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Still Wandering in Indiana

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by radianrider, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Just popping in to say that it was 41F today and I saw a Harley rider out getting rid of his winter blues. I hope with the forecast I see for Indianapolis that you guys are getting out at least for short rides.

    In other news, I had a medical warning shot across the bow a couple weekends ago that, coincidentally, occurred about the same time the life insurance bill showed up in the mailbox - resolving any doubt as to whether or not to pay it. Fortunately, the doctor cleared me for my last ski trip of the season and I had no issues. I've got some tests scheduled for next week and I expect everything to come up clear.

    I think I'm going to head down to Indy in March to see my mother.

    Joel: I hope your brother is hanging in there and doing his best.
  2. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Sorry to hear about the medical issues, Mike. Glad you got to ski--saw your posts on FB about being in Copper.

    Hope we can squeeze out time to meet up when you head this way.

    I haven't been out for a long time. Looks pretty, but a lot of the days have a pretty bitter wind to them and it has been fairly rainy of late.
    Looking forward to it though!

    Spending a lot of days looking for a small dual sport to add to the mix--haven't found the exact thing yet, but I keep looking. Trying to decide if a restored vintage could do a respectable job in the company of more modern stuff.

    Dan is having some tough days during this round of chemo, but he is hanging in. Appreciate you thinking of him.
  3. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    JB2 and 72 Yamaha RD350 like this.
  4. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Congratulations. KLX? What year is it? And your first ride will be where?

    It is supposed to be 62F tomorrow but I withheld the urge to pick up Elvis out of storage today. We've got three more weeks of cool weather so there's no point clogging up the garage while the roads are still covered with sand.
  5. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    It's an '09 KLX250S. Not sure where the adventures will happen....but I should be good with wherever I want go between these two bikes.

    Jim convinced me we needed bikes we could throw in a truck and head to the wild. Didn't take much to get me convinced as to the validity of his arguments.

    It needs some work, but huge online forum and support available.

    Falls on it's face about the time the main jet should kick in...but it sat most of last summer and this winter. Hoping a carb clean resolves the issue.

    The bones are good and considering I was looking at Chinese dual sports...I think I made the better choice even it isn't running well at the moment.

    I bought the bike Thursday and left for Chicago immediately after work on Friday. No time to even play with it.

    Went to the HD/Triumph/BMW dealer in Batavia for a while yesterday. Fun looking, but I'm content for now.

    Don't blame you for not getting Elvis out. Still lots of crud on the roads.
  6. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Definitely better than any Chinese or India made bike. You’ll have to post a pic the first time you come home covered in mud. Deb will love you for that.

    Windy today so far but the warmth is welcome. Sheared the dog of his winter coat so he should enjoy it too.

    Made trip reservations yesterday to fly to PHX the first week of April to drive up to Utah to see Michelle’s mother. Stopping by GCNP on the way up to see the big ditch for the first time in many years. May rent a Harley in Utah for a day - may not.
  7. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    I've never seen the big ditch, but I want to.

    I watch a lot of Everide's videos on YB and I'd like to get the KLX out to that part of the country at some point.

    I need to figure out how to actually ride the tall monster. So far that has consisted of videos of short people riding tall bikes--but I'll get to it asap.
  8. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    The big ditch is a helluvalot more expensive to stay nearby now than it was when I was there several times in the 90's. A room outside the park entrance at Tusayan is now $250/night unless you go in the dead of winter. Rooms inside the park must be reserved a year in advance. The lodge we stayed at inside the park for a very affordable price was torn down in 2006. Maybe if coronavirus scares enough people to cancel their reservations I'll get something reasonable - otherwise we'll just continue on up to Page for $90/night. Regardless, I'm ready to be inspired by The West again.

    There's endless places to ride the KLX west of the Mississippi - just do it in the Spring and Fall so the heat doesn't kill you. The sun and heat are brutal in AZ and southern UT. I hope the carb clean does the trick and you have it running in no time at all. If you hop onto I-70 in Plainfield it's only 1,424 miles to Moab - you can do that in two days, three days max!

