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Old 10-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #16
mcpenner OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Alberta
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another new trail

Just a few miles from home. I didn't even know this existed until Betty came into my life. There are a lot of "dead end" gravel roads around. It turns out most of them are not actually dead ends. You just can't get through the road allowance on four wheels any more. Betty can make it through just fine. This one had some sandy sections. Most of you wouldn't have noticed but for my novice off road ability it was interesting. I defiantly need some crash bars soon.

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mcpenner View Post
I've been playing around with the suspension settings. It felt OK when I started riding Betty, but with a little reading online I soon realized that it might be better. So I looked. The rear had no preload at all. It was sagging about five or six inches under my weight! So I cranked it up. I immediately noticed much better handling. The front end was more planted and the whole bike was less influenced by wind, road irregularities and just all around better. I also found that one stroke of my bicycle pump in each fork leg reduced the brake induced fork dive quite a bit. But, with pre-load on 5 and air in the front the ride was starting to feel harsh. So I let the air out and turned the shock down to 4. All the small pavement bumps and stuff are gone now and it still easily handles the biggest hits I'm willing to face (not very big yet). I will definitely add air and go to #5 if I plan to ride aggressively on or off road and it's nice to know I can load up at least a little with one pre-load left for the ride I like.

For now that's all I need. But I remember thinking my suspension on my mountain bike was broken after riding a year. Then I realized that I was taking drop offs at speed that I used to get off and walk over so who knows? I might be looking for upgrades one day, but not now.
Air is not really recommended,most put longer preload spacers (made from pvc pipe from the hardwarestore) on top the springs and maybe go heavier weight oil for a cheap improvement.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #18
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Air is not really recommended,most put longer preload spacers (made from pvc pipe from the hardwarestore) on top the springs and maybe go heavier weight oil for a cheap improvement.
Yah, I know, but I don't always follow recommended advice. I've decided I don't want it in there anyway. It was more of an experiment to see if it would be worth while to do the more recommended options and for now I'll just leave it as is. I traded an 83 goldwing for the KLR so I'm used to making air adjustments to the suspension and it just seemed natural to me on a fork that has air valves.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #19
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22

I've decided to do the 22cent mod. I've read enough about it. It's easy enough and all reports say it's worth while. 4 degrees below freezing last night so I might wait till spring. It's a little hard to get motivated for stuff like this. If it's warm enough to work on the bike for a few hours it's warm enough to ride. What would you choose?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #20
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Windshield experiment #1

I'm not really sure why I am doing this? I'm actually not complaining about the stock windshield. It blocks most of the wind blast from my chest. I get a little on the shoulders and the blast is just below my face shield. My only real complaint is the wind noise.

I guess I just have to customize and fiddle around with whatever toys I own. So here goes. Wind shield experiment #1.

I took a plastic pail and cut it to approximate some of the after market taller/wider windshields. It's not really the right material as it is too soft but I thought it would give me an idea as to whether or not an aftermarket might be worth the investment. Here's what I came up with.





As you can tell I didn't really do a very good job, but I wasn't trying to build something for real.

What I learned;
- adding 5 inches puts the wind about the middle of my face shield. Defiantly quieter, but any bit of side wind would case the soft plastic to bend in and dump the wind right on me. So a little better and a little worse. But I know a real windshield would not bend and be better.
- It didn't really seem to introduce any turbulence so maybe I would be OK with a shield of this stile?
- I'm afraid of a shield that comes this far back. I'm really liking the off road ability of this bike and I like my nose too.

Stay tuned for #2

For those of you who ride with no windshield, I tried that too. I can see why you like it but it's not for me. I like the stock shield better then no shield by quite a margin.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #21
mcpenner OP
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side luggage

I've looked at everything i can find online and I think this is what I am going to go with:

http://aviciouscycle.ca/mainpages/pr...?productid=635

First I'll have to see if I can come up with a good luggage rack system I can weld together myself. There's no way I'm paying what they want for a few tubes bent and welded to fit on the bike. should be a good off season in the shop with a new type of motorcycle to customize.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #22
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i have a taller windshield on mine, but after seeing a post where a guy caught one to the throat i'm not so sure.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #23
mcpenner OP
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Windshield experiment #2

I thought I'd cut down the plastic from windshield experiment #1 and see what the stock shield would be like if it was just a little taller.



I guess it is a little better in some ways, but again the soft plastic does not make a good test because a side wind will still bend the plastic and dump wind onto me.



So have I learned anything? I'm not sure, um...
1) While I don't yet know what, I know something will make the wind management better.
2) the stock shield is not so bad around home but I'm thinking the wind noise would get tiring on a longer multi day.
3) I'm afraid of introducing buffeting
4) I wish I had several fairings so I could try different modifications. I know some have cut the lip off to good effect and others swear by the wheatwhacker mod. I'm leaning towards the wheatwhacker but I will do more temporary experiments first.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #24
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What kind of helmet do you wear ?
Do you wear ear plugs ?
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #25
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Thumb

MC thanks for sharing your KLR experience with us....I love watching guys make a machine their own
And I usually learn a thing or 2 along the way
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #26
mcpenner OP
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Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
What kind of helmet do you wear ?
Do you wear ear plugs ?
I wear a 3/4 helmet with full flip down face shield. I am well aware that the wind blast hits right at the bottom of the face shield and makes a lot of noise. I expect a change in helmets could make a big difference. I have custom fit ear plugs that I wear if I'm going a little farther on the highway. The frequency of the wind noise does not seem to get stopped as much as I like with these plugs. Other noises (like the pipes in my cruiser) are eliminated. I'll have to try some different plugs.

But I haven't told the whole story yet. I am quite concerned that in the rain I would get wet. My gear is water proof but with the main wind blast hitting me right in the most water vulnerable area (neck) I'm thinking water would run down no matter what I do. We haven't had any rain since I got Betty, but I do ride in the rain when it's around.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcpenner View Post
I wear a 3/4 helmet with full flip down face shield. I am well aware that the wind blast hits right at the bottom of the face shield and makes a lot of noise. I expect a change in helmets could make a big difference. I have custom fit ear plugs that I wear if I'm going a little farther on the highway. The frequency of the wind noise does not seem to get stopped as much as I like with these plugs. Other noises (like the pipes in my cruiser) are eliminated. I'll have to try some different plugs.

But I haven't told the whole story yet. I am quite concerned that in the rain I would get wet. My gear is water proof but with the main wind blast hitting me right in the most water vulnerable area (neck) I'm thinking water would run down no matter what I do. We haven't had any rain since I got Betty, but I do ride in the rain when it's around.
I use HEAROS . They are excellant and super soft,and all day comfortable.I buy them at the corner walgreens drug store.
I first heard about them from long distance riders.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:40 AM   #28
mcpenner OP
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Thirsty?

I finally got around to figuring out how thirsty Betty really is. I ran two tanks from full to reserve. Almost identical 200miles per tank giving 42m/g. I must say I was hoping for a little better. I've read reports of KLRs getting a wide range so I'm not surprised but it would have been nice to see 52. This was in a wide range of riding conditions. I suppose around 70mph indicated on pavement would be the most miles with gravel roads being second followed by some 80mph indicated and some slow two track and off road equal in time but obviously not miles. Maybe I'm just a little heavy on the throttle? Maybe I miss a more powerful bike more then I think? Maybe it's just one of those things and Betty is a little thirstier then others?

Anyway, I'm having fun getting there.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #29
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pelican

Ordered my Pelican cases today. Unfortunately it is cold and windy. Probably get snow this weekend.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #30
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perfect time to install them.
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