Trans America 2020 on a Yamaha WR250r

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RacingBlue, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    Part of me really wants to. But another part of me knows it will just get worse and will probably happen again in an even worse spot. Might as well replace it now and have some peace of mind before I get to the really remote stuff.
    #21
  2. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Damn if I still lived in Greenville I'd help you out. Grew up there in the 80s. Good luck with the parts
    #22
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  3. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    @RacingBlue

    This is a great learning experience for you in regards to bike prep and life on the road.

    Do yourself a favor and be sure that you replace the factory steel sprockets with similar steel sprockets. Don't let them sell you on an aluminum rear. Great for dirt biking, not great for touring.

    If the shop has size options, a 14-47 combo is slightly lower gearing than the factory 13-43 and will greatly reduce chain and sprocket wear.


    You're doing great. Let everything unfold as it's supposed to and try to focus on each day's ride rather than the end goal of the trip. ADVR is a pretty tightly knit community so don't forget to reach out to the members here if you're in a jam or need advice along the way.
    #23
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  4. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Pick up a stand so you can prop the bike up without a log/rock. I can't remember what they're called but a company make a solo stand for the other side of the bike so you can "make" a center stand for the bike. I'm sure someone here will chime in on what its called.
    #24
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  5. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Working your way through problems, it is the WAY!
    #25
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  6. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    +1 on that, in a pinch swing by a goodwill or cheap medical supply store, cut an aluminum crutch. We cut one so that it would fit around the foot peg, and we could still extend it depending on what we needed to do.
    #26
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  7. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll start looking into those stands tonight. Rode grand total of 200 ft today, but it was a great day nonetheless.

    Day 4

    Woke up at 8:30 am and my dad and I immediately began calling all the motorcycle shops in the Asheville area to see if we didn't have to go all the way to Greenville. Things were not looking good, but then my dad got a hit in Hendersonville, NC. They shop didn't have the parts on hand, however they could order them and have them there by at latest 3:30 that day as long as we ordered by 11:00. We kept that on tab, called a few more, and decided to pull the trigger on Hendersonville. The shop's name was Harper Cycle and Marine, and they were very helpful.

    We drove down there, then went to Autozone and borrowed a torque wrench, then looked over my tool kit to see if we had all that was necessary for the job. We were only missing a 6mm hex socket, so we ran to Lowe's and got that and some rubber gloves, as well as two small planks of wood for our makeshift stand. In the Lowe's parking lot we looked at the bike again and realized that when the chain broke, it had completely smoothed out the sides of the nuts behind the sprocket. That might have been a HUGE problem, but we were able to loosen them, but now we needed new ones.

    [​IMG]

    Our next big task while waiting for the parts to arrive was to figure out how to break the chain. Both Lowe's and Home Depot didn't have a tool for it, and as we had some Taco Bell for lunch we found ourselves truly desparate. There was only one place to go.

    [​IMG]

    They didn't have it.

    So we went back to Hendersonville and started looking around for metal work shops. We went back to Harper Cycle looking for the nuts and they didn't have them on hand, but pointed us in the direction of a Fastenal close by. Fastenal didn't have them either, but they pointed us to Lewis William's and Sons. They thankfully did have them.

    The people at Lewis William's and Sons pointed us in the direction of Nash Welding to break the chain. So we went over there and Nash was more than willing to help us out.

    [​IMG]

    This took all of maybe ten seconds to do, and after we loaded the bike back up we headed over to Harper Cycle. While we were there picking up the parts, the guy from Ripley called me to see how I was doing. I relayed him all my stories and he was still fascinated by the trip, and was sad to hear that the chain needed to be fixed.

    With the parts in hand, we found an abandoned gas station and worked under it for shade. We used the motorcycle ramp my dad had as a makeshift jack, and it worked pretty well.

    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to work. First things first, removing the sprockets. We got them off and compared them to the new ones we had (which were steel by the way!) and man did they need replacing. I'm almost a little embarassed to show them, but I figured if anyone stumbles across this RR researching their TAT trip, they'll have these pictures to reference what their sprockets are not supposed to look like.

    [​IMG]

    Notice the uneven wearing on the old one. My friend from yesterday who helped me get the chain on called it a shark fin. But if you thought these were bad, it was nothing compared to the front sprocket.

    [​IMG]

    No, you aren't seeing that wrong. It is actually missing teeth.

