Massachusetts to Tennessee in 3 days on a KLR

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Liberia, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    First, this trip begins on July 24th as my wife and I fly from Nashville to Boston to pick up a nicely farkled 2009 KLR650. Our youngest daughter is interning for the summer at Jacob's Pillow, a well known dance theater in Becket, MA (western Massachusetts).

    We had planned to fly up and see her and I started watching the Boston Craig's List for a bike capable of making the trip home (1,200 miles). Soon a very nice 2009 KLR650 came up that was heavily farkled (I'll put a picture and list of the accessories in a future post. After a month or two of it not selling the owner agreed to a lower price and the deal was done. The owner's name is Bill and he's been a really great guy to work with. When he heard my wife was riding back he even offered to redrill the Pelican trunk so that there would be more room on the saddle.

    Here's an item that I would like your assistance with. What tools should I carry for the ride back? The KLR has the standard tool kit on it. We'll be on the highways all the way back and, to be honest if not manly, if I have a flat I'll probably have someone else fix it since we have roadside assistance as well.

    Thanks for your help. I'll add to this thread as we coninue with our planning and along the way as we make the trip back.
    #1
  2. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    [​IMG]

    2009 KLR 650
    ü HT Teton Panniers (removable)
    ü Pannier Mounting Rack
    ü Pelican Rear Topcase (in picture below)
    ü HT Bash Plate
    ü Oxford Sport Heated Grips
    ü Tool Tube
    ü 2 Front Sprockets (15t &16T-mounted)
    ü 2 Rear Sprockets (40T & 43T-mounted)
    ü Rear LED Tail Light
    ü High Flow Air Filter
    ü Wired for Gerbing
    ü Ram Mount for GPS
    ü Hardwired GPS Power
    ü Signal Dynamics Heads Up Voltage Monitor
    ü Extended Air/Fuel Mixture Screw
    ü Studebaker Muffler/Jet Kit (not installed)
    ü Hippo Hands
    ü Newer Tires (Kenda's and have about 1500 miles on them - 90 percent street tire)
    ü 7,000 miles on the bike
    ü No mechanical issues at all
    ü Clear title in hand

    The Bad:
    Ø A few scratches on the rear plastics but nothing major
    Ø A small chip in the dash below the heated grip control (I mounted the control too low - it has since been raised

    Doo Hickey has not been done yet. Do you guys think this should be done before the trip home? If so I would need to order the parts and take them with me.

    [​IMG][/font]
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    With 7000 miles, the doo may already be broken. Some have been reported broken in as little as 3000 miles. If you're handy and for your peace of mind, maybe you should open it and have a look before you ride it home.

    Good luck :thumb
    #3
  4. Yingster

    Yingster Serious n00b

    Joined:
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    I'll be watching your trip report on this Liberia! (if you do one)

    I'm just a little further east of you, past Cookeville.
    #4
  5. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    Put your wife on a plane.

    You ride back solo.


    This is sage advice.
    #5
  6. Yingster

    Yingster Serious n00b

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    :lol3 :rofl
    #6
  7. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

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    I've made the offer and, before we get back she will probably wish she had taken it. But if I lose her I lose my photographer. We'll ride 4 legs of 90 miles each per day in order to keep things manageable. I do see the widsom in your advice however.
    #7
  8. NewHampWoodsRider

    NewHampWoodsRider Tag Captor

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    You guys will be fine!
    Just take your time and enjoy the ride home!

    Doohickey should be fine!.
    The failure rate on 08+ models is much less than the previous years. Still a good idea to change it when you get home.

    The spring will lose tension first, saw one that was limp as a noodle, 08 bike with 22,000mi on it.
    If you are concerned adjust the tension on it before the ride home. Very easy, takes 5-10min at most.

    I changed mine at 5k (09") and everything was still good.

    Dont sweat it, enjoy the trip!
    #8
  9. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I'm interested to know what you think I should take on this trip. Here's some basic info about the trip.

    We fly into Boston Saturday, July 24th and pick up the bike around 7:30pm. By the time we're done with the transaction and loaded it will likely be 8:30pm. So we'll stay in a hotel within 50 miles of the owner's home. We will stay in hotels each night throughout the trip (no camping).

