Category Archives: D’oh!

Stuff I wish I had not done.

5.0 on the D’oh scope

Lost one of my near new Triumph gloves on the ferry. Damn! Checked everything before leaving the cabin and all Ok. Ready to ride the bike off the ferry and one glove is gone.

Had to crawl underneath parked trucks at one stage. That’s probably where I lost it.

No choice – had to ride with only one glove, which I hate. But gloves are surely the the most losable things ever invented.


Malinau to Sebuku (and first “off”)

The bike is not well loaded, carrying too much weight in the luggage, especially the top box. This is a matter that has generated a solid amount of domestic discussion.

Anyway I had the last word after the bike was lying on its side and I could not lift it or remove the luggage.

250 kg of oversize, overweight, top-heavy adventure bike is not the best instrument for dealing with Borneo mud. I took it through the fist bog solo, and had a genuine white knuckle experience at 3 km/h.

The next one didn’t look quite as bad so I tackled it two-up with a bit of momentum. We actually got through it, then the Tiger went ape when we got to the tarmac on the other side. It just didn’t want to be vertical anymore.

The tyres were caked with gooey mud and once they got on the tarmac, I had a couple of violent fishtails before stepping off.

We begged the assistance of a passing family on a scooter to help us lift it. And for anybody who thinks ADV bikes are pretty good for this sort of thing, scooter riders were getting through with a bit of fishtailing two-up and three-up. They just don’t have the overwhelming disadvantage of “angular momentum” of very tall and very heavy equipment to deal with.

I can’t complain about the K60 tyres – even full knobbies would likely have become clogged in that mud.

No damage done, other then pride and further vigorous domestic discussion for 10 minutes.

My hair dryer better not be damaged...

My hair dryer better not be damaged…

This is what a K60 looks like when it is ready for skating.

This is what a K60 looks like when it is ready for skating.

Me looking pretty smug after getting through the first bog hole.

Me looking pretty smug after getting through the first bog hole.


Not enough testing

The penny dropped yesterday: the USB power supply on my bike does not have enough juice to keep my phone going continuously. It is proper motorcycle unit, but obviously not a very good one.

This has caused me to lose a lot of GPS tracks and to get lost a few times.

I will modify it when I get home, but its a problem right now.

I need to find out the operating current of the Lumia 920 phone and make sure the USB power supply can provide that and a bit more, so i can recharge the battery and used the GPS apps at the same time.

No ABS, when I really needed it

Two days ago on the way to Bintulu, I got a real soaking. The ride was two hours and more than half of it was in the rain. Some if it was the “real deal” – afternoon tropical downpour.

My luggage was getting transported in Brad’s Hilux do I was riding light. I’d follow cars when I could find one travelling at a suitable speed. I don’t consider 35 km/h suitable, so I still needed to overtake some cars.

After the worst of the rain, I was following in a car’s wheel track and I saw it go through a big splash. Naturally I slowed down in advance. I was on a corner so I was easy on the brakes. But not easy enough…the bike started sliding.

That was a total white-knuckle experience. It turned out OK, but it certainly focused my thoughts for a few minutes.

It is precisely for that situation I paid extra for ABS. If only it was working…

Another problem with smartphones

Although my modified Otterbox does a reasonable job of keeping the Nokia dry when it rains, there’s a big problem.

The raindrops act on the touch screen as if it is being touched. So I get any random function. I did not want to get Play List when I was trying to navigate unknown roads in the pouring rain.

It’s very annoying when I’m trying to record a track or follow navigation. What’s even better than riding in the rain? Being lost while you are doing it!

Two offs in one day

We followed various logging roads to the village of Long Terawan, then long boat to Royal Mulu Resort.

The road up was abominably dusty. I was riding in convoy with Brad Baker’s Hilux – he was taking the guide, pillion and luggage.

It would have been easier for me to follow, but I could not see the road surface clearly through the dust. So I rode in front.

At one stage we caught up to a logging truck but I could not pass it. He’d hammer it downhill and the dust became as thick as a blizzard. I could not see the sides of the road so I had to slow to walking speed each time, and the truck would escape.

Just for variety…it rained all night while we were at Mulu. Dust + rain = mud. Lots of greasy mud over hard-packed dirt.

Anyway, gravity had it’s way with me twice. The first time was close to the village, on a really steep “jeep track”. I made it up the hill with the bike weaseling all over the place, but on the downhill the front wheel started tracking in a rut and my attempt to steer out of it ended with the bike sliding down the hill on its side.

The second was a more harmless looking puddle in the generally muddy road. It sloped left-to-right and I was apprehensive about getting too close to the edge of the road so tried to steer up the slope. Bike said “no” and laid down in protest.

After that I stopped trying to steer through the very slippery bits. I would just balance the bike and let the competing forces of momentum and gravity determine the path. This sometimes has the bike tracking sideways, like an aeroplane in a cross wind. Very disconcerting.

For the first hour I was wrestling the bike almost all the time. Utterly exhausting.

No injuries but I bent the gear lever the second time. Will have to get some mechanical help with it tomorrow.


Still thinking about smashed cable

The cable to the rear speed sensor was crushed at least twice, getting stuck in between the swingarm and the luggage mount.

I have a new theory about why this happened: I have lowered the bike’s suspension by 20 mm. That effectively moves the swingarm up 20 mm. This could be enough to bring the two parts into contact, when it could not happen with the bike in “original trim”.

If true, this is a big problem. I won’t raise the bike up again for safety reasons. I firmly believe that a rider who has not got secure balance of the bike is unsafe, especially on heavy bikes. The current setting is the highest that I can confidently balance the bike in pretty much any situation, including uneven terrain and bike off-centre.

I will probably have to get rid of the factory luggage and replace it with aftermarket soft luggage. Pity, it worked very well and proved to be robust.