First up we have a bad news/good news story.
Ad-man Mitch’s KLR Shop Bike has been sold.
After starving for oil the motor’s top end had extensive damage, so Mitch decided to sell the bike rather than repair it
That’s the bad news.
The good news is, the buyer is none other than Nick Dole of Teknik Motorsport.
Nick had done a fair chunk of work on the bike, including a suspension upgrade and a tricky steering-head bearing replacement, so there’s some symmetry in the KLR ending up at Teknik.
We’ll keep an eye on how it progresses under Nick’s care.
Meanwhile, Kremit, the editor’s 2007 Gen 2, has had a once-over by the Australian Touratech people in Victoria and now sports Level Two Touratech suspension front and rear, Touratech hard panniers and pannier rack, a Touratech headlight protector and a Safari Tanks 30-litre fuel cell.
In that configuration, but with the standard footpeg mounts back in place, the bike was collected from the Adventure Film Festival In Bright, Victoria, and ridden up the Hume and Pacific Highways to the NSW mid-north coast in a single day. The long freeway run highlighted a few things:
* The motor went through about 700ml of oil in 1200km
* The front brake was appalling
* The chain stretched a bit more than we thought right, and
* In the heatwave conditions in mid-February, the radiator and cooling system seemed to cope well. Things looked a little worrying in Sydney traffic at midday, but didn’t eventuate into anything.
With the bike back in its own garage the front brake benefitted from a Goodridge braided brake line and new pads.
The rear received new pads as well, seeing as we were looking at brakes. Closer inspection revealed the chain was a non-O-ring type, so it was replaced with a high-quality X-ring outfit, accompanied by new sprockets with the standard gearing.
The broken, green fairing was replaced with new panels which had been painted to suit, the standard headlight globes were replaced with Cyclops 8000-lumen LEDs from Adventure Bike Australia, and the front blinkers were replaced with Extreme Tuff Lites from Adventure Moto.
On its first ride on home turf the left-hand-side footpeg promptly pulled the bolt threads from the frame.
A quick trip to a nearby engineer – also an enthusiastic bike builder and rider – had the mounting bolts drilled, tapped and replaced with larger units, and that’s made a big difference. The ’pegs are solid now, despite some flex in the mounts.
The LED headlight globes offer a brilliant, white beam that’s a real upgrade from standard, but the LED blinkers presented an annoying problem with the flashing rate being too fast. Resistors didn’t help matters, and the answer turned out to be an LED-specific flasher unit. We hadn’t encountered that before, but there’ll be no more heat-generating resistors for us on blinkers in future.
That’s how the bike sits now, ready to head to the Touratech Travel and Challenge events back in Bright on the first weekend of April.
Originally the intention was to ride the bike down, complete the events and ride back, but there’s been a wrinkle in the plan. It’ll now be trailered each way to accommodate other work commitments.
As things stand the bike’s in good shape. Oil consumption is a worry and will need to be looked at. A hone and a new set of rings may hopefully alleviate the problem. The seat is a marshmallowy pudding of a thing doesn’t suit the rider’s preference at all, so it’ll be changed at some stage, and now the front brake has started to work, there’s a distinct feel of squirming under hard braking, so an Eagle Mike fork brace is on its way from the US.
The tall screen is also flailing about a bit in rough going. It’s a very quick and easy change, so the stock screen will probably go back on if we know terrain will be tough.
Best of all, the bike is still a fabulous distance-riding, comfortable, sight-seeing bike, but now it’s ready to take on more serious challenges as well.
And it will.