Adventures 2-up on a KTM in the Pacific Northwet

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Hiff-Hiffs, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    It has been a hot minute since I last sat down and wrote a trip report. We left off on our grand adventures with the beloved Beast in the fall of 2019. @badboy2000 and I had grand plans for a massive overhaul of the bike, lots of upgrades, and 4-6 major trips in the works. The snowy and cold months were spent with the Beast stripped down to her frame in the garage and lots of hard work, sweat, and love poured into her. We spent many an evening in the garage; badboy working his magic and I knitting.

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    Our upgrades and changes included:
    • clearwater lights
    • air horn
    • air horn delay circuit
    • heat shielding on the exhaust (hopefully less melting feet!)
    • trickle-charge battery attachment
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    With the upgrades finished and the Beast chomping at the bit, we were ready for some awesome trips in 2020. There were trips planned for British Columbia, the Touratech Rally, Olympic National Park, Mt. St. Helens/Mt. Rainier, and an adventure to Northern California. Gear prepped. Beast tricked out. Lodging booked. We were all systems go. Then #COVID. Life and our plans changed. Instead of grand adventures far from home, we spent the year doing lots of day rides in our own backyard. Lots of fun and enjoyment had. I just didn't feel like taking tons of photos of the same wheatfields and writing reports. Those were awesome rides for our sanity and many memories were made just getting out and enjoying the thrill of riding 2-up on the Beast. You don't need a major trip to get out and enjoy the adventure of being on the KTM. The Beast is plenty of adventure by herself!

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    #41
  2. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    With the lack of snow this year, we were pleasantly surprised to take the KTM out for several short, COLD, rides in February. We never strayed very far from home, but getting out on the Beast was worth braving the cold. @badboy2000 and I really needed to get out and clear our heads. There is no better place for clearing your mind and doing serious thinking than on a motorcycle. While braving the cold we lived through a right of passage and scuffed up the Beast for the first time. An un-level driveway was our undoing and the bike went over. Fortunately nobody was hurt. The roller bars did their job and now have a small mark to prove they are more than Badboy's giving in to my obsession with orange bars. :)

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    With warmer weather coming and our vaccines almost finished, we are starting to look ahead to the summer and some more trip planning. While we won't probably do the grand adventures we had planned last year, we will be getting out more on the bike and enjoying some longer weekends away. I can't wait; and neither can the Beast.
    #42
  3. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    So we did a thing........

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    Story Time (TLDR: we bought a bike)

    @badboy2000 and I enjoy browsing listings for motorcycles and send bikes we like to each other. For the last year or two I obsess over Triumph Tiger 1200s, Badboy eyes BWM R1250 GSAs, and together we look at Honda Africa Twins. Now, none of this is logical as we own a wonderful KTM 1290 SAR we love completely. But the motorcycle bug is strong and the rule is always N+1 after all.

    A couple weeks ago we stopped in at a local dealer to see what bike stock they had. Spoiler...not much due to high demand. However, they did have a R1250 on order that was supposed to arrive any week now. Well, whatever. We were just browsing and it's not like we wanted to buy another motorcycle right now.

    Thursday afternoon, I was at work and Badboy messaged me a link to a motorcycle and said, "look, they got that R1250 in". I opened the link. Bam. My heart skipped a beat. Time stopped. The unthinkable happened. I fell in love, sight unseen, with a BMW motorcycle. Now, I can hear you thinking..."but Hiffs, you love motorcycles and are very brand agnostic. Why was it so unthinkable to fall in love with a new R1250 GS." Let me tell you. I have fallen in love with plenty of bikes. Our ST 1100, the 1290 SAR, the Triumph Tiger 1200 that I had been obsessing over for months.....but I had never fallen in love with a BMW. When looking at the R1250 GSAs in the past, I always found them to big and overwhelming. We have the Beast. Why-ever would we want a bike that felt even bigger than the KTM.

