Wherever I May Roam - One Woman Livin' on a DR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Feyala, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Jul 31, 2005
    Moscow, Idaho
    I'm following along.

    You should have given a holler when traveling to St Maries/CdA from Portland. I live a few miles south of St Maries. I make the run to Portland a lot and could have given you a few variations. I'll be headed that way next week and will not run any of the roads you just crossed, maybe a few miles or 12 thru Garfield County. I'll give a wave to the local fuzz. I noticed that you got tagged by a state cop. Usually the county sherrif is most active thru there.

    Next time check routes thru Wahkiakus, Kahlotus, and Wallula. The consumate NW traveler must visit Hay WA.

    Oh Yea, I am the old fat man at the porta potty conference, in Enterprise.

    Keep riding.
  2. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    The next few posts are going to be fairly scattered chronologically. The reason behind this is that I was busy doing other things in the between-times: Working on the mermite luggage, fixing up the bike, writing this ride report, hanging out with friends, etc. Rather than bore you with tales of helping my friend clean out his shop and move or selling my unnecessary possessions, I figure I'll just stick to the interesting bits. I will make posts detailing the trip preparation, as there was some interest.

    I've figured out what needs to get written, there's about 7 posts left to go. If I really crack down I can get this done pretty quick. Which is good, because I just finished the luggage tonight, and I'm eager to skedaddle. :ricky

    Go go gadget writeathon!
  3. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I had met Barb (BSkye) at one of the local ADV gatherings. She mentioned that she and a friend of hers were going to go up Lolo Pass and visit Lost Lake, and invited Oz and I along. Sounds like fun, swimming and grilling! That pass and I had a score to settle...

    The morning of the adventure, we found out that neither her friend nor Oz felt like going. It would be just the two of us, which was great, because it led to a more relaxed pace. I took my time getting ready, grabbing a veggie burger and buns on my way out the door. I managed to find her place, and she gave me the tour. She packed a fish fillet and some ice for our food, and we scampered off to WinCo to buy an instant grill:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/barb.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/627__320x240_barb.jpg" /></a></center>
    Eastward, ho! We begrudgingly dealt with traffic getting out of town, but once we were out, it was relatively smooth sailing. It was a nice clear day, a bit hot but not too terrible, and I was thrilled to be in the saddle. It was a good day to ride.

    We had agreed to go slow so that I could take lots and lots of photos. I'd recently downloaded a few camera applications for my Droid, and spent the day playing with them.

    The road grew narrow and crept up into the mountains. We broke through the trees, and recognition struck: I've been here before! This was how we'd gotten to Lolo pass the first time, in the rain!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/road.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/634__320x240_road.jpg" /></a></center>
    Except that now, I could actually see what was in the valley, and it was beautiful. Here's Mount Hood:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/hoodtrees.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/633__320x240_hoodtrees.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/hoodroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/632__320x240_hoodroad.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/flowervalley.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/636__320x240_flowervalley.jpg" /></a></center>
    There were two routes to get down the pass, and we took a different one this time. It was longer, but more laid-back and less steep.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/barbgravel.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/637__320x240_barbgravel.jpg" /></a></center>
    We found pavement, but it was nice and twisty up to Lost Lake. When we got to the gate, it was half-price for motorcycles, yay! After fighting our way through the epic crowds in the parking lot, we parked and grilled ourselves some lunch. I'd never used one of these instant grill things, it was definitely useful. My veggie burger was delicious.

    We changed into our swimsuits and wandered down to the lake, both of us carrying our gear. We found a site as secluded as we could manage - this place was PACKED - and waded out into the water. It was nice, cool but not too cold. We swam and floated out further into the lake, having some great conversations.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/lostlake.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/639__320x240_lostlake.jpg" /></a></center>
    Back to shore, and we wanted to hike around the lake, but didn't want to leave our gear unattended. Barb suggested we ask the cashiers at the store if they'd mind us leaving our things there.

    A creepy Sasquatch statue leered down at us as we climbed the steps to the store. What is that hand supposed to be <em>doing</em>?

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/sasquatch.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/631__320x240_sasquatch.jpg" /></a></center>
    Mission accomplished, we went for a hike. I recognized these orange berries as salmonberries. I'd never tried them before, but they were actually pretty good! A bit sour, but that was probably due to growing in the shade.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/salmonberries.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/630__320x240_salmonberries.jpg" /></a></center>
    Barb pointed out a plant bearing blue berries and identified them as huckleberries! Awesome! I ate some of these too. I could easily have gathered a gallon bag of these things if I was more driven, the bushes were everywhere. I was content to simply graze, and we continued on.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/huckleberries.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/638__320x240_huckleberries.jpg" /></a></center>
    We found a trail leading off to a small platform, and below the platform were hundreds of newts! I waded into the water and caught one to investigate it, they were not very fast. They would rest on the bottom of the lake, completely stationary, eventually coming up for air or slowly swimming along.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/newt.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/640__320x240_newt.jpg" /></a></center>
    We fled the mosquito and biting fly invasion and kept moving. The hiking path was quite nice, very well-maintained. At least those entry fees are going to a good cause! At one point, the path was entirely made of planks, assumably to control erosion from foot traffic.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/plankpath.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/642__320x240_plankpath.jpg" /></a></center>
    We finished our hike and returned to the bikes. By this point it was getting a bit late in the afternoon, so we decided to head out, as climbing the pass in the dark was unappealing.

    As we neared the turn off for the pass, we took a break by this river. It was quite peaceful.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/river.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/643__320x240_river.jpg" /></a></center>
    Lolo pass was impressive from below:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/lolopass.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/641__320x240_lolopass.jpg" /></a></center>
    And of course, the obligatory glory shot.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/mthood.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/629__320x240_mthood.jpg" /></a></center>
    I did pretty well! Wasn't able to stand up much, but I managed to maintain my speed.

    Roads never look as gnarly in photos as they are in person.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/lolograveljoke.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/645__320x240_lolograveljoke.jpg" /></a></center>
    Just kidding! It was actually pretty easy this time.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/lologravel.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/644__320x240_lologravel.jpg" /></a></center>
    Our reward for getting back to the paved section was a gorgeous sunset!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/lostlake/sunset.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/635__320x240_sunset.jpg" /></a></center>
    Fun time was over, and we rode back to her place, tired but happy. I returned home and tried to make Oz jealous about the fact that he decided not to go. It was a good day.

