3000km trip on the WR? Good or bad idea?


10 replies to this topic
  • Bitteeinbit

Posted April 26, 2016 - 06:54 AM

#1

I know the WR isn't the ideal dual-sport ride. I use mine exclusively for off-road use, but I have a trip coming up and using the WR suddenly popped in my mind (it hadn't even crossed y mind previously). I can't really justify the cash needed to get an old Transalp or similarly better-suited bike, and the 450 has all the power I need. After checking out some threads here about DSing or SuperMotarding it, it seems like WR is capable of doing decent road riding. Thoughts? 

 

Changes needed:

-Change the tires to semi-knobbies or even road tires

-Gearing change (I already have a 15T front and 48 rear on hand)

-Rear light (mine was removed) and blinkers.

-New seat add-on, such as this one: http://www.amazon.co..._=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

-Maybe get a custom rear rack and/or saddle bags.

 

Anything else needed? 

 

Downsides:

-Noise (I'd have to wear earplugs ALL the time and even then, the noise would get old quick)

-Comfort (ass/wind/general handling)

-Oil capacity

 

I would have to make sure the valves are perfectly in spec before leaving, along with fresh oil and oil filter. I'd bring along two extra oil filters and change the oil every 500-700km or so. I don't see the point of a cush-drive as I wouldn't go faster than 85-95km/h in most situations, and I'm usually not so throttle-happy on tarmac anyways. The opportunity to go off-road when I feel like it would be amazing, even if the trip would mostly consist of paved roads. Am I missing out on something? Bad idea?



  • stevethe

Posted April 26, 2016 - 07:08 AM

#2

Just a couple few oil changes and up the gearing.

  • toten

Posted April 26, 2016 - 07:44 AM

#3

I don't know what year yours is, or if gearing varies at all, but I'll assume 2004 because that's the first one I see on GearingCommander.com . Given stock tire size and the gearing you mention, 100kph is right around 6000rpm in 5th, which is reasonable for cruising. 

 

Adding a rack and saddle bags to the back will significantly change the handling, especially if you don't play with suspension. The very back is one of the worst places to put weight. That said, I'm not sure there's any good place to put it on a WR. 

 

There have been other threads about it recently (I started a thermostat thread, still on the first page), but at speed on the highway your bike won't get up to temperature, so you should expect some fuel and water in the oil when you change it. On trails or lower speed it's more likely to run at a reasonable temp. I suspect it's warm in Cambodia in the spring/summer, if so it shouldn't be too bad. 

 

When you say you'd make sure the valves are perfectly in spec, I'd suggest going toward the loose end of spec. They tend to tighten up. 

 

I don't know what it's like there, but fuel capacity could be an issue as well. I know it is here - there are places where it's 100mi between gas stations and I don't trust my WR to do that if I'm having fun.



  • Bitteeinbit

Posted April 26, 2016 - 04:31 PM

#4

Just a couple few oil changes and up the gearing.

 

Awesome, that's great to hear!

 

 

I don't know what year yours is, or if gearing varies at all, but I'll assume 2004 because that's the first one I see on GearingCommander.com . Given stock tire size and the gearing you mention, 100kph is right around 6000rpm in 5th, which is reasonable for cruising. 

 

Adding a rack and saddle bags to the back will significantly change the handling, especially if you don't play with suspension. The very back is one of the worst places to put weight. That said, I'm not sure there's any good place to put it on a WR. 

 

There have been other threads about it recently (I started a thermostat thread, still on the first page), but at speed on the highway your bike won't get up to temperature, so you should expect some fuel and water in the oil when you change it. On trails or lower speed it's more likely to run at a reasonable temp. I suspect it's warm in Cambodia in the spring/summer, if so it shouldn't be too bad. 

 

When you say you'd make sure the valves are perfectly in spec, I'd suggest going toward the loose end of spec. They tend to tighten up. 

 

I don't know what it's like there, but fuel capacity could be an issue as well. I know it is here - there are places where it's 100mi between gas stations and I don't trust my WR to do that if I'm having fun.

Thanks guys, that makes me way less worried. 

