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Old 09-23-2011, 11:09 AM   #31
dave54
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subscribed.Walter leave nothing out.I`m planning for three weeks in Morocco next year with a mate myself.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #32
desmo
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #33
Hogslayer
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...Love Your RR's...

I finally get to follow one of your RR's as its going on instead of reading about it after the ride has allready happened. Really enjoyed the BAM report can't wait to follow this one starting today. Hope you have a safe ride and good luck, I now have some reading to do to catch up to this point.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #34
Colebatch OP
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The Crew

There were 3 guys on the trip.

Roman (aka Grom) on a KTM 950 Adventure (Grom is on the right)


Igor (aka Amigo) on an F800GS


And me, on my 70% BMW / 20% KTM / 10% custom parts


We met up in Calpe, in Spain, at the Summer home of another Russian biker, and friend of Igor and Roman ... Vladimir. Here were are just outside Casa Vladimir, fresh, clean and ready to go ...
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:09 PM   #35
Colebatch OP
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Bikes

Igor's bike was a stock F800.

Roman's was a pretty stock 950 Adventure ... but he brought along an Indiana Jones style rope, clipped around his headlight grille. However it did have 75,000km on it, adventuring around the world, and its even done a few rallies in Russia. It still wore the stickers of a recent rally that he won. He had a 5 litre plastic fuel container strapped to the back of his thirsty bike.


My bike is far from stock. And had a last minute sump guard modification when I stopped in at Scheffelmeiers on the way down to Spain. This allowed me to store a lot of tools and spares down there:
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #36
One Less Harley
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TAT reports are winding down....and now you throw this at me..... I thought I was going to have a break from ride reports.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:55 AM   #37
Colebatch OP
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08.09.11 Calpe - Almeria

The day of departure from Spain began in Calpe. Just a few hours before our departure, while packing the bike up with luggage, my usually inattentive eyes outperformed themselves and noticed some strange movement in Groms front wheel when he accidentally bumped the steering bars. I walked over to his bike, jiggled the front wheel and promptly informed him that his front wheel bearings were dead.

A hurried phone call was made to the local bike shop, before we learned that they were busy all day. So it was out with the hammer, and time to change the wheel bearings ourselves.



With the bearings changed, it was down to the beach for a quick swim, and then a farewell lunch with Vladimir, our host in Calpe.

I had arrived in Calpe the previous afternoon, when the guys were all busy with the process of oil changes and tyre changes. For tyres it was Michelin Deserts all round ... well almost all round. We had 5 Michelin Deserts, but Igor's 17 inch rear wheel meant he had to get a T63 for it, as the Desert only comes in one size for the rear and one size for the front.



By 4pm, the three bikes were underway, heading down the coast road towards Almeria.

I was travelling with Grom, a Russian rider I had ridden with several times in the past, and his friend Igor. Grom was on his usual bike, a 950 Adventure, while Igor was on a F800GS. Both had ridden from Moscow to the south of Spain to meet up and head into Morocco. Both guys had recently ridden rallies in Russia on the same bikes, so had good preparation leading into this Moroccan ride.

But for me, the ride was my first of the year. In fact it was the first ride of my bike following its extensive rebuild. For me, the chance to meet up with Grom and Igor was really a chance to have a thorough shakedown of the freshly rebuilt bike.

My rebuild had taken a lot longer than expected, and even when I was invited to Morocco 3 months ago back in June, I expected to have the bike build completely finished and several weeks of testing under its belt. In fact it was a mad rush to get it partially finished in time to make the trip. The engine was only finished a month ago. It made noisy valve sounds. Initially I worried about the noise, but the bike survived a ride back to the UK from Holland without blowing up. I took it into BMW for a run in check, and asked them to triple check the valve clearances and valve timing. They were all perfect and the BMW guy just said the valvey noise seems to be coming from the exhaust side of the head.

