So, if you had two weeks with nothing much to do, what would you choose? Nice beach holiday somewhere perhaps? spend a bit of time in the garden now that spring is here? read that stack of books you've been amassing but somehow never got round to?
Or buy a brand new motorcycle and try and build a Rally bike in time for the second round of the FIM World Cross-country Championship - the Rally Oilibya De Tunsie, which starts on the 1st of May this year...
Yeah, I'm kinda thinking that was a silly idea too, but hell, it's too late - I paid my entry fee today!
So, this is where I'm at... so far, I have a sexy new WR450F sitting in the shed:
Over the past couple of weeks I've managed to get 600 odd miles on the beast (and boy it is a beast!) and the valves checked and adjusted - hopefully they will be good for the rest of the season now...
Fortunately we have some lovely mountain roads in the arse-end of Wales where I currently live, so it was a joy to run the bike in:
And some right sh!tty trails to ensure the bike is now thoroughly secondhand:
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted it is a Euro [homologated] version of the WR450 - that is it comes complete with a full lighting kit (inc larger 55w headlight) horn, brake lights etc which is a bonus... and a shockingly restricted and heavy cat equipped exhaust which would be a pain, were it not for the fact that the bike is also supplied with the proper 'off-road' exhaust system and jets, throttle stop screw etc to get it back to full power - yea!
Larger headlight - this is a particularly good thing, as you'll find out later:
Speedo will be removed, tell-tail lights and ignition switch will stay:
Neat rear light/licence plate holder... will be on ebay soon x:
Suicide side-stand spring and bolt will be replaced with the 'other' sort:
Obviously I removed the huge tail-light, mirrors and indicators almost before it came off the trailer, and likewise the AIS plumbing has now been consigned to the bin...
So far, all I've fitted are a pair of Renthal RC High-bend Fat-bars (my favorite) Barkbuster Storm handguards (excellent!) and a DRC Anato rear light/licence plate holder...
As you can see, I've also fitted a white (Acerbis) rear fender, which is more appropriate to the colour scheme I have planned.
However, over the past few days various boxes of various sizes have been arriving, and some of them (make that all of them) have contained some utter Rally bike porn!
First off, and most importantly perhaps, is the JVO Rally 'Lite' kit - this includes twin front fuel tanks (20L total), a carbon kevlar (yes really!) fairing and low front fender, plus the most intricate and elaborate Navigation tower for the front end...
Polythene opaque/white tanks:
Stealth-bomber matt black gel-coat:
Want to leave it unpainted inside!:
The Nav tower really is a work of art and very nicely thought out - fully adjustable and with mounting plates for the nav gear, GPS/Iritrack aerials and (as I found out today when my Sentinel fitting kit arrived) a dedicated pre-drilled space for the Sentinel mounting bracket - these crazy Spaniards think of everything!
Talking of Nav gear, I stumped up for one of [Tony] Schattat's excellent Rally remotes - it really is beautifully made, and works a treat with my MD roadbook and Touratech IMO 100R50 computer - result!