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Old 11-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #436
Tech23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdubb View Post
Check your steering head bearings. When they wear, you can get wobbles in the front end.

If I'm not mistaken they were recently replaced somewhere in this RR. Is it possible the adjustment is too loose?
Hope you heal up soon Feyala.

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:34 PM   #437
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For me , I find that like other bearings it takes a while for new head bearings to take a "set".

I check the tension/tightness often... Wonder if a steering damper would have helped and or be a good idea if your going to travel heavy...

A small sharpie pen mark on critical bolts and nuts to show they are not tuning loose is a good idea...

Cheers
Dave
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #438
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RE: tank slappers

Yes, a steering dampener may help prevent the onset of uncontrolled tank-slappers. But I've never seen one designed specifically for the DR650 nor have I ever seen an affordable, universal set-up for light DS's. In the end, they are designed mainly for riding in sand or uneven surfaces, not preventing tank-slappers at high-speed on pavement. I suspect the flex of our dainty frames is a larger cause for such radical oscillations when heavily loaded and that cannot be cured easily.

Higher front tire pressure would help on high-speed highway travel to prevent tank slappers. Changing speeds at the onset of a tank-slapper also helps... that ironically includes accelerating or braking.

Sounds crazy to shift more weight to the front by braking during a tank slapper, I know, just as speeding up when excessive speed and wind appears the cause of the tank-slapper in the first place. But in all instances where I survived an unexpected tank slapper, I was alternating between gas and brake to break the particular amplitude pattern of the tank slapper as I slowed the bike. Hell, the positive feedback energy would eventually cause the bike to lose complete control if nothing is changed.

Even more crazy sounding but works in a desperate tank-slapper: stand on the pegs, lean forward, and loosen your grip!

Moving the weight distribution forward instantly changes the steering angle and ends that back-n-forth positive feedback energy on the front wheel to eventually allow it to regain its natural gyroscopic stability. There is no way your arms could realistically counter that alternating force (probably make it worse if you tried) so it is safer simply to loosen the grip and let the bike sort itself out. Finally, we all know that standing up when riding in sand or gravel helps to maintain control of the bike even when the entire bike is sliding and wallowing beneath us.

I is so sure this works and stand behind every one of my free-advice that I offer y'all a complete satisfaction-or-your-money-back guarantee!
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Ed~ screwed with this post 11-08-2012 at 09:48 AM
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #439
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Holy replies, Batman!

So there's like four pages of comments to reply to! I'm going to do this in clumps. Then I'll post a couple entries and go from there. Eventually I will beat this thread into submission and it will be caught up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
For a cheap throttle lock, check out the Go Cruise. Super simple to use, and cheaper than almost anything else out there. I use one on my Ninja. While I did like the Vista Cruise better, that will cost you more.

http://www.2wheelride.com/throttle_order.html (If you go to their main page, there's a nice video on how simple it is)
Ahhh, I remember seeing this before! And then I remember finding this page, which appealed more to my uh... frugality. Maybe I should do something like this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockmuncher View Post
Your spirit is admirable. If I have one regret about my youth, it's that I didn't go see the world. Ride safe.
Awww, thanks! I try to live without regrets as much as I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prsdrat View Post
As the saying goes, Rockmuncher........youth is wasted on the young.
Hey now, I don't think I'm wasting a thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley View Post
Enjoying your report and pictures. I'm like you in that I take pics on the move off my bikes. Probably about 70% of my trip pics are on the move., using just my left hand, pointing the camera that way and doing a few shots using mainly side vision and not really doing more than an instant of looking to the side. I keep my camera in an open tank bag and just dump it there very quickly if need the left hand back on the controls for up coming stuff. LOL , I don't take pics when surrounded with STUFF ha ha ha ha. Lots of practice makes it easier and safer. ;-) Keep them coming lady,. lovin it.
I'm thinking a lanyard with a cheapo digital camera is in the works, as well as some tank panniers for sure! Glad you're enjoying it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunssd View Post
Clamp one of these to your barkbuster (or handlebar) and mount your camera and you're all set. It's a fine, economical piece of kit. I've had one on my KLR for years.

http://www.campmor.com/ultraclamp.shtml

Disregard the spotting scope - hard to use on a bike, I'd guess.
Interesting! It seems like it'd be a great "tripod", a lot of my photos end up shaky. Do you have any problems aiming it while rolling or is it fairly easy to operate "blind"? Any problems with the camera staying attached to it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
I've been taking pictures on the fly off my motorcycles since the 70s. The first camera I started doing this with even had a manual film advance, no digital, no power, no batteries.....

For me what works is keeping my camera on a lanyard around my neck. When I see something I want a photo of I simply grab the camera and point and shoot. I don't bother to look at what I'm pointing at so no taking my eyes off the road. When shooting scenery and things along the way while riding pointing in the general direction is really all you need to do. It's amazing what you can get from doing this. Most shots I take in my ride reports are done on the fly because like Jim said it wouldn't get done otherwise. I started doing this for exactly the reason you mentioned, no shoulders where you want to grab a shot and I wanted those shots.

I'm right handed and used to do this using a throttle lock but about 6 or 7 years back I started riding bikes without throttle locks so I tried doing this with my left hand. I mastered pointing and shooting with my left hand very rapidly within about 5 shots. I also discovered using my left hand for the camera and keeping my dominate hand on the bars it felt like I was in more control that using my left hand on the bars.

Now about the lanyard around the neck: Some people fear wrecking with a cord around the neck and a camera hanging off it. I have wrecked plenty (dirt) with the camera hanging there and it has never got caught on anything or caused any problem. It just kind of flops around along with me. I have more fear at the thought of having a camera in a jacket pocket, held in place so if you fall on it your are hitting something hard, like falling on a rock.

The down side of having a camera hanging out there is in cold weather the battery will lose power sooner. Watch for dust and bugs on your lens.

