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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jun 7, 2021.
Oh look, an Italian harley...
Are there Harleys with timing belts? I know most of them are belt drive for the rear tire, but I thought inside they were normally chain/gears for the timing.
Seems like my old DT-1 Yamaha had a cush drive. I think the first time i ever saw one was on a 120cc Suzuki I had when I was about 14 yrs old. So they have been around for a long time.
I remember that because I didn't replace the rubber when i should have and destroyed the hub. Had to learn how to relaces spokes. Not something I am good at.
same basic layout... crank with cam right above it, driving pushrods in a V cylinder configuration. The belt in an interesting touch. Early Ducatis were called bevel-heads because they had two bevel gears driving a vertical shaft to rotate a cam in the head. They later went to belt drive.
I as surprised when I took this out to see that the cush drive was in very good shape, looked new in fact. For something that is probably original (and thus 36 years old) and made of rubber, I wouldn't have expected that. Maybe it was replaced sometime in its life. I haven't examined it closely enough to see if there's a date code on it.
Well, that's a pretty standard pushrod layout in general. But I would say it doesn't look anything like my Harley engine in that area. My Harley is a twin cam:
Small timing chain that doesn't go straight up, goes through the cam support backing plate (with an oil pump behind it), and then a second camshaft that is connected by another timing chain behind that oil plate. The layout is completely different, too, as the Harley pushrods are on the side of the engine, (i.e. not in the vee) whereas this Morini engine is a bit more like an American pushrod V8 with the camshaft up and in the middle, with the pushrods then going up in the vee. It has very tiny pushrods and rockers.
Over lunch I wandered out to the shop to examine my new Kawasaki air filter (which was theoretically an exact match for the Morini air filter). Sure enough, it's near perfect. The Kawa filter has a mesh metal screen around the outside, which increases the diameter by about 1mm, and thus it doesn't fit within one of the inner convoluted covers, which seems to exist for no reason other than to protect the stock paper filter. So I removed that part and it fits in the housing perfectly otherwise. Got that back together. So at this point it's just waiting on brakes and coating the fuel tank, and then it should be ready to run and sync up the carbs.
Yesterday the new tube for the rear tire for the Morini showed up (after I punctured the first one that came... oops...). Managed to install that successfully without puncture, got the rear tire mounted and chain adjusted. I coated the fuel tank on Tuesday with POR 15, and it's taking its 4 day dry time. I'll put it on sometime next week probably, I'd rather give it extra curing time before being exposed to gas.
I started trying to fit up the Ninja brake parts, and I'm happy with how easily they look to be fitting to start out. The calipers fit over the rotors just fine, that's no surprise. The front caliper will require a pretty simple bracket. The front brake handle/master cylinder bolts right up to the handlebars (as it should, being 7/8"). But what's even better is the brake lever matches the factory clutch lever on the other side exactly, so it doesn't look out of place. The rear master cylinder bolts right up - I'll need slightly longer bolts and a couple of spacers because it mounts backwards on the Morini from how it must've mounted on the Kawasaki. But surprisingly, the bolt hole spacing is identical. Or at least close enough that everything fits and seems factory. I'll have to weld on an elbow to the end of the Morini's rear brake pedal since it actuates differently from factory, but that's simple.
The rear caliper's adapter bracket looks like it will probably be a little bit odder, and thinking about how I want to do that one. However I'm not worried about it working, just a matter of how to best make it work.
Custom hoses will be needed for both as, not surprisingly, the distances are different. But that's expected.
Hopefully next week I'll hear it run and be able to sync the carbs and check the timing while I continue to work on the brakes.
On the BMW the new rear tire showed up, and front one is on the way. Looks like one or two nice days next week, so hopefully I can get the tires on and try them out.
I took the rear wheel off to get started changing the tire. That's when it really became obvious how worn the old tire was. It wasn't awful, but more noticeably flat in the middle. Not enough to cause issues riding it, it still leaned just fine (I've ridden bikes with 1-2 inch wide true flat spots in the middle... not fun) but you really see the difference in tread design and pattern, and how that will behave differently. I think I'll be happier with the knobs.
