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Old 11-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #496
Feyala OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Wandering...
Oddometer: 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
I'd love to hear your thoughts on our broken health care system ... and your experiences. Kind of a pet peeve of mine as well. (I'm uninsured at the moment! )

I haven't read your whole thread ... but picked up on your crash. So glad you survived and you'll get better! I ride a DR650 too ... so I check in once in a while to see where you are. You rode right by my house, just north of San Francisco.

Most singles can develop a weave at around 80 to 90 mph. At least all the ones I've owned have done. (XL's, XR's, KLR's, XT's, KTM's and more) But a full tank slapper is not usually the outcome. I've owned three DR650's ... my current '06 (now up to 50,000 miles). All my DR's would show a mild weave, none went into full tank slappers even over 100 mph. (tail wind, downhill! )

Lots of input here about T-slappers. All good stuff, mostly. I do agree that "Death Gripping" the bars can make things worse. Relax your grip, let go your hands, steer with your knees and feet.

Several of the things discussed can contribute to T-Slappers. (tires, tire pressures, bearings, suspension, over loaded, and on and on). Some even believe the high front fender causes it. I don't buy that.

Don't go crazy on your bike changing a bunch of stuff. Most of these guys don't own a DR and never will. Ask the DR community before you make changes. Boatloads of combined knowledge and combined hundreds of thousands of miles specific to your bike. ... BTW .. how did you ever get a RED DR650? I've never seen a RED ONE!

I was hoping you were headed down to Tierra del Fuego. With your newly acquired dirt skills ... my guess is you'd do good. You had good teachers! Sand takes a while to learn, after a day's riding it ... it gets easier, believe it or not!

Firmer suspension and knobbies seem to help in deep sand. Standing, for me, is a must. Most IMPORTANT is vision and where you look. If you look way out ahead .. you will do OK. Look at your front fender ... you're going down.

Come over to the BIG DR650 thread in Thumpers if you have any DR related problems/questions. What's next on your trip? Mexico? Baja?
Uninsured people club! Yay!

Thanks for the well-wishes. :) Maybe I'll see you around sometime!

After the Hells Canyon gathering and talking with Jim and Alex, I started keeping my tires at a higher pressure, 30s instead of 20s, and it feels a bit less squirrely on the pavement with the knobbies as a result. I air it down to 20s for off road riding. This is high, I know, but I like to be able to make it to a gas station to air up once I hit pavement again, without being utterly terrified of heat-induced tube failure. I do have a compressor, but I have to take my seat off to get at the battery terminals, so it's very inconvenient. I've thought about putting in some kind of extension that I can access, but that project's been on a backburner.

I plan on doing the easy fixes first (weight distribution, handlebar and wheel alignments, wheel truing and balance) and if I still have problems, I'll be sulking back to the DR650 thread for advice. I have posted there a couple of times, and people usually come up with some pretty good ideas for things to check, but the average technical ability there is a bit higher than mine, lol!

It came red originally because the previous owner used a red plastic paint on it. The factory color was, I believe, white. At least, that's the color it was after I scraped all the paint off!

TDF is an expensive proposition, not the least of which is crossing the Darien Gap, and all the import/export/insurance/grift fees. A bit outside my budget, sadly. Not sure where I am going next, I am strongly considering Baja with a possible ferry to mainland Mexico. I speak spanish (badly, it's been a few years, but I used to know a LOT). I've been to Nogales but never Actual Mexico, and am not really put off by the Stories of Terror regularly broadcast on the news, when so many of our fellow travelers have a wonderful time there. (I am aware of the risks and also how to avoid them - don't ride at night, don't stop in the first 300 miles near the border, etc). Also it's cheap. I flock to cheap like a crow after shiny things.

Speaking of the media, I'd like to take this opportunity to share one of my favorite comedians. Sorry for the derail, but every time Mexico comes up (and the inevitable naysayer brigade), I think of this.



It's funny that you mention the vision thing. I feel that this is true with a lot of off road riding. I've gotten a lot better with rocks since I've (mostly) stopped worrying about individual stones and have focused more on avoiding the really big, nasty things, and setting myself up for a good line around them. I'm still far from "good" at riding off road, I am mostly just "less terrible", but I get less terrible every time I go out, so at least I am heading in the right direction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by More_Miles View Post
Are you sure you aren't Canadian? (Says the Canadian.... )

Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you. And love it.

I don't have any riding or medical advice, others have chimed in here with more and better than I ever could. Okay, I lied, I will say this: Have that wrist and knee looked after. I realize it's probably not going to be cheap. Take it from someone who hasn't (quite) hit the big four-oh that it's going to be less expensive than waking up with joint pain every time the weather changes in 20 years!
I dunno, I don't think I like hockey or bad coffee enough to be Canadian... *ducks*!

My parents don't have to take me in, but they do, and I'm grateful for it. We have our little clashes from time to time, but if kids enjoyed living with their parents, they'd never move out!

