Archive for the ‘Touring’ Category

Vetter Alcan Fairing…

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Farckles, Touring

Vetter Alcan fairing prototypes on BMW650 and KLR...

If you are looking for an uber adventure touring fairing for your KLR – look no further than the Vetter Alcan Fairing shown above. Here is what they are saying at the Vetter Site:

“The Alcan Fairing is – obviously – being developed for traveling the Alcan Highway. To start with, it must be rugged. Therefore, the basic structure is aluminum. I am assuming that it will be cold and rainy – all the way. Our son, Zak has put thousands of miles on the #7 Alcan Fairing prototype on his KLR, riding daily 25 miles to work. Recently, he has been riding in California’s El Nino rain. He arrives absolutely dry! He has no rain suit, either. This is a good start.”


Expedition South

Posted: October 7, 2011 in ADV Ride, Touring

KLRs - Central & South America - what's not to like...?

Click on either photo to checkout the trip website...

Getting Ready for Baja…

Posted: October 1, 2011 in ADV Ride, Baja, Touring

She's looking ready for the desert...

I knew I was heading south this winter on my KLR. I wasn’t sure where I would end up. My GF has less holidays than me so I let her pick what she wants to do and make my trips work around her time off. She was considering either kitesurfing in Baja or surfing in Costa Rica. I go to Baja most winters, but haven’t been there on a bike in nearly 10yrs. I’ve been going down in a 4×4 pick up truck the last while. I’ve never been to Central America so that would be all new for me as well. I have been farckling the bike knowing a big trip was coming up and she’d need to be ready for some adventures south of the border.

Well the GF has decided to go to La Ventana which is 45mins south of La Paz in Baja. Although this means less total mileage and less new ground to cover it’s probably for the best. I know my way around Baja really well which means no stress. I can get down to La Ventana on paved roads and setup my camp there. I’ll throw some 50/50 DS tires on the KLR [Michelin T63] and the stock 15T sprocket for lower gearing. Than I’ll be splitting my time between kiteboarding when it’s windy and riding in the desert when it’s not.

I’ve never had a serious motorcycle crash in all my years of riding, but I also know that not having had a bike for a while I can’t be too cocky. This trip to Baja means that I can head out into the dirt whenever I feel like it to work on my skills without any pressure to ride far or fast. I’ve got a GPS and 1:50,000 scale topo maps of the whole Baja so it will just be a lot of exploring between taco/beer stops and lots of kiteboarding to keep me fit. By the time I come back from Baja my KLR will be caked in well earned dust and I’ll be a competent dirt rider.

You can check out what I have done to my KLR so far at this link. The items below are what I still want to do before I leave in late November:

  • inspect OEM wiring and fix any rubbing issues
  • wire in heated vest & grips
  • wire in GPS & spare 12V socket on dash
  • T-mod
  • add Happy Trail centerstand
  • headlight guard
  • swap in low profile Barkbuster bar end weights
  • tank bag
  • by-pass sidestand and clutch safety switches
  • DIY tool tube
  • buy a one piece rain suit
  • change oil just before I leave

After all that my KLR650 will be fully adventure ready!…=-)

Sibirsky Extreme Project DVD…

Posted: September 30, 2011 in ADV Ride, Touring

Walter Colebatch has put together a nice looking DVD from his 2009 Siberian bike trip footage. Watch it in HD fullscreen over at Vimeo to do the trailer justice.

Road of Bones – Siberia Video…

Posted: September 29, 2011 in ADV Ride, Touring

I found this fun tour video on of a guy’s trip from Vienna to Magdan on the infamous Road of Bones in Siberia. He’s riding a BMW, but the video isn’t ruined by that….hahahaha…j/k…=-) It sounds like he’ll be posting a written account of his trip and/or more detailled videos so check over at his thread and see what happens…!

Long Way Down Book Review

Posted: September 15, 2011 in ADV Ride, Touring

Ewan & Charlie in Africa...

You can read my review of the Long Way Round book that Ewan & Charlie wrote about their RTW BMW GSA trip here. Coles Notes version of that review is I didn’t like the book as it was poorly written and had very little motorcycle or travel content. I had bought this book about their motorcycle tour down the African continent at the same time as the first book. If I hadn’t I would have skipped it, but since it was in my luggage and I was on the road I figured I’d give it a shot. I made it about halfway through before I stopped reading it. There is no improvement in writing style or content from the first book. I hear folks enjoyed the TV shows that are available on DVD. I haven’t seen them so I can’t give you my opinion, but if you are in a book shop thinking about buying either of these books do yourself a favour and don’t bother. You’ll be much happier with one of Ted Simon’s motorcycle tour books.

Just to be fair I’ll say that Ewan and Charlie are actors and they clearly love motorcycles. I can get behind that. I’m not putting them down, but these books aren’t very good.

Long Way Round Book Review…

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Touring

Millionaires on bikes!

I posted a review of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s RTW BMW GS bike tour book on my other blog. Click on the image above to read it.

Bajaworx Dakar windscreen on my KLR650…

I wanted a taller windscreen on my KLR650 for highway riding. The low stock windscreen puts the air flow right at helmet level which is noisy and results in lots of buffeting. The Bajaworx Dakar is considerably taller than the stock unit and quite vertical.

Stock KLR650 windshield…

The Dakar bolts right on to the KLR using the same 4 mounting bolts as the OEM unit. There are two sharp points on the front fairing that need to be cut off with the Dakar, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. They are visible in the top photo.

