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Post Info TOPIC: Documenting Australia's remotest community with TTR250 - Ed Gold


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Documenting Australia's remotest community with TTR250 - Ed Gold
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Further to owning a 1993 TTR250 OE from late 2014 to April 2015 for a project to ride from the UK to Portugal to off-road and build a 19ft diameter Mongolian yurt, I have just bought another TTR in Queensland, Australia. I'm a documentary photographer and concentrate on photographing and interviewing people from remote communities around the world. 

I'm hoping to be able to write often to the forum and use it like a diary, uploading images of this next project and writing about the experience. I'm in Australia for 11 months to first visit an Aboriginal community in the Gibson desert, which is Australia's remotest and then seek out other communities, like Australia's remotest (cattle) station and other individuals around the entire country who live in isolation.

I'd like to thank Brian (TTRfan) for his help, both in 2014 and right now. It's good to be on this forum and is partly the reason why I chose to use a TTR again - because of the masses of support and encouragement from fellow users of the bike. As an example Mark van and Threshold have given alot of help already and offered a place to stay if I'm ever passing. This means alot to a traveller on a budget.

First off - I bought a 2005 TTR250 on Wednesday 26 July 2017 from the Caboolture area in Queensland. It was advertized on Gumtree for $2350. It was the only TTR in this area so had no choice but to buy it, distances are vast and I have a schedule to keep so no time to look for another. I'd put a deposit for $200 down on it whilst still in Sydney and a mate drove me over 175 kms to pick it up.

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The happy but naive buyer oblivious to the next 12 hours spent messing about with jump leads and spanner rash

The seller was a 52 year old guy, not a member of this forum, and who had moved on from using the TTR off-road to rallying a 1.6 litre Toyota off-road. He had a nice house and seemed to be very comfortable but would only drop to $2300 after I pointed out the rear wheel bearings needed replacing. One of the throttle cables was also on the way out and he had a new set of cables but wouldn't throw them in with the bike...trying instead to get me to buy them for $30. (I'd already brought spares with me from Steve @ TotallyTTRs and have some new Venhill longer throttle cables). As I was leaving the seller said it might need a new battery fairly soon. I rode the bike 30 kms to a government office to swap my name over onto the registration and when I came to start it again the battery was flat. I kicked it over and rode another 30 kms, now on the busy M1 motorway heading back to Boonah. The bike died again. Kicked it over, started, ran for 3 minutes and died. Felt like fuel starvation so checked hose from tank to carb. Good flow. Took seat, tank, carb off and carb fuel bowl off. Blew jets as best I could, re-fitted, bike ran for 3 minutes. Luckily my mate was on his way back from work and jump started the bike. As soon as we removed the Pos cable it died. It seems the bike needs power from the battery to run? So I chucked him a $100 note and he went off for a 2 hour journey to find a new battery before the shops closed. Fitted new battery, rode for about 40 kms, bike died again. We ran the car for 10 minutes with the jump leads connected to the new bike battery to give it a charge and the bike ran for another 30 kms. Stop, repeat, did this 7 more times and got home at close to midnight. Sent seller a text telling him the hassle I'd had. He replied that he didn't have to tell me the battery was on its way out but was trying to help! Help in my book means selling a bike with a battery that will get you home and without a knackered Rectifier/Stator! I thanked him and called him a 'real hero!' 

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Today, 28 July, I've ordered a long range fuel tank from Coff Harbour Motosports that set me back almost quarter of what the bike cost. I'm fitting an on/off switch (Type A) for the headlight and tail light and have to find a multi-meter to test the rectifier and stator. I also need to order the new rear wheel bearings, a new chain block white slipper as the current is mashed, and a tank fitting kit. Will keep posting as the preparation continues for the start of the journey. My mate also picked up a 50/50 rear tyre for me and 2 litres of Silkolene for an oil change. He has a front tyre I can have and which will last longer than the MX tyres it's wearing right now. My mate has said I can use his caravan for as long as I need to - him and his wife are amongst the biggest of my supporters for my work and rode 2 up across the whole of Russia, all the 'stans, Mongolia and Siberia on a KTM990 in 2014. Travel broadens the mind and I find that bikers who have done some miles abroad are always the most generous and understanding. 



