The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Many riding Dual sport bikes on the road run too high a pressure, holding onto some preconceived but misguided theory left over from 500 lb. sports bikes. IIRC, your XT weighs "about" 365 lbs. wet. (166 kgs.)
Yamaha are wise to post a variance based on load/rider weight. But tire types can vary some too and of course conditions.
I think you are very close to spot on. I would run:
26 psi rear
22 psi front.
I think you will find you will get the best wear with these pressures for most dual sport 50/50 tires. Many will tell you to run 32 rear, 28 front, or even higher. I have done it and it may ride OK but tires will wear faster. A lower pressure is also much safer in any sort of wet condition and also in aggressive cornering. Trust me on this one.
If you were to load up the bike or add pillion, I'd go to maybe 30 rear, 25 front, more / less.
From what I recall on the tyre session at Ripley (UK HU meeting 2009), advice on tyre pressure in manuals is a good guide on where to start. However change the make/model/profile/size/weight carried etc then the advised pressures will not offer optimum wear or grip.
Take the guide pressure when cold, start riding, when the tyres are warm (20 mins?) check the pressure. If the pressure has risen 10-15% then you are about right. If the pressure has risen less than 10% let a little air out. If the pressure has risen more than 15% then add some air.
Cold 20 PSI
If pressure is optimum when Warm pressure should be 22-23 PSI
If it reads 21 PSI then take let air out back down to 20 PSI and repeat before your next ride with tyres from Cold.
If it reads 24 PSI then add air to 25 PSI and repeat before your next ride with tyres from Cold.
Make a note of your optimum roads pressures when solo, loaded, with pillion etc.
Take note I am not a qualified tyre guru but this is what I practice. It has certainly helped me with improved handling and extended tyre life.
The problem with the above technique is moisture. If your air source contains a lot of moisture (very common) then this can affect readings/results rather sharply giving inaccurate readings.
This is why at the race track they use Nitrogen in tires. Very stable. Depending on where you get air, moisture content can vary. At Petrol stations this is especially true. If adding/subtracting air is done at home with a bicycle pump then should be very little moisture affect.
The other confusing factor is how altitude effects tire pressures. In the UK where you have little altitude variance, not such a problem. In North and South America altitudes can rise and fall 7000 ft. (2200 mtrs.) in just ten or 15 miles. Higher altitudes, higher pressures. From sea level up to about 8000 ft. equals "roughly" 10% rise.
Riding hard also affects pressures. High speeds and lots of time on the side of the tire heats the air, thus raising pressures.
When touring I try to check pressures twice a day. Once in the morning, along with chain care, oil level check and basic safety walk around.
At the end of the riding day .... while everything is still warm (usually done at a petrol station) ... I check tire pressures, fill tank, clean and lube chain and check oil level. This has worked pretty well in the last 200,000 miles or so. Before that, I was pretty clueless about maintenance and had lots more breakdowns! Modern tires are such a joy compared to the bad old days when everything wore out so quickly. We are very lucky to be riding today!
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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