I think I am mostly fine. We'll see. If the bone isn't knitting I'll go get that looked at, even though it doesn't seem to be affecting my range of motion at all. It's a minor fracture... well. I'll post xrays when I get to that point. They gave them to me on a CD even!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
Pm sent....
I know I said you are awesome before but YOU ARE AWESOME!
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #497
just jeff
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Location: LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
This is literally the third time I've edited that batch of photos. I think it is worth it though, they look phenomenal in comparison with the previous iteration I did in an older version of the software. I have some high hopes for the rest of the photos!

If things look funky (too dark, too light, too contrasty) please tell me. I've done what I can to calibrate this LCD monitor, but so much of that is subjective.

Replies forthcoming!
Awsome report Feyala! The pictures came through perfectly. Keep it coming!
Regards from The Frozen North .....just jeff
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:42 PM   #498
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Something is WRONG. The bike should not feel this way. Yes I have a DR, and a few others.. I work on all my own bikes.

Does it do this with no luggage?

Then I'd be checking tyre pressure - increase it. Knobby tyres could explain it though.

If the tyres are ok then bearings - look for any 'play' - elevate one wheel at a time and grabbing the tyre see if you get any small moment before you get resistance by exerting small forces to the side. Do it on the bottom/top and front/back of the tyre. The different edges force different bearings, so you need to do more than one test on each tyre.

Forks can also develop play - grab the bottom of the fork - tyre off the ground, and push it backwards and forwards. Any play means its needs fixing. This would also check the steering head bearings.

If it only does it with luggage then you have
weigh distribution - usually too much weight on the back.
And/or
aerodynamics. Ugly to find out what is causing this... unless you have a full sized wind tunnel I'll leave that ...unless you find it is?
Yeah, it does it with no luggage. I figured it was just being responsive. How much effort should I have to put into it weight-shifting wise to induce a wobble or steering change? The amount of effort currently is on the realm of, for example, shaking your head vehemently. I'll be checking the play and adjusting the steering stem nut accordingly, it's possible (likely?) that it is too loose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Ever had the same wobble/movement at low speed? I hope not - if you do then ... something is really wrong! And it is not aerodynamics. And probably not weight.

At reasonably low speed you are still steering with weight .. try it ... on a sealed (tar) surface- ride in a straight line standing up.. now put more weight on one foot than the other -- the bike will turn to one side .. not much but a little! More weight -- turns harder.
I have steered with weight before, this is usually how I ride on easy dirt roads, where I am actually comfortable standing up. I don't have the balls yet to steer hard with it which is why I have to sit down for anything more than a gentle curve. I am not sure if I have had that much movement at low speeds, I mostly notice it because I am fucking around while bored on an empty highway and weaving slowly to the music. Something as simple as a side to side head bob gets the bike wobbling, but it doesn't feel... unstable like it did when I crashed, or when it happens unloaded in corners? The wobble stops when I stop moving. Sorry, it's hard to describe properly. Thinking through it, it would make sense that in those circumstances the front is underloaded, which would make the wobble worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
One trick - for practice of balance - put your front wheel on top of the gutter, rear wheel in the gutter where the water would be. Ride like that - the rear wheel will try to climb the gutter and you'll have a hard time keeping the front on top of the gutter .. all balance. I'd only do this when you are prepard to fall off, and when the rear tyre is due for replacement. There is a yoga position - stand on one foot, sole of the other foot to the knee of the foot your standing on. now raise your hands... the higher your hands go the more difficult it gets. To start with have a wall in reaching distance of one hand and put that hand there. Yoga might be a good thing to do while your not traveling? Improves balance, and relaxation. And flexablity - for moving your bum around on the bike while standing.
That sounds utterly terrifying. I literally can't imagine a way to do that which doesn't involve landing on my face. I will trust you when you say it is possible, I've seen trials videos after all, but... maybe when I have more skills? Right now I am just happy when the bike doesn't fall over.

Yoga on the other hand, I have been meaning to get into that before I lose what flexibility I have. It's a bit hard because I am not in one place long enough to really get into classes, but I can probably make do with youtube videos and pirated ebooks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Practice without luggage - that makes it easier, both for the riding and picking up.
Yeah, I don't think I would have been able to chase Nip and Pete too well if I had all my luggage weighing me down, but sometimes I don't have a choice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Are you taking mph or kmh? Mph would be the upper limit of the DR. Not where I'd be cruisin.
Kmh would be fine - not unstable .. well a little less that at say 80kmh (50mph) but not much.
My brother says I speed up by 10 kmh on dirt compared to tar - I find on dirt that the slightly higher speed is more stable.
110 mph indicated. I felt like I could go a little bit faster, but the knobbies + wind from going that fast made me reluctant to try for faster as it felt unstable. I only did it once, to see how fast I could get up to, on a straight flat stretch of nevada desert. I've never owned a vehicle that could top 100 before. I don't normally cruise at 85 or whatever I crashed at either, haha! I stick around 65-75. It's interesting that you find a higher speed more stable on dirt... I guess that makes sense, you can kind of "skip over" some of the potholes and rocks, but to me it feels crazy and out of control even going 30mph if it's remotely rough. I've heard of guys going 60mph+ on sand but I figured they were either hopped up on testosterone or very skilled. Or both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Packing is an art form.
I find I get better .. after say 2 months of travel on the bike I was really good. That was too long ago and I've lost some of it. Never mind it will come back on the next long long trip. Best packers I know of are http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/duval/ but it does not look like they have bothered to put that in print.