    Thanks, Barb!
  4. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Mar 18, 2012
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Isn't that the truth!
  5. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious Long timer

    Jan 30, 2010
    Getting Blair a beer
  6. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    My friend Dale (Coug) asked for my help straightening up his Silver Streak trailer so that he could sell it. This trailer has had an interesting life, and I was almost sad to see it go.

    I lived with him back in 2004 when he got it in trade for doing a transmission swap on a guy's car. I helped to cover up the yellow stains on the interior walls with layer after layer of white paint. After he tore out the rotting wood and remodeled it to a point where it was in a livable condition, with bunk beds where the "living room" was previously, a working furnace, and a twin pair of computer areas on either side, I ended up living in it with him and his then-girlfriend for about half a year. I was living in the same house in Eugene for three years as he gradually reworked it further - the bunk beds became a single queen with cabinets and secret storage places, it got Corian counter-tops and a nice bamboo wood floor, a new fridge, stove, microwave, and a work bench with lots of drawers. The death trap closet shower became an awesome, deep tub with jets. In fact, I'd lived in this trailer for a few months last winter, before moving up to Portland at the start of this leg of my life. It had become quite homey. Coug's resourcefulness never ceases to amaze me. He managed to get nearly everything he put into the trailer for free or nearly so.

    I headed down to Canyonville, Oregon, attempting to take smaller highways to avoid the interstate. This only lasted so long, and I hit Eugene a good 4 hours after I started, near dusk. Frustrated at my slow pace, I ended up hopping on the I-5 and enduring absolute boredom for another few hours before arriving in Canyonville. Coug's friend Allen, a kind-hearted but somewhat creepy individual, let me stay the night in his spare room. I could tell a number of amusing stories about past times that I've stayed in Canyonville with Coug, and with Allen in particular, in this condemned, water-damaged double wide, but I will refrain.

    Allen stays in this giant truck when he goes dredging up at his mining claim. I believe he said it's some kind of Swiss military vehicle.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/allantruck.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/648__320x240_allantruck.jpg" /></a></center>
    I spent the next couple of days helping Coug get his trailer in order. Out came all of his belongings, all the old food that had been left in the pantry and nibbled by mice, all the spare wood and building supplies. I filled several yard-sized hefty bags with trash while he fixed little odds and ends where the trailer was a bit rough around the edges. I scrubbed and mopped and painted, and the trailer looked pretty awesome by the time we were through. Dealing with Coug's mother Wanda was quite trying - she had the unpleasant habit of shrilly interrupting us every five minutes to ask us irrelevant questions, and her pack of nearly feral inbred Chihuahuas (she has over twenty of them) were a constant nuisance, barking and nipping at our heels.

    <center><table width="400px" border="0"><tbody><tr><td align="center"><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/trailer1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/646__320x240_trailer1.jpg" /></a></td><td align="center"><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/trailer2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/647__320x240_trailer2.jpg" /></a></td></tr></tbody></table></center>
    Mission accomplished, I decided that I would rather make my way through the darkness than spend another night at Allen's. I parked the bike in his yard to say goodbye to Coug, and when I tried to wheel it around, I lost my footing in the grass and it all came crashing down in slow motion. Like a fool, I'd left my helmet on the right-hand mirror, and the spill caused the tab holding on one side of the visor to snap off. <strong>D'OH!</strong> We "fixed" it with some duct tape and Coug managed to straighten the bars out on the bike. The bike was a bit unstable as I slowly wobbled into the darkness, but I quickly learned how to keep it steady and safe.

    I crept along and eventually found a campground, but they wanted fees. Hah, fat chance! I went down a nearby dirt road instead and pitched my tent in what was likely a truck turn around. Whatever works!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/truckturnaround.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/650__320x240_truckturnaround.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/dirtcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/649__320x240_dirtcamp.jpg" /></a></center>
    The next morning, I ventured forth, stopping along the way at a "natural bridge". I've probably been spoiled by the large, impressive natural bridges in the southwest, because this one was just water coursing briefly underground. It was a pleasant view, and good to stretch my legs. I walked around in the woods a bit.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/naturalbridge.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/653__320x240_naturalbridge.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/watercave.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/654__320x240_watercave.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/bridgewoods.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/651__320x240_bridgewoods.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/craterlkroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/652__320x240_craterlkroad.jpg" /></a></center>
    I continued on to Crater Lake, where I had lunch at the restaurant there. Surprisingly, the food wasn't that much more expensive than most restaurants I've been to, and it was both vegetarian and tasty. Some kind of tower of random greens, bits of fried tofu, peppers, onions, and sunflower seeds, bathed in a teriyaki sauce, less than $10. Yum.

    I got to cut past a long line of cars as a ranger saw my yearly pass! I briefly looked at the map and decided to just see where the road took me. The first stop was Vidae Falls, where I recognized the Swedish flag hanging off of the back of one of the cruisers, but didn't get much of an opportunity to talk to the guy about his US tour before he sped off to catch up with the rest of his group.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/vidae.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/655__320x240_vidae.jpg" /></a></center>
    There was lots to see. I could have spent a bunch more time here. The roads were twisty and fairly well-kept, and I didn't get stuck behind any slow-moving RVs.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/craterroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/656__320x240_craterroad.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/rollinghills.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/658__320x240_rollinghills.jpg" /></a></center>
    I really like how this one came out - the full-sized image is actually pretty crisp! (It makes a good desktop wallpaper too!) This was Phantom Ship:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/phantomship.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/657__320x240_phantomship.jpg" /></a></center>
    And of course, Crater Lake itself:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/craterlake.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/659__320x240_craterlake.jpg" /></a></center>
    There was still snow on a couple of high places!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/cratersnow.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/660__320x240_cratersnow.jpg" /></a></center>
    I left the park, got gas, and aimed for some lakes I saw northward on the map.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/craternorth.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/661__320x240_craternorth.jpg" /></a></center>
    A fire had destroyed much of the forest. A nearby sign informed me that over 21,000 acres were lost to the Davis Fire in 2003, and explained the cyclic role of fire in these types of forests.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/davisburn.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/662__320x240_davisburn.jpg" /></a></center>
    Further down the road, massive chunks of lava rock littered the landscape, forming hills. I went to check it out.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/lavahill.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/664__320x240_lavahill.jpg" /></a></center>
    The dirt road went down to a campground. The lava hill cascaded right into the lake which looked gorgeous in the afternoon sun. I almost lost it in the sand again when I tried to turn around. DAMN YOU, SAND!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/lakelava.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/663__320x240_lakelava.jpg" /></a></center>
    Trying to find a way to explore the lava hills more, I took a random dirt road and met this terrible, powdered-sugar type dust. I barely managed to keep the bike upright, the tail end of the bike was all over the place. I found a small patch of solid ground to turn around on. Not sure how I would have turned the bike around on the soft stuff, especially in the deeper areas where my footing would have been suspect.

