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Old 01-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #76
Reverend12
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Great Ride report!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #77
cathulu OP
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Friday Day 15 Sept 16 through Saturday Sept 17

We make the decision to start the long slab home on the pavement. That way we can get home late afternoon on Sat and have a day to decompress before we are back at work. The ride up was relatively uneventful but not without its charms.

On Friday we ride from McDermitt Nevada to Hood River Oregon and camp at Tucker Park. I am well familiar with Hood River and environs through windsurfing. I expected a very quiet night at Tucker Park, but the upper campground was filled-up with Harley types. I did not expect that. We did not fit in.

Luckily for us the lower campground was quiet.

The ride home that day included rolling through Fossil, Oregon. Damn, I remember being there in 2004 for the Columbia Plateau Bicycle Stage Race! Wow, never thought I would be up in these parts again - the race is no longer held so no reason to go back. Maybe one day it will be back on the schedule. It was a memory teaser.

There is also the Highway 19 section along the John Day river, where you pass Cathedral Rock. A nice bit of riding around there, worth exploring on a road bike.

Later, descending down to the Columbia River, I very nearly hit a Deer that came bounding across the Highway. This was probably the most dangerous wildlife encounter we had, it was very close and at high speed. I also had a pronghorn cross my path earlier in the trip, but that was not as near a miss and more interesting than anything. Vito also had his share of wildlife sightings and crossings etc, including bear, pronghorn, and who knows what else. Maybe Vito will jump in later to tell us about it.

The ride home on Saturday, well it sucks, it is basically Hood River to Portland and pound I5 to Vancouver. I have done that more times than I care to admit, and it is boring except for the Columbia Gorge section to Portland.

Some various slab shots for the record.

Pounding the pavement





The open road taking us home.





There is a lot of beauty in Oregon





The KLR cockpit





Stormtrooper slaying flies...





Cathedral Rock, John Day River, Highway 19.










The last supper in Hood River. This is where I would want to take my wife for dinner. Instead, I took Vito! Sorry Hun!
(looking at the shot now, I am surprise none of the food ended-up in my lap. I was too hungry for that to happen! And the wine, well that was mighty fine...)



Our route




cathulu screwed with this post 01-08-2012 at 08:13 PM
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #78
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Final thoughts

The TAT will be one of those rides that stick in my mind for a long time to come. I am very fortunate to have done it and shared it with Vito, who was a most excellent riding partner. One day I want to go back and finish the sections I missed. However the plan is a BC ride next year. And there is also Baja awaiting...

Regarding the BMW F800GS, well it was an excellent weapon for the TAT, but I think it is as heavy a bike as you would want to be on. I can see how a lighter bike would be a lot nicer in certain sections, but that is maybe a few percent of the entire trail. The BMW can cruise down the highway effortlessly to get there, and all of the trail was accessible to it. We did not have to bypass anything (other than the clay mud in the rain, but I think everyone on two wheels would do the same), we even looked for more difficulty - like the Stagecoach trail.

Things I plan to improve next time in order of importance:

1) Stalling issue. This sucked and I don't think I have it fixed properly yet. I may take it into my own hands and adapt a non-bmw fuel pump if BMW does not step up and fix it when I bring it up again with the dealer. My dealer fixed the throttle position sensor when I got home but I think they went the wrong direction. I am going to try a different dealer.

2) Wheels. My front rim is beat-up bad! Rear is not bad at all. Going to get new narrower rims. I think this will help in a lot of situations, including the mud.

3) Low rpm throttle response. This is like a switch, and with the high gearing is fatiguing to ride and mistakes therefore will inevitably happen, and you will drop the bike. One of the resistor tuning accelerator modules is in the future to improve this aspect.

4) Saddle bags. An easy fix to lower the centre of gravity which I believe will help with high speed stability on the gravel. But more important, I think the bike needs a ...

5) Steering damper. High speed on the gravel demands it, especially through the loose gravel.

and finally

6) Suspension. I can live with what I got for now, but better suspension would be an improvement. I see that in the distant future cause it will probably be the most expensive to fix.

