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Beej's Motorcycle Stuff
Me and Tanngnjóstr, my KLR 650
Me and Tanngnjóstr, my KLR 650

Beej's Motorcycle Stuff's posts

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Playing catchup on videos. This one's from last summer.

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Out for a quickie today...

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Catching up with my video backlog... a taste of the hills before the snow came in.

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Another quick local ride. 

Saturday Afternoon Ride

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Quick, fun ride up the hill on Saturday.

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Did a short ride around the usual today. Popped out to the Columbia Southern diversion dam that Enrique showed me a while ago. Good day for it, and the roads were good after the recent rain.

We were mountain biking at Phil's Trail Complex earlier, and it was packed with people. Met someone from Ohio who had just moved here, and a couple from Alberta who spend the end of the summer in Bend climbing and biking (since they're snowed in at home.)

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Short video from this morning's moto ride to Tumalo Dam with my pal Henry. Dam's 100 years old and was a notable local failure.

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So my left fork oil seal was weeping, which usually means replacing the seal. Apparently aftermarket seals for the KLR are crap, so I'll be going OEM which is twice as much for parts, albeit only $25 per fork. (And then it's kind of a pain to do, but fortunately on the KLR you can pop the old seals out with compressed air and you don't have to disassemble the fork.)

But first I found a thing called a SealMate by MotionPro that I could pick up for $5. It's hook-shaped piece of plastic (that they probably make for 5¢ each) that you slip between the oil seal and the inner fork tube. You sweep it around and scoop up any grit that got in there, pulling it out on the hook.

And on the first pass, I did retrieve some grit! No grit on the second pass. I pumped the fork a bunch of times to get the seal to reseat (until the inner tube emerges oil-free), and then reinstalled the dust seal, clip, and boot.

So where to go for the test run? Somewhere local. Fortunately the always-fun-to-ride-with +Enrique Casablanca  was available at the last minute, and we took off through Skyline Forest, past some of the Two Bulls burn, along Columbia Southern Canal down to the old dam, and then back to town. Roads were OK, but some patches have turned to 4" deep moon dust.

As of now, no more seal weeping! Hopefully it holds.
Columbia Southern Canal Dam ride
6 Photos - View album

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So I switched to this knobbier tire on the rear of my KLR650 to a Shinko 244.

I've only ridden on street-oriented DS tires before (Kenda k761, a 90% street/10% offroad tire), so this was a change.

First impression on pavement: can't tell. But I didn't push it because it's brand new.

First impression on 15th St (dirt) next to the house: "Hey, I can't peel out like I used to be able to."

So I rode up Skyliner to see if any of the roads to the fire area were open (they weren't.) Then I continued up and turned left into Phil's where I hopefully would not harass too many MTBers. The mountain bike trails (usually) have a "road x-ing" sign where the singletrack crosses the NFS roads, but there's no sign for motor vehicles. Some of the singletrack sneaks up on you. Fortunately, I didn't run into anyone at an intersection, literally or figuratively.

First impression on actual dirt: what the f— is wrong with my back tire? I had to stop a couple times to make sure it wasn't flat, it was wobbling around something crazy.

But at the same time, it felt completely controllable, weirdly. All the wobbles were just from the lugs flumping over (it's an industry term I just made up) on various ruts and groves. It felt kinda like when the Kenda lost traction, except it did it all the time... and then instead of being less controllable, it was more controllable.

There's no mud on this particular route, but it's turning into sandy powder as it dries out. The back had no issues, and any time the front started to plow, I'd just gun it out of trouble. ("When in doubt, gas it out.") There was one spot where the front tire slipped left then right in rapid succession, which gave me a start since I was riding into the sun and couldn't see very well, but trusty Tanngnjóstr stayed up and true.

I seem to recall reading about steering with your back wheel and the throttle. Suddenly that started making sense to me for the first time. Gotta mess with it a bit.

I made excellent time through the forest, easily besting my previous time. It felt like I could still go a lot faster.

Getting back to the pavement, I checked on the swingarm and tire (since I just did maintenance), and headed back on Skyliner, slaloming down to scuff the new rubber a bit. That probably doesn't do anything, but I'm pretending it does.

It'll certainly be interesting once I put the knobby front tire on. One drawback of the Shinko 244 on the front is the 3.0/21 tire has a 75 MPH speed rating. But I think I've only had the KLR going that fast on a couple occasions (it's happiest at 70 or less). Still...
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