    I continued along, looking for a free campsite. I took the dirt road around a couple of the lakes, but every single offshoot was marked "no trespassing", for a lumber sale. Lovely.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/lakeroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/666__320x240_lakeroad.jpg" /></a></center>
    This view of Mt. Bachelor was nice though!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/bachelor.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/665__320x240_bachelor.jpg" /></a></center>
    The road passed various terrain as it wandered towards Bend. This lake was gorgeous:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/teallake.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/669__320x240_teallake.jpg" /></a></center>
    Nearby, even the soil and rocks had a colorful contrast:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/orageblack.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/668__320x240_orageblack.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/mntprairie.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/667__320x240_mntprairie.jpg" /></a></center>
    After checking out a few other areas with no success, I headed into Bend, looking for wifi. There, <a href="http://www.eugenecarsey.com/camp/default.htm">this site</a> came to the rescue once again, pointing me toward an OHV area east of town that seemed like a great spot.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/sunsetdesert.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/670__320x240_sunsetdesert.jpg" /></a></center>
    I found the road to the OHV area as the sun was setting. I was extremely conscious of the fact that my exhaust didn't have a spark arrestor... bad news in this arid, flammable environment. Another thing I needed to fix.

    I love riding in the desert at night! There's just something special about it. I went fairly slow to avoid hitting wildlife, but I had fun. Eventually I found the washboarded dirt road leading to the OHV area itself. To my surprise, the place was completely empty! Fuck yeah!

    I unloaded the bike and set up my hammock for once. It was a clear night without much risk of rain, so I really enjoyed being able to look up at the millions of stars through the mosquito netting. As I lay there, gently swaying in the breeze, coyotes began to yap and howl from nearby. It was a magical experience and I was happy to be there.

    Even though the days had been hot, I found myself shivering, and rolled out of bed to get more insulation - I added some layers, and used the air mattress to block the wind from stealing my warmth from below.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/ohvcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/674__320x240_ohvcamp.jpg" /></a></center>
    The next morning, I packed up my stuff and walked around a bit, noticing a sign that said "learner's loop".

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/loopsign.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/673__320x240_loopsign.jpg" /></a></center>
    "I'm a learner, they wouldn't do anything <em>too</em> mean to beginners, I should give this a go!"


    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/learnersloop.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/672__320x240_learnersloop.jpg" /></a></center>
    Learner's loop was terrifying. Nothing but steep, hairpin turns. Even without my luggage this was not something for beginners, maybe on a small-displacement dirt bike. It was certainly... educational, but I was more grateful to get out of there without running into a tree than anything else. I need the basic course for the basic course I guess...

    I gathered my stuff and set off across the desert.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/desertride.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/671__320x240_desertride.jpg" /></a></center>
    The rest of my trip was fairly uneventful, as I was in a bit of a rush to get back - somebody had expressed interest in my Rebel and I was eager to get rid of it. I got a bit turned around in Bend and took the long way back to the highway.

    Stopped and appreciated Sisters mountains:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/sisters.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/675__320x240_sisters.jpg" /></a></center>
    I took the 22 which was quite pleasant, lots of twisties running through the forest. Once I hit Salem, I took the back route to Portland, thankfully bypassing the interstate.

    The next day, I sold the Rebel, yay! I got far less than I wanted, but at least one more thing was out of the way!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/canyonville2portland/rightside.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/676__320x240_rightside.jpg" /></a></center>
    Goodbye little bike! You served me well, hopefully your new owner will have lots of adventures on you too!
  7. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Mar 18, 2012
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    One less thing you own! Feels good to lighten the load doesn't it?
  8. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    Thanks! :D

    Awesome, thank you! Yeah, I wanted something unique. I don't own much, so I'm starting to really get into personalizing the few things I do have so they reflect me better, if that makes sense.

    Wow, congratulations! :clap It's rare that I hear HAPPY stories from writers... Usually it's grouches trying to warn the youngsters to stay away if they can! :lol3 Good luck on your cross-country expedition! I will check out that thread and PM you if I have questions. :)

    Thanks guys! :clap

    I admit that I don't read many of those "I've been traveling" books - and I'll reply to your emails a bit later today. Do you have any particular suggestions?

    Seriously?! :rofl That's awesome! And hilarious! Man, we've gotta be doing something wrong if Mexico has us beat...

    Oh dear...

    Everything in moderation! I try to moderate the ranting more than the rest of it, but sometimes it leaks out. :cry

    That would have made the trip a LOT better. Live and learn! It was good to meet you at the rally. :) If I ever find myself heading through that stretch again I'll definitely hit you up.

    That and the worst parts never get photographed because I'm too busy trying not to soil my pants at the time that stopping for a picture is the last thought in my head. :lol3


