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  #31  
Old 18 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Andy, given the number of dishwasher repair men, machine operators and others who claim the title of engineer I’d suggest being more specific..


I worked in the automotive industry for 13 years up to five years ago.

Andy
By your own admission, 13 years in the automotive industry could mean that sat behind a desk in Halfords.

Be more specific.... I'm just saying

Jokes aside, I am interested in your experience. I've read a lot of your posts and they make a lot of bloody sense. To me anyway.
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  #32  
Old 18 Oct 2012
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My cover is blown! Would anyone like to buy three hundred sets of 5 year old spark plugs in their original packaging?



And thank you for the kind words.

Andy
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  #33  
Old 18 Oct 2012
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The trouble with production adventure bikes is they don't build them to go on adventures. The radiators are never protected properly ( neither are the oil filters/coolers ) Look at the radiator on a modern mx bike they never get damaged, I crashed, bashed, trashed my cr250 the radiator still looked brand new when the bike was ten years old.
The new Yam tenere 1200 has a plasticky engine guard thingy, they shaped it to go around the oil filter which is sat directly behind the front wheel forchrissakes!!
I've got a GS 1200 adv it's great for what I do but Bmw say don't fit an oil cooler guard cos it'll over heat the oil (I know everyone does) but by it's monicker it's an adventure bike so w.t.f don't they fit a bigger one with a guard on to start with.
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  #34  
Old 19 Oct 2012
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My Previous Rant

My apologies to you all. I get fed up with the continuous waffle that the latest bike has to be the best bike. To that end I claimed that someone on this thread was telling porkies. It was more of a misdirection than a lie and for that I apologise.
I started in the motor trade, as a mechanic working on Toyotas, in 1970 and have moved on to do engineering work for the MoD and others. I'm 60 years old and I like to hear both sides of the arguement.
I'll leave air-cooled versus water cooled debate to the people that want to read this thread. However, may I point out that when the legislation changed, so that cars had to have catalytic converters on, it was a retrograde step. The 'lean burn' engine was being developed and this would have given far greater benefits, and more quickly, than the step to cats! It would have been infinitely more ecologically sound as well. Check out what cats are made of and how easy they are to recycle?
To this end I've chosen simple engineering, zero content of water cooling, ABS, and fuel injection. The bike I've chosen, to go around the World, is 9 years old (2003) with a much longer pedigree than anything built now. The reason why it isn't built now? Our Draconian emission regulations! The Suzuki DR650 is still sold in Canada and America yet hasn't been sold here since the later part of the 1990s. Our emission regs yet again.
I've owned 3 KTMs from new, a 950 Adventure (one of the best bike's I've ridden), an RC8 and a 990SMT. I own a Valkyrie, a Fazer 1000 (Yes, it's carbed), and a TTR250 as well as my ATW steed - a Yamaha XT600E.
I've done the Northern route through Mongolia on an air-cooled Ural 750 sidecar outfit and I never wanted more power or more complexity.
As I stated before, You make the decision based on your experience, or the experiences of your friends, and your understanding of where you're going to ride. Air-cooled or water cooled? Your choice, but I'd help anyone out, irrespective of what bike they ride, if they broke down near me.
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  #35  
Old 19 Oct 2012
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That sure was a pretty bizarre rant ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
...whilst Walter Colebatch proclaims the X-Challenge (which doesn't appear to be made anymore) is the perfect bike I am bemused by the number of failures/breakages he has had.
Firstly, I never proclaimed it to be the perfect bike. I am a very rational man. Any one making a claim like that would have rocks in their head. Anyone quoting me as saying that would be trying to score cheap points and ignoring facts. Propaganda is a lovely thing if it helps you sell your story right?

I often said while I bemoan the lack of a perfect adventure bike out there, the XC is the best base I have found for modifying a bike for long distance, off-road, adventure travel. Thats rather different from saying "The X-Challenge is the perfect bike" ... isnt it???

