My KLR adventures are mostly commutes to work these days, but I’d rather be riding the moto to work than not riding it at all. =)
I’ve got a new contract which requires me to drive out to the airport most days – ~50kms round trip. I’m not stoked to put the miles and pay the gas bills on my F150 so my KLR650 gets the call most days. – unless it’s raining fairly hard.
I’m no wet weather hero! ;)
The KLR is ideal for 25kms each way of low speed highway [~90-100kph]. It’s fun to ride and mobile to work through traffic. Weather on Southern Vancouver Island is excellent for riding even in the winter. I can ride 75% of the days in the winter and close to 100% in the summer without being super cold or wet.
I decided I better do an oil change today as it’s been over 6 months since my last one. With my regular commute I’ll probably be doing oil changes every 3 months now. I’d rather stay on top of the oil than save a couple bucks now and end up with engine hassles later.
The only thing I like more than riding my moto is riding my mountain bike so if I can combine the two I would be very very happy! :)
I saw this setup down in Sedona AZ over Christmas and it looks ideal for what I need to do.
I’ll have to do a bit of research on this bike rack, but if it all looks good I think I’ll get one for the summer.
I need to confirm that it will work with my bikes that have 15mm & 20mm thru-axle forks as well as one that has a standard QR fork. Since those are all pretty common these days I’m assuming the rack can accommodate them.
I ride my KLR for work whenever I can. It’s often a bit of a pain to show up at a business meeting looking professional when using the bike. Wearing heavy duty pants and boots limits my clothing options without doing a full change at my destination – which is too much hassle to consider. Carrying my computer and paperwork is less elegant on the bike than if I drove my truck and hauled it all in a leather briefcase. Plus I have to deal with my helmet and riding jacket at the meeting which is cumbersome.
So why bother when I have a truck I could use?
I spend enough time working that it only makes sense to use that time to do things I enjoy as much as possible. Getting in a few extra bike rides a week while getting paid to do things at work is a win-win situation. Not to mention it’s easier to find bike parking and cheaper to operate the KLR.
And that’s the bottomline – every KLR ride I can fit into my week is a bonus so I’m going to do it whenever I can.
Not KLR related, but Alex has posted a super fun ride report about his trip along the Great Divide with his dog. I’ve always been stoked on Ural’s and their sidecars. I don’t have the mechanical skills to keep one running properly, but I do enjoy reading about them.
It’s been a bit of a boring summer KLR-wise. I’ve been riding around town a bunch, but no dirt exploring. I’m hoping that will change this fall. I need to check out some mountain bike touring routes up on the north part of Vancouver Island
I’ve also got a 50km round trip commute starting this fall that I will be doing with my pedal bike when I have time and my KLR when I need to make tracks.
In all my years of riding a KLR I’ve never had an oil leak or an oil burning issue. So when I started to notice my oil level dropping in the sight glass I was not happy. Initially I feared the worst – my bike was an oil burner – which has no easy or cheap fix. Then I noticed some oil on the gravel where I park my bike. I wasn’t sure if it was from the last oil change or if it was a leak so I threw something under the bike to catch any drops and confirmed the bike was leaking quite a bit of oil.
I had replaced the stock oil plug with a magnetic unit soon after buying the bike. I tried simply tightening the magnetic plug a bit, but while the leak slowed it didn’t stop. So advice from ADVrider.com told me the crush washer was likely toast. I decided to swap the stock plug back in for now and replace the crush washer on the magnetic plug at my leisure.
The stock plug fixed the oil leak. I’ll buy a new crush washer and try the magnetic plug again when I do my next oil change. I’ve got a magnet in my oil filter anyways so having a magnetic oil plug isn’t really necessary.
The only way you can be sure you’ll have the tools you need on the road is to use your bike’s tool kit at home. I know that’s a pain because the travelling tools are all nicely bundled up and you’ve got more tools at home that are easier to get to.
Don’t use ‘em!
Break out the on bike tool kit and use it for every repair you would want to be able to handle on the road. If you are missing something or your puny wrench won’t break a bolt loose better to find out at home than 50 miles from nowhere.
I’m always looking for the next bike even when there is no next bike coming! ;) This Husqvarna TR650 Terra looks like a great update on the KLR. I love the video below – sad, but true that’s how my KLR gets ridden. I’m not some hot shot MXer.
There is a dealer up island from me so I may just have to saddle up the KLR and check it out!
Click on the photo above to jump to a great thread on ADVrider.com – detailing one biker’s move from a BMW GSA to a tricked out KLR650. Just be ready to feel like you are neglecting your bike when you see the maintenance he does to it. ;)
I keep a basic record of any service I do to my KLR more serious than lubing the chain as well as any farkles I install. Only takes a second to update and a year or two down the road it’s great to have this info when you need make some decisions about your bike or evaluate how something is working.
When I sell the KLR someday a buyer will be stoked to know what I’ve done to keep the bike running well which should result in a higher price.
It was sunny finally so I got my ass in gear and swapped the damaged T63 out for a fresh tire.
I lubed the chain while I had the bike on the centre stand. Glad to get this maintenance done. I’ve got some trips planned to recon logging roads up north on the island.
My KLR gets used lightly over the winter so the miles don’t rack up, but it still needs fresh oil to start the summer riding season off on the right foot. I feel better knowing the oil and filter are clean.
Picked up a fresh Michelin T63 tire for the front of my KLR to replace the damaged one. Now I just need a break in the rain to put it on.
I’ll probably do an oil change while I am at it.
Walking around my KLR yesterday I noticed my front tire was damaged with some hard plastic debris jammed in deep. Not good! :( This tire is less than a year old with under 2500kms on it. I had hoped for another year out of the tire since I don’t ride high mileage.
Oh well – shit happens!
I’d rather find out about a damaged tire walking around in the parking lot than at 120kph on the highway when it blows out!
I liked the tire well enough I’ll order another and hope for the best.
I use a lot of straps to attach surfboards and kayaks to our vehicles. Straps wear and it’s important to take them out of service before they break in use and damage your expensive gear. As I inspect my straps I cut out damaged sections and save what’s left. At some point that doesn’t leave enough to strap a boat onto a vehicle. So I move the strap along and use it on my KLR650.
I leave a bungee net on my KLR for unexpected loads and I use it a lot, but it can only wrangle smaller items. I’ve started riding with the short strap tucked under the net so I can use it when bigger objects need hauling or when I need more security than a bungee net can offer.
Sadly just a rip across town to collect a parcel at the UPS Store.
I’m glad I live on Vancouver Island. I get sweet sunny days in November and December that are perfect for a KLR ride. Nothing epic, but I get to ride my bike and sometimes just rolling around town is enough to put a smile on my face. :)
Especially when I know that most of Canada is covered in snow… ;)