    Always! As the song the RR title is based on goes, "The less I have, the more I gain..."
  9. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I went with some friends on a hiking trip to Silver Falls. I'd been wanting to go for quite some time - I've heard a lot of good things about it, but never seemed to have the right opportunity. We crammed into my roommate's car, which was fine for a day trip. It was nice to relax and not worry about motorcycle gear.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/carride.jpg" class="shutterset_singlepic677"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/677__320x240_carride.jpg" /></a></center>
    One of my friends brought her cute corgi, named Engel. He was an attention whore.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/okicorgi.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/680__320x240_okicorgi.jpg" /></a></center>
    When we arrived, we met up with some other folks who also wanted to go hiking, I found them too gossipy and boisterous so I fell behind and walked alone quite a bit. I was there for the nature, not gossip.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/walkin.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/683__320x240_walkin.jpg" /></a></center>
    The path started by climbing up along a ridge, uncomfortably close to the highway, but the forest was pleasant. Typical for a northwest forest, moss covered anything that would stand still.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/forestwalk.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/679__320x240_forestwalk.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/mosstrunk.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/691__320x240_mosstrunk.jpg" /></a></center>
    It was a great day for a hike. The sun was shining, and it was warm but not too hot. We ended up at a visitor's center and refilled our water bottles, deciding to take the Trail of Ten Falls on the way back, even though there was technically no dogs allowed.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/forestpath.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/678__320x240_forestpath.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/treerootknots.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/682__320x240_treerootknots.jpg" /></a></center>
    The path followed a river for a while, which was refreshing. The vegetation down here was lush with the moisture. My favorite part about northwest forests is the cacaphony of textures and shades of green - more shades of green than we have words to describe. Plants grow over plants grow over plants.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/rivermoss.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/684__320x240_rivermoss.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/riverrapids.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/681__320x240_riverrapids.jpg" /></a></center>
    At one point, several of us crossed a river to get a better look at a small waterfall. Toe shoes came in useful once again!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/treewaterfall.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/692__320x240_treewaterfall.jpg" /></a></center>
    Lest I be too terribly mature, I have to admit that I giggled at the rock shaped like a fuzzy butt.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/buttrock.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/685__320x240_buttrock.jpg" /></a></center>
    The path ducked behind North Falls, cut into a cavern in the rock behind it, which was awesome.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/northfalls.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/687__320x240_northfalls.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/pathbehindwaterfall.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/689__320x240_pathbehindwaterfall.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/cavepath.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/686__320x240_cavepath.jpg" /></a></center>
    I took advantage of one of the benches they'd thoughtfully placed behind the falls. I could have sat here for hours, listening to the white noise of the waterfall.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/northfalls2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/688__320x240_northfalls2.jpg" /></a></center>
    We climbed a bunch of steps and headed back to the car. I was happy that I was not one of the ones who were huffing and puffing! The stairs reminded me of something out of Indiana Jones for some reason, flanked on either side with ferns and vegetation.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/silverfalls/stairs.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/690__320x240_stairs.jpg" /></a></center>
    I would have liked to stay longer and explore some of the other trails, there were many more waterfalls in this area to see, but everybody else was tired and wanted to call it a day, so we headed back to the car. I guess I have a reason to go back!

    All in all, a fantastic day!
  10. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    Doing some research on hard luggage systems, it seemed like my choices were pretty limited. I could buy a professional set and be out several hundred dollars; get a knockoff of Pelican cases (Seahorses) which are still made of plastic and open like a briefcase; use ammo cans, which are heavy and steel; make my own from scratch; or repurpose Mermite cans, which are aluminum military food containers.

    Following Hondo's <a href="http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=210132">excellent tutorial</a>, after unsuccessfully calling every military surplus store in the greater Portland area, I found a guy on Craigslist who had a pair up for $40. Score! I took them down to Coug's shop in Salem.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/orwoods/mermitebike.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/443__320x240_mermitebike.jpg" /></a></center>
    For the record, these cans were a huge pain in the ass. If they ever get destroyed beyond repair, I'm probably going to end up with ammo cans or <a href="http://sites.google.com/site/rtwxtz660/alluboxes">fabricate something myself</a>.

    The work to make these lumpy military castoffs into something worthwhile would take place a day here and a day there over the next several months. It was interesting to see the difference in construction between the two cans from year to year.

    We removed the inner liners and the foam. On the older can from the 1940s this was very simple, we bent the aluminum inner liner in slightly and it slid right out. Once removed, the foam simply fell out in disgusting, lunchbox-scented clumps.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/goodliner.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/696__320x240_goodliner.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/clumpfoam.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/693__320x240_clumpfoam.jpg" /></a></center>
    To remove the foam from the lid of the older can, there was simply a plate that needed to be removed, and the foam was brushed out.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/goodlid.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/695__320x240_goodlid.jpg" /></a></center>
    This left us with a nice, clean, intact box.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/goodcancleaned.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/694__320x240_goodcancleaned.jpg" /></a></center>
    However, on the one from the 60s, we ended up breaking the fiberglass insert in a couple places trying to get leverage to get the inner can out. Even after cutting holes and slices from the liner, it simply did not want to budge. It even took a bite out of Coug.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/bloodsacrifice.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/698__320x240_bloodsacrifice.jpg" /></a></center>
    With the appropriate blood sacrifice taken care of, you'd think that things would go easier, but no. After much swearing and struggling, eventually we got the damn thing out, along with the foam.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/badlinerfoam.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/697__320x240_badlinerfoam.jpg" /></a></center>
    That left the lid.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/badlid.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/700__320x240_badlid.jpg" /></a></center>
    Coug used tin snips to cut a hole in it to remove some of the foam.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/tinsnips.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/701__320x240_tinsnips.jpg" /></a></center>
    Eventually: great success!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/badfoamlid.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/699__320x240_badfoamlid.jpg" /></a></center>
    We removed all of the hardware - hinges, latches and handles from the "bad" can. The older can was fairly pristine, with no corrosion, but the newer one had a number of holes where the steel plates that had been riveted in had an electrolytic reaction with the aluminum. Bad news.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/corrosion.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/702__320x240_corrosion.jpg" /></a></center>
    I sanded the SHIT out of that box, until there were no traces of rust or corrosion.

    Bondo to the rescue!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/bondocan.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/703__320x240_bondocan.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/bondomix.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/704__320x240_bondomix.jpg" /></a></center>
    I'd used Bondo before, but only once or twice, so Coug, having years of experience, took the lead. We added reinforcing plates where the new handles would go, and a plate where it would attach to the bike to add rigidity. We put a metal plate under the edge of the fiberglass lip where it had been damaged by overenthusiastic prying and affixed it with Bondo. The lip is now as strong, or stronger than it was originally. I would return to Salem several times to repair the corrosion and fill holes, sand the bondo flat, repair, sand, repair, sand. It never seemed to end.

    Eventually Coug moved up to Portland before we could finish the project, and had no shop there. I moved the boxes back to our garage, and bought a drill. I had been hoping to do the work at his shop to avoid having to buy tools, but c'est la vie.

