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Old 07-09-2013, 11:51 AM   #466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
This is true ... Walter does truly hairball rides. But you can learn SO MUCH from Walter on everything related to motorcycle travel in general. His work habits, maintenance and choices set examples for us all. He is a bit Euro-centric but really knows his stuff regards ANY bike.

I do believe a very well set up KLR ... with a good rider on board ... could, in fact, do a Mongolia/Siberia ride. The world is becoming a smaller place, more and more of the nightmare Mud tracks out there are paved or are being paved as we speak.

The KLR is GREAT VALUE and once you learn its ways and set it up ... it is, IMO, a 100% valid choice. But everyone is different ... and this Kiwi Noob will need to get out and ride to determine Which BIKE works best for him on his travels.

Absolutley,the KLR will do anything you need it too.But when you have money some of the appeal for the KLR is usually lost. lol
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #467
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BIKES - For the past 4 months I have read thousands of threads and forums, gone through every last bit of information I could find ...
Have you read Gregory Frazier - Riding the World. Bowtie Press, 2005, ISBN 1-931993-24-6 ?

Rode around the world on a KLR. He has ridden around the world 4X on a motorcycle.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:52 PM   #468
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A few old buildings in Downtown Detroit

I came across a few old buildings with impressive old architecture with intricate detail.
I wish there was more of this old stuff in America.


This building was vacant.


This is the Guardian Building of Bank of America


This is the Historic Wayne County Building which is vacant and for sale.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #469
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Another of many KLR reports. Here is a Which Bike bit, followed by a Prep
comment. Follow the links:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...7#post18851547

It will be interesting to see how SeanPNW feels about some of his mods after he's been on the road a while and done some miles. I'm thinking many of things he's done will be Bust ... and he'll not be happy. But this is always the case. Only time and miles and many borders can bring experience and expertise. Nonetheless in interesting report.
(PS: Edit: I just skipped to the end on Sean's report! WHOOPS! Looks like he's had a change of heart ... I've not read the whole report, so no idea what put him off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
Choosing

Making decisions on what bike to take can be difficult and there will always be different recommendations from different people, and none of them are necessarily wrong nor will they necessarily be applicable to you. The way I went about choosing a bike was to gather as much information as I could from as many varied sources as I could find. I then compiled that information, weighed what my travel priorities and preferences where, and then went with my gut.

For me and my trip, my priorities where:
  1. Budget: I want to travel for as long as possible on this trip thus the more money I spend on a bike, the less money I’m going to have to travel with.
  2. Reliability: a strong reliable bike is key for me, and if/when it fails, I want it to be easy to work on by myself. This means bulletproof yet simple mechanicals.
  3. Rideability: I am young and no softy, but I still desire a comfortable bike. The more uncomfortable the bike, the quicker I will tire and the more likely I will be to make a mistake and have an accident.
  4. Fun factor: I want to enjoy the bike I’ll be living on. However, for this trip the ‘fun’ factor comes from where the bike is capable of taking me, not necessarily speed and performance.
Given my priorities and desired trip region, Latin America, I could basically whittle my options down to large single cylander carburated bikes of Japanese origin. This left me with the Kawasaki KLR-650 and Suzuki DR-650 as my two main competitors.



The main difference between them for me being that the KLR is slightly taller/heavier and water cooled, whereas the DR is slightly smaller/lighter and air-cooled. After doing a ton of research and considering all the pros and cons, it was the KLR that came out at the top of my list. It’s cheap as dirt, incredibly reliable, parts are interchangeable across the 20 year time-frame that it was built (2008+ models got a face lift and slightly more street focused ergonomics, I prefer the ruggedness of the ’87-’07 bikes), parts are widely available across Latin America, and there is an endless list of aftermarket parts and modifications that can be made. Because of these aftermarket options, any area that the KLR may be weak in I will be able to easily improve on by myself. Not to mention it is the only motorcycle in use by the US military and special forces.

Here is the bike I chose for the trip. The picture on the left was taken the first day I picked it up ~7 months ago. It’s a 2004 Kawasaki KLR-650 and was mostly stock when I purchased it with 14,000 miles on the odometer. The picture on the right is how it looks now after setting it up for this trip. I have done all the work myself and have more information about the changes I’ve made in the Bike Prep section.



In the end there is no one perfect bike for adventure motorcycle travel. It will always be a blend of personal preferences, the type of terrain that will be ridden on, and the type of experience I want to have while doing it. People have gone around the world on all kinds of bikes from Harley’s to scooters and everything in between. There are many great bikes available on the market and lots of aftermarket suppliers that can offer almost any accessory or upgrade that could be desired. With a little know-how and patience one can find or build the bike that will be best for them and their trip needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
Bike Prep



I have made a lot of changes to the bike before leaving for this trip and all have been with the intention of setting up the bike to be better prepared for long distance adventure riding. Not all of these modifications are necessary. Some changes make the bike perform better, some make it more comfortable for my desired type of traveling, and some are purely for my peace of mind while I’m out on the road as everything I own will be packed on this bike, which will serve as my home away from home.