I took the bike to Erik at Hot Rod Welding and asked him to make me a rack. Actually we had discussed for a few months that he needed to make a rack with a jig, so he can duplicate it and satiate the market for a quality well thought out rack for an X-Challenge. I moved into Erik’s workshop with him for a couple of weeks as we had to mount a new fairing on the bike as well as make a rack that could be put into production. Designs were thought out, built, and then rejected once we had a better idea. We went though over half a dozen ideas and prototypes before we had built a rack that satisfied both out agendas; mine was a light, strong rack that I personally would want to use while riding around both generally and when on big trips, and Erik’s was to develop rack product that was sellable, duplicateable, worked with the X-Tank, Jumbo X-Tank, stock exhaust and aftermarket exhausts. Using a combination of my adventuring experience with Erik’s metalworking experience, we developed (on about the 6th attempt) a rack that fulfilled all the objectives. It was modular (so you don’t have to use the full rack all the time) such that you can have the back rack permanently on the bike while the side racks are able to be fitted for touring purposes, giving a rear rack plus two side racks. For this Morocco trip, I would need only the rear rack and detached the side racks for simplicity.

With less than a week to departure, I took the bike to electrician Steve Hallam, who fitted a new Acewell set of clocks, indicators and wired up the bike for touring. We didn’t have time to connect up all the sensors, so the tacho, fuel guage, water temp gauges would have to wait, along with the heated grips, heated clothing etc.

I had then ridden to Holland to collect my touring gear which was at Hyperpro. Then down though Germany to catch up with Stephan Scheffelmeier to get him to make a cover for my open bash plate part of it was missing thanks to the thieves who stole the bike last November, and then 2 days of 130 km/h highway riding to cover the 2000 km from Stephans workshop to meeting the Russian boys in Calpe.

By the time I got to Calpe, I wasn’t worried about the engine noise anymore. The bike now had over 3000 km on it since the rebuild, and much of that at high highway speeds. I kinda felt that if anything was going to go wrong, it would have already.

We left Calpe at 4pm, with Vladimir leading the way though Benidorm before bidding us farewell. We had 4 more hours of riding to do to get to the ferry to Africa, that sailed from Almeria. We agreed to limit speeds to 100 km/h as we had just fitted new Michelin Desert tyres to the bikes, and didn’t want to wear too much of the rubber before the fun starts in Africa. In any case, riding on fresh Deserts on asphalt is really quite un-nerving, and we were happy to take it easy on the way to the ferry.

The ferry port came into view about 9pm, we checked in, ate a questionable port meal, and I spraypainted the new Scheffelmeier cover black in the ferry waiting car park. We boarded the ferry just before the midnight sailing.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:16 AM   #38
GZPainter
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When Colebatch starts a new RR, denying to be subscribed...is like saying no to a beautiful lady...

I am 100% in.... (of course I am waiting for the beautiful russian birds...but on your next RR..) now ...hit the sand!!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:25 AM   #39
bigdon
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Morning Walter!
What kind of handling issues are you having with the Deserts ?

I have ask this question in a couple of different places with no answers.
I put my first new Desert on my XC and made a 600 mile trip mostly Pavement. It was very squirrely. Tried to follow every crack in the road. I am trying to decide if the tire or maybe my wheel bearings.
My bearings seem fine. No looseness in the wheels.
Do you think my issues are from the new Desert Rear tire?

Thanks Mate.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:30 AM   #40
DominicDomingo
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Nice! I can't wait to ride Morocco again one day. I'll be interested to see the coastal areas you rode, as I haven't been around there yet.

Nice bikes!
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:09 AM   #41
irvfr
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Nice pics. subscribed
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:08 AM   #42
Ed Teach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon View Post
I put my first new Desert on my XC and made a 600 mile trip mostly Pavement. It was very squirrely. Tried to follow every crack in the road. I am trying to decide if the tire or maybe my wheel bearings
Same case in my F 650 Dakar and in a 800 GS both with Metzeler Karoo.
I think that the knobs tend to "copy" the asphalt imperfections and the bikes moves around. At first it's a bit scary but if you let the bike go it's way it better try to fight against it.
And it's very funny how the cars get scared when they see you and left some distance thinking thath you're gonna fall down
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:53 AM   #43
wamba
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Another epic Colebatch ride report — I've been waiting for this one.

wamba
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #44
wachs
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Hey Walter - For once I get to follow along from the beginning! Beautiful teaser shots man!
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #45
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachs View Post
Beautiful teaser shots man!
Thanks Dave.

Not much single track out here man ... its as wide as you want it to be

Was going to take a Coyote down here, but this was a test run for me and I had to test out this rear rack I had designed for me ... so that meant I took an ortlieb bag. Coyote would have been better, and would have held the weight lower
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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
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