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Found 9 results

  1. Bryan Bosch

    Real men don't wear shop gloves!

    For the record, I'm no safety nazi. In fact, I don't think that powersports junkies in general fit that bill. However, most will agree that it's simply smart to dress for the crash, not the ride. But, do most apply the same logic when dressing for bike repair and maintenance? More specifically, do you take precautions to protect your skin from absorbing the chemicals that you work with? While we may not feel the affects of chemical absorption immediately like we would the affects from a crash, over time (sometimes sooner), you may be setting yourself up for health issues. The purpose of this article is more to serve as a point of awareness and discussion than anything. At the end of the day, your body, your health, your choice. I contend that simple, inexpensive precautions can spare unnecessary heartache, time, and medical costs. Skin absorption can quickly transport chemicals both into the skin and ultimately into the body without you even knowing it. For the types of maintenance & repair tasks that riders do, this is likely the most significant avenue of exposure. Some of the chemicals that riders use can potentially result in systemic toxicity if they penetrate through the skin, not only causing skin problems (most common), but other potentially more serious health issues away from the site of entry. Per the CDC, 90-95% of occupational skin diseases are Contact dermatitis that has symptoms that includes: Itching Pain Redness Swelling The formation of small blisters or wheals (itchy, red circles with a white center) on the skin Dry, flaking, scaly skin that may develop cracks Much less frequent, but more serious potential problems can include skin cancers and neuropathies (nerve damage), but since there are so many chemical agents out there, their affects on the body are not fully understood by any means. What we do know is that there is absolutely no upside to exposing your skin to the chemicals that riders typically work with. So, what's the solution? Stop working on your bike? Hell no! Buy the right gloves and the biggest secret... wear them! Chemical Resistant Glove Material Guide ( courtesy of Granger.com) I've read people say, "Gloves are too expensive!" I say with record high medical insurance deductibles, are you sure it's cheaper should you end up needing medical care? I'll admit, when I was in my teens and 20s, I was bulletproof and didn't wear chemical resistant gloves. But, a few summers ago, I ended up with a dermatitis from unprotected exposure to a silicone sealant and learned my lesson. It took months for the skin on my hands to finally calm down. I'd have gladly paid the cost of a decades worth of gloves to have avoided! However, I will concede that there is a legitimate concern at some level of loss of tactile feel that only you can decide how much you're willing to deal with. In some situations, you simply may not be able to complete a specific task with gloves on. However, I don't see this as and all or nothing proposition. You might even consider the thinnest gloves available for more delicate tasks where glove strength isn't a big issue anyway. We're all going to die of something, but dying is easy! I just don't want to suffer needlessly while I'm here and wearing chemical resistant gloves while wrenching just stacks the deck every so slightly in my favor. Ok, post your arguments, er, uh, debate points in the comments section below. I'm ok if you call my hands "girly-man hands".
  2. Ok, l o n g time dirt bike guy turned ADV n00b late last spring. My questions is, when you are doing major DIY service, suspension work, or tire changes, how are you securing your bike in an upright position in the shop/garage/man cave? I have my ideas, but I'd like to see how you guys are doing it. I'd like to install some more aggressive tires and suspension mods (springs & valving) this spring. Bike is a 13 Tiger 800XC with no center stand. Since the big has a trellis frame (no lower frame rails), any issue resting the entire weight of the bike on the the oil pan? I ASS-U-ME not, but that's why I'm asking. Thanks in advance for your help XLADV'rs!
  3. To quickly perform your pre-ride inspection of critical nuts & bolts, consider the following technique. Put a small dot of Tipp-ex on the fastener head and a corresponding dot on the surface or body that it is being tightened into. The idea is that you'll quickly be able to see if the two dots (lines) are no longer lined up, meaning that they've loosened. You can accomplish the same task with a Sharpie. However, unlike Tipp-ex that can be scraped or washed off with water, you'll need to use a bit of solvent. I use the Sharpie method because I already have a number of them on hand. If you have a variant of this approach, reply below in the comments section. I'd love to hear what others are doing.
