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Old 05-16-2003, 12:43 AM   #1
DirtyVFR OP
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Location: Southern Cal
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The MotherShip

Effectiveness of KTM Adventure mods under extreme conditions.

Background:
A (semi)supported dirt ride from Mexico to Canada. Billed as the "World's Longest Dual Sport Ride" at 2,500 miles (500 paved), "Mex2Can" is even longer if you refuse to trailer your bike. The route is broken into halves - Mexico to Fallon NV in May, then Fallon to Canada in July. The reason is weather, and we found the Fallon course buried in snow last week. So breaking the trip in two was well advised. It also adds a potential street mile heft.

The Mex2Can group is small and most riders bring dedicated dirt bikes. Half the ten bikes were KTMs, mostly EXC models with added lights. The pavement sections are short. Some would be sport bike heaven if not so remote.

The dirt ranged from fast graded road (I did over 90 mph on some sections) to miles of deep sand switchbacks, to rutted uphill single track. Most riders were amazed the big Adventure waded through. And on the one hill where I looped it, over half the other riders also fell.

As with any group of guys, the riders and their bikes pick up nick names. The modified 2002 earned the moniker "The MotherShip."


The MotherShip:
Modifications and findings from the ground up.

Pirelli MT21s, Moose Tubes, Slime:
The stock Saharas work very well on the street and nicely on graded road. For hill climbs and descents, however, nothing beats knobbies. The MT21s have great dirt traction and surprisingly good street performance. Wear is the only major issue, with cupping of the front tire on the street, and the back tires lasting a mere 1,000 dirt miles. The Moose tubes and Slime are indispensable. I took many HARD slams that should have pinch flatted the front dozens of times. I even pulled a long nail from the rear. No problems holding air.

Sidestand and Centerstand:
Both side and center are very desirable. Center stand makes the bike MUCH easier to work on, and is easy to deploy. However, for a quick park job on the dirt (rescuing a fallen buddy), nothing beats a side stand.

Extended Footpegs:
If you ride any serious dirt, you need these.

Stiffer Fork Springs:
With my 200 lbs plus gear, stiffer front springs have helped with front end bottoming.

'Big Gun' Pipe, Jetting, Airbox:
The bike lost emissions, air box lid, stock pipe, etc. right from the showroom. The "Big Gun" pipe is lighter, has a nice deep tone, and adds a bit of power. The bike's been running rich, particularly at 5,000+ ft and is in for rejetting.

Cycoactive Light Protectors:
Inexpensive stick-on protection against rock chips. I heard the lights were expensive to replace and felt really smart after a major rock hit. The plastic held the broken glass together, however, it's all part of an $150 unit. So when I finally replace the light, I'll look to a wire mesh protector in front of the lights, and use the stick on protection for smaller stones that make their way through.

Moose Fenderpack:
Excellent place to hold a front tire tube. Can be used to fix a front or rear flat and is completely out of the way.

Touratech Panniers:
Yes they work great. For the dirt sections they rode in the support truck. The went on the bike from home to Mexico and from Fallon back home. Didn't hinder handling at all. Superb quality. No rattles, easy off and on. Everyone drools over the shiny aluminum. (Cars notice you too.)
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:45 AM   #2
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MotherShip Cockpit (cont.)

Barmount Trip Adjuster:
Three buttons on a bar mount. One toggles the modes, the other two increment or decrement "Trip 2" count by 10ths. Works great EXCEPT... The 2002 computer sucks and mine is off by 7%. My 2000 computer had larger trip numbers and an obvious way to adjust accuracy. The 2002 has a temperature and Fuel Reserve indicator. For working with Roll Charts, the older model was better. The Dealer is looking into ways to adjust the odometer.

Bar Risers:
Another excellent modification. I'm 6'1 and feel the bike is tall. But standing up, I was having a tough time reaching down to the bars. The 2002 is slightly worse in this respect than the 2000 (USD forks and different triple clamps.) The Dealer made 3/4" risers (they advise seriously against going higher.) Taller bars would have been next, but the risers made a big enough difference. Highly recommended.

