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Old 07-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #1
Seth S OP
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Seth S, Australia Safari 2011 - blog

EDIT 9/13/2011
Now taking T shirt orders. Paypal address seth.strait@gmail.com

T shirts $30.
T shirt + hat & DVD $50....hats and DVD's very limited...less than 10.




EDIT **** T shirts, stickers, and some other goodies being worked on. Once I get the bike in the mail I can get this stuff exposed a bit more...so I will have some stuff available in the near future*****




So here is the story: Last year I started to pursue a major rally along with several other hooligans who frequent Advrider. I was attempting to enter and compete in the Dos Sertoes event but it quickly became apparent that I wasn't financially prepared to take the plunge. I did however manage to attend the Rally Management Services rally school last April. I also had corrective surgery on my eyes to improve my vision....major competitive advantage.

So with the let down of not being able to go to South America I started prepping for this year. There are a lot of events out there to choose from and there seem to always be new ones popping up...so there are lots of choices. There was a bit of an initiative early on to field a strong team to go down and play in Australia. Sometime in the fall I made the commitment to myself to pursue the Australasian Safari Rally for 2011. I got in touch with the USA liason, Justin Maley, and started mining information out of him. In the early days of planning there were over 20 riders interested in the event and 2 car (truck) teams that were interested in going. As plans progressed it looked solidly like Rod Hall racing was going to field a truck and there were going to be 4 to 6 riders commited to the event. The plan was to pack the 4 to 6 bikes + spares and gear in with the car team and economize on shipping and then share a larger service vehicle for the event. The major benefit of this was shipping was very reasonable and many of the logistics were simplified.

Fast forward to about May of 2011. For many reasons...some personal, some economy, some unknown to me....USA entrants were dwindling. In the end the only person left with full commitment was myself. There was one day about 7 weeks ago that Justin and I were on the fence as to whether it was possible. After a late night of pondering I decided to go no matter what it was going to take. Thankfully the organizers and Justin Maley have provided a tremendous amount of help with planning and logistics in order to get me down there and its looking like we are going to make it. I still have a few hurdles to get over but I have hope that it will all fall into place.


So, from this point forward I will add photos and updates when I can to document the prep and the race. When the actual race time comes I do not know what sort of communication ability I will have but any updates will try to post here.
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My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgement. Just installed my new trolling motor

Seth S screwed with this post 09-13-2011 at 02:13 PM
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:06 AM   #2
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:32 AM   #3
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+1
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:35 AM   #4
Seth S OP
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In preparing for this event I had to choose a bike. I went back and forth about 738 times as to whether I should go buy a nice new clean Husaberg 570 or stick with my current KTM 690E. The advantage to the 690 is that I have been racing it in Rally moto here in the USA for 3 or 4 years and trail riding it as well. I know the bike in and out, am familiar with its handling and performance, and have all the mods done. The drawback is that it would need lots of cleaning, small repairs and upgrades. Australian customs is notoriously strict on vehicle cleanliness. If they find any dirt on your vehicle they will liberally apply a pressure steam washing tool...and they dont care about things like bearings, seals, and electrical connections....basically not good. Major decision point....the 690 is paid for and the Renazco seat was already done

Here is the bike prior to rally prep:

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Old 07-27-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
shrineclown
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Logical

But that 570 is real nice tool too. That 50lbs out of your pack might be nice.

Good luck and best wishes on a great overland rally experience.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:32 AM   #6
Deadly99
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Good luck down under
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:46 AM   #7
O.C.F.RIDER
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Well, good on ya!

Good luck.

Chris
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:50 AM   #8
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
Seth S OP
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Originally Posted by shrineclown View Post
But that 570 is real nice tool too. That 50lbs out of your pack might be nice.

Good luck and best wishes on a great overland rally experience.
I agree. the 570 is a good 50 to 70 pounds lighter out of the box and had I more time to consider and prepare I might have gone that route. The other advantage to the 690 is that it supports long maintenance intervals easily, has a robust valve train that needs minimal adjustment, and a little more oil capacity that can go longer between changes....plus the motor has proven to be very robust and we have made much progress on tuning the stock fuel injection system with custom maps.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:59 AM   #10
Seth S OP
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So I spent a weekend tearing the bike down to a pile of parts. It is quite amazing how compact a bike is when it is disassembled....all the parts could easily fit in the trunk of my Saab...if needed.

The first order of business was to get the frame sand blasted and powder coated. The frames on the 690E were all painted black...later they went with a nice bright orange on the R's. The problem with a black frame is that the airbox, fuel lines, valve cover, and wiring harness are also black. Pull the seat off and look down and you cannot see squat. I hate black frames as its so much harder to work on, identify leaks, and other problems. So a place just around the corner from my house did the work and I had the newly painted frame in a couple of days.

Before:


After
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My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgement. Just installed my new trolling motor
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:06 AM   #11
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In!

Way to go Seth!
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:23 AM   #12
Seth S OP
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As I have been reassembling, cleaning, prepping etc I have replaced a lot of parts and always seem to be finding more. Some parts I replace because I found better alternatives, some I replaced because they were shot, and some are being replaced just to help the bikes appearance and aid in tech and customs....give it a nice clean look. The parts list to date includes:

Regina chain
15T front sprocket
44T rear stealth sprocket
DP pads front and rear
Mecca systems bar riser
HDB hand protectors and top clamp (on order)
RC high bend fat bar
Rigid Industries LED lights
new plastic (ala sidewinderX)
Rally Raid tanks...have yet to arrive....have to send them along
Renazco seat
RAD wheel set
Michelin Desert tires
Michelin Bib Mousse
Git skid plate and case protectors
new swingarm chain guide
Rally Raid bottom tank mount kit
Rally Raid Counter shaft sprocket protector
Sigutech clutch slave
foam grips
New Excel 2.15 rear wheel....stock wheel was shot, Woody's Wheel works lacing this one up
Rally Management Services handlebar navigation clamps and bracket
F2R roadbook holder
2 ICO international rally computers
Mecca ICO switch

Several cans of silicon spray
1 Yamaha R1 shipping crate thanks to Roadside Marine in Burlington Vermont http://www.roadsidemarine.com/

I have had extensive help on parts, advice, and questions from Pro-Cycle in Rutland Vermont as well: http://www.procycle.net/ Pete, Matt, Mil, and Jim.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:04 AM   #13
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Good luck and safe travels Seth.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:39 AM   #14
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #15
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