    [​IMG]

    I'm honestly surprised I made it this far on a 7-43 sprocket. To anyone wanting to do a long trip, any trip at all, and you see this, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. I changed all the fluids, cleaned the fork seals, lubed the chain, cleaned the air filter, and got new tubes in the tires before I went. But these bad sprockets could have really made life hell if they went in the wrong spot. Save yourself the day long headache and just fix them if needed before you go.

    We got the new sprockets on as well as the new chain. Everything was looking peachy.

    [​IMG]

    We adjusted the chain tension, checked, then triple checked, before putting the bike all back together. I took it for three laps around the parking lot and the bike felt so much better. We went back to Asheville, where I'm going to spend one more night and try and get some BBQ before I make my way back to the TAT tomorrow and try and make a push for Tennessee. Hopefully with better results this time.
    #27
  8. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    For the love of God, hit the proper number of breweries when in Asheville!
    #28
  9. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    So all of them? I'm not sure I have time for that!
    #29
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  10. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Suck it up buttercup, get it done!
    #30
  11. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Adventures in hangovers!!! :dutch
    #31
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  12. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Good bike prep for a long trouble free trip includes
    Fresh drive train
    New bearings all around
    Fresh brake pads check the disks for excessive wear and replace if necessary
    bleed the brakes
    Fresh sneakers
    fresh air filter
    New spark plug
    Check fork and shock seals dust seals for cracks and replace if necessary
    Check all control cables
    Check spoke tension

    Daily health check
    Check brake pads and disk also check brakes have all components the pin holding the pads in place can and will wear
    Check Chain slack lubricate
    Check oil level and check for any leaks
    Quick check of suspension seals
    Check control cables for fraying
    Check all lights are functioning

    Weekly
    Check air and fuel filter "the see through kind Fuel filter" weekly
    Check spoke tension
    Check bearings especially if you do a lot of water crossings
    20 minutes daily check will save a lot of hassles
    #32
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  13. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    Thank you! I did/have been doing most of these, but now I'll use this as a handy checklist. The chain was the one thing neglected and it bit me in the ass, if that isn't a good life lesson then I don't know what is.
    #33
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  14. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    Hangovers and a drained wallet :photog
    #34
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  15. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

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    I have a 2008 wr250r with the same after market exhaust as you and a 3 gal gas tank. I have wondered how it do on the tat. Looking forward to following along. Any close calls on running out of gas?
    #35
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  16. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I'm glad you figured it out on your own. I had to hold back to not try to advise you on your problem.
    Looks like you will be fine. I would ad tire pressure check every morning before you head out each day. If you don't have a pump and gage buy it now. Compare how the axel nut feels with a regular wrench so you can tighten it with out a torque wrench.
    Ha, I can't help myself. By the way you don't need to have the wheel off the ground to adjust the chain. Good luck and have fun.
    #36
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  17. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    So I'm only in NC, but so far no. I have a 3 gallon tank on my bike as well. The most I've filled up was like 1.5 gallons. I'm also carrying a 1 gallon rotopack, and the longest without gas on Sam's maps appears to be in Utah, which is like ~165 miles. I'll have better info for you the farther I get out.
    #37
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  18. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Adventurer

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    Trial by fire is the best way to learn, especially in a more forgiving area like I was in. I do have a pump and an air pressure gauge packed in my tool kit. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to do exactly that and test and see what it feels like. I also kind of figured while doing the work out that the chain can tighten without a stand, which is really handy.

    Here's to hoping that things can go a bit smoother and I can actually report on some riding!
    #38
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  19. Retired 18Z

    Retired 18Z Adventurer

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    @i4bikes you are doing GREAT! You are learning. You are having an adventure. Above all that you are handing the Type-A sniping comments with grace, confidence and a willingness to learn. I'm following because I believe you will teach me things I need to know. I'm a Dad. We don't mind being called in to help. Our Dad's helped us. #payitforward ;-)
    #39
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  20. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Almost forgot to add and it is an important check before going on a long trip is checking the wiring loom for any chaffing
    I torque everything to SPEC and put a dash of paint so if I am out in the field and have to undo a nut or bolt I know I can just tighten it back to the marker easy for the ones that are stationary not so easy like axles where you have to paint mark both ends. depends how OCD is you can put the check in the daily or weekly category to check the bike over to see if paint markers still all align pain in the bhind to do it initially but saves time out in the field like @i4bikes said it is not not easy to bite the fingers and not add, that is why the experience of the collective can help prevent painful breakdowns best it happened in civilisation than halfway across a desert track breakdowns is also an adventure in their own right
    #40
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