Escaped Inmates, Guns, Nails and Southern Hospitality

after some R&R we rode directly to the TAT and joined it heading eastbound, passing a Yak along the way and Egle was amazed to see one but all I could think about was Ron White.(some of you might get the joke)

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Cuchara Pass is where we hit the dirt for the TAT and instantly it didn’t look good

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Two miles from the top the snow was everywhere but not on the track

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One mile from the summit and I had a go at riding further but a solid sheet of ice under the snow made me turn around after just 50 yards because of zero traction and we ended up doing a 75 detour to get to La Veta

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on the east side of the Rockies, you get to see the land flatten out and know it’s going to be your companion for quite a long time

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but get out of snow and you know there is going to be something else waiting for you down that dirt road, in a 3 hours stretch we had mud…

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and a flat tire a piece and both times it shredded the inner tube!!!

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but we kept on rolling for a few days as the road got flatter and straighter

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in Kansas I reminded Egle that last year as we were riding around Europe and I kept saying why we were taking photos of everything but these sights and buildings to her weren’t anything special – “well there might be a guy in Kansas who has never gone anywhere and never even seen a hill never mind a building over 100 years old”. On this road, she turned to me and said: “OK, now I get it!”

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The TAT just touches KS for a very short time then heads into Oklahoma where straight roads, cows, wild horses, escaping inmates and weird guys who jump out of bushes are the norm

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we spent the evening in Tulsa at the weekly ADV gathering with @Throttlemeister @SmilinJoe @tomski74 and a lot more inmates and then got to stay in this famous location

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after a few days in OK, it’s nice easy riding thru Arkansas, a little water along the way and a burger and some pie of course

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we’re not the first here of course…

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now where most of you would continue along the trail and we would have too but, as we never heard a thing from Guinness who knows if this record attempt is even a thing we decided to detour to see some friends in Louisiana and we’ll rejoin the TAT in Mississippi in a few days but first we need some southern hospitality, some good Cajun cooking, and a little gun play, and maybe a beer or three…yep that’s how we roll – a different kind of R&R this time

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and if you have never held live ammo before you might look a little surprised about what’s going to happen

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but then you go with the flow and act like a total boss and hit every single thing they suggest you aim at

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gumbo was devoured too quick so no photos but how about a steak and a twice baked anyone???

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See you in Mississippi if you are headed west we’ll be riding straight at you…

Rain and Mud on the AZBDR and NMBDR

after the 3 days of snow on the way from the UT/ AZ border back to Phoenix we sat and waited for the summer to arrive and not just there, watching the weather closely it appeared in a few days it would be here, every place that we planned to be near in the next week or so had an increase of around 10-20 degrees – time to ride, again.

Egle had been identified when we were at OX, a lot. So while I was doing a last few little details with the bikes she was doing the final work on her new disguise so none of you will be able to spot her in a crowd

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Southbound from the eastern side of PHX we rejoined the AZBDR and a mix of other tracks i had, our destination was @MaddBaggins in the outskirts of Tucson. We hit the dirt in Superior and before we knew it we were running on a track parallel to the AZBDR, oh well still good, seeing what you’d expect in this part of the world.

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The riding for the rest of the day was good and the impromptu passenger was enjoying the ride

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all was good in the dirt until about 7 miles from Tucson and a steep climb on the Old Mt. Lemmon Rd Egle had an off in the rocks severely bending a shifter

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eventually finding somewhere on the bike after removing the shifter to gain leverage to bend it back into shape we reached the pavement and get to see Tucson in the distance. If you haven’t ridden in this area this is a must ride paved road to the summit

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Coming out of Tucson and switching states and linking to the NMBDR the riding was great…

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right up to the point where it all went horribly wrong…

 

the day started out good, long stretches of graded dirt

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interspaced with a few sections of choice pavement

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then back to the graded and dirt stuff for the rest of the day, all looked good for a fun days high-speed ride

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then the rain started, we tried to outrun it but the track got worse and worse, the photo doesn’t do the brown river flowing down the track justice, traction was virtually zero, the direction was mainly uphill which didn’t help matters and it kept getting worse, both bikes snaking all over the place at a pace of around 3-5 miles an hour was all we could manage as the tires got more and more filled with sticky NM mud/ clay mix

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no choice but to bail and set up camp with soaking wet gear in amongst cow shit off the trail

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so at 2 pm, we were in the tent making food listening to the torrential downpour, checking the GPS to try and find a way out of this slop…the GPS showed no other roads, but it did tell me that it was 25 miles backward or 23 miles forward. At this point, I pulled out the Bulter map for NMBDR, thx @eakins. Determined exactly where we were and the little addition to the map “TRACK MAYBE IMPASSIBLE WHEN WET!!!”

