Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:14 pm
 Subject: Iron Butt Rally update

The start of the Iron Butt Rally is only 2 weeks away. I spent yesterday getting familiar with the laptop and transferring info to the GPS. I also had my digital camera, so I did some practice with that as well. Maybe I'll be able to transfer some pictures at the Florida checkpoint.

The bike is almost ready to go, tonight and tomorrow morning it will get the final valve adjustment, carburetor adjustment (need to remove one washer from under the needles,) oil change and last look at the electrical system. I'm packed, the bike isn't. I've got my documents and Polaroid film. I've got the parts located but not packed. I still need to get my tool kit together.
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:59 pm
 Subject: Tools & Tips you may find useful on the road

[ I'm sure most of this is old hat for you, but what the hell ]

Do you still use allen wrenches? If so, may I recommend ditching them, and picking up some 0.25" hex-end allen bits? Minimum 3, 4, 6mm. I forget if I use my 8mm and 10mm bits at all. You can use them in a ratchet with an appropriate adaptor. Then, throwing in a screwdriver handle for those bits means you can spin 'em faster, and a bunch of extra screwdriver bits adds really no space/weight but can be awfully handy if something happens to your real screwdriver(s). Plus, with one more adaptor, you can then use that screwdriver handle to spin loosened bolts with a socket on the end of it; screw drivers are much faster than ratchets, especially for long, obstructed bolts like at the back of the gas tank.

Ratchet + 6mm allen bit makes removing the rear brake caliper much easier.

6mm allen bit + screwdriver makes removing / replacing the mirrors much quicker.

4mm allen bit + screwdriver makes removing / replacing the upper gas tank bolts a less-dangerous breeze.

A 3mm allen bit on an 8" screwdriver handle really makes draining the LHS carb a lot easier.. oh, and if you need to drain your float bowls, cut a coke can 1/3 of the way from the bottom; it will fit under the carb you're draining and sit on the motor, and will hold a whole float bowl + fuel filter full of fuel. If you need an emergency piece of rubber tubing for siphoning your gas tank, the overflow hose is long enough, but it's thin so it will take about 30 minutes...

Speaking of fuel filters, Tecumseh-engined lawn mowers use one with a 0.6 micro element, which is easy to find and should fit the stock plumbing. I've changed to 0.25" plumbing, but the application chart says 1/4 - 5/16" hose will work. It's similar in size/shape to the B&S filter I had on last year if you remember that one. Want the part number?

I like 0.25" fuel hose, I don't need clips to hold it onto the petcock. And if you ever pull the petcock vaccuum nipple off, just tap it back in with a hammer. Mr. Green (I grease the nipples now to avoid that possibility).

Also, I don't know how fast you are at changing plugs, but for me the fastest way to go is to put the stock toolkit plug adaptor in the hole, drop a 10" extension + 14mm socket on the end of it, loosen that with the ratchet, pop the ratchet off and spin the extension like a screwdriver. I like that trick, because you can poke the extension right down through the back bone and wires.. but it only works if the tank is off.

Hmm. Don't forget a small tube of multi-purpose grease (in case you need to take off a wheel and drop a spacer or axle in the dirt).. spare plugs and spark plug anti-seize.. breaker bar.. 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 22, and 24 mm sockets.. 14mm wrench for passenger footpeg/muffler back-of-bolt.. 19 mm wrench if you are going to work on the suspension (doubt it).. vice grips, plug gap tool, needle-nosed pliers, diagonal cutters (side cutters), feeler guages, 9 mm deep socket (or valve adjustment tool), valve adjuster-sized flat-tipped screwdriver..

Hmm...a tube of instant-gasket might not be a bad idea.. but I don't know.. a head gasket can't be fixed at the side of the road, an alternator cover gasket might be better "fixed" by just dumping lots of oil into the crankcase..

Another speed tip: you can bypass the need for a lock on your seat by attaching a zip-tie to the mechanism and feeding it down through the space beside the fender. Cut off so it's flush with the rear fairing. Now you just reach underneath and pull the zip tie to open the latch.

I think that's about all I can spew right now. Oh, don't forget, lots of zip-ties, electrical tape, duct tape. You might want to bring some of those metal zip-ties in case something hot breaks (like a muffler bracket?). And bring some of that plastic lense tape (or a post-it note pad Smile )

Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:08 pm
 Subject: When should you be at the Maine check point?

Time permiting, I might ride there and root for ya
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 3:35 pm
 Subject: Tools and Tips.

Allen wrenches - yes, I still use them. I've tried the other kind (both 1/4" socket and hex bits) and can't seem to prevent losing those.

No fuel filters on this bike. The fuel tank screens are in place, but I've had problems with reduced fuel flow when filters get clogged.