 

One thing I forgot to mention is that I WOULD tune the suspension. I figured stiffening the damping and keeping the rebound around the same? Or should I also make rebound faster? What's best for highway? 

 

I have a 2005, so the gearing is the same as the 2004. I'll toy around gear commander when the time comes. I'm quite surprised you say a WR won't go to temperature... So if it's not hot enough, the seals don't seal properly or what? Why would there be water and fuel?! The rings don't seal properly? I don't understand how that would work. My WR gets HOT. At speed, not really noticeable, but anything off-road and it's HOT. Good point about valves, I'll keep them on the loose side of things. 

 

Fuel might be a bit of an issue, but for unknown areas, I'll just stick to main highways. I'm trying to buy an Acerbis off a friend, but I also want to keep my stock tank... So I might end up buying an Acerbis (I have several months before the trip). Worse comes to worst, I'll just put an extra liter or two in the backpack. Either way, fuel is rarely a problem in these parts as it's sold literally everywhere. Dubious quality, but available anyways... Bags is certainly an issue, as is comfort. Breaking the trip down into many smaller rides would be best I figure, rather than trying to do some marathon 800km days.... I'd say the lack of a rear subframe and weight carrying capacity is the biggest drawback. I can't put everything in a backpack as that would be too uncomfortable, but I do have a small headlight bag as well as a fender bag. Maybe a soft-bag that goes over the rear part of the seat (so more centralized) and a tank bag...  

 

Would lowering the front suspension (forks) in the triple clamps be a good or bad thing? I assume bad as it would make the turning radius smaller, thus worst as high speed? 



  • toten

Posted April 26, 2016 - 05:47 PM

#5

I'd want a stiffer rear spring if you're carrying much on the back... at a minimum, crank up the preload some, but a stiffer spring is the right way. Adding weight out back does something to the front, but not a ton. If you won't be doing all that much loaded up touring, I probably wouldn't bother with the stiffer springs but if that's all you plan on doing you should.

 

There's always some blowby past the rings, although the better they seal the less there is. None are perfect. One of the components of blowby is unburned fuel. Water is a byproduct of combustion, so there's some water in there too (at first as water vapor). The more cold starts, the more contaminants end up in the oil.

 

A typical car or streetbike will have a thermostat, preventing much coolant from running through the radiator unless coolant is warm enough - 180F is a fairly typical number. However, the WR and YZ don't have a thermostat, so they run at a temperature based on heat production and cooling capacity. On trails, you're using a fair amount of power and not going that fast, so you need a reasonable amount of cooling capacity to not overheat there (and WRs are fairly good about that, they have a lot of cooling capacity). Around town, there's usually not that much airflow, so they usually run fairly warm there too. On the highway, I've read they typically run around 60F above ambient temperature, with oil around 10F warmer than coolant. Sunday I went on a fairly long ride (200mi, with minimal stops) on my WR supermoto, in fairly cool weather (60F). I started doing around 60 miles in the hills, then had to hop on the freeway for 5 miles to get to the next fun road, and went to a gas station as soon as I got off the freeway. I'd read about overcooling before, so when I stopped I took off my gloves and found that I could hold my hand on either my cylinder head or my radiators without discomfort. 

 

Running cool does have some upsides: if you then get stuck in traffic (or are stop and go for a while for some other reason), it'll take longer for you to overheat. I'm installing a fan when I install the thermostat for that reason. It also heats the air up less on the way in, keeping it denser so you get more air, which can help power. However, it also has downsides. With the oil cooler, it won't evaporate off water or gas as quickly (if at all), so they'll end up staying in your oil. Water and gas both evaporate a lot faster at 190F than 130F. Additionally, oil gets thinner as it warms up, so cooler oil results in more drag and less power.

 

On most bikes, sustained moderate speed is about as easy on oil as it gets, as it keeps the engine cool enough to not cook the oil as well as warm enough to evaporate water and fuel out. The same isn't always true on WRs. It's possible that it's warm enough where you are that the engine never runs cool enough to be problematic. I might be making a mountain out of a molehill here, though, especially somewhere with warm weather.

