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Old 11-28-2012, 03:49 PM   #16
KustomizingKid OP
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Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 678
FUCK!!!! Good thing I had the tools to remove the sprocket and unwind the strap. No further damage was done. It felt like I hit a brick wall when it wound up… and it took a long time to get the bike started again which scared me. It also caused me to bump the headlight switch and loose all my lights!

That sunset…

So at this point snow was imminent Saturday night, and I had no lights in the middle of the badlands so I booked it into town… where I borrowed an 8mm socket to get my seat off only to find that the KLR uses glass tube fuses and all I had were blade style. Luckily a mechanic was in his shop across the street working on his drag car and I got a fuse from him… I thought that was the end of that until ten miles down the road when the fuse blew again and I had to ride ten miles down the road with no lights! Now in the an even smaller town I was SOL… gas station didn’t have glass tube fuses and I needed to keep moving so I improvised.

I pushed as far east as my body would let me that night… ending up in Mitchell SD after riding 700 miles on Saturday. I woke up at 9:00am and struggled through the last boring leg home. That last 400 miles were awful, cold and miserable but I had to be at work at 7:00am Monday morning. I finally got home and got off the bike and peeled out of my gear… and made a home cooked meal.

So my first big trip, first dual sport and first real winter riding… and I had a fucking blast! I am already planning my next trip in my head… so many choices. I have a long cold winter ahead of me before I can go on another trip, but as soon as it thaws out I am hitting the road. For now I am shopping for studs to make some ice racing tires so I can at least use the bike for something this winter

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #17
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Good RR! Can't imagine riding in snow because for me it's cold below 50F living here in SoCal. I've broke a good pair of Rok straps the same fashion you had the tow straps stuck in your wheel. Make sure to strap things down good because things tend to come undone when you lease expect it on a dirt bike. I've lost many bolts that rattle off and make sure to blue locktite everything as well because it will shake loose, just a matter of time.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:49 PM   #18
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
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What a neat trip! Thanks for sharing!

One of these days I'll make a trip this time of year up to visit the relatives in Grand Forks!
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #19
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great stuff man thanks for sharing
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #20
KustomizingKid OP
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Location: Minneapolis
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So yesterday I rode the KLR to work, and less than 20 miles into my ride it broke down. Won't rev over 3500 rpms, limped it to work and towed it home in the man van. Kinda freaked me out thinking that right after doing a 1500+ mile trip that it broke down less than 20 miles later.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:16 PM   #21
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Be happy! My Winterhack did it every time the opposite way. Break down in the first week of the holiday. Never during day trips.

I'm to weak, in winter I take the hack

dä rumtreibär
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:12 AM   #22
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Location: In 5th gear... looking for 6th
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Good job all the way around. Good on you for saving/riding an old KLR. You are off to a great start. Keep riding and posting, although it might be pushing it riding into December in SD. :)


1997 Honda Valkyrie, 1998 Kawasaki KLR 650
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:43 AM   #23
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Lexington, Virginia
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One of these days I'll make a trip this time of year up to visit the relatives in Grand Forks!

Better take the car - my son has lived in GF, NoDak for about 8 years and was down here in Virginia visiting over Thanksgiving - we had temps in the mid-60's while GF was experiencing a blizzard and high's in the mid-teens .

I lived in Wyoming for many years, just about 250 miles from the Black Hills, so used to ride there a lot. This ride report really brought back some memories, including one shot from the same parking lot:

That particular photo was taken when I rode from Lander, WY to visit my son in Grand Forks the first week of May, and I still froze my ass off for most of the ride, even on the plush RT. I came across Highway 2 in NoDak on the way home from GF leaning into the wind at 20 to 30 degrees for several hundred miles and got one hell of a crick in my neck for my efforts. I can't imagine making that ride on a KLR - that was quite a ride! You should go back in the warmer weather when you can enjoy the area, the Black Hills are a glorious place to ride. Here's a link to my trip report in case you're interested in seeing it when it's not covered in snow:

I also had an old KLR, a 250, and that thing was literally bombproof. It was a 1984 and the design hadn't changed in the suceeding 30 years, but it still worked beautifully and never stranded me. I've owned the 650 too, and a bunch of other dirt bikes, but for pure utilitarian goodness that KLR250 was #1 in my mind. I hope you get your 650 revived to ride again. When I was a kid growing up in New Mexico we used to make our own ice tires out of old knobbies and wood screws - labor intensive, but very fun! Be warned though - when you crash at low temps it can really mess things up that otherwise wouldn't be hurt at warmer temps. The seat on my old KLR did the same thing yours did when I left it out in a hail storm, so I had a local upholsterer put a new cover on it for like $25. That's the most comfy seat you'll find on any dualsport bike, by the way.

Great report, brought back some nice memories!


"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:16 AM   #24
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
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I passed thru your part of the world last summer and touched 120degrees in the badlands. Some of your pics looked familiar but too bad we couldn't have shared some of the temperatures we encountered. Bombing Range Road in Scenic SD was a real stinker dressed in my Road Crafter suit. Sweated so much I didn't have to stop very often to pee; unlike riding in cold weather when a welcomed cup of hot coffee just necessitates another stop down the road.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #25
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Definitly hard core KustomKid!!
Frank Reinbold

"Every bike I ever had, was the best bike I ever had, when I had it"
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:48 PM   #26
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Location: right here on my thermarest
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I was telling my wife about your ride report and she said "he must be younger than we are." Man, what a tough ride.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:31 PM   #27
KustomizingKid OP
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Location: Minneapolis
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With proper gear anyone could have done that ride in comfort... being a poor college kid I can't really afford spendy gear so at times it got a little cold.

My outfit was, long underwear, pants, wool socks, Alpinestars boots, bib type coveralls for the bottom half. On the top half I had a thin zip up sweatshirt, summer joe rocket mesh riding jacket with rain liner, cheapo winter gloves, and a wool scarf... the heated grips helped quite a bit.

The only times I was cold was Friday morning when it was sub 20's and the ride home Sunday when it was 30ish... but I was never cold to the point of really hating myself I will say that I probably wouldn't go again without heated boot liners...

A pair of those and some of those hippo hands and I would hop on the bike and go back right now.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #28
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Nice ride! Looks like you had a great time despite a few inconveniences. Looking forward to you getting your bike back in shape and reading about some of your future adventures.
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