Archive for the ‘How To…’ Category

BMW GS with MTB...

BMW GS with MTB…

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! ūüôā

I saw this setup down in Sedona AZ over Christmas and it looks ideal for what I need to do.

MTB rack attaches to rear of moto...

MTB rack attaches to rear of moto…

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.

Fork close up...

Fork close up…

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.

Rear view...

Rear view…

Use the same tools on the road and at home...

Use the same tools on the road and at home…

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.

Service Records…

Posted: June 1, 2013 in How To..., Maintenance
Service details...

Service details…

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.

T63 Tire Install…

Posted: May 31, 2013 in How To..., Maintenance
Tags:
T63 install...

T63 install…

It was sunny finally so I got my ass in gear and swapped the damaged T63 out for a fresh tire.

Fresh rubber...

Fresh rubber…

It’s not hard to do, but when you only mess with your tires once every year or two it’s worth reviewing how to do it so you aren’t so rusty.

Ready to ride...

Ready to ride…

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.

Recycled Straps…

Posted: April 30, 2013 in How To...
Dakine strap...

Dakine strap…

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.

Handy for big boxes...

Handy for big boxes…

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.

Photo: Mark.net

I found this useful waterpump ovehaul guide for the KLR650 over at Mark.net. Worth a read.

KLR650 stock shock…

Click here to jump to a useful thread over at ADVrider.com explaining how to overhaul your stock KLR650 rear shock.

KLR Wiring Recall…

Posted: July 6, 2012 in How To..., Maintenance

Rear Michelin T63 tire…

Well I got her done! ūüėČ Swapping in some new tires on my KLR650 wasn’t crazy hard, but it did take some time and I’m glad I had access to the internet to confirm a few details.

Tools I used…

I used the tools from my bike’s toolkit to install the new tires. Good thing as I realized I was missing a couple key items I needed.

Michelin T63 on the front…

I consulted the videos I found on Youtube as a general guide and although they miss a couple useful points they are pretty handy.

Having a centerstand was great…

I used the centerstand on my KLR to lift each wheel so I could pull them from the bike.

This was good practice!

It would have been way easier to get a local shop to install the T63’s, but this was good practice for me and it gives me confidence knowing I have the tools and knowledge to get my bike sorted if I do flat out on some remote logging road.

I need to swap some Michelin T63 knobbies onto my KLR this week and pull the stock Dunlops.

So I hunted down these videos to help me.

I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 17 and never had a flat.

As you can imagine I am not a tire changing Jedi so wish me luck!

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVD…

Posted: October 22, 2011 in ADV Ride, How To..., Safety
Tags:

DVD cover art...

There are lots of folks buying dualsport bikes that are new motorcyclists because it’s an approachable and exciting part of riding world or they are street riders who want to explore some of those dirt roads and trails they pass on the highway. Learning on the job in the dirt can be painful, dangerous and demoralizing – especially if you are an experienced street rider who ends up feeling like they’ve never been on a bike before! One smart option is to learn the basics before you hit the dirt so that you at least understand what is supposed to happen and to take away some of the fear of the unknown.

My KLR dirt riding experience is years old and I feel like I’m starting over so I ordered up this Dual Sport Riding Techiques DVD from DSR. At $29.99 it’s a low cost way to refresh my memory of how not to get killed on my KLR in Baja this winter!

To save me some time here is what DSR says about their DVD:

This DVD isolates each of the skills needed to follow the road less traveled, gives specific pointers and ways to practice, and then puts them all together on the trail.

The DVD covers in detail:

  • Body Position
  • Turns
  • Hill climbs and descents
  • Rocky/ rooty/ rough terrain
  • Sandy/ muddy/ loose terrain
  • Line selection
  • Bike setup

Each section contains specific drills that you can do to improve your riding at your own pace, including ways to tailor the exercises for riders with more or less experience. With practice, these drills cement the correct response for any given situation, and when combined with some great tips on line selection, you’ll find new confidence and enjoyment when riding off-road.

