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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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.'
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I'm the proud owner of a -97 BMW R80 GS Basic with 78 kkm on the clock.
The bike has worked fine all the time incl two tours to Morocco and a lot of tough driving in Norway.
I've serviced the bike at regular intervalls but now I'm planning a one year tour from Norway to South Africa and back. I'm planning a comprehensive service before the trip.
What should I check before I go?
Is there any components which usually breaks at this interval?
Any other thing I should know?
I would get new alternator brushes and buy a spare alternator rotor. A rewound rotor should cost $100. U.S. A rotor removing tool, clean all the electrical connections around the alternator and diode board. Make sure you have the upgraded ground wire from the top of the diode board mounts to the timing chain cover and to the front starter mounting bolt. A spare diode board, clutch cable, one spare throttle cable the long one. Have the carburetors rebuilt and empty the fuel tank and put new screens on the fuel valves. Start with all new light bulbs everywhere on the bike. And a full tune up with all the oils and new tires and battery. Most of the things that break can be fixed on the road with a few spare parts. Tools, 1 meter of fuel line, 1 meter electric wire put these in the tube under your fuel tank.
Your tool kit and duct tape - take 2 meters off the roll and reroll on to a pencil also black electrical vinyl tape. Take into account the KM's on your bike for piston rings, valves, transmission. I can list more if you think you need it.
With this mileage I would add to the above excellent notes:
New paralever shaft, odds are extremely high it will fail.
New rings would be good but not critical, (part of the reasoning is that the pushrod tube rubbers will probably start leaking/pouring, so as you will replace them with the rings, it's worthwhile doing the lot.)
Get rewound rotor and diode board from Motorrad Elektrik in the US, they do excellent upgraded items. (see the Links page)
The rear subframe is prone to breaking - it should be substantially strengthened.
Put fresh heatsink compound on the electronic box under the tank that has the aluminum finned heatsink on it - this can overheat and fry if the compound is old.
I don't know if you're off yet and what you have already done meanwhile to get your Bike travel-ready.
One more thing I would also recommend is having the gearbox checked and all the bearings inside changed. I know this is rather expensive stuff, but still better than having the whole thing break down on the road, like it happened to me two months ago in Japan and just two weeks ago to my friend here in mongolia, we both drive R 100 GS P/D's.
Also be sure not to use the original BMW rear shock, another thing that broke down on both our bikes. Oehlins is supposed to be by far the best.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!
Aaaahhh, didn't like to read this gearbox-stuff...
Well, I don't have time or money to do this now. I have checked the microfilms and it seems like it is the same gearbox on R80 and R100. You guys have more power so I hope my box will make it...
Thank you for the information, you have a very nice webpage.
The overhaul of the bike is now almost finished:
-Changed alternator brushes
-Changed diodeboard (Motorrad)
-Checked and cleaned starter
-Changed timing chain with tensioner
-Changed pushrod tube rubbers
-Changed two broken needlebearings
-Cleaned and checked the tops/valves
-Overhauled the carbs
-Changed oilseals in gearbox (in and out)
-Changed oilseal cardan
-Changed leaky fuel-taps
-Installed fuel filters
The last modifications on the baggagesystem and rearframe will be done next week..
Grant Johnson wrote:
"Put fresh heatsink compound on the electronic box under the tank that has the aluminium finned heatsink on it - this can overheat and fry if the compound is old."
The electronic box is attached to the heatsink with some kind of rivets. To replace the heatsink compound I have to drill out the rivets!! Maybe we don't have the same unit?
Sounds like yo're well on your way to doing everything needed. RE the heatsink, mines an 86, so could well be different. Yours is new enough it shouldn't be a problem anyway - the compound is good for about 10 years.
The trip is over and maybe if someone else is planning a trip like this they can use some of my experiences. I don’t know it all, maybe you will have different problems!
When I started the trip the bike had 88kkm on the clock and when I finished it had 138kkm. The bike has been abused in all kind off terrain like dessert, gravel, mud, tarmac, rivers, earth and potholes.
Personally I think that corrugation is the worst for the bike (and me) but I guess rivercrossings and crossing Sahara in summertime (without oilcooler) is bad too… It’s amazing how much hammering the bike can take.
-Guess what, the rotor broke :-D I think the reason why it broke was because all the screws for the diodeboard was loose so the earth-connection was bad. The Motorrad-Diodeboard is just a circuit board so I didn’t want to ruin it by tightening the screws too hard. Should have used an extra earth-strap.
Not a big problem anyway, bought a used one from the Police in Zambia. Got the old one rewounded for 6 USD. It looks good, but I haven’t tried it.
-After I had been driving in extremely dusty conditions for some days (around Lake Chad and Namibia) the startermotor had some funny noises. It was still working but I cleaned it and lubed it.
-Next time I will get a washable air filter.
-Before I left Norway I got the oilseals changed (maintenance). Well, if it works don’t touch it…. The garage “forgot” to fill the small notch with silicon so oil was leaking from the box to the cardan. Not a big problem, just had to top-up the gearbox and drain the cardan every 2kkm.
-The rear suspension (originally WP) started to leak oil and the bottom bearing broke. Well, after a week, on corrugation, the oil leak stopped :-D
Luckily it happened in Namibia where there is a good BMW-shop.
Maybe an Øhlin’s next time…
-The oilseal on the right front-damper broke twice. I had some spare and since suspension-oil was impossible to get I used oil for automatic-transmission.
-Al Jesse sucks!! Had to weld the rack in Algeria (twice), Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya. The major problem is that the rack hits the cardan when the suspension is fully compressed. I think I have modified it so it works now, at least it has worked for a while (and more than 1000 km with corrugation!).
-In Algeria I had to open and clean the locks every day and even that was not enough! After a week they all fell apart. I closed my boxes with belts all the way down and back up again. Africa is safe!
-Both the locks which attach the boxes to the rack broke. Luckily it happened in Norway before I left so I replaced them with a 16mm bolt.
-The right box didn’t support the weight and started to get a banana-shape. Made it stronger with some iron.
*Driveshaft/wires/electrics/original frame/rims & the rest….
-Continental TKC80: They last for a long time and they are good at tarmac but offroad they are not very good.
-Metzler Karoo: Pretty good, but not great mileage
-Michelin T63: Pretty good, but not great mileage, it’s a bit wider then other tires in the same size so it touches the cardan.
-Pirelli MT21: The best!
-Tubes: Michelin airstop, Michelin Cross/Enduro.
I'm so glad I've read your posting as I'm planning a similar trip (on a 1989 R100GS)and was thinking of buying the Jesse lugguage. At the moment I have some Ammo boxes - that have huge latches on the side that I am thinking of locking by welding a bracket with a padlock attached. However thes boxes are pretty heavy compared to Aluminium - but I'm planning to travel light & solo, so maybe this won't be so bad. Any comments about these Ammo boxes? They hold about 30 Litre each and weigh 6Kg each. I am welding a new sub-frame and rack to carry these. Hepco Becker have some new plastic boxes coming out in January which they reckon will be better the the Aluminium ones - I'm tempted what do you reckon?
Also I've already made most of the modifications you mentioned - so I guess I'm on the right lines?
(I'm quackers about bikes)
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