The swiss are coming, just another TAT report, to Baja in between.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi vintagespeed, the plan is to come back and do baja in winter now. We'll be back for the rest of the TAT next summer.


    All the rest thanks for all your replies and comments. Its allways nice to get some feedback and know someone is reading the report.


    ______________________________________________________________

    Just to finish this up properly.

    After a day of sightseeing in Boston we boarded a plane again and made it safely back to Switzerland.

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    And I would like to thank all the people that we met and all that helped us. Specially of course all the ADV riders we met and the ones we couldn't meet, all that offered us help or gave us advice. And a special big thank you to one that even payed for one of our tires just to give us some support. You all made our trip great and memorable.
    We are really looking forward to coming back to the States in winter and going to Baja.

    See you soon.
    Cheers Thomas
    #81
  2. STisma

    STisma Been here awhile

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    This was straight forward, right to the point with some Swiss precision ADV report. Nicely done! :beer
    Thanks for the ride.
    #82
  3. emacs

    emacs Adventurer

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    Great report. How did you manage the long "residence" of your motorcycles in the States? I've heard there is a limit of 10 weeks or so otherwise you have to import the bikes.
    #83
  4. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi emacs,
    you can leave your bike in the states for one year with a temporary import.
    We will be leaving the states in winter and go to Mexico. So when we come back we get another year. That's the plan.
    Cheers Thomas (Tschüss)
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    #84
  5. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi everyone, we´re back.
    After 2 and a half months of working we are sitting in a plane on our way back to the USA. I´m trying to get through this terrible boring flight and thought I´ll write a couple of words just to help time go by.
    (Just to tell you: we are back in Switzerland again and I am in hospital at the moment. Had my shoulder done yesterday. So now I have plenty of time to report about the trip but typing with one finger instead of 10 is a real pain. So be patient on me.)
    [​IMG]

    The plan for this trip is to get our bikes out of storage in Albuquerque and ride down to Mexico for 3 – 4 weeks. Then go back to ABQ and leave the bikes in storage again until next summer.
    We first want to go down Baja, then take a ferry to the mainland, and go up again. That´s the rough idea.
    But first we have to get the KTMs running and get to the warmth of Mexico without freezing to death. The weather forecast promises under 0°C during the night so its going to be a cool ride.

    Having a beer during our stop over in D.C.
    [​IMG]


    Never have been on a bike trip with a suitcase before. (It will stay in storage)

    Calling the hotel in ABQ for a pickup.
    [​IMG]
    #85
  6. Kirkster

    Kirkster Parts Murderer

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    Nice report so far... We did the whole TAT last summer and loved it. It looks like they fixed the New Mexico sign up. Did not look like there were any stickers on it (or bullet holes for that matter). The best part of the TAT starts after that sign...

    Hope you have fun in Baja. In for updates...
    #86
  7. sstracke

    sstracke Been here awhile

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    Good to hear you are back in the US. I hope you enjoy this part of your trip!
    #87
  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    After reaching ABQ the first thing we did was to get the KTMs out of the storage and do the rest of the work on them I couldn´t finish last time.

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    Changing the rear sprocket on both bikes.
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    Then we wanted to head south the next day.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    That’s when things started to somehow go wrong.<o:p></o:p>
    In the morning there was small oil puddle under my bike. Shi… The shock was leaking. It did stop to leak after we kept going but who wants to go to Baja with a shock that isn´t ok. So we would have to find someone who could do a quick rebuild on the way. The next thing was that both bikes had problems starting in the cold of the morning. I have had that issue already but on Sandra´s bike it was new. We finally got them running and then the next bad thing happened. We took the road to Flagstaff to spend the night there not knowing that we would be at 2110m (6910 ft). That was a big mistake. It was freezing. Most of the ride was pretty cold and the night was below 0°C. There was ice on the seats. In order to get my bike running I took it into the motel room for two hours in the morning.

    [​IMG]

    When I went outside again I saw that this time there was a bigger oil puddle under Sandra´s bike. Her shock leaked too. What is going on here? Well we needed someone to do my shock so he could do Sandra´s as well.
    Icy ride out of Flagstaff.
    [​IMG]

    When we reached Phoenix (it was much warmer after we came down from the mountains) we stopped at a McDonalds. We needed Internet. Since it was Monday an most bike dealers and workshops were closed (are we lucky). It took some time until we were given Bob Tod´s number. I called him and told him what we needed and he said he could do it immediately but wasn´t sure if he had the right seals. He gave us directions and asked us to come to his place so he could have a look. A couple of minutes later we were standing in front of his house and he came out.

    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
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    #88
  9. =[BAD]=TEX

    =[BAD]=TEX Adventurer

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    WELCOME BACK!:clap
    #89
  10. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG

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    alrighhhhttttt
    #90
  11. SMC

    SMC Adventurer

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    Subscribed for more!
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  12. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Back on the wagon...
    #92
  13. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Of course Bob didn´t have the fitting seal but immediately ordered them from somewhere in California. With the overnight shipment they should be at Bob´s by around 9:30 am. We left for a motel and returned early in the morning to get the first shock out and ready when the seals arrived. The rebuild of one shock went really smooth, the other one gave Bob some problems and so it was quit a bit in the afternoon when everything was finished. There was no point in packing up and leaving so late so we decided to leave early the next morning.

