Author Topic: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...  (Read 5648 times)

Offline Electroken

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8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« on: July 06, 2011, 10:48:17 am »
Last night I got back from a 21 day, 8009 mile trip through 22 states and some of Canada, too. All in all, my C10 did a great job, but she wasn't the bulletproof mount she's been in the past. Let's get the negatives out of the way first:

About half-way though the trip (15k on odo) the oil seal in the final drive began to leak. Over the next 4k miles the gas stop ritual included getting the gear oil off the left side of the wheel and tire. That 4 ounces of oil made one hell of a mess, and made me think hard about every left sweeper in the mountains.

500 miles later the bike would make zero power below 3000 RPM. It turns out that all 8 screws in the intake boots had loosened up (BIG vacuum leak). A couple turns on each set it right. Did the boots shrink over time? Maybe. Since I was the last one in there (3 years ago), that one's on me.

At about 5500 miles my rear brake pedal was flopping around. I pulled over and found that the clevis pin between the pedal and rear master had gone missing. How did a cotter pin fall out? Who knows. The building I had pulled over in front of was a hardware store with every clevis pin known to man. Good luck or bad? Seems good in hindsight.

Now on to the Dunlop E3 tires. I expected them to wear well, but I also expected them to perform like the Michelin Pilot GTs they replaced. They wear like iron, but felt wooden and gave zero cornering feedback in the Rockies. I struggled to keep up with the other 3 guys (C14, ST1100, ST1300). The tire below has 8200 miles on it:



Now the good:

The "7th gear" and advanced exhaust cam sprocket made this bike a whole 'nuther animal. The buzz was reduced enough that I never had hand numbness, which had always been an issue within 30 minutes on this bike. Chewing up miles at 70-75 was effortless.

The C10 fairing does make the bike sensitive to turbulence and cross winds, but also offers great protection. The area near Minot, ND was badly flooded and there were zillions of bugs. The picture below shows 4 HOURS of bugs that Kawasaurus stopped before they got to me:



Another plus was my Garmin Nuvi 550. It's waterproof and looks just like the Zumo 220, but cost $250. The Concours was unable to shake it apart.

The Spot Tracker was another nice addition. It gave my family peace of mind when I was in the middle of nowhere, which by the way is the entire northern side of Lake Superior.

The bike averaged 48 mpg for the trip. Not bad, considering all the crap I had piled on it. Overall it's the best $6900 I ever spent on a bike. Gotta order some parts now...


Offline roadrunner322

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 06:13:19 pm »
Appreciate the information!  Thanks for posting!
Currently Own
1985 Kawasaki ZN700

Offline yoman

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 05:52:40 am »
Strong work! It's the little things that make a trip interesting.
(I hope that I remember that when it's my turn)
2002 Semi-naked Connie

Offline Leo

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 07:44:10 am »
Thanks for the feedback.  It is interesting about the E-3 tire.  I am anticipating the replacement of my last Pilot GT tire, and was hoping the E-3 would be a good choice.   I guess I need to keep looking.  By the way, it sounded like a nice trip other  than your mechanical problems.
Yep, still riding the old one

In Indiana, missing Texas

Offline oldkid

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 09:42:39 am »
You lucky dog you, 8000 miles! I can hardly wait to start my 1200 mile trip the end of this month. Good write up but like Leo I'm surprized at your impression of the E-3's. I have about 2000 miles on mine after coming off the Michelins. While the E-3's don't seem as "planted" as the Pilots I find them more responsive and more "flickable". What pressure are you running? After a lot of expermenting I have found that the Mfg. recomended 36 PSI front and rear works better.

Offline Electroken

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 10:26:21 am »
I was running 36 psi front and 39 psi rear. I had 80 pounds of crap mounted to the bike, and a heavier than usual top box may have contributed to the crappy handling. Once the final drive started leaking my cornering confidence was shot.

While cleaning gear this morning, a few more impressions came to mind.

Aerostich Combat Lite Boots. I've come to love these boots. They have broken in to become an extension of my strangely shaped 10EEE feet. We only had 1 day of rain in the whole 8000 miles, but my feet stayed dry. At times they were caked in mud, pelted with gravel, and covered in so many bugs they looked like they were made of bugs, but they soldiered on. Expensive, but I'd buy them again.

I left home with my trusty old HJC CL-14 helmet, expecting to retire it after this trip. The left baseplate mechanism blew apart in Alabama, forcing an early retirement. In a pinch I got a "Bilt" full-face from Cycle Gear. Apparently they only sell this house brand now. It fit my XXL cranium well enough and was on sale for half off at $70. It's OK for a cheap-ass helmet and it got me through the trip. It's quieter than the CL-14 was. I washed it today. Anybody want it for free? I won't wear it again.