All I could think is – YEP!!!

The following morning a section of blue sky appeared with the menacing black sky following and we packed and rode out and kept the blue sky above us. An hour later sticky mud was a memory and we were back to easy riding with well-drained roads

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We decided to wrap it up early and get a good spot to camp with a view

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and the view from the other side of the tent as the sun set

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The following days were good to us, great vistas, good tracks and even a little pavement thrown in

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and then the occasional thing happens to ruin your day

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but it doesn’t matter how bad the day(s) have been it could be worse…a lot worse

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When a DR650 fails on the right person and everyone benefits

We all agree there is no such thing as the perfect adventure bike unless you are standing in a BMW showroom right now, the salesman will of course disagree.

A large number of couples are taking off into the sunset but strangely, the usual combination is the man on a bigger bike than the women. Of course, this can happen due to physical characteristics of each partner but a familiar choice seems to be a 1200 GSA for the man and an 800/ 650 GS for the woman.

This is all well and good until there is a tough road to ride and they find the bikes too heavy, or a hotel that offers parking in a less than desirable neighborhood where you have no choice but to stay there, the parking is inside, and the bike is too big to fit.

Or you break down and there isn’t a BMW dealer for thousands of miles, you can’t use one bike to help you fully diagnose the other because they are different, and honestly, if they were the same it would be very tough without the correct computer terminals and hook ups.

Here’s a reason you may not have considered if you haven’t traveled extensively: will that expensive BMW cause you to make a bad or even life-threatening decision? You are in XYZ country and civil unrest breaks out, you need to leave and can’t ride out but those two beemers are worth the best part of $40,000…could you walk away? Probably not!

The reasons can go on and on.

Recently the DR650 is popping up as a bike that couples are buying two of, they are cheap, reliable and have a design that’s been around for a couple of decades with very little change so parts are available everywhere. Check a few blogs and find Michnus and Elsbie, Mick and Tan, Mike and Shannon, Pascal and Janine, Jeff and Sally, Suzie and Kelvin and Paul and Egle. There are many more solo DR650 riders out there as well.

One thing we will all agree on is the simplicity of the DR. It’s easy to work on, two bikes the same makes it easy to diagnose an issue, swapping parts to eliminate questionable ones is not complicated. Small enough to fit in the tightest spaces, it can be made to fit most riders with stock adjustments internally in the forks to drop the front 1 1/2″ and two height settings on the rear shock will make the bike adaptable for almost any rider.

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They are very easy to pack small for shipping. Mick recently packed two DR’s in a crate smaller than one GSA would fit in and actually paid shipping by weight, not volume.

Another issue is Carnet value. A massive difference on two $20K bikes or two $4k bikes is huge if you are really traveling the planet and could be the difference of getting to go everywhere you want to go or only going where you can afford to go because of the value of your bike.

But before you go, you need to make the bike ‘right’. Did the designers at Touratech really create that new part to make the bike better,  in order to help you out in the long run from parts that fatigue and fail? Maybe, but it may very likely just be a little bling that generates the company a good 500% profit margin and nothing else.

Enter Kevin Tanis, a DR650 rider not by immediate choice but more by fluke. Kevin is an owner of a KTM 990 – a beast of a bike that he rode solo and two up. But when he and his wife weren’t riding together, he wanted to ride with friends and sometimes, she wanted to ride her own bike so he looked around and read and heard the DR650 was a good, simple, reliable bike.

