61.000 km on the clock when we left The Netherlands
On-road maintenance to the bike, so far:
- Fuel pump (changed to Facet due to fuel starvation of Olaf Schrama engineerd original Mitsubishi pump)
- Tire change (Mefo Explorer to Metzeler Tourances) @ Atamoto.com in Istanbul (I highly recommend Ahmet, he's a cool guy).
- Oil and oil filter change (2 x times, every 12.000 km). Never buy that cheap Hein Gericke stuff, choose quality oils like Castrol. It'll last a lot longer.
- Spark plugs (1 x time)
- Rear mudguard extension (better for riding in wet and muddy conditions)
- Rear brake pads replaced in Nepal
- Head bearing (steering) replaced in Bangkok
- Rear shock absorber (changed to Thai YSS brand, replaced the original with massive Hyperpro spring)
- Rear bearing Nr. 6204. Same bearings as used in Honda C90's ;-)
- Front bearings Nr. 6204
- Main drive (Mizumi chain, 28.000 km 2up) replaced in Bangkok
- Brake fluid rear and front replaced in Malaysia
- K&N Airfilter cleaned (22.000 km). Not necessary but can't be bad either.
- Added a 3D Air mesh seat cover (keeps the bum dry)
- Coolant and tire change (Metzeler Tourances to Heidenau Scout T60) @ Zenmotostore.com in Phoenix, Arizona (I highly recommend Dillon and Mike from this shop). The Tourances 'did' about 23.000 km (two up) before the reat tire blew up on us ;-). Caused by a nail btw..
- In Copán, Honduras, our Facet 40105 fuel pump broke down, after 35.000 km of service.
Good service. The pump has plenty enough pressure to keep us both and the luggage on the road. Bad thing is, that it happened so soon!!! I thought these guys would make it till 50.000 km at least. Maybe it's just a marketing stunt to have them tell you a Facet will last 3-4 times longer than an original pump. Phffff..... Correction: Bike runs again. Bought a new bomba around the corner. Dropped the old one in the trash. Picked it back up and guess what? The blow of hitting the bin give it new life... Must have been bad fuel and dirty contacts (fuel cut-off relay, fuses etc.) in the first place!
- Starter relay / solenoid / magnetic broke down in Costa Rica. Push start worked. Our biker friends suggested to replace the thingy for a 'door bell' to make the circuit close by hand. So we did... The AT sounds good again!
- In Bogóta, Colombia 'door bell' replaced by a proper starter relay (Suzuki). So after the door bell, George rides around with 0,5% Suzuki in it.
- Oil and spark plugs change at Asturias Moto Shop in Cali, Colombia. New Motul Oil after about 15.000 km. Plugs after 28.000.
- Got rid of the clutch relay. Don't really need it any way. Dust and water started playing with it so that starting problems arised.
- Had the clutch researched at Honda Motorperformance Lima, Peru. Seems the 'grinding noise' is comming from somewhere unknown. The clutch, bearings, sprockets and blades of the clutch looked almost unused! ;-) Update; we renewed all the 'bushings' of the uniquely hugh mudgard with some rubber caps off the street in Bolivia and the noise is gone! Male sure the exhaust has some clearance, this is probably the main reason for weird bottom engine noises.
- Since our newly ordered sprockets did not arrive at the post in Lima, Peru - we had to come up with a new solution for the worn front sprocket. We were tipped by our friend Andrew that refurbishing a front sprocket is possible in Cusco. We had this done painlessly for 40 USD with the help of Perumototours.com. What the welder seems to do is grind off the teeth of the old sprocket and fit the new sprocket with the same radial hole as the entire old sprocket around it. It seems that these sort of solutions are only know in these neck of the woods - but hey, they work! I like to mention the best service ever: Wemoto.com that we ordered the set of sprockets from, decided to send us one one's, this time to a new location at out choice. Great employees here, great company. I order all the time with these guys from the UK. Type in your model of bike and you will get a listing of all the parts you can buy for your bike. Easy as that. They even deduct the UK VAT for you which makes the price very competitive.
- Changed the chain too. After +/- 23.000 km it was still pristine (using only motor oil for lubrication) but since the front sprockets was installed I thought I'd better do the chain switch at the same time as well. Bob's your uncle.
Gear. Things to consider before buying:
- Hein Gericke motorcycle pants. Bought mine in Munich Germany on our way to South Europe. The pants looked good for a few days, then the seam on my butt bursted out in loose threads. Wouldn't be so bad if we were around the shop still but it's a real pain in the ass as your travelling around the planet! The customer service of Hein Gericke sucks as much as their products, they did not dare to reply to our polite question the quality of their product. Big thumbs down for this renowned brand.
- Got rid of the "Tool Tube". This thing sucks because; for one, it's not easy to place somewhere on an AT. Second, it isn't even water proof! (despite the rubber ring underneath the lit) So your tools end up all rusty after a day's riding in the rain.
- The Trail Tech Vaper Dashboard. It works wonders but then again, it's is an outdoor product but can't stand any rain! Condense / moist slips in and will mess up with the speed measurements, milage or will freeze up at all! How is that? Removing the water by opening the instrument will solve the problem... If you like doing this over and over again. Till all the buttons get stuck because of the minirals in the water... In addition: Trail Tech says the instrument is not water proof only water resistant. They won't replace mine, I can have a 10% discount on a new purchase in stead. I will think about this since I already bought the fancy aluminum holder for it. You'd better buy an Acewell device, they claim theirs is a 100% water proof.
- Beware that all Garmin GPS's like the Garmin eTrex HTC that we use, have micro-USB connectors in them. These don't live a life's long as you will use it on a daily basis when making a long trip. You use the USB to connect the GPS to your computer and swap data back and forth (waypoints and maps for instance). Also the USB connects the GPS to you motorcycle power source. You don't have all of these when the darn things stops functioning. Back to batteries!
- We love our Exped UM7 mats to use whilst camping. But, we didn't expect that these mats suffer from a failure called "delamination". What happens, is that the long cells in the mat become one. You end up with a mountain of air under you back which says goodby to your night's rest. It happend to one of our two expensive mats (114,- EUR) after 10x usage (half a year on our way). Now the other one started to have the same problem... That sucks. What didn't suck is that Exped USA replaces the fist mat with a brand new one that we are still using.
India, Dharam Kot 2012
Roemer and Lisan's 'Baja Twin' in Thailand, 2012