    However, this bike - this bike I fell in love with at first sight. Turns out, in all of our shopping I had never really realized that there is the R1250 GSA & the GS. Where I found the GSA big, overwhelming, and cumbersome feeling the GS looked much sleeker and more dainty in pictures. My first message back to Badboy was "that is a SEXY looking bike". Followed by "I kinda want it". An afternoon's worth of conversation bled into an evening of conversation. I did a ton of soul searching and contemplation. Looked up all of the different available paint schemes, model variations, and upgrades. It always came back to the same thing. This bike - the R1250 GS - with the triple black paint scheme was the only R1250 to make my heart sing. None of the others felt right. We had multiple crucial conversations and devised a plan. We had work on Friday, but, if the bike was still at the dealer's after work, we would go look. Spoiler - it was still available.

    Walking into the dealer, I remained skeptical. After all, tucked away safely in our garage is the Beast. And we absolutely adore her. Would this GS be enough to convince us we needed another bike? We had them pull her out and tried climb up. We were wanting a bike that we could do thousands of miles comfortably and effortlessly on highway tours. Nothing crazy off-road. Just something with lots of gear room and a bit lower to the ground than our beloved Beast. I am an extremely picky motorcycle passenger and if things aren't quite right, then it won't work. At first, I didn't like the bike. In fact, I almost hated it the first time I sat down. My heels and calves were cramped up on the panniers and pannier mounts. Not good. If I felt cramped after two minutes, than how would this work for hours and hours. It wouldn't.

    Bless the sales man though. Or maybe curse him. :) He pointed out that the pillion seat on the GS had a forward and a back option. What if we tried moving it to the forward position. Magic. That small change made all the difference. Now I wasn't cramped. I wasn't brilliantly in love, but I wasn't hating it either. Only thing left, a test ride. The dealer was generous and allowed us to do a 2-up test ride. Honestly, that was probably the decision that made him the sale. If Badboy had done the ride by himself and I hadn't gotten to experience the GS for myself, I probably wouldn't have understood just how the bike rode. I sure wouldn't have been able to understand when Badboy talked about the differences between the GS and the KTM. Over the course of that short 6 mile test ride, I fell in love. Hook, line, and sinker I was a goner. The GS was enough for me to give up my "free motorcycle pick" card I had been saving for the perfect Tiger 1200. That BMW R1250 GS in Triple Black was MINE.

    Since it was late afternoon on a Friday, we were only able to start the process of making the GS ours. We would need to come in Saturday morning and take our new girl home. That night, I had a really really hard time falling asleep. I had nightmares that someone else would end up with my baby and she wouldn't be MINE. Kinda sad, but whatever. I get emotionally attached to things quickly. :)

    Saturday morning we arrived bright and early to take our girl home. With a full tank of gas, we left the dealership and put almost 100 miles on our new bike. It was magical. The weather was the perfect motorcycling temperature. The sky was blue. The bike ran smoothly. Saturday's break in ride was perfect. So perfect, that we got up on Sunday and did another 200+ miles. We are halfway to our first service and we haven't had the bike in our possession for 3 days.

    We have in love. It's a very different love though. The Beast and the GS are two very different motorcycles. To us they ride completely differently. Both have strengths and weaknesses. And we will love and use both of them fully. For now, I am content knowing both girls are tucked away safely in the garage and we won't be lacking for choices when we go for our next ride.

    It does leave me with a quandary though....I started this tread as 2-up on a KTM. Technically, we are now 2-up on whatever bike we decide to take out for that day. Maybe I should re-name the thread to just be adventures 2-up....hmmm. Decisions decisions.

    In the meantime - meet our BWM R1250 GS in Triple Black.

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    #43
  4. TheBritAbroad

    TheBritAbroad Just ride.

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,113
    Location:
    Portugal / London.
    'Two, two-up on one of the two'? No, maybe not a good title. :D

    Good to see you both riding and writing again, no matter what bike you may be on.
    #44
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  5. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    580
    Location:
    Pnw
    There are a zillion and one after market items for the GS/GSA bikes and it really saves to look around before jumping on the Highest priced.....oooh I need that one. Depending on wind gust's we always seem to enjoy on the East side, a steering damper would be my first go to item.....Beemershop is a good source for that part. The BMW doesn't have all the HP the KTM has, but the BMW won't torch your feet :)

    Look forward to your next Big ride.......
    #45
    Hiff-Hiffs likes this.
  6. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Honestly, it has been wonderful to be back out and on a motorcycle again. There is something amazing about being out on a bike, no matter which one it is.
    #46
    TheBritAbroad likes this.
  7. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    There are SO many more after market parts for the GS. Coming from the KTM, that was a very noticeable change. I am enjoying the BMW not torching my feet!

