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post #1 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:05 pm Thread Starter
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Pre-road trip advice

Hey all,

My SO and I are getting ready for a ride down the ALCAN about a month from now. I am in the final stages of planning and preparing, and thought it a good idea to tap the wisdom of all the folks here.

Cliff's note's version: My SO and I are riding, pushing about 450 mi a day. As a form of enticement to my pillion, we are staying at hotels/B&Bs along the way.

I brought my 2001 K1200LT to the dealer for a 48K service, and had new ME880s put on the front and rear. I also replaced the stock brake pads with EBCs, and have Spiegler lines on the way.

From a comfort standpoint, I mounted Don Muddiman's Eagle-1 arm rests for SO. I plan on putting my personalized $2.00 cup holder next weekend (Thanks Allred!).

Here are my questions:

I have a first aid kit, a tire repair kit, the stock tool kit. cell phone, and Milepost on the packing list. What else should I consider?

I have new brake pads and new rubber. A tune up. What pre-trip maintenance am I missing?

I do the walk-around pre-ride check to look for faults at the start and end of each ride. Are there any problem areas specific to the K1200LT I should be look for?

Finally: I am open to any good ideas/suggestions as well as advice. Please feel free to pass along any of either.

Thanks!
Scott
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post #2 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:13 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

From what I've read on ride reports and such the Alcan can eat tires, so the only thing that comes to mind is if you need a tire change. Any tire place should be able to do that for you, but may have an issue balancing them. How many total miles you looking at anyway?

Enjoy!

Adam
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post #3 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:20 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Adam - Total trip will be appr. 4500 miles. We are riding down the ALCAN and then boaridng a ferry vicinity of Seattle and floating back up.

Scott
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post #4 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:40 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Apart from the obvious motor and possibly final drive oil change before leaving, I would pack a good air pressure gauge to be able to check your tires on a regular basis.

Spare fuses wouldn´t come amiss and also new batteries for the alarm fobs.

Also I don´t know if you realise that the top case can be moved backwards an inch or two allowing the passenger to have more room and a slightly more relaxed sitting angle.

And lastly, if you really mean business, install some Ohlins shocks before you go.

Good luck
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post #5 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:43 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Scott.........

Sounds to me like you've pretty well done the home work......+2 on the Ohlins.......now;........throw some of that caution to the wind, say a little prayer for the road wookies, and go for it................and don't forget to take some pix;..........

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post #6 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

You can move the top case back? I didn't realize.... Holy Smokes! I might be able to mount my Bakup?!!??! I will look into that- fer sure! Thanks!

I will add fuses to the list (I had tire pressure guage, I just didn't list it).

I am hesitant to play with the suspension at this point. I am not sure that I want risk changing the way the bike feels/handles just prior to a trip of this scope. I'll think about it though. Opinions anyone?

As for the pix - I am setting up a blog site so friends and family will be able to track our progress.
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post #7 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:17 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Noted: Two spare keys. Thanks Stapleford!
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post #8 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 2:34 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

few things come to mind...

Double check your fluids, radiater, brakes, etc.
Tie downs incase u need to use the luggage rack.
Since you have an older model I'd double check the throttle cable - make sure it's not about to tear.
Replace the fuel line disconnect if you haven't already - they seem to break a lot.
Flashlight
Upgraded tool kit
monster glue or epoxy, duck tape, and wire-ties - you can do an emergency fix of almost anything with just these 3 items.
a power inverter is also a nice to have on a long trip.

Have fun!
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post #9 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 2:55 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

A GPS would be helpful too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandback
Hey all,

My SO and I are getting ready for a ride down the ALCAN about a month from now. I am in the final stages of planning and preparing, and thought it a good idea to tap the wisdom of all the folks here.

Cliff's note's version: My SO and I are riding, pushing about 450 mi a day. As a form of enticement to my pillion, we are staying at hotels/B&Bs along the way.

I brought my 2001 K1200LT to the dealer for a 48K service, and had new ME880s put on the front and rear. I also replaced the stock brake pads with EBCs, and have Spiegler lines on the way.

From a comfort standpoint, I mounted Don Muddiman's Eagle-1 arm rests for SO. I plan on putting my personalized $2.00 cup holder next weekend (Thanks Allred!).

Here are my questions:

I have a first aid kit, a tire repair kit, the stock tool kit. cell phone, and Milepost on the packing list. What else should I consider?

