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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 19 Jan 2007
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Which bike for Morocco?

Any body used the bigger bikes like KTM 950 or BMW 1150GS for pistes out in the desert such as the one from Merzouga to Zagora?

I've done this several times before on an XR400 so know what its like, and that much of the piste isn't sand, but we do enjoy playing about in the dunes for fun.

I'm off again at the end of the year with mates all on XR650, BMW 650, KTM 640 but am thinking of taking my KTM 950 this time rather than WR 450. I've ridden it on lots of rocky off road stuff in UK and the Alps but not sure how the big bikes cope with the sand? I know i won't get to the top of Erg Chebbi on the 950 so will give that a miss, and perfectly happy with the pistes in the Atlas on the 950, its just the sandy stuff.

Any experience on the bigger stuff in sand would be appreciated, especially as we're planning to do as much off road as possible rather than touring around on the road.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 20 Jan 2007
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While they dont make them any lighter, proper knobbly tyres (not TKCs, etc) transform the way bikes like this handle in the sand.

Ch
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  #3  
Old 20 Jan 2007
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Hi,
I have the same bike and I ve been through the challenging and tricky Tunisian desert! It hasen't been easy and straightforward but was possible at the end of the day.
We were 4 LC8, 1 LC4 and 1 525 and onestly with you the two lighter had to wait for us many time and for sure we forced them to reduced their trip schedule.
I heve been to Morocco by car and the impression was that those kind of dunes are more suitable for the heavy and powerfull LC8 than the Tunisian one. Then if you are planing to follow sandy/rocky pistas mostly you don't have to worry at all! Maybe you'll the best!

Ciao

Nic
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  #4  
Old 21 Jan 2007
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I have done the desert route on a 950 without any problems.

The bike is incredibly stable and carries its weight low down, I prefer it to my 450exc in the desert.

Its just a bit heavy if you do get bogged!

Like Chris says tyres are a big factor, I used the MT21s and had no problems or punctures.

The bike is made for this struff and will be far better on the none sandy bits than a smaller bike that a bit of sweating in the sand will be worth it!

There are some overheating problems that you need to sort on the 950 before you get out there tho.

Stan
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  #5  
Old 21 Jan 2007
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[quote=StanH]

Like Chris says tyres are a big factor, I used the MT21s and had no problems or punctures.

I used the Michelin Desert and I had no problems apart few punctures. Good grip on sandy and rocky terrain. I have tried also the MT21 and, despite I belive that Desert are more strong overall, If I may go on a mix trip with some tarmac tracts i would prefer the MT21 because those cope batter with it...expecialy the front one!


There are some overheating problems that you need to sort on the 950 before you get out there tho.

I menaged to change the radiator's grill with a basic wire netting which allowes much more passage of air. Moreover I installed an extra cool fun (the 660's one) on the right side of tha radiator wich is activated together with the main one. Those two tricks together do the job very well! It is unusual to have the 5th lead of the heating on!
Someone else managed to instal even an oil radiator wich apparently is usefull.

www.lc8.org

There is an international section but anyway if you do your question in easy english even in the main Italian sections you'll have plenty of answers!

Ciao

Nic
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  #6  
Old 22 Jan 2007
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Wise old Guru Chris - you say use proper knobblies, not TKC80s for the sand

My mighty XTZ750 is shod with TKCs at the mo - is the step up to MT21s a big one in terms of off road bias.

I know this is all very subjective (and possibly in the wrong thread as well !) but although I want to take my unloaded XTZ off road as much as possible, I worry that using MT21s might induce a few buttock clenching moments on the tarmac on a big trailie.

All advice received gratefully, cheers

Rich
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  #7  
Old 22 Jan 2007
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[quote=Dr LC8]
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanH

There are some overheating problems that you need to sort on the 950 before you get out there tho.

I menaged to change the radiator's grill with a basic wire netting which allowes much more passage of air. Moreover I installed an extra cool fun (the 660's one) on the right side of tha radiator wich is activated together with the main one.

Nic
How much work/money was involved in the above mod? I've seen the KTM mesh rad grille in my local dealer for £40 and I can see how it would improve airflow, but it didn't seem that strong. Could you give some more info on fitting a second fan.

How high did the temp go without the mods? Mine seems to run cooler than my previous Honda CBR's which used to get up to 110c sat in traffic in 35c temperatures. So far I've only seen 5 bars on the KTM, which is about 100c. 6 bars is 110c. I think the fan is set to kick in quite early, giving the impresion the engine temp is higher than it actually is.
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Old 22 Jan 2007
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[quote=MarkLG]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr LC8

How much work/money was involved in the above mod? I've seen the KTM mesh rad grille in my local dealer for £40 and I can see how it would improve airflow, but it didn't seem that strong. Could you give some more info on fitting a second fan.

How high did the temp go without the mods? Mine seems to run cooler than my previous Honda CBR's which used to get up to 110c sat in traffic in 35c temperatures. So far I've only seen 5 bars on the KTM, which is about 100c. 6 bars is 110c. I think the fan is set to kick in quite early, giving the impresion the engine temp is higher than it actually is.
Hi,
the mesh rad grille costed 15 euro while the second fun, if I'm not wrong, costed aboute 120 euro installation included and so far(23.000 km-Italy-Sicily-Tunisia-Greece-Turkey-Spain-Portugal and Franch !) they both did a great job.
Basically the second fun has got a comfortable space to be installed on the right side of the radiator almost perfectly symmetrical to the main one. You only have to build a basic and easy frame to fix it! Then it needs to be connect in parallel by easly adding a cable straight to that serving the main one.
In such way they work simultaneousness but for a shorter time, roughly the half!

