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Re: MtMtM. Day 55, 20th September 2015.

Hard to tell from the photo but that drop at the front looks similar to mine. How did he drop the rear? Other than reducing preload to minimum (which would certainly explain your wayward handling if you've left it that way when riding loaded up!) there's no lowering facility as standard. It would take either a shorter spring on the standard shock or a shorter (aftermarket) shock.

I expect you'll find the bike's handling transformed (both ridden solo and loaded up) with some more preload.
 

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Hmmm, think I'll take a closer look at the rear end this week and see what adjustment I can get out of it. The dealer I originally purchased it from, Slipstream Motorcycles, Skegness, told me of the adjustments made.
Nick.

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Discussion Starter #263
Re: MtMtM. Day 55, 20th September 2015.

... I was just wondering if you felt much difference to the handling of the Alp when it was fully loaded with top box, panniers etc? I know mine gets very light on the front end making tight corners and braking feel rather unpleasant ...
That light front-end feeling is disconcerting, sure enough.
When I sense it, usually it means that it is time for me to check that the tyre pressures are correct for the load.
Keeping the heavy stuff as low as possible in the panniers feels like the right thing to do too.
Along with that, I try to keep the top-box contents being the relatively light things, picnic snacks and drinkies, light-weight over-suit, pokémon and so on stuff that one wants easy road-side access to whilst trundling.
Not felt the need to tinker with the suspension settings.
 

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Ive just checked the rear shock setting and it was set very soft. Ive just adjusted it to the hardest setting and then backed off 1 turn. Will be interesting to see if it makes much difference next time out.

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The hard/soft adjustment (with a screwdriver) is the rebound damping. But to deal with your luggage you need to adjust the preload which is done with a c-spanner on a ring at the top of the spring. Preload adjustment is to set the load that the bike can take before the suspension starts to give under the combined weight of bike, rider and pillion/luggage - with a pillion and/or lots of luggage (or if you weigh a lot :) ) you need to increase the preload quite a lot - compress the spring further. Without much preload the rear of the bike will sit down under a load and affect the handling (as you have found) and reduce the available suspension travel.

Only after you have set the preload should you adjust the rebound damping. Setting this to 'Hard' with little preload can cause the rear to 'jack down' on a bumpy road which will do more bad things to your handling and available travel. Although having said that the range of adjustment on a standard shock probably won't cause this to any extreme.
 

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Hopefully I will be doing some maintenance work all around before too long. Chain, sprockets etc etc. I'll put the preload on the list. It should be an interesting learning curve. ?

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Discussion Starter #267
MtMtM, day 56, 21st September, 2015.

Day 56, Part 1.


07:36

The sunrise view from my hotel window of Borghetto di Vara … Looks like the start of another nice day for it.


07:37

Still there in the morning (sheeesh, I’d be fecked if it were not !).


Morning ablutions note: Hotel Belvedere may well be a period piece (having seen better days before being sidelined by the construction of the autostrada), but the shower facilities rate as excellent … Towelled dry and respectably clad, time then to descend for the Hotel Belvedere breakfast, which is simple enough, but good coffee and a plentiful supply of those I’m-kinda-getting-used-to-‘em Italian style goo-filled croissants, munched on with a savoury side assortment of those foil wrapped portion controlled cheeses … urp.
With half-a-dozen Hotel Belvedere paper napkins in my pocket (always a useful consumable addition during travel, those disposable hotel napkins), ascend to room, leisurely complete re-packing, relay panniers and top-box back down the two flights of stairs to the back door exit to the parked Transalp.


10:01

3,871 road miles from Nottingham starting point.
Turn that key, engine on and warming whilst I get the helmet and gloves on.


On the point of trundling away out of town, when it occurs to me to take a snap …
10:06.

Of the outside the Hotel Belvedere, TA ready to roll, pose.


10:12.

The way ahead. Choose the Genova road.
A Monday morning in northern Italy, a great day for it, warming bright sunlight, hardly any other traffic … Jolly Good Show … Carry On !


Dual carriageway road ahead curves through a steep sided valley, glide around a long bend to see the dark single-eye of a tunnel looking at the approaching TA and me …
10:20.

Into the gloom we go, my eyes adjusting to the lower light level, whilst spatial awareness gets a tad’s antsy at the sudden diminution in width of carriageway, glances in the mirrors warning of the increasing frequency of fast Italian four-wheelers about to be hurtling past me.


Great fun this trundling along the curvy road towards Genova, plunging into and through the succession of cool tunnels between the brightly lit stretches of tarmac, in and out, in and out …


10:41.

Bursting back out into the brightness again and life in the fast lane !


