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Liberia 07-14-2010 10:37 AM

Massachusetts to Tennessee in 3 days on a KLR
First, this trip begins on July 24th as my wife and I fly from Nashville to Boston to pick up a nicely farkled 2009 KLR650. Our youngest daughter is interning for the summer at Jacob's Pillow, a well known dance theater in Becket, MA (western Massachusetts).

We had planned to fly up and see her and I started watching the Boston Craig's List for a bike capable of making the trip home (1,200 miles). Soon a very nice 2009 KLR650 came up that was heavily farkled (I'll put a picture and list of the accessories in a future post. After a month or two of it not selling the owner agreed to a lower price and the deal was done. The owner's name is Bill and he's been a really great guy to work with. When he heard my wife was riding back he even offered to redrill the Pelican trunk so that there would be more room on the saddle.

Here's an item that I would like your assistance with. What tools should I carry for the ride back? The KLR has the standard tool kit on it. We'll be on the highways all the way back and, to be honest if not manly, if I have a flat I'll probably have someone else fix it since we have roadside assistance as well.

Thanks for your help. I'll add to this thread as we coninue with our planning and along the way as we make the trip back.

Liberia 07-14-2010 11:26 AM

The bike

2009 KLR 650
HT Teton Panniers (removable)
Pannier Mounting Rack
Pelican Rear Topcase (in picture below)
HT Bash Plate
Oxford Sport Heated Grips
Tool Tube
2 Front Sprockets (15t &16T-mounted)
2 Rear Sprockets (40T & 43T-mounted)
Rear LED Tail Light
High Flow Air Filter
Wired for Gerbing
Ram Mount for GPS
Hardwired GPS Power
Signal Dynamics Heads Up Voltage Monitor
Extended Air/Fuel Mixture Screw
Studebaker Muffler/Jet Kit (not installed)
Hippo Hands
Newer Tires (Kenda's and have about 1500 miles on them - 90 percent street tire)
7,000 miles on the bike
No mechanical issues at all
Clear title in hand

The Bad:
A few scratches on the rear plastics but nothing major
A small chip in the dash below the heated grip control (I mounted the control too low - it has since been raised

Doo Hickey has not been done yet. Do you guys think this should be done before the trip home? If so I would need to order the parts and take them with me.[/font]

GB 07-14-2010 01:38 PM

With 7000 miles, the doo may already be broken. Some have been reported broken in as little as 3000 miles. If you're handy and for your peace of mind, maybe you should open it and have a look before you ride it home.

Good luck :thumb

Yingster 07-14-2010 01:55 PM

I'll be watching your trip report on this Liberia! (if you do one)

I'm just a little further east of you, past Cookeville.

SCQTT 07-14-2010 01:58 PM

Put your wife on a plane.

You ride back solo.

This is sage advice.

Yingster 07-14-2010 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by SCQTT
Put your wife on a plane.

You ride back solo.

This is sage advice.

:lol3 :rofl

Liberia 07-14-2010 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by SCQTT
Put your wife on a plane.

You ride back solo.

This is sage advice.

I've made the offer and, before we get back she will probably wish she had taken it. But if I lose her I lose my photographer. We'll ride 4 legs of 90 miles each per day in order to keep things manageable. I do see the widsom in your advice however.

NewHampWoodsRider 07-14-2010 07:29 PM

You guys will be fine!
Just take your time and enjoy the ride home!

Doohickey should be fine!.
The failure rate on 08+ models is much less than the previous years. Still a good idea to change it when you get home.

The spring will lose tension first, saw one that was limp as a noodle, 08 bike with 22,000mi on it.
If you are concerned adjust the tension on it before the ride home. Very easy, takes 5-10min at most.

I changed mine at 5k (09") and everything was still good.

Dont sweat it, enjoy the trip!

Liberia 07-15-2010 12:36 PM

Things to take
I'm interested to know what you think I should take on this trip. Here's some basic info about the trip.

We fly into Boston Saturday, July 24th and pick up the bike around 7:30pm. By the time we're done with the transaction and loaded it will likely be 8:30pm. So we'll stay in a hotel within 50 miles of the owner's home. We will stay in hotels each night throughout the trip (no camping).

Sunday, ride to Becket, MA and spend 2 nights with our daughter leaving for home Tuesday morning. Ride about 350 or so miles each day arriving home Thursday early evening. Stay Tuesday night around the Hagerstown, MD area and Wednesday night in the Bristol, TN area.

Here's what I plan to take currently:
-Bill of Sale for current owner to sign
-Proof of Insurance
-Change for toll roads

-GPS (already wired and has mount for Tom Tom One so I bought a cheap one to go on the bike)
-Laptop to update the ride report at night
-Camera for pictures

-Helmets, Jackets, Rain Suits
-Tie down straps, tools, air pump, duct tape (buy chain lube and oil there - non flyable)
-Small bungee for cheapo throttle lock
-Butty Buddy for Mrs. Liberia

-Clothes (minimize, minimize... keep repeating that to Mrs. Liberia)
-Small cooler for lunch along the way

If you have suggestions please say so. I'll add them to my list.

