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Messages - JMo

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1
John has been out and about in southern Morocco today - riding some of the old Tuareg Rallye and Dakar routes...

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photo. and even bumped into old rallying-chum and Dakar racer Tina Meier, leading one of her >>>> link hidden <<<<
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*Make sure you spell that correctly, otherwise who knows what you might find - especially with a German web address ;o)


Jx

2
Hi ATX - it's very difficult to diagnose these things remotely as I'm sure you appreciate - but good to hear you are experienced and methodical when it comes to things mechanical, that ought to allow you to get to the bottom of things...

The reason I asked about the history of the kit/seller, is that some people choose to mix and match fork components (using Intiminators and/or 3rd parts fork caps for example) even if they subsequently fit a Rally Raid kit, so if you are prepared to remove the fork internals (note. you do not have to split the forks at all, everything drops in and out from the top), then you will soon see if the components installed match those in the illustrations from the Rally Raid fitting instructions.

Things to look for are if the bush from the OEM damper rod has been correctly installed on the Rally Raid damper rod, and also that the top-out spring has been installed (although that shouldn't result in the harshness of course, unless you're pulling wheelies ;o)

If it's a 2016 onwards bike, also check that the Rally Raid fork preload caps have been fitted, not the OEM adjustable ones (or a 3rd party) - because the Rally Raid kit eliminates the plastic spacer, the standard R clip on the OEM preload caps does not allow the fork spring to seat correctly - note. this is why the Rally Raid fork kits [from Sept 2017 onwards] now ship with a pair of C clips to replace the original R clips, if you are utilising the OEM preload adjuster caps.

Otherwise, as GotMojo suggested - check that the shim valve stacks are orientated correctly (bolt facing down) and properly seated in the top of the Rally Raid damper rods, and that the top tube/spacer is also seated correctly above it.

I/we recommend you use a quality 5wt fork oil (and not ATF or any other old sh!t), as that is what the shim valves are designed to operate with.

Also, when you refill them (since it's probably a good idea to flush the existing oil out anyway to make 100% sure you've got them set-up correctly), make sure you purge the air from below the shims - see the Rally Raid fitting instructions - although typically any trapped air works it's way out through the shims over time anyway.

The other thing to check when you reassemble everything is that the fork and triple clamp alignment is correct. If the forks have/had been twisted at some point, that could be causing a slight binding which is manifesting itself in the harshness through the suspension stroke - although if it is at smaller/faster deflections (ie. the high speed damping element) then as Suzi-X suggests, it is more likely oil/air issue than anything mechanical.

Good luck!

Jenny x

ps. Also, do check your wheel balance if possible - some [cheaper - ahem] tyres are notorious for having lumpy sections that are had to balance.

3
Hi ATX - if you've bought the bike secondhand, then there could be any number of variable as GotMojo suggests [and this is presuming it is a genuine Rally-Raid kitted bike, and not a homebrew of some kind]... it might also be that the previous owner used a different fork oil weight and level for their preference for example.

First of all I'd ask what are the tyres that have been fitted, and how worn are they? - Part worn knobbly tyres like a TKC80 or similar can certainly cause vibration which you'd feel through the bars after riding a while - that would be my first thought... Fresh TKCs are surprisingly smooth (for a knobbly) but they don't ride like a smooth street tyre that you are more used to.

Setting up the suspension (primarily the sag, using the front and rear preload) for your weight is also going to be important - there is some info and suggestions for base settings on the fitting instructions on the Rally Raid website.

Similarly, how many miles has this bike done, and under what conditions? - did the previous owner give you any indication of the use/mileage once the kit was fitted, and if it had been dropped or suffered any other damage?

A properly set-up LEVEL 3 bike on fresh tyres should not feel the way you are describing it.


Hope that helps, at least initially...

Jenny x


4
Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Re: CB500X - Sahara Desert Adventure!
« on: October 16, 2017, 04:45:08 PM »
John hitting the dunes in Morocco - near the Algerian border.

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Jx

5
Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Re: CB500X - Sahara Desert Adventure!
« on: October 16, 2017, 12:55:02 PM »
A few more Morocco photos from John...

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photo. The final piece of the puzzle arrives... Roger Hawkins had ridden his 690 down from Portugal, after a 'tech' issue en route, he was finally united with the rest of the team.


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photo. Jeff with his Rally Raid KTM 690 EVO2 Rally bike (which he also raced in the Baja Rally last year), and John's CB500X Adventure... seemingly parked on a hotel roof?!

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photo. So far the CB has been an exemplary travelling companion.

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photo. The Tuareg Rallye Orga have been on a recent reccy here too - the Tuareg Rallye is typically held in Morocco each March.

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photo. John and Jeff commandeer a local trike as their new support vehicle!

The team are currently heading south for the big dunes in Merzouga... more photos as soon as I have them!

Jx

6
Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Re: CB500X - Sahara Desert Adventure!
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:58:44 PM »
A quick update from our man in Morocco, and the Orange entourage...

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photo. After a long (520km) ride into the night, all the riders rendezvous in Midelt, and the following morning prep their bikes for the desert...

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photo. Jeff Webster - who originally left the UK with John for the ferry - only to find he's brought his wife's passport by mistake! Jeff returned home, picked up his passport and played catch-up with the rest of the crew driving his pick-up (with bike loaded in the back) to southern Spain, in the nick of time!

