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Husky in Lybia Desert Challenge

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Mike Kay kept a number of us well informed during the prep time and suspended during his way to short Dakar adventure. I will participate in the Lybia Desert Challenge. Of course it is not the Dakar but I thought I still share some information with you.

After having three “walk home” failure with Husabergs in Africa, two of those in multi-day rallies, and a number of F... ups, I switched to Husky last year. So far I am quite happy with the bike. Most importantly: it has hardly been giving me any grief! That is probably the most important during such an event. I have noticed that a lot, if not most failures and problems arise from “self-made” solutions. I have thus opted to keep the conversion to a “rally” bike, as well as all my other bikes, as simple as possible. Safes a lot of money & time too.

The requirements for the bike are set by the demands of the rally itself: fuel range: 150km / 100mls (same as Dakar); terrain is mainly sand (big big big DUNES), mostly cross country, daily stages are 200 – 600km with specials up to 300km (believe me, that is plenty xcountry in dunes only land).

Check out the tracks here: http://www.desert-challenge.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=327

I will start with the bike conversion, some organisational stuff at the bottom.

Fuel.

I will use a Clark 14l tank. For installation you have to cut the fender shrouds apart from that fit and installation is fine. The tank looks funny, but you to not feel the size nor does the bike feel top heavy. You can reach the spark plug w tank on and it does not restrict coolant flow (my impression is, the IMS does). For the rear fender tank I wanted to fit a BD KTM tank (see somewhere else in this forum) but I did not like it, now I will use a Boom Tank which fits on the rear fender. Advantage: it can be used for almost all bikes. Some tanks come with PVC tubes which melt easily, I use cotton braided rubber tube and paper fuel filters.

Total fuel capacity: approx. 20l => 200km / 120mls, cost: approx. 400U$.

Cooling.

I installed an oil cooler from an XR 250 in the external oil line see here: http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=438470.

Instead of the idiotic OEM T-piece in the coolant loop I put a hand made aluminium Y-piece. I does not melt (the stock part is made by a company called Norma. On their web they have a table with material suitabilites for certain chemicals and temperatures, for automotive coolant they do not seem to offer anything for temps above 80°C......!!!). I use a 1.4bar radiator cap, stock Husky 2007 models. This gives a higher boiling point of the coolant, or with increased water content better heat dissipation. The radiators a protected with CRD guards.

Costs: oil radiator (ebay incl. shiping), custom made oil lines: 120U$

Engine.

No mods except for the carb jetting and AP (see sticky threads in this forum). To prevent dust in the carb I installed a filter in the carb vent lines, also s.w. in this forum (itf). I glued some fine wire mess at both side of the air filter to prevent sand being shovelled ton-wise in the airfilter box by the rear wheel.

Final gearing is 16/48 with an optional 15 sprocket in the front.

Tires and wheel:

Front: MT 18 HD, cheap and it lasts. With mousse. I balance front wheels. Due to the tire holder it needs about 60g. Runs a lot smoother than w/o. Try it!!!

Rear: MT32 w. Michelin XHD tube and two tire holders. That allows to vary tire pressure for sand.

Suspension: all stock.

Controls:

Magura SX bar, Scotts steering stabilizer and triple clamp. Perfect fit, the stabilizer goes underneath the bar, the bar is exactly as high as stock (with the raisers). The Husky is a very stable bike but with the Scotts it is even better”. Wow! If you by the combo, you get a discount from Scotts.

Grips: I think this is a very important item, hardly getting enough attention. After day two on a rally, you got to be lucky not to get blisters on your palm. That sucks if you have to ride another x days. Riding dunes you will have loads of sand in your gloves sooner or later, either from coming off the bike or digging or dragging it out of the sand. Guess what, sand on raw meat, that is real fun.... I have used the Renthal waffle design grips for years. They are slightly larger in diameter than “normal” grips and absorb some vibrations and help to prevent from blisters. Most of my riding buddies use them now.

I removed the right light, indicator horn etc. switch from the bar and replaced it with a simple on-off switch for the lights. Hm, since the plugs are all custom it was kind of a pain to fit, won’t do it again.

Navigation.

Instead of a rally fairing, a bolted the Touratech Roadbook, GPS mount, antennas, ICO tripmaster to an addition cross bar of the handlebar. Simple, cheap, hard to break and easy to maintain. Speed will not be too high so there is no need for a fairing. I use a Garmin GPS 12. Old but is works and most important: I know how it works. There are always guys on rallys / in the middle of the desert that do not have the slightest clued how their 500U$ machine works. You do not need fancy options for a rally, instead I bought a second unit as a spare. In dune areas GPS will be the main item for navigation. The GPS mount is self made from aluminium, no-brainer and works fine.

Was I not impressed with the ICO tripmaster. The connecting line from the sensor failed after a very light fall-off of a friend (copper wire inside broke, could hardly been seen from the outside) in addition the mounting of the supplied magnet and sensor is not up-to-date. I adapted the stock Husky sensor and sensor line instead. In addition I will use a cheap bicycle type speedo / odometer as a backup.

The LDC organization requires an etrack GPS / satellite phone device. With that you can follow riders via satellite and send emergency “calls”. (If you want to follow me: I am starter # 3 (seems the only one on a Husky) check here: http://www.desert-challenge.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=325).

It needs 12V supply same as the road book. (Quite a bit of wire-mess behind the mask).

