Planning for a Birthday in Prudhoe Bay

Discussion in 'Americas' started by black 8, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. svahadean

    svahadean und I.M. von Daring

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    #81
  2. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    #82
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  3. svahadean

    svahadean und I.M. von Daring

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    Hahaha, yes, it is retina-burning Hi-Viz, but that's a good thing for Canadian rain days as you'll remember they get dark and darker and visibility diminishes considerably.

    Safety first, fashion some other time! :1drink
    #83
  4. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Same here, ATGATT..

    Seems like no matter what safety gear you wear these days - distracted drivers, texting/on the phone...., have almost hit me while riding out and about. :baldy

    I used to wear an Tourmaster Epic HiViz jacket (no longer) but now use a bright orange helmet. I stay out of blind spots, keep my distance....etc but still almost get side swiped by inattentive drivers on the freeway. :becca
    #84
  5. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    Love the Mitas tires but was not happy with the E-07 front.
    I just never felt "planted" and tended to wander more than I like on dirt/gravel surfaces.

    Switched to the Mitas E-09 knobby front and bingo, excellent on pavement and gravel.

    Safe Travels
    #85
  6. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    I've read that in most of the reviews and videos that I have seen. I don't have any personal experience at this point so I'll give it a go since I don't plan to run a crazy pace at about 55/60 mph.

    The front should last the round trip whereas the rear may need to get replaced when I cross back into the States in either WA or MT
    #86
  7. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Shakedown ride and some Rudy's Country Store & BBQ

    This Monday I'll be doing a shakedown ride over to Goodyear, AZ to meet a fellow inmate and purchase a pair of Traverse pants and chow down on some Rudy's BBQ - moist brisket and cream of corn.

    I wanted to look over the KLR and do some final mods before I get on the road early Monday morning.

    Pretty easy install; pull the rear tire off, cut-off some of the excess plastic, drill some holes, and VOILA.... a mud flap for the rear tire. This should help mitigate the majority of the mud and road spray from mucking up the rear shock spring. Total cost was $13.00 with free shipping from eBay and a little elbow grease. From the looks of things, seems like a good fit for the KLR. The cut-out for the exhaust was already there, the mud flap hugs the swing arm, and there is a 1" clearance between the rear tire and swing arm.


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    #87
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  8. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Got to play with my new static tire balancer today.. the rear wheel took 30 grams of weight to square it away......

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    #88
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  9. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ After Action on the shakedown ride and Rudy's Country Store & BBQ

    The main purpose for the shakedown ride was to validate all the changes I've made to the KLR-650 over the past few months. I had already planned to ride out to Goodyear for the shakedown ride and chow-down on some moist brisket with some cream of corn from Rudy's BBQ. Anyway, last week I saw that a fellow inmate, jkbeaudin, was selling a pair of NWT Klim Traverse pants in my size at the Flea market. I pm'ed jkbeaudin and discovered that he lived in the Phoenix area - which cemented the destination. To save on the shipping costs, I told jkbeaudin that I would ride out to his neck of the woods and meet him at Rudy's Country Store & BBQ - "killing two birds with one stone" (thanks for the pants BTW jkbeaudin).

    The first time I had Rudy's Country Store & BBQ was in Katy, TX while riding cross-country on my Ducati Monster 821 from San Diego to Key West. I kept seeing signs along my route so I decided to stop and get a bite to eat. For a chain BBQ; Rudy's Country Store & BBQ is pretty darn good and every time I've stopped at their restaurant, they're always packed for lunch.

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    jkbeaukin and I sat down to our BBQ brisket and cream of corn - all the while talking about bikes and Alaska. Seems that jkbeaudin is two years from making the trek to the 49th State. He's got a nice red BMW R1200 GS set-up with the various touring accoutrements. In hind sight, I should have taken a photo of ourselves and the bikes....

