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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NoHorizons, Oct 10, 2018.
The hostel was nice, being a weekday, it was just me and the hosts so, I had the room to myself and was able to get some writing done. I got out mid-morning and since I was only an hour away figured I’d check out the Tail of the Dragon. It was a nice enough 11 miles but really not something that I’d go too far out of my way for, I have seen plenty of roads on the way down that have a couple less curves, but much better scenery and I had them all to myself. That said it wasn’t as busy as I expected it to be, being the end of the season and all.
Only a couple other riders out today
It would appear the motorcycle gods don’t take kindly of my slights to one of the top motorcycle destinations in the world. A couple miles down the road I feel my back tire loses air. Well at least this is something I’ve practiced…
I get the tire off and my suspicion is confirmed the patch I put on 2000 miles ago in DC failed,I really should have swapped the tube out at Margit’s, but I was hoping the patch in combination with some Ride On would do the trick.
Can you patch a patch? Not sure, but I’m about to find out. I did talk to a couple of guys who stopped to see if I needed help, they seemed thoroughly impressed by my roadside mechanics but there wasn’t much they could do so they went on their way. The lack of cell service seems to have a way of making people more considerate.
I get the tire on and it seems to be holding air, so I head off. I get a full three miles before I notice the leak. This time I am extremely lucky in the other way, I am at a motorcycle shop! ( / grill / souvenir shop) They have it off and back on in 15 min for a grand total of 45. I eat a pretty tasty Rueben and head on my way.
I had hoped to do the Cherahola (might have spelled that wrong) skyway but it was to do all of it today. I see a free campsite online, just a couple miles up the skyway and figure if I hurry I might be able to make it before its completely dark. I don’t, and once I do finally make it to the coordinates there is no campsites in sight. I continue for another ten min and finally find a site, its hike in only, well its dark and I’m tired it will have to do. There is no one else in the lot so I say screw it, I’m just camping in the little pavilion thing next to the parking lot.
It worked no one bothered me and I was on the road again early in the morning. I continue on the road thinking it should lead back to the Skyway, it may do so, but not with the route I took. Oh well I have to save something for next time.
My cabin for the night.
Pretty country traveling along a little river
Oh, look. there are all the camp sites
The road becomes dirt and less and less traveled
At first I thought they were just too lazy to move it. Then I noticed how freshly the dirt was turned up
I went down to check, I havn’t been that relieved not to find somebody in a long time
Instead I turn south and head into Georgia. I find a free campsite by Dawsonville and bunker down for a rainy night.
In the morning it is still raining, I guess I am lucky that this is the first rain I’ve had to ride in in the two weeks I’ve been on the road. Time to see how well my gear does in the rain, not so well. My boots are getting wet in ten min, I try wrapping them in cling wrap which buys me another half hour, by this time my gloves are getting wet as well mostly in through the top but with some seepage as well. My suit seems to be doing ok, still I decide to make it a short day and book an Airbnb 50 miles down.
25 miles down is where it all goes to hell. I am approaching an intersection with a red light that has just turned green. I see traffic is moving and look for the street signs to make sure I’m going in the right direction. I don’t see the car in front of stop to turn, at least not in time. I hit the brakes and try to swerve, but I still hit with a fair amount of force and flip up onto her trunk. I roll off and stand up, everything seems to be functioning properly a little sore in places but that seems to be the worst of it. Some guys come over and help take the bike off the road. I look at the car I hit, I knocked out the back-right lights and maybe put a bit of a dent in it. I go over to the driver, she seems more shaken up than I am. Not much to do but let her be and wait for the police. I give my statement, an ambulance comes for her and eventually the police and fire go on their way. Being in Georgia any time you hit a car from behind its considered “following too closely” so now I have a traffic citation to try and figure out.
