Since I’ve got the KLR, I’ve done a couple of small test runs and tweaked some little things. Now it’s time to take it on a proper ride. If you watched my reveal video, you probably heard it’s been burning oil and needs a top end rebuild. I’m trying to put that off for a little bit so I can do some riding. What I’ve done is change the oil and filter so I can monitor how much it’s burning and top it up as necessary. Not ideal, but I think it will be fine for a ride or two. If it’s burning too much or runs rough, I’ll bite the bullet and put a 685 kit in her. So far its running great, but definitely burning oil.
Ride wise, my plan is to go somewhere I can actually go off-road and explore. Around where I live, it’s pretty much grid pattern B roads, highways and gravel roads. The bike seems to ride well on gravel roads, but I need some proper trails. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is anything close that suits the adventure style riding I want to do. If I’m willing to ride 5 hours or more, there are some great looking state forests. But hey, that’s why I got the KLR; I knew I’d need to cover some distance before hitting the trails where I live. If anyone knows any decent adventure riding near Champaign, Illinois, let me know!
Looking at the map there are some great looking off road parks not too far from me. One is about an hour away and there are a couple more about 2 hours away. It looks like they are more suited to lighter dirt bikes, but fuck it, I can only try them. One called the Redbird State Recreation area looks really promising and has piqued my interest; I’ll have to check out some videos online to see if it will suit.
If I’ve got to travel a day to get to some good trails and camp, I’m happy to do that too. In fact I’m looking forward to it. That’ll allow me to hit up some state forests in Ohio that look great. Plus, I’ve already got the go ahead from Mrs OnTheBackWheel to do some decent trips.
All I need now is the right gear. I only bought my Kabuto race helmet (which I don’t love), leather race gloves and leather jacket with me from Australia. It’s bloody hot here and the leather jacket and gloves just aren’t cutting it. Plus, the gloves are just a pain to take on and off and they don’t suit the bike comfort wise. Next pay cheque I’ll keep an eye out for an adventure style jacket, helmet (I’m liking the look of the AFX FX-39 ATM), dirt style gloves and boots. I’m going to try and keep the price down on all of them.
I’m going to grab a back packing tent too, one that I can put on the back of the bike and also doubles as a family tent. I’m digging this one. It packs up small plus its light and gets good reviews. I’ll keep looking in the meantime though and do some more research.
So that’s about it from me, I’m looking forward to just getting out there and riding!
Keep it OnTheBackWheel people.