Modifications:
Engine/Drivetrain:
  • Eagle Mike balancer chain adjustment lever (doohickey): stock lever and spring have a history of failing, parts then get blended up inside the engine causing more damage.
  • Iridium spark plug: lasts longer and doesn’t foul as easily.
  • 14,15, and 16 tooth counter sprockets: currently running the 15, have the 14 for predominantly dirt and sand riding, the 16 if I’m spending lots of time of the freeway (although unlikely).
Crash Protection:
  • Engine front bash gaurd w/highway pegs: protects engine from front impact and debris.
  • Engine bash gaurd/skid plate: protects bottom of engine from impact and debris.
  • Upgraded Sub-frame bolts: stronger bolts more capable of handling the extra weight and abuse to the frame of a fully loaded bike.
  • Cycra Handlebar protectors: protects hands and levers from debris or when dumping the bike.
Suspension:
  • Cogent Dynamics dual rate front springs: rated for greater load carrying, dual rate to better absorb varied road conditions.
  • Cogent Dynamics rear spring: increased load carrying capacity to accommodate for extra gear.
  • Ricor Intiminators fork dampeners: better dampening for off-road riding, better overall handling.
  • Amsoil 5w synthetic fork oil: light weight oil to adjust for Ricor dampeners.
  • K9 fork brace: braces front forks to make them sturdier and more composed for off-road riding.
Brakes:
  • 320mm front rotor kit: larger rotor for improved braking and to help dissipate brake heat.
  • Braided steel brake lines: better brake line protection and improved braking.
Electrical:
  • High output stator: generates more power to run electronics and accessories.
  • Hella Rally headlights: better low/high beam lighting, draws less power.
  • Garmin 60CSX GPS: for navigation, hard-wired to bike.
  • SPOT GPS Personal Tracker: to update blog and provide my GPS location.
  • LED rear brake light: lower electrical draw, brighter light, and pulsates to better indicate when breaking.
  • LED front turn signals: lower electrical draw, brighter light.
  • Rear turn signal relocation: relocates turn signals to accommodate panniers.
  • Euro electrical switch: has push to cancel signals, high/low beam, flash to pass, and running light adjustments to save power if desired.
  • Wired for 12v accessory plugs (one in tank bag, one under the seat): tire pump, heated vest, battery tender, charge my electronics such as camera/video camera while riding, etc.
Monitoring:
  • Trail Tech Vapor digital dash: better engine and trip travel monitoring abilities, lighter, draws less power.
Ergonomics:
  • Britannia Composites Phoenix Twin fairing: better buffeting and wind protection, adjustable windscreen, better dash mount location.
  • IMS Military fuel tank: carries 6.6 gallons of fuel for increased range and helps protect radiator from impact.
  • Acerbis front fender: better debris protection, better aerodynamics at highway speeds.
  • MSR long shift lever: easier shifts and can get my motocross boots under the lever.
  • Gel seat: much more comfortable and durable than stock seat.
  • Bar risers: brings handlebars higher to help handle the bike while standing for off-road riding.
  • High-rise ATV bars: more comfortable for off-road riding while standing.
  • Off-road foot pegs: better boot traction.
  • Vista-Cruiz Throttle Lock: cruise control, give the ol' throttle wrist a break.
Luggage:
  • Happy Trail Teton Panniers: each hold 38L of luggage, are lockable, and waterproof.
  • Happy Trail luggage racks: strong and durable to easily attach/remove panniers.
  • Wolfman Ranier tank bag: storing important documents / items for easy access while riding. Also holds paper map with clear see-through insert.
  • Wolfman Expedition dry duffel: large duffel bag holds camping equipment and clothes in a dry, easily transported duffel.
Maintenance:
  • Happy Trail Centerstand: makes on the road bike maintenance and repair easier to perform.
  • Tool tube: waterproof tube attached low on bike to carry tools and keep center of gravity low.
  • 12v power tire-pump: for fixing flats and adjusting tire-pressure for off-road vs. tarmac riding.
  • Tool roll: I have all the tools necessary to perform routine maintenance as well as completely disassemble and reassemble the bike while on the road.
Tires: When available I prefer TKC80 front and rear but these will not always be available and thus are merely what I am heading out with. There are many other great tires available.
  • Continental TKC80: great for touring and off-road riding.

