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

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

  1. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Oh, hey! Nixels spoke quite highly of you! Glad to have you along! :clap

    I tend to be north in the summers, I don't know what this next summer will bring, but I'll definitely check out those folks if I'm in the area! They sound pretty interesting! :D

    Hang tight. I'll whip this thing into shape in the next week or so. Nothing but time!

    Sometimes. I've been learning that if I'm faced with a large pile of rocks, going slightly faster than walking speed is probably a good idea. I believe that this particular chunk of ugly was on an uphill incline, but I faced a lot of crap like that going downhill too. The more that I creep through this stuff and don't wreck horribly, the more confidence I build, which allows me to remain in control at faster speeds, as I'm not blinded by terror. I will freely admit that there have been times I have sort of cranked the throttle and hoped for the best, feeling completely out of control, but those times seemed incredibly dangerous.

    Three cheers for Pete's "Riding Clinic" anyhow! :lol3 :clap:clap:clap

    Yeah, his updates certainly made things a lot more interesting! Thanks again!

    If I keep getting into stuff like this, I'll be at least somewhat competent for the next HC rally, haha.

    I did get some pictures, but not many. For some reason I'm really uncomfortable photographing people? :dunno Especially as a relative stranger...

    Perspective indeed... TERRIFIED NEWBIE PERSPECTIVE! :eek1

    Hope all is well with you!

    I was actually really surprised that I didn't drop it a bunch! I was frankly expecting to do so. I'm still not sure that I could have done that fully loaded... yikes. Thanks for dropping in!

    I may take you up on that offer when I'm in the area again! It's getting a bit chilly for me, so I'll be staying south for the winter, but who knows where next summer will take me!

    I enjoyed them too! I learned a LOT, and I wouldn't have had the confidence to do the Saline ride without the desensitization of the previous few days, haha. We'll meet again. :clap

    Katadyn Hiker. I haven't had any problems with it yet, but the fact that you can't clean the filter is a definite drawback, for me. My previous filter was a Sweetwater, and you could take the filter element out and scrub it with a brush to unclog the pores. It lasted for around a decade before the plastic cracked and wouldn't hold a vacuum any longer.

    The Katadyn filters water quickly and packs down small, and was the cheapest one they had, so that's what I went with. Time will tell how long the filter will hold out, I try to extend it by adjusting the float so it isn't dragging in the silt and by only filtering moving water.
  2. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    For other people looking for DV conditions, there's also Larryboy's thread here and for Saline Valley conditions, here.

    It wasn't any worse than what I'd experienced with Nip and Pete, the sand was the only thing that inspired actual fear and cursing. There was a lot of sand. For more details, you'll just have to stay tuned! :lol3

    There was a halloween potluck. With costumes. It was better than the party in Keeler. Just sayin'... :freaky

    Glad to have you along! :clap

    I try to be as non-judgemental as I can be in new situations. If I wanted to be around a bunch of people exactly like myself, I'd... well. I'd stay home, because there isn't really a bunch of people exactly like me. Everybody's different, and IMO it should be more about finding common ground and similarities than picking apart differences. I could get into a shouting match with everybody I meet with different opinions, but what would that accomplish, or prove?

    I have a website where I've been posting all of my ride reports first, but it's a bit rough around the edges still. I've strongly considered setting up a donation button on there, and might do so in the next few days. I will post on here if I do.

    That sounds... very advanced. But I can see it might work. Hmm. I might have to try that a little the next time I am on sand.

    I am still learning to stand up. I can stand up over dips, and decent quality washboarded road, but I feel like I have... too much steering input? By standing up on rock piles, etc. If it's just a small clump of rocks, and I'm already standing, I can keep doing so, but I feel like my weight being higher makes things more unstable in certain situations, so I turn chicken. It's something I'm working on.

    Sounds like a fun trip! See you out there maybe! :ricky

    It was a lot better than I was expecting it to be, and a lot more people, but I am glad that it was... less exciting than I had anticipated. Especially given how many people in trucks were complaining about flat tires!

    Thanks! Glad to have you along!

    Mastering is such a strong word. I would say that I tolerate the sand now. This is different from earlier, where I was deathly afraid of the sand, and avoided it at all costs.

    ... I still don't think you'd ever catch me riding on a beach...

    Mostly my sand technique is to try not to steer at all and have my legs extended to dab me in the right direction when the sand gets uppity and decides it wants to kill me. I also go like 5-10mph. I look ridiculous. But I get through it, which is more than I could say about before! :lol3
  3. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,060
    Location:
    The Bluegrass

    It may be hard to grasp the concept of standing to lower your center of gravity, but, it is true.

    While sittting your weight is mostly on the seat. To lower your weight you stand on the pegs and your weight is transferred down by 20- 24 inches in realation to the bike. Your weight is really where it was before, but , to the bike it is lower.
    This allows for much better manouvourability for the rider. Practice with an unloaded bike or if possible borrow a smaller lighter bike to learn on.I ride a KLR and have ridden with people who beleive they are unusable tanks and heard coments like I can't beleive you guys get those KLR's to do that.
    It's technique over equipment. I've ridden plenty of bikes that were less capable than the KLR so it doesn't seem that hard to me.
    And your XRL is lighter and a better dirt bike than the KLR.
  4. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    I've picked shreds of pants and dirt out of an open road rash wound on my knee, with tweezers. It was deep enough that there were these white stringy bits in the wound, and trying to figure out which belonged there and which were the khaki pants I was wearing earlier was a unique challenge. It took months to heal all the way. That was the event that convinced me that wearing riding pants was probably a wise choice. I'm two for two now with the legs hitting the ground first and sustaining the most damage in a crash.

    Steering stabilizers looked interesting, but they are so expensive!

    Thanks!