KTM Roadbook Holder:
An inexpensive part that really should have come stock on these bikes. Gives you a good place to mount all sorts of neat stuff. Becomes a liability when you loop it however. I fell once on the trip, cross rutting a steep hill on which half the riders fell. The bike crashed onto it's nose and the Road Book Holder was bent beyond restoration. Several guys pitched in and we bent it back to a useable configuration, but not without requiring attention the rest of the trip. None of the stock parts were damaged. So maybe that's why it's not stock.

Touratech Tankbag:
Kent originally bought the KTM version bag. After realizing the Map storage was better on the Touratech version, I bought that one. The bag is extremely useful and I use it to carry extensive first aid, spare parts, jacket liner, etc, etc. The little side pockets seem cool, but hinder standing up a bit. I started off keeping them empty, then strapping them flat, and eventually just cut off them off. Also, when I returned home, I noticed the main zipper developed a failure spot. I'll have to check on how well Touratech warranties quality.

Touratech Roll Chart Holder:
You can see about double the amount of roll chart on this beauty. It also winds from top or bottom, using a little pulley system.

Touratech 176c Holder:
You need Touratech's expensive anti-vibe mounts or you'll kill any electronics attached to the bike. This one includes hard wiring to the GPS.

Garmin 176c:
It Rules. Lots of accolades on the site already. I used it extensively in conjunction with the roll chart. When a buddy crashed and broke his shoulder in the middle of nowhere, I used it to navigate us back to the nearest roads (50 miles away). Power is hard wired to the bike and needs to be.

RAM Mount Rino:
RAM mount is very handy, but it transmits the vibes and knock the Rhino out in minutes (even with super taped batteries). I eventually used it to mount inside the tank bag where the vibes are not a problem.

Garmin Rino:
An amazing device. Even if not mounted in view, my buddy pulled his out when ever we got out of site. The GUI is superb, and the new "Polling feature" is nifty. Another rider abandoned his Etrex in favor of just the GPS portion. For the price, I think I'm more impressed with the Rino than even the 176c. When they make a Touratech mount, it becomes a "must have."

GS Dakar Windscreen:
Inspired by CAT0020's pictures, this is the single best mod made to the 2002 Adventure. I opted for 6mm bolts and made mounting spacers from skateboard cushions. I don't think it sticks up as high or far out as Cat's installation. I look right over it. No deflection at high speed (109 mph by speedo, 101 by GPS). I could hide behind it during an unseasonable Fallon hail storm (90 miles, on a dirt road at 60-70 mph). It's effectiveness reminds me of a good sport bike windscreen. A small still pocket to protect your face. A requirement for long freeway miles. And after slamming into it, face first, during a series of hard whoop-de-doos, I also now know why they bent the lip up like that.

NEEDED-->

Loud Robust Horn
Scots Steering Damper
Flanny Bash Box
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Old 05-16-2003, 01:01 AM   #3
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Excellent! Thanks for sharing that - great inspiration :):
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:01 AM   #4
Humungus
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Nice bike.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:38 AM   #5
BajaDave
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Nice setup! How much did the windscreen cost?
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Old 05-16-2003, 07:42 AM   #6
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Talking

Nice report, it really makes me appreciate my Adventure more and more knowing that it is capable of doing all that.

It looks like you have your windscreen tilted towards the back of the bike more than mine.. I have my screen almost vertical to the ground, maybe that's why it seems to be taller. I have yet to get into situation where I would hit the windscreen with my helmet, but I can imagine the bent lip on the screen adds significant stiffness to the screen at high speed.. it would not be fun to hit it face first.

Awsome!!:):
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Old 05-16-2003, 09:56 AM   #7
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nicely done mounting system. As thats my current project i'd love to see more detailed shot... if you've got 'em.
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Old 05-16-2003, 10:39 AM   #8
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What a great post, DirtyVFR! Thanks for taking the time...

