Eighteen Years In The Making

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by BluRidgeRider, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    It's still a work in progress, but I am making some headway in getting my new KLR setup properly.

    SW-Motech foot pegs offer a wider platform front-to-back than the stock pegs.

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    Remove one bolt...

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    ...and they become better off road pegs.

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    A KoubaLink lowering link helps make sure I can reach the ground on uneven surfaces.

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    Slid the forks up an inch in the triple trees and added bar risers to make it more comfortable when standing. The stock side stand has been replaced with a SW-Motech one inch shortened stand to keep it leaning at the correct angle when I'm off the bike.

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    An SW-Motech rear rack insert gives me more lash down points and provides me with the hardware necessary to add a top case later if I decide to do so.

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    The internals feature a newly installed Doohickey kit and the outside is now protected by SW-Motech crash bars.

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    A black aluminum skid plate is on order as are beefed-up Race Tech springs for the forks and rear shock. I have pretty much decided to go with Pelican Storm-based Caribou 35 liter side cases and will most probably swap the stock seat for a Sargent saddle.

    Numa
    #21
  2. pike

    pike Been here awhile

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    Nice KLR
    #22
  3. longrides1

    longrides1 Been here awhile

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    Great story! My son is taking the motorcycle safety course next month, he doesn't even ride two up any more says he can't stand
    not being the driver.:D

    What did you think of the Versys?
    #23
  4. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

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    Numa, maybe sometime soon we can do a father/son ride or even a camping ride with our sons. I think it would be fun.
    #24
  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    A father son ride is a true gift. My father taught us how to ride at a young age but unfortunately, he is gone. I will never have the experience you had. Enjoy every moment as one day you wake up and they are gone... Forever.
    #25
  6. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Thanks! I'm very happy with the way it's turning out. Yesterday, I placed an order for Caribou Pelican Storm-based 35 liter side cases and installed a Wolfman Small Expedition waterproof tank bag. Early this morning, I placed an order for a Touratech headlight guard and Kaoko throttle lock.

    Numa
    #26
  7. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    The Versys I rode last year was rented from Carolina Adventure Cycles. They have since discontinued their rental program.

    I'm not that crazy about the looks of the Versys or the Kawasaki green color (both personal preferences), but I enjoyed riding the bike. It was very similar in handling, comfort and performance to my V-Strom. The two bikes were very evenly matched. Even though we spent all of our time on Tarmac, I'm guessing the Versys would also work well on dirt and fire roads. One limitation might be tire selection as it has a smaller front wheel than the V-Strom. One of the things I liked about the V-Strom when I bought it was that it had the same size wheels as the BMW R-GS that I had previously owned. I knew there would be a very good selection of tires available for the Strom.

    Numa
    #27
  8. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I would love to schedule a time to make that happen. With Numa Jr. living in Maryland year round, we'll have to schedule a time. Maybe we can make that happen this fall during a time when he has a break from classes.

    Numa
    #28
  9. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I lost my father in December of 2000 and think about him every day. He was a wonderful man and a great father!

    I decided I would be a motorcyclist when I was just six years old. I was playing in my front yard with my brother when my father arrived home from work just in time for dinner. He was riding a friend's Electra Glide and I knew right then and there that I would own a motorcycle as soon as I could convince my parents. (It took me until 1965 and ten years of age before I got my first motorcycle -- a Honda P-50A.)

    I am trying to make sure that I get as much time riding with my son as is possible given our geographic separation. That's what spurred me to go ahead and purchase a second motorcycle.

    Numa
    #29
  10. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    My second childhood motorcycle was a Honda Mini-Trail 50 and I thought I had just become the owner of the coolest motorcycle on the planet. My brother and my buddy that lived next door were my constant riding companions. We all graduated from Honda P-50As to Mini-Trails at the same time. Each time we got a new motorcycle, mine was red and my brother's was blue. (My brother's present mount is a blue and silver E-Glide and my V-Strom is red.)