Vito can speak to the KLR and what he did.

cathulu screwed with this post 01-08-2012 at 08:50 PM
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #79
Gripforce
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Awesome!

Thanks for the great RR!
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #80
Ladybug0048
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Thanks for taking the time to share you Adventure. Terrific Ride Report.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #81
One Less Harley
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The water crossing at the cow ranch house, was DEEP back in July, real deep. The crossing on the right had two low spots w/ a crown in the middle.

Just 15-20 feet the the left was a lower spot, with a steep downhill and then a little bit of a bank to pop over to get back to shore. We cleared the brush away. I take it you took this crossing?

One of our three left the battery behind, not sure who left the tube. Great fun though!!! That little spot gave us a delay...
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:46 PM   #82
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So that was you guys that left the battery lol.

I am sure we took the most direct way in, it was relatively wide. I don't think it was the spot you cleared.... Didn't look like it was recently cleared...

The chance to screw up there was high!

I think 2011 was one of the wettest in many years in the southwest?

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Old 01-11-2012, 07:56 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathulu View Post
Final thoughts

The TAT will be one of those rides that stick in my mind for a long time to come. I am very fortunate to have done it and shared it with Vito, who was a most excellent riding partner. One day I want to go back and finish the sections I missed. However the plan is a BC ride next year. And there is also Baja awaiting...

Regarding the BMW F800GS, well it was an excellent weapon for the TAT, but I think it is as heavy a bike as you would want to be on. I can see how a lighter bike would be a lot nicer in certain sections, but that is maybe a few percent of the entire trail. The BMW can cruise down the highway effortlessly to get there, and all of the trail was accessible to it. We did not have to bypass anything (other than the clay mud in the rain, but I think everyone on two wheels would do the same), we even looked for more difficulty - like the Stagecoach trail.

Things I plan to improve next time in order of importance:

1) Stalling issue. This sucked and I don't think I have it fixed properly yet. I may take it into my own hands and adapt a non-bmw fuel pump if BMW does not step up and fix it when I bring it up again with the dealer. My dealer fixed the throttle position sensor when I got home but I think they went the wrong direction. I am going to try a different dealer.

2) Wheels. My front rim is beat-up bad! Rear is not bad at all. Going to get new narrower rims. I think this will help in a lot of situations, including the mud.

3) Low rpm throttle response. This is like a switch, and with the high gearing is fatiguing to ride and mistakes therefore will inevitably happen, and you will drop the bike. One of the resistor tuning accelerator modules is in the future to improve this aspect.

4) Saddle bags. An easy fix to lower the centre of gravity which I believe will help with high speed stability on the gravel. But more important, I think the bike needs a ...

5) Steering damper. High speed on the gravel demands it, especially through the loose gravel.

and finally

6) Suspension. I can live with what I got for now, but better suspension would be an improvement. I see that in the distant future cause it will probably be the most expensive to fix.