Hm, I wonder if I should carry a set of plugs? I've got a standard spark plug socket that I carry, the only time I've ever had to replace a spark plug, it was because the engine hadn't been started in a long time. This one doesn't suffer from that. It got new plugs when the new motor was installed in April, only 12,000 miles ago.

Hadn't thought about grease. Those other items are available at most convenience stores or truck stops. If I've got to do anything major I head for a truck stop first. Although I once replaced the front wheel bearings on my ZX6 next to a Lowe's hardware store. That was handy, I ended up buying a ball peen hammer. That hammer will probably be along for this trip, too.

Solo seat on the Rally bike, I can reach the lock directly. I use the zip tie trick on the commuter bike. Neither of my bikes uses a key for anything. Ignition is a toggle switch, fuel tank is a piece of lexan glued into the lock, helmet lock is ignored, seat is the zip tie (or not.) So I don't have any keys to lose - except for the car keys of course, and I'll probably leave those in Missoula.

Damn, I forgot about Duct tape and baling wire. I'll have to find a roll of each. As far as the post it note lens cover, I think I'll use the front page from a Michelin map this time. It's also about the right color and I've got lots of those.
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 3:38 pm
 Subject: Re: When should you be at the Maine check point?

Maine checkpoint is at Reynold's Motorsport from 4PM to 6PM on Monday August 18.
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 3:39 pm
 Subject: Re: Tools & Tips you may find useful on the road

2 things

Have you seen those little mini-ratchets they have at sears? They are handy for getting in small spaces, and only cost a few bucks...

Have you every used gaffers tape? IMO, it is better then duct tape. Not as solubal when used near gas, and is stickier, without leaving residue when removed
Vancouver Dave
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 5:53 pm
 Subject: Re: Tools and Tips.

You can get the mini-rolls of duct tape at some places. Takes up a heck of a lot less space.

First aid kit? With sign on the outside of where ever it is so people can find it?

I wouldn't bother with spending your downtime trying to play with the web and cameras.
Get your sleep/routing done instead. There will be lots of time later.

Just tell they camera guys at the checkpoint to take a pic of you for the website. If Phil Kopp's the official
photographer again, tell him Dave Macdonald from Wetleather says "Hi!" to he and Debb.

Are you running a Scottoiler/Loobman gizmo for the chain?
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:42 pm
 Subject: Forgot about duct tape??? =0 (n/t)

Andrew Duthie
Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 11:24 pm
 Subject: Digital camera memory

Leon, I'm not sure what sort of digital camera you've got but for your own sake, be sure to set the camera to take the highest resolution photos possible. I ran the '01 with a 1600 x 1200 camera, taking pictures at 1024 x 768. A little while later, I was wishing I had more resolution so I could print some of the photos a little larger without them looking pixellated.
Camera memory is dirt cheap stuff these days, so it really makes no sense to skimp on it. (Besides, now is a fine time to justify little things like that "for the ride." I spent a buttload (appropriately) getting ready and riding the rally, and I've spent very little on bike stuff since then.)
Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:20 am
 Subject: Re: Iron Butt Rally update

I just read Ron Ayres' book about a week ago. Seems like one of the more significant problems was of people forgetting their towels--might want to get yourself one of those cool spring-loaded, retractable cable things or a bungee cord to attach the towel to your wrist or something.

Gotta admit that I'm jealous, though--I'd love to do the IBR.

So, it's starting in Montana this year, right? Where are the checkpoints and dates? Did they tell the riders where they'd be or are they saving that for just before the start?
Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:14 am
 Subject: a cool frood always has his towel... ;-) (n/t)

Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:06 am
 Subject: Re: a cool frood always has his towel... ;-)

"I'm so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat inside me for a month. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis." -- Yes, I know where my towel is. Mr. Green
Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:05 pm
 Subject: I have a system for the towel.

I keep it clipped to the inside of my tail pack. When I get to a bonus, I flop the towel out after parking the bike directly in front of the bonus. That way the towel stays attached to the bike. In those few cases where I will have to put the towel someplaces else, I'll have to remember to clip it back in place before I leave. I hope the empty clips inside the trunk will be a reminder to do that.

Sent you an email about the checkpoints. They have asked that the times and locations of the checkpoints not be published on the 'net or on mailing lists. If anyone else wants to know about them send an email.

If you want to ride the IBR, make a 5 year plan. Since the rally is done every other year, you'll finish a year early if you are stunningly successful or a year late (maybe.) Read the Iron Butt Website, look at what some of the people who have gotten into the rally have done and execute a plan that is at least that impressive.
Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:10 pm
 Subject: Scottoiler/Loobman gizmo for the chain?

It's a $2.95 oil can with a bunch of clear tubing attached. When I think the chain needs oil, I reach back and give it a couple of squirts. It's not high tech, but it appears to work.

I'll tell him Hi.

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