Like everything taking photos on the fly can be dangerous or you can make it as safe as anything else. Common sense should dictate when it's safe and when it's not.

Keep taking those photos and sharing them with the rest of us.
I find that along with the roads with no shoulder, my biggest complaint is group rides. I feel like a shot or two of people cruising down the highway into some fantastic scenery or some of the things I've passed on the road (I recently passed a horse drawn wagon on a highway...) would really add to the story. When riding with a group you can't really just pull over and mess around with photography, I feel like I might lose the other people I'm riding with, or at the very least, slow them down.

Some good tips, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettn Jim View Post
AWESOME DAY!!!
Hell yeah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
First word that came to mind seeing this was....Crap!
I think mine was "oh. fuck." I regularly had to stop and consider my options when I ran into stuff like this! I'm not used to having to pick a careful path, having never ridden "not roads" before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJxr View Post
wow! that cerro gordo place looks awesome
Yeah, it's worth a visit! I would have liked to explore the ghost town a bit more, but I wasn't sure how much of that was allowed, as it seems like the guy owns it?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:29 AM   #440
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Glad to hear you're OK. Now, for road rash, Spenco(that's right, the
company that makes shoe inserts) also makes a product called "Second Skin". It's a gell filled membrane mostly used now-a-days by backpackers
and their blisters. Online you can find the larger versions used for bad
burns. Interesting stuff, it keeps the wound moist allowing it to heal
without scarring. I neither work for or own stock in Spenco, I just used to
be a youth soccer coach who treated a lot of road rash, mostly on my son
who loved to slidetackle.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #441
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
I was planning on working on my own RR today, but something made me click on yours instead...

You're so much fun, I just read the whole thing - starting from page 1!
Furries!

I'm so glad you got to meet and hang out with Larryboy, Nixels and Ladybug0048 - 3 of my favorite ADVers!
And you're in Death Valley today - awesome!!


If you ever find yourself back in Idaho, go to Idaho Falls and stay with Questor and MotoAdventureGal (they offer tent space).
I think you'd really enjoy meeting them (and vice versa).
MAG rode her DR650 to South America and she's very involved with women's motorcycling and moto-journalism.
She would be a wonderful person for you to talk to. (don't you think, GISdood?)


Looking forward to reading about your experiences in DV...
kelly
Oh, hey! Nixels spoke quite highly of you! Glad to have you along!

I tend to be north in the summers, I don't know what this next summer will bring, but I'll definitely check out those folks if I'm in the area! They sound pretty interesting!

Hang tight. I'll whip this thing into shape in the next week or so. Nothing but time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horton View Post
Wrong.

First word that came to mind seeing this was. . .Gas!
Sometimes. I've been learning that if I'm faced with a large pile of rocks, going slightly faster than walking speed is probably a good idea. I believe that this particular chunk of ugly was on an uphill incline, but I faced a lot of crap like that going downhill too. The more that I creep through this stuff and don't wreck horribly, the more confidence I build, which allows me to remain in control at faster speeds, as I'm not blinded by terror. I will freely admit that there have been times I have sort of cranked the throttle and hoped for the best, feeling completely out of control, but those times seemed incredibly dangerous.

Three cheers for Pete's "Riding Clinic" anyhow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
Ratman, thanks for the update on what Fey has been up to.

Fey, it's clear your riding skills are getting better every day, just as I expected.

Waiting to read about that Halloween party. I hope you got pictures.
Yeah, his updates certainly made things a lot more interesting! Thanks again!

If I keep getting into stuff like this, I'll be at least somewhat competent for the next HC rally, haha.

I did get some pictures, but not many. For some reason I'm really uncomfortable photographing people? Especially as a relative stranger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BSkye View Post
........think "perspective" is the first word that comes to my mind....

Hi, Fey

B.
Perspective indeed... TERRIFIED NEWBIE PERSPECTIVE!

Hope all is well with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinairflyer View Post
Hey Ratman, say Hi! to Nip for me. Just got to this point in Feyala's ride report that you pointed me to, looks like she does fine on the big DR650, bet I would have dropped mine a bunch riding through what she has and mine is lowered a couple of inches and I've been riding dirt for many decades. Good luck with the Death Valley ride, wish I were there. :-) L D
I was actually really surprised that I didn't drop it a bunch! I was frankly expecting to do so. I'm still not sure that I could have done that fully loaded... yikes. Thanks for dropping in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaguy View Post
Darn, just got on and saw your post that you were in Oakhurst. We're in North Fork just East of Bass Lake about 16 miles from Oakhurst. Would have loved to meet you. Plenty of room to "camp" here at Rancho Relaxo, we have 7 1/2 acres backing up to the national forest. I have an XR650L dual sport which I used on the Continental Divide Ride back in 2008. If you get back in the area give me a shout at larry.mediaguy@gmail.com.
I may take you up on that offer when I'm in the area again! It's getting a bit chilly for me, so I'll be staying south for the winter, but who knows where next summer will take me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
You go, Fey. I can't wait to read about this ride.

BTW, I enjoyed our couple days together.....maybe we'll cross paths again one day.
I enjoyed them too! I learned a LOT, and I wouldn't have had the confidence to do the Saline ride without the desensitization of the previous few days, haha. We'll meet again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
Meant to ask earlier, what water filter are you using? Do you like it?
Katadyn Hiker. I haven't had any problems with it yet, but the fact that you can't clean the filter is a definite drawback, for me. My previous filter was a Sweetwater, and you could take the filter element out and scrub it with a brush to unclog the pores. It lasted for around a decade before the plastic cracked and wouldn't hold a vacuum any longer.

The Katadyn filters water quickly and packs down small, and was the cheapest one they had, so that's what I went with. Time will tell how long the filter will hold out, I try to extend it by adjusting the float so it isn't dragging in the silt and by only filtering moving water.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:04 AM   #442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
As you've read, Fey was riding solo out toward Saline Valley from the north. I can't wait for a report from her.