Luckily for us, his wasn’t 100% perfect. He had starter motor issues, choke/ carb problems, broken levers, bent rotors, snapped foot pegs. So by simple necessity instead of just going to the dealership and buying the stock replacement part that inevitably would break again, he looked to see if he could improve on the design – and he did.

The stock choke nut is plastic and over time can become brittle and break, crack or easily be cross-threaded. So Kevin designed and made a CNC machined aluminum version. Then the “squark” from the starter housing began and a simple tear down of components found a bronze bushing where a bearing would be better, and what if it could rotate so a different carb could now easily be fitted?

A busted peg in Mexico and a comment from his wife about adding a bottle opener to the peg underneath because she couldn’t open her Coke, and could the pegs be a little bigger because her feet hurt from standing on the pegs all day!

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So who is Kevin Tanis? Kevin Tanis is Warp9 and his business is not making parts for DR650’s.

His primary business is making wheels for motocross and enduro racers and riders, but as the interest for his parts for the DR650 garnered so much attention he now has a parts line of 16 different items including wheels.

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All the parts are functional, they were built out of necessity because of failure of stock parts. The good thing is the parts are very realistically priced – around the same as the stock replacements and in some cases, lower than stock.

As an example, the choke nut (at $20). First, call the dealer and see if you can buy a replacement stock plastic part. Not easy because it’s a Mikuni part and not a Suzuki one but as an individual, you can’t buy from them. Mikuni would refer you to another company called Sudco who may give you a part number to give your dealer to order and guess what it’ll be $20 +/- and eventually will break or crack again. You may not feel this is important but when you can’t get your bike to run correctly you might want to check that little nut for a hairline crack that can affect the mixture and make your bike run badly or not at all…$20 to Warp9 will seem like a great investment

On my bike I have 10 parts and Egle has 11 from Warp 9. They were added because the stock parts were either worn or fatigued enough that they needed replacement.

So think about your bike a little more than cosmetic appearance if you are heading out to be on the road for a long trip of days, weeks, months or like the names listed earlier, years, Kevin might be a person you are thanking on more than one occasion.

To see a complete build to prep two DR650′ for RTW travel you can check my website and build thread in ten separate parts…link to part 1 parts 2 thru 10 follow immediately after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cold, wind, rain and snow…& a little dirt

from the fire the night before I find a bizarre photo on my new camera that I guess it decided to take itself when inadvertently I’d turned it on, set it on timed release, hit the shutter and moved it all at the same time…I have a learning curve with this new Pentax bear with me!!!

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but I guess we were getting transported to more fun riding, around the fire over a little too much alcohol we came up with a slogan for W38M (that probably won’t be used) – We’ll come up with shit…and it’ll be awesome!!!

The next morning was a slow start, not surprisingly. Up and walking around it appeared we were at an impromptu Mosko Moto convention, between us we had almost every piece of luggage they make

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the next few days we a mix of dirt and pavement and a ride around the Mogollon Rim where one of the NY’rs with us had very little travel experience in true NY style described the view as – “a total eye fuck!”

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We arrived at OX and the motorcycle section was totally detached from the rest of the event and at times it appeared like a ghost town, but at the end of the weekend I was talking to one of the organizers and she said they have plans to integrate the bikes with everyone else which is a good thing as a separate unit I doubt many vendors would return.

For me, it was a few shots in strong HDR to keep my interest peaked, of some of the vendors to let you know how it looks

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and how about this for a very rare (food) truck in these parts…anyone?

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For us, OX was a chance to meet up with friends and talk about rides to come which I’ll cover in the next post as it’s the real reason we actually came, for us, it’s a starting point of sorts that I’ll detail….

 

for us Overland Expo is a start point, a few weeks back I changed the title to add …”on as much dirt as possible”. The reason for this is – back in December 2016 we applied to create a new Guinness World Record

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As Dusty had changed the name of his company and was in the process of starting a new company we decided to use OX as our new start point, I have messaged Guinness more than a few times to let them know what we are doing but they are the least responsive corporation out there. They claim that they will respond in 12 weeks or less, well its now been 161 days or 23 weeks and absolutely zero communication from them from multiple emails from me.