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Good to have you back in the TTR fold Ed!

What a plonker your seller is furious 

Fortunately most TTR owners (or at least the forum members) are honest.

I hope you can get the electrical gremlins sorted quickly and really test that TTR out before your big adventure biggrin

Brian



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Thanks for your support Brian, it's good to be here again! Memories of using the last TTR in Portugal are flooding back and I'm keen to get some dirt in before I set off on the big trek. My KTM friend here, Craig, tested the stator/rectifier with a multi-meter and he thinks the stator is out (but still isn't 100% confident in the meter reading). I pulled the stator casing and the windings look slightly burnt/blackened. Apparently if a stator is overloaded it will fail and I think the two cropped wires soldered onto the headlight wires point to someone using the bike for night rallying with a large headlight set-up. I'm going to order an after-market stator and rectifier on eBay right now. At least the engine sounds sweet enough and without its clothes on it looks tidy underneath. It's done less than 19,000 kms and the engine still feels tight. Gearing is 14/46 and the chain block slipper is worn down to the 2 lower bolts. I'm wondering if I should fit a 44 at the rear so the chain doesn't rub the slipper anymore? I also have to decide if I order the large tank mounting kit or make my own. 

IMG_0453.jpg

Adding extra wiring to the rear of the bike for a Headlight switch to turn on/off the tail light as well (I always use scissors to cut electrical insulating tape in half lengthways which makes it easier to wrap the tape around wiring joins. I then put a zip tie around the tape to prevent it ever coming off). A previous owner has drilled the top of the airbox to increase airflow. 



-- Edited by TTRed on Friday 28th of July 2017 08:43:35 AM

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Pleased to hear that your mate found his multi meter Ed wink 

The kit on eBay is probably OK but I am very wary of after-market electrical parts as the last thing you want is a fried CDi.

Has anyone on the forum tried the kit?

I would have no worries about using a second-hand stator or rec/reg. That's what I have always done over many years and it's never come back to bite me in the arse.

To the best of my recollection stators and rec/regs fail in about a 4 to 1 ratio.

Unless you are riding gnarly stuff then a 44 rear sprocket is a good bet for the high mileages you will be doing. If you stick with the 46 then just slot the aluminium holes in the lower guide so that the chain clears the chain a little better.

I confess I hate insulating tape!  Heat shrink every time for me wink

Brian



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Hi Ed.   A bummer start to your travels hopefully will lead to positive travels later on.  

Theres a guy with a ttr engine in pieces on Gumtree about 2hrs from you at Boonah... 

He may sell stator ... I sent him a msg 5am saturday auzzy time... 



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 Tweed heads Australia. 



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IMG_2451.PNG



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 Tweed heads Australia. 



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Thanks for your help Les and Mark. Have sent SMS just now. TotallyTTRs don't have a stator in stock by the sounds of it and might be cheaper to source locally (although I'm surprised by how dear it is in Australia)



-- Edited by TTRed on Saturday 29th of July 2017 02:19:11 AM

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Have bought from a Gumtree ad in Lavington, NSW a used stator, cover, rectifier, coil and signed delivery for $140.00. Now just have to order TotallyTTR parts so should be able to set off within a fortnight I hope (should have been on 01 August).



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Result!

biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin



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Thank you ttr steve and everyone else who is being supportive of my latest project and Mark Van who helped me find a stator/rectifier in Australia today. I have ordered parts from TotallyTTRS and should be mobile again by the end of next week. Today a good Aussie friend lent me one of his KTM 990 Adventures and showed me over 100 miles of bitumen and off-road. Here he videod me doing one of many river crossings. I'm using the Spada Clothing Air Pro II vented jacket and trousers, Baffin Truro boots and Snugpak Xocet backpack - all highly recommended. 



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Because of the poor state of my recent purchase I'm going to have to work on the bike everyday for at least a week - to make it desert fit. I wrote this for my IG/FB/Twitter feeds:

"Full day of wrenching on the TTR250. Thrust sleeve seized into rear wheel bearing so angle grind a hex head onto rusted inner race (after I've chopped away most of R/H outer race) to rotate off. Inner spacer sleeve looking like an Iron Age archeology find. Chain block slipper mashed and replacing, using handy blue Bead Popper on front and back wheels as swapping MX tyres over for 50/50's. Many thanks to Stories From the Seat (FB) for the front Pirelli Scorpion and Steve at www.totallyttrs.com for shipping me out parts fast". 