After I got home, I started to ask here on ADV about DV conditions, but I saw that they had already been reported on from 2on2off's report here...
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=833425

Seems as thought rains in August did some major damage to Death Valley's Saline Valley area. The storm damaged old roads that have been there forever. Steel Canyon for example can't even be found without a GPS. South Pass is also closed, but can be done by a light dualsport and a skilled rider.

The north pass and hot springs that Feyala is riding toward is in that area. She stated something like, "How much worse could it be than she'd already done with Nip and I?"

I believe she'll find deep sand the likes of which she's never seen, and minor washouts in North Pass much worse than she did with Nip and me.....and she's doing it with a loaded bike.

Not that she can't do it, you understand.....but the report should be a dilly.

Here's wishing her the best of luck.
For other people looking for DV conditions, there's also Larryboy's thread here and for Saline Valley conditions, here.

It wasn't any worse than what I'd experienced with Nip and Pete, the sand was the only thing that inspired actual fear and cursing. There was a lot of sand. For more details, you'll just have to stay tuned!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
....still no word from Feyala......

I bet she's having a great time....I hope.
There was a halloween potluck. With costumes. It was better than the party in Keeler. Just sayin'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish1 View Post
Yay for Fey: I've been following your thread everyday as you accumulate more riding and wrenching skill.
It seems like you're really warm and flexible/non-judgemental with people you meet so you can gather in
the knowledge. Thanks for taking us on your journey to eccentric and challenging destinations. Have
you set-up any sort of donation-to-you site or link (or did I, in my grizzled senility, just miss it)? I'd be willing
to help a bit.
Glad to have you along!

I try to be as non-judgemental as I can be in new situations. If I wanted to be around a bunch of people exactly like myself, I'd... well. I'd stay home, because there isn't really a bunch of people exactly like me. Everybody's different, and IMO it should be more about finding common ground and similarities than picking apart differences. I could get into a shouting match with everybody I meet with different opinions, but what would that accomplish, or prove?

I have a website where I've been posting all of my ride reports first, but it's a bit rough around the edges still. I've strongly considered setting up a donation button on there, and might do so in the next few days. I will post on here if I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_Stomp View Post
One deep sand trick I learned and used in Moab was to put your weigh to the rear and make the steering zigzag rapidly by using a counter-steering type of pressure back and forth on the backs of the bars to keep your front tire from going one way or the other.

Another trick if you are ever halfway up a hill and can't make it, shut the engine off. Now you can use your clutch as a brake so you have control over both wheels at the handlebars and both feet on the ground for stability. That one we remembered after our fellow rider backed down way too fast and had a potentially bad get-off that could have taken one of us out.

I assume you've already learned to stand up over the rough stuff and use the foot pegs for most of your steering power. If not, there's another important one.

Been lurking on the thread a while. I'm going NC to Portland on an XT600 in about 6 months, so we should cross paths. Until then!
That sounds... very advanced. But I can see it might work. Hmm. I might have to try that a little the next time I am on sand.

I am still learning to stand up. I can stand up over dips, and decent quality washboarded road, but I feel like I have... too much steering input? By standing up on rock piles, etc. If it's just a small clump of rocks, and I'm already standing, I can keep doing so, but I feel like my weight being higher makes things more unstable in certain situations, so I turn chicken. It's something I'm working on.

Sounds like a fun trip! See you out there maybe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
I won't say that I was worried about you, Fep. I'm am glad you're out of there. Waiting patiently for the story.
It was a lot better than I was expecting it to be, and a lot more people, but I am glad that it was... less exciting than I had anticipated. Especially given how many people in trucks were complaining about flat tires!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpmmike View Post
Great RR I spent the last few hours reading everything from the first page.

Your Awesome doing everything on the cheap!
Thanks! Glad to have you along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Yay Fey! Congrats to mastering the sand! I am still too chicken LOL
Who knows, there is so much white sand here in Florida that I might have to get used to it.
Mastering is such a strong word. I would say that I tolerate the sand now. This is different from earlier, where I was deathly afraid of the sand, and avoided it at all costs.

... I still don't think you'd ever catch me riding on a beach...

Mostly my sand technique is to try not to steer at all and have my legs extended to dab me in the right direction when the sand gets uppity and decides it wants to kill me. I also go like 5-10mph. I look ridiculous. But I get through it, which is more than I could say about before!
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #443
bk brkr baker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post

It wasn't any worse than what I'd experienced with Nip and Pete, the sand was the only thing that inspired actual fea
I am still learning to stand up. I can stand up over dips, and decent quality washboarded road, but I feel like I have... too much steering input? By standing up on rock piles, etc. If it's just a small clump of rocks, and I'm already standing, I can keep doing so, but I feel like my weight being higher makes things more unstable in certain situations, so I turn chicken. It's something I'm working on.

!

It may be hard to grasp the concept of standing to lower your center of gravity, but, it is true.

While sittting your weight is mostly on the seat. To lower your weight you stand on the pegs and your weight is transferred down by 20- 24 inches in realation to the bike. Your weight is really where it was before, but , to the bike it is lower.
This allows for much better manouvourability for the rider. Practice with an unloaded bike or if possible borrow a smaller lighter bike to learn on.I ride a KLR and have ridden with people who beleive they are unusable tanks and heard coments like I can't beleive you guys get those KLR's to do that.
It's technique over equipment. I've ridden plenty of bikes that were less capable than the KLR so it doesn't seem that hard to me.
And your XRL is lighter and a better dirt bike than the KLR.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:27 AM   #444
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockmuncher View Post
Wow, things can go bad fast. I'm glad you're pretty ok. Thankfully you had full gear on. I saw a big tough 1%er at the emergency ward once crying while they scrubbed gravel out of his road rash. Didn't look like fun.
I wonder if a fork brace or steering stabilizer should be next for the DR.
I've picked shreds of pants and dirt out of an open road rash wound on my knee, with tweezers. It was deep enough that there were these white stringy bits in the wound, and trying to figure out which belonged there and which were the khaki pants I was wearing earlier was a unique challenge. It took months to heal all the way. That was the event that convinced me that wearing riding pants was probably a wise choice. I'm two for two now with the legs hitting the ground first and sustaining the most damage in a crash.

