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I'm really new to motorcycling and moto maintenance. I passed my test 45 days ago, but have worked a lot on my riding skill, taking on and offroad instruction and doing a 2,000 mile on/off road trip in order to test my gear.
I have a big trip coming up. 1 year: across Northern America, then Siberia, Central Asia, Europe, and Africa. It starts in 10 days.
I've forced myself to do everything on the bike so far, and have called in friends for instruction when needed. The North American section of it (1 month) will be a relatively safe warm up, where I can learn more along the way, and have easy access to spares.
From not knowing how to use the ignition lock properly, I've now:
- Installed all the farkles I'll be using: pegs, barkbusters, skid plate, luggage racks, centerstand, crash bars etc
- Changed the battery, wired up the GPS and powerlet socket on to an ignition controlled circuit
- Changed both tires
- Next, I'll do the upcoming service myself: oil change, chain adjust etc.
- Read through the manual, and stared at the service fiche's, which show how the bike is put together.
- Read this site, and put together a list of tools and spares accordingly: eg. soldering iron, spare links, hacksaw blade etc
I could probably replace the clutch or throttle cables on the side of the trail if I had to (I have a spare cable).
HOWEVER, many of you know 50x more than I do, and half the spare parts and tools that are recommended, I wouldn't have the first clue in how to use: for example, feeler gauges, dielectric grease, shims.
So, my question, given that time is short. Do I carry all this stuff, hoping that if I need them I can learn on the go, or that I'll be lucky enough to find someone who can use the parts, or, just assume that if I don't know how to use the parts, then I have to find a person/place that can fix the bike if something that serious happens?
For Africa i took tools, break pads, new chain and the stuff i need to chance and repair a tire.
For Southamerica i did not carry any parts because the bike i used was very comon there and therefore i could get everything i needet along the road:
My view is that you should only carry the parts that will actually stop you from riding to the next BMW shop. Even so it is not practical to cover everything but you should have all the kit to make a chain repair including a link extractor, spare links and a small length of chain. You should also carry everything to repair a puncture. If you have tubeless tyres you may still need to take the tyre off the rim to either put in a tube (as an emergency measure) or fit a patch to the inside of the tyre if it's a large hole. Spare throttle cable, possibly spare clutch friction plates, the means to bleed the clutch and spare seals if it's hydraulic, or a spare cable.
A spare spark plug, of course but also perhaps some spare ignition parts if it's practical (cost, size).
Make sure you have the tools to fit the parts - sometimes the bike toolkit is not sufficient. Make sure you know how to bump start the bike.
If your bike is fully serviced at the start of your trip you should be able to work out when you're going to need such things as oil filters and brake pads, so you can buy these in time rather than carry them all the way with you.
I was sort of in your shoes last November, except that I'm with a small strom and am doing relatively "easy and safe" terrain in South America. But it also had 9k miles on the odo at the start of the trip.
I would give you two pieces of advice.
1. It sounds like you'll be doing a lot of miles. Spend the cash and replace ALL the consumables before you go. This means you will be replacing stuff that doesn't need replaced quite just yet - for me that's a small price to pay for the certainty. To be clear, I mean:
- chain and sprocket
- air filter
- oil filter
- brake pads
- battery (sounds like you've done it)
2. Take the scheduled maintenance chart from your manual and place it on top of a map of your trip. Plan where you will get everything done - anything that's not on that chart but you know is consumable, plan for that as well. Getting parts on the road is not easy, and even more so on the route you're planning.
I had trouble finding something as simple as an oil filter in Santiago. Tyres are the biggest pain cause they are bulky, but some people even go as far as carting a pair with them.
I don't know how the valve clearances are done on a Sertao, but on a Strom they're done with shims and for that reason alone it's not a Round the World bike. If the Sertao has shims, it'd be a good idea to take a peek at them before you go - on a Strom they're due a peek at 14,500 miles, which is not that much into your trip. And ideally, adjust before you go - 15k miles is not that long an interval, and by opening them up before you go you'll know what shims are already in place and you can buy the right shims before you set off.
If I were setting off again, I would carry with me oil filters and spark plugs. K&N filters are a bit of a mixed blessing, but probably easier to carry a recharge kit (it's basically a bottle of cleaner and a bottle of oil) which allows you to service it on the road than a whole new filter - so you should definitely consider it.
On the rest, I think it's not unreasonable to service it exactly as BMW intended and plan on it not breaking, and then dealing with the headache if it does as and when.
On putting on new parts before your go ..do that some time BEFORE you leave.. so any problems with the new parts are sorted before you leave. You do not want new parts to show faults just as you start out your trip in a far away place.
Look at any parts you are thinking of carrying. If they are heavy and or large in size then think hard about NOT carrying them .. they are a pain and make the trip less enjoyable. If they are needed for service then have them shipped on to that point .. worth it. E.g. chain and sprockets .. not something I'd carry. Nor tyres. Plan on replacing them, yes. But carry ... no. At least not at the start, and then not for long.
