Thinking about a dual sport/adventure Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Those are valid points, both about the KTMs being above my off-roading ability and also being more maintenance prone. I do think that, at least with the adventure bikes, the manufacturers have been doing a better job of improving that. On the 1290 Adventure R they've got the first service at 10k miles/15k km, which is pretty good.

    I tend to think the adventure riding segment is ultimately mostly where I want to be, and having something that's got the fun on and off road I think is what I'd like. But, for now, I'll just keep watching and maybe go tire kicking at some point.
     
  2. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I was more comparing the small Japanese DS bikes to the EXC-F350 KTM. It's a trick bike for sure, light, with top shelf suspension, but in this instance I'm just not interested on dropping $12k on a 350 dual sport.
     
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  3. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I agree, the prices on the 500cc and under KTMs are pretty insane to me. They're really not that far off from the bigger adventure bikes for much less machine. You have to be really serious and capable for those to make sense and enjoy/get the most use out of them, in my mind.
     
  4. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I keep my old DRZ400 around because its about as bullet proof as anvil and almost no maint. Very forgiving as well. Certainly not the bike the 300EXC was, but loads of fun. Buy something light weight and easy to throw around. Preferably used. Play with it a bit then you will have a better idea what actually fits your mission. So many things are like that. And used ADVenture bikes don't loose money like shiny new ones, and they don't hurt when you drop them. Find an old DR350 or even a DR250 for a season. You'll not loose any money on it when you sell it, and it will be very easy to own. Has a 6th gear so it will get down the road,unlike the DRZ. Enough heft to take some trips with gear. It won't be a good long distance highway cruiser, unless you have some time. But would do that mission if you want.
     
  5. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One of the reasons I own an Africa Twin instead of the KTM is the low maint. And its more bike than I can throw around anyway. The new Aprilia 660 is of interest and the T-7. But that means buying a new bike and all that goes with that. I would like a lighter ADVenture bike than the Africa Twin. But I really don;t want to give up much highway ability. And i want to carry my camping gear. The Honda needs the suspension done, badly. Worst stock suspension I have ever had. Thats probably not as big a problem when you buy KTM.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That used smaller dirt bike is really where the Morini comes in, and riding around on that will give me some more ideas.

    To be clear, I have no real intention of buying a new motorcycle anytime soon, but I can tire kick. :)
     
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  7. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I had a '93 DR350S for a number of years, and I really didn't like it all that much. The front end was unpredictable to me, but it served the purpose at the time.

    I'm keeping the GS water boxer as the "trip" bike, and becuase I love cornering I'm going to keep using 90/10 tires on it and stick to the easier dirt roads. I want a small DS that can run 50/50 tires like the 606 or EN91 and do some single track where I'd never want to take the 550# GS. I'd even think about doing a BDR on a 300 class DS, it would just be life in the slow lane during the pavement parts, and that's fine by me.
     
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  8. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I sure hate spooning on the D-606's. Those side walls are stiff!
     
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  9. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yesterday my friend from New York who has the R1200GSA (water head) was visiting, and so we took out both the R1150GS and the Morini. He rode the big BMW and I rode the Morini around the gravel/dirt roads. It was around 30 miles of riding, the longest run the Morini had had in many years and a good test for him to see what 20 years of development did for his BMW vs. the old one.

    His opinion of the big BMW was basically the same as mine. It's fun off road, still something you could take on a long trip, but definitely not as much fun on road. Still plenty capable, but a lot more work to ride on the whole. Although the weights aren't hugely different between the old and new GS, the old GS carrying it noticeably higher is the big difference.

    Riding the Morini, we first went to the gas station as the BMW was low, and so took that on the paved roads. Although the bike itself could go faster, 55 was about as fast as I got it, and as fast as I would want to get it. The bouncy off-road suspension and light weight of the bike left it not particularly stable. I'm sure the super knobby tires didn't help, but the reality is I think most of it was more in the suspension. It could likely use some level of adjustment, but it's also designed and tuned for off road.

