that. It's all I feel I need. All my documents are in there so its the only thing I really worry about. The other bags are just clothes / tents / electronics / spares etc. If you are worried about the steel pony bags, consider a pair of these: http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=3&_action=detail&id=11
I have never used them but they seem popular with some soft bagged UK guys when going down to Morocco and the like. That you can put them on when going around the cities, and leave them off for the rest off the time for easier access.
I will post an update on the 400w generator thing when I do it (probably April or May). There was a post in an earlier thread from BMW saying it's feasible and you wouldn't need to change anything else. I want to double check if the voltage regulator is the same as a 650GS one before I believe that hook, line and sinker. It might be. It seems quite a big voltage regulator for a small bike.
Yes London life can be a bit of non-stop 'mischief' . Karratha I imagine would be quite the contrast. I lived in Wyndham for a while (only 6 months but it more than enough!)
Tool kit looks good, but maybe too good. I cant believe you need 13 different hex bits for the X-Challenge, and 13 different torx bits. I spose they dont weigh much. Guessing you could lose a few of the spanners too. Does it have a 26mm socket for the wheels?
+1 ... whats that Ironman part number?
About the forks, there is this German guy (HP2) who used a pair of Marzzocchi Shiver forks. These slotted straight in the triple clamps. All he needed to do was remove the lower end from the BMW forks (axle clamps), and fit them to the Shivers. A job most any fork specialists can do.
Keep me posted Walter, I might just find the time to hang out in Swanscorner with you. The GF is a few days on holiday from 21st to 24th. How about 23rd?
Well done mate!
Great thread mate; it seems the Xc has been hiding its light under a bushel, and I thought they were just a quirky orphan.
Like yours, my bike is an ex BMW training bike, and I think it`s that, plus the life it led after BMW sold it that were the cause of my problems.
When I did the BMW off road skills school here in Oz, the bikes were just pressure washed, then put away.
When it was taken off fleet and sold, it was used for single track by the new owner, and no doubt put away wet like before.
The resulting corrosion in electrical connections, plus some not very well put together parts, (shoddy soldering in ignition switch) have caused me a lot of problems.
Good to know.
Thanks for all the information !