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photo. The KTM 690 [Enduro] would appear to be the dual-sport bike of choice for this trip...


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photo. John's Baja Rally 690 has been rented to a customer - Gary Beaumont from Australia who flew in to join the adventure.

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photo. Ride-leader Chris 'Corky' Cork's 950 Rally bike, resplendent in brand new graphics (he'll be campaigning this bike in the Africa Eco Race next January... the mentalist!)

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photo. The CB500X is no longer the odd-man-out... Joining the team in Morocco is this CCM GP450.

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photo. You meet then nicest people on a Honda...

More soon, once they hit the dunes!

Jenny x

7
Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / CB500X - Sahara Desert Adventure!
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:54:53 PM »
While I'm usually the one galavanting around somewhere sunny and hot on a LEVEL 3 bike, while John is stuck in the factory... this time it's me who's stuck behind a desk while he is taking a well-earned break - 10 days in Morocco onboard the UK demo bike.

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photo. John is taking part in a marathon group adventure ride from the UK to the Sahara and back, led by UK Dakar racer: Chris (Corky) Cork.


Some riders short of time are having their bikes transported to southern Spain, but John and a few others are of course riding the whole way there and back - John on the current RRP LEVEL 3 demo bike, while everyone else is on a selection of KTMs - there are 5 690 Enduros in various states of ADV modification (including Jeff Webster's very tasty rally bike with a full RRP EVO 2 kit), a KTM 950 Adventure, and a KTM 350 EXC - so that's a solitary CB amongst a sea of orange.

How the CB stacks up against this formidable assembly we'll have to wait and see - although I'm confident there will be some chunks humble pie being eaten along with tagine and cous cous by our Mattighofen cousins over the coming week or so - if only based on John's Simpson Desert excursion a couple of years back ;o)

So for now I'll leave you with a few photos that John forwarded of the bike prep and ride down to southern Spain - I understand they are catching the ferry to Morocco first thing in the morning (Saturday 14th):

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photo. early start for the ferry from the UK to northern Spain.


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photo. Sunshine... I remember that.

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photo. morning of day 2 - Corky tries the CB for size - he'll be riding his monster KTM 950 Adventure based Rally bike.

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photo. The RRP demo bike is fitted with the latest hydraulic preload adjuster option for the rear shock. Makes adjusting the rear end a breeze when laden with luggage.

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photo. John is trialling a new set of soft luggage - these 'Touratech' panniers are made by Ortlieb, and quick-release onto dedicated mounts, which are in-turn attached to the regular Rally Raid soft-luggage racks.

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photo. since they are not planning on camping (at least with their own gear) this trip, the Ortlieb panniers can carry all the tools, spares* and personal effects needed for this 10 day trip into the desert and back...

*note. the only spares John has brought with him are actually those needed to keep the KTMs running - typically fuel pumps and filters - much as was the case with his Australian Simpson Desert trip ;o)

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photo. John showing his rally-bike prep experience. Paint markings on bolts that can potentially come loose, for a quick daily-check.


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photo. similarly, lock-wiring the oil filler plug - not that it's particularly vulnerable to coming loose, but you never know - and it stops anyone stealing it (or those KTM riders playing nasty tricks on him ;o)

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photo. another trick that John uses on his race bikes, is to zip tie the axle spanners in position on their respective nuts - again, not strictly necessary on an ADV ride, but why not?

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photo. stowing the main axle spanner on the bike means it's quick to make any chain adjustments without removing the seat or your luggage for example.


Stand by for more updates as and when I get them!

Jenny x

8
Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Re: Trans-Am 500 - the seven year itch
« on: October 14, 2017, 01:35:53 AM »
There is a nice summary of the above trip on Bennetts BikeSocial online magazine this month:

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Together with an in-depth company profile about Rally Raid Products:

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...and a test of their latest UK LEVEL 3 demo bike (by Nathan Millward) here:

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Jx

9
There is an excellent company profile feature about Rally Raid Products on Bennetts BikeSocial online magazine this month - >>>> link hidden <<<<
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There is also a brief summary of my original Trans-Am 500 >>>> link hidden <<<<
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Jx

10
Maintenance and Servicing / Re: Rear axle alignment and chain
« on: October 11, 2017, 01:21:30 PM »
*Originally Posted by slowrider >>>> link hidden <<<<
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Unfortunately, it appears that the Honda alignment markings are not up to the same quality as the rest of the bike.  This is covered on other threads in this and other forums.

The only way to correctly align the drive chain and rear sprocket/wheel is to use a chain alignment tool.   I use one with a laser pointer, but there are cheaper ones available.   

Another tip is that I have read the lock nuts can come loose through vibration.  So I follow Rally Raids's advice and also use a Nylock nut, in addition to the 2 lock nuts, to make sure things stay where they are.

Just to clarify - You don't have to add a nyloc to the existing two, rather replace the second [locking] nut with a nyloc version.

Jx

ps. to add to what others have suggested - I've found the vertical marks on the chain adjuster blocks perfectly satisfactory for adjusting/aligning the chain - although admittedly they can be a bit tricky to see, especially in poor light.... Use either the curved front or rear of each slot in the swing-arm, and line up the vertical lines on the blocks to set the distance on each side.

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