    After getting gas we went to dirt and gravel for the rest of the ride, which was where the Morini really felt at home. The big old BMW feels like it gets happy when it sees a sign that says "pavement ends" and is unhappy on the road. The Morini just is the more exaggerated form of that. I was very comfortable with it off road, and it was very predictable and stable. Of course I'm coming to it from the 600 lb tank of a BMW. Back on the property doing tight technical drills around trees, etc., the Morini was just easy and stable. I need to ride it around some more and get the feel of things. It was running better on this ride than on the last ride around the block, of course it also got fully up to temperature. But no doubt, the ignition system needs help.

    The obvious takeaway from the ride is that the Morini is a bike I could throw on the back of the RV and follow the Land Rover along for off-road riding happily and comfortably, regardless of where we took it. Anyplace we'd be comfortable taking the Land Rover, I think I'd be comfortable taking the Morini. And that sort of dynamic I could see being a lot of fun. But, you really don't want to ride it on the road very far, it's just not fun.

    More thinking to do, and more riding. And maybe more tinkering, but for now I think the main tinkering I want to do to the Morini is get the rear brake functional.
     
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  10. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    The Cylinder Index thread says it’s too ild to revive, but in 2019, you posted this:

    Well? Things have changed since this post. What’s your index now?
     
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  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Depending on how you count the rotary engine, it's around 80 now. However you can also argue that the diesel for the Land Rover is subtracting rather than adding that, since it's a 4-cylinder that's going to replace a V8.
     
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  12. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Until you get rid of the V8, that motor is a net positive though. Sounds like a “thinking about” thread for a boat or jet skis needs to occur about the time you do the Cat swap.
     
  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm pretty sure we're not going to get another boat anytime soon, at least not a powered one. We are interested in inflateable kayaks and those will probably get added to the fleet at some point. However I don't see any kind of boat or jet ski happening anytime soon, but likely more dirt bikes or at least some kind of exchange there.

    One thing that also came to mind for my wife in riding the Morini was how easy it was compared to the BMW, and also how unintimidating. Makes me think that she really will end up wanting something lighter weight and less intimidating to be comfortable off road.
     
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  14. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sitting at a weak 28.
     
  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Honestly, my goal is to lower the number for me, not raise it.
     
  16. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Mine did a CanAm Spyder rider course a couple weeks ago and loved it compared to being two up. Probably putting a deposit down on one soon.
     
  17. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    My wife enjoys riding herself and she very rarely rides on back with me. But, there's no denying the intimidation factor of a heavy bike, especially when it starts to slide out from under you. The various rider aids will help her with that, but so will light weight. A TW200 or similar smaller Yamaha would be good for her.
     
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  18. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A female friend who has lots of street experience but is learning dirt bought herself an XT250, and she loves it so far. Her husband bought a CRF300L, and they've been out playing in the dirt and having fun. She likes the lower seat height of the XT, it works well for her.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That's the exact bike another friend of mine had suggested, and I like it for her.
     
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  20. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Karen absolutely loves her Can Am Ryker:

    [​IMG]

    And speaking of TW200’s…

    [​IMG]

    More than enough bike for just puttering around!
     
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  21. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would like to play with a TW for a while. It would be great for a bike to have at the cabin. But would I quickly grow tired of it? If it was 400cc, i think it would work better for me.
    That 200cc at 8600 ft might be a bit anemic.
     
  22. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    I'd say three cylinders per rotor, although the racing authorities only made rotaries own up to two of their three lobes, so the 12A was considered a 2.3 liter engine for classification purposes.
     
  23. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well it has 2 rotors and 4 spark plugs, and of course three sides per rotor. So 4-6 is what I figure. But it comes out to 80 or so nonetheless.

    Now I just need to get it running and then figure out how to throw in the Rover V8 when it explodes!
     