    Though, the first after market change we will be making to the GS is swapping out the stock passenger foot pegs. My riding boots are pulling the rubber loose off the pegs. When we were riding on Sunday, it got to the point we were re-attaching the rubber on the left side at every stop. New foot pegs are on order and should be here soon.

    Thanks for the awesome info! We are already scheming up some rides this summer. I would really like to take North Cascade National Park off my to see list.
    #47
  8. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Sunday morning dawned clear and bright. We had a brand new motorcycle in the garage just begging to get out, a KTM crying in the corner (the guilt of choosing which one to ride is real!), and the perfect riding weather. @badboy2000 mapped out a ~250 mile loop with some fun roads, options for lunch, and bail-out points in case things headed south or we wanted to cut the ride short for any reason.

    Climbing on the GS, we headed towards Lower Granite Dam. Baby calves peered at us, suicidal pheasants played chicken with the bike, and clouds of pollen floated by. While I love spring on the Palouse, I really dislike the start of allergy season. Then again, maybe one can only truly experience the ride when coughing and sniffling through watery eyes.

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    The spillways of Lower Granite Dam were open when we drove across. I have never had the experience of taking a bike across a dam (I know, I know....sheltered existence over here). But seriously, the crane tracks look scary! It was a gorgeous day. Lots of big, yellow bugs getting squished all over our helmets and the poor GS. Clearly I am going to have to spend some time washing bugs and road grime off the bike.

    For lunch we tried a new place - Jawbone Flats Cafe in Clarkston. Breakfast all day meant I enjoyed a veggie omelet and Badboy tucked into an open-faced turkey sandwich. I was really good with taking pictures for the first half of our ride. However, after lunch my diligence ended and we have no photos of the second half of the ride. I also started get overly warm and sleepy. Turns out, that after ~100 miles the day before and ~150 miles on this ride, the time in the sun was getting to me. It also might have had something to do with not sleeping much Thursday or Friday nights over the adrenaline and worry about not being able to possibly bring the GS home.

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    Overall, we had an amazing second ride on the GS. Totally and completely in love with that bike. The Beast and the GS are two completely different machines that perform very differently. If I had to sum it up....The KTM is the absolutely amazing, wild ride that leaves a manic grin on your face. She makes your blood sing, heart race, and your body feel alive. The Beast is the high performance, high maintenance lady that might kill you in your sleep, but at least you will die with a smile on your face. The GS is a smooth and luxurious ride that brings a content smile to your face. She imbues trust, handles twisties smartly, and eats up miles like a beast. The GS is the girl next door that you take home to mama and settle down with. She is there for the long haul.

    Both bikes are here to stay and loved for who they are. For day and weekend rides, the KTM will still be first choice. For road tours and epic adventures, the GS will probably be our first choice. At the end of the day, Badboy and I love motorcycles and we love having a variety of bikes in our collection. We get attached to each of them and appreciate them for all of their quirks and features. For now, I am living for the next weekend we can ride and spending my evenings after work planning some weekend and longer motorcycle trips in the next year or two. Now I just need to officially decide on a name for the GS......and fix the title of this thread...
    #48
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  9. badboy2000

    badboy2000 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    While out enjoying the beauty the of Palouse, our honeymoon with the GS started to end when @Hiff-Hiffs began complaining about the rear footpegs. I thought to myself that they were footpegs... How bad could they be? Oh boy...

    We stopped at a gas station and when I came back to the GS I saw a piece of rubber laying beside the GS and thought "That is weird. Where do that come from?". Upon further investigation I found it was the rubber off the rear footpeg. Maybe Hiffs was onto something. I reattached it in the first of what would become a 50 mile ritual.