I have new brake pads and new rubber. A tune up. What pre-trip maintenance am I missing?

I do the walk-around pre-ride check to look for faults at the start and end of each ride. Are there any problem areas specific to the K1200LT I should be look for?

Finally: I am open to any good ideas/suggestions as well as advice. Please feel free to pass along any of either.

Thanks!
Scott

Matt Kas

13 Triumph Trophy SE Lunar Silver
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Laguna Niguel, Southern California (South Orange County)
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post #10 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 3:15 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

I read an article in one of the Motorcycle magazines, where the author suggested bringing old socks and underwear on a motorcycle trip, so you can throw them out after wearing them instead of carrying around dirty laundry. At first I thought it was a dumb idea, but I have plenty of old socks and underwear that need to get tossed. Perfect excuse to let them go..

Good luck on the trip and keep the shiney side up!

Vince - 2003 LT.

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post #11 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 3:40 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Take your alarm key fobs!
I know of a fella, that set his alarm so he didn't need the fob but had some work done on the bike during the trip that required the battery be disconnected. The alarm defaulted to where you needed the fob to start the bike and he didn't have them with him. No it wasn't me, I take both a spare key and a spare fob.

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post #12 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 3:44 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Take Dynabeads for balancing tires. They are inexpensive, work well, and easy to install.
Enjoy your trip.

Have a great ride,

David
Dallas, TX
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post #13 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 4:06 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by free2ride
Take Dynabeads for balancing tires. They are inexpensive, work well, and easy to install.
Enjoy your trip.
I disagree. I don't believe the dynabeads work. Neither does the MC magazines that tested them. They are worthless. Don't waste your money.
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post #14 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 4:34 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Get a Goldwing!!! (just kidding)
Jim

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post #15 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 5:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Jim,

I have a 76 Wing that I am converting from a touring bike to a cruiser. I can't knock the GW ~ it is a great ride. Still, I love my K12.

Scott
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post #16 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 5:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

I have gotten some great tips, including a couple of real pearls. Since my original inquiry, I have added the following to my packing list:

Tire guage
Spare fuses
Spare key(s)
Monster glue
Duct tape
Wire-ties (zip-strips)
Flashlight
Power inverter
Kryptonite Disk lock
small electric air pump

I have added the following services before departing:

change motor oil
change final drive oil
replace fuel line disconnect

I truly appreciate the feedback (although the old socks and old underwear caught me a bit offguard). Keep 'em coming!

Thanks,
Scott
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post #17 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 6:03 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Vince has got it wrong about the underwear. Mine last me 3 weeks.

First week as normal
Second week back to front
Third week inside out

I suppose someone will chime in and say they put their dirty socks inside their underwear to make them last even longer.
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post #18 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 6:05 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

By the way, what is a power inverter ?

There are two fuel lines so you will need two disconnects
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post #19 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 6:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Three weeks?? Yuck.

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post #20 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 7:06 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandback
Hey all,

My SO and I are getting ready for a ride down the ALCAN about a month from now. I am in the final stages of planning and preparing, and thought it a good idea to tap the wisdom of all the folks here.

Cliff's note's version: My SO and I are riding, pushing about 450 mi a day. As a form of enticement to my pillion, we are staying at hotels/B&Bs along the way.

I brought my 2001 K1200LT to the dealer for a 48K service, and had new ME880s put on the front and rear. I also replaced the stock brake pads with EBCs, and have Spiegler lines on the way.

From a comfort standpoint, I mounted Don Muddiman's Eagle-1 arm rests for SO. I plan on putting my personalized $2.00 cup holder next weekend (Thanks Allred!).

Here are my questions:

I have a first aid kit, a tire repair kit, the stock tool kit. cell phone, and Milepost on the packing list. What else should I consider?

I have new brake pads and new rubber. A tune up. What pre-trip maintenance am I missing?

I do the walk-around pre-ride check to look for faults at the start and end of each ride. Are there any problem areas specific to the K1200LT I should be look for?

Finally: I am open to any good ideas/suggestions as well as advice. Please feel free to pass along any of either.

Thanks!
Scott
12v portable air compressor
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buy extra circle clips and dust pads ($1.50 ea) for the linkage
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post #21 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 7:15 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandback
Noted: Two spare keys. Thanks Stapleford!
I taped mine behind the little pad, on the passenger seat. Shhhhhh! do not tell anyone.