    My father was a businessman and he owned a number of retail businesses. One of them had a paved parking lot and driveway entrance from the highway, but had a long gravel driveway to a secondary road that ran parallel to the highway and behind his business. He purchased a used road grader under the guise that he needed it to keep the gravel driveway in good condition for use by his customers, but I think it was mainly because he thought the road grader was fun to operate. He used that grader to make us an oval dirt track in a nearby field and it featured a banked turn at one end. Dad taught my brother and me how to use the road grader so that we could keep the track well groomed. We spent countless hours riding that dirt track with all of our buddies.

    We also began developing an ever expanding network of trails on which to ride. One trail led through a farm with a big pasture that was home to a bull. We had permission to ride through the pasture, but the owner cautioned us that the bull was mean and we would need to make sure we left the gates shut. That bull always hung out in a far corner of the pasture; in the shade under some trees.

    Our drill was to approach the first gate, one rider would dismount, open the gate and the other riders would ride just into the edge of the pasture. One of those riders would dismount to close the gate as the rider who opened it entered the pasture. The whole group would haul ass across the field together -- remember, we were all on 50cc Mini-Trails and other small bikes -- towards the distant second gate at the other side of the pasture.

    As soon as we started heading across the pasture, that bull would break into a dead run headed for the same point as us. We had to get to the far gate, get it opened, get all of the bikes out of the pasture and close the gate before the bull arrived. It was good fun and the bull never won that contest. That theme of playing 'keep away' would reoccur at a later date when we moved up to larger displacement motorcycles.

    Probably my most memorable ride during the Mini-Trail era came when I was riding with a friend who wasn't a regular member of the group. His father owned the Honda dealer where my father had bought our bikes. (Our fathers were good friends and that's why all of my first motorcycles were Hondas.)

    My buddy Andy was showing me some new trails that ran through the woods behind a big housing development. As we emerged from the woods, there was a very smooth, grass-covered hill directly in front of us. As I accelerated to climb the hill, I envisioned catching some air at the top before sticking a picture perfect landing on a flat level surface just beyond the hill. What I didn't notice was that Andy was decelerating. I caught the air, but what lay just beyond the top of the hill was a holding pond for a sewer treatment plant.

    With a big splash, the Mini-Trail and I both landed in the holding pond. As we both began to sink into the quicksand-like aromatic blend of urine and fecal matter, I looked to Andy for help. But he was lying on the hilltop laughing so hard that he couldn't help me. Eventually, he gained his composure and helped me pull it out of that huge sewer before it was completely submerged.

    My father came in his pickup truck to retrieve the bike and me, but he made me ride in the back with the bike. I washed the bike and myself using the hose in the back yard and then took several showers in-a-row to get the stink off of me. After the bike dried out, it started and ran fine until the day we traded it in on my third bike -- a new Honda Scrambler CL-100. To this date, every time I run into Andy he brings up how funny it was to watch me jump my bike into that sewer pond.

    Numa
    #30
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  11. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Nice report. Love the pond story. I realize it was awhile ago, you rode right by my house on Rt 11 in New Prospect, SC.

    Love what you've done to the KLR.
    #31
  12. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

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    Looking forward to it. We'll talk more about it soon.
    #32
  13. longrides1

    longrides1 Been here awhile

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    I have never heard a funnier riding story than that BluRidgeRider, good that my coffee was all gone or my screen would have had a bath. :rofl
    #33
  14. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Thanks! It does seem to be coming together nicely. Just received my Race Tech springs for the front forks and rear shock. Carolina Adventure Cycles will install those for me next week.

    [​IMG]

    I also received my Hepco-Becker side luggage racks which I plan to install this weekend. The UPS tracking site shows that my Caribou side cases are scheduled to arrive on Monday.

    That Route 11 Cherokee Scenic Byway is a very nice stretch of Tarmac. I have been back out that way a number of times since while riding with my friend Loren. He lives somewhere in that general vicinity.

    Numa
    #34
  15. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    That new red Honda CL-100 was a great motorcycle! Its larger wheels and increased motor capacity opened up many more riding opportunities for my brother and for me. We rode the piss out of those CL-100s and only performed routine maintenance. Regardless of how hard we rode them, nothing ever broke.

