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Old 02-21-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
Geek OP
oot & aboot
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Joined: Jun 2003
Location: 8000ft.
Oddometer: 32,052
Back in Black

My KTM: Back in Black.
A photo essay.
by Geek

In the "black ktms" thread we were talking about the safari tanks & such and I offered to do a detailed review when mine arrived.

They just got here.

Along the lines of the review I did last year for the HDB hand guards and mirrors ( I figured I'd start this thread with the review, and then maybe back track a bit to take a look at the other 23450823 modifications I've done to my bike. Perhaps present some ideas for others who enjoy modifying their Adventures and share some of the things I've learned while making my Adventure into the bike I want.

I'm by no means the master 950 mechanics that pyndon, cpmodem, etc. are... but I do like to fiddle in the garage and "make things mine" as I best see fit for the riding I do here in the mountain states. I'm hard on stuff and I work hard to improve/maintain/upgrade things to make them more reliable; especially considering some of the places I go and what failure would represent. Some of the stuff I buy just for no reason other than I like it or I think it is cool. Sometimes I make mistakes and regret purchases I've made (and I'll share those too). Like most of us here, I love motorcycles and I really love my 950 adventure. It is one of those rewards that makes having to go to work acceptable.

I'm just going to throw unrelated photos in once in a while because I know that most of you hosers just look at the pictures and ignore the words

I definitely use my 950 for what it was intended for - Adventure riding - and am blessed to live in Colorado where we have an abundance of adventure available to us. A garage queen my bike is not. Of the 20,000 miles I put on my 950 last summer the ratio was probably 65-75% dirt ranging from fire roads to mountain passes to sand dunes to single track I had no business being on I try and get away from civilization as much as possible and the one common route-limiting factor is always fuel range.

Coming down Black Bear Pass above Telluride Colorado. Did I mention I'm afraid of heights?:

I've been wanting a larger fuel capacity for quite some time now. I ran into quite a few situations last summer where I needed more fuel. Exploring Dinosaur National Monument and riding the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming are two good examples. With more fuel on board, my routes would have been much more flexible instead of having to plan to be back to a gas station every 175 miles or so.

I'm hoping to change that...

If you visit the Dinosaur National Monument in north west Colorado make sure you ride the Yampa Bench Road. When you ride the Yampa Bench, make sure you stop at the Harding Hole Overlook:

Riding the Continental Divide Route. At one point you cross Wyoming's Great Divide Basin where no Fuel is available for over 200 miles.

Safari Tanks

This coming summer I really want the flexibility more fuel can provide (I can't wait to ride from my place in the Colordao Front Range to Moab, Utah without touching pavement ).

I looked at the various fuel options and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. For me, my Adventure is my Adventure Touring bike and I want the ability to go as far as possible between fill ups when I need. An option quite a few of my buddies have gone with are the ADV tanks that Neduro has designed that replace one of the exhausts. As it is, I have some other plans for the back of this bike that the AdvTank will not be compatible with (though I'll probably use Ned's system when I add an SE to the stable).

I had considered the Aqualine tanks for quite a while but always hesitated on the purchase because of the unknowns - the main one being how much it changed the feel of the bike overall.

Last fall I spent some time riding CJRacer's Aqualine equipped 950 and was pleasantly surprised with how little impact they had on my riding.

CJRacer's 950.

Sure they are going to make the thing steer like a bus on those occasions when you need to put 10+ gallons in them, but for normal riding (i.e. putting stock levels of fuel in them) they were pretty much impact free on my riding. The only time I really noticed them was in the sand when I'd put a foot out (dirt bike style) into the apex of a corner, my calve would brush against the fuel tank (whereas it didn't touch the stock tank) which was not that distracting to me.

Combine that with the peace of mind I had when we were in the middle of nowhere, knowing that even though I was low on fuel Craig still had 5 gallons on board, and I was sold.

120 miles from anywhere...

Fast forward a few months and CJ Designs ( is now an Aqualine tank dealer, and since Craig is such a good guy I wanted to give him the business. I ordered my Safari tanks Wednesday of last week and I received them today.

Time to open them up and take a look...!

Geek screwed with this post 01-25-2012 at 09:05 PM
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