For fun http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...avelling-35017

Fixing stuff .. well learn to do your own servicing will help.

Yet to do the scuba diving ... something like 1% of the population do it .. yet there is more sea than land.
Try sailplanes (gliding) ... as well as hanggliding... see which one you like best?

--------------
If you have the space one way of 'traveling' without traveling is to host other travelers as they come through? You'll get americans from this site .. but anything can come your way on the HU site .. join a community there and see? http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/
I am pretty good at the "making fluffy things compact" part of packing, but I am still working on the "only taking what you need" part. Well, you'll see in the next entry, I photographed everything. FOR SCIENCE!

I do service my own, but with a broken wrist, I couldn't even get the lug nut off the rear axle without a cheater bar. It took me over 3 hours to fix that flat, I can usually do it in half an hour... I feel like a weakling. It's frustrating. But it's why I'm not leaving yet, even though I really want to. If shit hits the fan and the bike falls over or I have another flat or... anything really, I am physically incapable until it heals.

Sadly I do not have my own space, or I would be hosting ADVers and Couchsurfers and all sorts of interesting folk. Maybe someday! I've thought about joining HU but as it seems to be more for the international crowd, I didn't think we'd have much to offer each other yet. I still want to go back to Europe someday, but it's much harder to camp there for free, so I'd need a hefty bankroll.

Thanks for all the well thought-out comments!
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:49 PM   #499
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
After the Hells Canyon gathering and talking with Jim and Alex, I started keeping my tires at a higher pressure, 30s instead of 20s, and it feels a bit less squirrely on the pavement with the knobby's as a result. I air it down to 20s for off road riding. This is high, I know, but I like to be able to make it to a gas station to air up once I hit pavement again, without being utterly terrified of heat-induced tube failure.
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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
I plan on doing the easy fixes first (weight distribution, handlebar and wheel alignments, wheel truing and balance) and if I still have problems, I'll be sulking back to the DR650 thread for advice.
Sounds good. The DR thread is quite good, lots of helpful folks who will go out of their way to figure things out ... if they have enough info about your bike and symptoms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post
TDF is an expensive proposition, not the least of which is crossing the Darien Gap, and all the import/export/insurance/grift fees. A bit outside my budget, sadly. Not sure where I am going next, I am strongly considering Baja with a possible ferry to mainland Mexico. I speak spanish (badly, it's been a few years, but I used to know a LOT). I've been to Nogales but never Actual Mexico, and am not really put off by the Stories of Terror regularly broadcast on the news, when so many of our fellow travelers have a wonderful time there. (I am aware of the risks and also how to avoid them - don't ride at night, don't stop in the first 300 miles near the border, etc). Also it's cheap. I flock to cheap like a crow after shiny things.
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.

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.

Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:16 PM   #500
Feyala OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed~ View Post
that you were nursing your thumb on a video game controller and not laying in traction all this time.

Allow me to start the Healthcare discussion for you...

Alot of us activists were working on Single Payer Healthcare even before candidate Obama made promises for Single-Payer when running against Hillary. Obama-care kind of stole the wind from the public debate after that election but never delivering as much in return. That's not to bash the president... he is only one man reflecting the wishes of so many Americans who just want to enjoy the security of health insurance to get elected now battling a huge profit making healthcare industry who are after all the milk-cows of investment bankers.

Improved Medicare for All is really the only way to economically cover everyone without costing us any more than we (as a country) currently spend on our broken "sick-care" market. We truly have no healthcare system for all the built in inefficiencies of a market system designed to siphon profits first and foremost while delivering some passable form of health services for those that can afford insurance while ignoring the rest. That some Americans cynically say Medicaid covers all those that can't afford health insurance only illustrates the overwhelming ignorance in this discussion.

Ignorance is after all part of the design. Organizations exist to actively dilute public debate with misinformation and fund loud-mouth astro-turf organizations to stand in front of corporate controlled news cameras... all the while enjoying the fact that local governments hurting for funding in this economy first choose to ax money for public education. We all know it takes an intelligent and informed public to keep a democracy. That is what those who benefit from the broken status-quo are most afraid of a true functioning democracy to foil their profit-generating systems even as the world around them crumbles.

My wife and I are activists on this front because both of us are naturalized Americans originally from countries that developed and currently enjoy a true healthcare system that covers everyone. We both still hold citizenship to those countries as our "medical escape hatch" since we both ride. We know from personal experience that True Universal Health Insurance is affordable, realistic, and ultimately civilized. From our perspective, those who are still confused about this issue are simply afraid, are having their fears manipulated, for they stand to lose the most by not coming together to solve this social challenge in our country... by improving and expanding Medicare for All Americans.
Ohhh man. Thanks for the comments.