…but regardless we continue…

So why do this? Well over time I have had more than a few requests for a photography book, I thought why not put a few things together. A good North American loop of dirt tracks in the US and Canada that most anyone could access from approximately 500 miles from their front door. Full GPX tracks of the route, a book and maybe a Kickstarter to help the project. I have spent over two years collecting tracks and trying to make them join up into a fun ride.

But I am getting way ahead of myself here, in reality, it’s just a ride to go and find dirt, cool views and take some photos and maybe meet a few inmates along the way, I am just putting this here as additional documented proof to Guinness about my communication attempts, and their lack of response.

The last thing I would like to happen is to have to use the same line Austin Vince did at the end of Mondo Enduro!!!

 

The first 5 days of the ride almost singlehandedly looked like the complete opposite of what we had planned and detailed to do above. We left OX to head to 4 corners area to start hitting dirt but instead, we hit high winds, snow, blizzards and torrential rain instead, Days that we expected to have highs in the 80’s and 90’s were in the 40’s and 50’s with nightly lows all below freezing. A stop in a BLM office in Utah and a long talk with a ranger told me that virtually all the areas we had planned to go were either snowing, snow drifts in place, flash floods or mud and washouts.

Where we planned to be riding 90%+ of dirt we only made 11.2% or 79.8 miles of 708 miles covered…damn!!!

But when life gives you lemons…this has to be one of the most scenic areas of the country so it was great to show Egle some amazing sights via pavement.

Canyon de Chelly –

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She stood there amazed and when she did turn around proclaimed “this is where freedom lives”

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at the bottom of the canyon are some of the original dwellings

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Then onto Monument Valley

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and we finished the day in the Valley of the Gods after a short stop at Goosenecks as the sun was setting

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The next morning even thought we had a brief blue sky temps were around freezing, but a little dirt to play on

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fine snow was falling as we climbed Moki Dugway and there is a bike in that photo…

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From the top of the Moki Dugway, we headed to Halls Crossing to take the ferry to Bullfrog to ride the Burr Trail (a little dirt) the elevation was lower so the snow turned to torrential rain and the captain of the ferry was debating about cancelling the ferry due to the severe condition, luckily for us he didn’t.

We ended up after drying off in a gas station for 3 hours then finding a place to wild camp on the Burr Trail in the saturated sticky red mud, the following morning in the day light we got to see where we picked

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The blue sky only lasted a short time then the temps dropped again and we had snow at 5000′ as we left the switchbacks

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our first 4 days looked like this, we saw awesome scenery but we need to find more dirt!!!

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Leaving PHX and riding with W38M

We arrived in Santa Fe after a little CDR action to meet @D-Train (Dusty) he and his partner Paul (not me, but what a great name :lol3 ) started a new training and touring company called West38moto. We had arranged for El to do a little training and me to take some photos and then join them on a short tour from SF to OX.

If you do any training you know the first thing they always want you to do is to be able to pick up your bike, a DR is too easy, what you really need to pick up is a fully loaded GSA!!!

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Dusty is a fun guy and motivates all the students really well, always smiling and laughing but teaching fundamentals at the same time.

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I won’t go into detail about what the training entails, you can contact them to find out, just need to say a good coach to student ratio and at the end, some riders who struggled at every challenge became very accomplished in unique off-road situations

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If Alpha Basecamp is not your thing, then this might be…and waaayyyyyy cheaper

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The cool thing about the training location in Santa Fe, it was in an abandoned gold mine, an amazing location for sure

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see the riders over the far side?

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leaving the gold mine to find some sand to play in a few miles away Dusty showed the way on street tires

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…and someone liked riding sand and mastered it with ease

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and that kinda looks like this…

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other riders not so much…:fpalm

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training done, we headed out, destination OX, there were just a few of us going. I have a certain dislike of riding in groups, my last two group rides include a leg busted into about 50 pieces and a kidnapping, so needless to say I kept my distance and just shot photos of the group

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We covered a few sections of the NMBDR on graded roads and in the woods

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and the first few days out with the group were great with the highlight being a massive fire wild camping at around 6000′

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DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 10 final

time to button this build up as we hit the road in a little over 24 hours…

There seemed to be a ‘little’ talk about front suspension since my last post and I did say that the PO had dealt with this so I didn’t need to – well I changed my mind!