    Yeah, not something I'd recommend. I got away pretty easy though! :eek1

    The funny thing is that when it was happening, I didn't have time to be afraid. My thought process was "Oh. This isn't getting better. I should probably ease up on the throt- shit!" and I was sailing through the air and along the pavement. Once I stopped, I got up, and knew I needed to get out of the road so other people wouldn't hit me, so I went over to the bike. Once I was off the road and had time to think, that's when I started freaking out, when the full impact of what I'd just done settled on my mind and shook me up.

    I don't think this will ruin my trip. I've had a couple people tell me I have "brass balls" for getting right back on the bike after crashing like that, and frankly, doing otherwise never really crossed my mind. Was I going to just stay out there forever, in the desert? Leave the bike and fly... where? I don't really have a "home" to go back to. My situation hasn't changed from before the accident to now, I'm just a bit beat up and sore and have more things to fix.

    The only times I've experienced a wobble like this before were unloaded (or lightly loaded), and hitting a bump in the middle of a corner. The bike is sprung for 270 lbs, so it makes sense that in those conditions, the suspension wouldn't track right. The difference after adding my luggage in corners is amazing, it tracks smoothly and feels more planted and stable, which is why I wasn't expecting this at all. With me and my luggage, the suspension is about perfect.

    I am indeed very sore. I don't have health insurance, so seeing a doctor is something I reserve for if I know there is something that won't fix itself (such as if my wrist doesn't get better in a week or so). I know some people will be aghast to find out that this is one of the things I save money on, but frankly, I don't have $300 or whatever to spend a month "just in case". I've been without insurance most of my adult life, and thankfully am pretty healthy so have never really needed it. I've learned to pay attention to what my body tells me, to follow if things are getting better or worse.

    The pain hasn't been that bad since the swelling went down the first day. It's mostly bruises (I can't kneel on my right knee because the bruises go down to the bone), and waiting for my wrist to recover. It's getting better by the day. :)

    Thanks! Yeah, definitely a testimonial. I won't be riding without protective pants again!

    It amazes me that both myself and the bike are fine. Gear can be replaced. I don't know too many people who walk away from an 80mph scuffle! I am taking it easy for now, my parents aren't the type to kick me out while I'm still on the mend, and I need to figure out my next direction anyways.

    Thanks! Yeah, I've thought about contacting the locals, but given that the bike had no mechanical damage, I'm not really sure what to ask. There are a few things that I think might have caused it... for one, I don't think that wheel's been balanced, and I don't know if it's been trued.

    Yeah, it could have easily been WAY worse! Like if that semi driver I'd just passed hadn't been able to stop in time! :eek1 Thanks for the well-wishes!

    Yeah, everything's peachy other than the recovery! It's nice here in Phoenix. The temperatures are high enough that I'm wearing my skirt and keeping the window open at night, such a sharp contrast to the desert I was in a few days ago, where it was getting close to freezing!

    I hope it's only sprained too. It seems to be getting better though. Bones don't knit this fast.

    Procycle offers a steering damper for the DR650, but it's quite spendy. I'll be looking at more mundane causes first...

    Thanks!

    Alex is a busy bee these days! I'll catch up to him later. He's off to Yuma as of a day or two ago anyhow.

    Now if only you could send me some NHS from across the pond! :lol3 Thanks for the well-wishes!

    I might take up a collection to go towards new riding pants. The jacket's a little tore up but still serviceable, and I'm really not sure about reusing a helmet that has been in a crash, though nothing's broken on it and I think it just slid a little. Conventional wisdom is chuck the helmet after a crash, I think? Even if it doesn't look damaged?

    I am seriously considering it.

    Fiberglass is fun stuff! I'm probably going to see if I can get some aluminum and bend it into an L-shape and rivet it in there to reinforce it.. it's amazing how well the can itself held up given the impact involved! I might use something like fiberglass on the outside though, maybe if I can find it in a small amount. The resin can get pricey!

    For normal use, I can definitely see the appeal, it's strong and light, but how well would it hold up in a crash?

    I think that you are on to something with the panniers being a culprit. I've had this bike up past 110 indicated and it wasn't this wobbly, but I wasn't carrying as much crap. Wind from the truck is a possibility, and the road was also recently resurfaced, so it had those big dips where the center lines get painted too. The wobble started as I left the oncoming lane and was merging back in front of the truck. I disagree that it is an intractable problem though...

    I've said it before and it bears repeating: I'm definitely amazed I walked away from that. Both myself AND the bike are fine. I don't think I've ever heard a crash story that fast where both were the case... somebody's looking out for me! haha! The road rash on my forearm is just a scrape, not deep at all. I've had worse from climbing trees. The swelling went down on the first day, which is really good, cos that first day was agony, and I couldn't have stood riding to Phoenix if it remained that painful.

    Japan was nice in the few hours I was there. I'd like to visit again. :) I hope your visit went well!

    You may be interested in a place I spent half a day wandering around on my way back from Saline, there's a Japanese Internment Camp they turned into a museum, called Manzanar, which pulls no punches when it comes to telling the story of that despicable and racist part of our nation's history...

    Thanks for the good thoughts, Ed! It takes more than a motorcycle crash to break my spirit for sure! :thumb

    Will do!

    This set off some alarms in my head. I use a thing called a "simple stand" when I clean and grease my chain. It's basically a welded steel stick that I shove underneath the footpeg opposite the kickstand to get the rear wheel in the air. Since I've loaded down the bike, I've noticed that it doesn't work as intended anymore. The front end lifts up instead. I have to remove one of the panniers in order to be able to push the front end down so I can work with the chain. With only one pannier, the bike is about balanced front to rear.

