Beating on an innocent KLR

So on Saturday I finally got the last two parts I needed to start the .22 cent mod on my carb, the 7/64" drill bit for the carb slide had been acquired early in the year and as I'd received the knurled idle mixture adjusting screw to replace the stock one on the carb on Friday, the parts were burning a hole in my hand as I gulped down the last of my tea and headed out to the garage in the cold and foggy morning dressed in my favourite Sunday sweater, full of holes and admittedly looking a bit decrepit, but I wasn't posing for a photo shoot, just beating on a poor defenceless KLR that's served me well for the past three years.
My buddy is constantly sending me links to newer bikes, but they don't hold the same appeal for as soon as this one changes shoes, it's an okay off road bike for a big guy like me, and when it wears it's street tires, I can have as much fun as the speed limit allows, and still not worry about how shiny my chrome is or if the Pazzo shorty levers will let me tip it into turn two that much faster. :D
That being said, I chose my "touring" tool kit to start, as if you don't have the right tools at the side of the road in the Catskills mountains when your six year old loved and abused bike says "Enough!", you better pray that CAA or AAA can see your smoke signals. I flesh it out now and then and try to see what works and what doesn't all while keeping it in a bag about the size your mom used to send with you to school. An apple and a sandwich, or in my case a set of 1/4" six point sockets, extensions, a mini gear wrench ratchet, a sliding T handle, assorted screwdriver and hex bits, along with an adjustable wrench and a pair of needle nose locking vise grips. The standard kit resides in the tool holder, and sees the light of day now and then. Add to this my shop tools, and I can handle a large number of jobs until compressed air or parts washing is called for.
The last time I played with a carb in ernest, I was eighteen and the Zenith two barrel carb on my '76 Volkswagen rabbit was misbehaving, so I swapped it out after finding a nice Solex single barrel carb at the wreckers, but I'd read the how-to section and decided I could do this thanks largely to the excellent pictures and diagrams included.
That being said, I think there is a special place in hell reserved for the inventors of the Phillips star screws, and somewhere nice and warm, their friends, the inventors of the Phillips screwdrivers reside.
I found that the throttle cable bracket was held on by one stubborn screw that immediately began to strip out, so I changed bits to yet another profile, a little wider, a little shallower of a bite and proceeded to tease it out lubricated with curses to assist to find that the threads had been treated to some red loctite.
Rotating the carb was alright, but it exposed four more of the little beauties, one of which I knew was going to be a repeat, so I cursed it before touching it, waited to let those sink in then cursed it a bit more as sure enough, it began to spin and telltale shreds of metal began to accumulate on the edges of my screwdriver. Vise grips then, so with my tongue firmly wedged between my teeth, I clamped on and rotated it with ease, after which it turned readily, and the top of the carb fell off into my hand.
The slide and associated parts came out easily enough, and as soon as I pulled the needle, I saw it'd been shimmed ALREADY! I put the drill bit in the slide's hole, and yep. 7/64ths on the nose. What about the idle mixture screw? Stock, but someone had removed the plug and obviously it had been adjusted.
I took stock, I would be able to replace the stock idle screw with the knurled one, and to install the klx needle in place of the stock, which I did. Getting that pesky diaphragm to sit pretty, rollover, and play dead was next to impossible when I recalled reading that someone had great success by lining the groove with a very slight coat of vaseline to get the rubber ring to seat AND STAY THERE! It worked like a charm! For those nay sayers out there, I was very careful to clean the excess out before reassembly as loose petroleum jelly in the carb body makes me shudder.
Damn!!! Who was this man that would rob me of my Sunday morning fun? Shatter my dreams of wheelies and roosting my mates as be rip through the forests? Who could have done this? Then I recalled that the previous owner had the Doo done by a member of www.KLR650.net which narrowed it down to one person.
Darn you Willys!!! ;)
I'll be up shortly to see you and get ready for the 685 big bore. :P
(I'll edit and add pics later.)

No pictures, but I can tell you that the KLX needle has the bike pulling significantly harder up hills and on the straights. It's noticeable difference to be sure. Willie says my gas mileage is going to suffer, I believe him, but for now I'm a very happy camper. :D

Yep, with the 685 kit, KLX needle, stock exhaust (low buck mod) and stock main jet I'm getting about three hundred kilometres per tank. Time to rejet perhaps?