I opened up both sets of forks, reset the white bike back to stock height from factory lowered and did a fork oil change, not really a big deal, very simple forks to work on.

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one part I was waiting for was a chain oiler, the Motobriiz arrived, a very simple set up, activated by wind/ air pressure, but the great part about it is it oils the underside of the chain. A friend of mine has one on his bike and has ridden 9000 miles since install, no chain adjustments required and the chain which had over 10,000 miles before installation now looks like new. Ask me questions in a few weeks/ months for a long term opinion

…and it installs perfectly where the stock tool box used to live

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Tools, when I was in Greece and bought these bikes online I wasn’t sure if I’d have access to all my tools or if not then what tools I could get my hands on. I started looking at other riders tool kits to see what they were using and then if I could find a tool kit that came close without having to buy too many extra tools.

The one I found that checked most of the boxes was RRR Tools, you can check them out and then see what extras I added. Before anyone jumps in and thinks this was a sponsorship it wasn’t I paid full retail, but what I will tell you is this – with what’s pictured below I did around 98% of the work on the bike or will be able to once I had corrected things and changed fasteners that could be troublesome.

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Luggage

over the years I have used a number of companies trying to find the right set up, for bigger bikes and 80/20 riding and hard luggage its a simple choice – Jesse Luggage.

…but now back in the dirt soft bags are the way to go, I elected for pannier racks to add some additional stability and structure to a potential rear end weakness and for me nowadays there is only one real option for soft luggage and that is Mosko Moto. If you haven’t checked them out, you should read the thread from the begining, it is very interesting how they developed the product with input from a bunch of opinionated ADV riders…Us inmates, its here

We will be using the new Version 2 of the 25 liter Scouts, they are due for release very soon but for now, Mosko has loaned us two sets of V1.0 bags “with character” as Pete (@Sideoff ) likes to describe them.

The setup will be very similar to what’s pictured below, we’ll be putting them thru the wringer for sure. It’s a very simple set up, two Scout V2.0 saddle bags and a Backcountry duffle for each bike, a total of 80 liters

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Any questions as normal fire away but be warned we leave bright and early May 3 so after that responses may be a little slow, as we have something in the region of 25,000 miles of dirt planned this year and a lot of wild camping. The tracks/ routes we already have laid out look like the image below and if that seems interesting then the ride report is already up and running as this RTW has been going since Jan 2016, it’s here, subscribe and follow along. I would suggest starting at page 1, we’ve hit some amazing places already (including Cuba) and this year looks to be prime for a lot more good locations…

There is a Guinness World Record in the mix as well with ride, more about that will be revealed in the RR soon…

Hope to meet some of you out there in the dirt, I’m sure we’ll be passing a few DR650 owner along the way…

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DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 9

Reading back over comments I reread @cyberdos and his comment about the kill switch, I go outside, hit the switch and it clicks in as it should…but then it won’t come back out. A little gentle persuasion and it comes out but next time it sticks again, time to dismantle. As he showed in his write up its a simple procedure and removing the little brass pin just stops the detent happening, now you just need to hold it in for about a second and the motor dies

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this is where it hangs up

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The culprit is directly above the red button piece, the likely cause is dirt in there that wears an untrue path.

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I like my kill switch to be working 100% just in case the bike decides to go for a swim!!!

Other minor things…

Extra throttle and clutch cables in place, if you are questioning if this is worth it? On the TAT 2015 literally on the very last turn before hitting the beach in Oregon mine gave up all but two strands. Easy fix I had one in place to swap out, another rider who was staying at the same place riding the same bike as me (WRR) saw this and said his was feeling notchy so the following morning he called the local dealer to find none in stock and the closest one nearly 700 miles away. – You decide

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Extra ground strap, this is from an early model Harley I had a few laying around, this has a couple of advantages, gives your battery just a little more juice and if your single ground (one the motor) isn’t grounding the frame too well, this will. This will help if you need to add items up near the bars, now you can ground up there and only return the positive lead if you have already used the extra connector.