Same for tools - if large in size and/or weight .. and not in regular use then no I'd not carry it. If the tool is only used for parts replacement then you'll have to carry the part too .. or order it in.. if ordering it in you can get the tool sent in too.
There really is a lot of information in those blue bar thingys at the top .. this topic is covered in
I carry sprockets on a long trip (say, 20k miles or more) unless the bike is sold locally; they're easily carried, can be difficult to find. Standard chains can be purchased everywhere--in o ring or x ring most major cities. I carry a spare, pre-oiled air filter because it's so easy to do--and so handy when the time comes. Oil filters because I want to make it as easy as possible to change them out, lest I become lazy (I started with ten or so on my last big trip, used all of them and purchased some more along the way: maybe that's why my KLR was still going strong at almost 100k miles/160k km). I carry known failure points for my specific bike, and brake pads, clutch cables, fork seals and other such because again it's easier to carry than to search high and low when, for example, a fork seal blows oil all over my brake pads.
I carry spare tubes and a patch kit--always. I've also learned that both hand and electric pumps fail regularly, so I generally carry one of each--this has saved me a few times. I carry valve cores and core removers for the obvious reason--the cores in your spare tube(s) will do, as will the valve caps which double as removers on the same spare tube. I carry a few bulbs because they seem to go out on me at times when I don't really want to go shopping for new ones--while driving through big city traffic at dusk in the rain, for example.
Some peace of mind stuff never hurts: a separator funnel just in case; some spare fuel line, whatever it takes to keep you from obsessing when you should be admiring the scenery.
I don't carry all sorts of other crap: vice grips will do in place of levers, busted cables, shifters, busted bolts or hinges.... Bungies and straps will hold almost anything together for a while, as will the greatest maintenance advance in the past 50 years--cable ties of all sizes. I've carried valve shims but somehow didn't manage to have the correct one anyway, hence had one surfaced to fit.
Oh, and it's not quite what you asked for, but maps are crucial. I made the stupid mistake thinking that the best maps will be ones you buy locally and so didn't bother buying any before I set off. This was a huge mistake - I wish I'd spent more time buying maps before I set off - I challenge someone to find me a map of Peru or Bolivia in Chile - I've asked like 100 places. And the maps that you can get locally are often just shite.
Hi it depends a lot on the way you care about your chain. If you use a scottoiler and dont ride in mud or sand it might work...i allways calculate 25.000 km for chain and Mitas E-07 tires. Thats exactly from germany to southafrica
Put me in a near opposite category then: sand and dirt and a solid squirt of lube when I remember (every 300-500 miles).
I'm also heavy on the brakes.
As much dirt and offroad as I can handle.
Sounds like I need to be replacing things more frequently. Are there guidelines for this? Or am I just going to have to replace at 10k miles in Vancouver and then judge wear to figure out how long I could have gone for?
Is it reasonable to assume that the factory chain, sprockets and brakes will last til 24k
That's miles, right? Best learn to specify on international forums. The answer: No. Most chains wear out earlier unless you're really, really good at keeping them clean.
Originally Posted by NYLon2000
or is it prudent to change those, early, before I leave the US?
What does it matter? You're not heading for the Congo Basin: you're going to Europe, where motorcycles are often repaired and parts often purchased. The exception would be if your particular make and model have never been sold in Europe, in which case you'll want to make sure parts are available (as they almost always are).
Originally Posted by NYLon2000
I checked the service manual, but they don't give mileage guides to these parts, only wear measurements. For reference I'll be at 4k offroad and 5k inroad by the time I get to Vancouver.
That's because no one can possibly predict how long your chain,sprockets or brake pads will last without knowing how and where you ride and what sort of maintenance you do. Since you don't actually know this yourself yet, surely you can see that neither do we or the manufacturer. That's ok: just keep an eye on all of the above, and make a point of buying parts when you see signs of serious wear.
Every motorcycling forum since Al Gore created the internet contains endless debates about how to care for your chain, whether to change out sprockets with chains, what are the best brake pads, and what sort of service life can be expected out of anything you can name. Think about using the search function here or elsewhere.
Mark - Eek! Sorry to wake the beast! Did you get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?
I've combed through this site over tens of hours, I know all about prepping a DR650 - not the bike I have sadly - try to contribute where I can. Mostly that's involved creating the weather planner you can find over in the planning section (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-planner-69535) etc.
Anyway, to comment on two of your questions:
In terms of units, I have noted the units (miles) several times in the thread, as proximate as the prior sentence to the one you responded to!
I'll be at 9k miles in Vancouver, and then close to 24k by the time I roll into Europe, just in time for a major inspection.
Is it reasonable to assume that the factory chain, sprockets and brakes will last til 24k, or is it prudent to change those, early, before I leave the US?
And yes, I'll be in Europe at around 24,000 miles, but, as covered in the OP, I do pass through Siberia and Central Asia along the way. About 15,000 miles of those regions:
I have a big trip coming up. 1 year: across Northern America, then Siberia, Central Asia, Europe, and Africa.
That said, I do appreciate all the advice, and everything I've learned on this site, as it's greatly sped up my preparation and increased my confidence for this trip as I learn more about motos.
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