    As for the KLR:

    The KLR Dash coupled with the Zero Gravity Touring windscreen performed better than expected. The set-up not only directed the wind blast over my helmet but also did a pretty good job of taking most of the bug hits. This is the first bike that I have owned with a full fairing and I can say - keeping the wind blast off the torso works wonders, I was less tired from fighting the wind and kept the bugs off my jacket.

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    The KLR's total mileage so far is 2,076 miles. Here's the OEM Dunlop K750 and has around 2K left. They'll stay on the KLR up until a week before I leave for Prudhoe Bay. At least I know the tire balancer worked and I didn't get any cupping on the tires.

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    Other observations on the KLR:

    - There were no handling or erratic issues due to the added accessories and planned load-out.
    - The current weight distribution on the KLR works well. The handling on the highway, parking lot speeds, on-off the kick stand was pretty good in my opinion.
    - The KLR doesn't like climbing hills fully loaded! She does pretty good on flat ground and can keep up with traffic.....
    - The load-out stayed secured for the duration of the shakedown.
    - With the upgraded 16T front sprocket, I was running around 4,600 rpms at 70 mph and around 5,200 rpms at 80 mph on the I-10. (I only plan on 55-60 mph for the trip to "smell the roses", save on gas consumption, and wear on the rear tires)
    - I didn't burn any oil since the last oil change at 600 miles.
    - No unusual wear and tear on the front and rear sprockets
    - The OEM brakes were able to handle stopping duties fully loaded. I'll wear them out first and swap in 320mm front rotors and stainless steel brake lines when I get back from Alaska.
    - No nuts or bolts came off the KLR since I used either Loctite or proper torque specification. I plan to check for loose bolts when I lube the chain every 400 miles during the trip.
    - I deleted the Rotopax 1.75 gallon water jug and went with a 100l Camelback as my camping/emergency water source to shave some weight. I'll plan to buy drinking water and food along the way.
    - I have to MacGuyver some highway pegs to stretch out the legs!!!

    About not taking photos while I was out and about. The pucker factor was high during the ride out and back because of the wind conditions while going through the desert on the I-10 (both in CA and AZ). The wind was so bad it pushed the KLR one lane over to the right. It took every once of concentration to maintain my lane of travel. This one time I recall being in the number 3 lane and the wind pushed me into the breakdown lane twice within a half mile increment. Yeah - it was time to get off the interstate and get gas or something at that point.. :muutt
    #89
  10. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    Well done sir! It's great fun to watch you prep your kit for AK and beyond.
    #90
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  11. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Good morning Zubb,

    I decided to take your advice and shave some weight - taking off the 1.75 gal water Rotaopax will save me 15 lbs compared to 2.1 lbs for a 100l Camelback. I "gotta" keep all the tools though since I'm planning over 35+ days for the trip in case of road side repairs.

    BTW, I'm looking at changing the route to include the PCH up to San Fran to take some pics - then up to Bend, OR via US 97 and finally up to Spokane, WA just to reminisce some memories. Thanks to you and svahadean for steering me in that direction since we all have gone through that area..
    #91
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  12. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Maintenance Stand-down.....

    Today is just a maintenance day washing the KLR-650 and some PMCS checks.

    Also giving love to some Klim gear with Nikwax Tech Wash and Direct Wash-In to keep up with the waterproofing properties.

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    #92
  13. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Down to one month before my departure date for Prudhoe Bay :wings and getting antsy just waiting. I've been keeping an eye on the weather for South Central, AK and it's looking like high 50s to mid 60s when I arrive in Anchorage. Prudhoe Bay is forecasted in the high 30s by the time I make my run. I plan to sneak in during a dry window up to Prudhoe Bay to cut down on the calcium chloride.

    Meanwhile, I'll be taking the KLR out for day trips to downtown San Diego and North County for some photo opportunities and testing out live updates by visiting some free wifi hotspots. I'll be using a MacBook Air to process/store the photos and update the ride reports.
    #93
  14. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    I've spent countless hours preparing the KLR for Prudhoe Bay and in the process have neglected my other bikes. So tomorrow I'll be giving some love to one of them on a road trip up to Torrance, CA to visit Forma Boots USA and pick up a pair of their Adventure Boots.

