Flats, Punctures, and Other nice things

It sucks to be me...
When I rode a sport bike I pretty much checked my pressure once in a while, and took the bike in to have the tires changed when I hit the wear bars on the rubber.

Moving to a dual purpose bike like the 2004 KLR 650 meant that I could do much more of my own maintenance on the bike, including tire and tube changes, and, because I'd planned on riding it off road and managed to put on over 76,000 kilometres on it, I guess I've done well over fifteen tire changes on it for one reason or another. My buddy Willie was a real help there, as he's no stranger to tire changes, and any errors I make here are purely my own, not his.


Big Bikes Get Bruised

...In this episode, we pop Steve's offroad cherry, drop all the bikes pictured here with the exception of Dee's cruiser, although we almost had her convinced she could make it past the ditch, but she wised up when Stevey boy nearly binned it in front of her. Oh well, maybe we can get her to mount some knobbies on her Katana. ;)


Getting Dirty with Dee

Darryl invited us up to the farm to beat on his toys, so Willie twisted my arm a bit and I agreed to come, but only if I could find someone that I could beat in an off road race. I figured Dee was an easy mark as this would be her first time getting dirty. Boy was I wrong, she made me work to keep up. :)
Tammy followed up by inviting us to sit to dinner with the family to a wonderful roast beast with gravy. 
Awesome weekend!

Dee learns that getting on it gets you out of it. :)


Rick Mercer Report rides with the OPP Golden Helmets

He's got a great sense of humour, but possibly could have used a refresher course before riding with them. "Someone go get him." :D

Thanks Raf!


Night Ride to Scugog

 I went for a ride to clear my head and get out on the KLR for some gravel travel. It was everything I'd hoped it to be, and I need a better headlight if I'm going to keep this up. :P


Slime Tire Top Off Tire Inflator

I'd had a wonderful sideways slide down the road due to a front tube blowout on my KLR 650, so you'll understand why proper tire inflation has become something of an obsession with me.

Some friends and I made a trip down to the Catskill Mountains in New York for an ADVRider.com rally called "Color in the Catskills" and when the weather turned colder, I noticed that my front tire was a bit low, so my friend Dee pulled out a wee air compressor that bulked a little larger than a ham sandwich, you know the ones that are made with generous slices of ham, have some nice old tart cheddar and a spot of bold mustard on some lovely white bread? The tire inflator doesn't taste as good, but worked very well topping off the tire using the 12 volt cigarette lighter I've installed on my bike. While her gauge was broken, I used the one I carry in my tank bag to sort it out. For a $15 investment at Walmart Canada, it seems like a great addition to a travel tool kit, so I went out and bought one the next time I found my self in Wally Mart. ;)


I used it to inflate my tires when I swapped out my street tires to my dirt tires. It took a bit, but brought up the pressures easily although I don't trust the built in gauge at all. ;)


2 Bikes, 2 States, 2 Days and 2 Turkeys

Two Turkeys
I'd taken a week's vacation from work, and had made plans with Dee to ride down into Pennsylvania the following Monday, when I'd had a front tire blow out on my KLR, sending the bike sliding down the road sideways at 40 kilometres per hour, and bashing up my hand to the point where I had difficulty and pain getting a glove on and off of it, so the ride was postponed, but understandably Dee was less than happy about it, so as I'd no plans for the Thanksgiving weekend, we developed a mini ride that would have us leaving Toronto Friday night to cross the border and head for Springville NY to overnight, but as you can see, we didn't quite make it that far...
Night 1 - Richmond Hill ON to Gowanda NY

Everybody was Karate fighting! Those dudes were fast as lightning!


2011 Color in the Catskills

I'm a sometime poster on ADVRider.com under the nickname of Rotten Ronnie, and my friend Willie suggested that we ride down last year to attend the ADV rally held at Hunter Mountain Inn and sponsored in part by Max BMW.

So this year Darryl finally got his BMW sorted and we recruited a few more to fill out our numbers, including my friend Dee and my brother Shaun, who is in his first season on a motorcycle.

