Day 3 update – First leg success !!

Well, leg 1 is done and dusted.

Robert arrived at the checkpoint well before the cut off point

He lost no points at the scoring and got what he feel is a good score given that he had a relaxing ride – bike issues apart.  The scores will no doubt be announced in due course on the IBA IBR pages and it would be wrong of me to post them here, but you may be surprised at some of the people who have not scored as well as him …..

Over the course of the first 3 days he’s managed to take almost 15 hours of  rest breaks and tells me that he feels good and not too tired – unlike many of the other riders ……

The day 3 ride itself was good – perfect weather and the bike initially ran fine.  As those of you who have his Spot link will know, he passed through those famous “country music cities” Nashville, Jackson and Memphis and he says that he needs to come back some day (well, Mr Koeber – extend your break next year and you could ride to them with me !!!!!!)

He even managed to pick up BP’s that he hadn’t originally planned to do

But, the “bad” news is that the bike has again given problems – I knew he should have used a Triumph …….

As he crossed the MIssissippi and the bike cut out – again.  He was already riding with the tank filler cap open in case it was an air lock but the bike wouldn’t start

He got himself off the highway, and a friendly Harley rider (is there such a thing ? I thought all Harley riders were “bad-ass mutha-f*ckers” Lol !!) stopped to help.   Whilst he was unable to help, he at least directed Robert to the next gas station.  Robert has noticed that the problem doesn’t happen if the tank is full ….

At the road side, he gave the bike a quick check :

  1. Checked the fuel pump – working
  2. Disconnected the automatic fuel tap – no change
  3. Disconnected the fuel filter – bike started !!

He filled up quite close by was on his way but didn’t use the auxiliary for the remainder of the day

As the main tank capacity dropped to 1/3 full, the bike sputtered again – so he now fills up every 160 miles to keep the bike running

Given the temperatures (32C) – which actually is not that hot given what he’s about to experience – he has concluded that the problem is probably vapour-lock, due to the heat.  There’s little he can do about it, other than try to find “cooler” routes.  If the aux tank works, then he can switch to putting petrol at 450 km instead of 600km which is the only thing that helps.  He has also discovered that the flow from the auxiliary  tank was obstructed which was probably soft tubes due to the heat, but he has managed to get it flowing again

Given the huge range of BP’s available, he should be able to re-plan a route to keep him out of the real heat of either the Mojave to the west or the deep south to the east of Texas – but that obviously isn’t good for scoring – HOWEVER, THAT IS UNIMPORTANT.  THE SOLE OBJECTIVE IS TO FINISH AND ANYTHING ELSE IS A BONUS.   If Robert finishes in last place (and he won’t), then this rally is a success.  Nothing matters other than to come back to Europe with his 3-digit number.  There will be other opportunities to show the USA what he is capable of …..

This next leg may present a few challenges with the bike – it will be the hottest of the 3 legs and so ALL Robert needs to achieve this leg is to score enough points to still be on target for a finish and most importantly, still be in the rally by the end of the leg ……

So, let’s leave on a positive note …….

Robert says that the Pan is so much more comfy to ride than the XBR – not shit, Sherlock !!!



6 Comments on “Day 3 update – First leg success !!

  1. Good to hear that Robert is pacing himself and physically in good condition. Not so good that the bike is giving issues but at least he’s managing to workaround and manage the problem, hopefully someone at the checkpoint may be able to help and come up with a solution – there’s a lot of resourceful and helpful people in that hotel 🙂

  2. Fuel Problem: pump with less performance, stuffy filter, little hole or crack in the tap membrane or a combination of these. Nothing to fix beside the road rapidly. Keep filling 😉

  3. So, the aux-system is gravity fed, as I understand it?
    Vapor locks has been reported before in such systems, and are really hard to test and detect at home in sane temperatures.

    …on the other hand, other solutions might cause other problems.

  4. Johannes sagte am 28/06/2017 um 10:50 pm :
    1. He should Remove the hose of tank cap
    2. I know him he would not do this.., but to puncture ore remove the red rubber sleeve inside the tank cap (2mm bore) will help as well
    3. Last call: do not thight the tank cap
    – dangerous at tip over

    John, have you seen this?
    ‘It’s only Pete Churchill’

  5. Hi John,
    So 11th for the moment, I guess that is well in line with his expectations.
    He seems to be heading West now, do you think, he has solved the bike issues or he is going to move north at a certain point ?

  6. Gernot Hildebrand c/o Planwerk Karlsruhe GmbH

    Many of my VX800-mates have reported problems with additionally mounted fuel-filters, too.
    As long as the fuel tank is clean: get rid of it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.