The first thing I did was to swap the very worn TKC80’s I had used for my trip in 2018 for the Pirelli Scorpion MT90 A/T’s I’d used for the KTM Adventure Rally in 2019. The front is still using a tube, but the rear tubeless works well. The Rabaconda tire changer is worth every dollar.
I decided rather than punching holes in the Touratech Zega Pro panniers, I’d buy a set of Wolfman Rocky Mountain Expedition bags and mount the bottle holsters to them.
There are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are supposedly a packed soft bag might not break your leg when it falls on you. I’m not real sure about that in all cases. But, worth a shot. They expand a bit, so more junk than needs carried can be packed. They are not any lighter or easier to mount or remove or pack or get stuff out of in a hurry. So, planning is at the top of the list. I’m still working on that. The I lose the reflectors I had on the back of the Zega Pros, locks, and easy of removal, packing and unpacking. Soft luggage have a bunch of strap ends flapping in the wind all the time. I don’t hear well enough to notice so, not a big deal for me. I also lose my two GoPro mounting points I have on the Zega tops, one on the forward side and one at the rear. The bags don’t pair well at the front lower corner to the Touratech racks I have as there is a gusset from the support to the frame loop that has barely enough of a slot/hole to allow the “G” ring through. It is very fiddly to get worked and seems bad. I may modify the rack to provide a smoother working mount there.
With the bags centered on the racks the seat straps are located so one strap is across the seat and the other across the rear rack. Clearly the Touratech Bag mounts are very far rearward.
I noticed the other day that for some reason the left heated grip seems to be decomposing or melting to at least it is gooey to the touch. No amount of cleaning with soap has changed it. I’ll have to mess with it when I get back from this next ride.
Back from my trip the odometer is at 82,950 miles. Changed oil and filters Motorex 10W50 and a splash of 10W60, since that’s what I had on the shelf. Bled the clutch. Need to get time to bleed the brakes. Pads all look good. The Pirelli MT90 A/T tires still have plenty of life in them.
I replaced the throttle cables with some orange ones from UK.
This is an easier task when the throttle bodies are removed. I didn’t do that so the task took about three hours. I also didn’t remove the tanks. The radiator needs rotated forward after removing the top two fasteners. To remove the left side fastener, the left tank has to be loosened and pulled off the top forward mount to rotate out far enough to allow the bolt to be removed.
Yesterday, the 15th of July I was headed to LA to meet up with a friend for dinner then ride over to the Peterson Museum for the Overland Exhibit Opening. I got about a block away and the bike died. I would re-start then it would die if the bike moved at all. Then it was dead no matter what. I checked fuses and determined it was the ignition switch or wiring.
A short push mostly downhill back to the front of the garage and an hour or two fighting to get the switch removed thanks to the plastic panels at the frame being held by a screw that is near impossible to get a straight shot at with the tanks on. And the tanks are full.
The switched hot side of the connection is broken free from the solder joint end at the switch. There really wasn’t any strain relief in the original design.
First I pulled the connectors from the Tyco connector, similar to Molex forms I’ve seen. Then cut off the sleeves that had stiffened and cracked. I tinned the broken end of the wire and the remaining soldered stub, then soldered the two together. I created a zig-zag strain relief after shrink tube insulated the connections.
I thought about potting this with silicone, but decided I would prefer to be able to take it apart more easily, so went with just the strain relief. A small zip-tie limits the relief from being pulled through the cap.
Then an additional zip-tie outside the cap to limit the motion of the wire being pushed back into the cap.
The original did not have this limitation and is in part why the wire failed where it did. The failure is due to the original wiring harness double over sleeve, one over the ignition wiring and one over both the ignition wiring and anti-theft ring wiring. The stiffening of the sleeve as it lost flexibility thanks to being vinyl changed the flex from being distributed along the length of the harness between the plastic panel at the frame to the switch housing, to either end of that length. The other problem with the original is the copper wire is not tinned and is not sealed from weather. These two flaws combine to let the copper wires corrode and that stiffens them along the length from either end. This is why we see the sleeve crack at the pinch point where normally there would be a grommet and at the switch soldered joints.
The zip-tie fixes the nearly total lack of strain relief at the solder end. I didn’t have room or enough wire to create a loop. I’ll use silicone self vulcanizing tape at the plastic panel in place of a grommet. Even relieving the panel does not allow the wire to push back and forth at that point. I’ve used shrink tubing at the switch on each wire and a second piece along the length of the ignition wires.
I bench tested the switch and repair using my multimeter and all is good to go.
I will use white silicone tape as overbraid since I don’t have a grommet. I’ll also use the tape to wrap the anti-theft ring wiring together with the ignition wiring. I can if need be re-wire the ignition at a later date. I’m likely to do just that. At which time I’d change from white silicone tape to black. When I was assembling everything back onto the bike, I relocated the immobilizer from beside the intake horn to the frame just behind the steering head. This winter I will remove the alarm wiring and connector along with any other unnecessary wiring. I am considering replacing the ignition switch wiring with marine grade, tinned copper, multi-strand. I found some a few miles away at one of the marine supply stores. I already have a waterproof connector from Eastern Beaver.
I already have the perfect connector from 2016 when I replaced the Molex style connector under the motor at the starter relay. I plan on soldering the wires at the switch so they lay flat and wind around the inside diameter then exit through the cap. I’ll put the same type of zip tie strain relief I’ve got now, and seal the cap with electronics grade silicone. Adding a loop strain relief in the switch housing under the bottom cap will as well. I’ll likely need to buy a different tip for my soldering station. I had some other tips but I can’t find them.
