© Ulf Müller 2013
Ulf’s Bike Yamaha XT600E
As I bought it September 2012
My "Brand New" Yamaha XT600E (2001) as I bought it in September 2012 was not in shape to do a trip like this. So I had to prepare my XT for off road purposes as well as for long distance highway stages.
First modifications October 2012
At first I have mounted a main stand, so the following modifications can be done in my garage. At the next day, the ordered MRA wind shield, the 30mm risers and the bigger footpegs (self-made by Radan from CZ) arrived – feels like Christmas, but it’s October :-)
A few days later my “Christmas” continued with the delivery of the big and heavy Touratech package. It includes the mounting system for their Zega-Cases, but my intention of use for this mounting system is another. When I’ve ordered these carriers I wasn’t sure if I should use hard or a soft luggage. With this system I’m flexible to decide until the start of our trip. As I saw the soft luggage from Enduristan on the internet a few days later, I ordered their saddle bags and tank bag. At the picture you see the new saddle bags, called “Monsoon”. Additionally to the side carriers, I’ve mounted an aluminium top carrier that allows me to put a big waterproof packsack on it. Cooking ravioli on my new MSR XGK fuel stove.
Enduro / Trail course October / November 2012
The rear brake disc was ruined by the last owner of my XT and I had to change it immediately. I used the opportunity to change the old flawy rear tyre to a Conti TKC80. At the moment of writing this, it sounds easy. But if you ever have changed a tyre by yourself for the first time, you know what I’m talking about: old tyre pulled off, sweating and swearing, new one ready to mount, midnight, sweating and swearing again, two o’clock in the morning, ready to sleep, three hours later getting up and driving with my XT to work. Very tired by the tyre, but very proud of my midnight victory – no more fear in my life of changing a tyre :-) But I’m sure, you’re going to be surprised at how quick we can do it after our trip! End of October, on a Friday afternoon, I travelled 420 km to the Enduro (trail) course in Germany. At the BMW Enduro Park Hechlingen, my old XT was the only bike without a BMW sign on it. All other drivers smiled at me, but my triumph should be come later when they dropped their heavy bikes on a single trail several times. In contrast I steered my good old XT through the wood like a mountain bike. Lessons learned: don’t believe in advertising brochures when they show adventure pictures of a 250kg motorcycle (except you are a professional “Elephant-Rider” like my instructor Andy from the Enduro Park or Nevil on Canadian gravel roads). This exciting training weekend also was good opportunity to test my new Exped tent. By the way, on the pictures you also see my Acerbis hand guards (they are mounted instead of the bar end weights).
Improvement & worsening December 2012
First of all the improvement I made during the Christmas days on my bike. I’ve put a new black Acerbis 23l fuel tank on my XT and added an external fuel filter. The old indicators have to be replaced with smaller ones for that purpose. Now my XT looks a little bit more like a touring bike. After that I shortened my original bar end weights on the lathe and drilled a thread in it. This ables me to re-mount the Acerbis handguards additional to the shortened bar end weights. It’s a very stable construction now. Fot getting a good fixation point on the handlebar for the handguards and the windscreen, I cutted the small stabiliser bar off my handlebar. I’m confident my handlebar will endure the trip without this tube (...am I confident?).  ;-) Now the worsening I’ve made. My aim was to get a better wind and weather protection on my bike. So I removed the MRA windshield and assembled the mountig kit with my old windscreen from my Honda ST1100. It’s a good construction, but it doesn’t works for a tall person like me. The positive is that it keeps the wind and rain from my chest away. The negative and that's a crap: it induces very strong turbulences on my helmet. At 100 kph the turbulence opens my closed visor! So I think I have to mount the small MRA one again and have the full wind pressure on my neck and head :(  Or maybe I will try to build an adjustable windshield or use the small one with a small spoiler on it’s top. We wil see... Test installation with two Enduristan Monsoon saddle bags on one side and they would fit perfectly - soft & smooth. Maybe an option to double the capacity of luggage, maybe crazy ;-)  Or should I take a hard luggage system with 2x45l aluiminium boxes? Maybe a better solution, maybe a crap ;-) We will see...
The luggage system decision February 2013
Ok guys, I’ve changed my luggage system from my beloved Enduristan bags to brandnew aluminium panniers from Touratech. On the left side a 38l box and on the right side a 31l box to get a symmetric overall width of the bike. The two reasons for taking this panniers instead of soft saddlebags are for safety reason (theft prevention) and I can mount four small extra fuel cans to the boxes. That’s it. Also new on my XT is a bash plate for the engine (not yet on the photo), a new chain and I’ve re-mounted the small MRA windshield with a small deflector on it’s top:-) The next steps are: a new shock absorber, an improved front suspension, a higher handlebar and maybe a lightweight exhaust
2013 on motorbikes
2013 on motorbikes
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The suspension thing March 2013
...my cat explores all the new stuff and says to me “Hey Buddy, my natural suspension is much better than the one of your bike!” ;-) Ok, clever cat, I will spend my last money on new front springs and a new rear shock adsorber. Great stuff from Wilbers with a very special service of Max Urech - he polished my front tubes and now they are looking like new without any oil leakage! Look at the original Yamaha spring (the shorter one) and the Wilbers spring!!
To be continued... April 2013
...only 4 weeks left to go!!! OMG ;-)