Also get a headlight cover for rocks.

John
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post #22 of 53 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 7:31 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncharles
By the way, what is a power inverter ?
A power inverter is a must have on a road trip. Allows you to stick an AC plug in the cigarette lighter.
http://www.slipperybrick.com/wp-cont...r-inverter.jpg

Oh, it's Gorilla glue (I'm horrible w names)
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post #23 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 12:52 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

And it gives you 110 volts ? For how long ?

No good over here, we use 220 v.

http://www.slipperybrick.com/search/power+inverter
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post #24 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 5:14 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Do not forget the "DEET" bug repellant.
The mosquitos in the Yukon are huge and viscious.
One new set of Metzlers should be sufficient.
2 cameras to suppliment your memories.
A good rain suit.
A heated vest for you and your SO.

Have a Great Time,
Wolf

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post #25 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 6:23 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

dont forget to take a roll of tolite paper its like american express i dont leave home wiff out it have a safe ride
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post #26 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 8:35 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncharles
And it gives you 110 volts ? For how long ?

No good over here, we use 220 v.

http://www.slipperybrick.com/search/power+inverter
Google 220 volt power inverter, they're around.

The inverter converts 12v DC to 110v or 220v AC. They come in all different watts - they're great to power up your laptop or a small tv. But I wouldn't stick a hair drier or toaster in it
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post #27 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 9:29 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Karen and I have ridden together for many years and just completed a ride just under 11,000 miles.
The number one most important thing is.....relax, enjoy every mile, don't try to cover ground and once in a while stop to smell the roses....it's a wonderful way to see the world.
Happy jpurney.

Allan..Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas, and tomorrow the Universe
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post #28 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 10:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Starfighter - Too true, and sound advice. Mary Jo and I are very much looking forward to this trip!
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post #29 of 53 Old Jun 4th, 2009, 12:44 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

I will be interested to hear how accurate the Milepost data is with regard to construction, gravel breaks, etc. A friend of mine and I are heading up that way starting July 1 on two LT's - can't wait to get going.

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<- The Boy
The Toys

2001 K1200LT-C that's been to the Alaskan Arctic Circle and back
2008 VRSCAWA H-D V-Rod with a few goodies
2005 VRSCA H-D V-Rod
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post #30 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 12:07 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncharles
Apart from the obvious motor and possibly final drive oil change before leaving, I would pack a good air pressure gauge to be able to check your tires on a regular basis.

Spare fuses wouldn´t come amiss and also new batteries for the alarm fobs.

Also I don´t know if you realise that the top case can be moved backwards an inch or two allowing the passenger to have more room and a slightly more relaxed sitting angle.

And lastly, if you really mean business, install some Ohlins shocks before you go.

Good luck
how do you move this back? is there a downside? Larry Eisenhauer

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post #31 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 12:26 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by eestork
how do you move this back? is there a downside? Larry Eisenhauer
No downside that I'm aware of.

I did a quick search on "relocate top trunk" and came up with this. Dang, it's my own post, of all thangs!!
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post #32 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 1:17 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandback
You can move the top case back? I didn't realize.... Holy Smokes! I might be able to mount my Bakup?!!??! I will look into that- fer sure! Thanks!

I will add fuses to the list (I had tire pressure guage, I just didn't list it).

I am hesitant to play with the suspension at this point. I am not sure that I want risk changing the way the bike feels/handles just prior to a trip of this scope. I'll think about it though. Opinions anyone?

As for the pix - I am setting up a blog site so friends and family will be able to track our progress.
With 48,000 miles on your bike and riding two-up,
I'd seriously reconsider delaying replacing the shocks with Ohlins.
My 2001 Lt just went over 100,000 miles.
I'm on my second set of Ohlins on the rear, first Ohlin on the front.
Significant improvement in handling, more comfort.
Stopped bottoming out, especially on speed bumps.

In retrospect, should have changed them out earlier than I did.
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post #33 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

LT_pilot - I sent out a couple of inquiries for pricing front and rear Ohlins. I will take a look and see if it is feasible to get this done in the next 30 days. Did you do your own work? How involved (read "how much must I disassemble...") the K1200LT to make the swap out? Any tricks or traps?

