So…patient readers…I haven’t written in a while. The start date of my trip was delayed by various tasks that needed to be performed. But…alas…I am well on the road. More on this in a bit.
I won’t go into details but I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t put 24-36 hours of work into the bike to prep it. The prior mentioned 685 upgrade kit seems to be a success. At first we saw a little “weeping” from a gasket but some extend high RPM riding shows that the job was a success. I cannot comment on fuel economy. I am carrying a lot of stuff (and am finding it difficult to jettison *any* of it). I am also running 50/50 tires (on road/off road). And the SuperSlab I am riding on demands a fairly high speed.
What’s going wrong? I really need to get rid of the rear Mefo Explorer tire. The knobs are starting to crack. What else? I find that I have way too many chargers for everything. One for each phone, netbook, cameras and on and on. It would be nice to find a unit that would take care of charging it all. And there are a few loose pieces on the bike I need to tighten shortly (very minor) but that is par for the course.
What is going right? Well, I generally find the bike very capable for what it is doing. It can feel a little taxing on some of the freeways here which have a maximum of 70 miles an hour (uh hum…seems to be the minimum). My favourite mods and farkles right now are my cheap-ass highway pegs fitted to my SW-Motech crashbars, my Laminar Lip windshield extension and my Kaoko “cruise control”. Normally this bike is ridden in a very upright position. Don’t get me wrong. I like having my back straight (healthy on the back) and being able to look over Hummers…but on these extended highway runs it is nice to be able to lay back a bit and stretch out a little and duck my head under the airs tream. I am absolutely praising the Kaoko right now. I know from previous trips that my wrist can get quite sore after extended hours of riding. The Kaoko basic adds enough friction so that the throttle doesn’t move unless I move it. It definitely presents a higher risk than normal throttle operation (NEVER use it around dense traffic) but on the clear open road it always some flexibility to relax that right hand for a while. And…oh ya…the 685 kit seems to have fixed the oil burning problem.
What else? I am basically on a quest to change out some of my riding gear — most importantly my pants and boots. I need a tougher boot — but not as heavy as a motocross boot, if I can help it. And I need a pant with *at least* a single vent in them. As soon as I stop, I am constantly sweating in my Olympia Ranger II pants.
So where am I? I am presently amidst the Ozarks near a town called Cuba in Missouri. The hosts of the RV park have been very hospitable and I arrived earlier enough to have some good WIFI time before bed. Earlier today I hit REI in St. Louis as I needed to get some more compression stuff sacks, and various other doodads. The previous nights I stayed near Chicago, IL and Grand Rapid, MI.
One of the cooler things of the day was that I ran into a couple dozen members of the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA) at a gas stop. There was lots of American (and some Japanese) v-twin thunder. Surely a couple members felt relieved when I “explained” that the state trooper that just arrived was probably just looking for me, the Canadian 😉 …graciously, Hooch, Mike and Mario provided their card and services — if, for what ever reason — I need a helping hand in the regions that their MC club represents, hopefully they can help. A very timely coincidence. Muchos gracias.
Well. It is off to bed with me.