Thursday, December 1, 2016

5 years ticks by

I sold the XT400 a few years back.
So I have been a few years now without an adventure bike.
I recently bought a 1988 Yamaha TDR250.
It is in fairly mint condition with 18,800 kms on the odometer.

I have always liked these bikes and have been on the lookout for about 3 years.
I got this Jap Import one in fairly mint and standard condition for NZD$5,850 in a road legal state.
The idea is to do a bit of gravel "adventure" riding around the South Island of New Zealand this summer.
Perhaps have a look at some of the earthquake damage while I am at it.
(NZ recently experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Eastern-central-ish South Island and I am curious to see some of the tears in the earth if I can.)
I will need to add an additional 7 litre fuel tank somehow, as I need to be able to cover at least 280kms of gravel between fuel stops.
It currently does about 14.5 km/litre.

In some ways I feel that the bike is now somewhat collectable and possibly some might feel that using it in anger in the gravel is not what should be done with such a rare and fine example?

Oh well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1 year of inaction

Well one year has gone by since my last post.
I haven't been up to any adventure riding.
I have been a bit boring really. Just working and plodding along in the global recession.
I guess I have been more focused on rebuilding my Honda NSR250R. (My other blog)
I still use the XT most weeks just for commuting.
Some of my friends have bought adventure bikes so maybe this summer I will get back into it a bit more.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

60k kms reached

It is the winter months and not too much has been happening with the XT400.
I have been using it for a bit of commuting and general use, nothing particularly adventurous.
I have moved from Whakamarama to Te Puke and have found a fun way to get from Te Puke to Welcome Bay over Rocky Cutting Road which incorporates a tight twisty hilly gravel road.
Today I clocked up 60,000 km on the odometer.

On Sunday night (4th July 2010) I left Wobbly's about 1am at night after watching the Catalunya MotoGP. It was dark/cold/very windy (and windy) and raining, so I took the Rocky Cutting /Reid Road track just to make things a bit more interesting.
The XT seemed to be losing power. This was quite worrying at 1:30 am on a dark wet and windy night on a single lane gravel road. However, I made it home OK. I need to adjust the headlight to point up a bit as it was difficult to see very far ahead in the dark, especially when under brakes with a visor splattered with raindrops.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Change Needles and jets

OK, well I went into GP Honda in Mt. Maunganui and rummaged through their jetting containers.
I got 2x95 main jets and 2x90 main jets. ($7 each)
I also got 2x needles[needle number reqd].($5 each) These needles seemed exactly the same as the original XT CV carb needle, with just the numbering now different (and sensible).All Keihin stuff.

I put in the new needles and 90 jets.(down from 100)
Took it for a spin down the road and it all seemed very similar.

I think I really need to try advancing the ignition in the upper midrange to top end, to get it to have decent response up there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dusty Butt '10 SBC: Overview

Well the little 125cc four stroke Honda did extremely well.
About 3700km over 6 days. And a lot of that was at full throttle, and near max revs.
The engine did not miss a beat. It used about 1.2 litres of oil over that distance (it holds 800ml) which is not too bad I suppose. I do not know if the oil is getting past the rings or whether it is exhausted out the crankcase breather into the airbox. Probably a bit of both.

Also, the suspension and drum brakes were surprisingly good. I guess by "good" I really mean "not crap". I was able to blast along over all sorts of terrain with no major complaints in the handling department at all.
I ran out of time to check over the engine before going on this ride, other than to set the tappets. I really had no idea if it was in very good condition or not. However the Honda NXR engine (XLR125 engine) is pretty tried and tested. The big "H' came through for me on this ride. I am not a Honda fan in particular, but I am very impressed with this little Honda.

The Dusty Butt route was unbelievably amazing. A really excellent trail. The NXR was pretty slow on the straights and up the hills, but was overall enjoyable enough. As soon as the route got twisty I was having a ball. The bike comes into its own on twisty downhill gravel. I caught and passed many much more powerful bikes on the downhill gravel sections. I guess the light weight really helps in that situation.
Overall the bike and the route combined to give me a much more fun experience than I was expecting. Really fun!

The other factor of course is the people. On the 1 dayer you don't really get to interact with very many others. However, the 2 dayer is great for meeting new people and making friends. Everyone is just so positive in attitude and willing to help out, no matter what the issue. It seems a shame to waste the opportunity of experiencing the 2 day environment just to do the 1 dayer. If was ever to do the 1 dayer, I think I would do the 2 dayer first, and then give myself a 2 day rest. Then I would happily have a crack at the 1 dayer.

Would I do the Dusty Butt again on a 125cc machine? Well,.. one guy rode around on a KDX125 two stroke with a max speed of about 130kph. This is much better than the NXR at about 90kph. I think that if I could get something like that KDX125 and tune it up to the max, then I could be interested. In general, I would be happy on something that can sit on 120kph on the gravel into a strong head wind. If a tricked up KDX125 could achieve this then I would definitely be interested. On a bike like that, I could imagine that you might just be in with a chance of winning the DB1k outright. Probably a very slim chance though.
Having said that, the whole idea of the Small Bore Challenge is to ride around on a gutless piece of crap. I have done that once, and am not all that keen to do it again. It is just a bit too boring on the straights and open uphills.

