Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
5. Fix-It, Ride-It, Break-It, Repeat
Finallllyyyy back at my bike. Why hello pretty lady, que es tu nombre?? So good hearing her purr again, I definitely mean that in a creepy way. Love this bike.
Every lady needs some TLC after being gone for a bit so we got to it. It was time for some new shoes so we got those taken care of. Keith, another ADVrider inmate is who I have been crashing with in San Diego (Thanks Keith!). Keith said that if you are going to be riding offroad in Baja, sliming the tires beforehand can go a long way towards avoiding flats, so we did that as well. Pesky cactuseses.
This was a good chance to address my leaky fork seal and change my oil. In regard to the weepy fork seals, I have another gear rant. My Happy Trail fork brace will not be continuing on the ride with me. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to let you go. “But why, what have I done?”. Nothing, that’s the problem. I’m sorry fork brace, but you have a negative net effect on this team.
After having several instances of weepy fork seals over the last few thousand miles I have come to the conclusion that my abnormally high rate of leaky seals has been largely instigated by the design of the fork brace. When you bolt it to each of the forks, there are two C-shaped pieces that you bolt together around each fork. Unfortunately when you put these around the forks the C’s don’t meet flushley. This leaves a ¼ inch gap (⅛ if you split the difference front and back) where the pieces come together. The brace is designed to clamp on at the point where the fork boot usually clamps on to the bottom of the fork to keep grit/dust/mud etc out. They thus designed another lip on top of the brace for the boot to attach to. BUT, because the brace doesn’t completely ‘shut’ around the fork, you have a slim slit front and aft where dust can get in and this cannot be prevented due to where the fork boot now connects on top of the brace. This may not be an issue for everyone but it appears to have been the root of the systemic issue. To be fair to Happy Trails, I get that if the pieces touched they wouldn’t be able to tighten as tight, and maybe they have to account for factory variations in fork dimensions (mind you the KLR is not a precision engineered machine). In any case though, for me it's just not going to work and thus must go. Alright, I’m done complaining.
Keith said he was going to go riding this weekend in the mountains outside of Baja. Get in the dirt? Count me in! After we finished up we headed out east on I8 towards an area called Fred’s Canyon. Keith has a sweet rig that he can throw all his camp gear and bike in so he took that up there. It’s a bit slower than a bike on the loose stuff so I went ahead to do some riding and then meet-up later at the camp.
Fun place, less flowey, bit more technical and up on the footpegs than Bishop CA. Better temp too since you are up around 4k - 5k feet in elevation.
Unfortunately the ‘up on the pegs’ part was a little too much and my left boot came off the peg. I fumbled the bike, managed to keep it upright though, but there was no longer any place for me to put my left foot. Foot peg wasn’t there anymore.
Found the bolt. It was stripped out.
After further inspection of the way my centerstand works, I believe this to be the cause of the eventual bolt failure. This bike isn’t designed for a centerstand, it’s aftermarket, and quite heavy. If you use it often with a fully loaded bike it puts a lot of pressure on the footpeg mounts (where it attaches). That coupled with a lot of offroad battering, which causes the heavy centerstand to overcome it’s springs and bounce up and down as you whoop around, eventually wears the footpeg bolts out (which are quite incompetent in the way they attach the pegs to the frame in the first place). Don’t worry though, this is not a rant nore a fault of the centerstand. I just shouldn’t have purchased it in the first place given how I ride my bike. If you are mostly on street I would still recommend it highly, just use it sparingly and try to unload the bike before pulling it up on the centerstand. For me though, the centerstand will be coming off as well as the fork brace now.
I rode the bike back to a highpoint where I could look across the canyon and see Keiths rig rocking back and forth as it crawled over the rocky terrain towards the camp spot.
I pointed the bike towards the rig and rode her back. Sweet basecamp Keith.
Since my bike was out of comission for serious riding for the moment, Keith bent my arm to take his KTM 530 for a spin. Sure thing, I’ll warm it up for you Boss.
Damn that bike is saweet! When I stop vagabonding I need a trail bike like that in the garage. Got back and Keith had camp set-up deluxe.
He geared up for a sunset ride.
I stayed back and took in the scenery. Pretty rough out here.
After sunset we spun the chairs around and watched the moonrise from the opposite direction.
Next morning I woke up, mind and eyes pointed towards Mexico. You can see it right there in the distance.
I’ll be en Ensenada in the afternoon. I’ll fix the peg there. This will do until then, that’s why we have hwy pegs anyways right?
Mapped out a dirt road towards the border and took it.
Picked up a new knife, definitely sharp, cut my tongue on it licking it clean.
I crossed at Tecate and took Hwy 3 to Ensenada, called the Ruta Del Vino. Welcome to Ensenada.
I’m crashing with Damaso, another ADVrider who lives in Ensenada, gracias mi amigo.
SeanPNW screwed with this post 09-22-2013 at 04:03 PM