Motorcycle Hand Warmers or Grip Heaters

By far I prefer the Oxford Heaterz to the under grip Symtec style, as they install easily and look almost OEM in comparison, and work extremely well with variable heat settings. YMMV

Symtec Motorcycle grip heaters
External Handlebar Warmer Kit Motorcycle MT/RR
Symtec "Under grip" style for Metric and Race Replica"
I bought a set of these from a Parts Canada retailer for my Kawasaki KLR 650, and I've a similar set sold by Dual Star on my Suzuki Bandit GSF600s. I won't own a bike without them now.

Oxford Heaterz
Fits: Universal Fit Works very well with the KLR and the Versys
P/N OXF.26.0696

Willie and I were having a discussion about grip heaters. I run with a symtec set that have three settings: Off, Low and High.The Symtec type draw 3 amps (36 watts) on the high position, while the oxford style draw 4 amps (48 watts).

The older v7 controller

In yer face!

Oh, my Gears heated jacket draws 6.3 amps of current and provides 76 watts of heat. The vest provides 35 watts of heat and draws 2.9 amps of current for size 34 / 45 watts of heat drawing 3.7 amps of current for size 36 to 52/ 71 watts of heat drawing 5.9 amps of current for size 54 and 56.

They don't make them like this anymore. 

I'm up to 9.3 amps so far not including my GPS which I estimate draws less than an amp.

Update Spring 2012: I just bought the Gears Gen 2 Vest this spring, and it seems like a great piece of kit for casual riding during the day when the temps are fine, but when the sun drops you're riding in 2 degrees Celsius or less. I sourced it on ebay and am quite happy with the performance. It is part of my long distance touring gear as it rolls up nicely and takes up less top case room. 

The Kissing Bridge Fail

Sarah: helloooo!
Sarah: What'cha doin?
We're getting ready to ride...

She's like an instigator or something.  Lol.

I'd just finished wrenching on the bike by replacing the speedometer hub, so needed to both test drive the new hub, and to head up to Bradford to Edge Performance, my Kawasaki dealer to pick up some parts for a carburettor mod that I'm going to be doing soon.

So next thing you know I'm arranging to meet John and Sarah at Edge, where we waited for a friend who opted out as he couldn't make Bradford in time to join us. Who knew he'd be the lucky one? The object of the ride today would be a ride to the Kissing Bridge in West Montrose Ontario.

We'd head there via Hockley Valley road, and I knew that well enough, so I fell in behind and played sweep while John took the lead.

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About this time we hit Orangeville, and we should have paid attention to the fact that water was falling from the sky and hitting our face shields, but I simply thought of putting the camera away and forging on with my friends. They've been fairly lucky to date, and never bought rain gear as they've had no need of it yet, but they were about to find out exactly why I have heated grips, a heated jacket, carry spare gloves with me, and have my rain gear on the bike most of the time.

Where would we be without Timmie's?

This is where we should have turned around and headed back for the blue sky and avoid the gray skies ahead, but John was on a mission.

I had to put the camera away as water and electronics don't mix very well. 
We'd taken a wrong turn back in Albuquerque somewhere and were now deeply into Guelph, and the 401 seemed to be the fastest way to get home and out of this rain which was now a constant light rain. But with the fading sunlight, it quickly dropped about seven degrees down to about 11 and we were losing our light 

A quick stop on the 401.

Further along the 401 we saw a couple of accidents where the cagers seemed to be having difficulty keeping it on the road and pointing in the correct direction, and as traffic slowed we got off on Winston Churchill road and headed north up to Highway seven and began to make our way East. By this time I'd been running with my heated grips and vest for about forty five minutes and I found that I'm having a charging problem, as my bike died and John had to assist me in bump starting it.  Okay, now I had to turn off all my fun bits and tough it out with the lesser mortals. It wouldn't be the first time, but it was a reminder of why I avoid riding at night this time of year. IT'S COLD!!! Add in "AND WET!!!", and you have a ride from hell. Sarah was riding in her comfort zone, and we were about an hour out from my place according to the GPS, so just getting to my place proved to be a herculean task,  sharing the road with drivers from Brampton. 

We were about two kilometres from my driveway when John had a slide out in the rain and bruised both his ego and the clutch lever on his Virago. His ego will be okay, but the clutch lever will never be the same.

Eventually we pulled into my driveway, where Sarah opted to leave her bike for the night rather than face another hour home to Keswickistan, so they relaxed and warmed up with a nice cup of tea while I got out the car keys and followed Johnnie home with Sarah in the car. There is something to be said for a cage now and then. :(

They offered to share dinner with me, but I had to rush home and blog a bit. :D

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A new front stand...

I used to work on the KLR on a stand like this one...

The problem I ran into with the KLR, is that it's so big and ungainly, that I would have to truss it up  to the rafters to ensure that it didn't topple off the stand and pin me under 400lbs of fugly bike. It was a bit time consuming, and needed two bricks to ramp up the front tire high enough so I could slide it under the KLR's bash plate. 