Receipts from the trip:

Thursday 14 Jan 8:25 BP Te Puna 5.10 litres 98 Octane $9.74 122km
Thursday 14 Jan 10:54 Shell Edgecumbe 2.00 litres 95 octane $3.65 (filled up 2 litre jerry can) Pie $3.80
Thursday 14 Jan 12:02 Murapara GAS 8.19 litres 95 octane $16.38 196 km
Thursday 14 Jan 13:52 Gull Hastings 11.92 litres Force10 $21.57 296km Picnic bar $2.19
Thursday 14 Jan 18:21 Dannevirke McDonalds $10.20
Thursday 14 Jan 20:59 Caltex Rimatuka 11.47 litres 95 octane $20.98 279.1km
Thursday 14 Jan 22:29 BlueBridge $100 (Ferry crossing)
Friday 15 Jan 6:43 Blenheim McDonalds $6.90
Friday 15 Jan Peter Grinter M/C Blenheim 17" Tube $20.20, Weld Exhaust $25.00, 1litre Spectro Oil $16.00 Departed 9:10am
Friday 15 Jan 12:32 Cheviot Garage (Caltex) 13.53 litres 95 octane $25.56 311.8 km
Friday 15 Jan 16:49 MGL Caltex Fairlie 11.73 litre 96 octane $21.69 294.6km
Friday 15 Jan Accomodation (HoT) $35, Tolls $10, DB1k Sticker $5, Beers approx $30
Saturday 16 Jan 10:25 Kurow Auto Services ?? litres 95 octane $16.25 203km Pie $2.80
Saturday 16 Jan 12:47 Challenge Ranfurly 3.95 litres 95 octane $7.34 103km
Saturday 16 Jan 15:49 Fax's Auto Services Lawrence 6.41 litres 91 octane $11.71 151km
Saturday 16 Jan 16:00 Lawrence Video Gold, weld exhaust $20
Saturday 16 Jan 21:03 Caltex Alexandra 8.22 litres 95 octane $15.70 183km
Saturday 16 Jan 21:11 Thai Crom Alexandra (Dinner) $30.00
Saturday 16 Jan 22:11 Alexandra Holiday park (Accomodation) $30
Sunday 17 Jan 9:42 Shell Cromwell 3.42 litres 95 octane $6.13 79.1km, Sandwiches $5.99
Sunday 17 Jan 13:43 Omarama Caltex 8.18 litres 95 octane $15.94 178km
Sunday 17 Jan 16:38 BP2GO Fairlie 7.04 litres 95 octane $13.03 146km, Picnic bar $2.50
Sunday 17 Jan evening at the pub including roast meal approx $45
Monday 18 Jan 10:14 Challenge Oxford 9.55 litres 96 octane $17.46 206.5km, Pie $4.30
Monday 18 Jan 14:06 Culverden Caltex 8.07 litres 95 octane $14.92 177.8km, Pie $3.50
Monday 18 Jan 19:00 Shell Picton 11.66 litres 95 octane $21.32 275.6km
Monday 18 Jan 18:56 Picton Plaza India (Butter Chicken + 2MacsGold) $31.40
Monday 18 Jan 20.26 InterIslander Picton $122 (Ferry crossing)
Tuesday 19 Jan 9:23 Levin McDonalds $7.30
Tuesday 19 Jan 11:48 Caltex Waiouru 11.31 litres 95 octane $20.80 271.4km
Tuesday 19 Jan 11:52 Fastlane Restaurant Waiouru, Piece of fried fish and ham roll (Yuk!) $9.30
Tuesday 19 Jan 16:30 Arrived home. etimated use of 13litres, 300.8 km

Petrol: $303.18
Food and beer: $195.18
Accomodation: $65.00
Tolls & Ferry: $232.00
Other: $86.20

All up: $881.56 But this is just costs incurred on the trip. It does not include setup costs or post-event costs or tyre wear etc. I need to buy a new Fr brake perch, replace a rear spoke, do some welding work on the pack frame and probably some other little things.

Tyre wear:
Rear tyre (Pirelli MT60 110/90 17): started off with 8.5mm of tread depth and ended up with 5.5mm of tread depth. The trip covered 3686km, so this gives 1229km/mm of tread wear. The Mitas E-09 on my XT400 usually gives about 650-800km/mm tread wear.
Front tyre (Pirelli MT60 90/90 19): I did not record the tread depth when new. Tread depth after 3686km is 5.0mm

Fuel works out at (3686km/$303.18 =) 12.16km/dollar
Trip works out at (3686km/$881.56 =) 4.18km/dollar (although true cost is higher)

Dusty Butt '10 SBC: Day 6 Wellington to Tauranga

Tuesday 19th January 2010

Left Pete's (Thorndon) at 8:00am.
Pack rack was starting to look a bit weak so kept off the bumpy stuff and just headed along the main roads to home.
Made a pack rack repair at Waiouru with some coat hanger wire that Alane gave me.
Got home at 4:30pm and put in a quick post on the forum.
I was tired, but my body had handled it well.

Arrived Wellington 13411km 01:30 hours
Slept at Pete's 02:00-07:00hours
Departed Wellinton 08:00 hours
Arrived Tauranga 13983km 17:10 hours
572km over 9:10 hours

Dusty Butt '10 SBC: Day 5 Fairlie to Picton

Monday 18th January 2010

Depart fairlie approx 7:45am
Took inland scenic route to Oxford and then on to Lees Valley.
Chain came off mid-crossing of the Okuku river.
Other bikers on hand gave some help.
Then on to Hanmer and Jollies Pass into Molesworth/Awatere.
Rained heavy for about 20 minutes and made the ride a bit more interesting.
Just missed the 7pm ferry at Picton and got on the 10:30pm sailing.
Crashed at Pete's in Thorndon at 2:00am.

Start Fairlie 12743km 07:45 hours
Finish Picton 13411km 18:45 hours
Caught ferry at 22:30 hours
Arrive Wellington 01:30 hours
668 km over 11:00 hours