    What this tells me is that the rear is way heavier than the front, and that your suggestion holds a lot of merit. I think I will look into making some tank panniers and keep some of the heavier stuff, like my tools, up front. It's amazing that I appear to be carrying more weight than the engine and tank combined...

    When I had my accident, I was running low on gas. Maybe a gallon or two at most. This means even less weight up front...

    I aim to please! :rofl

    They were recently replaced, yeah. They might be too loose though. I noticed that the steering felt more "responsive" after the change, but I figured that was simply because the old ones were worn. Maybe I need to find somebody with a torque wrench...

    That is a really good idea. I should do that. Also loctite. I need to loctite everything so I don't lose my brakes again, lol!

    It exists, but it's expensive, and I don't think I've heard much about people using them on this bike...

    I run about 33 psi front and rear. I only go down to 20-something when I'm riding off road. It definitely feels a lot less squirrely on the road at the higher pressure.

    I generally ease off the throttle when it starts to wobble, but I had JUST finished passing a semi, and I wanted a bit more space between us before I started rapidly decelerating. Away from other vehicles though, yeah, I slow the hell down.

    Given the weight distribution issues mentioned above... I am thinking this probably would have worked. I just didn't have time. By the time I really figured out that it wasn't going to get better on its own, I was sliding across the pavement.

    It sounds very similar to what I used when I had really bad road rash on my knee, this stuff. Worked great!

    My road rash is more akin to a skinned knee than that though, not bad at all!

    Well, I have a DR650, not a XRL, but yeah, it is a bit lighter than a KLR.

    I understand the physics involved, but it seems harder to do a lot of things while standing. Operating the brakes, for example, or precisely picking a line. I creep along when I'm not sure of myself or the terrain scares me, and brakes are pretty critical for creeping. Standing up also feels a lot less stable going, for example, less than 20mph. I've slowly been gaining confidence that I'm not going to die if I am going down a steep incline in first gear, and that brakes can destabilize me in some situations, but it takes time and practice. I've only been riding dirt of any sort since I got this bike in April.

    What I need to do some time is to go out into an area full of hills and other various less-lethal terrain and do practice drills to get used to the feeling of standing up going up and down, turning while standing, etc. I just haven't had the opportunity yet. And being miles away from help, on scary terrain with a cliff to one side or whatever, doesn't inspire the confidence to really test my limits.

    If anybody has a light bike they'd like to let me borrow, some sand dunes nearby, and patience for a n00b, I'm all for getting over my fear of this sand thing once and for all! :wink:
  5. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,900
    Location:
    NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
    Thought i posted this but alas.... not here anywhere sooo here goes again, this in reference to the Truck passing incident.

    Most of the unstability at high speeds comes from too much or too little rake/suspension sag. (it can and does go both ways- there's a sweet spot) When either heavily loading or unloading your bike... also when changing to taller or shorter tires you'll change the angle that your bike is sitting at. Causing the highspeed wobble/shake/oscillation, sooo first put a turn on the rearshocks preload (the spring raising the rear a bit) then test ride her a bit... if better goood. If better but still shaking then go some more. If worse go the other way, back off the preload and test ride her again. Do this until she's rock steady at any speed. Everytime I swap tires to a different style/make/diameter, or change my load I do a fine tune of the sag to get her back to her sweet spot.

    Also when pounding agressive offroad I stiffen her up to keep from bottoming etc... then when getting back on the slab I go back to my Hwy setup so she's steady at high speed and in turbulance. The headset bearings seem to stay really solid on these Dualsport bikes as in I haven't hardly touched Desiree's in 62,000mi where as the '99 Concours needed them snugged every 8-10,000mi.

    I've ran into guys on thumpers and KTM twins who had just swapped on Dunlop 606's for instance and now had shake, looking at bearings and hating the tires. I point out the larger Diameter of the front tire, have them raise the rear a bit.. and they're goood to go.

    Another reason I love the Cogent Moab as it is SUPER EASY to reach in and turn the spring collar using a 9/32" rod bent at an angle and a roller bearing collar.

    Anyway Peace,
    Jim
  6. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    <center><param name="movie" value="http://grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf" /><param name="wmode" value="window" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="hostname=grooveshark.com&songID=36479255&style=metal&p=0" /><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf" width="250" height="40"><param name="wmode" value="window" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="hostname=grooveshark.com&songID=36479255&style=grass&p=0" /><span><a href="http://grooveshark.com/search/song?q=Ulrich%20Schnauss%20Goodbye" title="Goodbye by Ulrich Schnauss on Grooveshark">Goodbye by Ulrich Schnauss on Grooveshark</a></span></object></center>
    I left Portland after several days of false starts. I had planned on leaving earlier, but I had a number of loose ends to tie up: getting this report up to date, backing up all my data, silicone sealing the boxes, and giving away the last of my stuff, to name a few. I will admit to a bit of lingering.

    My departure was bittersweet as I bid farewell to Oz. We had decided that we were no longer a couple some time ago, it seemed that we couldn't stop driving each other crazy in that regard, but I will miss his company, as he is a true friend. He still wants to travel with me, but I wasn't going to wait for him any longer. I'd given him since February to get his affairs in order, but circumstances meant that he has gotten no closer to being ready to leave. Maybe he will catch up to me someday. We'll see.

    <center>"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."</center>
    I will miss Oz and my Portland friends, but I was thrilled to be on the road again. I was excited for my newfound freedom. There's no going back now, only forward. Landing gear up.

    I had left late in the afternoon, so I decided to camp nearby. I remembered the Nestucca River camp where I'd stayed back in June, and decided to look for the free campground we'd been too lazy to seek out before. It was a nice ride up into the mountains.

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    Eventually I found the site, though the campground was a bit worse for wear, and set up camp.