I get the bike upright and it starts up without too much hesitation, that’s a relief. I take off the front bar of my crash bars and its not until I try to get back on the road that I notice the forks are bent I manage to ride it to a gas station a mile down the road. Time to call AAA. Naturally they don’t have anyone in the area for a couple of hours, that gives me time to call insurance etc… with a couple hours to spare… guess I’ll update the blog. I still can’t quite believe that for my first (at fault) accident ever its something so stupid and so soon into my trip.
Possibly the forks are just twisted in the clamps, try to straighten them the old bicycle way; by holding the front wheel between your legs and pulling/pushing the handlebars the direction you need. Loosening the clamps bolts slightly will ease this movement. Then recheck straightness and retighten bolts. Hope this helps. Fork tubes can be replaced if necessary.
Damn,in at the crash...hope everything works out for my own selfish enjoyment.
@severely The forks arent just crooked they are bent back to where the back of my fender is hitting the radiator... Thanks tho, heres hoping I dont need to remember that anytime soon.
Well I am finally at my airbnb and enjoying the feeling of having dry feet.
I have a riddle for ya'll: What will be there in half an hour for 4hrs? answer: a tow truck specifically AAA I have never had them show up less than an hour later than they say they will be there (which is usually already a couple hours from when you call)
Anyway, they finally came took me the 15 min to the repair shop which upon seeing it looks more like a dealership, (hopefully that doesnt mean too expensive) and left on their doorstep as arranged by phone.
Does anyone know a way to get some used forks and a rotor?
The Dealership estimate is 2600, at that price I can more than buy a new bike. On that line is there a way to quickly sell a bike for parts? that way I recoup at least a little of the cost...
Maybe put a wanted add in the flea market for KLR parts near Atlanta Ga? Link your RR and maybe someone will help....just a thought?
Post something in the thumpers thread and explain your dilemma,wish I had more help
There's quite a few on ebay. Even some '92's for less than $250 including shipping.
Some inexpensive rotors too.
Thanks for all the suggestion I ended up ordering some used forks from eBay for a $100. For the rotor I decided to get a 320mm kit. Now I just have to wait for parts, go to court, fix the bike and hope nothing else is broken.
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Haven't seen any updates,you alright?
The first time estimate AAA gave was 4:00pm at which point they called me and asked if the truck had arrived, they then called the truck and would bump the time back a half hour, this repeated itself for the next 3 hours. In retrospect I should have changed but I kept telling myself they’d be here soon, so I sat in a little take out place with my soaked boots, drank some microwave coffee and worked on the blog. Finally, at 7:30 the tow truck showed up.
The guy gets out and in a thick southern accent says “that’s not a traeck” “they told me I was pickin up a traeck”
“Sorry, not sure who told you it was a truck but I told them it was a motorcycle” This went on for a minuet or two and it wasn’t until he called his supervisor and told them that a traeck had 3 wheels that I realized he was saying trike. I am going to mark that one off too exhaustion on my part. Either way, I have a motorcycle and the issue is that he doesn’t have any straps. Good thing I have my massive crashbars, he is able to hook his chains on them and together with the one strap I was carrying we get the thing secure… ish on the flatbed.
Not bad considering I was shooting at 1/2.5 and 1/13 sec handheld
Especially after the day I’ve had
I can’t help kind of hoping that it fails and his insurance will buy me a new one. No such luck, we make it the 20min down the road without incident. I leave the bike on the doorstep of what I now realize is a dealership and take a Lyft to my Airbnb. Its good to be dry and warm.
At least they’re open on Saturdays, they gave me a call back in the morning; a quick estimate put the repair for the forks and rotor at $2600 that’s $1100 more than I paid for the whole motorcycle. Shit. I look around on craigslist for and find a good looking KLR650 nearby for $2000. I give him a call and explain my situation saying that I still plan on trying to fix mine, but I wanted to see if his was still available as a backup.
An hour later he texted me saying that even if I didn’t want the bike, he had a small utility trailer with a heater and bed that I could stay in if I needed a place to work on the bike. I arranged to take him up on his offer after my Airbnb finished and started looking for parts.