I also finally sat down and got to working on the 4-Way flasher button I’ve been meaning to wire in place of the toggle I put in when that broke in 2015.
The above is the broken switch for the 4-Way which is also the turn signal flasher. I’ll have to figure out where the light contacts are then I can use the new button, though I will need to make a plastic piece to fill the triangular hole in the dash so I can fit the new round switch.
Paul sent me an Enduristan tool bag, Lyndon’s Organizer. I got to work freshening up the undersea tool storage.
I pulled the small bag I carry in the glove box and the stuff under the seat to check what I had in there, I didn’t need there or didn’t need at all.
It turns out that white tube is filled with quarters. I don’t have a big need for that in the glove box I carry them when I travel for laundry and if I ride into LA or somewhere I might need money for a parking meter. I don’t need them all the time and I do have another tube of quarters in my tank bag. So, they went. I found a valve stem tool and valve stem fishing tool in my tire changing stuff in the hard luggage, so I moved those to the organizer. I tossed the fishing tool. I’ve never been able to make that work. The light electronics stuff and three small hex keys will stay in the small bag as they are for the Perfect Squeeze phone mount and my clutch lever adjustment.
The flat repair stuff:
I could get away with a much smaller bag for the tubes and tube repair stuff. But, this is the bag I have right now, and old toiletry bag. I had a roll of Gorilla tape under the seat, but when I saw I’d wrapped some around the handle of the combination tire spoon/axel wrench I removed the roll. The large adjustable wrench for the chain breaker tool.
I was helping a friend replace the frame of the motorcycle his sidecar attaches to and he noticed I’d broken a turn signal stalk.
And the only replacements available are for the other side which would put the weep hole on the top, defeating the purpose of such a feature.
But, since the stalk is the bad part, it is possible to disassemble these and use only the parts you need. That is what I did.
The reflector holds the stalk to the housing.
The connections and wires are tiny, so care is rewarded.
And reassembled. Now, installing this back on the bike is a bit tedious with the Touratech bag mounts in place. There isn’t a lot of space to work in the tail section. Pulling the four mounting bolts and removing the spacers for the rear rack allows the fender and tail assembly to flex just enough to remove and replace the wiring.
The other day I found I still had a copy of TuneECU for Windows 10. It was not on my old Windows computer, but I found I could run it from there. In replacing my throttle cables, I’d forgotten to use the app to zero the throttle cables. I did that and now things seem better.
I still need to pull the lower airbox off and fix the stripped threads there, then set the TPS voltage back to within limits. While using TuneECU I noticed the TPS was showing .69 volts rather than .56 – .64. I’ll likely need a long tore socket to fit, then drill a hole in the lower box and fiddle a plug for after the adjustment. In the nearly ten years I’ve owned this motorcycle, I’ve never had to adjust the TPS as it was always within the limit. I suspect it got moved while the motor was being rebuilt at a dealership. Then along with the rest of their lax work failed to set it properly, if they ever put the computer on the bike. An exercise I believe they had to have skipped as I cleared a number of errors from the ECU today as well.
Friday October 22, I installed the replacement heated grips and new TKC80 tires. The new Oxford EVO Adventure grips are longer. The throttle hangs up and drags so I cut up one of the old grips to get the internal tube and cut a piece of that to take up the slack. The throttle still drags enough to make the throttle lock cruise control redundant.
Saturday November 7, Returning from the Advrider Pahrump rally I found the front left turn signal stalk had broken. Two more were ordered and have shipped. I also received the lower airbox and a new 13kg rear shock spring. will eventually replace the turn signals with Cyclops LED multi-function lights. The morning I left the rally I noticed clutch fluid on the lever. The master cylinder is leaking again.
When I got home from the Pahrump rally, I had another broken turn signal stalk. I ordered two this time. They arrived in short order. The left front was quick to replace.
I also ordered a lighter spring for the rear shock. Slavens shipped it quickly with it arriving while I was gone.
I’ll ride down to Suspension 101 and have it installed. While I’m there we’ll discuss changing the front a bit. I ordered a pair of replacement turn signals from KTM Twins. These are what were on forever backorder at the dealer when I had to replace the right rear.
Next up will be ordering a replacement clutch master cylinder as I noticed it leaking out of the piston seal at the rally. I rebuilt this a long time ago and it was never what I would call good. I ordered a replacement master cylinder form KTM Twins on Monday and it arrived Wednesday. That is quicker than the most local to me dealer. Installation was pretty simple, though the new assembly is an updated design with a much longer lever and the clamp fastener has been rotated forward of the mirror mount. That design change negates locating my rally switch on the clamp bolt. The longer and redesigned lever also renders my Midwest Mountain Engineering short lever obsolete.
I’ll figure out a clamp to use for mounting the rally switch in a better location, possibly move it to the front brake clamp on the right side. For now, it can live there. I’ll do a long test ride to burn off most of the fuel in the tanks so I can swap out the lower airbox housing and service the fuel pump and filters.
For the year I’ve ridden about 7,200 miles, nearly all of that traveling.
I have a few tasks to complete in the coming year as far as repairs and maintenance. First up will be replacing the lower airbox, which will include setting the TPS, zeroing the throttle bodies and balancing them once all that is completed. Next up will be the suspension. My initial focus will be on settings for feel. I have the softer rear spring, I may decide to install/have installed at Suspension 101.