Secondly, if you are bemused by the relatively small number of fixes I have made to my bike over the large amount of kilometres I have done then you clearly know nothing about the way I ride. If you rode your bike [edit: know now a DR650] as fast I do, as brutally as I do, over as long a period as I do, then you wouldnt be bemused. Your bemusement stems from ignorance - its that simple really.

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Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
My XT is doing approx 70mpg.
Doing what? Asphalt motorway cruising. I have ridden alongside XTs, and while their fuel consumption is 5-10 % worse than a rotax poweed bike on the asphalt, its a good 25% worse on any kind of road which could be termed an "Adventure". Certainly all my comments relate to bikes that are intended to be ridden off road. What does your XT do in Mongolia? Do you know?

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Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
By the by, for all you Rotax engined riders out there, remember that the impeller that breaks inside the waterpump doesn't come with the repair kit! My friend Clyde got stuck in Aguinskoi (1 version of possible English spelling) for 21 days whilst BMW in America sent the impeller/s to him by Courier. He already had the repair kit. BMW in Moscow had the part but wouldn't send it as they said it would not get to him. That's why Clyde ordered it from the US of A.
Lovely story ... take one example and therefore you know the reliability of the entire production line. Very scientific approach.

Why dont you tell me what bike you bought, and lets see if I cant find an example in the annuls of history where your model has left the owner in a pickle. Using your brilliant strategy we will soon be able to say that every machine ever made is utterly useless.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
(I'm an Engineer).
As was said earlier ... Which means what, exactly???

If you are going to try and gain credibility by throwing in a cheesy line like that, then do us all the favour of telling us what engineering degree you have. Do you have a mechanical engineering degree and use it daily in the design of production combustion engines ??? (I am sure the good folk at Rotax do)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
But don't lie to me about the advantages of taking a modern water-cooled, fuel injected bike.
If you are going to go around telling people who have been doing this for decades that passing on their experience for the benefit of others is lying to you, then you are going to cop a lot of flack ...

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Last edited by colebatch; 20 Oct 2012 at 13:15.
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  #36  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Landerstow View Post
My apologies to you all. I get fed up with the continuous waffle that the latest bike has to be the best bike. To that end I claimed that someone on this thread was telling porkies. It was more of a misdirection than a lie and for that I apologise.
A handsome apology, well delivered.

Yes, we can all become frustrated with waffle.
However, there is some very good input to the discussion herein, including the latest posts from Colebatch.
And ThreewheelBonnie always has some good insight into the motor industry in general and his experiences with manufacturing and materials technology.

For what it is worth, I have one of each in my garage, a/c and w/c, 1995 and 2010 respectively - just one case of how over 15 years the technology has moved along, no matter for what reasons (as are discussed herein).
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  #37  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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+1

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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post

I've read a lot of your posts and they make a lot of bloody sense. To me anyway.
Me too!
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  #38  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
Scott started using water cooling in 1911, not '26. Mind you, they're pretty simple, AFAIK they are pure thermo-syphon with no pump, no thermostat and certainly no cooling fan!
& the Scott trial continues to this day!
Scott Trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indeed, on this very day.
http://www.richmondmotorclub.com/wp-...oute-Guide.pdf
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  #39  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
I have had plenty of water-cooled bikes in recent years, and not one has given a problem or even needed topping up between coolant changes. I am now completely confident in the concept, just like I am now happy with EFI. That took a while, too.

And having said that, if I were travelling right out in the sticks, I would probably choose the a/c XT over the w/c FGS, just because if it aint there, it can't go wrong.

There is a side of me which resists moving with the times but I also now have complete confidence in watercooling and EFI, it does take time, but the newer generations of 'gizmos' such as canbus and ring antennas still scare the life out of me. It seems though that none of these actually enhance the bikes performance but just add another layer of things that can go wrong which will stop you going where you want to go.

Choosing the ideal bike for an adventure overland trip is very much a personal thing. Colebatch, by his own admission, gives his bike a hard time and expects the bike to cope. The hard terrain means that light weight is an important factor as is good suspension. I've only ridden an standard X challenge a few times and I've also ridden a DR650 and one is not in the same league in terms of trail riding ability.

