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Old 04-26-2013, 10:15 AM   #1741
capeklr
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #1742
Adv Grifter
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Good to hear it Jay!

I just can't imagine what it would be like for a non native to navigate India's formidable bureaucracy. I've heard tell it's one of the worst in the world. Not really corrupt ... just bogged down with hundreds of petty rules that the inspectors stick too without exception.

Any comments on this?

I figure if it took you (a native) two months to get your bike out ... then a foreigner's bike would NEVER get loose. I guess this is the reason so few world travelers import their bikes into India? Is it even possible now to do this for a non Indian?

Seems most foreign Moto Queros either buy or rent an Enfield or Honda Hero. Looking forward to your take on dealing with Indian traffic. We hear horror stories.

A good friend had a kid jump in front of him ... he was practically lynched by a local mob. It was all a set up of course ... and the Police knew full well it was. Still, it cost him about $500 USD to get free ... and this story is from the late 1980's before hardly any Americans were touring India by bike.

Still, he survived to become an Enfield expert ... did three different year long tours of India. He's now passed away ... lots of great tales of India went with him.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:55 AM   #1743
Jammin OP
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Eek Need help with valve clearance mess up

Just realized that when I did my valve check in Cape Town, I messed up with the feeler gauges. Instead of using the 0.10 mm (middle of tolerance) for the intake valves, I used the 0.010" = 0.25 mm gauge. Bike starts up easily and runs well, did a 60 mile ride so far but valves sound loud.

I would just go back and redo the valve check but in Cape Town the crankshaft cap got stripped. I got it to TDC by spinning the rear wheel in gear.

I'm just about to set off on my ride around India on Tuesday. How critical is it to redo the valve clearance or can I leave it as it is? Intake valves tighten up over time, right? If I leave it at 0.25 mm instead of 0.10mm, am I doing any damage?
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:59 AM   #1744
GSF1200S
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I'm no DR expert jay, but I would definitely not ride it like that. If you have some permagasket or a spare stator cover gasket you could just mark the case where the hole for tdc is, pull the stator cover, pull the valve cover caps, do the adjustment then put it back together. They tighten over time but not that much
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:29 AM   #1745
Adv Grifter
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I would make the adjustment. Noisy valve clatter drives me crazy, it will affect fuel economy and performance. If too far out it could do damage.

Just do as you say ... rotate motor using back wheel to the correct TDC using inspection window.(when ALL valves are loose)
Get the right feeler gauge and make the change.

Should take all of about half hour? Good luck Jay, watch out for those crazy Indian Tuk Tuks!

Safe going!
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #1746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Good to hear it Jay!

I just can't imagine what it would be like for a non native to navigate India's formidable bureaucracy. I've heard tell it's one of the worst in the world. Not really corrupt ... just bogged down with hundreds of petty rules that the inspectors stick too without exception.

Any comments on this?

I figure if it took you (a native) two months to get your bike out ... then a foreigner's bike would NEVER get loose. I guess this is the reason so few world travelers import their bikes into India? Is it even possible now to do this for a non Indian?
Yup, you got it right. I didn't pay a single bribe and didn't even see a chance for it. Every officer was super strict about this stamp and that signature before my file could move forward. I tried to make some phone calls from people on the inside but even that didn't work. I guess that's good in a way but damn, they are definitely choking the economy here.

Actually, coming in on a carnet is quite easy into India, it's just that me being an Indian, they were a lot more suspicious of what exactly Im doing since it's not normal for Indians to travel around my motorcycle They even said, "if you were a foreign passport holder, no problem, but you are an Indian, so we must ask more questions." Idiots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Seems most foreign Moto Queros either buy or rent an Enfield or Honda Hero. Looking forward to your take on dealing with Indian traffic. We hear horror stories.

A good friend had a kid jump in front of him ... he was practically lynched by a local mob. It was all a set up of course ... and the Police knew full well it was. Still, it cost him about $500 USD to get free ... and this story is from the late 1980's before hardly any Americans were touring India by bike.

Still, he survived to become an Enfield expert ... did three different year long tours of India. He's now passed away ... lots of great tales of India went with him.
I've been riding around waiting for sanDRina and traffic isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure it's crazy compared to more civilized parts of the world, but once you understand how things work, no problems. They of course dont follow lane discipline but they're also not erratic, as in they are quite predictable and it takes a lot of patience and yielding to joining traffic.

Oh yes, I've read too about the all the scams in India against foreigners. This happened too to some ADV riders, Mark Hammond et al in Senegal. A girl ran out and hit herself on a side pannier and the guys didnt even notice it but they were almost lynched in the next village.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:20 AM   #1747
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
I'm no DR expert jay, but I would definitely not ride it like that. If you have some permagasket or a spare stator cover gasket you could just mark the case where the hole for tdc is, pull the stator cover, pull the valve cover caps, do the adjustment then put it back together. They tighten over time but not that much
Thanks, mate. Hmm, I'll spin the rear wheel rather than take the stator cover off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
I would make the adjustment. Noisy valve clatter drives me crazy, it will affect fuel economy and performance. If too far out it could do damage.

Just do as you say ... rotate motor using back wheel to the correct TDC using inspection window.(when ALL valves are loose)
Get the right feeler gauge and make the change.

