Tiger at 14,000 Miles

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Cyclegear is run by rotund, jolly Mayan types… do the spannering yourself

Front Tyre

About ten years ago, somebody told me that if you put Metzeler Tourance (original) tyres on your bike, you can then forget about them; they will never puncture and they will never wear out.  Well, our front wore out; it has the dubious honour of being the first part to be replaced twice on this trip (or any of our trips).

Going over these blog posts, it looks like it did 7,000 miles; that’s not all that much for a front tyre but, in fairness, we are fully loaded and the rear suspension is high making us more nose down than usual.

By this point we were heading for Belize and Guatemala and really had no idea where to get a tyre.  With a vague feeling akin to dowsing, we headed for the Yucatan and the cities of Merida and Cancun.

Screenshot from 2015-12-20 09-06-52

Cyclegear – go there and buy a tyre

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Bridgestone Battle Wing shown here with some Guatemalan mud

In Merida, we tried Ducati, Kawasaki, Motomundo (closed down) and a BMW dealer that only had cars till we happened upon Cyclegear.  Cyclegear had a rack of modern large capacity motorbike tyres like it was just normal.  They didn’t have a Metz in our size so we got a Bridgestone Battle Wing.


I used my last filter and did  an oil change in Puerto Escondido on the coast in Mexico.  Till then, we had topped up with USA sourced 15w50 Mobil 1 but, once that ran out, we needed to do a change because in Mexico, Mobil 1 is 5w50.  Silver seems happy with the new oil and we have brought a spare litre with us through Belize and into Guatemala.

General Wear and Tear

Silver is now so filthy he must only be photographed at a distance.  Two bolts have rattled loose, one from the dash and one from the hugger that already has a tenuous grasp of life.  I haven’t cleaned him properly since sometime in California although I did wave a hosepipe at him in Merida on the Yucatan.

Triumph triples are really smooth; the bolts have rattled loose because of the increasingly poor surfaces we are traversing.


Suspension – Where Next?


ATF contribution to the project could be short-lived

So far, I’ve changed the rear shock and replaced the fork oil with ATF. Forks now feel very smooth and easy to jog up and down at standstill and I’d say there’s some improvement riding over chattery surfaces but there’s still a lot left to be desired.

Manoeuvring and rolling off curbs, it’s going Shakin Stevens again which says underdamping somewhere. The new rear had gone soggy giving me instant concerns that we’ve shot another shock but no, there’s no fluid loss and another quarter arc of damping made it firm again. I’m thinking the new shock just needed running in.

If we’re still Shakin, I’m thinking the fork oil (ATF) is too light. After reading this
I fancy trying some motor oil.

Tiger at 11,000 Miles


Silverado turned 50,000! I think we were somewhere in California.

After standing for 2.5 years, the first Hagon wept a bit of oil when we got Silverado back on the road. I should have done something about it then.

That’s 11,000 miles in 16 weeks; Silver’s total mileage is 52,000 miles in 11 years.

I couldn’t be more happy with the bike.  In the last four months we’ve conquered the USA and been down the length of the Baja peninsular in Mexico. Tomorrow we take the ferry to the Mexican mainland.

I’ve had to replace loads of sundry items:

  • both tyres
  • oil & filter
  • coolant
  • caliper seals all around
  • drive chain
  • front sprocket
  • rear wheel bearings
  • some individual brake pads
  • fork oil

and I’ve chosen to improve some parts:

  • front brake master cylinder
  • front brake master piston

but the only actual failures were:

  • regulator/rectifier
    • which also took out the battery
  • rear shock
  • Scottoiler feed tube
  • hugger (still broken)

and if I’d done my homework during the year I had to prepare this bike, I probably could have avoided all of the last group.

Silverado’s had at least two name changes and is now running better than ever.  Suspension is taught, engine is willing and even the sodding brakes work at last.  He uses a bit of oil at 90-100mph but pretty much none at lower speeds.  I’d publish my mpg figures but they’re so high I’m obviously missing something.

Fork Oil Changed

Forks were really choppy, especially on the dirt, so I changed the fork oil.  I used ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) because it’s cheap and plentiful.  It’s important to get the levels right so I set them to roughly 146mm, which I think is correct for the later Tiger.  TOP TIP: you can use your motor oil dipstick to get the level right.

With the luggage on, and a bit of balast, the bike will sit back when you remove the weight of the front wheel

With the luggage on, and a bit of ballast, the bike will sit back when you remove the weight of the front wheel so there’s no need to prop it up.  Bucket isn’t doing anything.

Silverado looking a bit like an extra from The Empire Strikes Back

Silverado looking a bit like an extra from The Empire Strikes Back

That'll be the ATF

That’ll be the ATF

Scottoiler Failed

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It’s a damaged piece of tubing with a cloth behind it balanced on a swinging arm

I replaced a bit of the Scottoiler before we came away, and now another bit has gone.  The (final) drive chain has gnawed through the oil delivery tube.  I got some generic tubing from a… erm… generic shop and replaced the damaged bit.  New tubing was slightly bigger in diameter so old to new joined really easily.  I routed the new tubing exactly as the old one had been.

Because I routed the new tubing exactly as the old had been, the (final) drive chain gnawed through it straight away.  Who’d have thought?

Fixed it again.

Hagon to the Rescue!


Old unit (red one) stopped damping so Hagon supplied a new at a very fair price indeed. They also helped me fit it, which turned out to be much more difficult than expected.

Hagon. I really can’t recommend them enough.


A place for everything and everything all over the place

Brake Light


Managed to negotiate LA with brake light permanently on. Switch and adjustable lever come from different parents but had been working together. A bit of scotch pad from the gopro has fixed it.

Now to have a go at TuneECU with my new OBD2 connector…