New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Aaron.S, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    I had a pretty short day exploring today because the road didn't go that far in the other direction to a little village at the end of it. 20181007_134406-01.jpeg 20181007_134840-01.jpeg 20181007_124704-02.jpeg 20181007_140217-01.jpeg
    It was cold in the morning (-1) so I waited for the sun to do it's magic.
    I found a couple great viewpoints and just hung out soaking in the views.
    Photos are more of the same as yesterday but I think worth sharing.
  2. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,100
    Location:
    Your imagination.
    And thank you for doing so. They're always appreciated.
    DC950, Aaron.S and Duzitall like this.
  3. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    It was a stunning day to cross back over Abano Pass to Tbilisi.
    Been freezing in the morning I waited till about 10 and set off.
    It didn't take as long having better visibility and although I did stop for photos it still seemed to go pretty quick.
    There is a section of road after the pass but before Tbilisi which is paved but heads over a pass with some pretty tight turns and often I would cruise a section like that thinking about trying not to hammer the old motor but the thought that this is the last decent ride I'll have for a long time and the motor will get checked out came to mind and I gave it a bit of a hammering.
    It still is running sweet.
    Once again pushing it I could feel that rear let go once lent over.
    Sure it's bald but still should of held better in the corners.
    I pulled the motor out today and I haven't weighed it but fuck it's heavier than I thought it would be.
    It's a no go in my top bag because even though it fits I couldn't carry it through a airport.
    I am going to try weigh it but I'll need to buy a hard rolling travel case for it.
    So for the next couple days I'm trying to hunt down a good mechanic here.
    I found one shop ran by a expat guy from England so I'll pay him a visit in person.
    Maybe plan B is to just come back with all the parts you would need if you were setting out to do a bottom end with time up my sleeve and get it done.
    I will admit I'm feeling a little bit stressed about it at the moment.
    Seeing my bike all in bits without a stead fast plan has me wondering WTF are you doing Aaron.
    Maybe I should of just got shims clutch basket rubbers and ran the gauntlet until she popped.
    I mean who knows it may of made it.
    Tad late to second guess now.
    It is sinking in how long I will be away from the bike and this might sound silly but even when I spent time away from riding it at least it was there in the garage to look at ,clean and think back about the roads I rode on the old girl.
    I do trust the people in the place she is getting stored and they have been as helpful as they can be.
    I guess there could be worse things to worry about but at the moment this is it for me. 20181008_102527-01.jpeg 1010014-01.jpeg 1010065-01.jpeg 20181012_142617.jpg
  4. headstaller

    headstaller Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,377
    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Thanks Aaron for sharing and taking us along.
    Aaron.S likes this.
  5. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    USA
    Awesome pics and reporting; I'll miss these stories and landscapes over the winter. Best of luck with the engine and enjoy your winter on the slopes.
    shuswap1, Aaron.S and powderzone like this.
  6. Mahhbechh

    Mahhbechh n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Sweden
    Great reading. Been reading like 10 pages every night before bed the past days. Its like reading one helluva good book! Thank you for sharing with us. Makes my trips through the Nordics where im from look like something you do after work on short notice. Really impressed! And also makes me look at other options than just the GS1200, 690 Enduro or Africa Twin as a travel partner. Never in my life I would believe an EXC would to the trick.

    If you ever go to Sweden, send me a PM and i'll let you stay at my place and work on your bike in my garage for as long as you need :)

    Take care and good luck.
  7. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks!
  8. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,673
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Best wishes bud

    Shane
    Aaron.S likes this.
  9. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    I pulled the motor apart today and if I thought I would of made it had I left it alone I would of been wrong.
    When I took off the water pump housing the impeller was just sitting in there ground down.
    It must of happened really recently because I never had overheating issues.
    I would of cooked the motor had I not pulled it apart.
    The rest looks pretty good.
    Lot of carbon build up but not that much different than last time.
    Cylinder looked good.
    So fingers crossed now.