Scott
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post #34 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 6:20 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

No, I didn't install the Ohlins.
Capitol BMW in Raleigh did the installation.
When it was time to replace the rear shock, again,
they sent the rear Ohlin shock out to an Ohlin authorized rebuilder.

Shocks aren't cheap, but they significantly affect the ride and handling.
For me, they're as critical as my tires are
and view them as life support systems that cannot fail.

Just my thoughts.
Hope they're helpful.
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post #35 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 6:38 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Looks like your list is pretty complete. I like to carry a few 'power bar" type snacks and fruit to nibble on and some water.

several credit cards as they get canceled from time to time! And just one more thing, don't fixate on 450 miles in a day. Remember it's the journey, not the destination.

Dano
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post #36 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 6:56 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

One thing that I didn't see was a set of jumper cables.
I picked up a set, just in case someone need a jump during a trip.
Turned out that I was the first one needing a jump.

I have the Electrical Connection, 10’ cables
http://www.electricalconnection.com/...tools-gear.htm

If space is an issue, there’s the Aerostich, 6’ cables:
http://www.aerostich.com/product.php...cat=528&page=1

If you use the 12V inverter to power your computer,
and other electrical equipment when stopped,
you might want to consider the cables.
Lots of 12V batteries out there.
Not many folks carry jumper cables.
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post #37 of 53 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 10:49 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

If you move your trunk back an inch it will leave room between the seat and truck for a small bag ( 4x5x12") for an air compressor, small slime bottle and tire plug kit. All stuff you hope never to need. It's all available from Kragen except for the BMW power plug. The bag's from Harbor Freight. I would also recommend a 14" laptop. It will fit up against the inside back of the truck. You can download a complete repair manual for the bike, have your GPS software and download your pictures. Also where there's WiFi you can check road conditions and get advice if needed from this forum.
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post #38 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 9:34 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

I did my own Ohlins and it really wasn't a bad job at all. I'd estimate under 2 hours total, including the tupperware removal. There is a post here somewhere that suggests you ignore the manual with regard to removing the front shock, which can be a PITA. If you remove the rear shock first, then compress the rear while removing the front shock, you can get the top of the front shock tower out without any other magic. A simple suggestion that was worth a $Million. Probably the worst part of the job (other than messing with the tupperware) is tightening the front shock top bolt, which requires either a special tool or some fiddling. I used two wrenches to hold the center part of the bolt and tightened the nut to my arm-measured torque value, then tested the tightness with a torque wrench. It took a couple of iterations, but I am close and probably slightly tight.

Hard Racing Performance had a set setup and delivered to me in about 3 days. There are other shops for Ohlins that are popular here too.

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blog that chronicled our trip to Alaska and back.


<- The Boy
The Toys

2001 K1200LT-C that's been to the Alaskan Arctic Circle and back
2008 VRSCAWA H-D V-Rod with a few goodies
2005 VRSCA H-D V-Rod
1981 Mooney M20J

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post #39 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 9:48 am
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Good to have a tire repair kit, but those little co2 cartridges are hard to use and take quite a few to add any significant air to the tire. If you have room I'd add one of those small cycle pumps you run off the battery. Given the area I'd be sure I had warm undergarments like compression pants and shirts as well as an electric vest for your SO at least.

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post #40 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 12:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Greg - I went and bought one of those 12v air compressors for motorcycles. Pretty compact. In fact, so compact I am a little suspicious that such a cute little thing-a-ma-jig can work up sufficient gusto for 42-48 psi. I think a test is in order...

Last edited by Sandback; Jun 8th, 2009 at 1:38 pm.
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post #41 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 2:11 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

dont forget to "scrub in" the new tires.

Bill

'02 K1200LTC Pacific Blue

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Yeah, I know, I need to get out more!
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post #42 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 2:41 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

We use a "Slime" tire repair kit. It comes with the Slime and an air compressor that works well. Ensure that you have a cig. lighter converter for the BMW outlets, they are inexpensive and can be used for recharging cells, etc. while driving.
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post #43 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 2:59 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandback
Greg - I went and bought one of those 12v air compressors for motorcycles. Pretty compact. In fact, so compact I am a little suspicious that such a cute little thing-a-ma-jig can work up sufficient gusto for 42-48 psi. I think a test is in order...
Let me know how the test goes. It might take it to 48 lbs but it could take a week!