Steering stabilizers looked interesting, but they are so expensive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 View Post
Positive thoughts being sent your way.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WJW View Post
I can say that I have never done that and don't want to.

Get better soon.
Yeah, not something I'd recommend. I got away pretty easy though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
Good lord Feyela! I bet that scared the crap outta ya - gives me the willies just reading about it. Glad you were able to walk away from the accident. Hope you can get to the bottom of the wobble as well. Hang in there, and hope it doesn't ruin your trip.
The funny thing is that when it was happening, I didn't have time to be afraid. My thought process was "Oh. This isn't getting better. I should probably ease up on the throt- shit!" and I was sailing through the air and along the pavement. Once I stopped, I got up, and knew I needed to get out of the road so other people wouldn't hit me, so I went over to the bike. Once I was off the road and had time to think, that's when I started freaking out, when the full impact of what I'd just done settled on my mind and shook me up.

I don't think this will ruin my trip. I've had a couple people tell me I have "brass balls" for getting right back on the bike after crashing like that, and frankly, doing otherwise never really crossed my mind. Was I going to just stay out there forever, in the desert? Leave the bike and fly... where? I don't really have a "home" to go back to. My situation hasn't changed from before the accident to now, I'm just a bit beat up and sore and have more things to fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73Mustang View Post
I had a tank slapper crash myself a few weeks ago. It was caused by improper suspension setup.

You're going to be very sore for the next few days. Should go see doctor to check you out and get something
for the pain.
The only times I've experienced a wobble like this before were unloaded (or lightly loaded), and hitting a bump in the middle of a corner. The bike is sprung for 270 lbs, so it makes sense that in those conditions, the suspension wouldn't track right. The difference after adding my luggage in corners is amazing, it tracks smoothly and feels more planted and stable, which is why I wasn't expecting this at all. With me and my luggage, the suspension is about perfect.

I am indeed very sore. I don't have health insurance, so seeing a doctor is something I reserve for if I know there is something that won't fix itself (such as if my wrist doesn't get better in a week or so). I know some people will be aghast to find out that this is one of the things I save money on, but frankly, I don't have $300 or whatever to spend a month "just in case". I've been without insurance most of my adult life, and thankfully am pretty healthy so have never really needed it. I've learned to pay attention to what my body tells me, to follow if things are getting better or worse.

The pain hasn't been that bad since the swelling went down the first day. It's mostly bruises (I can't kneel on my right knee because the bruises go down to the bone), and waiting for my wrist to recover. It's getting better by the day. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoothillRyder View Post
Really, REALLY glad to hear you made it through another 'adventure' Fey. And another testimonial for ATGATT.

Heal up lady. We need more gals like you in our world.
Thanks! Yeah, definitely a testimonial. I won't be riding without protective pants again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJM View Post
That is a very calm write up of a terrible crash. Too bad about all yer gear, but good news you are alive and mostly well. Definitely take it easy as long as you can. Trauma from an impact as severe as that will set in after a time.
It amazes me that both myself and the bike are fine. Gear can be replaced. I don't know too many people who walk away from an 80mph scuffle! I am taking it easy for now, my parents aren't the type to kick me out while I'm still on the mend, and I need to figure out my next direction anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish1 View Post
Now we need an ADVRider or two from Phoenix to help Fey get her bike suspension sorted so she suffers no more effects from wobbleys. There's gotta be twenty ADVRiders near her parents' house that can help sort the bike as she recuperates from this wreck. Glad your spirit's intact!
Thanks! Yeah, I've thought about contacting the locals, but given that the bike had no mechanical damage, I'm not really sure what to ask. There are a few things that I think might have caused it... for one, I don't think that wheel's been balanced, and I don't know if it's been trued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Glad you are ok Fay. Scary to lose control like that ..... but really glad you are not seriously hurt.
Yeah, it could have easily been WAY worse! Like if that semi driver I'd just passed hadn't been able to stop in time! Thanks for the well-wishes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyWriter View Post
What they said!! Glad you're okay, sounds like one heck of a crash! "Adventure" or not, thatll stick with you. Rest and recuperate, hope all else is well!!!
Yeah, everything's peachy other than the recovery! It's nice here in Phoenix. The temperatures are high enough that I'm wearing my skirt and keeping the window open at night, such a sharp contrast to the desert I was in a few days ago, where it was getting close to freezing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Glad you are still in the land of the living Fey! Hope your wrist is only sprained!
Glad there are people near your folks that might be able to help with your forks. Strange these bikes don't come with fork braces of any kind. Heal fast!
I hope it's only sprained too. It seems to be getting better though. Bones don't knit this fast.

Procycle offers a steering damper for the DR650, but it's quite spendy. I'll be looking at more mundane causes first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumperStorm View Post
My thought go out to you Fey.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettn Jim View Post
Whoa!!! Been there, done that, and soooo glad yer ALRIGHT!
Alex is in Phoenix right now but may be too busy preparing to work as a chase truck for Baja... you may wanna ring him up?

Peace girl,
JIm
Alex is a busy bee these days! I'll catch up to him later. He's off to Yuma as of a day or two ago anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by breakouttathemould View Post
Wow! So glad you're ok Fey - don't hesitate to visit a doc to make sure tho!

