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DavidEasum

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About DavidEasum

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    Burundi
  1. I'll post more photos as we go along, but here's some of the early phases. Th objective is to make something fast, cheap, simple, not too heavy, but with at least 15 Kg capacity without killing the aluminum sub-frame (which I hear has a tendency to crack if abused). First step was to mock-up an idea out of baling wire Then get to work Another task will be to fab something up to stabilize these saddlebags and keep the right one a little bit clear of the exhaust
  2. First a cardboard mock-up Then cut some steel plate and fab it up Finished product. This job is not a fun one, and there was a lot of fiddling to do before arriving at an only marginally acceptable result. As it is, the brackets will do their job of stabilizing the bottom "ear-lobes" of the tank, but it remains to be seen how they'll perform in a crash. They could either protect or destroy the radiator(s). Since I tend to crash a lot, I'm sure to find out! Note that my Bajaj turn signals clear just perfectly at full lock both left and right. I just needed to reinstall their brackets upside down to raise them ever so slightly. Ta Dah!
  3. Crossing a river in the bush, not far from Lagos, Nigeria
  4. Hi Moses, As you might remember, I put the T63s on my XR650R. I got an 80/90 front, and a 120/80 rear. I was quite happy with them on pavement and hardpack, but where I am now is almost nearly all sand, and so I have decided they're too small. I've since changed the rear to a 130, and I look forward to wearing out the front so I can put a 90/90 on it. In these conditions the 80/90 front goes hunting all the time and has landed me on my butt more times than I'd care to count. The main problem (compounded by my lack of skill) is in the deep sand ruts from trucks (when you're riding in/along them). I run with as low a pressure as I dare (about 7.5 psi front), which helps, but the bike is just too heavy for good sand work with an 80 cross-section on it. My $0.02 worth.
  5. When I got my 2002 XR650R, it happened to come along with the Acerbis long-range fuel tank (20 liter Sahara model I think). The tank had been crashed up pretty good, bondo-ed and repainted (more than once apparently) with car paint (!), which was bubbling and flaking all over the place. The stock tank was on the bike though, and after one look at the bulbous monstrosity from Acerbis, I almost didn't even carry it away with me. My rides so far are not all that long, and a gas station has usually been within reach, so I haven't really felt the use for a big tank. But I kept it all the same.Now, after several years of the tank sitting in the sun, rain and dirt before I got it, and several more years of the same after I got it, I have decided that I'm going to take a long trip (at least that's the plan). The trip is to be from Lagos, Nigeria (where I am now) to Bujumbura, Burundi (where I'm moving back to - I lived there for a few years a while back). Expected distance to be covered is almost 5,000km through some daunting places (if I take the most direct route). So the Acerbis is gonna come in handy after all. Maybe. If it's still any good. I've drained it and washed it out (luckily it was pretty clean inside) and started to remove a lot of the paint - that was mostly just flaking off anyway. After getting most of the bondo off, I see it's got some pretty deep gouges in it, but fortunately it's intact underneath. I've removed the petcocks and rebuilt them (apparently they're of pretty good quality, because despite being fully seized with dirt and oxidation, the rubber parts are still usable and all I had to do is clean them up and reassemble with some vaseline). My only fear is that since the plastic is pretty hard and dry, one more good crash on the left side and the thing is gonna split open like a coconut. Since I never fall (NOT! ), I think I'll risk it. Thinking back to the good advice on this forum from when I rebuilt the top end of the motor, I decided to check back in before actually installing the tank. Lo and behold, Moses has a how-to video posted just waiting for me! (Thanks Moses!). From the video, I can see that the tank uses some hardware (lower stabilizer brackets and fasteners/spacers) which I don't have. They look like they'd be pretty easy to make, but since I'm gonna be in the US in July, I figured I try to get them there. I've sent an email to Just Gas Tanks, so let's see what they have to say. I hope they'll be able to sell these pieces separately. If not, maybe someone (Moses?) could send me pictures or even dimensions of these things so that I can try to make them myself. David
  6. Hey Moses, Just to update about the turn signals (though I know this is a really old thread) I ended up getting the factory flasher and redoing the harness. At about L40 sterling (if I remember correctly), it was shockingly expensive, but I wanted it. So there. Don't tell my wife. But I've more than made up the cost of the flasher with the fantastic $5 turn signals from Bajaj (not Baja, as mentioned above ). I've crashed about a gazillion times, and these things are still hanging on and looking good! The factory ones wouldn't even survive a parking lot tip-over. D.
