October 5, 2010

In the beginning....

In the beginning, there were two Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycles-one new (Ross'), one used (Jean's). To prepare them for our journey south we added or adjusted the following:
Progressive Suspension fork springs
Fork braces
Swmotech crash bars
Bash plates (engine guards)
Avon Gripsters tires
Taller windsheilds
Heated grips
Zumo 550 GPS units
Peel and stick headlight protectors
Lowering kit or shorter rear shock
Raised front forks in the triple clamps to lower the front end
Shortened side stand
Bill Mayer seat or another seat
Chain oiler (a Norm Myers custom special) The chain oiler will use whatever oil we are carrying. ( Engine oil ) This eliminates having to carry a can of chainlube.
Jesse bags. Pricey, but seem to be the best COMPROMISE between width and size. Most capacity for the width
Do hickey replacement (primary chain tensioner )
Added a tool tube across the front of the engine made from 4" plumbing pipe.
ABS jackleg to get the rear wheel off the ground.( no center stand )Scala Rider bike to bike communicators
Scala Rider Bluetooth bike-to-bike communicators were installed on our helmets.
Runway Power Sports, Trenton performed some last minute recall work.

In addition, we are carrying the following:
Spare tubes, spare chains,master links,sprockets, levers cables bulbs brake pads patch kits, tire irons, etc. The tubes are the biggest space user. Each bike will carry 2 tubes, 1 front, 1 rear.
Tools, tape.wire, fuses, etc
Electronics, charger for this, charger for that, etc
Lap top computer
Air compressor
Also the ever present spare quart of oil as these bikes use some. Not like the Beemers which don't seem to.

We have managed to get all this into the two Jesse Bags as we did not want to have anything on the bike that was not locked on.
We are going with heavy duty locking bicycle cables to secure helmets and jackets at rest stops.

I have had to re-learn how to do tires since these bikes have tube type tires and we are dealing with the issue of oiling chains.
Jean has opted for a Bill Meyer custom seat as the stock seats are painfull after about 100Km. I on the other hand, I have reached back into my vast store of used BMW junk to find an old, modified Ironbutt seat and have piggybacked it onto the stock seat pan. Not pretty but it works and is about $400 cheaper.
We have done tires all round and oil and filter with the help of Ken at the O'Malley's home in Louisiana. That should take us well down into South America before we need to look at them again. The chain oilers are undergoing a revamp as we progress.


  1. If you don't put more than this on your blog it's going to be pretty boring

  2. Loved looking at the gear and gadget list!
    Evie (FingerLakes Rally)

  3. Hey Wayne, Let me know if the blog gets too exciting and I will tell you what we did to the Beemers for this trip!

  4. Hi

    I didn't get anything when I opened the blog. It's much better now that I see what Ross has done