Should take all of about half hour? Good luck Jay, watch out for those crazy Indian Tuk Tuks!

Safe going!
Ok, I took care of this. With the help of my uncle, I spun the wheel in 5th gear and we got it on TDCC and adjusted the valves and she's sounding much better now phew
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:49 AM   #1748
naveenroy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
April 23, 2013

Here's the route plan for the last leg of my journey. It'll be a 40 day 8,000 km (5,000 mile) road trip around India.

From Chennai, I'll be heading to my old school at Kodai and then the southernmost point of India at Kanyakumari. From there, it's north thru Kerala, Goa and Mumbai and then inland to Khajuraho and Agra. I'm planning about three weeks to get to Agra and then three weeks for a loop through the mountains

After showing sanDRina the Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Simiens, I'd like to thank her for taking me on this journey by showing her the mighty Himalayas. We'll be ending the journey after traversing some of the highest mountain passes in the world

From Kashmir, a quick stop in Amritsar and then the journey ends when we arrive in Delhi.

See the full journey route map here: http://bit.ly/rtw_map

Awesome stuff! When are you planning to ride to Kodai?
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #1749
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Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Yup, you got it right. I didn't pay a single bribe and didn't even see a chance for it. Every officer was super strict about this stamp and that signature before my file could move forward. I tried to make some phone calls from people on the inside but even that didn't work. I guess that's good in a way but damn, they are definitely choking the economy here.
Well, though it is a pain, I think it is better that it isn't corrupt at least. Here in KA, you might have more easily got the bike out and it would have been a really well-oiled process. Bribe EVERYONE to do their work and you will get work done! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
I've been riding around waiting for sanDRina and traffic isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure it's crazy compared to more civilized parts of the world, but once you understand how things work, no problems. They of course dont follow lane discipline but they're also not erratic, as in they are quite predictable and it takes a lot of patience and yielding to joining traffic.
Yup, its only about getting used to it. And sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:42 AM   #1750
Jammin OP
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Cool2 About sanDRina, a 1998 Suzuki DR650 in Adventure Spec

April 29, 2013

Here's a video detailing why I chose the Suzuki DR650 as my bike of choice for my three-year motorcycle journey from Chicago to Delhi and then specifically, what are all the features on sanDRina that bring her up to Adventure Spec

Details on Aqualine Safari Tank, Pivot Pegz, WER Steering Stabilizer, Fork Brace, Happy Trails Panniers, Vapor Dash Computer, Galfer Rotors, Answer Handlebar, Ricoh Intiminator, Touratech GPS Mount, Vision X LED Lights, Suzuki GSX-R1000 Titanium Exhaust, Scotts Stainless Steel Oil Filter and more...



(this video was shot before I properly set the valves, so they sound really loud )

Click here for more Videos
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:56 AM   #1751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Awesome stuff! When are you planning to ride to Kodai?
Hey Naveen, I'll be in Trichy tomorrow night and then riding to Kodai on Wed and then riding to Tirunelveli on Sat.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:00 AM   #1752
Jammin OP
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Talking Jammin thru India

April 29, 2013

Woohoo! Jay and Yahoo! Jammin thru India

I'm excited to announce that I've teamed up with Yahoo! India Travel for the last leg of my journey around India. I'll be posting daily text, photo and video updates from the road on this site:

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/jammin-india-with-jay/



Yes! I'm finally getting paid to travel
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:14 PM   #1753
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Blessings before the journey around India

April 29, 2013

Swamiji blessing sanDRina and our journey around India that begins tomorrow

We had a Satyanarayan Puja at my parents' home in Chennai and I got the Pujari to invoke the gods' blessings for sanDRina. After the aarti, this burning coconut was smashed on the ground and I rolled sanDRina over some lemons for good luck, as is traditional in Hinduism. Not sure how long those flower garlands will last but should help in case I get pulled over by the cops

And no, that's not a Ganesha sticker on the windshield but a fractal from the Mandelbrot set. I pray to the motorcycle gods

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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:28 PM   #1754
Jammin OP
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April 30, 2013

First day of the journey and the ride was smooth. I met up with a few riders from the Madras Bulls Motorcycle Club and we rode down the East Coast Road to Mahabalipuram. After being sent off by the Bulls, I enjoyed the twisting road along the coast till Pondicherry. The Indian Summer is in full swing with temps around 42 C (108 F) and the Tamil Nadu coast is very humid. I stayed hydrated by drinking 5 L of water and having some coconuts and date palm fruit. I reached Trichy and met up with Simrit, a biker who's been following my trip for a while. He put me up for the night and we got some dinner from his favorite push cart vendor who was making fresh barrotas that came with a spicy kurma and fried goat brain and livers; a hearty meal after a good first day back in the saddle.

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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #1755
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May 1, 2013

Today was a special day for me. I rode up the Ghat Road to Kodai, a place up on a mountain where I spent 10 years growing up in boarding school. I've traveled up and down this ghat road numerous times but this was the first time I had ridden it for myself and wow, what a fun road! So many twists and turns and narrow places with blind corners. Kodai sits at an elevation of around 2,135 m (7,000 ft) and the cool temps are a big relief from the hot plains. I'm staying with an old school friend, Hari Shankar Mani, who's friends with the new school principal and we just had a small dinner party. The principal's arranged for me to come speak at school

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