2 KLR's, 2 Martin's, 9 days, 9000 Miles

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Slash5, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Well kind of! [​IMG] We will do 9000 miles in 19 days, but 5000 will be in our Launch Vehicle (Toyota Tundra). My wife and I are trucking our 08 KLR's to Edmonton and then taking on the D2D, Dempster, Campbell, Ice Fields, Cassair, and the Klondike Highways, covering over 4000 miles in 14 days [​IMG] (if all goes according to plan!).

    For inmates that want to follow us along with our family and non-ADV friends, our Blog is here:
    http://slash5john.blogspot.com/
    Hope some of you choose to ride along!

    Less than two weeks to go now! [​IMG]
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    #1
  2. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Well, here is less than 2 weeks before we go. Seems like the months have passed too quickly since we first hatched the scheme back in August and went looking for motorcycles. Planning has been going on almost non-stop since then with so many variables to consider. But we decided on our route and here it is. Understand it is only a plan, but it does give some idea as to the scope of what we are trying to accomplish.
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    We started out in August of 2008 researching the best overall "dual-sport" bikes; ones that could handle both the long highway miles and the endless stretches of rougher gravel roads. We read as much as we could about others that had completed similar trips on bikes ranging from full dressed Honda Gold Wings to light weight (250cc) dirt bikes. We decided with our heavy payloads and what we were going to require from the bikes, the "mid-weight" models would best fit our needs, those from 400-800 cc's. After weeks of research we had narrowed it down to 2 models; BMW F800GS and the Kawasaki KLR650. As we had to buy two of them (the price of 1 BMW almost = 2 KLRs), and the fact that the BMW was a "new" model and may have some undiscovered issues, we decided to go with the fully vetted KLR650 (over 20 years in production!). Turns out, it has been used by other adventure riders like Dr. Greg Frazier to travel around the world and Sgt. Marty who went from Prudhoe Bay to Tierra de Fuego. Once we settled on the model, then we discovered that it had just been redesigned, so we then had to make a decision about using either pre or post 2008’s. We joined all the proper KLR forums and began to immerse ourselves in everything KLR, and man there is a lot of it! Again after a lot of research and in looking at the "improvements" for the new model, we settled on getting the 08's. Turns out they were not easy to find, in fact there wasn't even one available in the entire state of Georgia! However thru some persistent internet searches by my lovely wife Jenn, we finally found 2; one (green) in coastal South Carolina and one (blue) in north central North Carolina, so that called for a weekend roadtrip. The next weekend we packed up our daughter Erin (3) and out dog Rugby and spent the two days collecting the bikes from the far-flung reaches of the Carolinas! We had our bikes now we need to get them ready!!!!
    #3
  4. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    It is important to note before I really get into over 40 mods that we made to our KLR's, that you understand a little about Jenn & I. Unfortunately, we are both "over planners" when it comes to some things, motorcycles being one of those things. With that in mind, here is a list of the modifications that we made to each of our bikes in no particular order:
    1. Ricor Intiminators
    2. Pelican 1430/Lid Liners
    3. Happy Trail Rack
    4. Bark Busters Hand Guards
    5. Happy Trail Nerf Bars
    6. Happy Trail Skid Plate
    7. Happy Trails Highway Pegs
    8. Moose Racing extended shifter
    9. Moose foot peg
    10. California Scientific Tall Windshield
    11. Doohicky (Balancer Chain Tensioner)
    12. .22 Cent Mod (Carb Mod)
    13. Magnetic Oil Plug
    14. Stainless Steel Oil Filter
    15. Nashbar Nerf Bags
    16. Sergeant Seat (Lower)
    17. Uniflow Rechargable Air Filter
    18. TKC 80 Tires
    19. Moose Heavy Duty Tubes
    20. Rox anti vibration Risers
    21. Grip Puppies
    22. 5 Function Volt Meter
    23. Happy Trail Cockpit Shelf
    24. Handle Pull tie downs
    25. Tool Tubes (Agrisupply)
    26. Kleen Kanten Water Bottles and mounts
    27. SPOT Locator /RAM Mount
    28. TomTom GPS/RAM Mount
    29. XM Radio/RAM Mount
    30. 2 BMW Style Power Outlets (for heated gear)
    31. 2 Standard Power Outlets
    32. New Fuse Block
    33. New Wire Harness and Muffler Bolts (Factory Recalls)
    34. 45 degree valve stems
    35. Throttle Rocker II
    36. Wolfman Explorer Lite Tank Bag
    37. Billet Master Cylinder Guard
    38. Seat Bolt Mod (for easy seat removal)
    39. Custom Handle Bar Camera mount (thx Daniel)
    40. Disabled kickstand switch
    41. Cee Baileys Head Light Guard
    Overkill?????
    We won't know until we get into the trip. Some stuff was needed in order to increase the KLR's performance (.22 mod, TKC80's, Doohicky, etc.). Some we wanted for comfort to help ease the long travel miles (Sargent seat, Rox Risers, Tall Windshield, etc.). Some we installed because of the unexpected ( Ricor intiminators, Master Cylinder Guard, Disabled kickstand switch, etc.). So after 9 months of modifications, we think we are done :). But I will continue to do what ifs in my mind until we leave, and I am sure that we should have done much more...... time will tell !
    Next up, what do we need to carry with us to handle the unexpected.
    #4
  5. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    OK, next preparation problem to solve: How do you prepare for the as yet unknown mechanical problem. We knew that we needed to take all of the tools required to take off and repair our tires/tubes, as we have read many stories of the numerous flats folks have had on the Dempster (see link), but what about "field fixes" for unexpected mechanical problems. Obviously if we could , we would take a complete tool set, complete with torque wrench and Clymer Manual, but when you have to carry everything on your bike, you need to find the right balance of "coverage" vs. weight. Fortunately , the 2008 Clymer manual ws just released on June 1, that that is a definite must have. So I spent the last month or so assembling 2 toolsets, one for my wife and one for me, that would cover 90% of the potential problems. Here is the tool list along with a picture to show one of our tool rolls:

