I'd like to formally introduce my trusty steed that I'll be spending the next x3 intimate months with...
'Rojo' - my 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650
First off... 2-3 months ago, I knew virtually nothing about motorcycles. I knew how to put gas in the tank of a bike, and how to crack the throttle, but that was pretty much it. Upon committing to this adventure, I figured I'd better learn the way of the motorcycle, so I started by pulling my bike apart. It has been a truly intimidating task for me as I'm far from mechanically inclined. When it comes to oil changes in my truck, I've always used the philosophy, 'Theres people for that'.
|my bike feeling pretty naked and chilled...|
|taking a dremil to the rear fender, making room for my new Supertrapp muffler|
I worked on my KLR throughout the winter months and with each passing day I felt better and better about 'knowing my way' around the bike. I still don't really know what the inside of the carburetor looks like, but I do know where it is, so at the very least I can point at it and look cool... and I can take it off if I need to.
|**Note where my left hand main index finger is... it didn't bend after my first surgery therefore hand surgery #2|
(Gotta love the stalker safety glasses)
|installation of x2 PVC 'tool tubes'... (got the idea off ADV Rider)|
After deciding to embark on this adventure, I figured why make it easy and just ride my motorcycle through 8 countries? Why solely ride south physically as far as the road goes to the Darien Gap and back home again? Is this challenge enough... through 16 paper pushing borders, dealing with Central American corruption, bribes to policia, crazy drivers and rogue pigs?
Nope. I figure I'll up the challenge and bring a surfboard!
Let the night welding begin...
My buddy Chris helping weld up my surf rack. Thanks to Tom and Chris for a great design.
Surf rack is complete, ready for my custom Olea board.
|A much better design than surf racks I used in Indo!|
|Snowboard bindings with ratchets to secure board|
Below is a list of after market modifications that I have done to my bike in addition to maintenance I have completed before the trip (the first x4 items were on the bike when I purchased it):
- aluminum skid plate *on bike
- oversized front disc *on bike
- rad guard, nerf bars and hwy pegs *on bike
- oversized rear luggage rack *on bike
- washable K&N air filter
- subframe bolt kit - replaced all
- center stand
- T - mod (re-routes carb vent hoses)
- SU rack (off main frame of bike for panniers)
- Happy Trails 'Teton' aluminum pannier kit w/locks
- front fork brace
- rear license plate moved up to fender (so it doesn't get sucked up by the back tire)
- Supertrapp ISD2 muffler
- IMS pro pegs
- Corbin 'flat' custom seat
- 'doohickey' - KLR balancer chain modification
- MSR heavy duty shifter lever
- RAM mount for Garmin GPS
- magnetic drain plug
- rear master cylinder guard
- upgraded hand guards
- Wolfman Explorer Lite tank bag
- oil change with new K&N filter
- PVC tool tubes mounted
I also have a nice-new-knobby Dunlop D606 rear tire that I plan to switch up in southern California. In addition to this I have new front and rear brake pads that I'm bringing, spare clutch and front brake levers, spare clutch cable, spare front brake cable, and spare front/rear sprokets w/new chain - I might get these items prepped for shipping if need be while I'm on the road - my drive train looks to be in really good shape therefore I assume and hope it'll last the trip, no need to pack a heavy chain and sprockets all the way if I don't need 'em.
Below is my bike built back up again almost ready for the trip... although I'm certain more modifications will happen.