After surviving our first rainy winter up here in the pacific northwet, tons of overtime at work, and visiting relatives, we decided we needed a vacation. Preferably one with as few people as possible and lots of riding! We've explored a fair bit of Washington so far, but we wanted something a little different.
We decided on Oregon. It was far enough away that we couldn't explore it on a regular 4 day weekend, but wasn't so far away that it was California. Perfect!
To maximize the amount of riding time we'd have and minimize the amount of time I'd have to spend playing on the freeway during rush hour with a bike that won't actually do the speed limit, we decided to trailer the bikes and go from there. In the automotive equivalent of couchsurfing we made arrangements to leave our car and trailer with Zootpatutie (our new buddy Todd!) in Bend, Oregon.
Well, since I'm an Engineer and therefore like to make lots of nitpicky lists and organize things (don't make me put the first aid kit in alphabetical order again...) I took it upon myself to prepare the bikes and gear for our soon-to-be-epic adventure.
The first thing I looked at was the first aid kit. I get hurt... a lot. I'm a klutz and try to keep up with a guy on a freaking KTM 690. I'm an idiot.
but Blinkerfluid also has quite a penchant for greasy diner food and milkshakes for breakfast! So, some pepto bismol etc wouldn't be too bad to have around either. We had a premade kit from Adventure Medical Kits. (fitting name, no?) Bring it hiking and biking with us all the time. I added more pepto, tylenol, eyedrops, everything I could possibly think of within reason.
So, now that the people repair kit was out of the way... I turned my focus to the tools and spares. I have a KLX250. There's not a lot of stuff on that little bike. Replaced the shitty wrenches with less shitty wrenches, tow strap, chain fixins, zip ties, etc. Got a spare spark plug. 2 spare tubes stuffed in socks because if ya dont have em.. you're gonna need em!
Got those cute little tire irons with the wrenches on the ends. (engineers like shiny machined surfaces darnit!
) Pretty much went through the tookit thread and redid my whole situation. I probably could repair anything on my bike with the stock toolkit... but my dear, sweet Blinkerfluid had to have the most badass fuel injected fire breathing bike ever and ended up with a KTM 690 Enduro R (say it with me! ARRRRRRRRRRR!!! yeah, that means fast!). Does the stock toolkit include a spare fuel pump, fuel injection widgets, sensor gizmos, and other assorted KTM-only doohickeys? yeah... no way... so.. eh, screw it... if it breaks, the KLX will finally be faster and I win!
Well, I can't leave any mechanical device alone. Fix it until it's broke!
So needless to say we modified some things on the bikes before we left. Woulda done it anyway, but a big trip is a nice excuse to buy stuff for my bike that I wanted already.
2009 KLX 250s
Easton fatbars with Cycra handguards. (so I can bash into things and be comfortable while I do it!)
Lowering link of dubious quality courtesy of ebay
Custom seat. (stock seat mercilessly attacked with a turkey carving knife. This is why we can't have nice things)
Jetted carb and FMF Q4 (now it almost sounds like a motorcycle!)
Skidplate (again, with the bashing of bike against stuff...)
Tail chop (because a girl and her Dremel is a beautiful thing)
Dunlop 606 front tire, MT43 trials rear tire (I love the 43 and won't run anything else ever!)
2010 KTM 690 Enduro R
Enduro Engineering handguards (ebay FTW!)
Hyde racing skidplate. (Blinkerfluid couldn't get an aluminum one like everyone else)
Yeah, that's it. The bike's pretty decently cool to begin with. and we couldn't afford to buy him any farkles for it. It did get a new set of tires though, so that's nice.
We kept hearing about how you really need a 200 mile fuel range out there in the Oregon desert.
Well, my bike has 1.9 gallons stock and I go on reserve at 90 miles. They don't make a fuel tank that fits my bike yet, unless I want the one that fits like crap and is bright green. So, in the end, my inner cheap-ass won and I bought 2 color-matched 1 gallon gas cans from lowe's for $8 each and called it a day. (my bike is red too, so this is a bonus!) All the tanks they make for the 690 are ludicrously expensive and we just didn't want to mess with it. So the 690 got a 1 gallon gas can as well. That was easy!
So, big trip with camping involved and an undetermined amount of time? Yeah... we're going to need some luggage! We'd both had racks and aluminum panniers on other bikes and didn't like them. Too heavy and I, personally, hit my legs on them every single time I walk the bike around. So we went with the Giantloop Coyote saddlebag and Fandango tankbag. We took the bikes loaded up on a test run around the Olympic mountains up here in the rainy pacific northwest and guess what... NOT waterproof. So, 2 tubes of seam sealer later, and we're ready to go! The saddlebag comes with 3 inner bags to keep your gear separate. I washed those in nikwax also, just in case. I really hate being wet. Might have gone a little overboard since we're going to a Desert and there's no rain in the forecast. Better safe than wet. Blinkerfluid had all the tools and spares in his tank bag... I had my DSLR in my tankbag. (with homemade foam and duct tape protective case!)