    1. 1/4 inch Metric Socket 6-12 mm
    2. 2 - 1/4 drive extensions (1 inch and 3 inch)
    3. 1/4 inch swivel adapter
    4. 17 mm 3/8 inch deep socket with 1/4 adapter (for Oil Plug)
    5. 2 - 1/4 inch ratchets (1 regular, 1 stubby)
    6. Motion Pro Dual L-Handle Drivers Mini 1/4 inch drive
    7. 8-17 mm Stubby wrenches
    8. Husky Reversible Pliers (1 side needle nose, 1 side diagonal cutters)
    9. Mini pliers
    10. 1.5-6 mm hex bits for 1/4 drive
    11. assorted flat, phillip and star bits for 1/4 drive
    12. mini flat and phillips screw driver
    13. Stubby adjustable wrench
    14. GearWrench Metric Quad Box Double Box Ratcheting Wrench 8-19 mm
    15. expandable magnetic part retriever
    16. expandable mirror
    17. "bugger hook"
    18. razor knive
    19. small measuring ruler
    We also added:
    • a assorted collection of metric nut & bolts
    • duct tabe
    • wire tires in various lengths
    • an electrical kit complete with fuses, extra wire, various connectors, min-voltage tester, and a mini-torch.
    • motorcycle jumper cables (homemade)
    • motorcycle gas siphon
    • QuickJack
    • Slime tire inflator (12v)
    So again, we hope that we are prepared, but stay tuned to the trip to see if we actually are!
    Next up what to wear in the great white north!
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Well, you know that it had to come to this right :). Being from Jawgaa, we needed to take a hard look at bringing the stuff that will make us feel all warm and toasty, both while riding and hanging out around camp. Again, realizing that we will be limited on packing space, we first worked out the space needed for essentials, underwear and socks. The rest of the stuff is "nice to haves", but if I am going to lay down every night with my lovely bride, I can't be bringing any "funk" to the table! So after much discussion we settled on 5 pair of each (don't ask me how we got to that number!), hoping that we can do some laundry at some point, or if not, at least we would be sharing the same "funk" so only strangers will give us that "upturned nose, look of disdain"! With that out of the way we looked at the average highs and lows for our most northern point (Inuvik), and saw that for the times we will be there, the avg. high is the mid 60's (F) and the avg. low is the mid 30's (F). I still had my cold weather riding gear that I used when I was up in Wilmington De., so I was set. My wife found a jacket and some pants (color coordinated) when we were up at the Inaugural Moto GP race in Indy last year, so..... we were then both covered for riding gear. We then decided to get some "real adventure" riding boots, and due to cost and function we settled on AlpineStar Tech 3's. With those in the bag along with a sweat shirt, some long sleeve shirts, a pair of jeans, and some thermals, we were set for clothes, all we needed was a hat! Not any hat mind you, but something that would "dare to" match our adventure! Not an over the top Indiana Jones type thank you, but something that when we walk down the street in some small town in the Yukon folks will say; " Now those are some adventuresome folks, just look at those hats!" I think we accomplished that, with mine in red and Jenn's in colors that match her new riding ensemble (Yea guys before you even ask.... it is important that things all match, even in adventure gear)! With their ability to shed water better than a Canadian Goose and their velcro sides that can fold up for just a hint of the Aussie Outback, I think that we are finally ready.
    Now these are Adventure Hats!!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    Next up "Final Load Out"
    #6
  7. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Well, the time is near. After 10 months of decisions and prep, it has come down to this........... WIDE EYED PANIC. Should I have this?......... and why didn't I that? But as I often say at some point, "It is what it is". We think that we have done everything that was important and the rest we will need to figure out as we go! Like my friend (and boss) Tom says, what you don't prepare for is where the adventure part comes in. Tomorrow, (6/13) our friends at the MNMG (Monday Night Motorcycle Gang) are giving us a send off from the garage we spend every Monday night wrenching on each others bikes! Although we don't actually leave until the following Friday (6/19), our good friends Lou and Sandra wanted to give us a proper group send-off. The plan is to finish loading the bikes up on Thursday, pack all our bags, and spend one last sleepless night running thru "What Ifs" in our minds. Anyway, here is a picture of a bed extender that we added to the Tundra so we wouldn't have to pull a trailer behind our "Launch Vehicle" (Tundra) on the way up to Edmonton Alberta to begin our adventure. We did a test fit yesterday and there is plenty of room for the two bikes and all of our gear. I will post a few pictures of the send-off party and our loaded bikes the night before we go. Make sure that you check out some of the links in the upper left corner of the site for some cool stuff we hope to experience. In particular the "Sour Toe" drink in Dawson City Yukon. My bride said she can't stand the thoughts of it, but I have 4000 miles to convince her she may never have another chance to do something like this. STAY TUNED!