    Originally the plan was going to be to build a rack, but that did not work out, and I was not going to struggle with making one with hand tools. Instead, I got one from DirtRacks (the cheapest I could find) and test fit it on the bike. Seemed pretty sturdy! Also came with mounting brackets, score!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/rackpieces.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/706__320x240_rackpieces.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/rackassembled.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/705__320x240_rackassembled.jpg" /></a></center>
    Everything was test fit repeatedly. With a tip from the many mermite threads, I decided to mount them hasps-inward to give me a nice "tray" when rifling through the contents of the boxes. I mounted them as far back as I reasonably could, because there were complaints that the boxes had nearly trapped people's legs while dabbing off road. Not an experience I wanted to have.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/boxtestfit.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/707__320x240_boxtestfit.jpg" /></a></center>
    Yes, those boxes are literally being held on by tarp straps and duct tape, why do you ask?

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/marking.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/709__320x240_marking.jpg" /></a></center>
    I traced the brackets, triple checked everything, and drilled lots of holes for the new hardware - locking hasps, hinges, new handles, luggage tie-downs, and of course the brackets and knobs to attach the boxes to the rack. At one point I spent over $40 just on bolts, washers and nuts. I ended up having to buy a bit for the drill that would handle steel - the old hardware was never removed from the "good box", and those rivets were tough. Oz helped with that part.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/brackets.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/708__320x240_brackets.jpg"/></a></center>
    I had to build a bondo "bridge" on one of the lids, as years of abuse had caved in the edge of the lid where the lock attached, leaving the screw threads exposed. I bondoed plates into the "good box" where the handles would attach, and added a backing plate like the other box. At one point, I realized I would never be able to get a nut on the end of some of the bolts on the "bad" box, as they fell under the raised lip of the plate (originally some kind of tray we got at a scrapyard and cut in half), so I had the fun experience of using tin snips in a small, awkward environment, inside the can, to cut the lip off. At least it was aluminum.

    I filed and sanded every sharp piece of metal I could find. All the plate edges, the edges of the "bad" lid where Coug had snipped a hole in the metal, etc. The last thing I want is to cut my hand open when I'm blindly rummaging around in the box in the middle of the night.

    I removed everything but the brackets and sanded the outside of the boxes, likely getting some lead-based snot in the process. I was going to truckbed liner the insides, but several people complained that they couldn't see their stuff very easily, so I decided to leave it unfinished inside. Also, I will freely admit that I was getting tired of this project by this point.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/readyforpaint.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/710__320x240_readyforpaint.jpg" /></a></center>
    The outside of the boxes got several coats of hammered grey. I'm not sure if I applied it correctly, but the hammered effect was not very even. Oh well, it'll all eventually get covered with stickers anyways, and they look fine at a distance.

    I reattached the hardware and put the boxes on the bike, only to realize that one of the latches wouldn't clear the exhaust. I grudgingly removed it, and, having no vice or other real tools other than the drill and the one steel bit, proceeded to spend the next hour drilling a series of small holes halfway across the latch and eventually managing to snap it in half. Then I spent another hour filing down the jagged steel edge until it resembled something less eager to rip my hand open.

    I wrapped electrical tape around the luggage tiedown loops to reduce the noise they'd make by rattling. I would have preferred to tool-dip, but didn't want to sink any more money into this project.

    After a generous application of loctite to any and all bolts not secured with nylock nuts, the project was finally complete! My first thoughts are: wow, these things are cavernous! I can see what Alex meant when he said it would be too easy to overfill them with crap. I'll definitely have to keep a sharp eye out on myself in that regard...

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/mermite/finishedbox.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/711__320x240_finishedbox.jpg" /></a></center>
    Tomorrow I'll be applying silicone along all seams, including around each of the nuts. Hopefully this will help keep them waterproof. I'm not quite happy with how the bolts stick out inside the box, I have to be a bit careful with how I pack them, but overall, for starting with a beat-up, corroded mess, I'm happy with how they turned out!
    ONandOFF likes this.
  11. ohiomatt

    ohiomatt Adventurer

    Jun 17, 2012
    Perrysville, OH
    The box's look great! We use to have one of those that we used as a cooler. Who would have ever thought they would make such awesome panniers.:clap
  12. dfhepner

    dfhepner Been here awhile

    Jan 17, 2006
    San Jose, CA, USA
    It took me a while to get to this point in the story. Very well done. I like the new side boxes. I will be following along as you post me.
  13. nashopolis

    nashopolis Been here awhile

    Jan 19, 2006
    Nashville, Tenn
    I'm enjoying your thread-
    just a quick tip - Im pretty sure the unpainted aluminum inside your new panniers will leave marks on whatever goes inside - might want to bag up anything you want to keep pretty.
  14. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I had gotten tired of the red, scratched-up paint job. It was a bit of an eyesore, even if people were still complimenting me on the color. I removed all the fairings and cleaned them well with warm soapy water.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/fairingsred.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/741__320x240_fairingsred.jpg" /></a></center>
    Over the course of a couple days I removed almost all of the old red paint, using a scotchbrite pad and 400 grit sandpaper. The stuff that wasn't completely removed was scuffed a LOT - I didn't want to risk doing all this work only to have the paint bubble up later. For a short while the DR was white, and although it looked fairly slick that way, this was not the way to go for stealth camping.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/fairingswhite.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/742__320x240_fairingswhite.jpg" /></a></center>
    For the color, I decided to go with a dark green. I picked up several cans of Valspar plastic paint and went to town. The first can was a different color green than the cap. WTF? I guess somebody must have switched the caps...

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/wrongcolor.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/747__320x240_wrongcolor.jpg" /></a></center>
    Following internet advice, I sprayed the insides first to prevent drips on visible areas, then the outsides, letting the paint dry between coats, sometimes up to an hour. Lots of light coats. This took a long time, but I wanted it to be even.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/greencoat.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/743__320x240_greencoat.jpg" /></a></center>
    Eventually the green was good to go, but I wanted to personalize it. I had originally wanted to make my own stencils out of Photoshop brushes, but at this point in the game I didn't feel up to that level of effort. After checking several craft stores, I eventually found the perfect stencil! I got some black "outdoor" craft paint to apply it with.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/stencil.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/750__320x240_stencil.jpg" /></a></center>
    At first, I tried simply rolling the stencil, but there was a significant amount of seepage under the edges, which I didn't like at all. I ended up tracing over the pattern in pencil, lightly scoring the green paint, and then painting everything by hand. This took a while, but the results were nice and crisp rather than homemade and tacky.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/stenciloutline.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/746__320x240_stenciloutline.jpg" /></a></center>
    I had a general idea of the theme I wanted to go with, vine-like spirals escaping from under the seat, but not a specific plan. I simply put the stencil over the top and picked what looked the best, overlapping the stencil over itself to give a larger and more complicated design. I mirrored the pattern as closely as I could on the other half of the bike. Even though it is highly likely I am the only one who will notice this small detail, I'm a big fan of bilateral symmetry, and I feel that it helps make the job look more professional.