Some “goodies”:

In order to carry as little weight on the back, which can be tiring, I attach as many as possible parts / tools to the bike: leavers to the radiator guards, tire irons to the rear frame etc. I borrowed the tools box from my ole DR which bolts underneath the seat / behind the left side panel – it holds most of the rest of the tools.

I have agreement with a German enduro mag to publish to stories about the rally: 1) prepping the bike, 2) riding the rally. Husky Germany supports me with discounted spare parts.

Organisation:

The LDC is an amateur race – that means you do not need an international racing licence - organised from Germany. URL: www.ldc-rally.com (in English as well).

Starting fee is about 2400€, that includes flight from Europe via Malta to southern Lybia / Sebha, transport of the bike from Europe to Sebha (and back). Food, medical assistance, hotel / bivouac, broom truck, transport of 1 standard rally box & wheel / tire. Gas will be supplied at the refueling stops at extra costs. So all you have to do is deliver you bike at one of the drop-off points in EU (included in fee), get a plane to Malta from one of the major airports in EU (incl.), take the charter flight to Sebha (incl.), hop on your bike which will be waiting for you in Sebha, and RIDE!!! I think that is a very good package!!! Additional costs is the etrack system at about 500U$.

You get the visa directly, other than usual, at the airport in Sebha which is a great help.

Hope you have found some valuable information here / suggestions welcome.

Wanna ride Africa, I will help!

OK, I will post this now and put some pix in the photobucket later

Volker

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Awesome!

Cant wait for the start of the rally. So cool to see the Husky going back to Africa.

I'll be watching every day. :applause:

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will it be televised anywhere??? or do we follow along on the website?

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Excellent! Good luck and I really look forward to hearing more and following you on their website :applause:

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I borrowed the tools box from my ole DR which bolts underneath the seat / behind the left side panel – it holds most of the rest of the tools.

Is there a reason the pics are so small? 600x800 or 480x640 seem like a nice size to view.

Interested in you project - and maybe a pic of the DR box and where it might be mounted on your bike.

You sound like you are gonna have a bunch of fun! :applause:

.

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Nice :applause: You might also try Evens or the like in the radiator as it is VERY hard to boil even though it will allow your bike to get hotter. Loosing coolant is not good. The down side is you can't mix it with water so if you do spring a leak I think you need to drain and flush the entire system before you replace it with water. Just a thought as you are doing a LOT of sand.

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Thanks folks for all the encouragement and good wishes!!

I will be leaving tomorrow for Malta and then on to Lybia no PC for some time.

Organizer seems to bit unorganized, rescheduled flight and that kind of crap, great! :applause:

TV: well maybe in Al Djazeera or Lybia TV :applause:

All exited to smoke the orange crowd! :lol:

Volker

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Nice :applause: You might also try Evens or the like in the radiator as it is VERY hard to boil even though it will allow your bike to get hotter. Loosing coolant is not good. The down side is you can't mix it with water so if you do spring a leak I think you need to drain and flush the entire system before you replace it with water. Just a thought as you are doing a LOT of sand.

Water based coolant can be refilled in the field, anything fancy can not, thus I stay with the glycol stuff.

I would not like to bike to get hotter - if it boils at least you see that you ought to do st. Water has the best thermal properties, except from molten metals or so, they use molten sodium in nuclear powerplants - very nasty!!

Have not had any therml problems dune riding.

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Awesome!

Cant wait for the start of the rally. So cool to see the Husky going back to Africa.

I'll be watching every day. :applause:

I will do my best!:applause:

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What shalll I say???

Literally at the very last second the rally got cancelled!!!

I had already checked into the flight to Malta (stop-over on the way to Lybia) when by coincidence I learned that the rally was cancelled!!!!

It seems that some of the Lybian partners of the prompter tried to black mail him and did ignore all made contracts.

Well, hard to believe....

I have spend a few thousand buck on this, manymany ours in the garage, but most importantly: for the last 6 month or so I was living and breathing for it....

Grrrreat :applause::lol:

Thanks though for all the feedback.

Volker

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Damn sorry to hear that, I hope you can at least recoup some of your money, nothing like finding out at the last minute. :applause: how nice of them

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Volker that is horrible news!

We were all excited to see the Husky in the rally.

It must be just horrible to be so excited about starting the event, and then to have it all just end.

Maybe try one of the other rally's in the region?

Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia ?

You can always come out to Baja and ride with us. :applause:

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Volker that is horrible news!

We were all excited to see the Husky in the rally.

It must be just horrible to be so excited about starting the event, and then to have it all just end.

Maybe try one of the other rally's in the region?

Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia ?

You can always come out to Baja and ride with us. :applause:

When during last year's Tuareg Rally the engine of my Husaberg exploded at WOT I got an insurance to pay for law & lawer expenses and so forth. The promoter seems to have insurance in case he cancels the event, so the lawers are getting bussy now!

My buddy Mirko and I tried to switch to the Tuareg Rally i nMorocco which takes place in three weeks from now or so. Very well organized event. The promoter had two entries reserved for us until one week ago. We would have gotten a flight to southern Spain for 20U$, service an bike transport could have been sorted no problem, but the entries were given to others....

That sucks! One week earlier and we would have been on!!!

Mike, yeah, one of these days I will come over and ride the Baja 1000! Any support appriciated!

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Hmmm....

Theres a fun dual-sport ride in early January you might want to consider....:applause:

Baja 1000 each November. Race a Husky, and you are welcome to pre-run, pit, chase, and all that with us!

How about the Australian Safari? Seems like a very fair price for an 8 day rally.

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