I agree completely. Why am I not surprised you'd have opinions along the same vein? It's great that you guys are active in trying to get people to wake the hell up on this important subject.

I was out protesting against the Stupak amendment in SF when all that was going on.

It confounds me that people see access to healthcare as a luxury item instead of a necessity. Nobody chooses to get sick. It's not a moral failing if you get diabetes or break a bone, that you should be "punished for". Shit happens. Even from a pragmatic societal viewpoint, there is absolutely no gain to be had as a society for letting people bankrupt themselves to pay for cancer treatments, or to go on disability for things that might have already been cured if they'd been caught with a checkup or preventative care. The fact that as one of the richest nations in the world, we'll still let people die in the streets from treatable and preventable illnesses is a tragedy of the highest order. We are the only first world nation to feel this way about health care. Medical bills are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy cases.

Even those with insurance are not free from the tentacles of this psychotic greed-driven system, as the profit motive maintains that companies will always act in the best interest of their shareholders. If you are an insurance company, your best interest is not paying out for claims, and so legions of people are employed with the sole job to deny medical claims, deny coverage, and up until recently, refuse to accept "risky" patients, to the point where anybody with a long-term illness (cancer, lupus, whatever) found themselves blackballed, unable to find insurance at any price, because the insurance companies wouldn't be making a profit.

Speaking of profits, insurance companies are making a bundle. The rule in capitalism is that any corporation which doesn't grow, dies. The only way to continue to keep making profits, more and more each year, is to either find new customers, increase the cost of whatever you sell, or reduce your own expenses. This works well when we are talking about electronics or shoes or whatever luxury goods people buy, but when it comes to something that everybody needs and that most people who can afford it already have, where are you going to get your new customers? The solution has been to raise prices. The thing that always confused me in the Obamacare debates was that we've now basically enshrined the insurance companies as a necessary part of the financial ecosystem, but what do they actually provide that single payer doesn't? The "free market" people have said that competition will drive down costs, but it hasn't so far. And anyways, some things you don't really want to get at a bargain. Would you go for a $1 medical exam? The idea that money needs to be a part of medical decisions seems a bit backwards. Shouldn't the focus be on what will help you get better?

To elaborate on medicaid: most state-run medicaid programs that I've encountered have an "enrollment freeze" on anyone who isn't a pregnant mother, family, already disabled etc. Single and healthy? Sucks to be you. I'll elaborate more on my personal experiences when I get to that part of the story.

I recommend everybody watch Sicko. It's over the top in some places, and I'm not a big Michael Moore fan, but it was pretty eye-opening to see how everybody else lives.

It doesn't have to be this way.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:48 AM   #501
smash81
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GREAT PICTURES! And way to go getting to your campsite, I can't imagine doing that sort of thing at night with nothing but that DR headlight.

Enjoying reading the discussions here, although I don't think I'll dive in.

Quick question, sort of more back on topic: what do you find you're spending on average per month? Any tips welcome in the budgeting department. Looking forward to your pics of what you're carrying with you.

Glad to hear you're healing up! A package is heading your way tomorrow.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 AM   #502
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Oy, Big get-off. Glad you're OK.

My own experience is that the front fender may have been at fault. High fender is a big windsail. Mine has "flapped" at 85mph while going thru a road cut. Definitely got my attention.

I sat on your bike and it is sprung plenty heavy. With big luggage, and all, there may be a touch more rear sag. I'm guessing some aero between front fender - new luggage - passing truck caused the wobble.

I remember your tires at Hells Canyon had serious wedges from wear. Were the current tires worn? This can cause some funny stuff.

What I am saying is that the bike is/was probably fine. You should check for plumb and square after the crash.

Perhaps, maybe, sorta, you should slow down a bit. This, from a serious speed freak. Speed is very addicting and very unforgiving, if you step across the edge.

I run 18-20 front and 20-24 rear and carry 400lbs on the bike.

Go to Mexico !!!

Baja is Mexico light. Lots of gringos and everyone is used to tourists and our bad spanglish. You can handle the gravel on the Sea of Cortez side, but all pavement is still a great ride. TJ has horrible traffic. Alamagordas (sp) near Yuma was the easiest crossing. Douglas AZ was also very easy, with everything done in one bldg.

Hang in there.
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The gate guard glares at me. "It's after curfew." He looks me up and down, "What do you think you are, some kind of ****** tourist?" ..Phu Loi 1969
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thetourist screwed with this post 11-29-2012 at 08:50 AM
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #503
Feyala OP
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Location: Wandering...
Oddometer: 358
Truckee to Bishop (Oct 19-20)

I awoke late, but it was still chilly. I decided to build a fire with the all-you-can-burn buffet someone had left behind. Thanks, mystery person! This was a rare treat! Camping for free, I usually don't have a fire ring, and with the dry summer weather, no fire ring means no fires.


