2014-07 GDRx2

The Great Divide Route (x2)

Motorcycling Adventure #14

28 days, 6,323 miles, July 2014

Ray Jardine

Epilogue page 5 of 5

Before starting this trip, I did the following work on the bike:

After my most recent trip of the GDR (2013-07-GDRx2) I did a lot of work on my bike. These trips are hard on the bike, so a lot of things need attention. This a big job because I tear the bike down to it's basics, with the intent of discovering any budding problems, while in my shop, before they cause problems on my next off-highway road trip.

One problem I found was a demolished bearing in the swingarm. I doubt that the average motorcycle shop mechanic (factory-trained) would have discovered this, because they don't tend to strip the bike down that far. And they are unlikely to find a bad bearing by simply bouncing on the tail end.

Swingarm needle sleeve with broken and missing bearings.

Note: With this model bike the sleeve can be pushed all the way though the housing, using a big vise and a few sockets - without need for a puller.

Pressing in a new bearing.

Parts cleaned, Idler Arm (Dog Bone) needle bearings removed and greased, and everything put back together (wife's F650GS).

Swingarm ready for the re-install.

List of Work done:

  • Rebuild swingarm clean and re-lube bearings, install one new bearing.
  • Change engine oil (always with new oil filter).
  • Install new air filter.
  • Valve Clearances Check.

  • Valve Clearances Check. 40,000 miles and still no adjustment needed.
  • Install new spark plugs.
  • Front Forks Rebuild with new inner seals and oil. The seals looked fine, but I installed new ones anyway. With 10,000 miles since the last rebuild, the old fork oil came out black. Lesson learned: That was much too long between fork oil changes. The manufacturer recommends every 12,000 miles, but I tend to be hard the bike. Riding at 60 mph on gravel roads is not uncommon for me.
  • Front Forks Rebuild.

    Fork parts on my shop bench.

  • Disassemble steering head and re-lube both bearings. No notches on the lower and upper steering-head races. But the bearings were loose as a goose, not even hand tight. Note to self: re-tighten them after riding a hundred miles or so.
  • Shorai lithium battery is two years old and still going strong. Still flies up toward the ceiling whenever I pick it up.
  • Install new chain and rear sprocket. Old chain had 15,000 mi on it.
  • Install new front brake pads.
  • Front and rear brake flush.
  • Remove, lube and reinstall center stand.
  • My method of re-installing the center stand springs, with a stout cord wrapped around a handle of some sort, then pulling mightily.

  • Remove, lube and reinstall rear brake pedal.
  • Antifreeze flush.
  • Altering the angle of the kickstand by 15 degrees so my Dakar doesn't lean over so far. Photo taken before re-painting. I don't have a welding machine at the moment, so had to have the welding done out of shop. This little mod made a huge difference when parking the bike. Highly recommended for anyone who has a Dakar. Note that I had to also bend the kickstand stop in a downward direction to match.

  • Reduce Kickstand Lean so bike doesn't lean over so much. (Out of my shop welding.)
  • Re-weld luggage rack.
  • Also had to re-weld the broken luggage rack.

  • Replace the gas tank vent gasket.
  • Replace tail light assembly and wiring.
  • It's rare for me to return home with tail lights still working. And such proved the case this time as well.

    In fact, on an earlier trip, the whole tail light bracket broke off, and I lost the bulb, lens and license plate as well. I went back out there the next day and found the pieces laying on the road. Returning home, I strengthened the bracket with this plate, and bolted it to the back of the bike. On the bracket's other side, I have a strap linking the license plate frame to the bracket plate, to prevent the loss of the license plate.

    The brake light wire was shorted out, so I ran new wiring for everything aft of the fuse box connector.

    And not to forget this jewel, the foot operated rear brake switch - only visible with a mirror. It seems that with a hard knock, this switch gets out of line and quits working. And when that happens, the brake light stays on, and eventually the bulb burns out.

  • New front tire and tube. (I'll replace the rear on journey.) Note: The rear TKC-80 has 6,000 miles on it, and is still going strong. Pretty good for a knobby.
  • Lube clutch and throttle cables.

Did I say that the GDR is hard on a bike? Well, I think the bike now is ready for the next round.

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