  4. Not too fond of washing your bike with a pressure washer (seal issues), but getting mud off your bike without one can be a lot of work? Try hooking up your garden hose to your home hot water heater. The hot water releases the mud from my bike quickly without the high pressure that isn't kind to bearings & seals.
  5. Paper and mesh filters take a fundamentally different approach to filtering. Mesh filters filter down to a certain size, and for practical purposes, no smaller than that. They do, however, only require a single pass to filter to that level. They work by simply having a very strictly controlled mesh size, through which a spherical object larger than that size cannot pass. They are rated in "absolute" terms, as with the Scotts (35μm "absolute"). This rating tells you that nothing larger than 35μm (35 microns) will pass through it. (1 micron, or micrometer more correctly, is 1/1,000,000 of a meter, or 0.001 mm, or 0.000039") Mesh filters are able to achieve this level of filtration with remarkably low resistance to fluid flow as well, which in the case of the Scotts means that the bypass valve will not open on cold starts, and there will be no appreciable pressure loss across the filter. Scotts Performance Stainless Steel Oil Filter "Paper" filters are different. They can stop even finer debris than mesh filters, but they also allow some larger debris to pass. They filter somewhat the same way a thick shrub catches objects thrown into it. Most tennis balls get stuck, but not all. An occasional golf ball gets caught, but an occasional soccer ball passes through to balance that out. HiFlo Filtro Paper Oil Filter The random arrangement and density of the fibers in the element create odd and irregular gaps through which debris can pass. This creates little crotches of sorts that enable the filter to catch extremely small debris, but also creates gaps that allow it to pass ridiculously large material at other times. The paper element media is also three dimensional to a degree, whereas mesh is essentially two dimensional; if something passes through one opening in the mesh, it's through, which isn't necessarily the case with fiber media. Fiber, or paper, filters can stop debris as fine as 20 microns, or even less. But, they won't stop it all on the first pass. Worse yet, they won't stop all of the debris even as large as 90 microns or more on the first pass, and some particles occasionally come free of the filter to re-enter the oil stream. They are considered multi-pass filters, which carries the expectation that the same debris will pass through the system multiple times before being intercepted. They will be given "Beta" ratings like "80/25", which tells you that it will stop 80% of all 25 micron particles on the first pass. However, they will rarely publish the fact that they may very well also test at 85/35 or 85/40, and certainly will not mention that they tested at only 95/60 (95% of 60 micron debris). Additionally, paper filters resist oil flow, particularly when cold, a great deal more than does mesh, and cold starts often cause a paper filter to bypass. In the Scotts filter, a one inch square of the mesh media they use will flow 1.9 gallons of cold 90 weight gear oil per minute at only 1 psi pump pressure (70 degrees F). My Yamaha YZ450 oil filter contains about 15 sq/in of mesh, which means that the media itself has the ability to flow over 28 GPM of cold 90 weight at 1 psi. The pump at the corner gas station is less than half that fast on a good day. That figure is also far beyond the delivery capabilities of the engine oil pump in any case. That basically means that unless you run half a shop rag through your engine, the Scotts filter will never bypass under any conceivable circumstance, and will filter at full capacity regardless of temperature. This is often not the case with "paper" filters, which commonly open the bypass valve during warmup operation. So, it isn't a black and white, indisputable, one's better than the other kind of choice, but in my opinion, the 35 micron stainless mesh is the way to go, and Scotts makes the best example of that type of filter. Let me also point out that there is a huge difference between the medical grade stainless steel mesh used in Scotts filters and the OEM brass screen filters used motorcycles like Yamaha YZF's up until '03. The brass filters will filter no finer than 70-80 microns absolute, which is not nearly acceptable, IMO. What do you think? That's been your experience? Let us know in the the comment section below.
  6. DimitriT

