All entries for Wednesday 21 March 2007

March 21, 2007

R100GS PD – latest progress

Follow-up to Balancing a Bing and other esoteric BMW motorcycle restoration rituals from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

With only a week and half before we leave for Spain, the bike is almost ready.

After fitting a new throttle cable, I couldn’t quite get the carb setup correct. Worse still, one of the cable kept jamming, and then jumping out of the holder at the twist grip end. To get it sorted quickly, I called on Phil the Boxerman Hawksley, the renowned BMW specialist from Leicester. Phil did a service at my house, for a very reasonable fee. He set up the carbs perfectly, as well as tightening the steering bearings to prevent the bar wobbles that I had been experiencing.

Proof of the quality of Phil’s work came on a ride down to Dorchester (to see Ted Simon). The bike ran well. On the way back, after a fast motorway dash from the south coast, I stopped at a petrol station with the counter saying that I had done 220 miles since the last full tank. I would normally expect to have to put in around 28 litres for 220 miles. Efficiency can be as low as 43 mpg on an old airhead GS at high speed. It most often makes about 45 mpg. On this ocassion, I was surprised to find that it had used much less fuel than expected. The bike ran at around 50 mpg at high speed on the motorway. Well tuned carbs? And perhaps a change of engine oil: Castrol GTX rather than the usual Castrol GP.

Since then it’s had a couple of new tyres fitted by the very helpful Behind Bars trail bike specialists in Kenilworth. Metzeler Tourance as usual, although I am considering a change. They also did an MOT. It passed with no problems.

The last few jobs to do:

  1. use some new bolts to secure the pannier rails to the subframe;
  2. re-attach the sump guard;
  3. find a small box to put next to the smaller than standard Hawker Odyssey battery;
  4. mount the panniers and tank bag.

Lawrence in training to go RTW by motorcycle

Follow-up to Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon – a really great book of travel or migration from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

A couple of photos of Lawrence at the Museum of British Road Transport in Coventry, with some quite famous overlander bikes.

Ted Simon probably wouldn’t mind (he let me sit on his R100GS), but the security guard certainly did. However Lawrence absolutely insisted upon climbing up onto the Triumph Tiger made famous in Jupiter’s Travels:

On Ted

And here’s a photo of me on Ted’s GS:

Ted Simon

The Long Way Round expedition by Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor was a genuinely tough RTW, leaving many scars on this R1150GS Adventure, including some rather neat welding to the rear subframe carried out in Mongolia. Lawrence of course prefers the old Airhead R100GS, but was happy to pose next to Charlie’s bike:

On Charlie

Equipment list for Easter expedition

At the start of April I am heading South on my bike, travelling with Martin (R1100GS), aiming to find some dry dirt roads, good weather and wilderness (Spain, maybe further). Here is my list of equipment to take.

My GS will be loaded up with its full luggage set. That provides plenty of space:

  • 33 litres in the Touratech Zega top box (TP);
  • 46 litres in the left Tesch pannier (LP);
  • 46 litres in the right Tesch pannier (RP);
  • 45 litres in the Touratech V45 tank bag (TB);
  • 2.5 litres in the built in glove box (GB);
  • 1 litre in the underseat tool box;
  • 35 litres in an Ortlieb dry bag (OB);
  • some extra space on the rear seat for large/long items (RS).

A total of 208.5 litres of covered storage. If that were completely filled, and accompanied by 35 lites of fuel, it would most certainly be far too much. But that’s not the plan. Four rules apply when packing for motorcycle camping: 1. take all of the essentials; 2. keep weight to a minumum; 3. distribute weight low and evenly; 4. pack so that any item can be retrieved without every other item having to first be unpacked. Hence my approach is to have far more luggage capacity than I actually need.

  1. a lightweight one man tent with pegs (RS);
  2. tent mallet (can this be replaced with something smaller?);
  3. combined torch and tent-light;
  4. mini maglight;
  5. self inflating sleeping mat (RS);
  6. small pillow;
  1. five pairs of boxer shorts;
  2. five pairs of socks;
  3. three t-shirts;
  4. one short sleeved shirt;
  5. swimming shorts;
  6. one pair of BMW summer motorcycle trousers;
  7. one pair of Heine Gericke Air desert motorcycle trousers;
  8. one Heine Gericke Tuareg armoured jacket, without Gore-Tex liner;
  9. one pair of Diadora motocross boots;
  10. desert boots;
  11. one pair of Heine Gericke brown leather gloves;
  12. one pair of Heine Gericke windstopper glove liners;
  13. BMW Sports Integral helmet;
  14. Hein Gericke Tuareg waist bag;
  15. four sets of foam earplugs;
  1. Coleman petrol stove;
  2. plate, fork, knife, spoon, cup;
  3. 2.2 litre Camelback water carrier;
  4. box of matches;
  1. one small towel;
  2. toothbrush;
  3. small toothpaste;
  4. soap;
  5. small medicine kit;
Office and photography
  1. watch;
  2. small digital camera;
  3. binoculars;
  4. Palm M515;
  5. Palm keyboard;
  6. mobile phone (check coverage);
  7. phone car charger;
  8. camera battery charger;
  9. BMW power socket converter;
  10. paper notebook;
  11. Nikon F50 SLR with 80-300mm lens;
  12. 35mm film;
  1. Magellan Palm GPS;
  2. map measurer;
  3. compass;
  4. maps;
Bike tools
  1. electric tyre pump (RP);
  2. Ultraseal tyre sealant (RP);
  3. disc lock;
  4. security chain and lock (RS);
  5. wheel spanner;
  6. allen keys;
  7. screwdriver set;
  8. 1 litre of engine oil (LP);
  1. driving licence;
  2. V5;
  3. E111;
  4. insurance certificate;
  5. passport;
  6. credit cards;
  7. tickets;
  8. travel insurance documents;
  9. contact details.