What you say aboute the engine temperature is well possible (I had CBR as well!) even if driving LC8 my impression is that its engine temp is higher than CBR. Maybe is just aboute the legs position.
Anyway I haven't compare my one with a "original" one because in Tunisia we had all the same mods but I noticed a good difference driving it inside Rome's traffic before and after mods...the fun kick less and less often (due to the grille!) and once on last for aboute half time. It is unusual to have the 5 led on!

Overall good balance between price and result!

Ciao

Nic
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  #9  
Old 23 Jan 2007
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I took a BMW R850GS to morroco last year as a relatively inexperienced rider.

Did a lot of the routes out of chris scotts book, and went all the way down to tan tan.

Didnt risk the proper big dunes,as its a heavy bike if it falls on you, but with the right tyre pressure soft sand wasn`t that big a deal. the biggest issue was dropping it or digging it out after sinking up to he boxes. it weighs 300kg fully fueled and fully loaded, but picking it up a few times a day certainly gets you fit!

For teh really rocky route down to tan tan i wish i had better suspension as riding 300km over tennis ball sized rocks was knackering but made you appreciate that atlantic view all the more. But you won`t have teh same issue with the KTM i think.

I was running TKC80s and love them. good compromise for sand and very hard rock that covers i lot of the pistes. Only issue was clogging with mud in the high atlas, and total loss of traction , but that is another story.

cheers
mike
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  #10  
Old 23 Jan 2007
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[quote=Dr LC8]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkLG

Hi,
the mesh rad grille costed 15 euro while the second fun, if I'm not wrong, costed aboute 120 euro installation included and so far(23.000 km-Italy-Sicily-Tunisia-Greece-Turkey-Spain-Portugal and Franch !) they both did a great job.
Basically the second fun has got a comfortable space to be installed on the right side of the radiator almost perfectly symmetrical to the main one. You only have to build a basic and easy frame to fix it! Then it needs to be connect in parallel by easly adding a cable straight to that serving the main one.
In such way they work simultaneousness but for a shorter time, roughly the half!

What you say aboute the engine temperature is well possible (I had CBR as well!) even if driving LC8 my impression is that its engine temp is higher than CBR. Maybe is just aboute the legs position.
Anyway I haven't compare my one with a "original" one because in Tunisia we had all the same mods but I noticed a good difference driving it inside Rome's traffic before and after mods...the fun kick less and less often (due to the grille!) and once on last for aboute half time. It is unusual to have the 5 led on!

Overall good balance between price and result!

Ciao

Nic
Thanks for the info - I think I'll try the mesh grill and see how things go.
My feeling is that these engines run no hotter than any other liquid cooled unit, but due to the routing of the exhausts, and the cat in the silencers, the rider feels the heat a lot more.
I'll probably get an oil temp guage to replace the dipstick and keep an eye on that in addition to the water guage.
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  #11  
Old 23 Jan 2007
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[quote=MarkLG]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr LC8

My feeling is that these engines run no hotter than any other liquid cooled unit, but due to the routing of the exhausts, and the cat in the silencers, the rider feels the heat a lot more.
.
Since I changed original exhausts with Akraprovic it heat much less!

By the way I mouve last year to Liverpool and I'm looking now to bring my LC8 here. Where is your dealer in case I'll need one for service? Good bike but not that much reliable !
I've been to visit the one in Manchester but it looked to me not the right one for twins.
Any suggestion?

Thanks

Ciao

Nic
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  #12  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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I worry that using MT21s might induce a few buttock clenching moments on the tarmac on a big trailie.

This thread is going in all directions (as they do) but fyi I rode to Libya once on an old F650 with MT21s and had no problems riding down (apart from the usual). The 19" front TKC was a bit hairy initially but it's just a matter of riding accordingly when on wet tarmac. In the sand they transform a bike (even compared to TKCs).

Ch
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  #13  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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[QUOTE=Dr LC8]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkLG

Since I changed original exhausts with Akraprovic it heat much less!

By the way I mouve last year to Liverpool and I'm looking now to bring my LC8 here. Where is your dealer in case I'll need one for service? Good bike but not that much reliable !
I've been to visit the one in Manchester but it looked to me not the right one for twins.
Any suggestion?

Thanks

Ciao

Nic
Nic the dealer near Manchester is not good from my personal experience (and this is an opinion shared with a few others)

I use triple d in Kendal 01539 732666, they are excellent.
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  #14  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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Stop being a big girlie sean

If you're going to take a twin stop messing around and stick some knobblies on your 998..........
That would beat getting the Limo to Gambia!

See you soon!
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  #15  
Old 25 Jan 2007
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Hiya Wonky, are you back or still in Gambia?

Knobblies on the 998, now that sounds like fun with 132bhp and that nice low Ducati riding position in the sand, with an open clutch cover to let the sand in.

I'm sure some fool has tried it.

Hope you had/are having a good time

See you soon.
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