Enter my Pit Bull stands. Yeah, I went overkill on the KLR, spending a couple hundred dollars on stands that would grace a race paddock in the amateur or even pro class, but what can I say, I bought used and am very happy with how stable the KLR is when mounted on these stands. Now if I could only find a way to work on the forks of my bike...

Willys on www.klr650.net has a floor jack that lifts the bike by the frame, allowing you to work on forks, engine, wheels, but it needs more garage space than I can afford at present.

Princess Auto lift
 For now the Pitbull Stands are working out great for storage and maintenance like oil changes and rim changes. When I need to service the forks, I haul out the DRC stand and truss up the bike as required. :)


New bits for the KLR!

So John wants more information:

I just got in a fuel mixture adjusting screw that will allow me to adjust my idle mixture to suit as opposed to the lean factory setting.


The installation and preformance effects are to be found here:


How's that John?


Snow and Ice?

[QOUTE] MadStu | December 21, 2009

This video shows my own techniques for riding my BMW K1100 LT Motorcycle on ice and snow. They've kept me safe all these years.

I don't use any special tyres, just normal road tyres, however I do lower the tyre pressure. I normally run with around 40psi, but I drop it down to around 33psi for these conditions.

I'm a Medical Despatch Rider so I don't have the option of taking a car to work. And if I don't ride, I don't get paid.

If you decide to use any of the advice in the video or this description, you do so at your own risk! Just take it slow and smooth and you'll be ok.

Have fun and stay safe!

http://www.madstu.net/[/END QUOTE]



Mmm! Cherry!

I opened my top box to find a fine, white powder coating every piece of apparel I had in it. At first I thought it was a practical joke played upon me by one or more of the three other riders I'd been with on a 635km day ride up into Algonquin park and back, or perhaps it was an exploded rechargeable battery although I'd never heard of any issues with them.

I suddenly recalled while in the Catskill mountains I made an impulse purchase of a roll of "Sweethearts" candy at a gas stop. It had vibrated itself to death as it'd been on a KLR for over 1,500kms and that's enough time to turn milk into a shake on a rattle trap like the KLR. Why, I know people that tint their paint and ask me to ride it around the block a few times.

Mmmm! Cherry gloves! Lemon toque! Strawberry rain gear!!!

The Invisible Man

Rory made his entrance to the meet last night sporting an new hi-vis look.
Well, truth be told, the idiot drivers in Toronto scare the piss out of me, so I had my Olympia hi-vis on as well, as the days are very short, so most evening rides this time of year are done in the dark.
You have to limit your risk, right?


Spectacle Lake loop ride

Darryl decided he had to do a 600km day on his BMW RTP1100, so he invited Willie and I along to share in the pain:

Darryl Off to Barry's Bay Sunday morning on a 600km bike loop. Have the ipod loaded with some AC/DC. Should be worth a speeding ticket or two......

  • Cory likes this.
    • Ron You'll never get a speeding ticket if you stay behind the KLR, although if you see any MNR or MTO vehicles, we've never met and you don't know me.
    • Darryl You can be my "smoke screen" okay Ron? I'm due for good ticket. I have an itchy thottle hand. I have the cop bike, now I just need a frickin uniform ! Wardrobe?
    • Darryl I think we have to stop by Jmac's and grab the radar detector!

      Willie  Not sure if you'll get 600 hundred kilometres out of my ass today.
    • Darryl  love the animal kingdom. The slowest and weakest are the first to get eaten !
    • Darryl so much for getting 600kms out of Willie. I think he did about 650?
    • Willie ‎648 to be exact
    • Darryl and no speeding tickets. One REALLY close call however....My license is exhausted
    • Willie Very close .... Glad you were leading

    • Ron  I thought I was going to win, 635.31 kms! Great ride guys!
    • Darryl you would have won Ron had you kept the front wheel on the ground.

OMG it's early!

Port Perry Tim's for 0800

On our way to Darryl's

Willie gets attacked

We haven't even left the driveway and they're lost.

And they wondered why I brought my camera?

Who rides with AAAA bateries?! For that matter, who sells them? LOL

The fourth member of our elite group shows up.

We hit gravel after about 500 metres of aspahlt. I think I'm going to enjoy this ride.

I'm being followed.

Our man Graham limbers up.


Now that's a strange weather vane

I could have sworn that it was in the other direction about 100km from here?

Too many witnesses damn it!

Someone is out working hard on a Sunday.
And as we get closer to home the camera reads "FULL" Lol.

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