Once I have it to correct size I cover it in heat shrink

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Pegs were swapped on both bikes, I had a pair of Pomotobillet Adv pegs laying around so just grabbed a mount kit and for the other bike I went with Warp 9

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The stock filter looked like they were done and wouldn’t survive another cleaning so new filter in place, I oil them and then add a filter sock (and carry extras) for quick and easy filter cleaning on the trail.
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Brake snake for the offroad protection

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Profill tank filter, extra filtration will never hurt

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Changed out the stock (sized) batteries which were struggling to hold a charge after a 2-second starting attempt. Stock battery is around 130CCA, a buddy of mine works for Tucker Rocky and one of their brands is Bike Master. The make a lithium Ion battery that is actually smaller than stock size, and they include padding blocks to adjust height. The big positive for buying this battery is 250CCA and it can be charged with any standard charger, a Shorai battery needs a specific charger…dam does that starter motor spins easily now.

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and it weighs 2.1lbs less

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The is a stock (ish) CCA battery available as well if you want that, it’s slightly cheaper and puts ut 150CCA. I ran the 250CCA in my Super Tenere all over Mexico, Cuba, US and Europe for the last 18 months and never a single issue, started the bike first time every time from snowy conditions to over 100 degrees.

The next part WAS NOT necessary at all, but stronger wheels are a good thing, and 3.50 rear opens up a few more tire choices…and as the upcoming ride is planned to be 95%+ off road better is well, just better. I have read so many guys having cracked rims I didn’t want to add my name to the list.

So…Warp 9 on the phone again. 7000 series, matt black, 3.50 rear – stock is 2.50

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with 320 front brake rotors, I’ve had too many close calls and as the DR’s front brake isn’t the best a braided line and a 320 rotor adds a lot of stopping power

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The bikes are done so next thing for me was the final weight. They came in at 364.1lbs with everything on them but NO gas

@EvergreenE bike

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I’ll add the final installment in a few days, that’ll cover luggage and tools…

DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 8

more stuff…

Added some racks, side and rear, made a tool tube from some shitter piping and a locking cap from fleabay

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if you want one of these just look up “Cherne locking test plug” I think I paid around $20 shipped

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I picked up a couple of used cans off the flea market on here for silly money so couldn’t say no, FMF for one and DG for the other, yes there are loads of other options and better ones for sure but at this price these will be good for now

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On my bike, I changed the stock front sail out for a new WR450F fender, prefer the strength and the shape and for $24 delivered honestly why not, pop 4 holes in it, done!

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For bars I went with CR high on both bikes, one is a Protaper and the others are Renthal just cause I had them laying around, and also had two GPR dampers so they are a real nice addition when you don’t have to go to the store to buy them.

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and yes before someone jumps in I did reset the tension pin to be flush with the top of the arm

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Controls, Warp9 because the stock ones had seen better days from too many naps at a guess, so why replace with stock when you can get better quality for a better price

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I use the 714 rally grips, they add a good amount of cushioning and grip but also are long lasting, I have a set on my S10 with 60,000+ miles and they are still like new.

As I’m using Barkbusters, one bikes were good, the other were toast so again I had a spare set to use…but the grips need a little trimming off both ends. Throttle end so it doesn’t hang up.

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A new throttle sleeve as the old grips it was incorporated so no choice. I was a tight fit so a little hair spray to make the fitting easier and that end cap just pops off

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Left-hand side is easier to get on but I prefer a real tight fitting grip so I add a little electrical tape in the middle of the bar before adding the grip, you can see a very slight bulge

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Then safety wire the grips on in three places per side for added security from slippage

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and one of @neduro mirrors per bike

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Next up, this…

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DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 7

Electrical, everybody’s favorite!!!

The initial challenge was to remove all none stock wiring from the bikes, and there was a lot, in that original photo of all the stuff that came off have a look again at the wires

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once that’s done then its time to look at the stock wiring to see if along the way there had been issues and fixes to get riding (maybe) but were never looked at again because they kept working. The only problem with ‘temp fixes’ they are exactly what they say they are and will eventually fail, so now is a good time to check with all the correct parts at hand.