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    Going to check out their clearance Adventure boots in brown for $190.00......

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    #94
  15. Mtmedic

    Mtmedic All bleeding stops

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    We WILL be seeing you at D2D!!. WE have the Forma ADV boots and love them! Will be on a Vstrom and a Versys I copied your list to double check mine. We are leaving around June 5 or so.. See ya!
    #95
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  16. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Mtmedic

    Looking forward to meeting you and everyone else at D2D.

    I just got back from Forma Boots USA in Torrance and picked up a pair of Adventure boots in size 44. Super comfy as advertised and no need for break in!

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    #96
  17. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Forma Boots USA, Torrance, CA

    I purchased a pair of Forma Adventure boots on-line in my usual Euro size 43 but when they arrived, they were a bit tight in the toe box and feared worse if I wear thicker socks for my run to Prudhoe Bay. So a quick e-mail to Forma Boots USA was met with a quick response from Darren. He and I exchanged e-mails for a bit and asked if I could stop by and exchange the boots for a size 44 thereby saving both of us the shipping back and forth. I was only 1.5 hours away by motorcycle and I needed to run my neglected Ducs anyway.

    Forma Boots USA is located off Crenshaw Blvd up in Torrance, CA. I departed Oceanside around 8am anticipating the usual California traffic on the 405 but nothing that couldn't be navigated with some generous amounts of lane-splitting.

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    I arrived at 390 Amapola Ave Suite 2 at about 10:45 and was greeted by Nicole and she had a pair of 44s sitting aside for me to try on and BINGO! Size 44 it is..
    #97
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  18. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Mission Accomplished

    Now that the Adventure boots were squared away; back on the road to tackle the 405.

    It was painfully slow but luckily California allows lane splitting. I was finally relieved after negotiating the traffic jams of the North County; even with an overturned vehicle on the 5 South on a clear sunny day (texting probably). It was good to get back down to Oceanside!!

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    One of my guilty pleasures of living in San Diego is riding along the coast on a cool spring day. Makes me forget about everything and just enjoy the ride....

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    #98
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  19. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Tire Choices...

    The tires for Prudhoe Bay will be the Mitas E-07s.

    I selected them based on reviews by fellow riders and various youtube videos. In fact, some riders have reported getting between 7K and 10K miles. I plan to ride conservatively (55 to 65 mph) and stay off the superslab as much as possible to stretch out the longevity of the Mitas. They are rated as 50/50 tires so they should fill my needs for the terrain I'll encounter in construction areas and on the Dalton Hwy. I've roughly calculated my total mileage between 9.5k to 10K miles by the time I return to SOCAL.

    The Shinko 804 and 805 combo will be spooned on when I return from Alaska. I ordered them ahead of time so I don't have to wait on the whole shipping process. I wanted a more aggressive profile at 40/60 for Ocotillo Wells and some trail riding in and around SOCAL. They were an economical choice over the TKC80s and even if I get 5K to 6K miles out of the Shinkos I 'll be happy.

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    #99
  20. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    ~ Day Trip to San Diego

    I woke up early today so I could do a day trip from Oceanside down to San Diego and shake out any last minute problems that may pop up. I depart for Prudhoe Bay in less than three weeks so I want to identify last minute gripes with the KLR and the load I'll be carrying. During the packing process, I placed certain items that I'll need or use often in easy to access locations but I'm sure that will keep changing throughout my ride North.

    The weather was overcast and misting this morning but I went anyway, I figured the weather through Canada and Alaska will not be as moderate as Southern California so I better get used to inclement weather and taking photos for the Ride Report. I left Oceanside at about 6:30am and headed down the Coast Highway riding through the coastal communities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar.

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    One of my favorite places to stop is Del Mar as you head down the bridge into Torrey Pines. On a clear day you can see down the coast all the way to La Jolla.

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