  7. Hi Costa, Good that you've found Moses and this site! My revamping of a trashed 2002 XR a couple of years ago would have been much more difficult without. I still have the bike and it's still going strong. These days, I don't often get the chance to ride it, but I'll make an effort to do more. As Moses says, these bikes are pretty fun despite not being the latest tech. To comment on some of the questions you had - GO WITH WHAT MOSES SAYS. He's da man! I had mine set up for riding at between 1,000-2,000 meters in Burundi (Goggle it and/or look for a YouTube channel called Birds View Burundi to get an idea of what it's like). So I was running uncorked, 170 main and 65S pilot (at least I think it was a 65S...) and the clip in the standard position. It ran great. Really great... after I figured out how to get the valve lash set that is. With stock cam it's a real PITA (and does a serious number on your knuckles. But that's a whole 'nuther story). But now I'm in Nigeria - at sea level. So I've gone back to the original 175 main and 68S (again, I think it's a 68S...). No other changes. Given the sea level altitude, I had expected a little boost in power, but whether I had just forgotten the kick this bike has or what; the ooomph it now has is really amazing! To get this bike's motor back into shape, I pretty much followed Moses's video on the top end rebuild to the letter - except for the cam. My piston and head looked way worse than yours, but my stock cam and rockers were fine. Valve job with new valves, new seals and new intake guides took care of the head, and a resleeve (by LA Sleeve) with new piston sorted the rest. The cause of the problems with my motor was running with no air filter (yep!) at all for an untold amount of time before I got my hands on it. I had to do a lot of other work, but nothing out of the ordinary for a bike that had been abused and messed with by countless hamfisted shade-tree mechanics who knew very little about mechanics. The only thing remaining that's on the list is the suspension. It's probably pretty worn, but I'm not that great a rider so I probably wouldn't benefit a whole huge amount. Yes, the engine makes some mechanical noise compared to some of the other stuff I've ridden. Seems like the noise comes from lower down in the engine. If I pay attention, it sounds like farm equipment, and makes me wonder. It's not getting worse, but whether there were a problem or not, I'm not in the mood to take this thing apart again - and much less the bottom end! Since I'm always using earplugs I don't let it bother me. The air filter thing is a problem. I've never seen the stock one, but the aftermarket I have can't be much different. It may not fit perfectly at some of the edges, but I figure it's good enough if I keep it oiled & clean. There is surely something better than the stock one out there. As for oil and changing it goes, the manual you posted the link for is the best set of instructions. There are 3 filters - the main paper one and 2 screens. I don't think I've checked my bottom screen, but the one time I checked it, the one in the frame drop tube was seriously dirty with metal in it. I'll definitely look at it again on the next oil change. Since the rebuild, my bike doesn't seem to use any oil. Good luck with yours! David
  8. Hi Moses...My decompressor is erratic. That's probably why I had such a tough time to get the valves adjusted correctly. So when I start, I usually look for TDC and then press slightly through with the manual level actuated. Then I kick. If it doesn't start, I sometimes go back to the lever, but often not. Whatever the case, the engine doesn't often kick back, and a slow prod through the travel of the kick starter will meet with only slight resistance on the compression stroke. But when it does get full compression, the feeling through the lever is pretty intense. I suppose I'm not unhappy having it - I'm used to it. I just need to take it into account for valve adjustment. After my rebuild, the bike started right away and idled just fine, but the next day when I took it out for a shake-down run, it started to run poorly and refused to idle - almost as if it was running out of gas. I went through the carburetor about 4 times (even with a magnifying glass) trying to figure out what was wrong. It was extremely frustrating since every time I put it back together, it would run fine for a short while (once it was almost a day), and then stop. Being that I didn't know what to do next, I checked the valves (although I really didn't suspect I could have done something wrong). The first time, I found one of the exhaust adjusters was very high in relation to the other one. (see photo) This was because of the autodecompressor. I reset that valve, and the bike ran great again. But then it stopped. So I checked the clearances again. And once more, I found the valves were out of adjustment - this time it was the intakes. Somehow I must have been using a top dead center from an alternate universe. Once I corrected them, all was good and the bike has been running great ever since. Now it's due for a clearance check and changing out the break-in oil. If I find anything out of the ordinary, I'll post. D