Does anybody here think the stock C10 headlight sucks? The only night riding on the trip was the last 2 hours of the last day. I was flogged after 15 hours in the saddle, but I found that at 65 MPH I was out-riding the headlight more than was comfortable for me. I need to investigate alternatives (HID?).

Oh, and if you ever get a chance to visit the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham Alabama, just do it. Spend a whole day. It's worth it.

Offline Outback_Jon

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 10:50:41 am »
Does anybody here think the stock C10 headlight sucks?


I think just about anyone who rides at night will agree with you.  I found a GE "Motorsports" headlight bulb at WalMart that I use.  I like it a lot better than just using a standard H4.  I know some people go with the Philips Vision+80 bulbs that Murph sells.

I added a set of cheap frugal off-road lights from Harbor Freight to my tip-over bars.  They do a wonderful job - especially for the price.  (The clamps to mount them cost more than the lights did.   :-\  )
"Outback Jon" Gould *** South Cairo, NY *** COG #9506 *** 2006 C10 "Blueline" *** CDA #0157

Offline timsatx

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 02:59:24 pm »
Does anybody here think the stock C10 headlight sucks? The only night riding on the trip was the last 2 hours of the last day. I was flogged after 15 hours in the saddle, but I found that at 65 MPH I was out-riding the headlight more than was comfortable for me. I need to investigate alternatives (HID?).

Yep, that's why I have HID headlight. Lights up the road quite nicely, especially out in the middle of nowhere and there are no other lights. Crank it up to high and you are ready to roll.

Offline Uglydog56

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:50:45 am »
My back tire went the other way - Dunlop Roadsmart, only made it 6k of my 6500 mile trip and it probably needed replaced at 5k.
Rick A. Cone
COG #9186
98 Connie, 76 CB400F

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2011, 06:18:38 am »
Yep, that's why I have HID headlight. Lights up the road quite nicely, especially out in the middle of nowhere and there are no other lights. Crank it up to high and you are ready to roll.
You should investigate using a pair of Hella FF200 driving lights, they completely overwhelm the China HID kits. We tested using the China crap on high beam vs FF200 with standard H3 bulbs. This was done at the Vintage Weekend non-rally last October using my '99 C-10. Kinda surprised me.

Not long after, my HID unit quit working, I just replaced with a Osram H4, it simplified things. Something I don't like on the HID system, if it's your only light, when(not if) it goes out, there is no back up filament to light up the road. You are in the dark if it happens at night.

I think HID systems work great in a headlamp assembly designed to use them, not so great in a conversion. The China stuff works brilliantly on low beam, not so hot on high beam, at least compared to my FF200 set up. I ride a lot in the dark when commuting, I need good lighting.

I've also thought about using HID driving lights, but the wait time for fire up precludes using them, at least for what I need. I run two sets of driving lights, controlled by a master sw to shut them both down, and controlled by a relay driven from the hi/lo beam switch to switch them as desired. With HID aux lights, I would not be able to get the proper aim without blind oncoming traffic, as switching them on and off like a high beam is not a solution.


These are my observations, and not meant to be argumentative. 10/4?

Perfection Is A Fantasy, Improvement Is Possible(Margie J)
'99 Conk: 227k mi, '98 KLR650 back from Cal
COG 5603, IBA 19921, CBMMA 50 (Cheap B@st@rds Motorcycle Maintenance Assoc, 14 year member)

Offline timsatx

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 01:37:56 pm »
it's all cool. I don't know what these China lights are, but mine are quite brilliant. I will say that as bright as they are, when driving at night and you want maximum lighting you might still want to use some auxiliary lights, if for nothing else that to help light up the side of the road. I don't think it is possible to have too much light at night with no traffic around. I wish I had been able to take some before and after pics of my lighting. My HID lights up more road on low that my H4 (Philips Vision+80 X-treme H4 Bulbs) did on hi, by a lot. The high beam is crazy bright and lights up way down the road.

At night around town I run my light on low beam, but at daytime I always run it on High Beam. I have never once had anybody flash me in almost a year of use.

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 08:36:52 pm »
On the headlight: I've been running the higher wattage NAPA bulb, and I can say that this works surprisingly well. Maybe I just have really good night vision, but after changing back to this from a Sylvania SilverStar, I put off buying driving lights for the time being.


Offline m hanlen

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 03:00:49 pm »
I like the Sylvania SilverStar also.

Offline KenE

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Re: 8000 mile trip, what worked for me and what didn't...
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 09:57:34 am »
Hella ff50's driving lights are easily modified to HID.
Rototool away most of the flat surface where the wires currently pass through the housing. The trick is to pass the hid bulb and its large base.
When it will fit through, the standard hid  rubber gasket fills the trapazoid shaped hole quite nicely...