10:42.

Another daring few moments of life in the fast lane … !


10:43.

Mirrors indicate I should Move Over … Whoosh !


11:02.

Arrive at Genova Junction … 44°25'28.25"N 8°53'37.31"E ‘ish.


Now what … ?
 

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Re: MtMtM, day 56, 21st September, 2015.

I had just settled myself down into my comfy chair for a long read. What happened? :p

Nick.
 

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Discussion Starter #272
MtMtM, day 56, 21st September, 2015. Part 2.

MtMtM, day 56, Part 2.


The road ahead dips down into, through and under Genova, a fine example of Italian engineering ingenuity, fitting a modern roadway into an old city.


11:05.

Go on Genova … with a certain tunnel-visionary déjà vu’ness about it all !


10:05 and a bit.

These underpasses always remind me of that old PS1 game that The Boys and I used to play …


11:05 and another bit.

Go on Genova … Wipeout 2015 !


11:09.

Go on Genova … underpass heaven !


But all good things must come to an end … and so the TA and I soon find ourselves trundling out of the tunnels and into the sunshine again, trundling along on the ordinary autostrada and the route north towards the Aosta valley.
Tum-de-dum.


11:39.

€20.00c for a 12 litre fuel tank top-up, at 3,961 road miles from NG2.
Making steady progress, but wishing that progress could be somewhat swifter.


12:14.

Somewhere further north of Genova, with cooler air coming from the north, the midday temperature is descending, necessitating a pause for an accoutrement plus adjustment.


12:14-and-a-bit.

Doing that ’Dad-Dance’ wiggle into a layer of warmer wear for the comfortable continuation of the journey north, and whilst I’m at it, swap big black linen shirt for proper H&S approved motorcycling jacket.
A glug of the lukewarm water, cap and close the bottle, stow it in the top-box.
Engine on and running smoothly as I don helmet and gloves … then feel the inevitable need of that last minute call of nature … bushes, relief.
Re-mount TA and off and away !


12:39.

One short life, spent trundling along in the straight and narrow, A26 slow lane.


12:45.

Curving change of direction excitement as Transalp and I make our way onto the E25 towards the Aosta valley and Mt.Blanc tunnel bound.


13:01.

Having completed a brief rehydration and CP change stop, pass by a Ferrari, seemingly on it’s way to Switzerland.

Whatever next !
 

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Discussion Starter #273
Bona Fide.

G/f this morning, about to embark upon her first spin aboard her new motorcycle ...
06-08-Jane-Fingers-Scarlett.jpg
80 miles later, V.Happy and altogether delighted with it Girlfriend.
 

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Re: Bona Fide.

The question has to be asked......was the nail varnish chosen to match the bike, or the bike chosen to match the nail varnish?

I thought she was riding the Transalp - did that not last?
 

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Re: Bona Fide.

The question has to be asked......was the nail varnish chosen to match the bike, or the bike chosen to match the nail varnish?

I thought she was riding the Transalp - did that not last?
Dear Sir,

Chanel 677 'Rouge Rubis' was indeed chosen to match as closely as possible the Ducati colour.

Due to an unfortunate confluence of gravity, compression injury, shortness of feminine leg, the bulky Black Transalp has been deemed an unsuitable, too tall mount for G/f, hence choice of the seat height friendly Ducati Scrambler icon.
 

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Discussion Starter #276
MtMtM, day 56, 21st September, 2015. Part 3.

MtMtM, day 56, Part 3.


13:25.

A5, into the Aosta valley and first glimpses of snowcapped alpine peaks.


13:40.

12 litre fuel-tank top-up.


13:40.

Total of 4,054 road miles from where I left and am now returning to.


15:04.

Transalp doing the trans-alpine do.
Great weather for it too, though I am feeling a tad wistful about trundling through it all without taking the opportunity to explore any of those small roads that thread their way through the deep valleys between The Mighty Mountains …
Tempting though the thought of getting sidetracked is, straight ahead I must go, as I do have a timetable that I must adhere to.


15:04.

I am the passenger, and I ride and I ride …
Oh, the passenger, How, how he rides …


15:15.

Bright half-tunnel, followed by relatively dimly lit complete tunnel. Dark enough in there for me to decide that it is time to halt somewhere safe’ish, at the next open air roadside refuge, there to replace dark sunspecs with regular, clear lensed bifocals for the sake of seeing clearly through the mass of dimly lit curvy tunnels that I have yet to wind through, cutting their way up through the rock before reaching the Mt.Blanc tunnel biggun.


15:18.

Oh, the passenger … He rides and he rides.
He sees the bright and hollow sky.


