Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tech Day 2010

May 15th was this years tech day held at a local riders (Rick) house in the Spokane Valley. We had about 13 KLRs show up and many of them took a turn in the garage for anything from minor repairs to valve checks and Doohickey replacements. The KLR has pretty much been the same motorcycle since 1987 and has only had one fairly major re-work beginning in 2008. The only real issue that the KLR has is what is called the Balancer Chain Adjuster or in the KLR world a "Doohickey" We had two of our riders crack open the case this year to replace the weak part from Kawasaki with the proven parts from Eagle Mike. When we got the side covers off of Kent's 2005 and removed the flywheel we noticed that the tensioner spring was completely gone. Sadly a common issue with this bike but we now had to try and find the spring before it ended up like this one from my bike.
We ended up completely removing the water pump and clutch side cover and digging the spring out of the oil passage screen where it was lodged in. This is a bit of work but seems to be a common place to find things lost in the engine. Obviously much better to do more work than have a trashed motor. Kent was a busy boy for most of the day as he also lubed his steering head bearings, and put bigger spacers above his fork springs to pre-load the springs more.
Norris made some really cool little kickstand pads that made the footprint of our kickstands a touch larger so when we park the heavy bikes on soft dirt or hot asphalt it spreads the weights out some so the kickstand won't sink and cause the behemoth to fall over. It may just look like a big dirt bike but mine weighs in at 430 pounds. For just a small disc under the kickstand it was a good improvement.
After many more wrenches turned we all decided it was time to go for a little bit of a ride. I mean what good is it to work on on your motorcycle all day and then just park it. We decided to head into Idaho a little ways and fuel up then head towards Mt. Spokane and ride the back roads and see if we could get to the top and drop out on a different road. We cruised all around and came upon some dead ends and typical kelly humps blocking the roads. We stirred up lots of dirt and had a really good time. It is so interesting riding with people of all different skill levels and set-ups on their bikes. Dual sport motorcycles offer a range of tires then can really effect how they perform on and off road. I have fairly aggressive knobbies on mine but it does surprisingly well on the street.
A beautiful day for a ride with good people and looking forward to the next one. These are a great group of guys with a whole bunch on knowledge to pass on to keep these great machines on the move and running for a long time to come.
Ride Safe