Liberia 07-17-2010 06:03 AM


Originally Posted by Yingster
I'll be watching your trip report on this Liberia! (if you do one)

I'm just a little further east of you, past Cookeville.

I'll definitely do a ride report. Right now we're looking at riding back on I-81 which, although an Interstate, is still a very scenic ride. However, I looked at taking an extra day or two off and riding the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way back into Tennessee from the Hagarstown area and we may do that instead. If so the picture quality will definitely improve. Mrs. Liberia is an excellent photographer so I'm expecting some great photos to share with the inmates.

CaveDave 07-17-2010 09:10 AM

The Blue Ridge Parkway idea sounds great! I-81, although it goes through some beautiful areas, can be somewhat stressful, due to the volume of big rigs traveling at high rates of speed. Obviously the BRP will take longer, but if you can spare the time, I think it would be a much more enjoyable trip for you and your wife.
If you decide to go this route, start at Skyline Drive coming out of Front Royal, VA. If it times out, I can even offer you a place to stay near Frederick, MD, about an hour and a half from Front Royal. PM me if you're interested.

stumped 07-17-2010 09:39 AM

i agree about 81 being stressful. do as much of the parkway as you can. it'll take longer but it's beautiful. there's a few hotels right on the parkway. speed limit is 45 (you can average 55) no cross traffic, plenty of picnic tables and pull- off areas.

NewHampWoodsRider 07-18-2010 01:51 PM

When you first pick up the bike spend a good 30 min riding solo.
Get use to the bikes characteristics before your wife hops on the back.

The brakes are not a strong point on a KLR, take some getting use to.

Check/adjust tire pressures for the load, manual states 21psi front and 28psi rear loaded.
Some people go higher.

Just some thoughts.

Highways will not be where this bike shines, stick to the back roads if possible.
It can do it just fine, but can numb your butt from the vibes.
Of course the 16t sprocket will be a saving grace.

Keep an eye on the oil level if traveling lots of interstate.

And Most of all: HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DC950 07-19-2010 08:16 AM

you sound like me 20 years ago. My then girlfriend (now wife) and I rode from Columbus Mississippi to Lexington Mass. We were on an overloaded, new (leftover) 1988 R100GS. We had no idea what to pack or take or how to get there. After that trip, I knew I had to marry her.

Definitely avoid interstates as much as possible. The parkways are very nice but do require some concentration. State highways are always, always better than the slab. Especially on a single. The slab can be useful to make up time though.

I suggest you both get Camelback's. Nothing will put you in a foul frame of mind like a little dehydration. Since it's so hot, I suggest you start as close to daylight as possible and get off the road early. Naps in the day are wonderful! She will be much happier without the stress of finding some place to sleep when she's hungry and it's getting dark. You will too of course.

Packing stuff on the rack so she can lean against it will help. My wife spent 900 miles or so on a KLR in Mexico and was pretty comfortable since she could lean back some.

Interestingly enough, I will be riding back from Mass on my fly and ride, an Aprilia Futura I bought in RI. I'll be leaving the 29th or 30th, solo, while my wife stays at her parents with the kids. Other than the first half day or so, I have no route planned. Unless I get a chance to hook up with my best friend from 6th grade who lives in Cincinnati, I don't intend to plan one either. I just want to pick off a few more states I haven't ridden in (ME, WV, OH, IN, maybe IL) This is the first time I'm sort of thinking I wish I had a GPS. But heck, a compass, a map, the Great Lakes on my right and the Ohio river on my left are all I really need.

Oh yeah - mail from Mass half the stuff you think you need to take with you and you won't be too overloaded :deal.

fatboy 07-21-2010 07:50 AM

Less is more ... I'd loose the cooler and buy lunch ... esp if your only traveling for 3 days.

I just drove down both Skyline and Blueridge parkways. I started in Front Royal and my destination was Asheville NC. The parkways are stunning, just smiles and beautiful vistas all the way. In contrast, I81 is an accident waiting to happen. Stressful is an understatement. Big thumbs up for the parkways. However, if you've only got 3 days you won't make it home if you drive this distance on them. I underestimated how long it would take to drive them both.

I have a 2008 klr and replaced the doo at about 4k miles. It wasn't broken but I'd say the stock spring was not sized properly and had no where near the tension of the replacement part. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you and I don't think your going to fix this on the road. I worked in my buddy's garage and we had to make a tool for the job .. an offset wrench. So, your also looking at special tools. Easy job though ... once your home.

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