    Arches NP is one NP I haven't been to so it might be day trip destination if I rent a HD. It's 200 miles each way so I'd get my money's worth. But as I write this I realize that Easter weekend is usually the annual Jeep gathering in Moab (literally the Sturgis of the Jeep world with ten thousand plus Jeeps and vendors) so it could be the exactly wrong timing. I may have to study the map a bit longer for alternate destinations.

    You know, you could lower the suspension or you can gain more pounds to compress the suspension. Guess which one is easier. :imaposer

    I know when I mount those 250cc dual sports my 165lbs doesn't compress the spring nearly enough and both toes are barely off the ground at the same time. And those plank seats hit me in exactly the wrong place!

    My youngest son's college roommate has a CRF250. He rode it from western Minnesota to Sturgis in 2017 - about 600 miles on the stock seat. I'm sure you're just as much a hardass as he is so I look forward to posts of your future exploits!
  9. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - Per our conversation you got a good deal on a great bike. Hopefully I'm on an XT250 by the time you get all the little quirks sorted out. Anyway you slice it, it's the perfect adventure tool to compliment your Scrambler. Many adventures yet to come. :thumb

    As a drive/ride through, Arches NP can be done in a couple of hours but you really miss the best arches. A couple of days of hiking is the best approach. For riding only, out of Moab, the Potash Highway(just north of town) is the bomb. Several arches are visible from the roadside and numerous petroglyphs dot the cliff faces along the roadside. It is a lot more scenic than Arches but Arches is a must do to really absorb the landscapes around Moab.
  10. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty tapped out for hiking in the West. I'll do 60-90 minutes to stretch my legs, but I hiked way too much when I lived in Arizona to enjoy hiking any further even if it is to see rocks curiously shaped by the wind. Sorry, just my deficiency. I do have a thing for petroglyphs though so that would be interesting. But I confirmed that Easter Jeep Safari is the week I'm going to be there and I just don't have any interest in being around that many people. Maybe after driving 700 miles from PHX to Santaquin I'll decide that sitting still for a couple days isn't so bad. I think we're splitting the drive up and down into two days each which will leave us three days at my MILs - just enough. But I tend not to sit still very long. Hiway 6 down to Green River UT looked like it would be an interesting ride.
    JB2 likes this.
  11. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    The ride down 6 to Green River is pretty stark. From Spanish Fork down to Helper the road curvy and scenic. There's a lot of mining operations in the Price area visible from the road. From Price down to Green River is like a moonscape. 2001 was the last time we used that route going to Bonneville so I'm sure things have changed to some degree. If you ever get back to Moab, the Potash Highway is a hidden gem. UT279 is the highway number.
  12. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'll look for an opportunity to do UT279.

    Mrs. RD is from Fillmore, UT. Her mother remarried 2 years ago and lives with her new husband in Santaquin. I've spent some time in and around Fillmore but I've never spent any time in eastern UT other than the drive in on I-70.
  13. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Ha! An actual ride report! (But no pictures--sorry.)

    I took time at lunch to get the KLX titled and registered so I could see what I actually bought when I got home.

    Some background--JB2 has been talking about getting a light 250 cc dual sport since he buried his SCR950 in a mudhole last summer. It sounded like a great idea, but there is NO WAY I'm giving up the Triumph. I told Deb she'll have to bury me sitting on the Scrambler and I was only partly joking.

    Anyway, JB's talking got me thinking about the fun I had when I was starting out as a rider. I had the 125 cc HD, followed by a Kawi KE100 and I really enjoyed riding the trails in the Manistee Nat'l Forest. I starting looking around on FB Marketplace and found several bikes I liked, but I managed to avoid too much temptation because they were generally too far away. At some point, the $1400 Chinese bikes started looking good.

    Then, a KLX250S showed up 30 minutes beyond work down I-65 and the owner was about $500-700 below what others were asking for the same bike. Pictures looked good, so I set up a time to go see it. I swapped my car with one of my friends and took his truck--you know, just in case.

