It’s Sunday arvo, and while the weather’s been a little weird, it’s mostly been good. It’s been overcast all week with just a shower here and there, so that was okay.
Not that I’ve been doing a lot of riding. I was at my desk most of the week. I did spend a day in Sydney – I think it was Thursday – with Nick Dole and his amazing dog Ernie as they tried to help me understand what all the graphs were that Nick was calling up on his screen.
Nick had been dyno testing Africa Twin suspension components and seemed to think I’d understand if he explained his results and methodology to me. Ernie understood more than I did, but I always enjoy visiting Teknik. The atmosphere of precision and industry is always motivational, and everyone needs a bloke like Nick to keep them grounded…Ernie’s good fun, too.
This was all for work of course, so, as always, I had to jam as much into the work day as possible. I left Nick and Ernie shaking their heads at my dumbness and sprinted over to Carlisle Accessories to be coached through the X-comm Bluetooth system that fits in my Nexx helmet. I don’t have an X-comm system, but if I was to look for a comms setup for the bike now, that’s the one I’d have. Geoff Bonfield at Carlisle had already fitted one to his own helmet and he talked me through it.
Geoff also gave me a rundown on the Pinlock antifog system. It’s the blue-ribbon option, and I’ll be fitting it up for this winter – which isn’t far off.
After Carlisle I shot around the corner to Yamaha Motor Australia…I’m not exactly sure why I was sent there, but Sean Goldhawk is a great bloke and always good fun for industry gossip and a wicked joke or two.
From there I hit the Pacific Highway and was home Thursday night. Friday morning Dan Vaughan phoned to say the KLR was ready, so I jumped on the shiny, schmick-looking, retired Dominator and bolted in there to do the swap.
Now, here’s the background to that.
One of the job’s Craig Murcott did was to swap the stock front blinkers on the Dominator for a pair of tiny LEDs. The problem with the stockers was they soft-mounted, and they flopped and rattled all over the place. In doing that, they roughed up the plastic fairing surrounding them. Having just had so much trouble replacing the plastics I was looking for an alternative.
Typically of Craig, he fabricated some amazing mounts for the LEDs that matched the venting under the headlight – it’s gorgeous work! – and the finished product looks sensational. But he couldn’t get the blinkers to flash at the correct intervals. We tried some resistors, and we tried without any resistors, but the poxy things just kept flashing like a drunk at a gay pride march. Unsurprisingly, the same problem emerged on the KLR.
Craig fitted some flexible trail blinkers to the rear of the KLR. I found them in the shed, and they had to be 10 years old or more, but they’re fantastic in the way they fit the bike. They’re incandescent, so they worked like a ‘normal’ blinker.
For the front I went all out and bought a pair of ‘Extreme Dualsport Tuff Lites’ from Adventure Moto. They’re $100 a pair! Frig! I nearly died. But they’re so awesome I grabbed them anyway. As usual, Craig did a sensational job mounting them on the fairings he’d just painted to replace the stock green ones.
But after all that, the poxy things blinked too fast.
Dan Vaughan stocks flasher units specific to the LED units, so he chucked the resistors and fitted the unit to the KLR. It works a treat, so when he said it was ready I swapped the Dominator to get the same treatment.
I can’t remember where I was up to telling you about the KLR, but Dan fitted a Goodridge front brakeline and new pads, which has helped.
The front brake has slowly been improving ever since. It’s now good enough I believe I feel the front wheel squirming under hard braking, so I’ve ordered a fork brace from the the US. Lord knows when that’ll get here.
The other huge upgrade has been Pottsy’s attention to the footpeg mounts.
Pottsy is the engineering master. I can’t wait to get the lower, rear-set mounts on there. The bike is starting to feel good, and those footpeg mounts make a very noticeable difference.
Still, that’s sometime in the future. Right now, the bike as you see it here is on its way to Victoria to attend the Touratech Challenge and Travel events. If work allows timewise, I’m planning to ride it down to Bright, do both events, then ride back again.
How awesome will that be!
I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
MotoGP starts tonihght. Go Rossi – although I have to be honest and say I think Vinales and Marquez are the two who’ll be battling for the 2017 title.
Oh. And as I said at the start, I got a selfie stick.
I was a little embarrassed about that at first, but I plan to do some video this year. I used to do a lot once, but it became so time-consuming I had to give it up. So to pursue that aim, I bought a selfie-stick and a gimbal mount. I was fooling around a little with the selfie-stick today while I was on the bike, as you can see from the pic. I also had a crack at some video. Here’s the result…
I’ve got a ways to go, as you can see, but it’s interesting stuff. I’m all modern and everything with my selfie stick!
I’ll be late with next week’s blog, I expect. Check in when you can and I’ll try my best to have something here by Monday.
PS: I ran out of fuel today. Can you believe with a tank that size I could run out? I was thinking about too many other things, I guess, and didn’t check the fuel level before leaving. I limped into Ulong to find there was no fuel there and had to do the rolling-down-hills-in-neutral trick alongside the laying-the-bike-on-its-lefthand-side gambit to limp, cough and fart my way into Lowanna and salvation.
PPS: Saw this beauty at Ulong while I was running around looking for fuel….