    The great tool-bag thread

    Show us your tool-bags and explain the what and why! Here, I'll start. This is for my G450X. OK... it's not really an XL bike :/ Gee! Here's how my pack looks like. This is the Wolfman Medium Rollie Bag with two Wolf Bottle Holsters. Let's start looking inside! Here's what fits in this baby: 1. Recovery bag 2. Flat tire bag 3. Misc items bag 4. Tools bag 5. Spare tubes for both front/rear 6. Zip ties (with several rubber bands) 7. Two MSR 30oz fuel bottles The recovery bag is just what I need for a z-pull/drag system. There are several sets out there but I wanted to make mine on my own. Did I mention I have mild OCD? It contains: 1. 52ft of accessory cord (6mm) 2. 2x oval non-locking carabiners 3. 2x Petzl pulleys 4. 2x Petzl Tibloc ascenders 5. The manual from the ascenders which will explain how to make a z-pull/drag system The flat tire bag, is a standard. However, here's what it has in detail: 1. Stop & go pump 2. Slime patch repair kit 3. 2x normal SHORT tire irons 4. Valve stem removal tool 5. Gloves The spare tubes, are in a ziplocl bag because try-to-put-them-in-the-bag-omg-they-wont-move-when-they-touch-the-wolfman-dry-material... Of course, a normal grocery bag would do as well. Just blame my OCD for the waste... My misc bag contains the following (I haven't included links for the obvious items): 1. Small mesh bag for the loose items (I got it from Michael's for like $1) 2. Eagle Creek bag (I'm mentioning it here since I'm using the same for everything) 3. Electrical tape 4. Electrical wire 5. Steel wire 6. Any kind of light 7. Quicksteel 8. Sandpaper 9. Emergency blanket (I remove the box after I took the pic) 10. Lighter 11. WD40 12. Camping tape I suggest this brand. This thing will hold anything! 13. Coffee filter (to pour water in the radiator) 14. Radiator Stop Leak 15. An extra sparkplug 16. Tweezers 17. Purifying water tablets Finally my tool bag. This took me the most time to gather. What I've been doing the last months, is using tools from my garage and every time I'm using something (for example a screwdriver or a 10mm hex socket), I'm taking a note and like that I assembled a list of all the tools I ever needed for my bike. In theory, I can bring the engine down with what I have in this bag. In theory. Of course, I don't know how... So for the G450X here's a list of the tools I used (no links of course) Hex sockets: 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 17mm, 22mm, 30mm Hex bits: 3mm, 4mm, 8mm, 12mm Wrenches: 11mm, 12mm Tools: Leatherman, flat screwdriver, philips screwdriver, ratchet, extensions, adapters And ALL of these items with fuel included, under 20lbs (12.5kgs for our Metric friends)! In addition to all of these, when I'm on my dirt-bike, I always carry: Water Snacks My poop-bag (laugh all you want, I want to see you taking a sh!t and wiping with leaves) Phone / InReach Very small 1st aid kit Let us see yours!
  7. Bryan Bosch