In the meantime, I watched a lot of tv at my Airbnb waiting and hiding from the rain. Turns out Monday was Veterans Day, so I waited another day.
Tuesday, I have to go to court for the accident, in Georgia anytime you rear end someone its “following too closely” and you have to show up in court. It also happens to be my birthday.
In the early afternoon I get a uhaul and pick up the bike before heading up to court. I end up with a $200 dollar fine but no points on my license (in GA you can plead nolo contendere every 5 years and not get points). I suppose I should be happy with that outcome, still it messes up my perfect driving record.
Fine thanks, still working on getting things fixed up, naturally the forks are the last things to here... not too much to report.
Best of luck with the repairs,just making sure you were alright.Glad to hear it
In the early afternoon I get a u haul and pick up the bike before heading up to court. I end up with a $200 dollar fine but no points on my license (in GA you can plead nolo contendere every 5 years and not get points). I suppose I should be happy with that outcome, still it messes up my perfect driving record.
The next day I take the U-Haul with my bike in back the 40 min out to Aarons house. I meet Aaron he shows me where I will be staying, a little converted utility trailer outfitted with heat and ac. Looks a bit cozy but comfortable.
I park the U-Haul in their driveway and start taking things apart. The parts aren’t here yet so, once that’s done there isn’t much to do but wait.
My workshop for the next couple days
When I first tried to take the forks off I thought I would have to cut them off.
I guess a ~600lbs of bike, rider and luggage has a bit of momentum
Aaron and his wife invite me in for tacos and we spend the next couple hours talking and hanging with their 4 dogs. They are both going back to school for nursing and plan to become travel nurses. They are such kind, welcoming and all around cool people, I am really grateful for their hospitality.
They even set up a little kitchen on their front porch for me.
In taking the bike apart I noticed that I had broken a spoke, so I started calling around local shops. I finally found one that said it would cost about a $80 if they could replace just a couple spokes, they also have a KLR wheel and fork in stock for $250. Figures if only I’d known that a couple days ago.
When the used forks arrived, they were in much worse condition than described; one had the drain screw ground off and both fork caps were rusted on. I tried for a good 5 hours to get them off with no luck, in the end I decided to screw it and buy the ones from the shop I knew would work. I lost a $100 but I don’t have the time or tools I’d need to use the ebay ones.
Off to the shop, better remember to close the back.
When I get to the shop I notice this, I move my straps higher on the uhaul and hope they hold some of the weight.
I put the new ones on in under an hour. It took a little longer to swap the rotor, I decided to get a 320mm upgrade kit and a steel brake line in hopes to prevent this situation from happening again.
My U haul rental was up so, I drove it the hour back to Buford with the bike in the back. The catch being that somewhere in the last week I drained the battery, so no test drive, just drop it in the deep end 40 miles away from my stuff. I unloaded the bike at the dealership that I got my first estimate from and they were kind enough to jump it for me. I left the bike, took the U haul back and walked the 5min back to the dealership.
Getting ready for my first ride in over a week… fingers crossed.
Overall the ride back went quite well. I’m not really sure if the brakes are all that much better, and I think one of the bolts is knocking a little. I also noticed that the front fairing is a little crooked, and I still have replace one of the mirrors, but otherwise it seems I’m back in business!
Made it back!
Amazing how generous people can be,when do you get rolling again?
This has become quite the epic adventure indeed! Keep the reports coming
well done! Pity about the loser misrepresenting the parts. But karma will get them.
I had that same paint on my first KLR. I loved that bike. It got me through a lot of nasty parts of my life, and gave me a long standing appreciation for the old mules. You're off to an epic start.
If you paid by PayPal and the forks were misrepresented, file a claim. I have taken forks bent about like your first ones to a machine shop and had them straightened on a hydraulic press. Yes they might be fatigued, etc, etc but I rode the straightened ones tens of thousands of miles with no further problems.