This fire started more easily than any I'd made in the past year... all the material was exceedingly dry, unlike starting fires in the northwest. It made me pause and consider the flammability of the surrounding forest, and I made sure to keep a close eye on sparks.


I explored camp a bit. Somebody had left this weird rusty metal sculpture. I found it kinda creepy, but I can't put my finger on why.




I set out the solar panel and charged my electronics, making tea and pasta for breakfast. While waiting for my dishes to dry, I decided to document the stuff that I carry, which some people had expressed curiosity about previously. I'm still sorting out what's necessary from what isn't, and as I go along and use stuff, the load gets lighter. There are some "fun items" I didn't photograph, like my sketchbook and some other random junk.

First, I carry way too much food. My alternative was to leave it to slowly rot away in the cupboards in Portland. Once this stuff runs out, I'll only be carrying enough for each day, or a little bit extra if I am going into the middle of nowhere.


Toiletries. I don't wear makeup but I do have a small amount of trial-size perfume. That's about as girly as I tend to get.


Bike stuff. Spare front brake pads, fuel filters, levers, oil filters, spark plugs, headlight bulb, valve clearance feeler gauges, spare master link, zipties, etc. Someday I really need to replace the bumper on the rear shock. Oh well. This is the same as the food - stuff I already had and didn't want to trash, as I know I'll need it sometime down the line. Definitely carrying too much, but not sure where to cut down just yet.


More bike stuff. I'd say about 3/4 of one pannier would be full of this stuff if I stacked it together, but it tends to be the heaviest, so I spread it out. I've got a spare air filter, filter oil, spare quart of oil, kerosene and a grout brush for cleaning things, grease, gloves, electrical tape, air compressor, tire spoons, simple stands, various chemicals, and a full metric tool set. I realized while taking this picture that my ratchet was missing, and that I probably left it in Eugene. Damnit!


Camping stuff. Trowel, log-cutting wire, hammock, homemade firestarters (lint and trash wax melted into a cardboard egg carton), cooking supplies, sewing kit, leatherman tool, water filter, and wire pot stand for cooking over a fire.


Electronics. Solar panel, battery pack, glow poi, spare batteries (lots of spare batteries), bluetooth flexible keyboard, mp3 player, headlamp, usb keys, headphones, stylus, spare 16 gig microsd chip with a LOT of books on it, charging cables.


Drysack with my sleeping bag and clothes, Half Dome Plus tent, and inflatable Big Agnes air pad.


The dirt road on the way out was not nearly as bad once I was able to see and pick my line around the worst of it. (This was not the worst of it, but then, it never is...)


I had another quest before I could leave this area. I'd mentioned before that I grew up here, and I thought it would be fun to take a photo of my childhood home.


My parents say that it doesn't appear like much has changed! I wanted to take a better look, but it didn't seem like anyone was home and I didn't want to prowl around uninvited.


Mission accomplished, I hopped on the I-80 and booked it into Reno. I stopped at a grocery store and had lunch in the deli, getting two different sets of directions from Cypher as far as where exactly they were camped at, out on BLM land. Wind was gusty along the 395, which kept me doing 10 under the speed limit.




This, along with the rush hour traffic through Carson City meant that by the time I took my next break it was almost sunset. I had over a hundred miles to go to Bishop. I pulled into a rest area, in a cluster of buildings I'd almost hesitate to call a town, for a quick break.

"Is that a potbellied pig?"


"Sure is, her name's Mimi."

I hadn't expected to see a pig wearing a dress, but it was definitely a fun blip in an otherwise fairly uneventful day. The couple with the pig introduced themselves as Brian and Alice, and we struck up a conversation. Mimi was a bit ornery and tried to charge me, after Alice warned me to be careful. "She still has tusks, you know." I wasn't sure how to react to the unprovoked anger of such a small creature, but I stayed just past the length of the leash. "How long do potbellied pigs live?" "Well, that's the funny thing, our veterinarian says that we've removed pretty much everything that normally kills pigs, so he advised us to make sure that we put her in our will, as she might outlive us."

Brian and Alice were traveling around in their van. They'd used to ride motorcycles, and still do, although nowadays it is on at least three wheels. They invited me to join them for dinner, but I declined. The day wasn't getting any younger. Alice gave me an apple and some nut rolls to tide me over instead, for which I was grateful.

As I started gearing up, we noticed a bunch of deer had come out to the park to feed. I took this as a sign to be especially wary for deer on the rest of the evening's journey.


I rode through the darkness, on high alert for deer. The tinted visor, wind and threat of animals kept me under the speed limit. At around 9 or 10 pm, I helped a guy with directions at a rest area, he had missed his turn off for death valley. Why would anyone go on a road trip through the middle of nowhere without a map? I layered up because I was quite cold.

I gassed up near Lee Vining. Gas was shockingly expensive!