Sendin you healing thoughts from across the pond
Now if only you could send me some NHS from across the pond! Thanks for the well-wishes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish1 View Post
Fey, if you're willing to post a PayPal address I'd be willing to help with a little loot. X-Rays and Bike parts cost a bunch.
I might take up a collection to go towards new riding pants. The jacket's a little tore up but still serviceable, and I'm really not sure about reusing a helmet that has been in a crash, though nothing's broken on it and I think it just slid a little. Conventional wisdom is chuck the helmet after a crash, I think? Even if it doesn't look damaged?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiserbiker View Post
I agree, some people would like to help you so they can continue to read about your adventures.
I am seriously considering it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
I was thinking maybe you could get some fiberglass cloth and resin. Wrap it around the can and coat it with several layers of resin. I made some humongous 7 foot animatronics puppets for a TV show a couple of years ago, and used the resin to make the round 2 foot heads. They were rock solid! After coating it with some more of that hammered paint it might not even look too bad.....
Fiberglass is fun stuff! I'm probably going to see if I can get some aluminum and bend it into an L-shape and rivet it in there to reinforce it.. it's amazing how well the can itself held up given the impact involved! I might use something like fiberglass on the outside though, maybe if I can find it in a small amount. The resin can get pricey!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJM View Post
Boats are made of fiberglass (and resin). It's really tough stuff. Heck, I've seen entire panners made of fiberglass.
For normal use, I can definitely see the appeal, it's strong and light, but how well would it hold up in a crash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
No need to wad a lifetime of riding experience in one month!

I've never had a "get-off" at that kind of speed before on the highway in traffic! It is likely the panniers combined with the large truck you were passing did you in aerodynamically. Those big trucks push a lot of air to either side of the front that you can feel even in a car when you pass. But even without a sudden uneven gust, I've experienced a similar tank-slapper on a heavily loaded KLR accelerating past 80 before. After regaining control I actually played "test-pilot" to carefully bring on the same slapper a few times more to find the cause -finally taking the boxes off to find the bike very stable past 90.

I suspect nothing can be done to avoid that problem while traveling heavy and wide aside from the trouble and expense of installing a steering stabilizer. The potential may be inherent in the tall, willowy design of our dual-sports when more weight is distributed up and to the rear so caution is often the best solution. As for surviving surprise tank-slappers, vigorous praying such as, "Oh God Oh God Oh God!" sometime helps.

Really amazing you came out from that accident rather intact, got back in the saddle immediately and even rode to Phoneix on a sprained wrist. You are correct that your riding gear saved your bacon. Watch the swollen joints though and be sure the road-rash doesn't get infected. If it needs to be said, Fey, you've earned the right to take it easy for a while...

Glad that I read this update upon returning from our trip to visit Yuriko's family and my friends in Japan for the past few weeks. It would have sucked to learn about your accident from another country for some reason -felt more helpless? Weird, I know.

But even more, I'm happy to know you came out of this without having broken your bones nor your spirit.
I think that you are on to something with the panniers being a culprit. I've had this bike up past 110 indicated and it wasn't this wobbly, but I wasn't carrying as much crap. Wind from the truck is a possibility, and the road was also recently resurfaced, so it had those big dips where the center lines get painted too. The wobble started as I left the oncoming lane and was merging back in front of the truck. I disagree that it is an intractable problem though...

I've said it before and it bears repeating: I'm definitely amazed I walked away from that. Both myself AND the bike are fine. I don't think I've ever heard a crash story that fast where both were the case... somebody's looking out for me! haha! The road rash on my forearm is just a scrape, not deep at all. I've had worse from climbing trees. The swelling went down on the first day, which is really good, cos that first day was agony, and I couldn't have stood riding to Phoenix if it remained that painful.

Japan was nice in the few hours I was there. I'd like to visit again. :) I hope your visit went well!

You may be interested in a place I spent half a day wandering around on my way back from Saline, there's a Japanese Internment Camp they turned into a museum, called Manzanar, which pulls no punches when it comes to telling the story of that despicable and racist part of our nation's history...

Thanks for the good thoughts, Ed! It takes more than a motorcycle crash to break my spirit for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
Holy crap... Glad you're alright! Rest, heal up.
Will do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfhepner View Post
Good to hear that you are mostly OK.

Check with some one on how you have the bike loaded. I have heard that when you have too much weight on the rear and the front unloaded that can cause a tank slapper. So be careful about how much you put in the cans that you have mounted to the back. You might want to carry some stuff in a tank bag.
This set off some alarms in my head. I use a thing called a "simple stand" when I clean and grease my chain. It's basically a welded steel stick that I shove underneath the footpeg opposite the kickstand to get the rear wheel in the air. Since I've loaded down the bike, I've noticed that it doesn't work as intended anymore. The front end lifts up instead. I have to remove one of the panniers in order to be able to push the front end down so I can work with the chain. With only one pannier, the bike is about balanced front to rear.

What this tells me is that the rear is way heavier than the front, and that your suggestion holds a lot of merit. I think I will look into making some tank panniers and keep some of the heavier stuff, like my tools, up front. It's amazing that I appear to be carrying more weight than the engine and tank combined...

When I had my accident, I was running low on gas. Maybe a gallon or two at most. This means even less weight up front...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Fey, I'm glad you're, ok. Get well quick. Now you have time to get caught up on the paperwork.

....You sure know how to keep an RR interesting.
I aim to please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdubb View Post
Check your steering head bearings. When they wear, you can get wobbles in the front end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech23 View Post
If I'm not mistaken they were recently replaced somewhere in this RR. Is it possible the adjustment is too loose?
Hope you heal up soon Feyala.

Tech23
They were recently replaced, yeah. They might be too loose though. I noticed that the steering felt more "responsive" after the change, but I figured that was simply because the old ones were worn. Maybe I need to find somebody with a torque wrench...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxmotorhead View Post
For me , I find that like other bearings it takes a while for new head bearings to take a "set".

I check the tension/tightness often... Wonder if a steering damper would have helped and or be a good idea if your going to travel heavy...

A small sharpie pen mark on critical bolts and nuts to show they are not tuning loose is a good idea...