    After our initial ride, I also noticed while pushing the GS around the garage the freaking rear pegs flapped in the wind. No positive retention was found. These things gots to go!
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    Evidence of the crime in process:
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    One nice thing I learned about the GS is the availability of aftermarket parts. On the KTM, getting rear pegs isn't easy. On the GS, several manufacturers make passenger pegs. After shopping around Hiffs and I decided to purchase the Puig Trail Footpegs (along with the associated passenger mounts):
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    Right out of the box, these things looked legit. Nicely machined, shiny, and I was excited to install them. Only thing I didn't like about the design was the lack of interlocking teeth between the pegs and the mounts. I am slightly worried the pegs could rotate, so a generous helping of locite and some tight bolts was in order.

    Plus, the Puig came with everything you needed to make the pegs indexed (snap up, snap down):
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    I was excited. I wouldn't have the pegs falling down and hitting me in the calf as I walked the GS around the garage.

    Installation was pretty easy; remove the old pegs install the new. The GS uses a C clip at the bottom of a shaft to hold on the passenger pegs. Finding pliers that would grab it took a bit, but we eventually got the old ones off:
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    BMW - For the cost of this bike you could have done better here!

    Out with the old, in with the new. Installing the Puigs was "pretty easy" if you discount the two times the bearing slipped out of my hands and lead me on a 3 minute chase across the garage to locate their final resting point. That said, within 15 minutes we had this shinny addition:
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    I was a little worried if there would be clearance when they closed, but I am happy to report that the pegs barely kiss the frame:
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    And, huge bonus, when you close the pegs they stay closed! Amazing....

    I installed the pegs with the bolts loose so that I could set a level on the flat rubber, level them up, and then tightened them down.

    Overall, I am super excited to take them out, and I can't wait to see what @Hiff-Hiffs thinks:
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    Next time I show up I will probably be installing a Denali Cansmart (if I could find anywhere that had one in stock it would be done already).

    Later,

    Badboy
    #49
  10. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Today was a good day for a ride. We finally had some free time that lined up with nice weather. We are currently working on getting the GS to 600 miles for first service and working out the kinks in the new GPS system. @badboy2000 planned out a nice loop and we were off.

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    Starting out, the skies were blue, clouds were fluffy, and the fields turning green.

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    Suddenly, the bike threw out a warning pop up.....hmmm...that's interesting. Well, it says we can keep riding so ride on it is.

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    For a late lunch, we stopped at the Gateway Cafe in Plummer, ID. I have seen a couple other people posting about it in their ride reports and we were itching to give it a try. Let's face it, if somewhere promises tasty food, we are totally in.

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    Breakfast for lunch scrambles and a wonderful, body-warming hot chocolate later we were ready to get back on the road.

    Winding through the fields and trees, it felt amazing to be back on a motorcycle again. The sunny weather, twisty roads, and good sing-a-long music did wonders for clearing my head. (Confession time: I didn't grow up on motorcycles. I desperately wanted to ride one as a teen, and when I met Badboy and he had a motorcycle it was life changing. Our first "date" was a bloody cold motorcycle ride in early April, and, while I was absolutely freezing and not dressed for it, that ride completely captured my soul.) Early spring rides like today really feel like discovering motorcycle riding again and are some of my favorite adventures.

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    Heading towards home, we skirted a thunderhead for the last hour or two. We were prepared for the heavens to just open up and pour on us. Surprisingly, we managed to just skirt the rain and only got a few sprinkles.

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    Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon for riding. My new foot pegs weren't love at first mile, but by the end of the ride they are growing on me. I still need to adjust to having such grippy pegs combined with my grippy boots. That is a bit weird feeling still. However, I am thinking we need to take the KTM out soon. The GS is running beautifully - less the warning we need to figure out. Feeling the need to go for a ride on the Beast and come back with crazy, wild grins on our faces. :)

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    #50
  11. Hiff-Hiffs

    Hiff-Hiffs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Tomorrow the GS has its first service. So we were out this evening putting in the last few miles ahead of tomorrow. Turns out, it was a beautiful evening for a ride. The weather was perfect, lilacs are blooming, and the hills are a vibrant green.

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    #51
    Oldschoolrocker and badboy2000 like this.