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    Very early in the morning, I awoke to the sound of rain. I was grateful that I'd had the foresight to put the rain fly on, I hadn't been expecting to need it. I drifted in and out of consciousness until around 7 or 8, and then took advantage of brief breaks in the drizzle to pack up my gear. It was very foggy.

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    As I went to go I noticed this... goo on my seat, that had appeared overnight. What the hell? I cleaned it off.

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    Against my better judgement, I headed toward the ocean. I had wanted to check out Cape Perpetua and Thor's Well, and figured that the rain would let up soon. I was wrong. I arrived at Lincoln City, feeling like a drowned rat, and holed up in a small cafe for a few hours of dry warmth and coffee as it poured outside.

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    My peace was not to last, the cafe closed and I headed back out into the gloom. The rain and wind were relentless. I went slow and cautiously, at least 10mph under the speed limit, because I felt very precarious and vulnerable. I decided that I would have to see Cape Perpetua some other year and headed inland along Highway 20.

    It grew late, and the bike began hiccuping like mad. Nothing helped. Choke on, choke off, I even added some of the heet I use for cooking to the tank, hoping maybe it was just some excess water that had trickled into my fuel. No dice - the bike continued to cough and stall. I had to keep revving the engine to keep it from dying. Darkness fell as I was looking for somewhere to camp. Now it was dark, and I flipped up my tinted visor so I could see. The rain was pouring to the point that it was difficult to see the lines on the road, getting in my eyes. I was creeping along under 20mph, on a malfunctioning bike, on a road with no shoulder. Fantastic.

    I hadn't seen any forest service roads whatsoever (even though the map said this was a national forest), and the first USFS sign I saw was for a boat launch. Fuck it! I figured nobody would be checking it for improper camping in this weather, and spent way too much time setting up my tent. I was joined by a gentleman who was car camping in his work van. We introduced ourselves briefly before I changed into some dry clothes and crawled into bed.

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    The next morning, I tried to dry out my belongings without much luck. Apparently, it was too humid. Oh well. I packed up the wet tent and put on my wet gear and rode off into a fairly peaceful morning. The sky was overcast, but at least it had stopped raining and the bike was running correctly. The road wasn't bad either!

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    I popped out in Corvalis and decided to cruise through Eugene, as it was nearby and a Saturday. Somehow, I remembered where things were downtown. I parked in a parking garage (free weekends!) and wandered around the Saturday market for a few hours. I filled up on some cheap Indian food from a cart and gawked at the handmade goods.

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    I went to leave, and the bike wouldn't start. It gave one good try at spinning the starter, but after that point, the button was completely ineffective. Hmm. When I opened the panniers to get my tools out, I found they had some water in them. From opening the lids in the rain or leaking? Time would tell...

    I spent the next few hours checking things - kickstand safety switch wires, kill switch wires, fuses. Nothing seemed to be broken. Obviously something was wrong, or the bike would still be working.

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    Night fell, and I still hadn't figured it out. Coug had offered to come save me but his truck wasn't working. I needed to find a place to sleep, and I was pretty sure the hourly parking garage guard patrol would not appreciate me sleeping next to the bike. I contacted several people, but nothing came together until Coug gave me the number of a friend of his, named Raven. Raven and I exchanged texts and he agreed to let me stay there.

    I took only the bare essentials with me to his house, and once there, set up my tent in his garden. Raven told me I could do laundry if I wanted, and I jumped at the chance. As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn't stop thinking about my bike, stuck in that parking garage...
  7. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    I woke up in Raven's garden, had a nice hot shower, and made myself some tea. As the day began to warm up, I spread out my belongings and let them dry out a bit. The sky was scattered with clouds, but at least it wasn't raining.

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    Raven got up and gave me a tour of his garden. We talked for an hour or two about composting and permaculture. I chased a couple of baby garter snakes out of his vermiculture bin, as he claimed they were eating his worms. Most of his garden came from repurposed free or recycled materials... free wood from craigslist, irises that someone was going to throw out, coffee grounds from a local café turned into worm food. I gave him all the advice I could - I did permaculture gardening for 3 years when I lived in Eugene - and promised to give him the contact info for the local permaculture guild. I love resourceful people!

    Later that afternoon, I hitched a ride with him downtown to try to bump start the bike. I had to get it out of the parking garage sometime that day. Weekends might be free, but come Monday morning they would start issuing tickets. I figured that if I could just get it started, I could ride it somewhere safe and worry less about the situation.

    At first, I couldn't even get the key to turn in the ignition! A quick trip to the nearest auto parts store for some graphite fixed that problem. I unloaded the bike and pushed it up to the roof of the parking structure. Even without all my luggage, this was a real workout!

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    I tried coasting down the small incline but couldn't get it going fast enough. I had read instructions, so I had a good idea of what to expect, but it was much more difficult than starting the Rebel this way! Even in third gear, slamming down on the seat as I dropped the clutch, the rear tire still locked up. So I tried again. And again. Raven tried pushing me as I dabbed ineffectually with one foot. No joy, not fast enough. I am sure we must have made quite a sight...

    Raven had the idea to tow me with the van to get going faster. I was extremely skeptical. I didn't want the rope tangling in the wheel or to be stuck attached to the van, so he suggested I hold it and let go at the bottom of the "hill". We made it about five feet before the bike toppled over. Too much pressure on one side of the handlebars and I couldn't hold it. Luckily there was no damage.

    I decided that the clutch was dragging. There was definitely some first-gear resistance while the clutch lever was in, so I started adjusting it. Raven mentioned he had plans for the evening, so I decided to give it one last try. I pushed it to the roof again and rode it down to the next level, but I still couldn't get enough speed. I abandoned the bike and went back to Raven's to consider my options.