    Radiator Coolant Basic Maintenance

    At a minimum, radiator fluid should be changed once per year. If you race, at least twice a year. When you do this, it's a good idea to flush the system with white vinegar and distilled water (50/50 ratio). After you've drained the old coolant, fill it up with the vinegar/water solution, run your engine until warm. Drop the solution and fill with clean water to flush the system. Drain the water and fill to the correct level with your favorite coolant. Do not overfill. The acid in the vinegar does a good job of cleaning out the old coolant and contaminants but will not harm engine seals. In terms of coolant, there are lots of choices and you can't go wrong using what your manual recommends. Most coolants are ethylene glycol based, so make sure to dispose of it where your pets (and young kids) aren't exposed to it. Because it's sweet smelling and tasting to them, they'll drink it and if they ingest enough, dead puppy or kitty. I personally use Engine Ice. It's propylene glycol based, making it much less toxic to humans, animals plants, etc... and it's premixed with distilled water, ready to run with freeze protection down to -26 and a boiling point of +256. If you live where winters are cold and you choose not use a premixed coolant/antifreeze, be sure to check the mixture with a hydrometer. You can get them for cheap at just about any auto parts store. You simply suck up some fluid, count how many balls float and cross reference the number of the freeze protection chart. Also, the specific gravity of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are not the same, so make sure that you use the correct hydrometer. For example, Engine Ice claims freeze protection to -26, but an ethylene glycol specific hydrometer will read only to +20. Not a problem per se in this example (you'd still be well protected), but the other way around could be trouble. I've found that some hydrometers just don't specifically say what coolant they are for. However, most are for the more traditional ethylene glycol. Hopefully this is of value to some and I've always had excellent results following these practices. May winter come late and that you log lots of happy, trouble-free miles.
  8. Motorcycle Tire Pump Comparo: The Top 7 Pumps for Your XLADV Motorcycle Portable air compressors have come a long way and now there are quite a few that are purpose-built just for us motorcyclists. Some have even been purpose-built for XLADV motorcycles as you're about to see. Thankfully we have a plethora of products to choose from and I'd say perhaps too many given some out there are obvious ripoffs of earlier innovators' designs. I've left those pumps out on purpose so if you see it here, you'll know you're likely to get an original and be supporting real XLADV motorcycle riders. I did learn quite a bit from some of the makers of these pumps so let me give you the 411: Yes most components are made in China but they've come a long way and are the best you'll find. Many are still assembled here in the US and are American small businesses you can trust. Most any pump will have heat issues. They're great for your own bike but most require a cool down period before you start to inflate a second tire. Most any pump is going to trip BMW's canbus system and will require a hard wiring to the battery for best results. They start fine but will trip once the pump is under load. A lot of the lower priced pumps work great but have shown poor reliability and are prone to breaking if dropped on a hard surface. All these pumps should be kept out of the dirt. A best practice is to hang off a peg or place on a mat or case the pump comes in. All will inflate your tire to about 40 psi in about 6-9 minutes. I can't really say which is the best pump out there; that's something you're going to have to figure out for yourself. But, I did think it would be fun to break these pumps down into sub-segments for a few well known ADV archetypes: The Starbucks Rider, The Hardcore ADV-Enduro Rider, and The Budget Conscious Rider. The Starbucks Rider You strike quite the figure in that genuine whale foreskin suit and that $30k top of the line behemoth XXLADV bike as you sip your latte and give knowing winks and finger-guns at your local coffee shop. Okay, so that's a bit over the top. Just a bit of fun! This type of rider really doesn't mind what a pump costs; they just want the best and will go with what they saw someone else have in their aluminum box style panniers. CyclePump from BestRest Products - $115.00 The CyclePump seems to be a popular pump ("30,000+ sold") and at $115 it's the most expensive in this comparison. I had a first generation version of this pump and did not have a good experience with it. But to their credit, they've continuously improved their product with a new chuck design, new housing mounts, subtle improvements in the compressor, and now rubber armored end caps. Despite the high price point, this pump does not come with a light or pressure gauge and is the heaviest and largest pump (XXLADV) in this comparison. (photo by Noah Horak; used w/permission) The Hardcore ADV Enduro Rider This rider is going purely on function and will spend a dollar if it means they're ensured of reliability when it counts. They don't care about plastic housing or maybe lights or gauges; they just need something that's purpose-built and going to work when they need it to. ADV Designs Micro Tire Pump - $79.99 The Micro Tire Pump is the product that started it all for ADV Designs. They set out to build the best motorcycle pump and tested many of the cheaper pumps finding that 50% of them failed! They found the best compressor motor available (used by a few others as well) and went for a function over form approach. Sure, it may look like it's from the former Soviet bloc but it's very popular and works well. They also won Overland's editor's choice for best value back in '08 and comes with a 1 year warranty. Motopumps Mini Pro Inflator - $69.99 Motopumps is another product created by a motorcyclist frustrated by three flats in 6 weeks costing him $380 in towing! He saw there weren't any good motorcycle pumps out there and set out to make his own; also using the best components: campbell pump; teflon coated pistons; metal gears; high air flow and more efficient (more air/less amp draw). The Mini Pro also comes with a 5 year warranty! They have a new Air Shot pump ($59.95) that is even smaller and lighter. The Budget Conscious Rider This rider is more likely to have a milk crate top box and a homemade camp stove made from an aluminum can. They get the most adventure value out of their dollar not because they are "cheap" but because they derive satisfaction out of seeing what they can accomplish for the absolute lowest amount of money. This rider's pump is going to be very affordable as well as very small and not necessarily have all the bells and whistles. Stop N Go Mini Air Compressor $36.95 I've seen many of these pumps out there and they seem to get the job done very well. It's made from heat resistant plastic that is claimed to not overheat. What's cool is even at a low end price it still comes with a built-in gauge and led light! Slime Power Sport - $30.10 This may be the most ubiquitous pump as it seems to be everywhere. Lots of people have it, but it's known to be a bit fragile to dropping and is also known to overheat and require a 20 minute cool down cycle after 9 minutes of use. Antigravity Micro-Start Tire Inflator - $24.99 I happen to have used this little guy (the smallest and lightest) for two years now with no trouble at all. Like the Stop N Go, it also comes with a built-in gauge and led light. It also works with my Micro-Start XP10 battery as well! AirMan Tour - $25.95 The AirMan is another one you tend to see a lot of motorcyclists carry. I like the built in gauge as well as a deflate button. Decision Time! So which of these pumps do you think works best for you? If you have experience you want to share we'd love to have you write your own product review here. Pump Comparo Chart:
  9. This guy is serious! No air from China; just crisp clean mountain air, enough to last a lifetime or they will refill it for free!
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