2011 Color in the Catskills

Richmond Hill ON to Hunter NY
83,588 kilometres
 It started off with my brother's KLR losing headlight and signals, then failing to start after Shaun rode it down to my house from Barrie, so a quick trip to Wally Mart was in order to buy a replacement. It was exactly what was needed, as three days later the bike was running strong on the new battery and the old one that I'd left on a trickle charger was still not taking a charge. It's a KLR, that battery had been in the bike since Dan bought in (two years ago?), but otherwise those bikes are very reliable.
Crossing over the St. Lawrence Seaway over into the United States. 


2011 Suzi Visits Quebec

Dee invited Suzi and I to make the trek up to Quebec to camp out overnight at the Esprit white water rafting campground, and who could refuse when a lovely girl sends you a Garmin GDB with a wonderfully twisted route? I did have to create a KML file and use GPSVisualizer to convert it back into a GDB so I could have a Route AND a Track, but that's the geek in me. Think of it as a highlighted route marked on the map, I've become addicted to tracks and the trackback feature, but once in a while I like to gas up and get lost. ;)

Anyhow, Suzi was a bit nervous on the Bandit as opposed to the KLR but she settled in and began to enjoy the ride as soon as we passed the first stinky cow farm. It what she likes. :)

Suzi greets the people that she meets in her own particular way.


Aminal & Fozzy's Ride and BBQ

There was a lot more riding along the lakeshore, but I forgot the route. :(

The Newmarket crew organized by the lovely Elektra queues up to leave

Goldie and her friends join in

Isis rides sweep on Pinky

We're quite a large group just by ourselves

Some of us opt to avoid the 400. Suzi prefers rural roads to the highways.

My friends Sarah & John, as people line the roads to watch a parade of 112 bikes led by Aminal towards Midland.

The view ahead

And behind

Our Hostess, Fozzy and Sam the wonder dog.

Paul and Aminal roasting meat for a hungry crowd

Poor little mouse, all alone on my plate

Stop staring at me!

Elektra and Cat enjoying the atmosphere

Paul can't keep up with Thomas, so Ric steps in while Mike lends support.

Our hosts, Aminal, Sam and Fozzy.

Sam plays hard to get.

This is the best of the sequence... You'll soon see why, it was like trying to herd cats...

Don't look at the camera Scott

Don't look at the camera Karen


It's a fail, but I love the laughter captured here. :)

Time to say our farewells

Sam is a gets special attention


I've never been held up at a light because of the leaders blowing kisses at each other until today, lol.


That's not dirt, parachutes are coming in...

I dropped Suzi off with my friends Willie & Sheelagh as I'd planned a three day ride south into Pennsylvania with a friend. I met up with my brother Shaun who was buying a used Givi top box off of me, and I'd offered to help him install it in my garage in Richmond Hill, so he followed me down the 404 until we exited at Elgin Mills and headed West towards my home.

Here's where it gets knarly. The front tube failed and my tire went flat as I tried to reduce my speed from 70kph to 0 for a red light. The front end was giving some really nasty feedback, like trying to steer a marshmallow through a campfire... The tire would flop with every steering correction and I realized I needed to get off the front brake and scrub off my speed quickly with the rear brake only, which I proceeded to do when the front end washed out from underneath me at about 40kph and down I went kissing the pavement rather quickly. I've some experience with this sort of thing, and was up quickly ensuring that I wasn't about to be run over by my brother or the traffic behind, while he was quick enough to grab the three pieces of my cell phone and put it back together while I picked the bike back up and got it onto it's kickstand.

I called CAA and Rod from MotoLimo.com came to the rescue

Rod from MotoLimo.com

We got the bike into my driveway, and started work on Shaun's bike to mount the rack. The longest part was locating screws of the correct thread that were tall enough to secure the add on plate. We ended up cannabalizing a couple of bolts from a ram mount kit that I'd used on my VFR, along with a stack of washers as the bolts were 1/4" too long and were bottoming out before putting pressure on the rack/plate.  Okay, that sorted out we drilled a couple holes in his top rack and had it on in no time. Now there is one place on his bike that will stay dry. :)

KLR's are awesome once you start to mistreat them and scratch them up. I'll have mine back on the road as soon as my swollen clutch hand doesn't protest when I grab a couple of tire spoons. :P

Cheers, and a special thanks to Aminal and Fozzy for hosting a wonderful ride and BBQ!