    I remembered that I used to have a friend in Eugene named Tal, but didn't have his number any longer. He probably had a pickup truck, and might be able to bail me out. I managed to contact him online and he offered to pick up the bike and let me stay at his place while I figured out what to do. I gratefully agreed. He came and collected me, and we dropped off my stuff at his place. Next we went to pick up the bike.

    We brought a couple of pallets and worked out the best way to use them to get the bike up. The technique that was the most effective was stacking them like stairs to get the bike closer to bed-level, and then we simply lifted the bike, one end at a time, inside it. Tal secured the bike with ratchet straps and we were good to go! Yay! Ticket avoided!

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    We managed to get the bike out of the bed, no worse for wear from its voyage, and stowed it in the garage. I would deal with it tomorrow. I spent a while catching up with Tal. It was good to see him again after over three years!

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    I had a great night's sleep. It was definitely a luxury to sleep indoors, warm and dry, listening to the rain on the window.

    The next morning, I got down to business, attempting to figure out the bike's starting problem. I followed the manual, eliminating possible causes one by one. I disconnected/bypassed the clutch safety switch. I tested lots of components with Tal's multimeter, but everything checked out fine. Very frustrating.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx2eug/bikefixin.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/864__320x240_bikefixin.jpg" /></a></center>
    I took breaks to run around outside with Tal's ridiculous 3 year old great dane, Molly. That dog is HUGE! I felt that with the proper saddle, a little kid could probably ride her.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx2eug/mollycouch.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/870__320x240_mollycouch.jpg" /></a></center>
    Gotta love a dog tall enough to look out a window.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx2eug/dogwindow.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/867__320x240_dogwindow.jpg" /></a></center>
    Tal also had a grey polydacyl cat, Boots, who kept me company.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx2eug/boots.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/866__320x240_boots.jpg" /></a></center>
    Lots of head-scratching and research later, I felt it was down to the ignition or a random faulty wire. The starter relay wasn't getting power and the weird "crowing" noise I'd experienced before turned out to be a common cold-weather DR complaint and not necessarily indicative of something amiss. I'd checked the fuses and looked over the wiring harness earlier at the parking garage. The diode and neutral connector measured correctly, as did the battery. I felt pretty proud of myself for diagnosing things this far... this was the first day I'd actively used a multimeter!

    Frustrated after so many hours without results, I decided to do an "idiot check" before giving up and looking into bypassing the ignition. I opened up the box to check the switch itself. While trying to read the voltage, I accidentally bridged the solder points on the back of the switch, and with all the safeties now removed, it purred to life, thankfully in neutral. BWAHAHAHA! IT'S ALIIIIVE!

    Giddy, I ran inside to tell Tal the good news. One of the solder points looked a bit shoddy and the copper contacts on the switch were tarnished. It appeared that water had been getting inside the hole where the kill switch used to be and was fouling things up. I felt pretty stupid... I should have checked this on the very first day, when I had it open to inspect the kill switch wires, but at least I managed to figure it out! By myself too!

    We cut the wires and removed the old solder. I gave the contacts a time-out in a shotglass full of vinegar. Once they were shiny again, we used a small torch and solder to repair the connection. It was ugly and we burned the plastic a bit, but it was fixed! I think we fixed it a bit after this pic was taken, but you can see the burnt plastic:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/pdx2eug/lolsolder.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/869__320x240_lolsolder.jpg" /></a></center>
    Ugly or not, now it worked! I turned it on a few more times just for the warm fuzzy feeling of hearing the engine live once more. I reattached all the fairings and Tal filled the kill switch hole with a plug of silicone. Why hadn't I done this before? Oh well, live and learn...

    I was excited to be able to leave tomorrow! Even though I felt dumb for not figuring it out sooner, I would have felt much worse if I'd had a friend drag me all the way back to Portland for something so simple!

    I took Tal out for some cheap Mexican food and a drink in celebration. Then, later, I had a luxurious hot bath and relaxed. What a great end to the day!
  8. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    724
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Way to go!
  9. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,472
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    Hey Feyala, :clap

    Just caught up after being away for a few days.

    Wow! Sounds like you had quite the get off ............ and just "shook it off". :lol3 Way to get back on the horse!

    Glad everything worked out as well as it did. Bet your folks were glad to see you too!

    ATGATT ................ don't leave home without it! May have a coat that would work for you if you need one. PM me, if so.

    Also got a "non-altered" mermite can for you if you can't get the damaged one repaired to your satisfaction.

    Glad you got to meet Pete and spend some time riding with him. He's an original, huh?

    Regards, Rob
  10. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,504
    Location:
    LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
    HI Feyala!
    I ran across your thread by accident while reading a post on an other site. In two evenings I have read the whole RR and commend you for climbing the steep learning curve you are on. You had mentioned loctiting all the fastners on your bike and I thought I would recomend Loctite 290 which is a green, wicking grade of locker designed to be applied to ASSEMBLED fasteners. Just a small drop on the thread junction will migrate into the threads and then cure, vibration resistant, just like the Blue. This saves much of the labour of disassembling things just to apply the locktite.
    Looking forward to following your adventures!
    Regards....just jeff :D
  11. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    10,419
    Location:
    SE Denver-ish
    Ok, I'm in. :lurk

    If I didn't hear a loud wack when my helmet hit the ground, I'd be ok with continuing to use it. There's been no doubt when my head has hit the ground hard enough to kill the helmet. :thwak
  12. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    I woke up at 6 am when Tal's alarm went off downstairs. I packed everything up and was out of the door at 7:30 when he left for work. Not wanting to drift away again, I promised to keep in better touch this time. Thanks for helping me out of my jam, Tal!

    I wanted to say goodbye to Raven, but he was a night owl. We had agreed to meet up at 9. To pass the time, I found a local diner with free wifi and picked my route over breakfast. Then I swung by Raven's and we said our goodbyes. Thanks for letting me stay there and for driving me around!

