Hi Perhaps I'm dreaming...I have some experience of long distance travel on motorbikes. London to Johanesburg,via the Sahara desert, in 1971 on a BMW R/65, and Dubai to UK via Iran, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, and France two years ago on a BMW F650. So now for the big one, around the world..on my Kawasaki Estrella. She is strong, mechanically simple, and reliable. The only problem would be the need to stay mostly on tarmac (hard) roads, but I believe, serioulsy, it could be done. For me, the first part of the journey would be from Dubai, through Oman, to Aden in Yemen. Then a boat to Djibouti in Ethopia, then to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa....
The bike now has done 27,000kms, and it will be about 12,000 kms to South Africa. I will do a major service before I leave, but will travel light and the only spares I plan to take is a plug, oil filter (x3)clutch cable. Any advice on other spares to take? Do any of you have any high mileage Estrellas with a record of any parts you needed to replace.
great that you managed to enrol. But much greater what you plan to do!
The only thing as a technical fool is to watch if all screws are fixed. I managed to lose both screws of the indicator an light switch (which proves that I am an idiot and not that the Estrella is a bad bike).
I hope you take a camera with you! I cross my fingers for our plan!!! Andreas
Thanks Dirk and Andreas for your good advice; I should tell you that I have plenty of preparation time..my journey will not be for some time; my son needs to finish his education here in Dubai, and I have to convince my wife I can be a bachelor for a year!
I will try and find Pirelli 'scrambler' tyres, the MT 40 and MT 60, because these will be good for off-road. Dirk, should I replace the timing chain cogs at the same time, or they will be ok perhaps?
I think "Fireball" had these Pirelli tyres on his Estrella. While mot of us said that the BT45 are the best Estrella tyres, Fireball prefered the Pirelli MT40 and MT60. And he also rode his Estrella during winter time. Snow should be a bit comparable to difficult sandy or muddy offroads ...
I might be mistakened, but isn't the "time chain" the "cam-shift chain" or "cam chain"? As far as I have learnt from Dirk and other experienced mechanics, this chain should be replaced a bit earlier to guarantee a longer life of the cam-shift.
Kawasaki recommended the change of the timing chain (or cam chain, I think it both means the same)after 50000 km. But after 25000 km you should have an ear on it and for such a trip Iwould change it before because it is a weak point of that engine. I know one Estrella where it had to be changed after 12000 km, another one where it had to be changed after 17000 km. I'm going to change at both of my Estrellas in winter time after nearly 27000 km, because both make noises. There is currently one with a broken cam chain at ebay with 27000 km. After the trip your Estrella has nearly 40000 km, and even if the chain makes no problems during the journey, the toothed wheel on the crankshaft will be abraded in a way, that not only the cam chain but the whole crankshaft has to be changed after it. So it would be sensible and also makes good economic sense to change it before.
I don't know the regulations in your country, but it is also possible to use other tyres on Estrella without any alteration (e.g. rear 120/90-17, 120/80-17, front 100/90-18) . For the tour I'd recommend (as Andreas does) an off-road-tyre like the Pirelli. Another reason for that is that the rear-tyre-size of 17" is mostly used on offroad motorcycles and in all probability you will be able to get them at most places.
Many thanks for this really useful information; I have made up my mind to buy and fit a new cam chain, and will service the top end at the same time. It sounds like you are an expert mechanic on this bike...of course before I leave, I should invite you to come with me!!
One more technical point; has anyone found a carburettor service kit, which means replacement jets and the needle, the float valve, O rings and gasket. (I wish I knew all these words in german!!)
Change the primary chain,secondary drive chain and sprockets,I would also lok-tite all the fasteners, change the fork oil,install a cleanable in-line fuel filter.Replace the brakes. The carburetor is a 29mm keihin any shop can supply a rebuild kit. Waterproof all of your elcetrical connections
Spare parts: plug,clutch cable, throttle cable, duct tape,lockwire, fuel line (hide it inside the handlebars) master and half links,chain breaker. a tube of JB weld, spare gear lever. electrical tape. I raced cross-country,enduro and desert races, expect the unexpected