Greg
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2000 k1200LT Basalt Grey (Roxie)
BMWMOA Number: 134717
I have a great doctor, if you can't afford the surgery, he'll touch up the xrays -- Henny Youngman

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post #44 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 3:33 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

I've got the Cycle Pump portable air compressor.
Granted, it's not as fast as the pump at the gas station,
but I use it to keep my tires inflated:

Front: 42 psi
Rear: 49 psi

http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...r-p-18178.html

You'll need earplugs.....
It's a little noisy.
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post #45 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 8:30 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

My 2 cents.

Practice how to use the tire plug/patch kit. The side of the road between Delta Junction and Fairbanks is a piss poor place to read directions. Trust me on this.

Junk the "Milepost". It's a Yellow Pages, size and content. You can do just as well, if not better by stopping at the local tourist information shacks. Google is your friend, too.

As long as you haven't broken the bead a 12 v compressor will inflate your tires from 'flat' in a few long minutes. A tip I got from world traveler Helge Pederson was to put a zip tie loop on the guts of the compressor (you trashed the shell right?) so the thing can hang out of the dirt on a foot peg or some such handy protuberance while it works away. You'll want both your hands free to swat bears =;0.

Motor On ,/'


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post #46 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 9:59 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Satellite Radio will keep you entertained.
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post #47 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 10:20 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Satellite Radio will keep you entertained.
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post #48 of 53 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 10:24 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

Dont forget to carry the "fake wallet" should someone ask you for it.
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post #49 of 53 Old Jun 12th, 2009, 1:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

All,

My LT is in my garage as I work the final "fixes" before my trip in three weeks. Most of the tupperware is off (still need to remove nose cone tonight).

From the dealer: 48K service and ME880s on the front and rear.

After the sticker shock from the dealer work, I did the following:

New poly-carb windscreen
heated pillion seat (when Mama is happy, we all are happy...)
EBC pads front and rear
Muddiman's Eagle-1 Arm rests (see Mama comment above...)
headlight lens protector

I have the following labor left to do:

Ohlins front and rear
Spiegler brake lines
Darius (dodk64) floorboards
shift linkage check/grease
replace fuel quick disconnects
check throttle cable for wear (BTW: What am I looking for on this...?)

I have the following parts/tools/gear packed:

compact 12v air compressor w/ BMW adapter
tire repair kit (sans CO2)
philjohn linkage repair kit
"fusion" tape
Duct tape
zip ties
hose clamps
Gorilla glue
*** Velcro
550 cord (1/4" high strength rope) - 30'
spare fuses
air pressure guage
jumper cables (small)
BMW stock toolkit augmented with multi-bit screwdriver, vise grips, LED flashlight
spare key (I do not have an alarm on my 2001)
Kryptonite rotor lock w/ handlebar "reminder"
Small (125watt) power inverter
Bible
small can Pledge
small bottle Novus
Old towel (bug soaker)
3x microfibre towels
1 qt motor oil
1 x spare intercom cable
first aid kit
bug juice
Passports (now required at Canadian border)
Copy of passport
laptop
two digital cameras with spare batteries and spare media

I am undecided yet on the heated vests. Both rider and pillion have intermediate weight riding gear and longjohns. Heated seat and backrest for pillion. Hmm...

I sincerely appreciate the advice and tips from everyone. VRodPete, I think we will be passing each other on the ALCAN - I leave a few days after you begin your trip.

Ride safe all!

Blog Site: http://www.sandback-roadtrip.blogspot.com/

Scott

Last edited by Sandback; Jun 12th, 2009 at 2:09 pm.
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post #50 of 53 Old Jun 12th, 2009, 1:33 pm
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Re: Pre-road trip advice

The good news is that your "bring list" looks a lot like ours. Hopefully we will see each other on the ALCAN and be able to stop and talk for a few Sandman. We will be a flight of two black LTs, so probably easy to spot. Also, we will be posting a daily blog, so you can see where we are if you have internet access and even drop us a comment:

Ride to the Wild

Ride Safe! Pete

Live Slow... Fly Fast

Check out our
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blog that chronicled our trip to Alaska and back.


<- The Boy
The Toys

2001 K1200LT-C that's been to the Alaskan Arctic Circle and back
2008 VRSCAWA H-D V-Rod with a few goodies
2005 VRSCA H-D V-Rod
1981 Mooney M20J

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