I need to spoon on some new shoes on the Africa twin before long. I had Mefo Explorerers on it and really like them. Looks like I can no longer get them.
Spooning the old rear tire off the BMW (breaking the bead, specifically) is not pleasant...
WE HAVE THE MEATS
I use bead breakers and make sure the tire is warm. Yes its a pain. I think the front is worse. Just not aas much rubber to flex in a smaller space. The D-606 I use on the DRZ400 has to be the worst. They are really stiff.
I hadn't thought about making sure the tire was warm. The rear on that bike was a real bear. To my surprise, the front wasn't bad at all, got that done in a matter of minutes. Maybe it's because I'd perfected my technique on the rear.
I didn't have any issues getting them on, either, although getting the front one to set the bead was a little harder for whatever reason.
Hopefully we'll get a nice day over the next week and I can take it out to try at some point.
This afternoon the temps were in the mid 50s and I managed to go take a quick ride on the BMW, on the gravel roads, paved roads, and on my property.
My initial impressions are very positive. I was expecting them to give up a great deal on road and be loud and rumbly. They aren't, at least not enough to make them make me want to not ride the thing on road. If anything, I like the on-road manners better than with the Metzler 80/20s that it had, but those weren't new so I suppose some of it might have something to do with age and miles on them.
On the dirt and gravel roads, these tires were very noticeably better. I even ended up hitting a few patches with some snow/slush that hadn't melted yet, and they did just fine, even going up a hill. The slippage was controlled, didn't kick out the rear wheel any, and easy to manage. No issues. It was a lot more controlled off road and gave a lot more confidence, without the bike seeming to wander. Riding over thicker loose gravel would lead to some wandering, but not as much as before. Overall, much more confidence inspiring.
Around the property, the tires also felt a lot better. Much more confidence inspiring, and I also noticed if I tried to do a turn with a power slide that the tread design towards the outer edges of the tire seemed to try to then push the back of the bike back towards the inside, which I hadn't thought about but made sense. With the previous tires, it didn't try to right itself. I'll play around more but I have a feeling this will work significantly better. Tight off road turns seemed to be a lot more confidence inspiring.
Tires make a huge difference on a motorcycle.
Air pressures you run on most tires makes a huge difference also. I ran 22 psi on the dRZ front with the MT-21's and run 18 with the D-606's. Stiffer tires need less air to grip right.
I was going to play around with that some as well. It seems that something in the 20-25 PSI range off road is probably about right. I'l probably adjust that some next time I take it out and see what I think.
I actually carry an inflator. Slime one seems to be a good choice. But for most ADVenture bikes a compromise works well enough. On the dirt bike, I drop it prettly low, not enough to pinch a tube but as close as I dare. On the ADVenture bike I keep it at a comfortable range that I don;t worry about heat on the slab, but get acceptable traction in gravel and such. again the tire structure and the load on the bike dictates the pressure.
I have a small 12V inflator that would be easy enough for me to carry along in a pouch of some sort. For playing around on the property, I can basically just set the pressures wherever I want and the shop is right there if I want to come back and adjust further.
I've seen a couple of that guy's videos. I don't much care for his stuff and wouldn't want to take any classes from him. He's right that rear brake only off road (or on road) is the wrong way to do it. I'm not looking at the tire pressure aspect from the same perspective as he was. Yeah going 10 psi or less would be bad, but lower pressure can make the ride a bit more compliant and also let the tires flex a bit and get more grip area. But if anyone said lowering the CG by airing down the tires helps you off road, yeah, that's dumb.
OK I have not been following this thread, and I'm not going to go back through 7 pages to see if this has already been mentioned...
Check out Epic Family Road Trip on YT. They've been more or less boondocking for 6+ years now as a family of 5. The two boys (17 and 19 y/o I think?) both ride some sort of 'offroad/adventure' bike while the rest of the family are in slightly modified Jeeps. They are more on the overlanding side than hardcore offroading. They see some interesting areas and make me want to build out a newer Jeep.