Vito can speak to the KLR and what he did.
Vito, What say you? Feedback/thoughts on KLR performance and what would improve? Inquiring KLR minds want to know.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aces 6 View Post
Vito, What say you? Feedback/thoughts on KLR performance and what would improve? Inquiring KLR minds want to know.
+1....Also, what did you think of the tires you used? Are they K60's? Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #85
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Very well done Chris. You put together an entertaining ride report. I enjoyed going through it even though I was just the sidekick Oh yea, you are also a great riding partner.
For you folks familiar with the KLR, most likely you have read/heard that some of these bikes burn oil especially when riding above 5000rpm on the highway. Mine was one of those. So, I decided to do some work to it over the last winter. The following mods were learned thanks to the "KLR Gurus" at .net. Iím very grateful to those folk...
Eagle Mike doohickey, Shnitz 685 kit, ThermoBob, .22 cent/drill slide/idle screw, 16 t sprocket, UNI filter/snorkel removal, progressive springs, lube rear swingarm/linkages, valves adjusted, remove air pump/plug holes, Protaper handlebars, barkbusters/grips, 12v cigarette plug for the GPS/air pump. The crash bars were installed the previous winter. The bash plate, rear brake cylinder protector, and throttle lock, I made were also installed the previous winter.
I am very satisfied with the above changes and it was a fun way to spend some free time in the garage during the sh*t winter weather. The only minor problem so far, is a very small oil seepage at the cylinder base gasket.
I had asked Chris to keep our cruising speed on the slab to 75mph or bellow. I was worried about oil consumption on extended runs on the highway. With the 16 t sprocket, 75mph(GPS) is about 5000rpm. I even took along a litre of Mobil1 to top up the oil. But guess what, never broke the seal on that damn bottle! Like I needed the extra weight on the bike. The oil level never dropped in the 7200km we did.
The bike run like a clock thru out the trip. Well, until the air filter got plugged up with the dust! This is one of a couple of big flaws with the KLRís design. The air box intake location sucks the dirty air kicked up from the rear wheel?!?!?! Stuuupid!! I tried to mitigate this by covering the air box intake opening with a felt filter (pre-filter) and made a plastic barrier to block off the opening that leads to the rear wheel well. It probably helped, but not enough for me to be happy with it.
I was expecting this issue to occur, so I had covered the air filter with a filter sock. Took three along. Easy fix... Just remove the dirty one and put on a clean one.
The other big flaw is the lack of mud clearance at the back. The sticky gumbo ďcrapĒ we encountered would start piling up on the swingarm brace. It kept building up until all of the wheel well was full, locking up the rear wheel. We had no choice but to dig it out with tire irons. Repeat the digging over and over again and again.
The chain also acted like a conveyor, taking the mud to the front sprocket where it forced the mud into the chain. (Check out the picture. The mud is oozing out through the sprocket cover slots). The chain was toast after that!
Lastly, the rear shock spring is too soft for the load the bike was carrying. It bottomed out to often.
OK, enough bitching. In reality, I really enjoyed the whole trip (well except the barbwire incident).
Tires. They had to be a compromise, able and comfortable on the slab, long lasting and yet aggressive enough for offroad. In my opinion the Heidenau K60 M+S were the right choice. We both used the same tires (we didnít plan it this way) and did not have a flat.
I am also glad I used the 16t front sprocket. Easier cruising on the slab and no problem climbing the steeper grades. Just slipped the clutch a little bit in some of the gnarly sections and it was fine. Another good compromise. Carburation worked okay at altitude also.
Luggage consisted of a Wolfman tank bag, Princess Auto saddle bags, a Bags Connection duffel and a small dry bag. It all worked out great. Good weight distribution and I was still able to move me arse back over the duffel when the situation required it...
I am happy to have used soft saddle bags as opposed to metal panniers. I had my leg caught under them on a couple of tip overs! If they were metal...ouch! They also protected the bike in tip overs. No rear blinkers were damaged.
As we all know the KLR is manufactured to a price point, but the fun factor it delivers is well above what one pays for it. I will not hesitate to take it anywhere...
It was a fun adventure. Canít wait for the next one.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:57 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duas Rodas View Post
The following mods were learned thanks to the "KLR Gurus" at .net. Iím very grateful to those folk...
As we all know the KLR is manufactured to a price point, but the fun factor it delivers is well above what one pays for it. I will not hesitate to take it anywhere...
It was a fun adventure. Canít wait for the next one.
Thanks for letting us know how your KLR performed.
I've got most of the same mods on mine and will be tire shopping soon.
Sounds like you guys had a great trip.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:40 AM   #87
RyanR
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Thanks for sharing guys, excellent RR and looked like you had a great time!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #88
Aces 6
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Originally Posted by 2whlrider View Post
Thanks for letting us know how your KLR performed.
I've got most of the same mods on mine and will be tire shopping soon.
Sounds like you guys had a great trip.
Same here...great minds think alike. 685 big bore kit was the best cure for the oil consumption blues. Only addition to mine are 2.7" risers (with motion pro cables to make up for now too short OEM cables) for better standing ergos.
Great report. Best bang for the buck out there.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:33 PM   #89
DualSportDad
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great ride report guys, thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:04 AM   #90
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Really enjoyed your ride report! Well done, sounds like it was a great time!
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