Neither set of directions included GPS coordinates, and without the exact destination, I ended up at a completely different location and asked some strangers for directions. They showed me a book of the area which had a good map. Armed with this information, I found the exit I'd missed before, and scoured the road for the dirt offshoot my friends had mentioned. Eventually I made it, though it probably took me an hour after I left the 395 to find them. They were pretty far out of the way!

I said hello, pitched my tent in the sand, and crashed.

After breakfast, Matt and Ramsey went to climb the Owens River Gorge as they'd done every day the previous week, leaving Cypher and I to our own devices. We were low on water, maybe half a liter each, and decided to supplement this with Tecate.


We both grabbed our instruments, and played them badly. She has a melodica. I'd never played one of these before, it was pretty fun! It sounded a bit like an accordion. I carry around a couple of small things - a pennywhistle, ocarina, and harmonica. I'm not very good with any of them, but I did manage to play a couple tunes she recognized on the pennywhistle.


While dorking around with tarot and incense, I went to take a swig of my beer. I felt something solid and suddenly my lip felt like it was on fire! I spat out the beer and threw the can away from me, spilling it all over my pants as I flailed around. A small, fuzzy, nearly-drowned bee crawled away from the scene. I almost drank it! Ugh! With the help of my bike's mirror, I pulled the stinger out of the inside of my lip, the area swelling up to the size of a marble, making it difficult to eat and speak properly. At least I wasn't allergic!

A bit shaken by the experience, I swore off the Tecate for a while, and we decided to go for an easy meander to a nearby hydroelectric plant. The sun was hot, but not too hot, and we entertained ourselves by attempting to identify animal tracks in the sand. It was quite beautiful out here, in a dessicated sort of way. I liked the mountains in the distance.


This grizzled old tree had a lot of character:


There was this old piece of machinery... a cement mixer I think? It had been abandoned in the weather to rust. It had lots of neat gears and what I think were treads at one point in time. I was a bit surprised that nobody had made off with it to sell it for scrap, but I guess it's far enough out of the way out here that it isn't much of a risk.


The plant itself was way down in the gorge. Quite a ways to fall!


Transformers and high-voltage power lines crackled overhead and gave the air a faint odor of ozone. We hung around for a few minutes before this made us uncomfortable and we decided to head back.




The guys returned, and we all went to Bishop, filling up on water and buying some groceries for the evening. On the way back we stopped to check out the hiking trail leading down into the Gorge.


It was almost a straight-down rock scramble, but apparently there was at least one woman with an infant who had made it down, so it wasn't an impossible feat. Ramsey ignored the "no posing" sign and tried to illustrate how steep it was.


Back at camp, we passed around an enormous jug of wine and ate dinner. I may have accidentally set the table and my hand on fire briefly while making said dinner. I was holding the stove to try to move it, there were some strong winds whipping around the flame, and my hand suddenly and painlessly being on fire startled me into dropping it. Luckily, water put it out quickly, and both hand and table were fine. We discovered that the tree we were sitting under was the home to a number of Jerusalem Crickets, which I'd never seen before. Huge, weird bugs! I was surprised at how clear this photo came out, for being taken at night! If you zoom in, you can actually see all the interesting little details on its legs.


Both Ramsey and Cypher had 4g signal way out here. Upon checking the weather, Ramsey discovered that Tioga Pass, the route we'd planned to take across the mountains, was going to get the first snow of the season tomorrow evening. Not wanting to get caught up in that on two wheels, I decided to leave relatively early, the guys would get in one last climb in the morning, and we'd all meet up in Oakhurst later in the day. After mentally scarring Matt with internet videos, we called it a night.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:38 AM   #504
Ratman
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Fey's back!!!

Fey, I'm glad to see that your RRs are showing up again. BTW your last pictures look great....why don't you post them at the larger size? You prolly have a good reason, but....

I can see that you don't know what to do about the wheel wooble.....and that you are getting plenty of advise, but all of it is iffy, whether it will help you or not.

I see 2 things that you can do that will most likely cure the problem. Put a fork brace on it or a steering dampener. Steering dampeners are $400ish, and fork braces are $100ish. Either of those things will stop a tankslapper from ever happening. Me, I'd go with the fork brace.....

I broke my wrist out at Moab. My VA doctor said that I should have it looked at. I took the chance and ignored her. It took most of a year to get over the pain from the slight break. It'll just take more time than you can imagine.

No need to stop riding....Just get someone to help you pick the bike up....there's always someone, and start looking for campsites sooner in the day.

There's an ADVrider out there that will put you up for a couple weeks while you work on the bike.

Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:50 AM   #505
PaulGir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyala View Post

I recommend everybody watch Sicko. It's over the top in some places, and I'm not a big Michael Moore fan, but it was pretty eye-opening to see how everybody else lives.

It doesn't have to be this way.
The free market will never drive health costs down because by the very nature of medicine,new treatments etc. will add new costs etc.Every new patient that can now survive when ,previously,they would have died is adding costs to the system.

The easiest ways to cut costs in a health system is to let more patients die,or to make treatment easily affordable so that people get treated before they get very ill and their treatment becomes very expensive.
Promoting healthy lifestyles is ,potentially, a very cost effective measure.