    Sunday, ride to Becket, MA and spend 2 nights with our daughter leaving for home Tuesday morning. Ride about 350 or so miles each day arriving home Thursday early evening. Stay Tuesday night around the Hagerstown, MD area and Wednesday night in the Bristol, TN area.

    Here's what I plan to take currently:
    -Bill of Sale for current owner to sign
    -Proof of Insurance
    -Change for toll roads

    -GPS (already wired and has mount for Tom Tom One so I bought a cheap one to go on the bike)
    -Laptop to update the ride report at night
    -Camera for pictures

    -Helmets, Jackets, Rain Suits
    -Tie down straps, tools, air pump, duct tape (buy chain lube and oil there - non flyable)
    -Small bungee for cheapo throttle lock
    -Butty Buddy for Mrs. Liberia

    -Clothes (minimize, minimize... keep repeating that to Mrs. Liberia)
    -Small cooler for lunch along the way

    If you have suggestions please say so. I'll add them to my list.
    #9
  10. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

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    I'll definitely do a ride report. Right now we're looking at riding back on I-81 which, although an Interstate, is still a very scenic ride. However, I looked at taking an extra day or two off and riding the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way back into Tennessee from the Hagarstown area and we may do that instead. If so the picture quality will definitely improve. Mrs. Liberia is an excellent photographer so I'm expecting some great photos to share with the inmates.
    #10
  11. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    The Blue Ridge Parkway idea sounds great! I-81, although it goes through some beautiful areas, can be somewhat stressful, due to the volume of big rigs traveling at high rates of speed. Obviously the BRP will take longer, but if you can spare the time, I think it would be a much more enjoyable trip for you and your wife.
    If you decide to go this route, start at Skyline Drive coming out of Front Royal, VA. If it times out, I can even offer you a place to stay near Frederick, MD, about an hour and a half from Front Royal. PM me if you're interested.
    #11
  12. stumped

    stumped Adventurer

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    i agree about 81 being stressful. do as much of the parkway as you can. it'll take longer but it's beautiful. there's a few hotels right on the parkway. speed limit is 45 (you can average 55) no cross traffic, plenty of picnic tables and pull- off areas.
    #12
  13. NewHampWoodsRider

    NewHampWoodsRider Tag Captor

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    When you first pick up the bike spend a good 30 min riding solo.
    Get use to the bikes characteristics before your wife hops on the back.

    The brakes are not a strong point on a KLR, take some getting use to.

    Check/adjust tire pressures for the load, manual states 21psi front and 28psi rear loaded.
    Some people go higher.

    Just some thoughts.

    Highways will not be where this bike shines, stick to the back roads if possible.
    It can do it just fine, but can numb your butt from the vibes.
    Of course the 16t sprocket will be a saving grace.

    Keep an eye on the oil level if traveling lots of interstate.

    And Most of all: HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #13
  14. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    you sound like me 20 years ago. My then girlfriend (now wife) and I rode from Columbus Mississippi to Lexington Mass. We were on an overloaded, new (leftover) 1988 R100GS. We had no idea what to pack or take or how to get there. After that trip, I knew I had to marry her.

    Definitely avoid interstates as much as possible. The parkways are very nice but do require some concentration. State highways are always, always better than the slab. Especially on a single. The slab can be useful to make up time though.

    I suggest you both get Camelback's. Nothing will put you in a foul frame of mind like a little dehydration. Since it's so hot, I suggest you start as close to daylight as possible and get off the road early. Naps in the day are wonderful! She will be much happier without the stress of finding some place to sleep when she's hungry and it's getting dark. You will too of course.

    Packing stuff on the rack so she can lean against it will help. My wife spent 900 miles or so on a KLR in Mexico and was pretty comfortable since she could lean back some.

    Interestingly enough, I will be riding back from Mass on my fly and ride, an Aprilia Futura I bought in RI. I'll be leaving the 29th or 30th, solo, while my wife stays at her parents with the kids. Other than the first half day or so, I have no route planned. Unless I get a chance to hook up with my best friend from 6th grade who lives in Cincinnati, I don't intend to plan one either. I just want to pick off a few more states I haven't ridden in (ME, WV, OH, IN, maybe IL) This is the first time I'm sort of thinking I wish I had a GPS. But heck, a compass, a map, the Great Lakes on my right and the Ohio river on my left are all I really need.