    After finishing one panel in black, I wasn't very happy with how the black was fading in to the green. It was nice that it was all dark - the idea here was certainly not to make things bright and loud, but I still wanted it to be obvious from a distance what the designs were, with a bit more visual punch. I got some dark silver paint and outlined them with my smallest brush. That did the trick! It looked very classy.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/outlineprogress.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/745__320x240_outlineprogress.jpg" /></a></center>
    After stenciling and painting and outlining all of the pieces over the course of a few days (and doing it all again for a second coat), I was done. I sprayed the pieces with a flat sealant, which really did the trick to bring it all together visually, eliminating the shine from the green plastic paint. I also hoped that this clear coat would help to protect the paint from wear and bugs, especially the "craft" paints, which were not designed for this purpose. Only time will tell how well it holds up!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bikepaint.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/588__320x240_bikepaint.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bikedetails.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/587__320x240_bikedetails.jpg" /></a></center>
    Design-wise, the part I am happiest with is the headlight cover. A friend of a friend was visiting and suggested that I take the stencil and mirror it side for side, and the resulting image looks vaguely like a stylized butterfly. I like the symbolism of butterflies, renewal and rebirth, transformation, so it makes me happy to look at it, even more so due to the fact that this was completely unintentional. I also am quite happy with the spirals in general. Spirals are a design which simply resonates with me, and I feel like this bike "fits" me more now. It's really mine.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/headlight.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/744__320x240_headlight.jpg" /></a></center>
    Technically speaking, the part that was my best work is probably the spirals on the rear fender. The symmetry on those was absolutely perfect, and they just flow in a very nice way. It's a shame you mostly don't see them with all of my luggage on the bike!
    ONandOFF likes this.
  15. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    Sorry for the length of this, but here's all the stuff I've fixed in the past couple months!

    My speedometer stopped working on the last trip to Idaho. After checking to make sure that it wasn't the cable or the display which was broken, I found a replacement drive unit from an ADVRider for cheap. The old one had shards of the nylon worm gear floating around and was fairly low on grease. I managed to get the front of the bike off the ground by myself(!) and on to the simple stand, once the wheel was off, it was simple to replace the drive. Now I can tell if I'm speeding again!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/brokenspeedo.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/712__320x240_brokenspeedo.jpg" /></a></center>
    While I had the wheel off, I checked the bearings, which felt a little notchy. I made a note to replace them soon.

    I pulled the carburetor from the bike and disassembled it as much as I was able to. I couldn't get into the main body of the carb, as I didn't have the right safety torx socket, but I removed and cleaned anything that was not nailed down, including the choke knob (which somebody said looked off).

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/carbpieces.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/713__320x240_carbpieces.jpg" /></a></center>
    One of the needles had some filth on it, so I cleaned it off.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/needlefilth.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/714__320x240_needlefilth.jpg" /></a></center>
    I considered trying to adjust the float height, but I didn't think I had the right tools - if I don't shut the petcock off when I turn off the bike, it leaks gas out of the overflow tube. Annoying, but not critical.

    When reinstalling the carb, I noticed that there was a little "tab" on the carb boot that wasn't allowing it to seal quite flush. After actually Reading The Instructions on how to install the TM-40, it appears that they recommend you remove this tab. Whoops. I cut it off and it seemed to fit a bit better.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/carbboot.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/715__320x240_carbboot.jpg" /></a></center>
    Somebody suggested I check the linkages and the swingarm bearings, as these are notoriously low on grease from the factory. I removed the airbox and cleaned it, the "puke tube" was clogged with some kind of oily mud. Removed the rear tire and shock. These were easy.

    After much cursing, I managed to remove the swingarm and linkages, except for the final dogbones which attach to the swingarm, those were stuck tight. These were all completely overtorqued. The bike looked sad with half its parts missing.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bikenolinkage.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/716__320x240_bikenolinkage.jpg" /></a></center>
    Once I got the bolts free, cleaning the bearings themselves was easy business. Most of the bearings were caged, and I used a shop towel to remove the old grease. One set of bearings wasn't caged:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/needlegrease.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/718__320x240_needlegrease.jpg" /></a></center>
    I pulled the needles out with a pick and put them in a cup, then cleaned the hell out of everything.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/linkageclean.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/717__320x240_linkageclean.jpg" /></a></center>
    I repacked everything with lots of new, waterproof grease. None of these bearings felt worn, so that's a plus at least. After it was all back together and torqued to spec, the rear of the bike actually compressed with minimal effort, smooth as butter, where before it was difficult even when I put some weight behind it. I had thought it was just the stiffness of the springs!

    I took the opportunity while the swingarm was out to soak the chain in kerosene and give it a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush. I also replaced the rear brakes, which were down to nubs. The front brakes didn't look bad enough to need replacing immediately, so I've got a set to carry for later.

    I replaced the upper chain roller, which was fairly worn, with one that has actual bearings in it.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/oldroller.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/723__320x240_oldroller.jpg" /></a></center>
    The old chain guide was nothing but a shard of plastic when I got the bike:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/oldguide.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/722__320x240_oldguide.jpg" /></a></center>
    So I installed a new metal one!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/newguide.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/721__320x240_newguide.jpg" /></a></center>
    More than once, I've encountered situations where my lack of spark arrestor was concerning. I also wasn't a fan of the volume of the aftermarket exhaust - I primarily want to putt around in the woods and be stealthy, not accidentally burn the forest down and be heard from miles away. I decided to switch out the Scorpion exhaust with a stock muffler. I found one for $20, practically new! Score!