I've always travelled with a view to getting to the destination with the fewest problems possible. I wouldn't go as far as to change the route to be easier on the bike (the opposite is true on our Africa trip) but I would (and did) resist playing dakar racers in the Namibian sand dunes, for example.

Amongst others, I have the old R100GS and a KTM 690. The KTM is used almost exclusively for trail riding but could be adapted to serve as an adventure overland bike and would be well up to a 'Colebatch' type of trip, however, for my style of travelling it'll be the GS everytime. The fact that I know pretty much every nut and bolt and how to balance the carbs with my eyes shut all add to its virtues. But I'm sure I'd only last the first day like the guy on the DR650 did.

Last edited by Magnon; 20 Oct 2012 at 11:13.
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  #40  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Watercooling is 'newfangled' ?

What's next - electronic ignitions, fuel-injection (non open loop), wet clutches, forks with shim stacks vs a damper rod, linkage suspensions instead of two shocks on each side of the sub-frame, disc brakes, etc ?

I'm astonished at the idea that somehow more complexity is less reliable. Perhaps NASA should return to analog computers, the same as were used to get Armstrong to and back from the moon ?

No doubt, when something "modern" (I prefer "current") goes wrong . . . it's rarely a simple fix. If an ECU fails in the middle of nowhere - you're done. If a fuel injector is clogged - same. Do I pine for ignition points and beveling the distributor profiles for advancing my spark ? Nope. Do I like the idea of riding a damper fork fast across the steppe instead of a rumbling along smiling on my KTM 950 @ 140KPH. Nope.

For one, the endless maintenance of the "simple" bikes is either too much or it's unpleasant. (Check and set the valves on an old threaded adjuster . . . every 3000km.) Or just pull the rear shock on a DRZ - it's a two-man job with a bit of cursing for 45 min. It's an afterthought on a modern bike. (Yeah, I consider DRZ's on the cusp of "modern" and not.)

(FWIW, the GSs and Tenere's miss the mark primarily due to their pachyderm weight and/or high CoG. But they're both wonderful on bad (tarmac) roads and fantastic on good ones.)

What about the FUN of a modern bike ? (Yes, I believe old bikes can be fun, too.) A DRZ is as reliable as the sun, once you take care of a few details. But it's about as much fun as soggy Weetabix, thank you. It feels more ponderous than my KTM 950 ever does in a rock garden and the engine inspires dreaming of being on another bike. The big Katoom is a shockingly good all-rounder and except for it's looks . . . a great bike. (I have a carbureted version that was chosen because I didn't care for KTMs open-loop FI even though I REALLY like FI, generally.) One thing against the modernity - you can talk yourself into thinking you're better than the bike on a DRZ . . . not on a modern bike. An old Trumpet is "fun" but you're never as good as a modern 600.

Hell, if you really want reliable - get a bactrian camel and a good pair of shoes. At least the "ride" will be about the road and not the "vehicle".

In Beyneu last year I watched a Lada's head come off and the head gasket sealer sanded off by hand. Then air was blown to clear off the abrasive and in and down the oil AND water jacket holes. Amazing. The cams were covered in fine dust . . . given a wipe and put back in. EVERYBODY told me how great the Lada's were 'cause ANYONE could work on them. And in my experience, just like a 60's US car . . . everyone always WAS working on them.

My preferences are fun, reliability (which is overly worried about IMHO), and trying to make a nice adventure ride about the path, not the bike.

Know your bike, whatever it is - be able to do at least basic maintenance and recognize symptoms of problems and know yourself. If you're better with a wrench and diagnosis, you have the option to choose something more engaging. Afterall, it's a holiday, not a job ! If not, stay safe - a DRZ vs a TTR (water vs air cooled) - for me, slam dunk. The DRZ everytime. Better suspension, better resistance to varying weather, altitude, gas quality and economy BECAUSE it's water cooled.

The weakest link is the fool holding the handlebars . . . whatever the bike.

