Thursday, March 27, 2014

2 Weeks in Phnom Penh

I got into Phnom Penh on the 26th of February. My intention was to work on the bike for a week then go explore some of the south western Cambodia tracks. After a week I was basically done with the bike but i wasn't quite ready to leave PP. It is a really chill city in some places and it was nice to just hang out.

When I came into Cambodia in December, I left my bike at a shop called RedRaid Motorcycles in Phnom Penh. They said I could use their shop when I got back. They were super nice guys and if you want to do Cambodia by motorcycle, check out their website. They have XR250s and some African Twins for touring.

I installed a Baja design Onx lightbar under my 990ADV headlight. It fits nicely. I had previously wired a 2 way toggle to my high beam wire. Now I can switch between the BD Onx or my 55w high beam. This also allows me to use the flasher and handlebar switch to turn the BD Onx on and off. I think this will be really nice way telling oncoming traffic to get the fook out of my lane.

Mounting plate. I was worried that the aluminum I mounted the bracket to would break over time. On the sides you can see stainless brackets that take out any vibration by supporting the weight of the light. 

And he said "let there be light!"
I had to relocate the HID ballast for the the Low beam 

Schematic for the lighting

690 rally clutch cover vs stock 690 clutch cover.

There are 5 reasons it is awesome and why KTM should install it on all 690s.
1. Easy access to the clutch.
2. Easy access to the oil fill and it is on the back of the clutch cover so it stays cleaner.
3. Steal thread inserts for the oil filter cover.
4. It looks badass. :D
5. I can put the bigger rally clutch in.. you know.. for if I need that sort of thing.

I rewired my whole charging system. Mosfet FH020AA REG/Rec from Roadstercycle, brand new stator and new wire back to the batter. Also some new grounds.
The black wire from the RR is the ground back to the battery. The blue wires are and extra frame ground and then the grounding point on the Navigation tower bracket. Also, when you route the wires from the stator, there is a lot of room behind the Jug. I ran the wires in the same location as the Crossover fuel line for the front tanks.

I needed to fix one of my blinkers on the front and I found these. Maybe I should have gotten the redbull ones?

Also, When I entered Cambodia, I dropped my skid plate because I broke the aluminum bracket. With access to a drill press, hacksaw, grinder and a vice.. I made these some nice brackets to fix her.

I couldn't find a spacer that was 10mm ID and 20mm OD but they had a shitload of washers that were correct size. So a 120mm long bolt, 5 washers on each side and I was back in business. The distance from the center line of the big bolt to center line of the small bolt is about 32mm... I think :D

Before I left Cambodia the first time, a friend of mine asked if I could come to the school he taught at and talk to the kids about my trip. Of course this sounded like fun so I agreed. I looked through my photos and tried to limit 5 photos per country. This became very hard to do in the countries like Russia or Mongolia where I had thousands of photos. When I was showing pictures of Canada and Alaska, I asked if anyone had seen snow. All of the white teachers raised there hand. None of the Cambodian kids, teachers or staff raised their hand. Some thing we take for granted I guess. After talking with the kids for a couple hours, they wanted to show me their robot. Some of them were going to a competition in Singapore the next week. All the teams had to use the same LEGO robot set and do the same problem. Some of the kids were really cleaver and had some pretty good engineering skills. You could ask them why and how questions and they would come up with tests. Other kids would just try different things until something worked or they got frustrated. The kids also had a project to try to make a wind generator. They said none of them were working. None of them would make the LED light up. I asked if any of them would like to learn about electricity and about 5 of them were very interested. 2 more times I came back to this school and met with those 5 kids. I tried to teach them the basics. Voltage vs. Current and parallel vs series. I took one look at their generators and saw what was wrong. The windings of the generator were parallel to the magnetic field of the rotating magnet. There is no current induced in the wire if the magnetic field does not change. I was explaining this to these kids when one of them asked "what if we turn the coil like this?" (making the motion with his hands to turn the coil 90 degrees). Yes! I gave him high five. I also tried to teach them some troubleshooting. I had 2 identical lights. I put one in a box but i unscrewed the bulb so it wouldn't work. I put the other in a box. I told them "one light works and one doesn't, you need to test them and tell me which one works. You can't open the box.. that's cheating." I sat back and watched as they tried to figure out how to do it. They had no multi meter to measure resistance. Only an analog volt meter, analog amp meter, wires, extra light bulbs and batteries. I figured there were 2 obvious ways to look at it. Put 1 more light in series and see if it lights up. That would show if there was current flowing. The 2nd would be to hook the amp meter up. They messed around with the volt meter for a while and I had to ask some questions to them about what they were looking for. Once they all decided they needed to see if current was flowing into the box, it was easy for them to see. Sure enough, one box had current flow when a battery was hooked up and one didn't. I would have gladly spent a few weeks helping at this school. Maybe in the future.

Sometimes you just need to enjoy a cocktail on the patio and write.

Great traffic.

Spark plug caps are for wusses. 
I met a lady from NY who was teaching in Korea when I was there. She was now traveling around south east Asia so we decided to go to the Tuol Sleng (S21) prison museum together. It was pretty heavy but not as informative as the "killing fields" tour I would do a few weeks later. Brief history: The Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia in 1975 and help power until 1979. In 1979 the Vietnamese army pushed them into the west/north part of the country. The Khmer Rouge continued to fight into the 90s. Under Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge forced everyone out of cities to work in villages making rice or doing other manual labor. Schools, religion and learning were outlawed even though Pol Pot was a teacher himself. The S21 prison was converted from a highschool. In 4 years over 20,000 people where imprisoned and tortured here. Most were sent to the "killing fields" in trucks to be off'd after they signed a confession. Of the 20,000 prisoners, only 7 survived. From Wiki "The four-year period cost approximately 2 million lives through the combined result of political executions, disease, starvation, and forced labor" In PP you don't see many old people. They were all killed or driven out and never came back.

I sold the fake Honda scooter to the cousin of a really good friend of mine who just happened to be in PP the same time and needed a scoot. I figured $100 was good enough. He would ride it till it broke or sell it to another traveler.  


  1. Awesome bolg mate. I found your blog by accident and now I'm reading trough all your posts