    I had gotten a replacement crush gasket, and I'm glad I did, that thing was toast.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/crushgaskets.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/719__320x240_crushgaskets.jpg" /></a></center>
    I added liquid gasket to ensure a tight fit and put it all back together. I also replaced one of the muffler bolts, which was ridiculously rusty.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/newmuffler.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/720__320x240_newmuffler.jpg" /></a></center>
    Much better! The bike runs a lot quieter and backfires less.

    I added an inline fuel filter. Unfortunately, I should have gotten the straight version instead of the 90 degree, but oh well. Eventually I would like to get some nicer fuel line, I am concerned about this stuff kinking, but I used what I had available.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/fuelfilter.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/725__320x240_fuelfilter.jpg" /></a></center>
    Attempting to figure out the rain hiccup, I removed and inspected the spark plugs. They seemed to be fine. I checked out the spark plug wires for signs of cracking and cleaned inside the spark plug boot, but didn't see anything that would obviously cause a problem. Lots of blow-by around the top of the engine though. I suspect I will need to replace some gaskets eventually.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/blowby.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/726__320x240_blowby.jpg" /></a></center>
    A while ago, my bash plate was making a great deal of noise. When I inspected it, I found that it had snapped off the attachment tabs in 4 places. Yikes! I removed it, but didn't know anybody locally with a TIG welder. Oz was working at a steel factory, so he cut and bent me up a plate out of their scrap bin on his break. I think he did a pretty good job! He also made attachment tabs for it, but we lacked access to a welder.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bashplates.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/724__320x240_bashplates.jpg" /></a></center>
    ONandOFF likes this.
  16. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I'd been in contact with an inmate, Ed, who offered to help me with some of my issues! I gave him the Scorpion exhaust as a gift. We got a lot done!

    He taught me how to change brake fluid, which I admit seemed far more complicated than it actually was. I never knew it was supposed to be clear! The stuff coming out of the bike was nasty.

    Ed noticed I had installed the chain guide incorrectly (I had the chain running along the outside instead of through the guide, haha!), and we fought valiantly against the fact that my screw-type chain wanted to rub against the guide. We inserted and removed various washers until it seemed to fit correctly. I forgot to loctite the bolts though, and a few hundred miles later found the guide dragging on the chain, one of the bolts and half of the washers lost to the road. This time I'm going to try nylock nuts and keep a better eye on it.

    We took a look at the electrical wiring to try to find what might be causing the stumbling in the rain. cleaned up a couple of connections, but didn't notice anything terribly off. Damn. We removed the kickstand safety switch, just in case.

    We replaced the front wheel bearings.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/eds.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/727__320x240_eds.jpg" /></a></center>
    I helped.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/mebearings.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/728__320x240_mebearings.jpg" /></a></center>
    I've done wheel bearings by myself before, but it's always nerve-wracking, I worry about screwing up the new bearing or getting something stuck. As it turns out, we got the old bearing stuck in the hole while trying to drive the new one in, my worst nightmare. We eventually managed to tap it free after quite a bit of effort. This kind of thing is good for me, it shows me that just because something fucks up, it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. I also discovered that one of my sockets is the right diameter to use instead next time.

    While putting one of the nuts back on the front axle retainer, it snapped the stud in half (likely weakened from previous overtorquing) so we removed the stud and replaced it, which was an interesting process. This was another thing that I would have become upset over if it'd happened to me by myself, but which was really Not A Big Deal.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/studreplace.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/729__320x240_studreplace.jpg" /></a></center>
    Ed and his wife Yuriko invited me to stay for dinner. We had some delicious yaki soba and sake! They had fish tacos with it, and gave me some avocado and an assortment of other bits to put in my taco - not what I would usually eat, but it was delicious!

    Thanks for all your help Ed! I had a great time and learned a lot!

    I needed to replace my steering head bearings, they were feeling very notchy. I enjoy doing occasional slow-speed weaves, and I had noticed that this was becoming increasingly difficult. While researching the best way to swap out the bearings, I ran across Dave/"Smiling Jack""s post on the DR650 thread - he'd used liquid nitrogen and a 20 ton press to do his, so I asked if he'd be willing to help me do the same. We made plans and I headed south, dodging football game-day traffic that was clogging up the I-5.

    I got a brief tour of the materials research lab he works in, which was fascinating!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/lab.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/730__320x240_lab.jpg" /></a></center>
    Afterwards, we got right down to business and started stripping down the bike. After supporting the bike on blocks and removing the front wheel and fairings, the forks came off, and we suspended the handlebar with a ladder. This helped us avoid having to disconnect/reconnect wires and worry about routing.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bikeladder.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/731__320x240_bikeladder.jpg" /></a></center>
    We didn't have the right tool to remove the steering head nut, so Dave welded one up. Before I knew it, the triple tree was off the bike!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/oldbearings.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/737__320x240_oldbearings.jpg" /></a></center>
    The old bearings did not look too bad, but they were a bit dry, and there was definitely some wear on the races. With the tree removed, we got out the liquid nitrogen - they have it piped into the building from a large tank outside!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/ln2canister.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/734__320x240_ln2canister.jpg" /></a></center>
    I had way too much fun dunking the tree into the boiling, frosty can. I feel let down that I never got to play with this stuff in school. Liquid nitrogen is awesome! I was very tempted to bring ice cream ingredients, but I thought that might not be appropriate.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/medip.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/736__320x240_medip.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/ln2dip.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/735__320x240_ln2dip.jpg" /></a>

    <object width="400" height="600"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/AmFLg9N7rm0?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/AmFLg9N7rm0?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="600" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></center></center>
    Thoroughly chilled, it was short work to remove the old bearings. Much better than some of the recommendations I'd seen - to cut through the bearing with a dremel, hit it with a blowtorch, or chisel it out. Yikes!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/frozenremove.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/733__320x240_frozenremove.jpg" /></a></center>
    I applied a healthy coating of waterproof grease to the new bearings and we pressed them on with a 20 ton press.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bearingpress.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/732__320x240_bearingpress.jpg" /></a></center>
    After thawing out the tree, we reassembled the front of the bike. My left turn signal kept cutting out, worse than before. Hmm. Later, after I got back to Portland, I would take the signal apart and find the contacts were very corroded. I cleaned them up as best I could and a dollop of dielectric grease later, my problem was solved!