    Attached Files:

  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Oh btw Chris .. Duzitall...those clutch basket rubbers were shot so great call and that's probably where that noise was coming from.
    Tomorrow's the day I fly out and now I know how a drug smuggler feels ha!
  11. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,270
    Location:
    Lost in the Sahara
    Well at least you could now leave a few wear items behind making it a little lighter
  12. 2002maniac

    2002maniac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Perry, Utah
    That water pump!
    :eek2
    Aaron.S likes this.
  13. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6,404
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Just binge-read 35 pages to catch up - really couldn't be more impressed, and also thankful that you are taking the time to post it all here. Generally, I wouldn't offer advice, as it seems almost intrusive, but I will say at least that I'm glad you decided to dive into the motor rather than risk running it until it popped.
  14. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    I left the clutch plates behind as they weigh a bit.
    fasttortoise likes this.
  15. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Bags are checked in.
    I'm now waiting at the gate and will feel even better once the plane is in the air after hearing about that Japan story.
    One bag was 28kg and they didn't blink a eye or even charge me for oversize as normally 23kg is the limit.
    Other bag was 14 but has a few of my clothes in it and I don't have many left!
  16. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,100
    Location:
    Your imagination.
    All the best on the next leg of your adventure.
  17. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    311
    Location:
    UK and around
    Hi Aaron, just been skimming though your great RR from Morocco onwards.
    Enjoy the frank writing. You’re a toll-booth outlaw, like Kirk Douglas in that film!

    The road was ok and lead me into the mountains. After a 40mins or so it started to go from 3rd 4th to 1st 2nd gear with tight switchbacks and rockier sections in between the better ones. Not a huge big deal we are adventure riders this is what we look for and it wont carry on like this forever. Well no it wont because then the road kinda stopped at a river bed. Hmm I rode up the river bed not far and saw the otherside okay we are back on track. It was all 1st gear now.

    Fyi, I wonder if that track you tried out of Alnif was MH5 orange (map below).
    Not sure how far you got, but the split @ KM31 from Alnif for MH10 purple could be easy to miss as newer roads make even MH10 more and more obsolete.
    Had you carried on west beyond the obelisk on orange MH5 (maybe you did?) things get really gnarly.
    get the feeling from here over the Tizi Ousir pass is now mule country.
    Even pushing an EXC in 1st would have been desperate in 40°C.
    I tried it years ago in a pickup up, got my axles in a twist and walked the rest.
    Tried another time on a Tenere and ended up with a cracked crankcase and forehead.
    Years and many storms later some tougher riders on 1190s tried and gave up.
    That’s why they pushed MH10 around to the north (but that could be washed out too by now).
    MH5 is the most technical route in my book by far.

    That Algeria border route (MS6) is very popular and nice open desert (mostly) but also sketchy alone in summer.
    I know exactly that feeling of ‘christ, what if I get a flat in this heat?’
    One biker I know of on MS6 sat down for a breather and never got up again.
    A couple in a 4WD rental got a flat; didn’t know how to fix it. He went off looking for a phone signal, she was dead by the time he got back.

    So - good thing you turned back ;-)

    Congrats on 100k. That's a lot of candles to blow out!

    MH-4,5,10.jpg
    wilfred, Aaron.S, moto74 and 4 others like this.
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,395
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    You've captured so many amazing images over this journey @Aaron.S, have to say the last set of images is one great way to cap things off for this riding season. Though that last image of your bike sans motor is a bit depressing...lol.

    I hope you're flights back out here are completely hassle free, especially after reading about that nightmare another inmate went through trying to get his motor flown home. Not sure when you're going to land in PDX, but the October weather for the past ~7 days has been fantastic and it's supposed to continue through this weekend. No snow up on the mountain and given the dry fall we've had thus far, I don't think it'll be a stellar year on the slopes (weather peeps are predicting mild and dry).

    I'm looking forward to buying you a whisky or three at some point in the near future.

    Safe travels to OR man :-) :-) :beer
    Aaron.S likes this.
  19. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    Excellent reporting of your travels Aaron, much appreciated by many of us. The follow-on of the durability of the EXC-F 500 has been of great interest too.

    I do have a question for you? I noticed you have a steering damper installed and wondered whether you consider this a necessary addition to the 500? My wife rides a 2016 350 EXC-F, and has reported some moderate head shake. Thoughts?
    Thanks for all you've done for your readers, including the terrific photography!
    Greg
  20. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks for the compliment and the Steering Damper is one of those things I went without for quite a while because of cost but once I got it I love it and wished I had got it earlier.
    wilfred, Benduro and shuswap1 like this.