Got back from a trip up the Dempster on Saturday, and thought that now is as good a time as any to get rolling on the report. This was to be a trip done by my Dad and myself, him on a DRZ and me on the ol' KLR. I had started planning this trip after last year's return home from Ontario (see sig) as a solo trip on my own. Late last year, my Dad had upgraded from a plated CRF230F to the DRZ400S, and I mentioned the possibility of his joining me on this voyage. See, he'd lived in the Yukon about 30-35 years ago, long before I was born, and hadn't been back since. This would be a trip, not only to experience the Dempster, which neither of us had ever done, but also to reconnect with my Dad's past, as much as one can after 30-some years. He took some time in deciding, knowing that my two weeks' vacation would make for some long days in the saddle, and finally came to the conclusion that, with some work, he and the DRZ would be up for the challenge.
I'll probably get into what mods worked and what didn't at the end of the report, but here are some preliminary modifications done to each bike. First, the KLR:
I've done a fair amount of stuff to this bike, some for practical purposes and other items to make it more my own. Notable mods include a doohickey with torsion spring, 16/43 final drive, skid plate, touring handguards, tool tube, tail bag, Wolfman Enduro tank bag, Caribou 35L luggage, Progressive fork springs, Britannia XS Twin fairing, TKC front/Mefo rear tires, Odyssey 545 battery, Garmin 76csx hardwired, heated grips, and a few other gidgets and gadgets thrown in for good measure.
It's been my main mode of transportation for the past year and a half, and has performed admirably in that time. Prior to the trip, I had racked up about 43K Km on the beast.
Now, the DRZ:
My Dad's had this bike since October, and, with the help of a buddy who also owns a DRZ, has made it a true dualsport bike, being able to do most anything competently. Mods include rad guards, handguards, case savers, rear luggage rack, rear saddle bags, tank panniers, dry bags up top, Wolfman Enduro tank bag, aluminum tool tube, manual cam-chain tensioner, Clarke 15(.5)L tank, jet kit w/ 3x3 mod, Sweetcheeks seatpad coupled with an Alaska Leather dualsport buttpad, and a bar-mount windshield originally received by me from a very generous ADV member (Zzr_Ron). My Dad's fabricated brackets to make it both adjustable in pitch, and to add a bit more stability to the bottom of it.
I've been very impressed with how well this bike is set up for long-distance touring, and some of our days would become pretty high-mileage ones with no complaint from Pa.
Oh, one more mod on the DRZ: a custom fender ornament, courtesy of a Salt Spring Island deer. I refer to the bike as the Deerslayer DRZ (Adventure model), and the trip mascot would be a conversation starter for many.
With modifications, preparations, and lost sleep as yesterday's news, it was time to roll.
Starting mileage on the KLR:
Day 1 to follow.