950 Rehab

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by MadM, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    Next day, we woke up to a dry morning, but the clouds were threatening to wet us once again.
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    So we quickly saddled up and headed out, inland up to the higher ranges.
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    Road sections were a PITA to ride, especially because of really strong winds blowing from the mountains towards the sea. Gusts were so strong that I thought its gonna blow us off the road and off our bikes. We were all keen to get off the streets and back into the woods and gravel roads. Soon after getting over a mountain pass, we left tarmac behind us. It was great to be back on the the gravel again. Those gravel road were so much fun that we made a few navigation errors, but it didn't bother us. When you get "lost" in this region it feels like going through a time machine. We passed a small farm, without electricity, completely self efficient, pigs, cows, horses out in the grassy fields without electric fences or anything. It is like going back to 19. century. A few hundret meters from this farm, we took a quick stop, to get our bearings and take a leak :)
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    Retracing our route, we find our wrong turn and head back on the correct trail. It was a bit hidden in the bushes and grass, but a nice lowing trail that turned into a couple of nasty rocky climbs. When we conquered both rocky hills, we came to a nice flat section. Here was a good opportunity for a group shot of us and our bikes.
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    The view from behind the bars was amazing most of the ride. It was never a dull moment.
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    After 130 off road kilometres it was time to refuel our steeds and ourselves. Took a short detour from the trail to a small village for a meal and gas. After lunch break, we went back to the trail, but about 5km in, we found hajoktejSI standing at his bike looking at it. We quickly established that he was O.K. but the bike wasn't. Somehow both linkage arms (dog-bones) cracked and gave up. Since we didn't have a replacement with us, me and Hari left the group and hightail it back to civilisation, trying to find someone that could help us.

    After a while, we found a friendly old guy that was wiling to help out. The plan was to make a set of new dog-bones from a sheet steel and fix the bike. We quickly butchered up an old stable-door hinge, cut it to length, drilled some holes and we were done. The old gentleman didn't want any money in return for his help, so we did a celebratory group picture.
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    Armed with "new" parts we headed back to the rest of our team, that already made it back to civilisation too. Me and hajoktejSI started wrenching his LC4A apart.
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    The broken part. This is for one side only, the other side went flying into the bushes as anger management sacrifice :becca :D
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    But like when Murphy's law take s control, nothing goes as intended. We ran into some problems with the plates. We drilled 12mm holes as that was the visible size of the thread, but the shaft was actually 14mm in diameter, oh, and they were a few millimetres too short. So we improvised. A big axe from the neighbouring construction site, my 1/4 extension with some safety wire and we have the bike back on 2 wheels.
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    When we were done, it was already dark and late in the evening.
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    Because we weren't too sure how our fix will hold up, me and hajoktejSI stormed off full throttle towards Slunj to our place for the night, while others followed with a more reasonable speed for dark, wet, unknown roads. All of us safely arrived at our apartment for the night. After a day like this, beer never tasted better.

    We talked around the table late into the night, so morning came quite fast. But what a morning it was.
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    FREAKING CLOUDLESS and HOT. Oh well, better luck next time :doh Me and hajoktejnSI saddled up first, and went to look for a better equipped local handyman. We soon found a man with a proper workshop that works with steel for a living. He quickly made a set of new, better dog-bones that we cobbled up together the day before. Now we had a functional bike again. We 90% functional, good enough to get home on-road. when those links broke, rear shock hit the swingarm and cracked a small aluminium cup that holds the spring in place, so the bike was not suited for off-road.

