It’s Sunday arvo, and I finally headed out for a strop on the KLR.
Nature is a mother.
I goofed around all morning while it was sunny and glorious. As soon as I headed out on the bike at lunchtime it started to rain. As soon as I got back to the shed the sun came out and it was as hot as a bastard again.
So that sucked a bit.
Only a bit, though. I’m keen to learn about the bike, and riding it in the wet is important. I was keen to embrace the opportunity, so I scooted off, grabbed some fuel, and headed for some dirt roads I knew well. The thinking there is, I’m trying to understand lots of things about the bike. The more variables I can cross out the better. If I know the trails and terrain, I can compare this bike to other bikes I’ve ridden in the same circumstances.
So off I went. I was only about 10km from home when I knew the Touratech Level 2 suspension was pretty frigging remarkable. It’s not like a modern KTM or anything crazy like that, but comparing it to the stock offering on a KLR is like comparing Taylor Swift…
I’m not making any judgements, here. I’m sure Ms Vanstone is a very nice person. I know for a fact the stock suspension on a KLR will get the job done, but there’s no possible argument that the Touratech suspension makes the humps a great deal more enjoyable…as I imagine Taylor Swift would.
One thing I couldn’t really get straight was an opinion on the Motoz Tractionators. The ground was just too greasy. Both both front and rear of the bike were all over the place, but that’s what it’s like on wet clay on any tyre, so I’ll have to keep working on that. I had a suspicion the front tyre was either squirming or behaving strangely on the tarmac on the way back from Victoria. I played with the pressures a bit and found 32PSI seemed to give the best tracking. That doesn’t actually worry me too much. That’s not out of order for an adventure bike, and I’m happy to run them hard to help avoid having to do repairs, but it still doesn’t excuse the tyre if it was wandering.
As I say, I’ll have to wait for more riding to form a sensible opinion.
Dan Vaughan fitted new chain and sprockets during the week, and that’s a no-brainer improvement. I was surprised how much the chain stretched riding back from Victoria. It turned out the bike was fitted with a non-O-ring chain. Dan fitted an X-ring chain and new sprockets. Good stuff.
At last the front brake works. It’s not strong by modern standards, and it doesn’t have great feel, but it works, so I’m in front. Dan chose a green line because it’s a Kawasaki, and I support the notion, but now I have three different shades of green on the bike. I’ll be begging Craig Murcott to sort that out as soon as he can.
All that was pretty good.
What wasn’t good was I stopped so close to home because I felt something wasn’t right, and found the left-hand footpeg had worked loose. When I went to tighten it, either the bolt or the receiver on the frame is stripped.
Here’s a pic. You can’t see anything, but I’m spewing and I want to focus my anger on it for a while…
This is a weak point on the KLRs. Pottsy sorted out the last KLR footpeg problem for me, so I sent out an SOS (via text) and he was good enough to chat about it a few minutes ago and will look at the bike tomorrow. That’s a big relief, because the bike’s unrideable at the moment, and I need it later this week.
I had a shocker of a week. I was in Sydney for a few days, and I had a couple of those days where I was stuck at my desk until 10.00pm. So I haven’t really heard from any of you guys to share any news.
I did see Ed Brown dropped in a comment that he was glad to see the KLR logging some kilometres. It made me smile because my riding from Bright to Coffs would be just a warm up for Ed. He loves the long-distances. I’m imagining Ed sitting back and watching for when the bike does some REAL riding.
Ha. Hang in there, Ed. The KLR and I have some good rides coming up.
PS: Mmm…Taylor Swift…