  24. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Something that's come to my mind on the Morini is that the rear shock is probably blown out internally. It's likely original and so needs to be replaced. It appears to be providing exactly zero damping effect either in compression or rebound. It seems like this would be another situation where some form of universal component is probably what I'll need to look for, but for now I'll keep on working elsewhere.
     
  25. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude

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    Dangit ... Now y'all have me bike shopping again. :confused:
     
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  26. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    If you fly out to my house you can participate in the TSA - Ted Safety Association - motorcycle class. #safetythird :D
     
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  27. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude

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    I like the way you think :D
     
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  28. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Mike Rowe would be proud.
     
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  29. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I decided that I'd try giving the BMW a bit of a weight reduction (reversible). Previously, before I really did much off-road with it, I'd pulled the boat anchor of a muffler off of it as an attempted weight reduction. The thing weighs in at around 17 lbs. No idea why it is/needs to be so heavy. Straight piped was too loud as the thing also has the catalytic converter deleted on it. However, I had a lightweight muffler that had come with my wife's Triumph Daytona. We swapped it back for the stock one as it was too loud and droney. However, I thought it might work out on the BMW with its lower-revving, bigger displacement, different torque pulse twin. Saved close to 15 lbs with it vs. the stocker:

    upload_2022-2-24_15-38-34.png

    It doesn't quite "look" right for the bike, but it is a weight reduction and not too loud at all. Also pulled the center stand and a couple of side brackets. All in all, something in the 15-20 lb range. I took it for a ride around the property over lunch in the snow and I'm not sure if it was necessarily noticeably different, but I do feel like, for its big weight and heft, I'm getting pretty comfortable with it even on technical bits in limited traction.

    A friend asked me how long it had lived here, and going back to this thread it's been since July. That's longer than I'd thought it had been. It's grown on me more, especially as my skill level off-road has somewhat grown to work with it, and getting the right tires on it was huge.

    Really, I'd have bought something else by now if there wasn't such a high price to get something halfway decent. It seems like the big BMWs are the uncontested best options up until very recently where KTM and Ducati are catching up, and Harley has a "Not awful for what it is" offering with the Pan American, but I also am quite certain I don't want one. But when you look at it, it's a lot like used pickup trucks - they hold their value for so long that by the time you really get the cost down much, you're basically at ones with tons of miles and worn out (like the one in my shop). And, not willing to pay new prices for now.

    I still need to get the Morini ignition figured out, too. I'm also tempted to get a bike mount so I can take the Morini along with us on our next RV trip.
     
  30. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I've been doing some riding around on the BMW with the lightweight muffler, and I'm really happy with it. The engine seems to run better and make more power (which I'm sure it does - the old one heavy, restrictive stock wise, and probably rusted/clogged inside). As surprising as it may sound, that weight reduction is noticeable - moreso than I expected.

    It looks like the BMW may become a more permanent fixture in my shop (as if 8 months wasn't long enough). So, I'll be making a few other changes to it.

    First one is in the mindset of continued weight reduction and general simplicity, I'm going to delete the ABS. I'm a fan of the ABS on the newer GS bikes. It's a great system, well designed, and is an aid to riding. This is an early system. It's heavy, binary, works poorly when it works, and it's inop anyway. Removing it saves approximately 15 lbs, and it's located fairly high on the motorcycle so it's a significant amount of weight. Because this bike has trigger rings on the front and rear wheels, I can remove those as well. They won't weight much, but they're unsprung weight and rotating mass, so those ounces are worth more than they would be otherwise.

    When I changed the final drive oil, it was pretty chunky. There were multiple final drive ratios that different motorcycles within the series had, and also multiple transmissions. This bike right now has the tallest final drive (31/11, or about 2.8:1) with the tallest geared transmission. The end result is that idle in 1st gear is quite fast, so there's a lot of clutch use and slippage when doing technical work off-road. While it does make the revs pretty low on the highway in 6th gear, that's not this bike's mission.

    So after doing some research about the other options available, I got a 37/11 (~3.3:1) final drive coming. This is a big shift, but the highway revs are low enough that it won't be a significant issue (nor is it too loud), and I think will help low speed maneuvering a lot.