I know we all have to do this kind of maintenance and it's not very interesting but it does show how my project is evolving and what I have to do to carry it out...

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jeez thats destroyed did you not feel a wobble before looks like bad mantainance possible previous owner

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JOHNYBOY yes, felt a wobble before buying the bike and got $50 off the seller because I said I'd have to replace the bearings. Never realized how badly maintained they'd be though. Riding through alot of water no doubt and never re-greasing the axle. Front wheel thrust sleeve was a job to remove also. I had to buy this bike as I'm travelling and don't have the option to take my time choosing a TTR, especially as distances are vast here. Next I have to change out the stator, rectifier and fit a long range tank. Shame some owners can't look after their bikes better. 



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Wow - a pile of work there Ed but it looks like you have it under control wink



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if it was me i would do the oil & filter & have a close look over the bike wheel bearings headstock bearings chain sprockets etc good luck keep us in on it also photos john

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Would anyone know the exact length of an inner sleeve spacer for the rear wheel please? My spacer has taken a wrong turn and resembles a Byzantine Empire weapon that was accidentally dredged up from the Mediterranean. I used a flapper disc on it to see if it has any date marks going back to the Middle Ages but only discovered a hole. How did a hole get in a spacer? Notice the left end is not symmetrical with the right. Maybe it is shorter than standard and has spent the past flying around inside the hub which is why it is so battered!?

IMG_0516.jpg



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Here is a link to a Yamaha / Triumph dealer in NSW, parts listing for every model with the RRP included, that way you can look up the part number & ring around.

The timing is all wrong 9 months ago my TTR was for sale, one owner from new & looked after, best TTR for sale at the time, jump on & ride, never mind.

Link to Yamaha parts

www.portmacquariemotorcycles.com.au/parts

Terry



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Many thanks Terry! What a shame about missing your bike...



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Item No.5

Screenshot 2017-07-31 18.55.30.png



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I found an internal spacer here Ed but I think it may be a front one - 65mm wide.

Brian



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Terry that pic is the front hub I think.
Rear spacer appears to be 95mm, measuring with a tape measure through the hole to the inner faces of the bearings. A piece of steel pipe will do if you're desperate as long as the axle passes through ok, and the cut ends are level. Just needs to bear against the inner race of the bearing not the bearing seal.
Good luck,
Simon.

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Simon, many thanks for that helpful reply! I appreciate you measuring the spacer (on your bike I guess so you must have removed the wheel to have a look?) I searched online in Australia and parts are expensive so went with Partzilla in the USA which was cheap but could take a long time to arrive ($10.87 for part plus $7.99 for postage). Seems too cheap to be true. Part is available to Partzilla on 03 August so could be 10 days before I see it: http://www.partzilla.com/parts/detail/yamaha/YP-90560-20278-00.html



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Sorry mis read the post, item 2 then, $47 aus, cheap

Screenshot 2017-08-01 07.12.27.png



-- Edited by TerryK on Monday 31st of July 2017 10:45:24 PM

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Try ringing readford yamaha.
I spoke to marg re some parts i was after.
Pilot jet #52.
Any how she had told me they had wrecked many ttrs over the years.
Maybe worth a try.

Cheers kris



-- Edited by KMAN on Tuesday 1st of August 2017 12:26:32 AM

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ttr steve wrote:

Front ones measure 65mm, I do not have a rear one, we don't stock them as cost quite a bit and just get then when asked. The only one I have is on my bike, so I can't measure that for you.


 Steve, you said the rear spacer cost quite a bit but that you can get them cheaper than US$10.87 (GBP£8.23) or AUS$47.80 (GBP£28.97)?



