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T1 bike setup and prep

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  • #46

    For anyone that is on the fence about what tires to run or at least what front tire to run, here is a picture of my Golden Tire Fatty. I rode the entire TOI in 2020 for a total of 2,200 miles, rode about 200 miles of blacktop around the house and now just completed 956 miles on the Kentucky Adventure Tour on the exact same tire for a total of 3,356 miles. No chunking or anything like that, heck I'll probably put a few more miles on it! LOL

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    TOI #77


    • #47
      I know this is a long shot, but did anyone happen accross a couple orange giant loop pronghorn straps on their Tour attempt? Probably Day 7 or 8. If so, please let me know. THANKS!!! David Green


      • msteward
        msteward commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry I didn't see any, seems like those would have stood out.

      • Eastforku
        Eastforku commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you. I appreciate it!

    • #48
      Bike Setup - Chainsaw & Lighting

      For big multi-day rides like the Tour of Idaho you have to plan to ride significant trail miles in the dark every day. The normal approach is to use a good headlight like the Baja Designs XL80 along with a good helmet light.

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      During my winter/Spring planning I had originally planned on not riding with a chainsaw. I ride with a chainsaw normally throughout the summer and spend most of June riding and clearing trails in Idaho so I am very comfortable and familiar with riding with a chainsaw. However. The Tour of Idaho is a different beast and the idea of carrying a saw for 10 days of riding is definitely a daunting prospect.

      However, if you want or need to carry a chainsaw then lighting has be handled another way. For my 2021 Solo Tour ride I opted for a chainsaw even though I went late in the season. I felt that as a soloist you had less margin for error for a new big tree that might not be practical to saw with a Silky Handsaw compared to the 2 or 3 person teams that had many hands to help with cutting or lifting bikes.

      Helmet Light

      I used an Oxbow Voyager helmet light with a Dango chin mount. I have ridden a lot of deep back country trails in Idaho and knew that a fixed go-pro mount on the top or side of your helmet was likely to run afoul of a tree branch somewhere along the way. The chin mount is out of the way and super easy to remove when you put the light away in the morning after the sun rises enough. The battery easily lasted the 90 minutes or so I rode in the dark each morning. On a drain test it lasted 3 hours sitting on my desk earlier in the summer. I was able to charge the battery each night in the hotel. If I had to have spent the night out I had a USB charger with extension for the battery pack.


      I went with a single Baja Designs S1 light after calling Chris at Motominded and describing how I needed a light to run with my chainsaw on big multi-day rides. He said that for single track the S1 would be perfect. I originally mounted it on the chainsaw mount just above the fender. However after riding with it there through the summer I opted to move it up to one of my brush guards to give me better light just in front of the the tire itself.

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      The light worked perfectly throughout my entire ride. If I was to do it again I would run the same light but add a second one on the other side. The reason being to give me even more light particularly for the ATV trails that are faster and also to give me a second light in case one was damaged in a crash. The light on the brush guard is definitely more exposed to damage in a crash than a normal headlight and even though I crashed my bike on a couple of occasions without any issue on the light it is such a critical component to a successful Tour of Idaho ride and a second light as backup seems to make sense.

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      • Hammy713
        Hammy713 commented
        Editing a comment
        Excellent points. I would not overlook the best lighting you can find and most definitely an excellent backup/2nd light source. My headlight wiring developed a short and I would have been toast without my helmet light.

    • #49
      Good info above. Hopefully I am lucky enough to do the TOI solo next year but whether or not I do I thought I'd pass on a few things that might work for others.

      I did a test ride on multiple unreal technical trail yesterday for the first time with a 4.5g IMS tank on my 2021 500excf. When full and going in the slow tech it felt porky (no surprise), a tad faster and it was remarkable just how transparent (for the most part) the weight was. However, on crazy LONG duration steep descents the likely extra pressure on the front brakes had the lever come too close to the bar. High temp fluids are the plan, especially since it appears we have to carry another 12-15 pounds of chain saw up front. Ouch!