  9. Hi Arnado, Moses gives good advice above - as he always does. In PR I guess you have access to proper products like carb cleaner, I had to make do with gasoline and a borrowed air compressor. Whatever the case, water and lemon juice can't hurt (I may have to try it one day since I have a lemon tree in my garden that supplies us with more than we need for the kitchen!). While the condition of the carburetor and jets will of course have an impact on how the bike runs, I would still be suspicious of the valve clearances (based on my experience). After my rebuild, the bike started right away and idled just fine, but the next day when I took it out for a shake-down run, it started to run poorly and refused to idle - almost as if it was running out of gas. I went through the carburetor about 4 times (even with a magnifying glass) trying to figure out what was wrong. It was extremely frustrating since every time I put it back together, it would run fine for a short while (once it was almost a day), and then stop. Being that I didn't know what to do next, I checked the valves (although I really didn't suspect I could have done something wrong). The first time, I found one of the exhaust adjusters was very high in relation to the other one. (see photo) This was because of the autodecompressor. I reset that valve, and the bike ran great again. But then it stopped. So I checked the clearances again. And once more, I found the valves were out of adjustment - this time it was the intakes. Somehow I must have been using a top dead center from an alternate universe. Once I corrected them, all was good and the bike has been running great ever since. Now it's due for a clearance check and changing out the break-in oil. If I find anything out of the ordinary, I'll post. A last thought is if you're going to open the carb again, follow this how-to from the web: http://www.xr650r.co.uk/service/carb/carb.shtml
  10. Adventure Motorcycle Riding in the UAE

    Hi Moses, No specific tips that you don't know already, but the one major difference to how I would have normally approached this type of riding is to stand up. Knees bent, elbows bent, pegs under your arches. To turn, push the bike under you (in the direction of the turn), counterbalance it with weight on the opposite peg, look where you want to go. Sometimes you squeeze the tank with your knees, other times you don't. Get off the throttle when you can, so that you have revs left for when you need to lighten the front end. Let the bike move under you and keep your arms relaxed. It's good if you have a strong back and abdomen! (which I don't!). On the street, the more contact your body has with the bike, the better. Adventure riding is somewhat different. The key to keeping the big bike moving in the sand is speed and revs! Also, you gotta be smooooooth. D.
  11. Adventure Motorcycle Riding in the UAE

    Good footage is also available on www.vimeo.com/113280934 (Sorry about the soundtrack...) I don't see me in there, but I was definitely there! Not sure why it says Nov 14 - it was Nov 28 & 29... The guy who was filming is a former F16 pilot from the Belgian air force, now flying A380s for Emirates.
  12. Hi Moses, I just got back from Dubai after a weekend participating in the Touratech Advanced Off-Road training course. It's a long story as to how that happened (I went there for other reasons) but it was a pleasant surprise to be able to take part. I borrowed a friend's F800 GS to do it and unfortunately I left it a little worse for wear - cosmetically at least. See the first three photos attached - I look like a rank novice . But the culmination of the training was going out into the sand dunes to put into practice all the tricks and tips learned over the two days. To my amazement, even on such a heavy bike, I was able to ride like a real Paris-Dakar wannabe! No falls, no scary moments, just huge rooster tails of sand, occasional air, and lots of "Yeeeeehaw!" in the helmet! The last photos are not me, but they're a good indication of what the sand riding was all about. I'm looking forward to the next outing on the XR (still running like a champ) to practice some more! I was really wishing I had it with me on the trip. It would not have fared as well as the Beemer on the long stretches of paved roads at 70-80 mph that we did to get to the venue (with luggage and gear for 2 people), but once there, it would have been quite the star. David PS. hope I'm not violating any copyright by re-posting these photos...