Adv Grifter screwed with this post 07-09-2013 at 07:37 PM
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:42 PM   #470
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
The KLR is very easy to work on.Get a good service manual and just pay attention and take your time.
If you are not sure about something stop and find the answer before continuing.
Being orderly and methodical are a big help in not getting in trouble on a mechanical task.If you need to ,write things down, draw diagrams, and take pictures as you go until you get familiar with things.Before you know it, you will know your way around the bike.
Thanks for the advice! Im moving into a place that has a garage so it will be a little bit easier to work on it compared to the driveway setup I've been using the past month. Quite aggravating. I guess this winter will tell me a lot because im hoping to tear some things down and get it ready for a west coast ride. I haven't done the.camping thing yet but I've slowly acquired some goodies to make some weekend trips still this summer. My other concern is repairing a flat/changing a tire/tube. Haven't had to do it yet luckily but I know it's only a matter of time. I don't have a center stand but is laying the bike on its side totally do able for a tire change?
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This is an adventure, not a field trip!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #471
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Thanks for the advice! Im moving into a place that has a garage so it will be a little bit easier to work on it compared to the driveway setup I've been using the past month. Quite aggravating. I guess this winter will tell me a lot because im hoping to tear some things down and get it ready for a west coast ride. I haven't done the.camping thing yet but I've slowly acquired some goodies to make some weekend trips still this summer. My other concern is repairing a flat/changing a tire/tube. Haven't had to do it yet luckily but I know it's only a matter of time. I don't have a center stand but is laying the bike on its side totally do able for a tire change?
I have seen people lay them on the side but a better alternative is the Trailstand, which is sold by a fellow Advrider which is a adjustable prop and its small and lightweight. http://www.endurostar.com/
Also,EagleMike has his own version for sale.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #472
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I've seen the one on EM's website... I should of bought one. Instead I got a spare spark plug, and an oil drain bolt. I really need to get the doo setup AND the stand... Im a slacker
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This is an adventure, not a field trip!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:33 AM   #473
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Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
I have seen people lay them on the side but a better alternative is the Trailstand, which is sold by a fellow Advrider which is a adjustable prop and its small and lightweight. http://www.endurostar.com/
Also,EagleMike has his own version for sale.
Go to your local drug store, walmart etc and pick up an AL adjustable walking stick for under $10, cut the hand grip off to size. Lightweight, adjustable.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #474
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Originally Posted by Tsotsie View Post
Go to your local drug store, walmart etc and pick up an AL adjustable walking stick for under $10, cut the hand grip off to size. Lightweight, adjustable.
That's the perfect and cheap solution. Just be careful not to rough the bike up when it's up on that prop stand ... it's a bit unstable. Lately I just find a local Rock, stump, piece of 2x4 or metal bar. I used to carry this tripod leg with me, I no longer worry about it .. almost anything will work to prop up the bike.


This tripod leg will work front or rear. Weighs just ounces. (Alu)
The Alu Cane idea is also cheap and cheerful!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #475
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I don't have enough confidence to try some technique like that
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This is an adventure, not a field trip!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:48 PM   #476
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Originally Posted by bassplayinroach View Post
I don't have enough confidence to try some technique like that
Just do it, then you will have the confidence.If you are going to be a KLR Adventure rider you have to learn these things.
The worst that can happen is the bike falls over at 0 mph.You won't hurt the KLR, don't worry.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:09 PM   #477
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
Just do it, then you will have the confidence.If you are going to be a KLR Adventure rider you have to learn these things.
The worst that can happen is the bike falls over at 0 mph.You won't hurt the KLR, don't worry.
The alternative is a center stand. I've seen them on KLR's ... IIRC?
A German company makes 'em for my DR too ... but I don't want the added weight and floppy around.

Another way if you don't like Prop stands is to simply lay the bike on its side. Lay down a blanket or pad of some kind and don't be surprised if fuel and oil find their way out. Also, for me, it's a bit hard getting the rear wheel, spacers, caliper and chain all back in with the bike layed on its side. But anything can be learned.

Using a prop stand is childs play. The real work is breaking the bead on your rear tire if you're running a stiff street biased tire. BRING HELP!
I got a flat out on the Carrizo plain, riding solo, rode it flat 50 miles to our Motel, buddies helped out with good bead breaker. The tire was an Avon
Distanzia. Tough bastard of a tire.

I was out here:
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #478
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I have the happy trails skid plate/crash bars in the mail now and I've read a center stand is not compatible.... Fact or fiction??

a center stand would be nice, I'm not heavy into trails or single track but I do like jeep tracks and forest circus roads.

I'll probably go to Walgreens after I move Friday and find one of those aluminum "walking stick"
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #479
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Originally Posted by bassplayinroach View Post
I don't have enough confidence to try some technique like that
I have a center stand and use the 'crutch'. When loaded and need to lube the chain or that occasional flat, you dont have to unload the whole bike to keep the rear wheel off the ground. The added advantage is that the walking stick type are 'collapsable' - button adjustable.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:04 AM   #480
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I have the happy trails skid plate and engine guard highway pegs without crash bars and a center stand.

The skid plate is really nice for maintenance but I am really just in touring mode this year so it does not interfere with my agenda.

Call Happy Trails and ask about center stand fitment .

I have never had a problem breaking the bead on a TUBE tire and I only use small tire irons .I even just did a Anakee 2 which is street biased.

Now TUBELESS tires are another story.They are on there tight.
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