Monthly Archives: May 2013

Full dress rehersal

Afternoon trip with full luggage and a brick in each pannier.

Wow - I can get both feet flat on the ground!

Wow – I can get both feet flat on the ground!

We ran out of time for gadget testing, unfortunately. I bought a new HD Ghost sports cam but we will have to test in in the car.


Building crate #1

I had to supply the shipping crate. Most bikes are shipped in a dedicated motorcycle crate, with the front wheel and handlebar removed to make the packing volume smaller. I used one of those crates for my last trip, as shown in this photo.


These crates are easy to get – most bike shops throw them away after unpacking a new bike. However, it is inconvenient to disassemble the bike in this way. You need help at the other end to put the bike back together, and it all wastes valuable time. Plus I broke an electric wire in the handlebar last time.

This time I decided to pack the bike ready to ride (or pretty close to it). I started with two standard bike crates. I had all the parts on hand, thankfully. But … then the shipper told me on Friday that the bike would be picked up on Monday, so it was a case of “OMG, how am I going to get this ready in a weekend!”

Two bases from standard bike crates.

Two bases from standard bike crates

I sliced one of these in half then welded it to the complete base, giving me a base 1.5 x standard width. This was enough for the whole bike, with about 30 mm to spare on each side. I also turned the front wheel well (in the foreground) around on an angle, otherwise the bike was too long for the crate. This turned out to be really tight – both the front and rear tyres are touching the crate ends,

One lap of Borneo

This blog will be used to record our motorcycle trip around Borneo in June and July 2013. I plan to keep notes of planning and preparation, as well as the actual trip.

I’m from Sydney and this is my second motorcycle trip to Borneo. The first, in 2010, was from Kota Kinabalu to Bali, via Java. During planning for that trip I realised just how difficult it is to get useful, logical and timely information about adventure motorcycle trips. It becomes a forensic process of assembling clues from various blogs and forums. The facts tend to get lost among all the personal anecdotes, so it can be really hard to figure out things like ferry routes and schedules, border crossing locations, passable roads, and lots of other important information.

I documented the last trip after the event on Facebook. That enabled me to break it up into albums, but you only get one shot at an album. If you try to edit, the data changes and Facebook orders the albums by date.

Anyway it’s here is you are interested: Borneo Adventure Ride. On that trip I rode a BMW F650 Dakar, and had quite a few problems. Actually I had constant problems 😦

This time I plan to post before, during and after the trip. I will add pins and tracks to the map to show progress, whenever I have WiFi connectivity.


New tyres

The bike needed a good set of dual-sport tyres for the trip. I chose Heidenau Scout K60 because they are one of very few 50:50 on-off road tyres, and they should have long enough life to complete the trip and not be bald. On the last trip I used Continental TKC80, but they were done after 5,000 km, which is not enough for this trip.

I only got to test the tyres on-road. Compared to the original Bridgestone Battlewings, they are much lighter in feel. The Bridgestones are perhaps excessively stable in that the bike always wants to go straight and it takes some effort to make it turn sharply. The Bridgestones are useless as an off-road tyre – that is is not their purpose. I don’t know why they are standard fitment on the Tiger XC.

Happily, the Scouts do not cause that weird “tipping over” sensation that happens with TKC80s when cornering at low speed. I will report later on their performance in mud, of which there is an excess in some parts of Borneo.

Folding brake and clutch levers fitted.

New pair of Heidenau tyres getting fitted at Hills Motorcycles.

Well it looks the goods anyway. But 400 mm of mud will stop any tyre, so I hope the rain is light.

Well it looks the goods anyway.