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Old 12-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #533
Feyala OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Wandering...
Oddometer: 358
Originally Posted by TO Scootz View Post
Even a used toughbook is going to be pricey. I've carried my Acer netbook (dual boot, XP and Ubuntu 12.04) around a bit, but my Wee Strom is not a dirt bike, therefore the Acer gets a (sort of) easy ride.

Our country would be happy to have you visit, but with no job for you to go back to, they're afraid you might make the visit permanent.
My daughter's boyfriend is American, and they both get hard times at both sides of the border, because of their long stays, and for moving housekeeping gear across both borders.

Best of luck with the injuries, and I hope you heal well and quickly.
Thanks to Smash, I am set on the netbook front!

Yeah, I made the mistake of showing up with a dreadlocked (canadian) friend of mine and a few too many things in the backseat and got the third degree. Lots of two week visas. Someday when I have time and a bit more money I'll try it again, they seem to be fine if you have enough of a bankroll, and there's always the "visiting Alaska" excuse. The Sunshine Coast was worth the hassle though, I enjoyed Desolation Sound.

Originally Posted by JagLite View Post

May I suggest you invite other DR riders to meet up with you for a ride?

Trade bikes to see if their bikes feel the same, or different than yours, to you.
And, possibly more importantly, the other riders will be able to tell you if there is anything your bike needs.
New head bearings, wheel alignment, frame straightening, swing arm bearings, etc.

I have bought several bikes at insurance auctions that looked fine... if you don't line up the wheels vertically.
I mean that the stem head (where the forks attach to the frame) was just slightly twisted and you could see it if you sighted the wheels from straight in front or behind. The bike will ride fine with the wheels out of plane... until a slight oscillation begins at speed. At low speed it is not noticeable since it occurs slowly and you automatically correct without even knowing it. But as the speed goes up, watch out!

A series of fun s-curves in the road, a few bumps, or just about anything can start a weave that can quickly advance to a rider spitting high side tank slapper. A bent frame can kill you. Fortunately it can be fixed by a shop that specializes in frames.

Hopefully a bent frame is not the problem for you but by having other experienced riders, especially those with DR650 experience, will help you figure out what can and should be done to make your ride as safe as possible.

I hope this helps and that others in your area can set your mind at ease with your bike set-up.
And that you heal quickly to get back on your travels.
That's a great idea, and one that I'll pursue if the opportunity presents itself. I keep offering to let other people ride my bike, but so far very few have taken me up on it, haha! I do know that the bike has been down before (that's why the previous owner left me so much spare stuff), and doubt that it's a bent frame, but it would be good to have a frame of reference. I've literally only rode this bike and a honda rebel, so I have no idea what is "normal"...

Originally Posted by just jeff View Post
Awsome report Feyala! The pictures came through perfectly. Keep it coming!
Regards from The Frozen North .....just jeff
Thanks, I'll try!

Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Suzuki recommend 22 front/25 rear for the DR650 on stock tires. What tires are you running?
If anything, knobby's should be a bit less than this. YES ... they will feel a bit squirrely on pavement ... but they'll ride safer, especially on wet roads. Movement on paved roads with knobby's is NORMAL. Running high PSI will wear them out quickly .. and put you on your ass ...again!

I went all through various tire pressures in my first year riding the DR. 30's is way high. Just wrong. With 50/50 tires like the stock trail wings and most street based dual sport tires (Anakee, Distanzia, Shinko 700 or 705) the Suzuki pressures work very well. Add a pound or three if loaded very heavy or two up.

Off road with knobbies (TKC front, D606 rear) I air down to about 16 psi front/ 18 psi rear. Higher in Baja. If you take it easy these pressures will work fine off road and you're really OK doing a few street miles with those pressures too. Unless your riding in 100F heat, going 100 mph for 200 miles, no worries at all with exploding tubes. Ain't gonna happen. I've ridden all day in 118F in Death Valley.

No need to stop and air up if only going 20 or 30 miles of pavement. More? then stop and air back up. Keep speeds under 60 mph and you're fine.

I doubt the low pressures caused your tank slapper ... but who knows? I doubt anything is wrong with your bike ... just needs proper setting up, maybe a few adjustments.

One more thought on the DR and tires. On worn tires the DR can handle very strangely. It will react badly to pavement seams, rain gruves. May feel unsteady in corners. This true with knobby tires as well. Perhaps this is all that is "wrong" with your bike?

Fit a nice NEW set of Shinko 705's ... and be happy. You just can't imagine the difference fresh rubber makes. Try the stock pressures or just a hair more. I love the Shinko's. Cheap and Good.
Sorry, but I just like the higher pressures better on pavement. I feel more confident in corners. I am still learning how to corner well, and lest anybody confuse me with some kind of knee-dragger, when I take a corner "quickly" I am doing maybe ten over the posted corner speed, I take 20mph corners at 25 if that. Unloaded at those pressures the tire does tend to follow grooves and cracks in the pavement a bit more than I like, but the low pressures just feel unsafe to me, I kept it under 60 when I was heading to a gas station for air after Saline Valley. I dunno. Maybe it's just the way I have the bike set up, or we have different riding styles. It may be psychological on my part, but psych is a big part of riding. Ideally I'd have a street tire and a dirt tire and swap between them, but that's not going to happen.

I've had this set of tires on since Hells Canyon and the front is still going strong. I need to replace the rear (nearly bald now), but it's been thousands of miles, I figure it'd be due regardless of pressure. I am running this in front and this in the rear.

I'm not worried about exploding tubes. I have a high concern about getting a flat from the tube getting wear, whether that's due to heat or friction or whatever else, I've seen it before and would prefer to avoid it. I realize that at anything over 20psi this is not likely to happen, but it's what's kept me from lowering it further to conquer sand. The ultimate solution is going to be making it easier to use my compressor so I won't even have to worry about it and be able to use the pressure the situation calls for, adjusting as necessary.

You have the right idea: Down Baja, Ferry to Mainland. You're Spanish will come back. Baja is very quiet these days. The media has fomented tons of fear. I was there last month, and a year ago this month as well. Not much tourism but no "violencia" once you are away from the border area. Tijuana is probably the safest border area in ALL OF MEXICO. Once you are in Ensenada (less than an hours ride) you are safe. The rest you know: Day Time riding only. Leave early, finish early. Many Narco's are Meth heads and come out at night like Vampires. (true)

Baja is not that cheap ... but still cheaper than USA. However, Mainland Mexico is cheaper for Motels, food et al. Gas is The Same Price throughout Mexico ... about $3 USD a gallon. (CHEAP!)

The Mex. Govt. have made some headway against the Narco gangs. And generally speaking Tourists are strictly off limits and not targeted at all.

Good luck!
I prefer "not much tourism", to be honest with you. I don't really go to foreign countries to hang out with americans (although it happens sometimes and it's good to share a meal with a friendly face). I go there to see new things, meet new people, and experience different cultures, languages, and ways of viewing the world. I'm really interested to find out how mexicans view the US, how they view the drug war, hopes and dreams, different perceptions of things. I need to brush up on my spanish.

The only concern I have with this plan is finances, I can camp for free in the US, but I'm still a bit iffy about camping solo in Mexico, especially as a lady (not that I'd be cavalier if I were a dude, but. Yeah.) I need to find people that actually have camped in mexico (either baja or mainland) and whether they had/heard of others having problems, would recommend it and such. If I do need to stay in hostels, I need to figure out realistically what this venture would cost before I set out. If it's outside my budget I'll probably troll around the southwest for the winter, or maybe try to make some money so I can afford it, I don't know. My plans are pretty fluid..
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