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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 4 Oct 2008
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Where do you do your service?

So far we've done ours on the side of the railway tracks, in a shaded location of a Soviet housing estate and in the courtyard of a bunch of car mechanics in the stinking hot sun. That was with an XT though and didn't really perform the full service cycle.

Now we're with F650 Dakars and require the bloody valves checked every 10k which needs half the bike taken apart (mostly non-dirty stuff thoough). Not sure how private hotel owners will take this.
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Old 4 Oct 2008
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i've done work in hotel's before when i've had problems. on your way in tell them that you have problem with the bike and usually they will tell you where to work on your bike.if not go to another hotel and try again.
in general it's ok providing you ask first and respect their place and customers who generally come around to see what your doing
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Old 26 Oct 2008
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I used hotel car parks. Nice and shady and if you go around the back, plenty of privacy. (Obviously, don't do it at a 5* hotel!). I just did oil and filters on the road plus bolt tightening and checking.

Re. valve clearances, you really don't need to check them every 10k miles on a Dakar. I left mine for 38k without checking and they were still in tolerance. Realistically, are you carrying enough shims to change them if they're out? Ideally, I'd try to check them every 20k miles.
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Old 9 Nov 2008
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Normally do big repairs at campsites if the weather is good as theres plenty of space and l can take my time, had lots of funny looks from campers when changing the headstock bearings on a XR650R in Finland this year.

When doing a oil change in a remote area l dig a hole and drain it into that then buried it, bit naughty but not going to carry old oil and a drain pan about.
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Old 4 Feb 2009
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Patio / courtyards of hotels are normally a very good place.

To change the oil we always did it at the place where we bought the oil. Just ask and people are happy to help for free, and to have the opportunity to check out your bike at the same time!

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Old 4 Feb 2009
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I prefer to service the bike at campsites, it’s normally a lot of space and not to many bystanders with long fingers. Very often you can get a cold and that’s always positive.
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Old 4 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by tatters View Post
When doing a oil change in a remote area l dig a hole and drain it into that then buried it, bit naughty but not going to carry old oil and a drain pan about.
Honestly: That is just nasty. Do you have any idea how bad that actually is?

Not meaning to get into a flame war here but to me this sounds just like selfishness and very bad planning. I mean how short are the oil change intervalls off your bike? 250km?

Even in really remote areas I can't imagine beeing more than say 1000km's from the next spot where you can properly dispose of your used oil and almost every motorbike should be able to make that on old oil.

It's another story if you just can't be bothered to do it properly. Sure, why not? But then again why just dump toxic waste in the ocean or feed unknown chemicals to your children...

By the way: How do you bring your new oil to that remote location? Do you have it dropped by helicopter? If you're actually carrying it on your motorbike, then you do actually have something to carry your old oil in and with the dilligent use of (say) a couple of robust empty plastic bags or some other highly specialized tool you might even be able to change the oil and put it in the new canister without causing a mayor enviromental hazard.

But then again: Why bother?
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Old 4 Feb 2009
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I agree with the previous post- it doesn't exactly set a great example if you just go around developing countries dumping your old oil into the ground!! I did most of my oil changes at petrol stations where they had some kind of service area. I always asked the operators if it was ok to do some work on my bike myself (ok I did a lot of sign language and Pictionary moves...) but there was always somewhere to dispose of the dirty oil and filters in these places.

Valves, fork seals, air filter cleaning, tyre changing etc usually done at camp sites or hotel court yards.

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Old 3 Mar 2009
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I agree with both posts above! Not very responsible. On the road I find a place that sells and recycles oil. Buy the new oil and then recycle the old oil. Environmentally friendly and easy to do. You don't even have to take the new oil to a worksite. In the US Walmart is very good about doing this.
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