Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Waiting for better weather

Posted by desflurane on January 3, 2016

Winter has returned to northern Nevada – meaning that there is actually snow capping  the mountains and dusting the surrounding hills for a change. While this is excellent news for everyone living on either side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, it does no special favors for anybody who would like to ride their dirtbike right now. 

It would definitely be possible to ride – as there are some south-facing hillsides that are nearly free of snow – but the options are limited. With that fact in mind I have made a bold step forward!

Since I won’t be riding much in the next week or two, I have pulled the suspension off of my Husqvarna in order to let Stillwell Performance give it a working-over. There can be no question that I would benefit from stiffer springs front and rear, and  I’ll be taking advantage of Stillwell’s revalving wizardry as well – in the form of their “Pro Kit.” This is reputed to correct the 4CS fork’s misbehavior. 

My plan is to take my tuned suspension with me to Romania and mount it on my bike over there. This plan assumes that I’ll be able to secure another TE300 for the race, as the KTM EXC300’s do not use a rear linkage. 

I began this task by dropping the bike off its stand and cracking the axle bolts loose with the wheels on the floor. I then mounted the machine on a hydraulic lift and pumped her up to a comfortable height.

Then, following the recommendation of one of Jeff Slavens’ videos, I heated up the front most nut on the rear linkage with my propane torch to free up the thread locker applied by the factory. Next, I removed the front wheel entirely, hanging the front brake caliper with a zip tie. The forks slid easily out upon loosening the triple clamp bolts. Then I pulled off the rear wheel and unbolted the rear brake pedal. 

By this time the nut had cooled completely and was easily removed. Some guys have described how difficult and “tight” that nut is to get off… Because of the thread locker!

After removing the other bolts that fasten the rear shock I discovered that the silencer has to be removed in order to wiggle it out of the frame. 


Since I had the linkage apart anyway, I installed the slavens guard that has been sitting atop my toolbox for a month. 

  I cleaned the last bits of mud and grime from the bouncers and set to work boxing them up for the journey to Arizona. 

My good friend Jim provided me with a stack of 48″x48″ cardboard sheets, so I grabbed my box cutter, a ruler and a roll of packing tape and stole off to my wife’s sewing room – specifically to the wonderfully large cutting mat she has there. 

I cobbled together a pretty nice custom carton to cradle my precious WP goodies. I forgot to get pics of the rest of it, but here is the box that I made to hold the shock: 

The photos don’t really show all the tape, reinforcement and baffling I built in to it. Once I taped the top shut it was pretty darn solid. 

I whipped up two more similar boxes for the forks and after double-layering them in bubble wrap, sealed everything up. 

Lastly, I rafted all three boxes together, taped them into a bundle, then built another box around that. 

Once it was all together, it was quite solid. The guy at the UPS store actually congratulated my efforts when I dropped it off. 

The only thing I forgot was to put a note of some kind inside, identifying whose stuff this is… The return address on the shipping label is the only ID it has. I shot off an email to Stillwell mentioning this fact and advising them that my package should be arriving there Wednesday. 

So now I just wait…


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