Artisanal Air from Cycle Pump
By Bryan Bosch
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!
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
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
9. Emergency blanket (I remove the box after I took the pic)
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
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:
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!
By Bryan Bosch
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.
By Bryan Bosch
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.
By Bryan Bosch
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.