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Old 11-10-2010, 10:15 PM   #901
Phreaky Phil
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Oddometer: 1,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan
Now that Littlewan has finished the riding bits I guess I will have to do some kind of bike prep, gear review type thing.

We were really lucky this year, all of the mechanical issues we had were quite trivial.
Early on in the trip the bike started spewing coolant and overheating whenever pushed just a little.
Like all LC8 owners, I am always looking for signs that the water pump has failed.
The bike was using or loosing coolant, so I assumed the worst and started to think about where I was going to replace the pump.
After keeping a close eye on the water level and the engine oil for a couple of days, I ruled out a failed water pump since the oil never got that creamy oil water mix look.
After a quick look around Orange Crush I found a plausible culprit, a dirty or bad radiator cap.
I took off the cap cleaned it up and replaced it. Problem solved.

I have to say that without ADV and Orange Crush in particular, I canít imagine owning a KTM 950/990.
Itís a vital resource, the first place I turn to whenever thereís a problem with the bike.
So thanks to all those who take the time to share their experience and expertise with the rest of us.

The only other mechanical trouble we had was a dead battery on three different occasions.
This was always a problem on the 950 also.
Maybe the stock battery is a little undersized, I donít know.
It just canít keep up with the charging demands we place on it with the intercoms, AA batteries for the camera and gps.

Iím really not one to preach about bike prep and what you have to do or not do, but I donít mind sharing what worked for us.

For the big Katoom specifically:

-Changing out the stock clutch slave with one from Evoluzion gets rid of one potential problem.



-Replacing the low fender with the high fender was a big help.
Last year we got bound up in the mud and it made forward progress really difficult.
We had the same kind of sticky mud this year and were glad we made the change.




-This year we went with Nedís 2 into 1 pipe and extra gas tank. http://www.advtank.com/
It was a very convenient way to carry 2.1 extra gallons of gas. When we are loaded down we get 25 to 40 mpg, more often closer to 33.
It was nice to know you could always go 200+ miles if need be. I liked it much more than carrying the Kolpins like we did last year.
With the ADV tank we were able to have saddlebags, which allowed us to camp.



We did have a bit of rubbing and scraping on the swing arm from the ADV Tank mount. I think we can find a fix for it now that weíre home.



-As for gearing, we went with 16/45.
We tried to be in the dirt as much as possible, so I thought I would rather have a bike that would be comfortable in the slower tight stuff- even if that meant a slower top speed.
We rarely have the need to go over 90.

Things we did to the bike in general, mostly commonsense stuff people do when doing this type of travel.

-One of the most important improvements we made was to our skid plate. We went with the strongest one we could find made by B.D.C.W. http://www.blackdogcw.com/
And we're glad we did. We had a (hopefully) once in a life time hit, directly on that little piece of armor that knocked the wind out of both of us.
If we had been using the stock skid plate, I think the trip wouldíve ended back in Oregon.
I used the stock skid plate on the 950- until it broke into 3 pieces, thatís when I got this one.



I transferred it to the 990, but after this trip we decided to upgrade to the latest version.
It looks even tougher than the original. I canít wait to test it out.



Our original Black Dog skid plate (below) was the first generation.
While it had some kickstand protection, it was in need of more.



Checkout the protection on the new one.
The kickstand switch is the Achilles heel of the 990, a good hit here and youíre walking.



-Another addition we tested on this trip were the Acerbis hand guards, any decent bark busters will work.
Bikes fall over, thatís what they do.
Itís nice to not have to worry about broken levers, however you still have to carry extra levers. Oh well.

-Luggage: We tried the new Wolfman Expedition Dry Line and loved them.http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/
Barring any high speed sliding crashes they should last for years. I have nothing bad to say about them.
They are well designed and stay put.
We also switched tank bags from the KTM bag with the zipper to the Wolfman Explorer Lite.
The Explorer is 2Ē shorter then the KTM bag and I could really feel a difference in how far forward I could get.
The Explorer uses 4 parachute buckles instead of a zipper to attach to the bike, much easier to deal with.

-Tires: Everybody has their favorite tires, mine are 908 rear and 606 front. I think I might be changing the front favorite to a Pirelli Scorpion Rally.
It didnít cup like the 606 as it wore out.
To be honest though, I only used one so far, but I liked it.
We also used ultra H.D. tubes and had zero flats.

G.P.S.: Littlewan did a pretty thorough job documenting the exploits of Norman the Delorman.
All in all we are very happy with the PN60. It did everything we expected it to do and more.

-Intercoms: The Interphone 4ís worked perfectly, they provided clear wireless communication with batteries that lasted all day, 10+ hrs. per charge. http://wirelessriders.com/
That being said, It was a bit of a pain to charge them while camping.
Also we were unable to listen to the same music and talk.
Our old Motocomm st1 did that really well.
I feel like a whiny yuppie after typing that. Oh well, if the Latte fits...