When I saw the movie Sicko ,I was amazed at how many of the people featured had fallen for the U.S. health care industry's propaganda and believed socialised health care equated to poor health care.

I have even read in a travel blog,of a U.S. motorcyclist travelling in New Zealand,not wanting to get his injured wrist treated by the NZ health system because it was "free and second rate" in his view.Instead he put up with the pain till he could get treatment at his next stop,Australia!
In reality New Zealand and Australia's health care systems are very similar and he ,as a non resident, would have to pay for treatment in either state. ("state" in the "Sovereign State" sense.They are separate countries)

PaulGir screwed with this post 11-30-2012 at 12:07 PM
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:34 PM   #506
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by Feyala View Post

I set out the solar panel and charged my electronics, making tea and pasta for breakfast. While waiting for my dishes to dry, I decided to document the stuff that I carry, which some people had expressed curiosity about previously. I'm still sorting out what's necessary from what isn't, and as I go along and use stuff, the load gets lighter. There are some "fun items" I didn't photograph, like my sketchbook and some other random junk.

First, I carry way too much food. My alternative was to leave it to slowly rot away in the cupboards in Portland. Once this stuff runs out, I'll only be carrying enough for each day, or a little bit extra if I am going into the middle of nowhere.

Bike stuff. Spare front brake pads, fuel filters, levers, oil filters, spark plugs, headlight bulb, valve clearance feeler gauges, spare master link, zipties, etc. Someday I really need to replace the bumper on the rear shock. Oh well. This is the same as the food - stuff I already had and didn't want to trash, as I know I'll need it sometime down the line. Definitely carrying too much, but not sure where to cut down just yet.


More bike stuff. I'd say about 3/4 of one pannier would be full of this stuff if I stacked it together, but it tends to be the heaviest, so I spread it out. I've got a spare air filter, filter oil, spare quart of oil, kerosene and a grout brush for cleaning things, grease, gloves, electrical tape, air compressor, tire spoons, simple stands, various chemicals, and a full metric tool set. I realized while taking this picture that my ratchet was missing, and that I probably left it in Eugene. Damnit!


Camping stuff. Trowel, log-cutting wire, hammock, homemade firestarters (lint and trash wax melted into a cardboard egg carton), cooking supplies, sewing kit, leatherman tool, water filter, and wire pot stand for cooking over a fire.


Electronics. Solar panel, battery pack, glow poi, spare batteries (lots of spare batteries), bluetooth flexible keyboard, mp3 player, headlamp, usb keys, headphones, stylus, spare 16 gig microsd chip with a LOT of books on it, charging cables.

Drysack with my sleeping bag and clothes, Half Dome Plus tent, and inflatable Big Agnes air pad.
Wow! You are seriously organized! Very nice travel kit, good tools and parts, great camping gear. Looks like the kit from someone who's been on the road for years. Major Kudos!
Have you managed to weigh all your gear?

























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Old 11-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #507
adventurebound9517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGir View Post

I have even read in a travel blog,of a U.S. motorcyclist travelling in New Zealand,not wanting to get his injured wrist treated by the NZ health system because it was "free and second rate" in his view.Instead he put up with the pain till he could get treatment at his next stop,Australia!
In reality New Zealand and Australia's health care systems and very similar and he ,as a non resident, would have to pay for treatment in either state.

There is no such thing as free health care. Have you seen their tax rate. I suppose if you live off the Government/ tax payer it is free but how many people do that and have the ability to enjoy what we do?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #508
Warin
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Hi current point

Short cut.

On the DR (and similarly most other bikes) under the left side cover is the starter motor relay. One of the larger black wires on it goes straight to the battery and can be used to power up you air compressor (or as a charging pint for a battery charger or any large current link to the battery. Saves taking off the luggage and seat. Oh while the side cover is off, write notes on the back side of it - saves greasy paw prints in the service manual. )

More ideas.. to each their own.
Solar charges.
On the motorcycle I don't bother. I use the bikes electrical system to charge the other batteries. Unless you plan on stopping for more than a day it is not worth taking a solar charger. The risk of braking the thing.. well not worth it to me. On a bicycle ? Maybe.

Storing spare parts on the bike.
The brake pads can be bolted on, I use the bash plate with a few bolts and nylock nuts. The crush washers for oil changes - behind one of the plastic caps .. I think for the swing arm (too many bikes!) Saves having that stuff in your bags. I don't carry oil as a regular thing - only when I'm coming up to a change and have vast amounts of emptyness to use.

More? Read

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/gea...ke-preparation ..quite lengthy. But applicable to most bikes (even based on the DR, but made as generic as possible). These ideas may help cut down on your luggage (eg a second air cleaner... no use prefilters, air filter oil? Use that engine oil... and you can get that from a garage. I normally only carry chain oil, grease, and never seeze).