    I brought the bash plate pieces with me because Dave had a welder and had offered his help. He welded the tabs on and we rounded off some of the edges so that it wouldn't slice into the case in an accident. There was a lot of trial and error, loosely tacking the tabs on, checking the fit, fixing it if it wasn't correct, but eventually it all came together into a complete plate! Awesome! This job ended up taking even longer than the bearings, putting the kibosh on some loose plans we had for a celebratory ride afterwards.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/welding.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/740__320x240_welding.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/grinding.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/738__320x240_grinding.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/platewelded.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/739__320x240_platewelded.jpg" /></a></center>
    Dave, his coworker, (who I sadly don't remember the name of), and I went out for pizza. Thanks so much guys! This is the second time Dave has saved my butt! I don't know what I would have done without your help!

    Knowing that the raw steel would turn into a fine red powder after a few months of being exposed to the weather, I sanded the crap out of it and put the can of truckbed liner I'd purchased to good use:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bashdone1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/748__320x240_bashdone1.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/wrenching/bashdone2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/749__320x240_bashdone2.jpg" /></a></center>
    All finished! All I need to do is run some rubber along the metal to metal contact areas so it rattles a bit less, and it's good to go! I ran with the raw plate for a couple days, and I found an unexpected benefit - troublesome street lights change a lot more easily for me now! Nice!
    ONandOFF likes this.
  17. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Oct 18, 2010
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.

    Look's like the bike is really coming along. Do you have a "Glamour" shot of it with the new paintjob and Panniers installed? I'd love to see the "finished" product.

    Also curious if there is any seal on those mermite cans? In the picture they don't look especially weatherproof, but it was hard to see for sure.

    Keep up the great work!

    -= Scott
  18. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Mar 18, 2012
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Me thinks you COULD do an engine job even though like you say, just looking at it would give me the willies!
  19. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I couldn't find a better place to wedge these tidbits in, so they're getting a tiny post all their own!

    I went for a walk with Oz in this huge forested park a few miles away. We followed the unexpected sounds of music and stumbled across a "jazz in the park" event, staying to listen for a while. I really enjoyed the live music, I don't get the opportunity to listen to it very often.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/jazzinpark.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/753__320x240_jazzinpark.jpg" /></a></center>
    We explored Cathederal Park. The bridge was cool!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/cathederalbridge.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/751__320x240_cathederalbridge.jpg" /></a></center>
    I went to an ADV meet (one of many) on August 2nd, and got to see Radioman after he got back from India. Here he is explaining the different passes he explored on his trip, which are displayed on his shirt.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/radioman.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/759__320x240_radioman.jpg" /></a></center>
    He gave us all kuluu hats! Thanks!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/feykuluu.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/752__320x240_feykuluu.jpg" /></a></center>
    I also got a chance to say hi to Nixels again as he passed through at one of the meets. It was good to get to know you, Portland ADVRiders! I'll probably see you again someday (maybe at a future Hells Canyon rally!)

    I really needed to replace my crappy Sterno stove, so I made a penny stove following <a href="http://www.jureystudio.com/pennystove/penny2.html">these directions</a> out of Peace Tea containers. Sadly, I couldn't find any of the highly-prized sturdy Heineken keg cans at the beer stores in my area.

    I assembled my supplies:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/pennystove1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/755__320x240_pennystove1.jpg" /></a></center>
    Measured and marked. Thanks, Lord of the Rings book!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/pennystove2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/756__320x240_pennystove2.jpg" /></a></center>
    Cut, assembled, drilled holes:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/pennystove3.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/757__320x240_pennystove3.jpg" alt="pennystove3" /></a></center>
    Added fuel, and PRESTO!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/pennystove4.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/758__320x240_pennystove4.jpg" /></a></center>
    I was FLOORED at how well this thing works, for being tiny and made out of trash. It boiled a pan of water fairly quickly. I can finally eat rice again, yay! I need to do some tweaking, it tends to not like the simmer ring I made, but it took me less than a half hour from start to finish. Take THAT, overpriced alcohol stoves! I can get the yellow Heet it burns from just about anywhere too, for less than $2.

    Two of our roommates moved out, and an awesome guy named DJ moved in. He's got this massive Alex Grey tattoo on his arm, which is absolutely stunning, the artist he chose does some great work. It's based on <a href="http://alexgrey.com/a-gallery/kssng.html">this piece</a>, and it's almost complete, after over a year of work on it.

    <center><table border="0"><tr><td><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/tat1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/760__320x240_tat1.jpg" /></a></td><td><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/tat2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/761__320x240_tat2.jpg" /></a></td><td><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/tat3.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/762__320x240_tat3.jpg" /></a></td><td><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/tat4.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/763__320x240_tat4.jpg" /></a></td></tr></table></center>
    Finally, an obligatory cat picture. This is Kira:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx/kira.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/754__320x240_kira.jpg" /></a></center>
    And now, <strong>ON WITH THE SHOW!</strong>
  20. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    Thanks! Yeah, the guy I bought them from was using them as coolers in his jeep. It's a real shame that there's so many people who know about this idea now, it's getting nigh-impossible to find the things! I've seen them on ebay for $100+, haha!

    Welcome aboard! :clap

    Yeah, I've heard that, but I tend to keep my stuff segmented with plastic grocery bags anyways, otherwise I'd never be able to find anything. Thanks for the tip though!

    Thanks! I'll be posting a pic of the bike fully loaded with the next entry. :)

    The mermite cans have the original fiberglass "lip" around the edge and a rubber gasket, the lid is held down under some pressure with a pair of latches on the side opposite the hinges. I'll take some better photos eventually but they are very similar to this guy's setup:


    This original seal worked well to keep the elements out when used by the military, so that's why I've left it in place.

    I applied some silicone caulk inside the box, around all of the seams and everything that penetrates the aluminum, all bolts, screws, etc. Only time will tell if it's truly waterproof though! I added some rubber washers around the knobs where they screw into the rack, but they are already getting chewed up, and that is likely the first place water will get in.

    The boxes are sturdy enough that I can sit on them without too much worry. I don't think I'd use them to prop up the bike, though.

    I'd like to add something similar to the bungee cords, maybe a net, for small items to be held in the lid.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but there's so many tiny fiddly bits, OMG, keeping them all straight seems like a nightmare. And what if one got lost! Or I installed something incorrectly! *spazzes out*

    I guess one way or another I'll find out eventually... :rofl Entropy gets the better of us all in the end...
    ONandOFF likes this.