-- Edited by TTRed on Tuesday 1st of August 2017 12:05:02 AM



-- Edited by TTRed on Tuesday 1st of August 2017 12:06:05 AM

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My rear wheel spacer is 95mm wide but in such a mess that I will wait until a new one arrives from USA. Apparently there is no VAT to pay. I bought this bike a week ago and hope I'm not here for much longer as don't want to outstay my friend's kind welcome. My latest social media post: 

3rd day prepping TTR for remote communities desert project. Snugpak olive Response Pak quick grab bag fitted as front fender bag for spare inner tubes/brake, clutch levers/rim tapes, puncture repair kit, fork seals etc. Response Pack has molle webbing and waist strap with zippered pockets. Also fitted a fused on/off switch for 12v auxiliary power for charging phone/camera batteries so I don't accidentally drain bike battery. White 20 litre long range Acerbis fuel tank for increasing mileage to 200+ (will carry spare fuel bladders too) Parts order still not even collected yet in Britain, let alone delivered. May have to source locally...

I'm a Brand Ambassador for Snugpak (sponsored since 2005) so always give them a mention where I can. I highly recommend all of their outdoor kitIMG_0542.jpg

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IMG_0551.jpg

 

 



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Still waiting for parts but using every hour to get motorbike ready for remote community desert project. Made webbing brackets to attach Snugpak ResponsePak to front fender in 2 places. Attach Olympus Stylus Tough Tracker action camera to Spada Intrepid motorcycle helmet using old Sony action cam mounts (use of helmet cam is allowed in QLD and SA but not NSW or VIC) 

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In Australia headlights must be on all the time (hard wired) looks like the fender bag will block the headlight, fines like most things in Australia are huge

Terry

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Thanks for that helpful heads up Terry. I will take stuff out of it to flatten it down. If that doesn't work it is coming off.



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I have a very low profile bag on my front mudguard but have to take it off for the MOT as it does obscure part of the beam.



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Wow, sounds like I'll have to definitely take it off. I wonder if I can make up a headlight rack to carry the bag above it? Do any racks exist for there? Fitting another stator tomorrow...



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Thanks for that Steve. In future it will be better not to tell the customer to book their own choice of courier if they're unhappy with the price. Offer other solutions or impress upon the customer that there is only one option. Especially when they're on the other side of the planet and they have a schedule to keep. Also probably better to do what they did in the old days - hand the parcel over to a human, not leave it out for monkeys to grab. No detriment to TotallyTTRs however as you're providing an excellent service to us riders around the world. (I cant make any apology for being on a budget, it's remarkable how I manage to do the work I do on what little I survive on per year).



-- Edited by TTRed on Thursday 3rd of August 2017 08:57:17 PM

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Forgive me if I have it wrong but with the high freight costs to Australia it might be better to buy local for a higher cost but offset by reduced freight. We in Australia have to do this all the time, sometimes the freight is more than the parts !!!

Terry

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You're right Terry, I should have sourced parts locally. I didn't want to mess around making my own brackets for the Acerbis tank which is what lead me to make an order in the UK. I've wasted more than a week now...and Steve has gone to bed so it's another day wasted my end. Lessons learnt. Just hope my friends here can tolerate me staying with them for a couple more weeks... 



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I wish I had known about the 2 kilo limit and how cost effective it is, could have saved a week of my life and been on my way. Never mind, very lucky to be here. Thanks for all your help and patience. [It turns out that ParcelMonkey are a web comparison site and not a courier company. DPD was the courier chosen to deliver the parcel via the comparison service and they are the ones at fault]



-- Edited by TTRed on Friday 4th of August 2017 09:42:53 AM

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Providing that spare parts arrive when they are supposed to for the TTR I will be setting out for my first destination in a weeks time, Australia's remotest community (red marker left of centre) 

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 8.40.18 PM.jpg



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Bloody hell not much out that way, hope you worked out fuel range & stops, you would need at least a 500kms range to be safe, perhaps more...correct me if I'm wrong

Terry

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BLOODY HELL... ( i second that)  What ive seen of TV doccos over the years you have a trip ahead....

Like Terry said... Fuel and more fuel.. Water and more water...

You have a light weight TTR... with good fuel economy , but im thinking its not enough... 

Sandy slow going 2/3 gear boggy tracks.... 1000s km dirt/ sandy roads.. A work out for the 250 motor and for yourself...

Auzzyland is so big , but with a small population so roads never get built...  Im sure the americans built roads, or id say tracks,

around the 2nd world war to help with military transportation... but that was 70 yrs ago..

