Early this morning we made a few changes with duct tape to the air intake on Mawson hoping to duct air from forward into the air box instead of the dusty air it has been sucking from the rear wheel well.
Leaving Cobbold, Donnie wanted to check out a small track to a “quartz blowout” that he had passed on previous trips that had a more tight schedule. Mawson was running terribly. I decided to remove the air filter sock that I had oiled and placed over the filter.
The bike seemed to be running ridiculously rich from all the restriction to air flow from the large amount of oil I am using on the filter in an attempt to stop the dust harvesting it all and drying the filter out.
Only 40km later in Forsyth I check the filter.
Bloody hell, this is a really problem!
Another problem surfaced. My fuel economy was very poor. Poorer that I would have expected given the way I was riding. In fact I recorded my worst ever fuel economy of 8.05L/100km when I filled up at Einsleigh after actually running out and needing to syphon a little out or Donnie’s enormous 45L tank on his KTM 990.
I seem to be having a bad run of luck as I also seem to have an issue with my petcock as the tank never fully ran out. I know exactly how much my tank can take and it wasn’t empty. All these issues are starting to become a little frustrating. I like to learn from the issues that come up but its hard to learn when they all come at once.
We rode to Mt Surprise. Barry was not there and had not left a message for us although we did confirm he filled up fuel at the servo there.
I spoke to the owner of the servo and he offered me his shed and compressor to clean my air filters. I jumped at the offer. Thanks.
The ride from Mt Surprise to Almaden was great fun although I did run over the thick part of the tail of a Kangaroo. Yes, it was alive and bouncing. I was certain I was going to hit it in that instant when it jumped out and yet I missed its body by a whisker. It wasn’t even late in the day either. The roo was just sitting in a patch of shade by the road waiting for the hot hours of the day to pass.
Keeping the dust out of my bike has been my primary concern. We have decided to head for Cairns to get a new air filter to eliminate the chance that the filters are damaged and the source of the problem.
I came ridiculously close to being caught out again tonight as we came into Mareeba. I hit reserve at only 229km (I usually get 340km-380km before hitting reserve). Again when I filled up I only got 19.85L in the tank again even though it takes 22.26 (23L on the specifications however I tested it and found it was actually 22.26).
Lots of information. I log every bit of data I can and fuel consumption is a very important part of this. Donnie suspects the bike is running rich so we will pull it apart and put a smaller main jet in the carb tomorrow morning before leaving.
We are camped in Mareeba tonight. Cairns tomorrow.