    Wanting to make up some time after being stalled a few days, I hit the I-5. I was so excited to be underway without needing to be rescued that I didn't even care that it was the freeway. I tried to outrun the rainclouds. There was a sprinkling of rain, but not enough to see if I'd fixed the hiccup along with the start button. The bike ran great! It was so liberating to finally have everything going my way! I called Ed to let him know the good news - He'd volunteered to come "save my bacon" if I couldn't figure out the problem. It's always great when I can have a plan B.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/i5.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/873__320x240_i5.jpg" /></a></center>
    In Grant's Pass, I got some kerosene and a grout brush and took the time to clean and relube my chain in a Walmart parking lot. it was getting pretty gross. I found it odd that nobody said a word about the mess I was making, but filed that information away for later.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/rollinghills.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/876__320x240_rollinghills.jpg" /></a></center>
    Eventually, I hit the California state line. Goodbye Oregon, you crazy, waterlogged state!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/byeoregon.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/874__320x240_byeoregon.jpg" /></a></center>
    I chatted with another long-distance tourer named Rush in Weed, CA. He was from Alaska and was on his way to Monterey. He was going to try to get there tonight, and it was almost sunset already! Crazy. I found Mt Shasta and Highway 89 near sunset. The view from the rest area wasn't that great.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/mtshasta.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/877__320x240_mtshasta.jpg" /></a></center>
    I did really like the way the sun was hitting the hills on the opposite side of the freeway though... it's neat how it illuminates all the contours.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/sunsethills.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/878__320x240_sunsethills.jpg" /></a></center>
    Darkness fell. Off the 89, I found a promising forest service road east of a small town. The first dirt offshoot I attempted had a gate. While turning around very slowly, I rode over some branches and the bike slipped out of my grasp. Fully loaded, with a full tank of gas, I had my doubts about whether I could pick it up, given how challenging it had been to pick it up previously...

    The rack and giant panniers came in useful! With the added height off the ground, I was able to just barely pull it upright. It required a lot of swearing and wiggling as I braced myself against the seat, but I got it done! Woohoo!

    I went further down the road and found another dirt offshoot. I am actually pretty glad I attempted this one at night, because I am not sure I would have braved the moon dust if I saw it before I was underway. There were lots of "oh shit" moments. The road itself was straight and flat, nothing crazy, but the dust had me skittering around. More than once I thought to turn back, but I figured that if I stopped I was likely to drop it anyway so I might as well continue. Never before had I been so grateful to see rocks and pine needles, for the traction they provided.

    Eventually I came to an "intersection" and barely managed the turn. I found myself in an open clearing dotted with cow shit. Based on the tracks, I guessed this was a spot where people brought truckloads of cattle to graze. It seemed suitable for a nice camp. I started setting up around 10 pm.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/moondust.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/875__320x240_moondust.jpg" /></a></center>
    I didn't get to sleep until midnight, and then it was fitful. Lower back pain and chill kept waking me up. I ended up wrapping my sleeping bag with the silver tarp and piling my riding gear on top, which warmed me considerably. A tip from the homeless, but it works! Woke up several more times as the tarp moved around which created cold spots.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/cowpasturecamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/880__320x240_cowpasturecamp.jpg" /></a></center>
    I slept in late, until 10 am. I didn't sleep very well, so I needed all the extra I could get. I set up my solar panel to charge my droid and spread out my stuff on a nearby helpful thorny bush to dry out the condensation.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/bushdry.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/879__320x240_bushdry.jpg" /></a></center>
    In the daytime, the moon dust wasn't as scary, likely because I could anticipate the road up ahead a bit better. It still skittered around, but I didn't have any problems.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/moondustroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/881__320x240_moondustroad.jpg" /></a></center>
    Such a late start. I hit pavement around noon, and rode for a while. It was a nice, sunny day, warm enough to not need my liner or thermals. I was glad to be out of the rain.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/hwy89.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/888__320x240_hwy89.jpg" /></a></center>
    I stopped for lunch at a nice picnic area near a river. I'd eaten almonds and fruit for the past two meals, so I wanted something a bit more substantial. I don't usually cook lunches because it takes a while to pack and unpack everything, usually an hour or two, but I wasn't in that big of a hurry.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/restriver.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/884__320x240_restriver.jpg" /></a></center>
    I decided to make a stew with TVP, carrots, dried shiitakes, pasta, freshly filtered water, mushroom powder, salt, pepper, chipotle chili powder, italian seasoning, and garlic powder. The penny stove did a great job.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/stew.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/886__320x240_stew.jpg" /></a></center>
    "But wait!" you might say. "That's a lot of different spices!" Well yes. Yes, it is. The penny stove and the sterno enclosure I've posted about before, but I don't think I've gone into my cooking setup.