That sounds really interesting and neat. I could see us doing something like that, although I would probably see Laurie driving the 4x4 with one of the girls, and the rest of us on dirt bikes.
I've also been watching more "Dirt Every Day" lately, and they have some interesting aspects of off-roading they highlight on the show. Of course it's all 4-wheeled off-roading, not on motorcycles.
Check out ADVenture rider. Forum for riders. Many of them traveling (or wanting to travel) by motorcycle. "Ride the World"
Although there's a lot of discussion about the recent sale to VS
I got the Morini’s fuel tank on, lines and filters hooked up. So I kicked it and…
it didn’t start.
Repeat the above times 100 or so.
The carbs have fuel, there’s spark, and I got it running on starter fluid before. I actually think it might have gotten flooded as I had the idle enrichment on and it might not have needed it, I’ll try again tomorrow.
I can't blame Baldy for selling. Yes it has changed, but not destroyed, hopefully never. We shall see if they destroy a good thing.
Cush drives - welcome to Italian motorcycles
There we go, got it!
ADVRider changed a lot when Baldy turned ops over the first time. Then the format change a few years back just turned my off after a decade+ as a member. When Dakar moved to Saudi Arabia, I stopped following Dakar via the F5irehose and haven’t been back, though I still get the e-zine emails (hate that format).
One benefit of the kids now having a TTR50 is that it helps to create an excuse for me to ride around the property some, since I can just follow them around. Honestly, it's great practice. My one daughter who's never ridden a dirt bike before Saturday is making turns that are challenging for me to make on the big BMW. Of course they have advantages with a bike that's less than half the size and about 1/6 the weight, but it's good practice for me.
Yesterday I did a lot of shop cleaning and saw I had some oil that was appropriate for the transmission and final drive on the BMW, so I decided to change both of those. They were... a bit overdue.
I've seen worse, but they were definitely in need of changing. I'll probably ride the thing on the road some today and see if I notice a difference.
While at the dealer to pick up the TTR50 for the kids, they also had new Ducati Multistradas. I sat on one and found that it wasn't much worse balanced than a big R-GS BMW, but it was still worse balanced and didn't really speak to me sitting on it as "This is what I want." Really, it struck me as something I wouldn't want to take off of pavement for fear of dropping it and damaging plastics. To some extent that's what you get with any of these new bikes. I also sat on a KTM 1190 Adventure, and it didn't speak to me much either, and I didn't inherently like the balance on it.
I rode the big Harley this weekend on a highway ride when I had to go to town for something. While I still like the bike, I find myself feeling more and more like it's the wrong bike for the mission. Yes, it's a good highway cruiser, and even handles pretty well for what it is. The weight is getting annoying for me (even though I haven't gotten any physically weaker, it's just tiring), and the only reason I end up riding it is because I want cruise control or need the storage.
Once I get the Morini riding I'll see what I think of it and that may help to bound my decisions. I don't want a new R1250GS/GSA. Or rather, if they didn't cost $25-30k out the door, I might. But with the newer ones the weight has gone up and the systems have increased. I'm thinking that one of the later airhead R1200GSAs (before they went water cooled) with low miles might be the right compromise on price, and essentially have that replace the Harley and also return the BMW to my friend. But for now, especially after putting tires on the BMW and not having started riding the Morini, I'm going to keep on seeing what I think.
My wife said over the weekend that she felt badly we got her new car since otherwise I could've bought that Ducati (did I marry right or what?). I responded "Honestly I don't know what I want still. And this probably isn't it."
As a soon to be 7 year owner of an MTS, it definitely doesn’t feel like an R1200: definitely more street oriented and I limit my off-road to forest service roads. Learned early on the fork seals need better protection than the factory provides and tire selection for off road is much more limited due to the wheel sizes.
I am intrigued by the new Desert X with 21”/18” wheels since my tastes lean toward rally.
As for plastics, crash bars are pretty much required on all the big bikes if that’s a concern.