Cheers
Dave
That is a really good idea. I should do that. Also loctite. I need to loctite everything so I don't lose my brakes again, lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
Yes, a steering dampener would certainly help prevent uncontrolled tank-slappers such as this. But I've never seen one designed specifically for the DR650 nor have I ever seen an affordable, universal set-up for light DS's.
It exists, but it's expensive, and I don't think I've heard much about people using them on this bike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
Higher front tire pressure would help on high-speed highway travel to prevent tank slappers.
I run about 33 psi front and rear. I only go down to 20-something when I'm riding off road. It definitely feels a lot less squirrely on the road at the higher pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
Changing speeds at the onset of a tank-slapper also helps... that includes accelerating or braking.

Sounds crazy to shift more weight to the front by braking during a tank slapper, I know, just as speeding up when excessive speed and wind appears the cause of the tank-slapper in the first place. But in all instances where I survived an unexpected tank slapper, I was alternating between gas and brake to break the particular amplitude pattern of the tank slapper as I slowed the bike because I intuitively knew the positive feedback energy would eventually cause the bike to lose complete control if nothing is changed.
I generally ease off the throttle when it starts to wobble, but I had JUST finished passing a semi, and I wanted a bit more space between us before I started rapidly decelerating. Away from other vehicles though, yeah, I slow the hell down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
Even more crazy sounding but works in a desperate tank-slapper: stand on the pegs, lean forward, and loosen your grip!

Moving the weight distribution forward instantly changes the steering angle and ends that back-n-forth positive feedback energy on the front wheel to eventually allow it to regain its natural gyroscopic stability. There is no way your arms could realistically counter that alternating force (probably make it worse if you tried) so it is safer simply to loosen the grip and let the bike sort itself out. Finally, we all know that standing up when riding in sand or gravel helps to maintain control of the bike even when the entire bike is sliding and wallowing beneath us.

I is so sure this works and stand behind every one of my free-advice that I offer y'all a complete satisfaction-or-your-money-back guarantee!
Given the weight distribution issues mentioned above... I am thinking this probably would have worked. I just didn't have time. By the time I really figured out that it wasn't going to get better on its own, I was sliding across the pavement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prsdrat View Post
Glad to hear you're OK. Now, for road rash, Spenco(that's right, the
company that makes shoe inserts) also makes a product called "Second Skin". It's a gell filled membrane mostly used now-a-days by backpackers
and their blisters. Online you can find the larger versions used for bad
burns. Interesting stuff, it keeps the wound moist allowing it to heal
without scarring. I neither work for or own stock in Spenco, I just used to
be a youth soccer coach who treated a lot of road rash, mostly on my son
who loved to slidetackle.
It sounds very similar to what I used when I had really bad road rash on my knee, this stuff. Worked great!

My road rash is more akin to a skinned knee than that though, not bad at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
It may be hard to grasp the concept of standing to lower your center of gravity, but, it is true.

While sittting your weight is mostly on the seat. To lower your weight you stand on the pegs and your weight is transferred down by 20- 24 inches in realation to the bike. Your weight is really where it was before, but , to the bike it is lower.
This allows for much better manouvourability for the rider. Practice with an unloaded bike or if possible borrow a smaller lighter bike to learn on.I ride a KLR and have ridden with people who beleive they are unusable tanks and heard coments like I can't beleive you guys get those KLR's to do that.
It's technique over equipment. I've ridden plenty of bikes that were less capable than the KLR so it doesn't seem that hard to me.
And your XRL is lighter and a better dirt bike than the KLR.
Well, I have a DR650, not a XRL, but yeah, it is a bit lighter than a KLR.

I understand the physics involved, but it seems harder to do a lot of things while standing. Operating the brakes, for example, or precisely picking a line. I creep along when I'm not sure of myself or the terrain scares me, and brakes are pretty critical for creeping. Standing up also feels a lot less stable going, for example, less than 20mph. I've slowly been gaining confidence that I'm not going to die if I am going down a steep incline in first gear, and that brakes can destabilize me in some situations, but it takes time and practice. I've only been riding dirt of any sort since I got this bike in April.

What I need to do some time is to go out into an area full of hills and other various less-lethal terrain and do practice drills to get used to the feeling of standing up going up and down, turning while standing, etc. I just haven't had the opportunity yet. And being miles away from help, on scary terrain with a cliff to one side or whatever, doesn't inspire the confidence to really test my limits.

If anybody has a light bike they'd like to let me borrow, some sand dunes nearby, and patience for a n00b, I'm all for getting over my fear of this sand thing once and for all!
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #445
Jettn Jim
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Cool2 A Retry.................

Thought i posted this but alas.... not here anywhere sooo here goes again, this in reference to the Truck passing incident.

Most of the unstability at high speeds comes from too much or too little rake/suspension sag. (it can and does go both ways- there's a sweet spot) When either heavily loading or unloading your bike... also when changing to taller or shorter tires you'll change the angle that your bike is sitting at. Causing the highspeed wobble/shake/oscillation, sooo first put a turn on the rearshocks preload (the spring raising the rear a bit) then test ride her a bit... if better goood. If better but still shaking then go some more. If worse go the other way, back off the preload and test ride her again. Do this until she's rock steady at any speed. Everytime I swap tires to a different style/make/diameter, or change my load I do a fine tune of the sag to get her back to her sweet spot.

Also when pounding agressive offroad I stiffen her up to keep from bottoming etc... then when getting back on the slab I go back to my Hwy setup so she's steady at high speed and in turbulance. The headset bearings seem to stay really solid on these Dualsport bikes as in I haven't hardly touched Desiree's in 62,000mi where as the '99 Concours needed them snugged every 8-10,000mi.

I've ran into guys on thumpers and KTM twins who had just swapped on Dunlop 606's for instance and now had shake, looking at bearings and hating the tires. I point out the larger Diameter of the front tire, have them raise the rear a bit.. and they're goood to go.