    The main piece is a set of three nesting pans from MSR. I got these secondhand over a decade ago, and they've served me well. I don't need all three pans often, most often I just use the smallest one, but it can be handy to have the larger ones too. They can be used to do dishes, laundry or hair (haven't needed the last two on this trip yet, but have in the past), to give a dog a bowl of water, or to cook for more than one person. The steel cup I use for tea and sometimes soup. The lid of the largest pan can be used as a non-nonstick frypan. Better hope you have a lot of grease, or a <em>lot</em> of patience.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/panset.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/883__320x240_panset.jpg" /></a></center>
    Inside the smallest pan, and into the gaps between the pans, I cram every available square inch full of useful goodies. This is dead space - no matter if the pans are empty or full, they will take up the same area, so it's become a bit of a game to see how much crap I can shoehorn in there.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/panpacked.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/882__320x240_panpacked.jpg" /></a></center>
    In the center are my spices. In deciding to carry all this stuff, my reasoning was that "no matter what else happens to me, at least my food will taste good". It's been hard to argue with that. I appear to be carrying at least six different kinds of tea. The spices from the top are: italian seasoning, chia seed, pepper, salt, lemon pepper, granulated onion, cinnamon, cloves, seasoned salt, garlic powder, chipotle pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, and chinese five spice. I've also got waterproof/windproof matches, a magnesium fire starter, a collection of stolen condiments, taco seasoning, sugar, tea ball, miso paste (instant soup), measuring cup, and utensils.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/spices.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/885__320x240_spices.jpg" /></a></center>
    After my delicious meal, I filtered more water for the road and was on my way.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/waterfilter.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/887__320x240_waterfilter.jpg" /></a></center>
    I wanted to check out Bumpass Hell in Lassen before it got too late, as I'd planned to be past Lassen today. It was already after 4PM. A sign appeared for "Subway Cave" and I pulled over and turned around. I had to check it out! I haven't been inside a cave in a very long time.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/caveentrance.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/890__320x240_caveentrance.jpg" /></a></center>
    I descended into the darkness, my headlamp lighting the way.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/intodarkness.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/892__320x240_intodarkness.jpg" /></a></center>
    The cave was pretty neat! The interpretive signs informed me that it used to be a lava tube. One of the offshoots had some GREAT acoustics, and I narrowly resisted the urge to put on some music and rock out. I twisted my right ankle a bit on the uneven floor, but I didn't think much of it. The roof of the cave was bumpy and streaked with white. Water trickled down in some places.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/caveroof.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/891__320x240_caveroof.jpg" /></a></center>
    The cave was not terribly large, and I was soon done exploring. I saw this sign near the parking lot, apparently the rodents in this area have the bubonic plague? I guess that's one way to make people take "don't feed the squirrels" seriously...

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/plaguerodents.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/893__320x240_plaguerodents.jpg" /></a></center>
    When I got back to the bike, it was already after 5pm. I considered my options - no free or distributed camping in national parks. I knew I wouldn't be hiking the 3 miles to Bumpass Hell this late anyways, it would be dark by the time I got back. I decided to look for a place to camp on the way there, to camp outside the park boundary and try again in the morning.

    While cruising down the highway, I saw a small sign for "Battleground Reservoir Campground". Sounds promising. The road was nine miles of pleasant, even dirt. I had fun! I even stood up for several miles of the route! Standing up while riding is something I try to work on, when I can. I'm definitely not used to it, and need to build up endurance in some of my leg muscles.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/battleroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/889__320x240_battleroad.jpg" /></a></center>
    I found the campground, and managed to set up my camp before dark, for once! This campground had no fees. It looked like it might have had fees earlier in the year, but that they probably shut off the water for the winter, and then they stop charging fees in the off season. Suits me fine!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/eug2lassen/battlecamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/894__320x240_battlecamp.jpg" /></a></center>
    I took advantage of the rare treat of a table, and set up my bluetooth keyboard. I wrote down notes for most of the past week, and then layered up and hunkered down, anticipating a cold night!
  13. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,261
    Location:
    Beaverton & Surrounding Areas
    When standing, the steering input by the handlebars should be minimized, you should act like you're countersteering with both hands at the same time to try to remain straight as far as handlebar input is concerned. This is where squatting slightly on the footpegs comes in. Now you're steering kung-fu style by shifting your body weight on the footpegs, and doing the "let the bike ride itself" thing as those one guys put it. With your legs not wrapped around the bike, not as "one" with the bike, you can allow it to wallow forward, back, and side to side by having your balance separated from the machine, in spite of some of the center of gravity being higher. This technique saved my ass from some very unforgiving terrain over rocks and sand. One piece of gear that helps A LOT is bar risers. With the bars higher up, it makes this position much more natural.

    Glad you survived your ordeal. I almost had something like that happen in the rain in the plains of Texas with the slippery (wet with rain) tar patches on their resurfaced highways. Fortunately I recovered in time to not have to get off the bike, and it happened so fast I don't know how the bike regained balance and traction. :eek1
  14. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Interesting! I'd heard of something like this before, but the stuff that I read was mostly people who had done some serious changes, like 17" wheel conversions. It's fascinating that something as minor as the tire height can have such a dramatic difference!

    I will admit that I have been a bit of a lazy bum and haven't checked the sag since I've fully loaded it down. It's just felt so much more stable, and similar to the weight the shocks were supposedly sprung for, that I assumed things were fine. Hmmm. I am not sure how to tell if the rake is good or not? :dunno

    It's a bit difficult for me to test it like you suggest, because this is the first time it's wobbled like this. There was a bit of a wobble when I first tested the cans, but I found out that was due to improper weight distribution and thought that I fixed it... I will test this when I am on the road again and can get away with occasional speeding.

    Thanks!

    Hey Rob, thanks! Yeah, my folks were glad to see me. They turned a bit pale when I showed them the destroyed pants, but all's well that ends well!

    I will attempt to repair things and will be in contact if this is unsuccessful. I appreciate the offers!

    Pete is a great guy. He was very patient with all of my bitching. :clap

    Hey Jeff, glad you're enjoying the ride! I'd never heard of green loctite before! That would save me a lot of time... is it as strong as the blue? How well does it wick in there?

    Glad to have you along! I remember tumbling and sliding, and my neck's a bit sore, but that's probably because it was tense when I fell. The helmet itself has a small scrape on the back, but not even the chintzy plastic near the scrape is broken. I don't remember hearing a loud whack. Maybe it is fine! That would be great!

