Hello to everyone.
It’s Sunday arvo and I’m a bit sunstruck.
Work was steady all week, so it wasn’t until this morning I was able to drag the KLR out of the shed and take it for spin. I went for a leisurely sightseeing loop which was mostly asphalt, but had some dirt sections that turned out to be more challenging than I expected because they were carved up with water ruts on the downhills.
There was nothing challenging about the riding, but I wasn’t expecting the ruts.
The motor felt good and the faint aroma of burning oil seems to have gone, so that side of things is all good. But there’s something funny going on with the handling. When I got back to the shed I put the bike up on the workstand and checked the the swingarm bearings and steering-head bearings. They seem okay. There’s a minute amount of lateral movement in the rear wheel, so I’ll get the wheel bearings done before it becomes an issue. There’s certainly not enough movement there for it to be noticeable.
That leaves the tyres, and when a bike starts behaving strangely, especially if the behaviour seems to appear suddenly, tyres are always the most likely cause. In this case both front and rear are Motoz Tractionators, and while I don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong, this is the first pair I’ve had and I have no idea at their life expectancy. The weird feeling I’m getting from the bike is totally consistent with flexing tyre carcasses, and now I’ve ruled out a bearing problem, I’m betting that’s it.
The tyres have done some tough service and rear’s especially looking a bit chopped up, so it’d be fair enough.
All the same, they’ll have to go. I’m not sure what to run. I’ve had great results from the Mitas 07 and 09 on the low-powered singles, the TKC80 rear has been a great tyre every time I’ve ridden one, but it’s very near impossible to ignore a Dunlop 606 on a bike like this one.
I’ll have a think. The bike works hard and needs to be ready for anything at a moment’s notice, so a tough, full knobby will probably be the go on the rear. I’ll match the front to whatever rear I end up with.
Next weekend is the Snowy Ride, and, as I have for the last 15 years or so, I’ve entered but won’t make it to the start. Work will make sure of that.
I support the Snowy Ride because I know the organisers and believe they’re genuine and do great work. Plus, for my $60 fee I get an entry in the raffle. I sure would love to end up with a new Honda.
Otherwise, my next ride to look forward to is work’s Victorian Congregation in a couple of weeks. I was lucky enough to have the Suzuki folks invite to join a ride they have running from Melbourne to the event, and they’re a great bunch so I’ll look forward to it.
I feel like I’m going to fall asleep. The reason I had a little too much sun was because when I got back with the KLR it was so sunny and glorious I chucked the kayak in the river and went for a paddle and a swim. That’s when I copped a bashing from the solar radiation.
Sleepy or not, I have to stay awake and watch the MotoGP in a couple of hours. Rossi’s out of contention, but Dovizioso is still mathematically a possibility, and I’d like to see him win it. I’m happy if Marquez wins it – he deserves it – but I’ve become a bit of a Dovi supporter.
Today’s pic is a few years back when I was lucky enough to get a ride on Ben Grabham’s Safari bike. The bike was built by Glenn Hoffmann and it was fantastic. Even I could ride it.
I could ride it , but Ben Grabham could ride it to win, and both the experience of riding that bike, and the experience of having Ben looking over my shoulder and tell me how he wrung the best from it, was unbelievable.
I’ve been lucky to ride great bikes with great people. I have work to thank.
More next week.