My 07 KLR650 the day I bought it used w/ 2500 miles:
A photo taken later in the trip, loaded down. Preview: notice white muffler guard on Marc's Honda is singed black!!!
When I arrived at Salem to meet Marc, I hadn’t had lunch yet and Marc decided he wanted to take a smaller, lighter sleeping bag and so while he returned home to switch it out I visited Carl’s Junior. A young lady and her mom were looking at me repeatedly during lunch and just before I left the daughter says that she just has to ask about my bike, gear and riding clothes, where I was going, why, etc. The first of what would be many casual conversations about our trip. Seems so many folk want to do this sort of thing…I was feeling rather lucky!
Marc returned and we were on our way. An hour later I noticed a blue puff of smoke from his muffler. Then another. Then still another. In fact, about every minute there was another smaller one, or two or three in in a row. Strange, I think to myself. New bike and it’s already burning oil. But someone had told me that Honda XR650s do burn some so I thought I’d mention it to Marc when we pulled over. Which wasn’t too much later, thankfully. When I pulled in behind Marc, we had our first big UH-OH!! Turns out the bike WASN'T, yet it WAS burning oil. His right saddle bag was loaded down, and yep, was rubbing against his muffler. It had burned a hole clean through. But why the blue puffs of burning oil? Turns out he had a quart of oil at the bottom of the saddle bag and the muffler had burned a hole through the bottle too! Oil was everywhere, bathing his tools, packages of food, service manual, oh…and…a…flare?!?! Hmmm, what would THAT have looked like had it gone off? Flaming sparks and oil shooting out the back as he rode down the hiway…funny the thought, but then again, kind of not…
Marc was pissed to say the least, but I was quite calm, because I knew I had the perfect fix. I, too, was traveling with soft saddle bags, but had bought a larger muffler guard just for this purpose. When I installed both the guard and my bags I thought what a waste of $40 because they didn’t even overlap. Oh well, I thought, at least there’s less chance of someone burning a leg on the muffler. Stroke of luck! I pulled the muffler guard off my bike and with a bit of tweaking, it fit his just fine. Problem solved. We duct taped his saddle bag, wiped all the oil off as best we could and were on our way to Medford.
VERY sorry not to have some funny pics. My camera was working at the time, later it quit, and then I lost it two days later! I think Marc has some pics of our dilema and when they catch up with me I’ll post them.
Made it to Medford by 8:30pm just after dark and our friend was waiting for us. All was well. We decide that we’ll look for a tent patching kit the next day to see if that will fix his bags. Before falling asleep we talk again about what might have been with oil ablaze and flares shooting their thing from the back of his bike, wondering if that might have ended our trip before it even began.
Day 1: 287 miles: Gresham to Medford, Oregon