Markham Ontario to Memphis on a 2000 KLR
Last April I tried to ride from Markham Ontario to Nashville and made it as far as Kentucky. I endured heavy rain, freezing temps and high winds last year so I'm heading down from the 27 of Sept til the 4th or 5th of October. I've done a bunch of modifications to my bike, home made windshield extension, bought a optrix iphone case, lowered my front fork tubes 1 3/4 to match my lowered rear progressive shock and a sheep skin seat cover. Riding the KLR at full height in high winds was very, very tiring and having your bike fall over full of gear was just a pain in the ass. Last April I didn't have the Optrix phone case and just used google maps with wifi and a ear bud, worked ok, got lost in Detroit and do not want to do that again...
Here is my bike with mods and I will post pics of my trip while I'm the road...
Excerpts from facebook post to family and friends, Slideshow of pics
Got lost a few times in Michigan, Iphone gps kept freezing found a Walmart and bought a Garmin GPS. Arrived at first campsite around 6pm later than expected. Campsite is nice lots of people still camping here this late in season. Im near Bowling green Ohio. Will head out in morning to Cave-in-rock Illinois when the sun comes up which is later than we get. State park police came through twice and were super nice.
Battery was dead this morning, had to walk to auto parts store and fill it with new acid that was $4 and they charges it up. Didn't get to see Graceland, but thats ok Memphis was kinda scuzzy glad I'm in Nashville now...was charging my i-phone on a battery that later I found out had low cell fluid killing it, did get to see the Breaking bad last show
So had many plans for Nashville and my shifter cracked. Found a muffler shop that welded it and then found out my luggage rack was broken so they welded that also and refused money so I gave the owners son who did the welding $20. Stopped at a fire department for some directions in Nashville also and they talked to me for an hour and were so nice, really appreciate everyone I've met on my trip its been really fun.
After trip gear review
2000 KLR 650 - The last long trip I took my bike was set up really wrong and this time lowering the rear with the progressive shock and also lowering the front forks was a huge difference, cutting the wind and cross winds. The bike ran perfect and anything that went wrong like my batter going dead, shifter cracking, rack for box's cracking was all from mistakes I made
The used Dainese touring water proof boots were very comfortable, just not really good for touring, too heavy and really rough on the shifter cracking it and it could have caused huge problems if I didn't catch it early. I would buy ankle type boots that are light and easy to put away on a long trip...
Eureka MIDORI 2 best tent I've bought so far! so super easy to set up quick and has a nice gear loft to put stuff at night. breaths perfect and the doors are easy to get in and out of...perfect for long or short trip
Tilley pants...My dad gave me a pair of these and they are quick dry, comfy and have a secret pocket to put your wallet in and velcro shut...
Fly Trekker helmet- This long trip I didn't encounter as much wind as last time and it was a really comfortable helmet, breaths well and the visor is nice for very sunny days.
Dads leather jacket- I took two Jackets, my dads full leather jacket and an Adventure jacket, both came in handy and I'm glad that I removed the liner from the adventure jacket and used the leather jacket as the liner instead on cold days. Cool days wore the leather and warm days the Adventure with the vents open.
Camping food...Tried cooking some mac and cheese and it was ok, rest of trip was just easier and cheaper to buy food on the way.
My rack and Military box's...dropped my bike twice and that caused the rack to crack and I'm going to get ride of it and save up for the Giant loop Great basin...
$11 Windscreen extension I made-worth a million bucks, worked great and only had a few bugs smack me in the face
Tough Duck bib over all Again these were great, roll up fairly small and will keep you warm and dry in rain or cold days. I can't afford a fancy riding suit so combined with my cheap jacket worked probably as good as a "adventure suit"...
Wet wipes-just take them
Tools- I'm fairly mechanical so I took the least amount of tools possible. Original Kawasaki kit-Allen key set-Assorted bolt kit that is for the KLR650, Chain lube, Liter of oil, ZIP TIES, rubber mechanic gloves, rubber mallet, vice grips
My bike ran great and because of the weight of the rack, Military box's and all the gear I took it was too, heavy...my boots were too heavy...so lesson is lighter better quality will save you head aches on a long trip.
PICTURES (wish I had more time to take more, next time I will)
Great second effort. "If at first you don't succeed--- then do what your heart tells you". Then post the results.
Love the old green first gen's.
Nice rig, ambitious trip. All good.
Thanks for the report.
I always catch reports w/ Toronto,
Ontario and vicinity since I was
born in Scarborough. My Dad and
my sisters live in Whitby area.
Anyway, I really appreciate
your low budget ideas. I did
spend some money on a windshield.
I guess I didn't have to though.
I have the same size ammo cases
on mine. I also saved money
fabricating the brackets for the cases.
There really isn't a way to buy these cheap.
I think $600 is what you have to spend to buy
this. Look at my latest report to see my cases.
did ya find many off road routes? or just slabbed it the majority of the time.
How did you end up dropping the bike?
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