In addition, bonus features include:

  • Suspension Setup
  • Tire Changes
  • Trailriding Footage

Filmed on location in Utah and Colorado.

Total running time: Approx 50 minutes”

 

 

So what did I think?

  • excellent production value
  • simple well illustrated explanations for each point
  • enough actual riding segments to keep me stoked
  • wide enough scope to get you rolling on the trail without trying to cram so much in you get overwhelmed
  • logical breaks between sections so you can easily FFWD to the section you want to review
  • friendly supportive attitude for the dirt newbie
  • great focus on staying safe and respecting the environment
  • bonus features were useful

I was really impressed with this DVD. It’s clear that Ned Suesse [instructor/narrator] has been teaching DS riding for a long time and that he loves riding his bike in the dirt. He comes across like a wise friendly coach who’s always cautious, but let’s you know that if you work hard you’ll be out there rocking and rolling with the rest of the DS riding community. Each section of the DVD builds on the previous one and is broken down into easy to understand steps with clear examples of what happens when you do it right or wrong. One thing I really appreciated was the clips throughout the DVD of experienced guys riding skillfully across the terrain that was just being discussed. That was entertaining and motivating plus it showed how to use the skills you were being taught at real speeds. Without them I might have gotten a bit bored like being in school too long, but with those clips it was really fun to watch the DVD just for the beautiful scenery and the riding action.

Besides the 50mins of main DVD footage there are quite a few useful bonus features: on topics like suspension setup, tire changes and some fun trail riding footage. Just when you thought you’d seen it all if you open the DVD folder on your computer you’ll see a 6 page PDF file with tips for each section that you can print take with you on the trail to refresh your memory when you are out there using the skills you’ve learned. That’s a nice extra value added item that highlights the fact the DSR folks want to see you be successful and that they really care.

How to use this DVD?

Nobody, including the DSR folks, is going to claim that you’ll become an expert DS rider by watching a DVD. Having said that if you are new to dirt/gravel riding you need to start somewhere and this DVD is good place. Taking a course or learning from a more experienced rider is a smart option, but rather than going into a course cold it makes a lot of sense to review the basics on this DVD so you get the most from your time with an¬†instructor.

If you don’t have a DS riding course readily available or a friend who can show you the ropes you can use this DVD to learn the basics – IF YOU ARE CAREFUL. Reread that last bit – it’s important! Pick a safe place to practice. Go with a buddy or at least let someone know wear you are and when you’ll be back. Work on a couple things at a time and stop before you get tired. Of course where all the necessary protective gear and if you aren’t sure what you need ask an expert before you head out.

The Bottom Line

This DVD is educational and entertaining. The production quality is excellent and the topics it covers are all essential skills for the new DS rider. For $29.99 it’s one of the better investments you can make and once you are done with it you can pass it along to a friend to get them excited about DS riding.

Lube your chain…

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Farckles, How To...
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Happy Trail centerstand makes me happy when lubing my chain...=-)

For those that need some dirt skills...

Update: I found this great write up about a guy’s Rawhyde Adventures training course experience over at ADVrider.com worth a read if you have any interest in these courses to get a feel for what one would be like.

If you’ve recently got yourself a big enduro bike like a KLR or BMW GS and don’t have much in the way of dirt riding skills you should watch this DVD. It won’t make you a superstar, but it will give you a set of drills to practice and some useful information that will make heading off pavement less painful. Rawhyde Adventures runs a BMW Offroad Academy that will teach you all you need to know if you have the time and $$$ for the training.

I can’t afford $1400 for a 2 day course or $2600 for a 5 day catered trip, but I can afford $30 for a DVD I can watch whenever I need a refresher on the basics and I can share it with friends who might be thinking about getting a dualsport bike.

I got my DVD from Touratech USA. I think most BMW motorcycle dealers can get you a copy as well.

