The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Ted - I think I've got to apologize. I didn't mean to come across as cycnical. The reason why I put the word "fact" into quotation marks is that I find it a fairly strong word to use – particularly as I know so many people with the exact opposite experience on that model.
With the following, I'm not trying to say "you're wrong and I'm right", so I hope you'll read it the right way:
The water-pump is a known problem – hence most people carry a waterpump replacement kit. Stock steering head bearings are another known problem, so I changed them prior to departure and they lasted all the way from the UK to Oz. I had a broken rectifier on the way to work in London – but that was on my Kawasaki ER5 after just 15000km on the clock. (Still, I'd recommend the ER5 as a reliable commuter bike).
What I'm trying to say is: yes, things go wrong – on all bikes. That's why there's bike-mechanics. And on known issues / small-sized items like the water-pump, I can live with it as I'll be carrying a spare with me.
As long as it's not gear-box, engine, head-gasket, etc... I wouldn't worry too much about it.
If someone asked me if they should buy a KTM LC8, I'd probably tell them I've seen a few with engine problems – but as KTM has tightened up, the later models are much better and I'd probably mention the "early-model-problems" and still recommend them for someone who wants such a big bike...
Met a very nice guy here in S-America, travelling on a Harley from the late 1940s. It was his road bike back home in Holland, and he decided to go on a road-trip in S-America. "And when you go on a road-trip, you take the bike you have, no?" – I could really sympathize with that comment.
Would I take the F650 again? Maybe. Maybe not. For weight-reasons and more freedom, I'd probably go for a DR350 with soft-luggage. But that's not because I'm unhappy with the F650. And I'm sure I'll have something go wrong with the DR350 at some point, but that's all part of it...
I probably took it more personally than intended. Trouble stirers like alibaba don't make things easier either.
So don't worry about it !
I just didn't see your need to be so defensive. It was only trying to make light of the issue with a little humour.
For the record, I don't hate BMW's and I don't hate hard luggage ! I have and use hard luggage all the time and I ride BMW's quite often.
Good luck with the rest of your trip. I wish I was back there myself !
Location: somewhere on the road between Ushuaia and Alaska
Just for the records: I've just come back from a auto spares shop here in Sucre / Bolivia. They've got a replacement part at VW in Santa Cruz, which will be here tomorrow morning. Good price as well.
Lesson learnt (and I hope this goes for other parts / motorcycles... the more the merrier):
When out in the sticks, just google the number that's engraved on the actual part (in this case "032 121 110 B") and hope for a main car manufacturer using the same part. In this case, the thermostat has been used in VW Golfs for the past 20 years – too easy
You are wise to be replacing the water pump seals especially at the total km you have . The few drops of oil and coolant you found at the drain hole are a sure indicator that it is time for this.Furthermore you are unlikely to find oil or water contaminating the water/oil for the reason that the drain hole is doing its designed job between the oil seal and water seal .Any leakage there indicates a failure of one or the other seal and need to replace both.
If the motor is heating up still after you have removed the thermostat even if you are riding it suggeests there is an other internal blockage to the coolant flow as the forward motion of the bike should provide enough airflow across the radiator
, even if your radiator fan motor were burnt out and not working.Perhaps the radiator tubes are plugged with fine dustof worn out seals. Time for a thorough flush.
Nice to see you found a VW part with the exact same numbers. Wish there was a cross reference list somewhere for all shared parts bike to bike and bike to car - to anything..
That's it. Would love proper parts lists, rather than vehicle parts list.
You're right on the money with preparation Bjorn. Most BMW riders don't even know how to change oil or clean their air filter. How many posts aren't there on the Hubb about where a BMW service agent is.
Most of the issues mentioned are from older issues. The later models fixed all but steering head bearing, and not because of overheating, because they have dedicated oil tanks. If you go with a stock shock and load it up with 50 kg of gear and expect it to last your either brave or a fool. Ok, maybe a bit strong, but it doesn't make sense. Same for the waterpump. If you prepare for it you can change it at any servo in 20 minutes. At least with the F you can keep the oil. FWIW I met a 640A that has a waterpump fail, but lost all his fluids because KTM didn't design for a warning system. Rotax did.
Regulators USED to fail often because older models had them under the seat. The NEED cooling. In actual fact they still are in the wrong place and should be relocated to the Xc location. That's where BM now puts them on the new F and 800 models. It's BM's evolution.
I met one other F with issues in South America, and it was related to poor starting at altitude. The owner thought FI would prevent altitude issues, but didn't realise that it still need oxygen. Fair enough. I had it once myself, but remove the snorkel to get some heat into the system, and it was fine.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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