OEM on left and Dakar on right…

Although the Dakar is quite tall I am looking over it when riding. At highway speeds it pushes the air to a level about at the top of my helmet – I’m 5’11”. This eliminates any buffeting, but it’s still quite noisy. If I lean forward slightly or slouch down I can get into a pocket of silent air. The Dakar provides lots of protection from bugs and cold air.

Side view…

Overall the Dakar is a definite improvement on the stock KLR windshield. If I was 1″- 2″ shorter it would be perfect. I’d like to have a quieter ride on the highway so I am going to look at a removable spoiler from Touratech or maybe the Happy Trail Rallye Windscreen Kit.

Dakar on my KLR...

I should note that getting a Bajaworx Dakar shipped to Canada was no problem and Gerald at Bajaworx was very easy to deal with. I’ll post a long term review at the end of the year.

Alex @ South Sound BMW…

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Touring
250kms from Victoria BC to Tacoma Wa…

I had a bit of time before I needed to tackle my next work project and I have a KLR650 that still needs some break in miles so I decided to take the ferry from Victoria BC to Port Angles WA and then ride down highway 101 to Olympia WA. I have an old friend who works at South Sound BMW in Tacoma so I figured that was a good spot to head for once I reached the I-5.

This is Alex and I more than 10yrs ago…

I hadn’t seen Alex for a long long time so I was stoked to chat with him face to face and check out South Sound BMW.

Only 3 bikes on the ferry…

My KLR was one of only 3 bikes on the ferry to Port Angles. The guy who owned the cruiser next to me also owned a KLR and the US Customs officer I spoke to had been looking at a KLR as his next bike. We got to load our bikes first before all the cars which was nice so we could get up on the top deck to enjoy the sunshine while the 100 or so cars slowly loaded. The 90 min ferry ride was uneventful and the lack of waves meant I didn’t worry too much my KLR would end up laying down sideways on the vehicle deck!

About half of South Sound BMW…

The ride down highway 101 was fun. It’s twisty and scenic ride most of the way to Olympia WA. I stopped in the village of Quilcene to strip off some layers and get a cold drink as it was getting really hot – for the PNW anyways! Sadly after the lady at the local cafe had my soda poured I realized I only had Canadian cash on me. She didn’t want it so I walked back out to my bike and thought about riding north to the ATM so I could pay for the drink. It was so hot I just sat there for a minute or two in the shade considering my options when a guy who had been eating with his family comes out and gives me the drink. He heard me talking to the waitress and paid for my drink. Awesome – people are so nice…=-)

Refreshed I hit the road and enjoyed the rest of highway 101. At Olympia I took the I-5 north to Tacoma. Riding the interstate on a KLR isn’t the most fun thing to do, but she handled herself just fine. I’m looking forward to adding a 16T sprocket up front to drop the high speed revs down a notch or two from the stock 15T unit. The great thing about riding a dualsport on the highway is that when you hit a section of rough pavement that makes cars and street bikes unhappy you just don’t care!

The F800GS is a nice looking bike…

Google Maps has South Sound BMW at its old location so if you are using GPS and end up at a Harley Davidson dealer that’s why! You are close – just go the other way down 20th St. It was great to see Alex and it turns out I showed up on his birthday by accident which was a nice surprise. He had 2hrs of work left so I killed some time at South Sound by trying on expensive riding gear!

Olympia X-Moto Jacket & Pants…

I ended up buying an Olympia X-Moto jacket and pants. I liked the BMW clothing a lot, but I got a complete Olympia setup for less than just the BMW jacket. After Alex was done work we headed out for a nice dinner with his wife and friends to celebrate his birthday. I goofed and didn’t take any photos at dinner or of Alex’s kick ass BMW HP2 bike…=-( I’ll document the trip better next time.

My KLR650 waiting for the ferry home…

I read my ferry schedule wrong so I hit the road at 6:15am from Tacoma thinking I was heading for the 1030am ferry. Too bad the next boat was at 1245pm! I also forgot how cold it was to be on a bike in the early AM. I almost stopped and put on all my clothes to warm up, but I thought I needed to keep moving for the early ferry so I didn’t bother. After a couple of chilly hours on the bike it did warm up and I obviously got to the Port Angeles ferry terminal in plenty of time! I killed the extra time by chatting with a BMW rider from Vancouver and a HD rider from Hawaii – interesting folks!

Victoria BC harbour…

 The ferry home was sunny and warm so I hung out on the top deck to soak in the heat after the morning’s chilly ride. I got through Canadian customs fairly quickly and the nice Customs Officer didn’t hassle me about the Olympia stuff I bought so I saved an extra $100 in taxes – sweet!

Overall the trip was short, but fun. It’s a nice ride and getting to hang out with an old friend was a bonus for sure…=-) South Sound BMW has a nice selection of adventure touring gear and great prices so I’ll definitely do more shopping there sometime down the road when I drop in on Alex again.

Cover Sept/Oct 2010...

I bough the issue of Adventure Rider Magazine shown above because I wanted to read about a dualsport kiteboard rider’s adventures. It’s a pretty nice magazine and is available as a PDF download so you don’t have to pay for shipping and wait for your magazine to arrive. If you are looking for more dualsport action to keep you entertained when you aren’t able to head out for your own adventures this magazine is worth a look.

Lost Coast article...

Harley Davidson Dualsport

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Touring


HD Dualsport from ADV Rider....

Click here for more details


Baja Kiteboarding…

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Baja, Touring

I’m hoping to head down to Baja this winter for a couple months to kiteboard and camp on the beach. I found these videos of some folks who did just that.

ADV Rider Magazine [Sept/Oct 2010 issue] has an article about these folks and their trip which you can buy online.