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  #1  
Old 8 Jul 2012
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Crossing fords (rivercrossings) in iceland or anywhere else

Hey,

In august i will be traveling to iceland alone.
However im planning to meet some people on the ferry to ride allong with im wondering, how do you cross a ford?

I see you tube vids where people just ride true them but is there a step by step walktrue?

Do you walk true the water first? do you undress your pants and boots to keep them dry? how do you keep your stuff dry?

Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 8 Jul 2012
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I would recommend starting small and working up. I found some neoprene boot seals at a camping store that I wrap around the top of my Ft Lewis combat boots. This works very well to keep me dry on occasional water crossings west of Calgary. Full on river crossings in Iceland, well that's why I will be sticking to the ring road next month. I won't do river crossings when riding solo. Cheers
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  #3  
Old 8 Jul 2012
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When I looked at going 6 years ago (when the ferries were a bit better) I read that the trick is to get to the river crossings and camp until early morning when the level will have dropped because they can be unpassable at some times.Then everyone crosses as a group. I also read that some German riders were wearing chest waders to cross! Not a good idea if you fall in though.

I still haven't got there, the ferry return trip is getting ever more complicated and you have to get it from Hirtshals in Denmark now and not Lerwick.

Good luck with your trip, it's still on my list.
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Old 9 Jul 2012
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I wouldn't risk a river crossing alone - say, anything more than axle deep. Far too easy to get into bad trouble. And I would rather get wet and cold than wear chest waders. Plenty of fisherman drown every year after tripping and falling into the water wearing waders. Once they fill with water, you're in big trouble.

Just my 0.02€ wirth.
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  #5  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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I was in Iceland few years ago and also rode solo.
I always walked through the stream/river before trying to cross it. If you cannot walk it, do not try to ride it.
As was mentioned already, morning is the best time to cross them.

Do you know what you need to do for the bike if you drop it to the stream?
Do you have needed tools to make it run after dropping?

I used sealskins and they kept my feet dry.
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Old 9 Jul 2012
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Hi 2712,
an addition to what the others suggested I have 3 more comments, I learned them the hard way in Iceland

#1
Usually the river crossings are at a shallow stretch of the river (a ford). They almost look like a little like a dammed lake. You want to ride where the imagined dam is, thats the shallowest part.

#2 If you fall, switch off the engine (kill switch) immediately, before the engine sucks in the water. Thats very bad

#3 Icelands interior is absolutely stunning. Well worth the river crossings
If you are not convinced here is some inspiration:
Iceland - Unleash Your Adventure

Cheers Patrick
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  #7  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post
I was in Iceland few years ago and also rode solo.
I always walked through the stream/river before trying to cross it. If you cannot walk it, do not try to ride it.
As was mentioned already, morning is the best time to cross them.

Do you know what you need to do for the bike if you drop it to the stream?
Do you have needed tools to make it run after dropping?

I used sealskins and they kept my feet dry.

When the engine sucks up water, what i need to do is remove the sparkplugs on both sides, and start the engine so the compression forces all the water out of the cylinders. Then i reinstall the plugs and try starting it again?

Im not sure if i can remove the sparkplugs with the tools i have, probably i just remove the cap of the sparkplug (i see you have one on top of the boxer cylinder (r1200gsa) and one on the bothem) and probably il just can screw it out with the right wrench?

I have to try this before i leave
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Old 9 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnkelKarle View Post
Hi 2712,
an addition to what the others suggested I have 3 more comments, I learned them the hard way in Iceland

#1
Usually the river crossings are at a shallow stretch of the river (a ford). They almost look like a little like a dammed lake. You want to ride where the imagined dam is, thats the shallowest part.

#2 If you fall, switch off the engine (kill switch) immediately, before the engine sucks in the water. Thats very bad

#3 Icelands interior is absolutely stunning. Well worth the river crossings
If you are not convinced here is some inspiration:
Iceland - Unleash Your Adventure

Cheers Patrick
Thanks for the link Im gonne check it out this evening!
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Old 9 Jul 2012
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I went trekking in South America with a couple of Icelanders who sent me links on their Icelandic trekking jaunts. When crossing rivers they link arms and cross in groups of six people, that way when one person trips, he/she doesn't go down.

The main problem with a motorbike is big rocks knocking you off course, or off the bike, so if you can't see the bottom you must walk it first, testing the bottom with your feet.

You don't have to play the cards you've been dealt, so if there's any doubt about the crossing either swap some of the cards (i.e. move the big rocks) or pass this hand (turn back or wait for water level to subside).

Gauging the right speed is a challenge, if you are too slow (below 15kph) you stand a bigger chance of falling over, if you are too fast you will create a bow wave over the top of the screen and will get soaked. Don't look down at the flowing water or your brain will think the right thing to do is to follow the water downsteam, instead fix your eyes on the opposite bank.

My son-in-law passed his bike test 4 years ago then didn't ride a motorbike again. He did ride mountain bikes, so was aware of basic offroad stuff like looking ahead, but the video below was his first piste in Morocco and his first river crossing. I walked the crossing first to check it out and remained mid stream to help if there were problems. If someone does this stand UPSTREAM of the intended crossing point.

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Old 11 Jul 2012
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Cool Tim! that sort of breaks the nervousity

So i bought a oiled airfilter (foam), i hop eit arrives in time. Some people on advrider stated that its better maintainable when wet, since the paper oem ones can break appart or clog the air intake when wet.

@onkelkarle, i checked out that websit you gave me, awesome!
Me and my ridingbuddy are going to follow the same route to the vulcano (forgot the name, short name with a j in it)
Sounds like a plan!
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  #11  
Old 11 Jul 2012
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Hi

I went last year but on 4 wheels. The map we had was published by Ferdakort, ISBN 978-9979-67-209-8, which had river crossings marked on. Its slightly wider than A4 maybe making it awkward on top of a tank bag but it is a very good map. Once you're on a track you won't need to refer to it much though. Asking the locals before you try a stretch might reveal some are always deeper than others, as well as which ones will have been affected by recent rainfall in areas you've not been in, etc, so you can plan where you can go perhaps avoiding the deeper ones beforehand?

The shallower in the morning bit I didn't know about until recently, but is on the basis that sun during the day will melt more ice.

A sensible precaution would be to park up before any crossing and wait for someone else to come along before you try it.

Have fun

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Old 11 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2712 View Post
When the engine sucks up water, what i need to do is remove the sparkplugs on both sides, and start the engine so the compression forces all the water out of the cylinders. Then i reinstall the plugs and try starting it again?

Im not sure if i can remove the sparkplugs with the tools i have, probably i just remove the cap of the sparkplug (i see you have one on top of the boxer cylinder (r1200gsa) and one on the bothem) and probably il just can screw it out with the right wrench?

I have to try this before i leave
Remove plugs and turn the engine over to force the water out, as you say. Dry the plugs, reinstall and try to start it. If you're lucky you won't have bent a conrod or worse. Much better to find out the height at which the air intake draws the air in, and never risk getting in that deep. Also, always drain and change the oil as soon as possible afterwards, as it's likely that the oil will be contaminated.

I have to say that I am concerned that you are contemplating a journey like this, alone, when you have to ask how to remove a spark plug.
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