Day 3 is in the books and it was another long one. Technically it was the shortest, but it was long in other ways than mileage. We've logged around 1000 miles and in the midst of our riding impressions on the engine, suspension, brakes etc, we also keep track of tidbits. Living with a motorcycle over time is more than just engine oil changes and new tires. So far the fleet is holding up fairly well and abuse has been low considering we've been on a fairly pavement-biased route. But, there have been a few issues and they've been enough to derail us temporarily.
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 is having rear brake and fuel sensor issues.
All of the bikes are already showing wear on the rear tires. Adding the weight of luggage puts a lot of stress on the rubber. The same goes for high teperatures and high horsepower. All of the bikes have roughly 40 pounds or more attached to them in the form of panniers, top cases and tank bags filled with travel essentials and photography equipment. Today was cool for most of the ride, but it did warm up after lunch. Each day has been over 90 degrees and the first was hours of freeway droning with temps up to 118 degrees. Tire wear is significant and it will be interesting to see how they hold up as we're only about 1/3 of the distance.
The Yamaha Super Tenere is a solid platform. It's impressing us with its stability and smooth running, but it somehow managed to vibrate the bolts out of its right switchgear. We saved one and it's holding together, but maybe Yammie's Twin is a bit more vibey than we thought?
Our biggest problem as been with the Ducati. The Multistrada's rear brake has repeatedly failed. At first we diagnosed it as an adjustment issue with the hydraulic plunger. We tightened it and the Brembo brake worked normally again. But, after another day it did the same thing. Again we adjusted it and retrieved the performance. The third time it failed it was not coming back. We adjusted our route and headed into Salt Lake City in order to stop by a Ducati dealership. Salt Lake Motorsports took the MTS1200 and started working on diagnosing the problem. Apparently there was a recall on the rear brake and our model neaded the repair. Unfortunately, the adjustments we made seem to have caused some potential heat-related damage to the disc and caliper seals.We had to leave it overnight and will know the full details in the morning.
The Tiger's top case went flying into the air and crashed down the road when the plastic buckles broke.
The Duc is suffering another issue as well. The fuel sensor is displaying an error message. The fuel warning light is coming on despite a full tank and it has also triggered a check-engine light. There doesn't seem to be any peformance issues and the only concern is that we might run out of gas. The dealership is looking into the warning light as well to make sure there isn't another hidden problem. Ducati's complex electronics are a nice feature, but this also shows how they can be difficult to live with once things start going wrong.
We've also had some other small items of note. The Triumph Tiger has a large top case. The soft bag can hold a lot of gear, which is nice, but the attachment points have proven to be a weak link. Plastic buckles are used and they are fairly small. One broke today and the case went launching into the air, with a laptop computer inside. The same type of three-prong fastener is used on the tank bag and we saw one break during our first ride in Southern California. However, the Tiger did tip over and the handguard worked great at saving the clutch lever.