    Applying the rear brake is challenging to me while standing. I do have the bar risers, which helps me to not be hunched over in a weird way, but I still quickly sit down if I encounter corners, uphill/downhill changes, etc. I try to stay off the front brake, especially offroad, especially in sand, but the rear is hard to modulate well when I'm on the pegs and it seems too easy to overapply it. I have done some gentle curves as you suggest, using my weight on the pegs to turn, but for sharper corners I lose my nerve. I appreciate the explanation though, it sheds some light on a few things. I guess it's all just down to practice...

    It's spooky how quickly it can happen. Faster than you can think. I'm glad you recovered in time!
  15. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,900
    Location:
    NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
    Good stufffff Fey! Great story...........
    You know the sag/rake is goood when the bike is rock steady at high speed passing trucks! :lol3
    And yup wheel and/or fork swaps are a sure fire way to need to get things set up properly again, as I had to do with Des'.

    Peace,
    Jimbo
  16. PaulGir

    PaulGir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    96
    Tankslappers,especially those on tarmac, are the result of the bike and rider reaching a resonant oscillation in some part of the bike/rider system.This is why they often happen at a specific speed but lessen if you go faster or slower.The bike/rider system is like a whole bunch of springs and pendulums traveling down the highway at 80mph.You've got a flexible joint between the rider's center of gravity at around belly level and the bike's CoG near the engine.The tyres flex and the supension moves up and down.Also the steering moves and is linked by the rider's arms to the rider's CoG,but also to the bike's CoG,making it a very complex system.
    The reason moving the rider's position,changing tyre air pressure,fixing worn suspension or moving/changing luggage stops tankslappers is because it changes the frequency of resonance.Loosening your grip on the bars reduces the coupling between the rider's weight and the steering mass and can kill the resonance.It's like how lengthening a pendulum's string will change the frequency of it's swings.

    Another technique that can kill a tankslapper while it is happening is to drop your torso down onto the tank,this removes much of the flexible joint I mentioned previously, between the bike CoG and the rider CoG.
  17. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,504
    Location:
    LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
    Hi Feyala!
    In answer to your reply:
    "Hey Jeff, glad you're enjoying the ride! I'd never heard of green loctite before! That would save me a lot of time... is it as strong as the blue? How well does it wick in there?"
    Loctite has many products such as thread lockers and sealants of various colors. Just google "Loctite" and check it out!
    The 290 threadlocker which is a thin green liquid holds as well as the blue. It's wicking action works through capillary action like penetrating fluids and will migrate into the threaded joint with no problem. It is somtimes used to seal porous welds and castings.
    I wanted to comment on your helmet condition. Even though a helmet can look fine after a crash, visual appearance cannot say if the internal crush foam has been compromised. The helmet is designed to crush internally to absorb the impact force to save you from injury. This may not show up as damage on the outside of the helmet and there is no way of testing the helmet that I am aware of. I spent a week in the hospital with a concussion after a motocross crash and there were no marks on the helmet! That helmet went in the G can. I know good helmets are not cheap but how much is your head worth?:hmmmmm
    Best Regards and ride safe....just jeff
  18. Irish1

    Irish1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Paradise,CA
    If you have a big head, I have both a Nolan 102 and a Shoei Syncrotec pop-up helmet I'd UPS you just so you keep your noggin intact and we can continue to live vicariously through you. :norton Both are new, one's a dark blue and the other's Black and both are Male size large.Let me know and have fun. I stopped riding because of getting run over by a drunk and the back damage that combined with old back damage from arresting a very large guy years ago means I just don't have much flexibility left. :eek1


  19. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,261
    Location:
    Beaverton & Surrounding Areas
    The rear brake thing... me too! I adjust my rear brake pedal way down to the floor so that I can put my foot over it as much as possible when sitting without having to lift my toe in an unnatural way. The kind of riding requiring standing and steering with the feet seems to be a kind of nimble, ginger riding which only requires throttle as needed and some engine braking. Minimal braking seems to be required, so usually the front is safe. It's like when power is needed, use it, and when you're coasting at the desired speed, the obstacles you are overcoming are enough to slow the bike. It's like the offroad version of "pacing", where brake is used minimally. And sand slows down the rider quite a bit. It's down to practice, I fully understand. The fear of the front brake is a big obstacle, in many cases. I am familiar with this. (Especially in cornering in loose terrain where brake is needed.) We're dealing with a realm of riding where there are no stoplights or blocks or lane changes to accelerate or decelerate for, so a lot of it is throttle modulation only.

    Damn, I hope to ride offroad with you someday. Not that I'm any better or even think I am. I am just sitting in my offroad theory armchair right now and wishing I had a piece of the action. Your posts drive me further into motivation to get out there!!
  20. Tracks1

    Tracks1 Arctic Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    USA West Coast
    Just finished reading the entire thread. Love your adventure, all of it. Thanks for being so open about your life. You're a gifted writer:clap and I have no doubt that you could travel the world and make a living by writing about it.:pynd You need a paypal account! I and others here want to buy you some GAS so that we can continue to read about your unique adventure!

    Notes about the dynamic vibration which caused your high speed off: It looks to me like the custom designed Panniers are mounted to far aft. Their CofG (Center of Gravity) needs to be forward of the rear axle by several percent, more is better in this case. For your kind of adventure try soft and smaller as this would help too, these are the latest tech ones: http://www.adventure-spec.com/default/adventure-spec-magadan-panniers.html You've moved the overall CofG of the bike to far aft and thus it's to close to or aft the Neutral point. This will cause instability to develop at a new speed (when compared to the previous configuration) in this case lower.

    The rounded corner shape of the custom Panniers may be dangerous and thus cause an Asymmetric lift distribution in a cross wind gust such as when passing at speed and thus excite the dynamics of the total system.

    If you don't remodel, then be sure to load all of the heavy item to the front and don't exceed a tested limit. :deal

    Good luck, stay rested and safe.
    David