I guess thatís about it, Iím not really into this whole gear thing.
If you have a specific question that I might be able to answer, go for it.

One more pic of the bike, just because I love to look at it.


I would like to say thank you to Kelly for doing a great job and thanks to you all for reading.

Matt
Hi Matt and Kelly. First of all, thanks Kelly for posting the ride report. An Epic undertaking. I know how much work it takes to do a basic one so you must have spent countless hours ! but i'm glad you did as I have loved it and following your reports has turned our idea of coming over to do the TAT into a "plan". We were thinking 2012 but if we can save enough money we may be able to come next year. I had a long chat the other night to a guy that lives near me who has not long been home from doing the TAT and he has given me some valuable info on bike importing and insurance etc. They started and finished in L.A but we're thinking San Francisco may be better.
Those Pirrelli Dakar fronts look good. Spotted them in the Aussie ADV section. Cant get them in NZ but am going to get one sent over from Aus to try.
I also like the look of the Woolfman Exped panniers. Glad to see the stood up to the punishment. What did you do with the strap that goes over the seat, run it under the seat. That is my only concern with them as a strap on the seat could be annoying for the pillion.
Once again thanks for posting and now you may REST !!!!
Cheers Phil and Dawn
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:30 AM   #902
tremor38
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Japan
Oddometer: 1,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan
Now that Littlewan has finished the riding bits I guess I will have to do some kind of bike prep, gear review type thing.

We were really lucky this year, all of the mechanical issues we had were quite trivial.
Early on in the trip the bike started spewing coolant and overheating whenever pushed just a little.
Like all LC8 owners, I am always looking for signs that the water pump has failed.
The bike was using or loosing coolant, so I assumed the worst and started to think about where I was going to replace the pump.
After keeping a close eye on the water level and the engine oil for a couple of days, I ruled out a failed water pump since the oil never got that creamy oil water mix look.
After a quick look around Orange Crush I found a plausible culprit, a dirty or bad radiator cap.
I took off the cap cleaned it up and replaced it. Problem solved.

I have to say that without ADV and Orange Crush in particular, I canít imagine owning a KTM 950/990.
Itís a vital resource, the first place I turn to whenever thereís a problem with the bike.
So thanks to all those who take the time to share their experience and expertise with the rest of us.

The only other mechanical trouble we had was a dead battery on three different occasions.
This was always a problem on the 950 also.
Maybe the stock battery is a little undersized, I donít know.
It just canít keep up with the charging demands we place on it with the intercoms, AA batteries for the camera and gps.

Iím really not one to preach about bike prep and what you have to do or not do, but I donít mind sharing what worked for us.

For the big Katoom specifically:

-Changing out the stock clutch slave with one from Evoluzion gets rid of one potential problem.



-Replacing the low fender with the high fender was a big help.
Last year we got bound up in the mud and it made forward progress really difficult.
We had the same kind of sticky mud this year and were glad we made the change.




-This year we went with Nedís 2 into 1 pipe and extra gas tank. http://www.advtank.com/
It was a very convenient way to carry 2.1 extra gallons of gas. When we are loaded down we get 25 to 40 mpg, more often closer to 33.
It was nice to know you could always go 200+ miles if need be. I liked it much more than carrying the Kolpins like we did last year.
With the ADV tank we were able to have saddlebags, which allowed us to camp.



We did have a bit of rubbing and scraping on the swing arm from the ADV Tank mount. I think we can find a fix for it now that weíre home.



-As for gearing, we went with 16/45.
We tried to be in the dirt as much as possible, so I thought I would rather have a bike that would be comfortable in the slower tight stuff- even if that meant a slower top speed.
We rarely have the need to go over 90.

Things we did to the bike in general, mostly commonsense stuff people do when doing this type of travel.

-One of the most important improvements we made was to our skid plate. We went with the strongest one we could find made by B.D.C.W. http://www.blackdogcw.com/
And we're glad we did. We had a (hopefully) once in a life time hit, directly on that little piece of armor that knocked the wind out of both of us.
If we had been using the stock skid plate, I think the trip wouldíve ended back in Oregon.
I used the stock skid plate on the 950- until it broke into 3 pieces, thatís when I got this one.



I transferred it to the 990, but after this trip we decided to upgrade to the latest version.
It looks even tougher than the original. I canít wait to test it out.



Our original Black Dog skid plate (below) was the first generation.
While it had some kickstand protection, it was in need of more.



Checkout the protection on the new one.
The kickstand switch is the Achilles heel of the 990, a good hit here and youíre walking.