Around the taillights, wires had been connected unnecessarily with cheap bullet connectors so I removed them and cleaned up the connections

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Then covered the group of wires with more heat shrink for their whole length and then plastic casing over that, I changed the routing from the down the middle of the rear fender to the side for more protection

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Rear turn signals were replaced with flexible LED’s and again the wiring protected and routed away from possible harm

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Up front it wasn’t much better, potential issues could happen so more protection was added and smoother routing with minimal bends

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In the middle of the bike before doing more electrics I did a quick welding fix around the battery box issue area, adding additional strengthening and welding to the alleged weak point.

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I’ll cover the lower strengthening later…

In the middle of the bike I changed my mind on the EB set up and went for the Fuzeblock instead as it looked like a much cleaner install and it was. This opens up the opportunity to add additional circuits at a later date if we need them

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Right now as we are heading into summer, no heated grips just power to the front and rear, I use SAE type plugs from Optimate as everything else fails eventually on the outside of the bike, I have used standard 12 volt cig lighter, USB, Hella but the only one that lasts is the SAE.

So with connectors front and rear its simple to add an extension to go either into the tank bag or luggage and then use a USB or cig. adaptor where it’s away from the elements

in the rear attached to the rear rack for stability and protection

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Up front, I used one of the old turn signal mounts drilled out and reversed

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Working thru the stock connectors once I check them that everything is good and clean I add some dielectric grease

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I also check the reusable zip ties as I go along and if any are brittle I replace them, I found a pack of 100 reusables on Amazon for about $6

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While I was in Europe I found a guy who makes a replacement top security screw for the Garmin Montana so you no longer need to have that little security torx on your keys to punch a hole in your pants pocket when you loose the cap!! LINK If you use a Garmin you’ll know what I mean, if not skip this part

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Getting quickly bored with electrics, there is still more to come later, I did a change of pace and thought a valve adjustment would be an easy job….wrong!

The last person in this motor decided to put the cover in with every ounce of strength they had and round out the Allen hole. The only way I managed to get it off was by taking off the side case to be able to get at the backside after trying a few options on the front side first

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I do like how easy the valves are to do on the DR

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to stop second guessing myself if in the future if I don’t have a manual beside me and can’t remember which is which I mark the gauges as a reminder

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Not surprisingly the plugs are fouled from that .50 jet at a guess, so they need to be changed

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DR650’s BUILD FOR RTW – PART 6

Over on DRriders, I’d seen a LED headlight mod by n2o2diver, without even seeing the headlights I knew they’d be crap, so I followed his lead and bought his suggestion for headlights.

This is where the problem began, the seller or manufacturer had changed the design a little. In his write up he had made substantial modifications to the headlight mount, I sat down and figured a way to use the LED and if for any reason you wanted to you could still use the same housing and return to stock…with his version you can’t

Take your headlight apart and remove the mount, have the adjuster screws facing the back of the bike instead of the front. and bend the original mounting tab up out of the way.

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take some angle and mount it on the (new) top with a couple of bolts

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and that one bolt in the middle will mount to the ‘new’ headlight mount bar – this is where the difference is in the new light design

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now mount it as normal and remove the springs from the adjuster screws then screw them all the way in until they hit the light body and make your adjustment, the light is mounted and is rock solid

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To fit the surround you need to make two small cuts on the inside for it to fit over the angle that you added

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and there you go new headlight

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its a plug and play so you low and high beam work as normal, no having to play with wiring

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A lot more light for $18

After this a little test, Watts = Amps x Volts for reference – I’ll use 12.5 volts as my reference number

stock light on low beam 4.12 amps or 51.5 watts

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high beam stock light 4.56 amps or 57 watts…this bike had a 55/60 bulb

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new LED low beam 0.89 amps or 11.125 watts

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new LED on high beam 1.60 amps or 20 watts

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and to take it one step further I added a 2000 lumen LED light bar to the high beam (both on full) 2.02 amps or 25.25

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…so a gain of 31.75 watts, those heated grips or heated seat or heated jacket look like a much more viable option now don’t they without having to do a stator upgrade?

I’ll do a night time light set up once the bikes are done, but from a little further back it looks like this

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As I was up front I added a tug strap to help with those moments when the bike takes a nap and isn’t easy to pick up

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