Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Close to Cumming (GA that is)
Pre Trip - Bike Choice
Of Course I Need One Honey
After the initial e-mails exchanged between Gary and I established my participation in the trip, our thoughts turned to bike choice. Gary's V-Strom was more than up to the job, but my traveling companion of choice - the KLR - in Gary's opinion (and he's right) really wasn't suitable for the kind of endurance riding/speeds under consideration. Assuming I needed merely to buy another bike and add the necessary touring accessories to it, I started looking around for suitable candidates. However by the apparent tone of the following message, our noble leader's conscience made a rare appearance and I was given the option of taking the KLR. That being said, Gary's brother Joe (who also owned a KLR) traded his Harley for a GS (as evidenced in the second message below), so even given the potential to take the Kawasaki, visions of being marooned on the side of some desolate road peppered my imagination and consequently a new bike was still the only perceived option of any merit.
Subject: Re: Bike Choice
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:43:00 -0400
I've been thinking and with the all the trouble hooking up a fuel cell to a fuel injected bike for one trip is crazy and I think it's not fair
for me to ask anybody to do so( I still plan on doing it because I think I'll get a lot of use out of it in the future, I'm at 95% on doing so). But I will ask that the fuel stops be as brief as possible.
On another note if you can keep the KLR at 75 mph (GPS 75= about 78,79 on the bikes tack and around 5,500 rpm's) for thousands of miles everyday for two weeks god bless you and you are more than welcome to use it on this trip. Keep in mind that's a lot to ask of that bike. The choice is yours.
I'm sending this to Joe too and I don't think he would be OK with doing those rpm's for two weeks but keep in mind we have to at least go a constant 75 not 70 or 72 at least 75 (78,79 on bikes odo.). I don't want to start this trip and 1 to 2 or even 5 days later a KLR is staying back and slowing the other down YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND, (that goes for blood and water) so choose a bike you don't mind going these speeds. On my KLR I get 225 to a tank when going 65, when going 75 all I get is 175 to a tank. So a aux. tank is not a bad idea seeing all you have to do is tee off the gas line on that bike.
BOY I feel better now!!!!
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 8:38 PM
Subject: New Bike
Joe and I went to a great BMW dealer in N.H. saturday to test ride a few models. Well Joe traded his Harley for a new 05 1200 GS w/ abs, side and top cases,crash bars,etc.He's in for Prudhoe bay.
All that remained was the relatively simple task of convincing the wife-a-saurus that anther two wheeled purchase was really necessary for this endeavor - doh! Yeah, right! How do you convince a woman who knows very little about two wheeled machinery that I don't already have something that's eminently suitable for the task? - and in her eyes I do seem to be quite well equipped without the need for further financial embarrassment.
'How about the KLR? you've already been half way across the U.S. on that one. It's got a complete set of luggage all ready to go and you've spent a lot of time getting it just how you wanted it. I'm sure it'd be great'
'Ummmmm. Gary says it's too slow, honey'
'Well what about any of these others - surely one of them would do the job'
'Honey, Gary says they all suck - I need a new bike'
After a few weeks of enforced celibacy, we were still at a total impasse. Exactly what would rectify this situation was beyond my comprehension, until - idly looking through the paper one day - I noticed that BMW had it's new 3 series on the market. A little car shopping, the rough end of $35K later and the bike purchase was on.
'Honey - look at my lovely new bike'
'Yeah whatever - I'm going for a drive in the Bimmer'
So, in what was an extremely expensive final week of the year, I became the proud owner of a new 950 Adventure and my wife got a 325i for her troubles.
Buying the KTM, I had unquestionably fallen hook, line and sinker for the Austrian marketing hype. I'd been looking at a GS and was ready to pull the trigger, until the sales flunky - with all his talk of 'electronic this and canbus that' - managed to convince me that this needlessly complicated contraption would be an absolute liability were any unforeseen backwoods mishap to occur. No; I needed something simple, something basic, a more powerful KLR actually. This KTM - carburated, normally aspirated brakes, no unecessary electronic excessiveness and proven in the great deserts of North Africa would be just the thing I'd need. It surely must be eminently reliable - given the abuse hurled at it in race guise; and simple to maintain too, since many a piste-side repair must have undoubtedly been hastily performed. Well, in retrospect, the only thought that comes to mind is: 'YOU DUMB STUPID BASTARD'
Anyway - oblivious to what niggling relationship issues lay ahead for the KTM and I - after a few weeks spent diagnosing a mysterious oil leak (turned out to be an incorrectly torqued oil pressure switch), I enthusiastically set about plundering the aftermarket for enough (obviously indispensable) accessories to turn my baby into a Rolling French Cathouse (copyright John Burns) of adventuredom.
Spot the difference stock/mod. Gratuitously excessive waste of money starts with Touratech's finest HID and fog lamps, Adv Workshop's headlight guard, Hard Parts' radiator grill, and carbon fork protectors - can't remember the manufacturer.
Oh, we're not done yet, not by a loooooong shot. More unidentified carbon fiber protection, Touratech bashplate and brake reservoir protector, Hard Parts tank guards (loaded with de-rigueur highway pegs) and Powerlet outlet (mounted in side panel - top left)
Still got some money left? How about a Renazco seat? (yes, please) and FMF pipes. Luggage racks (except top case rack pictured) and hard cases come standard this particular year.
Since we're wasting all this cash, might as well know where we're going I guess - Garmin GPS (hardwired - which I'd later regret) and Touratech mount. Having thrown so many worthless accessories at the thing, wife-a-saurus concluded I'd have been probably been happier with a Harley. Ultimately though, even though I'd added almost every redundant piece of junk possible, I ended up with something about as reliable as congressional sincerity. She's a looker though.
Douf screwed with this post 04-17-2009 at 09:50 PM