Another reason I love the Cogent Moab as it is SUPER EASY to reach in and turn the spring collar using a 9/32" rod bent at an angle and a roller bearing collar.

Anyway Peace,
Jim

Jettn Jim screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 10:31 PM
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:51 PM   #446
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Portland to Eugene (Oct 11-13)

Goodbye by Ulrich Schnauss on Grooveshark

I left Portland after several days of false starts. I had planned on leaving earlier, but I had a number of loose ends to tie up: getting this report up to date, backing up all my data, silicone sealing the boxes, and giving away the last of my stuff, to name a few. I will admit to a bit of lingering.

My departure was bittersweet as I bid farewell to Oz. We had decided that we were no longer a couple some time ago, it seemed that we couldn't stop driving each other crazy in that regard, but I will miss his company, as he is a true friend. He still wants to travel with me, but I wasn't going to wait for him any longer. I'd given him since February to get his affairs in order, but circumstances meant that he has gotten no closer to being ready to leave. Maybe he will catch up to me someday. We'll see.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."

I will miss Oz and my Portland friends, but I was thrilled to be on the road again. I was excited for my newfound freedom. There's no going back now, only forward. Landing gear up.

I had left late in the afternoon, so I decided to camp nearby. I remembered the Nestucca River camp where I'd stayed back in June, and decided to look for the free campground we'd been too lazy to seek out before. It was a nice ride up into the mountains.


Eventually I found the site, though the campground was a bit worse for wear, and set up camp.




Very early in the morning, I awoke to the sound of rain. I was grateful that I'd had the foresight to put the rain fly on, I hadn't been expecting to need it. I drifted in and out of consciousness until around 7 or 8, and then took advantage of brief breaks in the drizzle to pack up my gear. It was very foggy.




As I went to go I noticed this... goo on my seat, that had appeared overnight. What the hell? I cleaned it off.


Against my better judgement, I headed toward the ocean. I had wanted to check out Cape Perpetua and Thor's Well, and figured that the rain would let up soon. I was wrong. I arrived at Lincoln City, feeling like a drowned rat, and holed up in a small cafe for a few hours of dry warmth and coffee as it poured outside.


My peace was not to last, the cafe closed and I headed back out into the gloom. The rain and wind were relentless. I went slow and cautiously, at least 10mph under the speed limit, because I felt very precarious and vulnerable. I decided that I would have to see Cape Perpetua some other year and headed inland along Highway 20.

It grew late, and the bike began hiccuping like mad. Nothing helped. Choke on, choke off, I even added some of the heet I use for cooking to the tank, hoping maybe it was just some excess water that had trickled into my fuel. No dice - the bike continued to cough and stall. I had to keep revving the engine to keep it from dying. Darkness fell as I was looking for somewhere to camp. Now it was dark, and I flipped up my tinted visor so I could see. The rain was pouring to the point that it was difficult to see the lines on the road, getting in my eyes. I was creeping along under 20mph, on a malfunctioning bike, on a road with no shoulder. Fantastic.

I hadn't seen any forest service roads whatsoever (even though the map said this was a national forest), and the first USFS sign I saw was for a boat launch. Fuck it! I figured nobody would be checking it for improper camping in this weather, and spent way too much time setting up my tent. I was joined by a gentleman who was car camping in his work van. We introduced ourselves briefly before I changed into some dry clothes and crawled into bed.


The next morning, I tried to dry out my belongings without much luck. Apparently, it was too humid. Oh well. I packed up the wet tent and put on my wet gear and rode off into a fairly peaceful morning. The sky was overcast, but at least it had stopped raining and the bike was running correctly. The road wasn't bad either!


I popped out in Corvalis and decided to cruise through Eugene, as it was nearby and a Saturday. Somehow, I remembered where things were downtown. I parked in a parking garage (free weekends!) and wandered around the Saturday market for a few hours. I filled up on some cheap Indian food from a cart and gawked at the handmade goods.


I went to leave, and the bike wouldn't start. It gave one good try at spinning the starter, but after that point, the button was completely ineffective. Hmm. When I opened the panniers to get my tools out, I found they had some water in them. From opening the lids in the rain or leaking? Time would tell...

I spent the next few hours checking things - kickstand safety switch wires, kill switch wires, fuses. Nothing seemed to be broken. Obviously something was wrong, or the bike would still be working.


Night fell, and I still hadn't figured it out. Coug had offered to come save me but his truck wasn't working. I needed to find a place to sleep, and I was pretty sure the hourly parking garage guard patrol would not appreciate me sleeping next to the bike. I contacted several people, but nothing came together until Coug gave me the number of a friend of his, named Raven. Raven and I exchanged texts and he agreed to let me stay there.

I took only the bare essentials with me to his house, and once there, set up my tent in his garden. Raven told me I could do laundry if I wanted, and I jumped at the chance. As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn't stop thinking about my bike, stuck in that parking garage...
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #447
Feyala OP
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Bike Repair (Oct 14-15)

I woke up in Raven's garden, had a nice hot shower, and made myself some tea. As the day began to warm up, I spread out my belongings and let them dry out a bit. The sky was scattered with clouds, but at least it wasn't raining.


Raven got up and gave me a tour of his garden. We talked for an hour or two about composting and permaculture. I chased a couple of baby garter snakes out of his vermiculture bin, as he claimed they were eating his worms. Most of his garden came from repurposed free or recycled materials... free wood from craigslist, irises that someone was going to throw out, coffee grounds from a local café turned into worm food. I gave him all the advice I could - I did permaculture gardening for 3 years when I lived in Eugene - and promised to give him the contact info for the local permaculture guild. I love resourceful people!

Later that afternoon, I hitched a ride with him downtown to try to bump start the bike. I had to get it out of the parking garage sometime that day. Weekends might be free, but come Monday morning they would start issuing tickets. I figured that if I could just get it started, I could ride it somewhere safe and worry less about the situation.