-Another addition we tested on this trip were the Acerbis hand guards, any decent bark busters will work.
Bikes fall over, thatís what they do.
Itís nice to not have to worry about broken levers, however you still have to carry extra levers. Oh well.

-Luggage: We tried the new Wolfman Expedition Dry Line and loved them.http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/
Barring any high speed sliding crashes they should last for years. I have nothing bad to say about them.
They are well designed and stay put.
We also switched tank bags from the KTM bag with the zipper to the Wolfman Explorer Lite.
The Explorer is 2Ē shorter then the KTM bag and I could really feel a difference in how far forward I could get.
The Explorer uses 4 parachute buckles instead of a zipper to attach to the bike, much easier to deal with.

-Tires: Everybody has their favorite tires, mine are 908 rear and 606 front. I think I might be changing the front favorite to a Pirelli Scorpion Rally.
It didnít cup like the 606 as it wore out.
To be honest though, I only used one so far, but I liked it.
We also used ultra H.D. tubes and had zero flats.

G.P.S.: Littlewan did a pretty thorough job documenting the exploits of Norman the Delorman.
All in all we are very happy with the PN60. It did everything we expected it to do and more.

-Intercoms: The Interphone 4ís worked perfectly, they provided clear wireless communication with batteries that lasted all day, 10+ hrs. per charge. http://wirelessriders.com/
That being said, It was a bit of a pain to charge them while camping.
Also we were unable to listen to the same music and talk.
Our old Motocomm st1 did that really well.
I feel like a whiny yuppie after typing that. Oh well, if the Latte fits...

I guess thatís about it, Iím not really into this whole gear thing.
If you have a specific question that I might be able to answer, go for it.

One more pic of the bike, just because I love to look at it.


I would like to say thank you to Kelly for doing a great job and thanks to you all for reading.

Matt
Saddle looks like a Renazco. Did you part with the extra dough for the 2-up build? Was it comfy for both of you?
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:14 AM   #903
OklaRider
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Joined: Apr 2010
Oddometer: 28
I've been following along for weeks and waited until the end to post. Thanks for taking the time to put this RR together. The pictures, descriptions and humor were great. Overall, I'd say awesome and inspiring.

It's like a good book, you hate to put it down and just don't want to see it end. I'll be looking forward to your next adventure.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:41 AM   #904
beanpolio
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Oddometer: 26
Well Done!

Well done! Thanks Wans! Truly entertaining. what will I do during lunch now??? Thanks BigWan for the vapor lock tip....I hope I never have to try it!
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:07 AM   #905
Gramp-Z
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Maple Valley , WA , USA
Oddometer: 768
Can't thank you enough for doing such a great ride report Kelly ! It made the time at the factory much better . Enjoyed the nice mix of travel pictures along with comic relief . Enjoyed the videos also . Matt , I bow down to a Master ! Even when I was much younger I can't begin to imagine taking that "bus" 2 up and loaded down on the trails you did . That video near the end on trail 32-3-32 blew me away ! Thanks again for one of the best Reports in a long time . Will be waiting for your next trip .
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #906
xymotic
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Federal Way, WA
Oddometer: 8,364
Just gotta add my +1 to all those kudo throwing wannabe's You've made a very impressive RR, definitely one of my favorites on ADV.

Truly inspiring since the area is so nearby, I just gotta get out more
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Baja trip to the tip
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trials and tribulations in the Mojave
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:42 AM   #907
LittleWan OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
Oddometer: 1,676
Hey you guys - thanks for the love!

Matt has tried for years to get me to have a travel blog.
I'm not going to jump on that bandwagon now,
but it surprises me that people would have actually read it!


I've been trying to PM everyone, but I'm falling behind.
If you left a comment (since the end of the ride post on page 59), keep your eyes on your inbox.
I'll get there eventually.


It's been pretty nice, not having to spend all my time in Lightroom and on photobucket...
Last night we watched Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and I got caught up on my knitting.







BigWan is trying to respond to the bike related questions.
He's over there swearing (lost his initial post ), but it's on its way...
(he has so much more sympathy for me now that he sees what it's like...)



Anyway, I have one more clip for you guys.
I never found the right spot for it...
but the little song has been stuck in my head.
I'm really going to miss making ADV riders watch weird stuff...




Make cute dancing your favorite!



BigWan is almost ready...


