Originally Posted by Canuman
I'm planning a trip up the James Bay Road for next summer. This involves significant pavement riding, and I will likely burn up a set of tires on the trip. The KLR is the natural choice among my bikes because if its simplicity and huge range -- about 400 miles with the IMS and Rotopax can.
I'm thinking of tire choices for the trip. I won't need anything particularly aggressive, but I would like strong and durable. I've Avon Distanzias in the past, but the last set on my Weestrom were a disappointment.
I am also thinking of the Eagle Mike fork brace, so I can drop the front fender down (windy up there), and the Gold Seal cartridge emulators. Are these worth the biscuit for a ride of this nature?
That is a great trip, I did it 2 years ago, it's great to say that you have actually touched the Bay and if you stretch it far enough the Arctic Ocean.....lol. The KLR is a great choice for the trip, with your range, you will have no problems, but make sure you are full at the bottom of the James Bay Road and also the middle of the trek. There is only one gas location but I'm sure you already know this.
As for tires, I swear by the Kenda 761's. They have great long distance characteristics and wear well if kept to 34 rear 32 front. If you go off road they will work well enough once aired down to maybe 15psi. for non-hi spedd riding. If you for some reason don't air them back up, the front will cup almost instantly.....50kms did my front in and it started cupping at the bottom of the Dempster. Yes I was too tired and lazy to blow them up and road into Dawson City on 12psi on tarmac. They carried me from the Toronto area with 2000kms on them before I left, up to Dawson City, up the Dempster, back to Dawson City , then down the Cassier where the rear was basically bald! I switched in a new rear I carried with me and came home on those tires. I took the front when I got home and reversed it to help slow the cupping, it did and I got the rest of the season out of it and the rear. I gave the set to a friend with maybe 1/4 tread left. Amazing wear for such a cheap tire! My cross country trip was 17,000kms added to the 2000kms before I left and maybe another 4000-5000kms after the trip. Not bad for what $160 a set!!! Avisiouscycle have them on sale once a year for below $100 a set....I bought two sets last sale at $88!!!
Some will chime in and say they are slippery in the rain, maybe they are a bit, but I slow down in the rain and when going around corners in the wet too.....I don't find them hard to live with at all!
The fork brace is a great addition too....again Eagle Mike's IMHO...is the best on the market.
The fork emulators are well worth the cost. I have the indimidators, or whatever they're called in my forks along with progressive springs with 1" of extra spacer hieght. I like my bike to feel stiff. I like to know if the front is planted or not.to each their own again on the length of your spacers. With my set up, I can ride washboards with much more confidence now. The bike doesn't skip helplessly across the road, it's much more managable. Well worth the money. They too come on sale from time to time over at .net where they have a vendor space.
Hope this helps.