At first, I couldn't even get the key to turn in the ignition! A quick trip to the nearest auto parts store for some graphite fixed that problem. I unloaded the bike and pushed it up to the roof of the parking structure. Even without all my luggage, this was a real workout!


I tried coasting down the small incline but couldn't get it going fast enough. I had read instructions, so I had a good idea of what to expect, but it was much more difficult than starting the Rebel this way! Even in third gear, slamming down on the seat as I dropped the clutch, the rear tire still locked up. So I tried again. And again. Raven tried pushing me as I dabbed ineffectually with one foot. No joy, not fast enough. I am sure we must have made quite a sight...

Raven had the idea to tow me with the van to get going faster. I was extremely skeptical. I didn't want the rope tangling in the wheel or to be stuck attached to the van, so he suggested I hold it and let go at the bottom of the "hill". We made it about five feet before the bike toppled over. Too much pressure on one side of the handlebars and I couldn't hold it. Luckily there was no damage.

I decided that the clutch was dragging. There was definitely some first-gear resistance while the clutch lever was in, so I started adjusting it. Raven mentioned he had plans for the evening, so I decided to give it one last try. I pushed it to the roof again and rode it down to the next level, but I still couldn't get enough speed. I abandoned the bike and went back to Raven's to consider my options.

I remembered that I used to have a friend in Eugene named Tal, but didn't have his number any longer. He probably had a pickup truck, and might be able to bail me out. I managed to contact him online and he offered to pick up the bike and let me stay at his place while I figured out what to do. I gratefully agreed. He came and collected me, and we dropped off my stuff at his place. Next we went to pick up the bike.

We brought a couple of pallets and worked out the best way to use them to get the bike up. The technique that was the most effective was stacking them like stairs to get the bike closer to bed-level, and then we simply lifted the bike, one end at a time, inside it. Tal secured the bike with ratchet straps and we were good to go! Yay! Ticket avoided!


We managed to get the bike out of the bed, no worse for wear from its voyage, and stowed it in the garage. I would deal with it tomorrow. I spent a while catching up with Tal. It was good to see him again after over three years!


I had a great night's sleep. It was definitely a luxury to sleep indoors, warm and dry, listening to the rain on the window.

The next morning, I got down to business, attempting to figure out the bike's starting problem. I followed the manual, eliminating possible causes one by one. I disconnected/bypassed the clutch safety switch. I tested lots of components with Tal's multimeter, but everything checked out fine. Very frustrating.


I took breaks to run around outside with Tal's ridiculous 3 year old great dane, Molly. That dog is HUGE! I felt that with the proper saddle, a little kid could probably ride her.


Gotta love a dog tall enough to look out a window.


Tal also had a grey polydacyl cat, Boots, who kept me company.


Lots of head-scratching and research later, I felt it was down to the ignition or a random faulty wire. The starter relay wasn't getting power and the weird "crowing" noise I'd experienced before turned out to be a common cold-weather DR complaint and not necessarily indicative of something amiss. I'd checked the fuses and looked over the wiring harness earlier at the parking garage. The diode and neutral connector measured correctly, as did the battery. I felt pretty proud of myself for diagnosing things this far... this was the first day I'd actively used a multimeter!

Frustrated after so many hours without results, I decided to do an "idiot check" before giving up and looking into bypassing the ignition. I opened up the box to check the switch itself. While trying to read the voltage, I accidentally bridged the solder points on the back of the switch, and with all the safeties now removed, it purred to life, thankfully in neutral. BWAHAHAHA! IT'S ALIIIIVE!

Giddy, I ran inside to tell Tal the good news. One of the solder points looked a bit shoddy and the copper contacts on the switch were tarnished. It appeared that water had been getting inside the hole where the kill switch used to be and was fouling things up. I felt pretty stupid... I should have checked this on the very first day, when I had it open to inspect the kill switch wires, but at least I managed to figure it out! By myself too!

We cut the wires and removed the old solder. I gave the contacts a time-out in a shotglass full of vinegar. Once they were shiny again, we used a small torch and solder to repair the connection. It was ugly and we burned the plastic a bit, but it was fixed! I think we fixed it a bit after this pic was taken, but you can see the burnt plastic:


Ugly or not, now it worked! I turned it on a few more times just for the warm fuzzy feeling of hearing the engine live once more. I reattached all the fairings and Tal filled the kill switch hole with a plug of silicone. Why hadn't I done this before? Oh well, live and learn...

I was excited to be able to leave tomorrow! Even though I felt dumb for not figuring it out sooner, I would have felt much worse if I'd had a friend drag me all the way back to Portland for something so simple!

I took Tal out for some cheap Mexican food and a drink in celebration. Then, later, I had a luxurious hot bath and relaxed. What a great end to the day!
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #448
smash81
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Way to go!
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Smash is like the deoderant....strong enough to be a man, but made as a woman....LOL
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:28 PM   #449
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Wow!

Hey Feyala,

Just caught up after being away for a few days.

Wow! Sounds like you had quite the get off ............ and just "shook it off". Way to get back on the horse!

Glad everything worked out as well as it did. Bet your folks were glad to see you too!

ATGATT ................ don't leave home without it! May have a coat that would work for you if you need one. PM me, if so.

Also got a "non-altered" mermite can for you if you can't get the damaged one repaired to your satisfaction.

Glad you got to meet Pete and spend some time riding with him. He's an original, huh?

Regards, Rob
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #450
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Loctite

HI Feyala!
I ran across your thread by accident while reading a post on an other site. In two evenings I have read the whole RR and commend you for climbing the steep learning curve you are on. You had mentioned loctiting all the fastners on your bike and I thought I would recomend Loctite 290 which is a green, wicking grade of locker designed to be applied to ASSEMBLED fasteners. Just a small drop on the thread junction will migrate into the threads and then cure, vibration resistant, just like the Blue. This saves much of the labour of disassembling things just to apply the locktite.
Looking forward to following your adventures!
Regards....just jeff
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