    So we took the roads less travelled back up to the border. Where I said farewell to the rest of the gang since I live in a different part of the country that they do.
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    All I can say is that this trip was a real blast. The team, terrain, weather,... everything together made this trip unforgettable for me. Hopefully next year we do something similar, just in better weather :hide

    Since I am about 180km away from others, I made the longest trip, around 1200km. I don't have the exact number since I accidentally reset the odometer before I got home :( Here was our plan for the Croatian part of the trip, green is TET track and the purple is our return plan. Unfortunately we missed a bit of that part.
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    Also there are a few things I need to say about TET track. First off, thank you for making this project and hopefully it live a long life. At the moment of riding the track would easily be done on a GS with 50/50 tires in dry condition with a knowledgeable rider. If wet I would highly suggest proper knobies. For a LC8 a E09D rear was great, but up front I would opt for something a bit more aggressive than MT-21, this tire felt like it was floating in some ground conditions.

    There you have it, hopefully you enjoyed the story, I did it both time, riding/living it and now putting it down on "paper" for you.

    Stay safe out there and keep the rubber side down :ricky
    FabOneUp, Fabnut, wimj and 7 others like this.
  2. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    Riding season in my parts has ended for this year, it is getting too cold and wet outside. Because of that I am prepairing a list of winter things I would like to sort out and highest prioritiy is getting the suspension sorted (rebuild, re-valve and re-spring).

    I have used Racetech's spring rate calculator and it gave me a bit of odd rates. I am cca. 75kg without gear and I got .657 kg/mm front springs with 110mm oil level and 5w oil. On the rear end it suggested a 140 rear spring. From what I read around the forum, those numbers seem high for my weight.

    Any insight is welcome!
  3. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    A good friend of mine came by yesterday with a meat/vegetable/goods scale, up to 350kg, to weigh in my LC8.

    The result was surprising to me. It measured in at 237kg. :hide

    Bike is equipped as in picture below with full gas tanks.
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    I really wonder how people get the weight down to 180kg dry in some build threads. I guess, over the winter, the bike will go on a diet an I will go to the gym :D
    AliveDK and rocky86 like this.
  4. Dziadek

    Dziadek Adventurer

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    As if I was looking at mine own rehab on my 04 950 :beer


    As for tyres i am using MItas MC23 Rockrider they look like PirelliMT21 but do not cup on the front and lasts longer . Not so scary on wet asphalt as E09 or E07 and better grip off road.

    For second fan install i use M4 bolts put on them sleeve from hose , rubber and metal washers under the head and nut.
    Made a hole in radiator shrouds with some plastic and bolted fan to the radiator (ducati does so). You do not want the fan to be loose and rubbing to the radiator shrouds.

    Regards Daniel
    MadM likes this.
  5. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    I tried MC23's on my LC4 and wasn't really happy with them. Maybe they would behave differently on a big bike, will try it one day since the price is quite low here in my area.

    Some bike updates will come in shortly :hide
  6. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    A long overdue post. Unfortunately my LC8 was side tracked over the winter. First priority took my EXC450Raid build and participation in Bosnia Rally training camp this year and get ready for a proper rally next year.

    Due to the above, most of the planed mods went down the drain. But the bike wasn't forgotten. It got a set of brand new fuel lines all round.
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    Also I removed the airbox in favour off reduced weight and ITG filter.
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    I do have some seat-filter interference, need to contact gefr for help.
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    While I had access, I decided to permanently plug up the carb balance ports with a bolt, copper washer and some blue loctite.
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    And routed the crank breather to a LC4 SAS filter and all strapped to frame on the left side of the frame.
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    With all this done, I mounted left tank and tested how the hoses seal, so far no leaks and the bike fired up on second try.
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    I also removed other heavy parts:
    - Rear/side luggage racks
    - Crash bars
    - Passenger pegs
    - TT Fog lights

    Still to do:
    - Oil change
    - Side stand switch bypass
    - Maybe remove centre-stand, need to see if I can get it up on it, now that I don't have any racks installed to grip and help lift it.
  7. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    A little more has been done. I started with disabling the notorious side stand switch. First you need to locate the 3-pin connector on the left side of the bike, in front of ignition cover with green, black and brown wires. Cut away the actual switch and crimp together green and black wires, brown just needs to be isolated and your done. No more side stand switch to kill your engine when bouncing around off-road. Also no engine kill if you take off with side stand extended, so be careful!
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    Next up, EPC removal. Info from H.O.W.:
    Unfortunately in my case, it wasn't so straight forward. Wire colors and wiring diagram colors didn't quite match.
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    After some random cuts, it turned out that green is NEUTRAL light and you need to cut both twin colored wires for 2nd and 3rd gear sensors.