LittleWan screwed with this post 11-11-2010 at 08:50 AM
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:21 AM   #908
BigWan
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Ocho Doble Up-Country, CA
Oddometer: 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreaky Phil
Hi Matt and Kelly. First of all, thanks Kelly for posting the ride report. An Epic undertaking. I know how much work it takes to do a basic one so you must have spent countless hours ! but i'm glad you did as I have loved it and following your reports has turned our idea of coming over to do the TAT into a "plan". We were thinking 2012 but if we can save enough money we may be able to come next year. I had a long chat the other night to a guy that lives near me who has not long been home from doing the TAT and he has given me some valuable info on bike importing and insurance etc. They started and finished in L.A but we're thinking San Francisco may be better.
Those Pirrelli Dakar fronts look good. Spotted them in the Aussie ADV section. Cant get them in NZ but am going to get one sent over from Aus to try.
I also like the look of the Woolfman Exped panniers. Glad to see the stood up to the punishment.
What did you do with the strap that goes over the seat, run it under the seat. That is my only concern with them as a strap on the seat could be annoying for the pillion.
Once again thanks for posting and now you may REST !!!!
Cheers Phil and Dawn
Hi Phil,
The logistics of your trip do add a thick layer of complexity, but it will add to the sense of accomplishment when it's all over.
We shipped a bike out of S.F. to Germany a while back.
The process was very smooth, however the ship ended up being 2 weeks late.
Moral of the story, ship early. Given a choice I would ship in and out of S.F. - being a smaller city, it's much easier to deal with and it's kind of pretty.
If we are around when you come through we would be glad to help out any way we can.
The Bay Area is a very bike friendly place. I don't mean safe to ride in. It's not.
I mean chock full of helpful ADVer's willing to help you out.
The Wolfman bags are great, I was able to route that strap under the seat. I'm sure you could make them work with your set up.
They are a little small at 18 liters apiece, when you are carrying gear for two, but you will be happy they aren't any larger when you're on the trail.
If it helps, we spent $127 a day on average, that's for everything. We camped a third of the time.
I had hoped to camp more, but I'm not unhappy with a third.
I'm guessing your bike is not as thirsty as ours and will probably not go through three sets of tires either and I'm pretty sure you don't eat as much as I do.
Hell, your trip will almost be free.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:00 AM   #909
BigWan
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Location: Ocho Doble Up-Country, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevermind
Matt,
How long have you been riding? What's your bike resume? Please don't say you just started riding 3 years ago on the 950...
Hey Nevermind,
Three years ago, that would be funny. This year makes 33 years of dirt. I'm getting old, thanks for making me add it all up and think about it.
I think there's a pretty complete bike list in my profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tremor38
Saddle looks like a Renazco. Did you part with the extra dough for the 2-up build? Was it comfy for both of you?
Hi Tremor38,
Yeah, that's a Renazco and it is about as comfy as they get. It's not the special 2-up deal.
I think Littlewan is more comfortable than me (or maybe I just complain more).
The trick for sitting in a saddle 10 to 12 hrs. at a time is to move around and change the pressure points.
Space is a little limited on our ride so I can't move much at all, sitting on that narrow bit up front gets old.
All of this is relative though, one man's narrow is another man's really freaking wide.

BigWan screwed with this post 11-11-2010 at 10:07 AM
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:33 AM   #910
dmaxmike
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Location: Close to the groundhog, PA
Oddometer: 750
so epic!! esp all the riding videos with punk background music!! C A U T I O N is a word i can't understand!
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:55 AM   #911
nevermind
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Lost then Found
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan
Hey Nevermind,
Three years ago, that would be funny. This year makes 33 years of dirt.
Whew! You take that bike places some folks around here say it has no business going. All I say is, "good on you!"...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWan
I'm getting old, thanks for making me add it all up and think about it.
Like I said before, you'll never get old and moldy if you keep riding like you do. IMHO, pushing one's limits has got to keep mind and body young!


Thanks again for taking us along with ya!
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:07 AM   #912
fooswolf
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln, NE
Oddometer: 216
Holy Shitoly, thanks for the great report Kelly and Matt. Since you did the steps on Black Bear 2-up, are you ever going to try Pearl Pass or Schofield Pass 2-up? Hell if anyone could, you two could.

Dan
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:38 PM   #913
Oldone
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Location: MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
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So enjoyable!

Kelly and Matt,

I looked forward to reading more and more and for an old man, it was such an opportunity to almost be right there at times. I love the photo of the little girl and the chipmunk and so many of the others too.

Thanks so much to both of you.....Stay safe.....

Gary
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:51 PM   #914
Questor
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Location: Diamond Bar, CA.
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Thanks for all the weird videos.

I'm going to miss them.

Q~
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #915
PinkPillion
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Location: Northeastern California
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I too have been following along, waiting to post until the RR had come to an end. Holy hell---what a great trip. All of that snow you ventured through at the beginning is coming back already. You guys went pretty much right through our back yard on your way to Eagle Lake HWY 139 in CA. Thanks for sharing. Good Stuff!!!
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