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Old 05-16-2003, 03:29 PM   #9
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Right on Man. Great post. I think I may just have to order that Dakar screen.

-BS
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:56 PM   #10
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DirtyVFR-

What is the third mirror for (the one mounted to the KTM roadbook bolder)? Doesn't look like it would show you much other than your chest while riding.

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Old 05-16-2003, 08:55 PM   #11
DirtyVFR OP
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Screen and Mirrors

I purchased the Dakar screen from a BMW dealer for about $165. It was more than I wanted to spend for an experiment, but I decided to trade money for time. I got lucky and am completely satisfied. It looks and works as though it were designed for the bike.

The pre-drilled mouting holes are for 6mm screws. Cat drilled his out to 1/4" to have more hardware selection but I wanted to stay metric (fewer tools to bring.)

I drilled the bottom center hole 5 1/2" down from the top of my existing screen. After putting in the spacer, I drilled the other two holes to fit. I used lock nuts on the back side and found washers with one neoprene side at the hardware store. I used the washers to protect the screen side.

I'm really glad I used the rubber spacers instead of metal ones. When I slammed the screen into the hill, the whole thing smashed back into original plastic, then into the GPS and roadbook holder, etc.. Metal spacers, I believe would have increased the damage.

The little additional mirrors are sold by Dual Star. One on the right handlebar is adjusted to let me look under my right arm when I'm ducking behind the screen (high speed freeway stuff). The left one up on the roadbook holder, has a convex stick-on added (auto parts store). Yes, I can see some of my body (useful for checking straps, etc.), but mostly it eliminates the blind spot during lane changes.

I had planned to take off the normal mirrors during the ride and rely on the Dual Stars. However, mirrors turned out to be very important as I was usually leading and needed to keep track of the riders behind. Sometimes even a glimpse of a headlight in one mirror says "It's OK to make the turn and continue on."

This needs to be a superior dirt bike, and a competent freeway bike as well.
(Hence the desire to upgrade the horn. If anyone has experience with upgrading the LC4 horn, I'd love to hear about it.)
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Old 05-19-2003, 09:49 AM   #12
Flanny
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Awesome post...

This is just more support that the Adventure is the ULTIMATE one bike garage machine.

I just got back from a 1400km weekend "jaunt" the Adventure performed flawlessly...

One little hint...for long freeway days, switch gearing to the 17t front sprocket. Takes only minutes to switch, and REALLY makies the Adenture ROCK on the long paved sections. The taller graing give the bike a completely different flavour, and it really comes into its own on the road...I gues much like a Duke would feel.

Cheers!
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:00 PM   #13
DirtyVFR OP
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Seventeen Teeth

Flanny,

Thanks for the cool tip. I'll try it for the upcoming freeway sections. Any installation tips? Do you adjust the chain at all when switching?
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:49 PM   #14
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Yeah...The chain requires re-setting to the propoer tension (13mm and 10mm wrenches)-piece of cake.

I only do this if I am travelling a full day to somewhere else, for example last weekend I rode 600kms to guelph on Friday with the 17t on. Saturday, I rode 350kms of dual-sport in Guelph with a bunch of folks, and used the 16t. Sunday morning, I threw the 17t back on for the 600K ride home.

Works great. Really smooths things out.
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Old 05-26-2003, 11:23 PM   #15
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Re: Seventeen Teeth

Quote:
Said DirtyVFR:
Thanks for the cool tip. I'll try it for the upcoming freeway sections. Any installation tips? Do you adjust the chain at all when switching?
I've used pavement friendly gearing on the R in the past and it makes quite a difference while cruising, yet doesn't hurt things down low too badly. To keep your chain length the same and be able to easily swap gearing as needed, go up one tooth in the front, down two in the rear. Then just adjust chain tension a bit.

17t countershaft sprocket, ktm part # 58033029017.
40t rear sprocket, ktm part # 58310151040.

To fit the 17t countershaft sprocket, you'll need to take a belt sander to the removable case protector for clearance. Or order the one they use on the duke (ktm part # 58430047000).
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