A fool for fun.
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  #41  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Choosing to travel by bike means that the bike is an important part of the trip. I agree that it shouldn't dominate the trip and it should be fun to ride.

I've never had to put my bike on a truck to get to the next town and this is something I would hope I never have to do so it needs to be well prepared, inherently reliable but easy to fix at the roadside - doesn't mean it's not fun!
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  #42  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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What a lot of tedious bullshit posturing !

A good mechanic will equip him/herself with the knowledge , spares and tools to maintain his/her motorcycle regardless of the technology involved .
A guy/gal who does not have the ability or interest will always depend on others and his/her credit card .

The standard of maintenance by the operator will dictate the reliability of the machine , not the simple fact of air cooled vs water cooled or carburretor vs fuel injection .

Fatuous comparisons prove nothing .

Vintage machines can travel around the world with very little trouble , conversely it is not unknown for travellers to be stranded for weeks when a mono shock , or similar part , on a modern bike breaks and a spare has to be flown in .
C'est la vie .
Make your choice , you are sure to be correct .
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  #43  
Old 21 Oct 2012
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Make mine watercooled, FI'd with modern suspension, please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
What a lot of tedious bullshit posturing !

A good mechanic will equip him/herself with the knowledge , spares and tools to maintain his/her motorcycle regardless of the technology involved .
A guy/gal who does not have the ability or interest will always depend on others and his/her credit card .

The standard of maintenance by the operator will dictate the reliability of the machine , not the simple fact of air cooled vs water cooled or carburretor vs fuel injection .
A good mechanic can do nothing about a blown monoshock (or any other !), a clogged injector, a fried ECU.

Modern (watercooled, due to power output AND emissions requirements) bikes have higher levels of performance in terms of power, economy, emissions and tolerance to environmental factors.

The downside of those features is that technology is required to obtain that wondrous mix. If that technology fails - which is VERY rare - game's over.

I'm with that mix, not something I can and likely will tinker with constantly on what is a ride, not a rolling motorbike maintenance clinic.

Ed Culbertson had his old boxer disassembled into pieces to go into dugout canoes to pass through, not go around the Darien Gap . . . 30 years ago. Would he do it with the boxer now ? I doubt it. Not if it was about the ride, not the bike.

To each his own.
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  #44  
Old 21 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
A good mechanic will equip him/herself with the knowledge , spares and tools to maintain his/her motorcycle regardless of the technology involved
Agreed

Quote:
A guy/gal who does not have the ability or interest will always depend on others and his/her credit card .
But has to consider if they should go to the remoter places for fear of suffering a breakdown they can't fix and potentially being stranded. For me the ideal would be to be able to make a 'get you home' repair in every situation.

Quote:
The standard of maintenance by the operator will dictate the reliability of the machine , not the simple fact of air cooled vs water cooled or carburretor vs fuel injection .
Agreed it has little to do with the type of technology but it's not always the operator who is to blame for poor reliability especially if the bike is new.
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  #45  
Old 21 Oct 2012
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There is noway you can carry tools and parts for every eventuality.

If you have less things to fix, then you need less tools, less parts and you'll probably have less breakdowns. It's so mind numbingly obvious I can't believe people are still arguing about it.

Eg. If you get a batch of dirty fuel on an XT600, you simply clean out the fuel filter or change it for another £2 spare that almost ANYONE sells.

Do the same on more modern FI, electronic bike and you're getting far more involved. The fuel pump and filter will most likely be inside the tank leaving most people scratching their heads. That's even if you have the tools and gaskets to pull it all apart and reassemble it.

That's just one example. Of many...

I've been working on bikes my entire adult life and I feel capable of fixing most things. But do I want to be f**cking about with a multimetre and a laptop in in the middle of the road with the sun melting my face while the local kids of trying to nick your tool kit ??? NOPE !!

I want to be able to see and access my bike simply and easily and get on my way.

At home, I run a fuel injected electronic bike. If it goes tit's up, i'll call the AA, get it home and fix it at my leisure.
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