    Oh yeah - mail from Mass half the stuff you think you need to take with you and you won't be too overloaded :deal.
    #14
  15. fatboy

    fatboy Been here awhile

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    Less is more ... I'd loose the cooler and buy lunch ... esp if your only traveling for 3 days.

    I just drove down both Skyline and Blueridge parkways. I started in Front Royal and my destination was Asheville NC. The parkways are stunning, just smiles and beautiful vistas all the way. In contrast, I81 is an accident waiting to happen. Stressful is an understatement. Big thumbs up for the parkways. However, if you've only got 3 days you won't make it home if you drive this distance on them. I underestimated how long it would take to drive them both.

    I have a 2008 klr and replaced the doo at about 4k miles. It wasn't broken but I'd say the stock spring was not sized properly and had no where near the tension of the replacement part. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you and I don't think your going to fix this on the road. I worked in my buddy's garage and we had to make a tool for the job .. an offset wrench. So, your also looking at special tools. Easy job though ... once your home.
    #15
  16. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    First, thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I plan to follow them as much as possible.

    CaveDave, how kind of you to offer us a spot to stay. I had already booked our hotels when I saw your post. But thank you still.

    NewHampWoodsRider, each of your recommendations is a good one. The reminder about the oil, tire pressure and braking will be heeded.

    DC950, good reminder about hydration. There's a Pelican case on the top rack and we'll have a bike bag on top of that. My son got Mrs. Liberia a back pad to use so I think she'll be in good shape if I can force myself to stop more often than usual. Our daughter is there with an SUV so we can ditch the overpacking with her.

    Fatboy, Mrs. Liberia kind of likes the picnic lunch thing but we're talking about one of the small, soft sided coolers that will fit in a pannier.

    Route -
    Saturday - fly to Boston, bike owner picks us up, pack and drive an hour (69 miles) to hotel.
    Sunday/Monday - Drive 2 hours (108 miles) to Lenox, MA where we will stay and visit our daughter for 2 days.
    Tuesday - Drive for 7 hours (424 miles) to Winchester, VA where we'll spend the night at a Hampton Inn.
    Wednesday - Drive for 7 hours (243 miles) which is includes all of Skyline Drive as well as the upper portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stay in Roanoke at the Hampton Inn.
    Thursday - Drive for 5.5 hours (180 miles) on the BRP to Boone, NC where we'll spend the night at (you guessed it) a Hampton Inn.
    Friday - Drive 6 hours (340 miles) back to Murfreesboro, TN. Mostly Interstate.

    If we can get started early enough on Tuesday and Friday mornings we could get off the Interstates and take some of the state highways. But Mrs. Liberia isn't really a morning person. So I think we'll have to spend stay pretty close to the schedule above. I think we'll do fine as our longest days shouldn't be more than 10 - 11 from start to stop. That gives us plenty of time to relax and recover in the nicer hotels that we've chosen just for that purpose.
    #16
  17. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    I fixed it for you.

    Sounds like a great adventure.

    Congrats, I've had two KLRs, they are awesome tools, best motorcycle Kawasaki has EVER made.

    I hope your wife loves you a whole whole bunch. :D
    #17
  18. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    SCQTT,

    Took me a minute to realize you added your insights to my travel scedule in the quoted area. Unfortunately I think you may be right in each area. However, it's really better if I go into this as blind as possible so that I don't have to live through the experience twice (one worrying about it and once actually doing it).

    Mrs. Liberia is crazy (about me). We've been married for 32 years and she's more of a risk taker now than when we were younger. Mainly though she just wants to see our daughter who graduated from college one day and left for the internship in Massachusetts the next. They are both having withdrawals. I have, however, put all the commercial airports along the path into our gps... just in case.
    #18
  19. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    Mrs. Liberia sounds awesome. I think you are a lucky man. I salute the both of you (a good salute, not the ADV one)

    Have fun!

    Look me up if you ever head a little West.


    Scott
    #19
  20. troutwhisperer

    troutwhisperer Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Sounds like a great ride.

    If you need anything or assistance PM me. I am only about 10 miles east from the BRP on Rte 60 in Amherst, Virginia.

    Let me know how you like the KLR for two up riding. I am trying to decide on a KLR650, DR650 or a F650GS thumper.

    Best of luck, Mike
    #20