Im thinking the words " bloody hell" will be said to yourself during the trip 100s of times

But what a major accomplishment you would have done... 

One for the record books ... 

I take off my hat to you

 



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And we hear in Devon take a long ride into the back country we think of 60 miles as a long way out. I may even put the Acerbis tank on for a trip like that to save looking for fuel. I cant even get my head round a trip like Yours I would be wanting the Acerbis plus two gallons backup and 2 gallons of water so 9 gallons of liquid plus your gear.I have been all over Europe by bike and a 5 gallon tank will get you to the remotest of places with a refill within range of the bike. when you get your gear for the trip sorted lay it out for a pic and list it as its of great interest to see what you packed

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This is a link to the Australian Yamaha TT250R on Advrider, it was started as a guy wanted to use a TTR as an adventure tourer, but the fuel range was not up to the task in outback Australia.

http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/the-australian-yamaha-ttr-250-thread.907085/

Terry



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Hi Ed
I'd be taking an Epirb with me on this one (I think I read somewhere that you cant afford a satellite phone). I used to carry one all the time. I always thought if I was injured and immobile (especially from a snake bite) I could just set it off, stay put, and help would be on its way. They operate via a satellite system and the GPS is accurate to within 50m. Used in planes, off shore fishing boats etc.
I think a local shop called BCF has them for about $350. There are no subscription costs and very compact & light weight. Mine has a website where I can log where I'm going, and the emergency services have access to this info.
Hope you get to hit the road soon.
cheers
Phill (we spoke on the phone in Sydney)

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Since the forum doesn't have a mobile app I'll be blogging whilst on my journey via IG and FB:

https://www.instagram.com/edgold.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/EdGold.co.uk



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Be careful in the outback & have some form of contact or tracking

From a rescue mission earlier this week in the Simpson desert

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-16/rfds-perform-another-difficult-rescue-with-tourists-help/8813418

Terry



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That looks great Ed, nice and lonesome. What's in your bag(s)? Curious as another often-solo remote rider.

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Ed made it to the most remote community in Australia, he says no dramas. So his oil thirsty TTR made it.



-- Edited by threshold on Monday 28th of August 2017 08:00:54 AM

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Lots to write, but firstly yes - I have made it by motorcycling to Australia's remotest community. 'Kiwirrkurra' in the Gibson desert, western Australia. On a trusty TTR250 no less.

 

Secondly - I finally received parts from Steve at TotallyTTRS. What a sham! I paid £65 for postage and for a guaranteed 3 day service. I received the parcel on Day 11! I tried to get a refund only to be told that my address in Boonah, Queensland is in a remote area. No it isn't! It's a regular town of 2,500. Needless to say I won't be using Steve or Transglobal Express again. And before Steve gets riled by my statement just imagine what it feels like to be 400kms from the next person and go to replace your split link with a part ordered from TotallyTTRS only to find it doesn't fit. Luckily all I needed was the spring fastener and not the complete link otherwise it would have been weeks of getting a ride out of the desert, getting the right spare and then returning to most likely a missing motorbike. (The split link sent to me was for a non O-ring chain, I got a refund for £2.95. Yippee!).

 

Thirdly which gloom and doom miser said that the TTR does not have the range to make it a good adventure touring motorcycle?! Oh yes, TerryK. Apparently "the fuel range was not up to the task in outback Australia". What a load of bull*** and hardly positive advice to inspire my trip, thank you so much. I managed 400kms with the Acerbis long range fuel tank and also carried 12 litres of spare unleaded in a fuel bladder. Total range 600+ kms. I never needed to travel further than 387kms before the next fuel station in OUTBACK AUSTRALIA and remember I am at Australia's remotest community so go figure. 

 

Fourthly, somebody else said...ttboof "keeping everything in the sweet spot on a 250 too slow and you get no where too fast and its hard on you and the bike and fuel consumption goes up . don't get caught up battling a head wind and winding the throttle on and working the ttr too hard" I make no apologies for responding to this crap also. Do you all sit at home and never ride your bikes? The TTR250, for me, is the ultimate adventure tourer which can do it all. No negatives and gloomy **** here. It cruises at 100kph through the toughest of deep sand for 400kms a day, everyday. AND thanks to MarkVan for his confidence inspiring post "You have a light weight TTR... with good fuel economy , but im thinking its not enough..." WOW! The TTR is more than enough. I ran standard 14/44 gearing and was able to cruise through the worst spots at 70kph in 5th gear all day or between 80 and 100kph in 6th gear. The only problem I had was using 2.75 litres of engine oil over 4000kms in 11 days. This is due to worn piston/rings/cylinder and was blowing out of the cam cover breather pipe onto my left leg via a hole in the tube that fits onto the conical shaped chamber to the front of the airbox. 