  13. Hi Arnaldo. You may have already found the solution to your problem, but I would suggest that you go back and very carefully check the valve clearances - especially the exhaust valves. I recently rebuilt my engine (bike was new to me) and I had a world of trouble to adjust the valves correctly. I went though all the different possibilities about ten times before realizing that the valves were simply NOT adjusted correctly. Before I got the clearances correct, the engine was exhibiting behavior similar to yours. I'm not a mechanic by trade, but I'm somewhat adept, so I'm surprised a valve adjustment should have been so difficult. The culprit is the autodecompressor system that sometime seems to stay engaged no matter how much you turn the engine over. The best way to turn over the engine is from the crankshaft (remove the left side engine cover) with a long bar attached to a 14mm (I think - or maybe 17) socket. It will give you very good control so that crankshaft engine doesn't reverse rotate. One indicator that the autodecompressor is released is a loud "click" on each rotation. Good luck with it! David Escribí en Inglés porque soy perezoso - sino también en beneficio de otros que podrían no leer español!
  14. Motorcycling at Burundi, Africa!

    Hi Moses, You're right, the venue is a moto paradise. But most bikes around here are not much to dream about! They are usually in the same shape that mine was when I got it - meaning touched by too many unskilled hands and cheesetools. Our core group however does have a collection of pretty good ones. A couple of Yam 450s (one pretty recent and in super shape), a couple of late model 680 Teneres (a bit too big and heavy - but good for the long distances), And of course, there's my rejuvenated XR! Next time we'll have to take at least a patch kit and a bicycle pump. Better yet, a can of fixaflat (but I don't know if that exists here). Local shade-tree mechanics are capable for fixing flats (without even removing the wheel), but don't always have supplies.. Foot peg bolts are up to date. In the beginning I didn't know about that - and apparently neither did any of the previous owners, since when I picked up the bike for the first time, the right footpeg fell clean off! A helicoil, the superseded bolt from Honda and some Loctite did the trick. No problems since. But nearly every common problem affecting XRs has exhibited itself on mine! But no more But now having messed with the rear wheel (what with the flat and all), I notice that it isn't even close to being round. I don't think I'll bother to do anything about it for now though. The spoke heads are all rusted, and some of the spoke holes in the rim are seriously damaged from previous hamfisted attempts to true it. Next trip abroad will involve bringing a good used one back. And maybe a speedo drive. D.
  15. Motorcycling at Burundi, Africa!

    Hi Moses, I've been traveling a bit (on airplanes - not bikes, unfortunately), so have been away from the site. Just to update, the XR is working great. Went out a couple of weekends ago on a different kind of ride - this time it ranged from street (to get out of town), dirt roads that were of variable quality, and then down to single track. It was really great, but I ended up getting a flat rear tire. I had seen the nail in a board that someone had placed over a wash-out in the track. I thought I avoided it, but I guess not. We had a chase vehicle, a Yamaha Rhino (sort of a quad-like thing), but we didn't have tools (yeah, I know... 100 miles from home and unprepared!). I couldn't leave my bike there, so I had to ride it back on the flat for about 15 kilometers to a gas station where I abandoned it and got a ride home in the Rhino (terrible - too slow!). I had to catch a plane that evening so it was the only solution. In the process, the bike was getting pretty hot, so it was a trade-off between speeding up and risking the tire (or a fall), or slowing down and having it boil over. I guess I got it right since yesterday I pulled the tire (still good - even the tube!!), and then opened the radiator (still nearly full!). While in the UK last week I got a used radiator to replace my banged-up one, and a couple of used footpegs (no more bashing my shin when kick starting!). I also bought a new MT63 Michelin rear just in case. This time it's a 130 (rather than the 120 - I'm following your advice after all). I'll put it on when this one is done. But what a blast of a ride though! I was much more able to keep up with our local fastboys - especially on the hardpack. Some of it was wet and just rolled with a vibrating roller, so it was really slippery. Back to the road riding skills! The bike does pretty well in the rutted stuff, too. Now that this BRP is sorted, the only problem so far outside of the flat (and crash induced breakage of the clutch lever) has been that my rigged speedo drive has given up. I'll have a look at it later, but this may well be the end of it. Cheers! David
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