    Here is Bob from Future shoxs taking a shock apart.
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    Getting the inner parts clean.
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    And puttig things together again.
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    And getting the shock in the bike again.
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    We now don´t have White Powers anymore, but Future Shoxs.
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    It was still almost dark when we started the bikes the next morning (after jumping onto my kickstarter for over 10 minutes, because it was so cold). We went onto the interstate around Phoenix eager to get as far as possible to make up for the lost time. After about an hour on the bikes (still around Phoenix stuck in heavy morning traffic) I look into my mirror and see that Sandra´s light is out. That is our sign for me to stop. I take the next exit and turn into a parking lot. “What´s the problem” I ask Sandra after turning off my engine. “My engine is suddenly very loud. Listen to it.” I take off my helmet and take out the ear plugs. Then I start her bike and hear a very loud noise from under the tank. It sounds as if there was no exhaust mounted. The two exhaust pipes are correctly mounted to the cylinder head, but there is a hole between them. This just can´t be true. Is this the end of the trip? After getting out a flashlight and having a closer look I see that the hole does not look like something was broken out. No it a round machined shape. That is strange. I tell Sandra that we need a KTM dealer. “Well we just past Avendale and there is a dealer there that we called because of the shock repair two days ago.” At least that was good news and after only two miles we were in the right street already. After a breakfast, the shop wasn´t open yet, we walked up to the counter and told the guys what had happened.
    At Moto City
    [​IMG]

    They came outside to look and hear the problem. Then we had a look at the spare parts catalog and there is really a plug listed that fits into the hole. What the hole is for no one knew (maybe for manufacturing). And guess what. The plug was not on stock, but 4 of them where in the USA. So again we had to wait for an overnight shipment.

    The plug with seal
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    The guys from Moto City were great. They immediately took Sandra´s KTM in, took apart everything necessary, and promised to get to work again as soon as the plug arrived the next day. So once more we looked for a motel to wait. Finally after spending 3 days of repairs and waiting in Phoenix we left Moto City in the afternoon to at least make it to Yuma directly at the Mexican border.
    Will we ever make it to Mexico?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #93
  14. bcs

    bcs Adventurer

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    I would be curious to know why that plug was designed into the engine. Perhaps it is intended to come out, relieving excessively high pressure, and preventing damage to other parts? I don't know what circumstance would generate a high internal pressure to drive it out. Hey, KTM wizards?
    Also, does it simply friction fit into the hole? Is there anything that can be done to prevent losing the next one? I would have bought a spare, too.
    #94
  15. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    Hope it get better
    #95
  16. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    That plug fits between the exhausts headers and is held in place by some extensions on the 2 manifold clamps... Some bikes come equipped from the factory with S.A.S emissions control equipment and some don't... Bikes that are not equipped with this stuff either have a plug in place of the S.A.S inlet or a different head with out the machined in port..
    Those 2 640s are the older models equipped with the pre Hi Flo cylinder, I have never seen the older bikes so equipped with the SAS rigging.. I guess even back then Euro emission specs were tough to meet so KTM had a back up plan...

    Also with the bikes coming up to 15 yrs old they are probably still running the same rear shock as they came equipped with from the showroom floor... I suspect the storage conditions where the bikes were kept helped in the drying out process of those old shock seals as to where they just let go...
    #96
  17. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hello bcs, of course I bought a spare. It was only 5 US.
    The plug is 34 in the parts catalog and you can just push it into the hole. It is held by the flanges for the exhaust pipes 30 and 31. I guess it somehow came loose and from the vibrations the top of the plug got thinner until it finally fit between the flanges and fell out.


    [​IMG]

    Hi Redkrouge, just wait there is more bad luck to come, but the trip was good anyway.
    Cheers to the "Genfer See".
    Thomas
    #97
  18. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Thanks for the Info Gunnerbuck. you were a couple of minutes faster than me. Didn´t see your reply as I was writing at the same time.
    You are right I must admit. The shocks were both as they came with the bikes. I was thinking of having them rebuild before coming to the states but urgently needed new shocks for my old bmw and they were quite expensive. Having 4 bikes to maintain chews up some money so you cann´t do everything you woud like to. And I said to myself: we are going to the USA and not to Africa. We can get them done there if needed.

    Thanks everyone for your replys and have a nice weekend.
    Cheers
    Thomas
    #98
  19. STisma

    STisma Been here awhile

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    At the time even a small issue or a problem seems like a .....
    bad luck, quantum physics, why-didn't-I-replace-that-before, is this the end......
    An adventure is not complete without problems.
    As long as there is no bleeding nor broken bones.....

    Have fun!
    #99
  20. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    The next morning we actually crossed the border at Algodones really smoothly and were in Mexico. Then it was tarmac all the way to San Felipe where we checked into a hotel, had a stroll along the beach front, our first XX (that´s a beer for all that have never been in Mexico before), and ate our first fish tacos.( The first of many)

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    The way onward to San Luis Gonzaga has mostly tarmac and easy gravel but enjoyable all the same. We were just glad to finally be in Mexico, in the warmth, and taking in the beautiful landscape.

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    <o:p>The view from our room in Gonzaga.</o:p>
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