    Once done, wrap everything with spiral wrap and secure it to its usual space. No one can tell it has been tampered with.
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    Also got a fresh 990 glove box inside to fit, since I had to cut a big hole in my last one for Meoni pre-filter kit. Just need to get some spare fusses in there.
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    There is also quite a big gap between bottom of the glove box and top of ITG filter. Could possibly hide something un the underside of the compartment. Maybe some extra levers could be zip-tied in there?
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    Getting close now, just some fluids to change and air up those knobbys and off we go into another season.
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  8. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Long timer

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    Great info madm, when you cut the wires for EPC did you just cover the ends with tape or does it require anything else .
  9. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    Thanks! I did them the same way as with the side stand wires in a picture above. Shrink wrap and pinch the ends while still soft., than secured with a length of electrical tape in a bundle and wrapped with spiral wrap.
  10. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Long timer

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    Sorry madm I'm not being clear, did you twist them together?
  11. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    Not a problem! With side stand switch I crimped the wires (you can solder too). With gear sensor switch, you keep the yellow-green and purple-red cut and individually isolated.
    mountaincadre likes this.
  12. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Long timer

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    Thanks for the clear up madm.
  13. my6

    my6 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this most excellent and informative thread, I have read every word twice. I have been "pondering" whether to get a 950 or a 990 and now find myself leaning towards a 950.
  14. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Long timer

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    Good choice.
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  15. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    Happy to help :thumb

    Thank you very much for your kind words! I have gotten a lot of help form inmates here on advrider, so it seems appropriate to give something back to the community. Most of what I do to my bikes is info from this very community, just scattered across various threads, so I am trying to get it all in one place :D

    On the 950 vs 990 topic: both are great bikes with their own quirks and struggles to sort out. No matter which way you decide to go, you will sure have fun riding it, both on and off-road.
  16. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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    So did the last bit of work on my 950, oil change. I did a rookie mistake of putting it all together (tank, fairings,...) before changing the oil, now I wasn't too keen to remove everything for just an oil change so I came up with a new way to change the oil without disassembling half of the bike or using the drain hose kit some out there sell.

    As we all know, skid plate is the first to go off. Next thing to come off is the tank brace, that big aluminium part that goes across the battery box and it is held on with 2 tank bolts and 2 bolts to the frame (usually where crash bars mount). Tanks give away just enough without the bottom bolt.
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    Next you need a long extension for your socket to reach the bolt and brake it loose. With the bolt loose, get a gas can spout and place it underneath the bolt to siphon oil to a container and prevent any spills (no pictures of this, I only have 2 hands :-) )
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    I used the same spout for getting the oil back in the bike to prevent any spills from the bottle.
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    Oil filter fins were nice and straight, no signs of coolant leaks.
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    After this, it was finally time to go on a first ride of 2018. Clocked in 81km on a nice sunny day, though with snow still around at higher elevations.
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    tonyubsdell, Salzig, juames and 2 others like this.
  17. Salzig

    Salzig Long timer

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    Well done.
    It is possible to drain the oil tank without taking anything off the bike.
    I just losen the two top screws of the tank and unscrew the bottom one. Then I pivot the tank just enough to fit my "special drain tool" under the oil tank.
    The "special tool" being the neck of a plastic water bottle precisely cut to fit in there and held in place by a rubber band.
    MadM likes this.
  18. Fabnut

    Fabnut Been here awhile

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  19. MadM

    MadM Dreamer Supporter

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  20. Tenguy

    Tenguy n00b

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    Thanks, thoroughly enjoyed the whole thread. Just can't help lusting after a 950 myself now :rofl