    We continued to build on our network of trails and could now ride miles from home without ever getting on public roads. (When we came to a road that we had to cross, we would hop off the bike and push it across the road.) We would ride into the woods behind our house, get on the railroad tracks, ride in the center of the rails (shook the heck out of you until you got up to speed) down to a sand and gravel plant and then use the plant roads to head to farm trails leading in different directions from the plant. Southern Maryland was very rural back then, everybody in the area knew everybody else and the owners of the plant and those of the adjacent farms were all friends of the family.

    We rode our motorcycles year round --– we both still do --– but the months after school let out for the summer were the best. We would get up at daylight, get showered and dressed, spend the whole day riding and return home after dark. Many nights when we were on the last leg of the return ride, riding between the rails of the railroad tracks, we would turn off our headlights and just ride between the moonlit rails of the tracks. We called that “riding the silver rails’ and it was pure joy.

    When my brother and I moved up to the CL-100s, our buddy Robbie moved to a Yamaha. Mark Schwien –-- the owner of the local Yamaha dealership and who would later become a good friend of mine --– owned a beautiful piece of property adjacent to a state forest. He had developed motocross and dirt tracks on that property and was promoting races at Cedarville.

    Those races were a big local draw and we decided that we had to check out those tracks. We could ride a series of trails that included an electric transmission line right-of-way and get very close to Cedarville Raceway without getting on public roads. Our only obstacle to reaching the race tracks were the gravel roads in Cedarville State Forest. They were only open to licensed vehicles. But the State Forest was a sleepy, low traffic place and we decided it was well worth the risk of getting caught to get a chance to play on two real race tracks.

    After having visited those race tracks several times, we decided it was time to go watch the organized races. We had a fantastic time and I decided right then that someday I would convince my parents to let me race motorcycles. As we headed back through the State Forest we crossed paths with a Park Ranger and he gave chase in his Park issued pickup. We eluded capture when we turned down a side trail whose entrance was blocked from four wheel traffic by a crossbar attached to two posts. We simply rode around the edges of the blockade and disappeared down the forest trail while the Ranger was forced to stop and get out of his truck to remove the crossbar. By the time he had done so, we were long gone.

    After the dust settled and we were safely back at home, we decided that getting chased by the Park Ranger was good sport. We would occasionally ride back over to the State Forest, ride around until we found a Ranger and then let him chase us out of the State Forest grounds. In retrospect, I’m not sure how hard those Rangers were trying to catch us in the beginning. But it became apparent later on that they'’d had enough of our game. We decided to end our run of “keep away” for good after a Ranger turned the corner and, instead of stopping, rammed the crossbar with his truck. He came very close to catching us that day. Game over!

    Some years later, the State of Maryland forced Mark Schwien to sell his property by condemning it. They told him they intended to expand the facilities in Cedarville State Park and needed to develop his property. He fought it in court, but lost and that put a close to a wonderful dirt track and a motocross course in Southern Maryland. Thirty some years later, the State hasn'’t developed anything on his property. It was taken off the tax rolls and is now supported by tax dollars. Instead of generating the property and income tax dollars than Mark had previously paid and wanted to continue paying, it is now a tax expense for the citizens of Maryland. What a shame!

    I finally made the decision to try something other than a Honda and purchased a new Suzuki TS-125 Duster. It was my first two-stroke motorcycle and it was lighter, better handling and faster than my CL-100. Even so, I still have such fond memories of those first three bikes and regret that I don’'t have any photos of them. Those motorcycles turned me into a motorcycle rider for life.

    Numa
    #35
  16. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Am still working through Kawasaki's recommended break-in period for the KLR650. Went riding with some buddies today and reached the first break point -- 500 miles -- just as today's ride began. I can now ride over 4,000 RPM which lets me run over 55 MPH in 5th gear. That came in handy today as we had two short stretches on Interstate 85.

    The ride met and ended at The Sundae Shop located in Midland, NC.

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    We had nine motorcycles in the group today -- including two 2013 Black KLRs -- and we took a 200 mile round trip ride up to Lexington, NC for barbeque.

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    I started to mount the Hepco-Becker side racks this weekend, but I heard from a friend that his rear rack was mounted with the 1/4 turn quick releases and it came loose in mid-ride dropping his new Pelican case onto the Interstate. I decided to wait until the hard bolts kit that I ordered with the system arrives tomorrow with the cases. I will install it right from the beginning using the hard bolts for a more solid mount.

