Dec 18, 2012
Help from the KLR experts to keep us going
I woke up from my alarm at 8am. I was so excited because today was the day the famous Eagle Mike the KLR expert would help me with my 2011 KLR650.
My girlfriend (Candice) and I had been staying with Randy, the founder of San Diego adventure riders, for about 1.5 weeks. We have our own master bedroom and washroom here and have really enjoyed our stay.
I can't help but think back to how this all started. So many people in San Diego helping us based on one craigslist add. A couple weeks back I posted an add for help with my valve adjustment on the bike. I could not afford the over $300 the shops wanted and I also wanted
to help during the process to learn more about the bike. When you want to travel for more then 10 years every cent counts and it helps working with people instead of just going through a company. From the add many suggested Eagle Mike as the KLR expert. I had herd of his doohickey fix even in Canada but I did not know how to contact him. Someone else suggest posting on San Diego adventure riders forum and that the these local off road riders would help. I got alot of people willing to work with me from my post on SDAR but it was hard to borrow shims. I got in contact with Randy the founder of the club. We suggest we go for dinner. We went for dinner and we really hit it of with Randy, we told him that we were couchsurfing and the we were at a new place every night. Randy suggested that we stay in the master bed room of his place for a while and here we are.
While we were at Randy's he kept making calls trying to help us with the work. He got in contact with Carl a good friend of Eagle Mikes. He said we could meet at Eagle Mikes shop and would help me with the work.
So that brings us back to the morning of Dec 18. I got up and started watching how to videos on youtube for the Doohickey and valve adjustment, the two jobs we had agreed on to be the most Important.It was pouring rain that morning so i was not looking forward to the ride but it was only 20 minutes away. I packed my lunch and a change of clothes incase i got wet and then headed out.
In the garage looking at the wet street
When I got to the shop I wasn't sure I was in the right place until i saw the KLR behind the bars (picture below)
Mark let me in and Introduced me to Eagle Mike. I pushed the bike around and into the shop and Mark started working on it right away.
I lay out my travel tools hoping I could be or some help. I took of the side panels and the air-filter which I wanted to clean.
Mark used an egg carton to separate the bolts, what a great idea.
Mark drained the oil and took the left side cover off.
This is where the bike was in the shop.
Old doohickey in the engine. It is the quarter circle in the bottom of the case.
Old Doohickey going to the garbage where it belongs.
all the bugs in my rad between here, Alaska and Montreal
Bike all stripped ready for valve adjustment.
Carl came and did the valve adjustment.
Small hole drilling into inner cover for Doohickey torsional spring
Eagle Mile, Carl and Mark all helping out with my bike. What an honor to have them work on my bike.
New Eagle Mike Doohickey installed. Wow it looks good.
Carl checking the shims. They were all at min so Carl moved the intake to the exhaust and then got 2 new 250s from eagle mike for the intakes. They are now all at the max so I should get lots of riding out of it before they need to be changed again.
After riding in Occotilla wells I now finally get to really clean my airfilter.
spray on cleaner, rinse with water, let dry, spray in oil
installed back in bike check
I got one of the first of Mikes new low profile magnetic oil drain bolts. The magnet is strong enough to pick up a ratchet. Metal that moves past the bolt in the oil will now stick to the bolt. You can also take the bolt out with a 8mm allen key in the middle.
The Eagle Mike stickers I now have on my bike.
Mike suggested I use Jaso oil to save
After everything was done I thanked everyone and asked what i owed them. I was shocked at how much less they charged me then a shop. What an amazing bunch of guys taking the time to help me out. The shop beside us was closed by now so we could not get the bike out the same way. Mike, even though his leg was giving him problems, took my bike down a flight of stairs, what a great man. I thanked them all again and jumped on my bike. I drove to auto-zone next door to get a spare liter of the oil because my bike burns about one liter every 5,000km. I then drove home and was surprised by how powerful the bike was. I felt great and ready for the next more adventurous part of the trip. If people help us out like this whatever happens it will all work out. When i got home i was so happy and told Candice and Randy of my great day. I then went to bed thinking of the people that we will meet and the adventures we will have as we go south and around the rest of the world.