    I also got some new ignition coils in for the Morini, so I can put those on and hopefully it will start better...
     
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  31. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ted's home for wayward ADV bikes lol! Interesting that you're keeping the BMW.
     
  32. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Feel free to send a bike to donate to the cause. ;)

    Once I'd realized I'd had the thing for so long, and also realized that there was more I wanted to do to it (that I wouldn't want to do to a bike I didn't own), I asked my friend if he wanted to just sell the thing to me, or if I should return it to him and buy something different. The former seemed like a better option.

    As I've tweaked the bike, I've gotten it to really be pretty enjoyable - mostly getting rid of some of the old and looking at weight reduction. I also like the idea of rolling this thing past 100k miles.

    And while I think I'm eventually going to want a newer, better adventure bike - first I want to get to be a better adventure bike rider. It's nice to do that on something that's a beater that you don't have to care about. When I take a look at what's out there and the prices, it's a lot like pickup trucks. You essentially pay a ton of money for a new one, or you have to have something that's pretty old and high mileage before the prices get down much. So in the end, this makes a lot of sense for the time being.
     
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  33. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Damn, I should probably have taken that class.
     
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  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Over the weekend while looking at bikes for my wife, the dealer that had the Triumph we ended up buying also had an air-cooled R1200GS(A) (honestly not sure which) that caught my attention, and they let me test ride it while Laurie was test riding the Triumph. This thing had at least 50 lbs of accessories and only had 4k miles on it - the owner clearly spent more money on accessories than he ever spent on fuel:

    upload_2022-3-7_9-47-29.png

    I already knew that I wasn't going to want it with the R1150GS becoming a fixture in the shop (and it was way, way too decked out for my liking), but I did want to ride one at some point and they were happy to let me take it out around the block when Laurie was test riding the Triumph.

    No doubt, the bike itself has more power and is newer/more refined vs. the 1150. You could also tell the only 4k miles as opposed to 94k miles. The engine is more responsive, more powerful, and I liked the sound. However I didn't feel like it was hugely lighter than 1150 if any. Undoubtedly removing all those accessories would help so it wasn't apples to apples - but it was pretty clear that it wasn't what I wanted from a riding side. Not to mention the fact that the 1150 is easier to tinker with vs. the more computerized 1200.
     
  35. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Looks like the previous owner of the R1200GSA was more concerned with looking like an adventure rider than actually BEING an adventure rider, lol. Even his headlights have a wind deflector, on top of his add-on wind deflector on top of the wind-deflector (maybe he was tall and got a lot of helmet buffeting).
     
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  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I agree. Pretty clear it was poser as far as doing vs. looking.
     
  37. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Out for a ride yesterday exploring the plains. I often stop at this site. B-24 crash site on,(of all places) Maule Road. Tragic, but training for war was dangerous. IMG_0824.jpg
     
  38. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Now back home from this RV trip, I'm thinking about my plans for the upcoming projects on the bikes.

    For the R1150GS, I have the 37/11 (so 3.36:1) final drive to replace the stock 31/11 (2.81:1). I also got Nushings (bushings to replace the pivot arm bearings) and will replace those at the same time. The pivot arm bearings are squeaking and a known weak/failure point, so it'll be good to get those taken care of. I'm really looking forward to the higher numerical gearing. That should help some with torque/acceleration, but also be really nice for low speed technical riding that I do with the bike.

    And, of course, the ABS delete, to save around 15 lbs or so and will be a big improvement.