    Numa
    #36
  17. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Really enjoy reading your reports, I have two sons that ride, oldest one just turned 40 (they do grow up fast). We have had many rides together including several weekend camping trips in Arkansas. I hope your rides with Numa Jr. continue, best rides ever.

    One comment though, I had a wee storm with Pelican cases and those quarter turn fasteners, never had one fail, rode with them all the way to the Arctic circle and back to Oklahoma. I loved them because they were so easy to remove when needed. Replaced the wee storm with a BMW F800GS and put on a set of SW Mototec racks with Pelican cases held on with those quarter turn fasteners, I now have a 7 years and 85,000 miles total (between the two bikes) on those quarter turn fasteners with never a failure, crash tested (slow) on both bikes. Those are aircraft fasteners I believe, I would never replace them with threaded bolts. Just be sure they are fastened properly, they have a noticeable detent they seat in.
    Having said that, you should do what makes you feel comfortable.


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    #37
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  18. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Thank you very much for sharing that information with me. That's very helpful and causes me to reconsider.

    My friend who told me that he had a problem, told me via text while he is in the middle of a long motorcycle trip (from Charlotte to Alaska via the Canadian Provinces). I haven't had a chance to ask him the specific details necessary to know the root cause.

    I will install the racks using the quarter turn system and see how sturdy that appears to be before making a final decision.

    I'm glad that you are enjoying the ride report and hope that you continue to find time to ride with your sons. For me, it is one of the great joys in life.

    Numa
    #38
  19. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Just be sure to do what you are comfortable with, even though it's mine, it's still internet wisdom? :norton

    As for me finding time to ride with my sons, I have nothing but time these days, it is them that have to find time, they both have families (all girls) not yet old enough to ride street.
    I'm thinking in another year or so to add the oldest to some rides, make it a 3 generation adventure! :clap


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    #39
  20. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Shortly after I got my Suzuki TS-125, I modified it by removing all of the lights, passenger pegs, etc. and adding an expansion chamber. If I remember correctly, I also replaced the fenders with ones from Preston Petty. The result was a light bike (by the standards of those days) that was great for trail riding and playing around in the dirt with my buddies.

    One of the spots where we spent considerable time riding was an area along the outside edge of the sand and gravel plant not far from our house. We called it the ‘Sand Field’ and it was an open area that was protected from view in all directions by trees and hills around the perimeter. It was far enough removed from the plant’s operations and any houses that we were free to play there as often and as long as we wanted. (Some time later, the Sand Field was the site of an infamous incident. I’ll tell you about that in my next post.)

    The middle of the Sand Field was hard-packed sand and it was completely flat. You could ride as fast as you wanted across the field, start a turn, tap your rear brake (or compression release) to pitch the bike sideways and roll on the throttle for a long sweeping powerslide. That’s where we started developing the skills that would help us later when several of us started dirt track racing. Each time it rained, nature would remove all of the ruts we made and return the Sand Field to its hard packed, completely flat, perfectly groomed state.

    A new friend named Alan joined the group about that time. He had just recently purchased a Bultaco Lobito. That Bultaco was in another league when it came to handling and power versus my Suzuki. I started looking around and found a good deal on a Montesa Capra 125. It was setup as a motocross bike, but I used it for trail riding for a while before I deciding I wanted to go flat track racing. My Capra always ran a bit rich and I had to replace the spark plug fairly often or it would foul the spark plug. It only had a four speed transmission, but it handled well and was very fun to ride in the dirt.

    Once we all made the decision to go dirt track racing, the twenty-one inch front wheel on my Capra would need to be replaced with a 19 inch hoop, knobbies swapped out for dirt track tires and flat track handlebars installed to replace the stock motocross bars. Gary Nixon Enterprises was located in Timonium, Maryland and I made the drive up from Southern Maryland to purchase the items necessary for the conversion. Gary Nixon was a bit of a curmudgeon when dealing with young wanna-be flat trackers, but he had a good inventory and obviously knew his stuff. Plus, how cool is it to be able to say that Gary Nixon helped me get started in flat track racing?

    Numa
    #40