      Changing gears to the complaint most have with the KTM 500 is vibration. I added the BRP rubber mounts, which helped a little, Flexxbars are planned later. The vibration felt on your feet is another huge complaint. For years I have used Dr Scholls Gel inserts only because they felt good. I'm happy to report it works quite well in getting rid of the majority of the annoying 500 vibs....and they still feel good. lol

      Other things I do to limit fatigue is earplugs. I always use them. It may not seem to be a big deal but the difference (at least for me) between using them and not, is a noticeable improvement on how you feel after a long day in the saddle.

      Thicker Gel grips work incredibly well at keeping your hands from the vibration of the motor, and more importantly blistering. Make sure you use them long before the tour because they take some time getting used to. Took me a month of armpump before I raved about them. I'll chime back later on type I use. They are the duel sport version made by ProGel. The bonus is...they last forever!

      Basically my MO is anything I notice that annoys me while riding I TRY to address so that riding stays fun and I can concentrate on the trail and more importantly the reason we do this. The beauty of our surroundings.

      Things I need to learn are better navigation equipment. I get along just fine in the remotest parts of arizona with just my cellphone using MotionX App and downloaded satellite imagery. I gave my Garmin to my son and now I need to step up my game for this event. Cell phone GPS gets you close in accuracy but not Garmin close. I did purchase what Martin recommended, the Voyager Pro and it is a slick unit for sure.

      Waiting on Martins recommendation on a chainsaw mount. I like Sean Smiths too.


      • zzseansmith
        zzseansmith commented
        Editing a comment
        My saw mount is the Bill Dart mount. It is the best mount out there that replaces the headlight but it is bike specific so if you have blue bikes and orange bikes you would only be able to use it for the bike you buy the mount for. Bill does it that way deliberately so the the mount can be mounted directly to the triple clamps to make it have the least impact on handling.

    • #50
      If it's a Bill Dart mount it has to be great! Thanks!

      The grips I use are Progrip 714's


      • #51
        I see the first part of this thread has info on to rekluse or not to rekluse. I have been a rekluse convert since using it on my service honda 2003 CR500AF. I liked it, raced it and rode it in major tech for about 6 years. A rekluse was a major contributor on just how well it did in most environments. I ordered one for my 2021 500excf as soon as I got the bike but found it backordered for several months and just now installed it.

        So for several months I have been going old school with the manual. It's amazing how fast your clutch skills come back. Yeah there were some stalls but most were gone after a few rides. I actually like the manual, and could easily see me staying that way and liking it if Rekluse stayed backordered forever. Mostly I liked it for the connected feel of the motor when going several gears too high vs the moped like slippage of the rekluse. With a proper lever the hydro clutch is magically light too, so any fatigue is minimized.

        While I like a manual, there just isnt enough to liike for ME. But I can certainly see why many would rather stay manual.

        Price- for the good one is 1200. I think it's easy enough to get a break on price if you race or possibly this tour and I have in the past but not this time.

        Rollback on hills. If you didnt know this you will learn quick. Be ready to use the throttle to keep yourself in place. Buy a Left hand rear brake and smile for no rollback issues and other bennys

        A big negative I only recently heard is if you swamp your bike and get water in the tranny and run it the clutch plats will de-laminate. This came from TacoMoto so thinking it's a good source but I will call Rekluse and confirm.

        As I mentioned earlier, 500s are known to vibrate. While installing the Rekluse my rubber damper tolerences were in the extreme. I ordered new ones from Rekluse, it is said they use some sort of magical compounds that extend their life....dunno. But if one is installing a rekluse it would be wise to have OEM or rekluse dampers to throw in. Mine fell apart taking them out with only 30 some hours on the bike.
        Last edited by Arizona Bob 2022; 11-07-2021, 09:41 AM.


        • #52
          One more vote for the Oxbo Voyager. We ran them during our tour, and they worked great. Agree with Sean, a front mount would have been preferred, but the top mount using a gopro connection worked well in spite of a few snags.

          After the tour, I had a small battery issue with the Oxbo, one email to them and it was resolved. I really appreciate their customer service and highly recommend Oxbo and the Voyager helmet light.

          In the midst of the supply chain issues this year, getting everything needed was not always easy. KLIM, Baja Designs, Goldentyre, Seat Concepts and Oxbo were all great to work with for tour gear and accessories.