    As a further in project after I get those two done, I'm looking at swapping the pistons to increase compression. I got a set of R1150RT pistons which will increase the compression a point from 10.3:1 to 11.3:1. However when you do all of that, you also end up needing to change the head gaskets, and I'm thinking if I do that I want to investigate a bit further what maybe could be done to get a couple more tenths in. I found someone who makes copper head gaskets for R1100s (same basic engine, but smaller bore) and could make thinner ones to bump up the compression a bit. It seems that the 1150 twin spark vs. single spark engines had different head gaskets, but it's not clear to me whether they did that to change thickness to account for a change in compression from the design change of the cylinder head or whether it had to do with overall engine changes. So, more research required on that one. If I could push into the high 11s on compression, I think that would help some with snappiness on the engine, not to mention overall power and efficiency. But again, that's a lower priority/further out because I don't want the downtime on it for the time being.
     
  39. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Last night I did two more weight reduction items on the BMW. First one was the ABS delete. The ABS system on this bike is old, doesn't work, well, and weighs a lot. Oh, and it's inop on this bike. So I pulled the ABS pump and replumbed the master cylinders to go directly to the calipers, bled the system. That pump is something on the 10-15 lb range.

    I also had looked around on Amazon and found a good price on a motorcycle lithium battery with a higher CCA rating, smaller size, and weighing 2 lbs instead of 15. That's not a typo, literally a 13 lb weight reduction. I've not put lithium batteries in anything yet, and for the most part I don't think it's worth doing. But in this case it was a good price and I'm trying to get the BMW as light as possible. At this point, I'm at roughly 40 lbs of weight reduction on it, and it's extremely noticeable. A friend of mine was over last night who'd ridden the bike before I'd done any weight reduction to it, and he couldn't believe how noticeable the difference was. It's still not a super light bike, but it's way better than it was. Today or tomorrow I'll get the final drive changed out and that should make a very noticeable difference overall in how the bike behaves.

    Then I got around to putting new ignition modules on the Morini. The originals were, well, original, and there are $30 Vespa parts that are supposed to be a stronger spark and match fine. The only difference is that those Vespa coils need a diode added in from the crank triggers, so I added that in and the thing started right up. I used my ignition tester on both cylinders and found a much stronger and more consistent spark than before. I'll need to ride the thing to see if it fixes the overall ignition issues it had (and probably set the timing), but that worked well.

    The Morini definitely needs a new rear shock, and so if I want to go that far into it I'll need to figure out what a good unit would be for that. But really, both of those are lower priorities than getting the racecar done and some items the RV needs before the start of summer travel.
     
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  40. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    iFlyNothing
    This afternoon I rode the Morini around while my son was riding the dirt bike. Wow does it ever start and run better now with the new ignition coils! Not surprising that the original ones needed to be replaced. So really, not a bad repair, and I'm glad I didn't decide to try to go overboard. We'll see how it goes in less-ideal conditions, but it really does start well now.

    Running wise, I think I can say with some form of confidence that the ignition issue observed before is gone. The engine makes a lot more power, runs right up in the revs, and doesn't seem to have any issues like it did before. However, if I do a sudden opening of the throttle, it will fall on its face and just outright stop running. Supposedly for the American market this bike came with 30mm carbs instead of 28mm, and the jets were a bit leaner than ideal, so correcting either/both of those might fix that issue. I need to ride it a bit more to really see what's going on, though, and I haven't confirmed the ignition timing with the new coils to confirm that it doesn't need adjustment. The bike is very rideable now, though, and the fact that it is so much easier to start is a big plus.

    The rear shock does appear to be completely dead. Riding it standing up it's ok, but riding it sitting down it feels like an old Lincoln Town Car with blown out shocks. On the road when I rode it before it was really not pleasant at all for this reason.

    One other thing with this bike is the steering angle. It seems that it's limited to about 30 degrees of travel left or right, which isn't very much. I've ended up trying to turn harder and hit the stop unexpectedly. The BMW has about 45 degrees each direction it seems, which gives a lot more control. I don't know whether this is an intentional design difference for some dirt bikes (I would think not) or if it's just a factor of being something made in the 80s. Also I need to get used to its limitations since it's not the BMW.

    Tomorrow I'll hopefully get to changing the final drive on the BMW, and then some racecar work. Or maybe RV, I'll have to see.
     
    FormerHangie likes this.