 

I posted everyday when I could to Instagram and Facebook and every detail/photo and video is on there. And to reply to PlumasDude if you look at my social media you can see exactly what was in all of my bags for the trip. And I will be posting everything over to this forum from my social media so that people can see every aspect for my trip as it seems that many people cannot lift a finger to click on the links I provided before for my IG/FB.

 

Lastly I'd like to say two things. Never doubt the TTR and thanks to Brian Sussex for his help and for being someone I could rely on for advice whilst on the road. I leave you for now with a video of some of the wobblier bits of the journey. The TTR won't ride itself so get out there, get on it, ride and quit the gloomy ****e and be positive!

 



-- Edited by TTRed on Wednesday 30th of August 2017 03:06:19 AM

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What else? Apart from replacing the spring fastener for the spare link in the middle of the remote outback and excessive oil consumption (due to previous owner idiot abuse)...I almost lost the Zen Overland Mounting brackets for the Acerbis long range tank. Corrugation and 4000kms, almost all off road, vibrated the bolts out. Both bolts that go through the bottom of the plates and into the bike frame were lost so the tank was wobbling around and I had to stuff a t-shirt under it to keep it still and prevent it from rubbing. 2 bolts from one mounting plate had almost come out and I almost lost that side as it was held in barely by one bolt. The plates themselves fit well enough but the bolts are way too short and should definitely be supplied with either Loctite thread fastener or spring washers. True, not everyone motorcycles to the remotest community in Australia and one of the remotest communities in the world everyday but this kind of simple oversight shouldn't happen at all. Whoever put the kit together didn't test it properly. The plates are good but the bolts need to stay in. I tightened up the bolts the most I could without destroying the tank and it was something I didn't have time to give a daily check to, because it never crossed my mind this could happen. 

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Glad you made it Ed but buggered if I know why the hell you would order a chain link from the UK, plenty of bike shops around to get a link from.....Really As for me & the fuel range I was talking on a standard fuel tank & I know it runs dry at 235kms with a standard tank, add a aftermarket tank & the range goes up, add a fuel bladder & the range goes up yet again it's not brain surgery is it.

Again with the chain link some idiot may have fitted a different chain to the bike so all bets are off on a replacement.

Hope you enjoy your time in Australia but buggered if I know why you have taken the route you have, not much out there & I know you wanted the most remote location but I can think of a 100 better places to visit.

Terry

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TT-R250 & WR250R for dirty fun

Triumph Thruxton for the twisties

Triumph Scrambler for fun

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TTRed wrote:

What else? Apart from replacing the spring fastener for the spare link in the middle of the remote outback and excessive oil consumption (due to previous owner idiot abuse)...I almost lost the Zen Overland Mounting brackets for the Acerbis long range tank. Corrugation and 4000kms, almost all off road, vibrated the bolts out. Both bolts that go through the bottom of the plates and into the bike frame were lost so the tank was wobbling around and I had to stuff a t-shirt under it to keep it still and prevent it from rubbing. 2 bolts from one mounting plate had almost come out and I almost lost that side as it was held in barely by one bolt. The plates themselves fit well enough but the bolts are way too short and should definitely be supplied with either Loctite thread fastener or spring washers. True, not everyone motorcycles to the remotest community in Australia and one of the remotest communities in the world everyday but this kind of simple oversight shouldn't happen at all. Whoever put the kit together didn't test it properly. The plates are good but the bolts need to stay in. I tightened up the bolts the most I could without destroying the tank and it was something I didn't have time to give a daily check to, because it never crossed my mind this could happen. 


 I will inform Zen Overland who make the fitting kits and supply all the bolts about your comments.



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Check bolts every 4000kms of washboard in remotest Australia. Good call. Wrote myself a sticky.

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