    I arrived and the guy's dad was trying to start the bike. He had run down the battery and was trying to trickle charge the battery. The owner showed up about then and starting working to get the bike going.

    I was thinking, "Huh, that's an extra hour of driving time I won't get back." Things were not looking good for the home team.

    The owner then discovered that his dad and not fully engaged the kill switch. As soon as he did, the bike fired right up. Okay, that is more like it.

    I climbed aboard (and climbed is the right word--this sucker is tall!) and headed down the road for a test ride. Hoo-boy, the bike immediately began to stutter and fall on its face at about 6500 rpm. It didn't get better at any point during the ride.

    Okay, so this is not good. Yes, the KLX is known to be a cold-blooded beast, but this is ridiculous.

    I headed back after maybe two miles of riding. I managed to get off without falling off the bike--a totally lucky result--and started talking to the owner about the issue. Got the old, "That's funny. It's never done that before!" line.

    Uh-huh. Sure.

    He mentioned that the bike had been sitting since the fall of 2018, when he moved out to his own place. He has no garage and left the bike at his dad's place. Well, okay, that means old gas and neither of these guys seemed to be bike mechanics. Probably left fuel in the carb. If so, that's not a bad deal to fix.

    The bike was originally a Colorado bike and the PPO seemed to have set the bike up nicely. FMF exhaust and a DynoJet kit (or at least it appears to have a DJ kit,) ProTaper bars and the bike is really set up to stand on the pegs. All pretty much in line with what the gurus on the KLX forum said needed to be done to the bike.

    So, here I am in the guy's yard, hemming and hawing while trying to make up my mind. He came down a couple a hundred, I suggested another hundred off and he took it. At this point, I still not sure I'm not buying a pig-in-a-poke, but I can afford the bike and it is a better bike--if the issue is minor--than any other I had seen while looking.

    They helped me load it up and I headed home--and forgot the knobbies he said he had for the bike. Rats! We've chatted by Messenger and there is still hope I can get them next week.

    That was toward the end of last week and life has been crazy since. I got the bike to start, but had no time to get the title and registration done, so I haven't been able to even try the bike out since I got it. I had taken off the plastics so I could put a Battery Tender, Jr. pigtail on so I could top off the battery.

    I started the bike and it was stumbling at idle and I started thinking the worst. Turns out, I haven't had a carbed bike for so long that I forgot the little thing called a petcock. Turned that on and the bike magically ran better. It still seemed to stumble just off idle, but the stumbling at high revs went away.
    I had time to get it going today and slapped on the plate. Climbed on (see the earlier note) and headed out. Bike seemed to run like it was supposed to run.

    Maybe the Sea Foam I put in it worked. Hard to say, but it seemed to be all there at throttle up. I got it up to 60 mph with no difficulty and had plenty of throttle left over. I've seen reports that the bike will do close to 90 with the right gearing. Think I believe it, but it is most unlikely that I'll ever find out. Haven't even done that on the Triumph.

    I did confirm my initial thinking that the front brake has an issue. The rotor appears to be bent or warped. It feels like slow speed anti-lock at this point.

    I took it out on my "only-have-an-hour" loop and the bike ran pretty well. It does pop on decel, so I'll need to figure that out. And that FMF muffler is LOUD. Not a fan. May have to buy the larger baffle plate and re-pack the muffler. Guy on the forum offered to swap me for his stock muffler, but I'm not sure about that idea yet.

    I took the Triumph out and around the block immediately after parking the Kawi. Holy cow! Want to make your bike feel like a rocket? Hop off a 250 cc and give the 900 the same amount of throttle. Felt like I was going off the back. And sweet turning, there little Scrambler! Nice!

    Although the suspension sure feels harsh after banging around on a bike with twice the suspension travel.

    Okay, so after all that--assuming you are still reading--here's what I think. The little Kawi needs a bit of rehab, but I think I got a good deal on a capable bike. There is nothing about it, other than the height, that I find intimidating. It is actually refreshing to have a bike that I can work on without having to purchase software. There is a solid support forum and it has a pretty loyal following. There are lots of parts and options available.