The next one is a bit of a mix of different ideas for different bikes - some don't apply to the DR.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tech/suzuki/dr650prep

--------------------
I went to a HU UK meeting where one of the talks was on yoga ... picked up a few good things. If you ever get the chance to go to one of these then go. Even if not contemplating international travel you pick up on so many ideas... Err the UK one is the biggest, 3 days 3 lecture halls running - you have to chose which one of the three (or more - some stuff is outside) things to see. That's from 10 am to ... well after 10 pm anyways.

Nice photos of what you pack... that is so much simpler than the lists I make, and could be handy if your stuff is stolen. Had a lot of trouble convincing the police in Greece that I had a bag stolen off the back of my bike, need it for the insurance claim. The good thing about my lists - I include the weight of each item... if I can find a lighter one then its a new purchase.

PS I don't carry a ratchet - I can do any bolt with other less weighty tools, slower but can be done.

Warin screwed with this post 11-29-2012 at 08:04 PM
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #509
Warin
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Question Off topic..

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventurebound9517 View Post
There is no such thing as free health care. Have you seen their tax rate. I suppose if you live off the Government/ tax payer it is free but how many people do that and have the ability to enjoy what we do?
Hurum...

There are some good things that come out of gov heath care. Eg the drugs get a bulk purchase .. and that usually means cheaper. A lot. The bad things? A long queue. And more forms. The tax increase is less than the cost of private medical insurance (consider their profit margin). Oh new drugs in Australia get evaluated by a gov panel - they do a benefit analyst to see how much they are worth, if the supply can meet that evaluated price then ok, otherwise a rip off and they won't buy. The drug people are not impressed ... but other govs are.

Perhaps another thread?

------
PaulGir - you will offend NZers with statements of NZ being a state of Australia.Like saying Canada is a State of USA ... errr ... just an example of what could be felt.
-------------
There is a way of calibrating the screen for the right colour .. but you need a printed out colour sheet. Most important for printers, graphic designers etc. Never bothered myself... skin tones are good rough indicators.

Warin screwed with this post 11-29-2012 at 07:56 PM
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:29 PM   #510
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
On the DR (and similarly most other bikes) under the left side cover is the starter motor relay. One of the larger black wires on it goes straight to the battery and can be used to power up you air compressor (or as a charging pint for a battery charger or any large current link to the battery. Saves taking off the luggage and seat. Oh while the side cover is off, write notes on the back side of it - saves greasy paw prints in the service manual. )
Most are way ahead of you on this mate. Heard of a Battery Tender? Most of us use them at home. They use a common SAE connector. But it's all multi-use. Here you can see ... if you look close ... a wire hanging down near the frame rail.



On the road this plug is mostly used to power my Gerbing jacket. Can also be used to jump start other bikes ... and will easily run a mini compressor ... most use an SAE plug. Plug and Play. At home, I plug in my Battery Tender when bike is parked ... ALL using the simple and unbreakable
SAE plug. I've used these for over 15 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Storing spare parts on the bike.
The brake pads can be bolted on, I use the bash plate with a few bolts and nylock nuts. The crush washers for oil changes - behind one of the plastic caps .. I think for the swing arm (too many bikes!) Saves having that stuff in your bags. I don't carry oil as a regular thing - only when I'm coming up to a change and have vast amounts of emptyness to use.
I carry two tire Irons between motor and bash plate. Wrapped in inner tube and Zip tied in place. Been there since '06. I'm careful about where I stow more delicate things ... as they can be damaged. I carry a very comprehensive Nut & Bolt kit, made up just for the DR650. All OEM sizes plus OEM washers, springs, do dads. Drain plug washers can be heated and annealed for re-use. No need to carry extras. Front brake pads on the DR should last 10K to 12K miles in touring mode. Rears go faster (4 to 5K depending) I carry one set. I also ALWAYS carry a set of fork seals. My bike uses NO OIL. No need to carry any. I plan oil changes well head and only do filter every other oil change when on the road ... so 10,000 miles between filters.


Two tire levers here ... another Ty Davis lever in luggage. (12")


Spare nuts and bolts are like buried treasure when in Baja. I mostly end up giving stuff away ... as was the case here. Happy to help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
quite lengthy. But applicable to most bikes (even based on the DR, but made as generic as possible). These ideas may help cut down on your luggage (eg a second air cleaner... no use prefilters, air filter oil? Use that engine oil... and you can get that from a garage. I normally only carry chain oil, grease, and never seeze). The next one is a bit of a mix of different ideas for different bikes - some don't apply to the DR.
Very good ideas there. In heavy dust I use "Filter Skins" which slip over air filter. re-usable. I use a small squeeze bottle of 90 Wt. gear oil. It's cheap and available nearly everywhere. A great chain lube. The key to long chain life is regular cleaning. Diesel works fine ... or just a quick wipe down and light re-oiling. I get near 25,000 from a chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
PS I don't carry a ratchet - I can do any bolt with other less weighty tools, slower but can be done.
That is a mistake. Trust me. I use a 1/4" drive ratchet, by Snap-On. I fly through common maintenance ... and never bodge bolts up or scuff knuckles.

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