 

I haven't done enough touring on dual sports to say what the best options are. ADVRider has quite a few people who do, so I'd look for ideas there.

 

When you say "lowering the front suspension in the triple clamps", what exactly do you mean? If you lower the forks in the triples (push the forks down), that increases front ride height and therefore rake and trail. Stability is typically increased, but more weight on the front wheel also often helps with stability, so I can't really say. Conversely, raising the forks in the triples (pulling them up) decreases front ride height and therefore rake/trail. It typically makes a bike twitchier.



Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Krannie McKranface

Posted April 26, 2016 - 07:09 PM

#6

Just go.

Change the oil when you can.



  • DeepPurplishBlue

Posted April 26, 2016 - 07:37 PM

#7

I do 2000km loops in the Philippines twice a year in addition to a ton of other riding (usually
trips 2-7 days.) On a 2003 WR450. These are mostly offroad but there are some highway sections
in areas that cannot be connected by dirt. The bike does just fine except for the vibrations of
knobbies on asphalt but that is another story.

Change the oil. On the 2000km rides we leave with fresh oil and change once in the middle. Would
probably be better to do it twice on the trip but there are not a lot of opportunities. We use
diesel oil here, usually Delo.

This bike has maybe 50,000 KMs on it and when it was pulled open to replace the driveshaft (splines
wore off) the valves were still in spec.

It is hot in the Philippines, but we rarely boil the coolant. Only on very technical trails where
we are moving very slowly (or not at all!) Coolant is not the green stuff but is the propylene
glycol sold by Cummins for their diesel engines. It is the same stuff as engine ice and makes a
big difference in hot climates.

I run a Giant Loop Mojavi saddlebag and it has all the heavy stuff in it that I don't want in my
backpack. It keeps all the weight down low and does not affect the handling that I can tell. It
also is small enough that it doesn't really get in the way when you have to manhandle the bike in
a technical section. This bag has been on the bike for many 1000s of KMs without any issues.

If your bike is already sprung for your weight just adding a little preload to compensate for your
cargo should be sufficient.

Bike does not need modifications to do well on long trips... proper maintenance goes a long way.

  • Pancho_Jsy

Posted April 27, 2016 - 12:52 AM

#8

Any trip on any bike is always a good idea!

 

Having said that, it's best to make your life easy as possible. Realistically how much off-road are you likely to do? Remember, on DS tyres you wont have anything like the grip you get with a proper enduro tyre and with luggage you're suspension will be affected. When you do see some muddy stuff you wont be able to go at it like you would usually.

 

You could buy a cheap hack with comfy seat, smooth motor and proper road manners, you'll be surprised just how off-road you can go on a road bike if you're not in a rush. And you can sell the bike when you get back.

 

No point being uncomfortable for 95% of the trip just to have a bit more ability for the other 5%

 

I rode 4000km through Vietnam on a 100cc farm bike, about 5% was off-road, would I have swapped it for my WR? no way!

 

Consider how many km you want to achieve a day? 200km-easy 300km-acceptable 500km-tough +700km-brutal On a road bike 700km in a day is quite easy. For what you'll save on fuel, tyres and servicing you could rent a dirt bike at your destination, what is your destination btw?


Edited by Pancho_Jsy, April 27, 2016 - 01:04 AM.


  • falconjet

Posted April 27, 2016 - 06:30 AM

#9

You can do it but before you go look on Craigs list for a cast iron butt...U gonna need it. :ride:



  • AKmud

Posted April 28, 2016 - 08:45 AM

#10

I run a plated 2008 WR 450 here in Alaska (cooler temps) and even run it on the ice in the winter. I haven't had any noticeable issues with water/fuel in the oil. My gearing is at 15/46 and is comfortable at 65-70mph, it starts getting buzzy beyond that.



  • Bitteeinbit

Posted April 29, 2016 - 07:30 AM

#11

Thanks a lot for the responses guys. Looks like I'll be taking the WR then. My ass will be callused and my back sore, but I'm ok with that. Being able to pop wheelies will more than make up for it ;-)






 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.