My R1200GS water boxer is the finest overall motorcycle I've ever owned (18 so far), and I'm still as thrilled with it now as I was the day I bought it six years ago. Yes, it was pricey, but good stuff costs money! If anything happened to this one I'd be right back at the BMW dealership to hand them my hard earned cash for another one. NO quesiton. And yes, the newer ones have cruise.
That said, if price is a consideration, the "cam head" last evolution of the oil head motor is the only one I'd consider.
The salesman mentioned the Desert X, and that might be something to check out. One thing with the lineage of adventure bikes is that BMW in many ways invented the category, and everyone else is just playing catch up. I may look into that when it comes out.
As you know, I've ridden my friend's R1200GSA water boxer and I do really enjoy that bike when I get the chance to ride it. Having not ridden an R1200GS/GSA airhead, that's a piece of the evolutionary cycle on these bikes that is missing. If I ride it and say "Yeah, the later ones are better", that may change the opinion.
Price is a semi-consideration. Going out and spending $25-30k on a new motorcycle of that sort is probably more than I'm willing to. Granted, I think my Harley was pushing $20k when we bought it over 10 years ago almost new, so probably not too far off when you factor in inflation. But if I found a used one with low miles that had been street ridden and someone else took the depreciation on, I could feel better about the intended uses for it. Still things to think about. Also, seeing how the BMW class goes in April and what Laurie thinks about it will help to drive the decision some. Right now we both have our Harleys, if she decides that she would like a BMW then maybe we head that direction of both having BMWs.
I’d argue BMW popularized the market. Between the R80GS, Honda’s Africa Twin, Yamaha’s XT500 and the Tenere, KTM LC8, and Cagiva/Ducati Elefant, that’s all the OG players, each contributing to parts of the segment. But BMW saw how to move that racing tech to the street.
Where BMW was really smart was supporting Long Way Round back in 2004. Boorman really, really wanted KTM to sponsor but the Austrians weren’t interested.
BMW took it and the rest is history.
Definitely you've got different contributes to the Adventure bike market, and like anything there's a spectrum of offerings all with their pros and cons. You also know much more of the history than I do - aside from not paying much attention to new production anything, I was especially out of touch with the off-road market until fairly recently.
What really impresses me with the R1200GSA is how it just seems to be just as comfortable with more aggressive riding on pavement (although certainly not a race bike) as it is on other situations. A real Swiss Army Knife of bikes. It's also very clear that they've worked at this area extensively over the years. So have others (and the Yamaha Tenere 700 has been getting a lot of well-deserved attention). To be fair, I think the big adventure bike category is where BMW really wins it. The F-GS series is much more "meh" and while I do like the G310GS, if I were going for something in that size/weight range, it's not what I would pick.
This is where the GSw really works well for me. I'm a reformed sportbike rider, who moved from sportbikes to comfy sportbikes (aka CBR1100XX), then to sport tourers (R1150RT), and then on to the ADV style bikes (MTS1200 then the GSw). I like the ADV bikes as they are even more upright and comfortable compared to sport tourers, and no fairing minimal wind protection works most of the time because it's hot down here.
I do like the fact that it can also do dirt roads and two track without much trouble and yet tour with great comfort. Like you said, Swiss Army Knife, and that's why I love it. I may have posted this before, but this is me at DG, it can carve the corners nicely:
The riding modes are one thing that's really nice. Push a button and it's sporty for on-road (the real thing I dislike about the 1150), push another button and it's softer and more cushy for off-road, all that. Although I wouldn't want to take yours off-road with those tires.
We did this road right after a thunderstorm on our 90/10 tires. Melissa dropped her 750GS three times, Mike dropped his 1250GS twice. I had a few oh **** moments but was fine.
That doesn't surprise me for several reasons, biggest one of them being that you've been riding as long as you have. But I still would want to stick to some more off-road biased, at least today.
I need to ride the 1150 some more with the 20/80 Mitas e09 Dakar tires, but what little on road I did with them surprised me that they were as nice as they were. And they are definitely improved off road, more control without a doubt. I also have zero doubts that if I rode them harder on-road I would really notice it.