    It will never take the Triumph's place, but it is a fun little bike in its own right. It's kind of like my guitars, one for the flavor I want at the moment. The insurance is cheap and the bike is fun--and it was cheap too!. It will make a nice bike-if I lower it-to loan my son-in-law or my brothers when they come over.

    Pretty happy with it, at this point.

    So, JB, get yours and gas up the truck. Those trails won't ride themselves.

    No reason you other ya-hoos can't join in the madness if a wild hair occurs in your world too!
    JB2 likes this.
  14. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Seafoam does wonders in small doses. I mistakenly put 2x the recommended amount in my garden tractor last year and the twin cylinder Kawasaki 26hp barely ran. Realized my error (did not fill up the tank with gas first), topped off the tank, and she ran great. It’s a carbureted engine so I run Seafoam through it regularly.

    As long as owners only do required maintenance and leave everything else alone, I believe the big four Japanese bikes will last a lifetime. It’s when unskilled people think they can improve what billion dollar a year companies engineer and manufacture that bikes go to hell in a hand basket. (HD owners are the worst at this which makes a stock Harley the rarest of all bikes.)

    Sounds like you got a minimally tinkered with bike that just needed some TLC and you are just the person to give it.

    I don’t have any place locally to get enjoyment out of a CRF250 or else I’d have me one of those thank you very much. My region of the Northland is all agricultural with mostly paved roads - sometimes bad pavement - but pavement nonetheless.

    I scored a cabin at Bright Angel Lodge for two nights on the South Rim for $174/night courtesy of a cancellation by someone else. At this point I’d drive there if I had to. We may skip seeing MIL due to the virus risk and tour around AZ. I still need to get over to Canyon de Chelly so that’s our alternate plan. Elvis will likely stay asleep until we return from that trip.

    My mom’s assisted living facility is on lock down so I won’t be coming down to Indy anytime soon.

    Take some more pictures of that KLX and post them. Always good to see bike porn.
    JB2 likes this.
  15. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Pictures after I get the air cleaner washed and oiled. I have a lot of the plastics off it right now and I just put the seat back on yesterday so I could try it out. She's a bit shameless looking at the moment.

    I've been checking around and the front disc for the KLX is expensive! Apparently the less cool rotor off the is cheaper and fits with some modifications (drilling out the bolt holes), but do I trust myself to drill through the bolt holes? Hmmmm...
  16. racer

    racer Long timer

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    Sounds like your bike is running lean due to sitting for a year or so without being started. I'd pull the carb and clean all the jets and portals with Gumout. If it's a cold starter, richen up the airscrew a bit. You may have to drill out the plug to access it. Worked wonders on my KLRs. Racer
    JB2 likes this.
  17. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Thanks, Racer. I'll keep this in mind once I get more time on the bike.
  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Ditto on what @racer said. Remove the plug for the idle mixture screw and adjust. You can also remove the slide and install a washer under the main needle to give it more juice at top end. Some of the older needles might have several groves. If so, just lower the cir-clip a notch. You don’t have to raise the needle much to get good results. Also check the vent to inspect for blockage. A tiny spider’s nest can stop up the vent tube and cause vapor-lock on top end or acceleration.

    Good on ya Joel. I won’t be far behind. Gas in the truck, two bikes in the back. New trails await. If @Bhuff catches the fever we’ll have to look into a trailer. Where to first? SD? U.P.? Moab? :*sip*
    racer and radianrider like this.
  19. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Up for all of it!
    JB2 likes this.
  20. racer

    racer Long timer

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    JB2, I forgot about the other stuff you mentioned. I also did the T mod on the vent hose and IIRC I drilled a small hole through the top of the slide for a snappier throttle response. I put a PCV valve on the crankcase vent tube leading up to the airbox, but I don't think it improved anything. Lots of little tricks out there. Racer
    JB2 likes this.