15:20.
Dodgy mincers.

Italian side of Mt.Blanc tunnel, doing the pre-tunnel prep, fresh battery in the GoPro, and me wearing my dark-tunnel/night-vision goggles.


15:25.
The tunnel travel fee ticket.

Ticket issued to me, along with a friendly warning Not to Exceed the Strictly Enforced tunnel Speed Limits.


Safety inside the Mont Blanc Tunnel:
The tunnel is very heavily monitored by cameras relaying images to the control room. As this is an international border, there are customs posts at both entrances.
The minimum speed limit is 50km/h and the maximum speed limit is 70km/h. In addition, vehicles are expected to maintain a distance of at least 150m between each other.
There is a time delay on cars leaving the péages (toll booths) and signs to remind drivers to respect the speed limits and to maintain safe distances. Failure to respect these limits will incur severe, on the spot, fines or even a suspension of the driver's licence.
Fines for not respecting the rules and regulations:
Driving dangerously close to the car in front could cost you €135 or even your licence. Failure to observe the speed limit could cost you between €90 and €750 and you can expect to lose your licence on the spot when you pay a fine of €750.
Non-French & Italian drivers must pay the fines on the spot. French & Italian drivers have a month to pay or they can pay straight away.


Yikes !
The confiscation of my motorcycling licence (at my ‘One Short Life’ age) would be a serious restriction of an essential, life-enhancing personal freedom.
Switch to responsible citizen mode.


15:30.

7.215 miles of trundling along through the tunnel at no less than 50kph, and no more than 70kph.


15:33.

So, better stay at a steady, sensibly half-way between the two, 60kph (er, that’ll be about 37.28227152 miles per hour, then) … which seems sooo slooow in this long, seemingly endless tunnel …


Sense the unseen eyes of Big Brother and Sister monitoring my trundling along progress through the mountain …

Twelve minutes of me being monitored, carrying on cautiously through the tunnel.


And then …
 

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Re: Bona Fide.

Dear Sir,

Chanel 677 'Rouge Rubis' was indeed chosen to match as closely as possible the Ducati colour.

Due to an unfortunate confluence of gravity, compression injury, shortness of feminine leg, the bulky Black Transalp has been deemed an unsuitable, too tall mount for G/f, hence choice of the seat height friendly Ducati Scrambler icon.
Are you sure thats why girl friend didnt go for the Alp? Maybe the thought of wearing black nail decoration put her off? :D

Nick.
 

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Discussion Starter #280
MtMtM, day 56, 21st September, 2015. Part 4.

MtMtM, day 56, Part 4.


15:47.

Subterranean Transalp, just recently emerged From restricted tunnel vision, out into the bright light and big view of a French afternoon from underneath that lot.


16:10.

Off and away into France … or is it Switzerland ?
Ah … way back when at school, I used to be quite good at geography.


16:15.

€2.10 Toll Fee …
(Thinks: that’s a €uro toll fee, so I must be in France)


16:20.

Early French sunset.


17:00.
Must be tea-time. Anicehotcuppatea, that would be the thing alrighty.
(Thinks: And clean the bugshplats offathe screen too !)

€18.00c,12 litre fuel top-up, 4,163 miles from Nottingham.


17:31.

Second French sunset.


18:21.

4,259 road miles from NG2, €10.00c, 6.8 litre fuel top-up.
Bugshplats still along for the ride.


18:50.

Thoughts turn inwards, to the meaning of life, and our short time spent innit upon this small earth … as Transalp gets on with doing the trundling along the Autoroute thing.


19:10.

One thing is for sure. There’s no such thing as a free ride. €14.00c worth of péage toll for the trundle between Autoroute Blanche toll and Dole (péage is the French word for Toll plaza, and it refers to the complete toll-road system or a specific main route using toll roads).
Ride into town, find that the mad old Hotel Pourcheresse (47° 5'20.14"N 5°29'14.82”E) has a room for me.
TA gets secured around back of the hotel in a secluded spot by the back door and stairs.
With top-box and helmet, I clamber the back stairs to my room, back down to lumber back up, laden with panniers.
Hot and sweaty from the effort, shower, dry, dress for supper … and for tonight’s dining delight, I choose the local Chinese just around the corner.


20:19.

Singh Time !


20:32.
(and for culinary delight of TheTimKirby)

Deep frispy variety time.


20:49.

Sizzling spicy prawns (urp !) time.


Return to hotel, deep hot bath-time, then all dry and pink, sleep the deep, righteous sleep of the blah, blah, blah, 415 miles travelled today by Transalp traveller.
 
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