I'm a grad student with a family, so disposable income is nonexistent. I hadn't had a bike in years, and being back on campus really gave me the itch again. I just happened to stumble onto a good deal on an XR250L so I gritted my teeth, pulled out the credit card, and made the deal. I rode it like it was for a season, then turned into a low-budget motard with some Bandit wheels and rattlecan paint.
The project now is to turn it into a mule for some 3-5 day camping trips. I fabbed up a luggage rack from scrap aluminum:
I wanted some hard cases, but again on the cheap. I found a sweet military surplus waterproof aluminum case that should make a good trunk box. I want it to mount and dismount quickly, so the plan is to make an aluminum tray the same size as the bottom of the box, with walls an inch or two high around the edges. I have some toolbox type latches laying around, so I'm thinking I can put the bigger part on the box and the smaller part on the tray. The tray will bolt to the luggage rack, then the box can go off and on just by flipping a few latches. I don't know if that description makes any sense, but I'm open to other suggestions. I'm also planning on putting some strap loops on the outside of the box so I can lash additional stuff outside of it, although the box is big enough that if I fill it I'll probably end up riding a perpetual wheelie.
I find the gearing on my bike to be too high for the typical 60 MPH max state road driving I do (no way I'm taking this little lightweight out on the highway). It's a six speed tranny and doesn't have enough power to pull sixth gear. The countershaft sprocket that was on it when I bought it is the smallest available and I haven't been able to come up with the $50 for a bigger rear sprocket, so for now I'm living with it.
I haven't camped since I was little, so this summer will be a learning experience. I got a 2-man tent and a sleeping bag for Christmas, I figure that plus a good supply of water, jerky, and trail mix should be enough to get me started. I'd like a stove, but again the money thing is an issue.
Getting a KLR is pretty high on the priority list for when I graduate, but for now I'm more than happy tooling around on my little 250. I'm building up to longer distances, and it seems like as long as I stop every hour or so to relieve the butt I should be able to go all day.
That's enougb rambling for me. I'm looking forward to hear everyone else weigh in on this one.