This is where the riding actually starts, for anyone waiting with bated breath for some actionÖ.
Sunday morning, I rode from West Lafayette to Fishers, where Iím from. My girlfriend wanted to spend a day with me, as she was home as well. The first leg went really, really well. Only about 70 miles of riding, but the XT got about 55 mpg all loaded up at ~65 mph. It was even fairly warm at 43 degrees, though I donít have any heated gear or anything. First leg down.
Pic as I was leaving my apartment at Purdue:
Of course, when I come out of the house a few hours later and go to take my stuff to my house, since it is supposed to rain. I make it to the neighborhood entrance and can feel that the bike is a little wallowy, but Iíve never had it loaded up so I chalked it up to that. I turn into the roundabout and the back end slides out like Iím riding on snow. Lo and behold, my rear tire is flat. Of course, I have a spare front tube but I had neglected to buy a rear. I limped back to her driveway, patched the tube, and reinstalled it. It held.
The next day, I bought a new rear tube as a spare. George showed up at about 4 PM and we ran to a local burger joint to get some dinner. Sometime around 5 we are finally ready to leave my place, and my tire is flat. Again. I fill it up and it seems fine, so we hit the road. We made it 20 miles before it was flat again. Filled up on the side of the highway, and made it another 5 miles. After filling it a third time (luckily my mom had forced me to bring the bike pump when she saw my tire was flat) we got off at exit 103. The Harley dealer there was closed, so no lifts. We went to the Menards across the street and I got some of that fix-a-flat stuff, which didnít work at all, and eventually decided that I would have to change the tube in the dark Menards parking lot. The guys inside were incredibly understanding, and let us borrow 2 cinder blocks so I could prop the bike up. As this is my first ride report, I totally neglected to get a pic. Of course, it also started snowing while we were there, and George, who hadnít slept the night before, was about to fall asleep in the lot.
It took about an hour all said and done, and we loaded up and hit the road again. It took about 40 or 50 miles to get to our exit, in 30 degree weather with snow running 70 mph. In case you were wondering, no, I couldnít really feel my fingers. Even Georgeís heated grips werenít doing much but overwhelm his statorís capacity and kill the battery. We stopped at the gas station (a Marathon that the locals call ďthe jassyĒ) to warm up and get some hot chocolate.
Getting back on the bikes in the freezing weather. Yeah yeah yeah, I'm bad at packing.
Off the highway now, we could go about 55 and not get too frozen. Almost as soon as we get up to speed, a few deer run across the road right in front of us. Always a good way to snap you awake and get that adrenaline goingÖ Shortly after that trial, George starts slowing down, and pulls off to the side, citing a feeling of the bike steering from the rear. After a little inspection, the rear bearings on the KTM have a minute amount of play in them. George has a very sensitive ass, apparently. I know I'd never be able to feel that. The rest of the way to Seymour went pretty smoothly, and we pulled in around 10 PM after that ~80 mile leg.