Bike on Bike!

Posted: October 2, 2011 in How To..., KLR Culture

Always carry spares...=-)

I needed to drop my KLR off for service and didn’t want to ride the bus back home so I strapped a folding bike to the rear rack and used that to pedal home. It was quite secure with¬†two¬†Roc-straps and I’ll use this system next time I need service. It was dead easy…=-)

I got some strange looks!

If you didn’t know how to remove your KLR’s wheels and then reinstall them watch these videos!

For a 2008+ KLR here are the tools you’ll need for pulling/installing the wheels:

  • 19mm & 27mm wrenches for axle nuts
  • 12mm socket for rear brake caliper
  • 6mm allen key for front axle pinch bolts
  • needle nose pliers to remove cotter pins

KTM Supermoto Fender

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Farckles, How To...
Tags:
White KTM fender installed…

The stock front fender on a KLR650 is huge and not everyone loves how it looks. The size contributes to some instability at highway speeds when the wind is gusting or you are in turbulent air around vehicles.

She’s a bit smaller…

I had heard the KTM Supermoto fender was a nearly bolt on mod for the KLR.

New and old…

So I figured I would try it out and see what I think. You can buy these KTM fenders online for as little as $25 + shipping.

View from below…

The mounting holes on the KTM fender are close, but not exactly where they need to be for the KLR. You’ll need a Dremel tool to enlarge the holes a bit. It’s nothing major – about a 1 beer job if you aren’t anal and a 2 beer job if you want it to look pretty.

Side view…

I did a rough job and got it on fast. You’ll need to deal with the speedo cable that is running through a bracket riveted on the right side of the stock fender. I just drilled out the front rivet and left the rear part of the bracket on the fender in case I wanted to reinstall it later. You can relocate the bracket to the KTM fender, but it isn’t needed.

Here is the stock bike for comparison…

So far the KTM fender is working well. I need more time to road test it on the highway and see what I think. I’ve heard that some people prefer the larger stock fender for rain riding as it provides more protection. I’ll have to figure out how I feel about both fenders. Swapping them is a 3-5 min job so I may end up using both of them depending on what sort of riding I’m doing at the moment.

How to Camo your KLR650…

Posted: August 27, 2011 in How To...

Can you see the KLR?

I found a fun thread on ADV Rider showing step by step how to¬†camouflage¬†your KLR. It’s not for everyone, but if you feel the urge here is how to do it…=-)

Note the sharp fairing points on each side of windscreen...

The Bajaworx Dakar windscreen bolts right onto a KLR650 with some minor filing of the mounting holes to get the stock well-nuts in. However, as you can see above the different shape of the Dakar compared to the stock screen means that there are two sharp points on the fairing aimed right at the rider.

Not ideal!

So I went about removing them.

Dremel time!

I marked the cut line with a sharpie and a ruler. Pulled off the Dakar and used a Dremel tool to cut off the excess material.

Cut and sanded...

After cutting off the point I used a sanding wheel to remove any sharp edges. I didn’t get too detailed as this is KLR not a BMW! It just has to work. It doesn’t have to impress anyone…=-)

The finished product...

After the extra points were removed I reinstalled the Dakar. The bike looks better and I can still use the stock screen if I feel like a lower unit at some point.

ADVenturizing a Bike…

Posted: August 22, 2011 in ADV Ride, Farckles, How To...
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Photo: Walter aka Colebatch on Adv Rider...

I found a great thread over on ADV Rider.com discussing how to ADVenrturize your motorycle. Walter worked on a BMW X-Challenge, but the info and principals he talks about apply to any bike. His posts are well worth a read. He is also the author of The Endless Highway website which has some incredible adventure motorcycle porn to offer anyone with time to surf.

Photo: Walter aka Colebatch on Adv Rider…

Walter is the guy who made the Russian enduro video I posted a few days ago. He tells a great story and takes great photos.