    [​IMG]




    Next up "Running on Empty"
    #7
  8. mica

    mica Weekend Adventurer

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    have fun and good luck
    #8
  9. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Thx, less than 3 days now! :clap
    #9
  10. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    Well, it is finally here! :clap I think that we are just about as prepared as we can be, and I hope that the decisions we have made about "what to do" and "what not to do" work out. We are pretty much Running on Empty because Jenn and I are now waking up numerous times each night in a panic thinking that we have forgotten something. :eek1 So far, when we discuss the latest OMG, we realize that we already have it covered. We really just need to get on the road and get this trip underway! As I mentioned before, the folks at the MNMG (Monday Night Motorcycle Gang), had their normal get together this past Monday but they all put down their wrenches to spend the night wishing me a "Happy Birthday" (57th!), and Jenn and I a safe journey (see picture). It is pretty cool to think that some of them will be riding along with us in spirit thru this thread! We will be loading everything up tonight with a friend (Daniel Martin) who was going to go with us until his "soon to be born child" started causing some issues with momma. We will miss him, and look forward to riding with him and his brothers on the Trans America Trail next year. Rob (Rob1313) an inmate in Edmonton has graciously offered to store our vehicle while we are on our journey, but more on that later. We have a brutal first couple of days scheduled (2400 miles in 2 straight days of driving!), so you probably won't hear from us until we reach Edmonton, but please continue to follow us on our map in the "Where are we" in the COOL LINKS section in our blog

    http:\\slash5john.blogspot.com.

    [​IMG]
















    Next up, "Are we there yet!"
    #10
  11. Scotty P

    Scotty P Funny Like a Clown

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    I think you just about have all the mods covered!!!

    Good luck and we need Pics.


    #11
  12. Slash5

    Slash5 I Should Know Better

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    [​IMG]
















    Loading up in Atlanta

    Well, after over 2400 miles and 40 hours of straight driving, we are in Edmonton AB , and the first leg is complete :clap . We had thought that we might get a room and sleep for a couple of hours near Saskatoon, Manitoba, but we decided to keep rolling and spend the time sleeping late in our hotel in Edmonton. So we slept for about 6 hours and got up to find some breakfast before unloading the bikes. We called Rob1313, an inmate that I met here on the ADV who had agreed to store our truck while we worked our up north on the KLR's. Rob came over and led us to his house and we parked the Tundra safely in his driveway awaiting our return. He is the good looking one on the left.
    [​IMG]

    We have spent the rest of the day reloading our bags and doing some final prep on the bikes for our early start tomorrow. Well will close for now, Jenn and I are going looking for a beer and some dinner here in Edmonton and try to get to bed early. If you want a good laugh check out Jenn's video diary of the trip up to Edmonton on page 2 of the Photo's link on our blog slash5john.blogspot.com
    (you are gettin very....very....... sweepy) :lol3

    TOMORROW THE ADVENTURE REALLY BEGINS.
    #12