This is a place where I post thoughts and information about riding again after all these years and the KLR 650 that I have for that purpose.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Mud Bath Question

Message: 16
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 08:19:51 -0800 (PST)
From: Dale Steele <daletsteele@yahoo.com>
Subject: Mud Bath

Yesterday I decided not to detour around a closed
county dirt road on my way to Knights Ferry. All the
low spots were flooded and I managed to navigate my
way around or through them. The water was very silty
and it was hard to gauge the depth since some
four-wheelers had been through before me. At one
point, I managed to submerge up to about the bottom of
the cylinder. I kept the bike running at all times
except for one point and it started right back up

Is there anything else I should be doing to the bike
now besides change oil/filter after cleaning up all
that mud & grass from frame, chain, and elsewhere? My
oil level looked a little high when I got home.
Wouldn't I see bubbles or a water layer if I'd taken
any back with me?

I did check for fish in either boot but came up empty
if not dry. I did have a close encounter with a bald
eagle on the way back though. I saw a fair number of
riders out between rain clouds, all harleys, but none
seemed to want to follow my swamp bike...

A-15 Stockton

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Muddy Ride

I decided I had to get out today and packed my rain gear as it looked dark on the horizon even though the sun was shining when I headed towards Knights Ferry. I opted to take highway 4 and then cut off on the Old Sonora road because there was a couple of miles of sandy dirt road before Woodward's reservoir. The sign said closed to through traffic and I knew that had to be the dirt stretch and figured I knew where the bad spots would probably be and that I could ride around or through them most likely. If not, I had a good sized detour. It turned out each of the low spots was flooded with silty water that didn't show where the ruts were or how deep they were. I made it about half way with things got deeper and little area to go around. On one stretch I rode up on the grassy shoulder and saw a burrowing owl giving me a cautious look over as I passed within 10'.

I managed to ride the pegs through a couple before hitting deep hidden ruts that nearly dumped me and put a wake over the front of the bike and covered the windshield, gauges and me with muddy water. I killed the engine in one deep hole but got it going and slipped my way to the next stretch of dry ground. My shoes were filled by now after paddling through a couple of ponds, walk/pushing along a slippery shoulder on a couple more and I had worst stretches ahead. I parked and walked the slippery shoulder looking for a better line. It looked like I might just make it if I didn't hit the fence and slide into the small lake below. The calves lined up to see what was going to happen. I was in too far to go back and could see the paved road ahead. I managed to stick to that line, mainly a cow trail that was slick but flat and dropped back onto the road before the shoulder got too steep. That was the worst of it and I was drenched but happy as I headed on to Knights Ferry. There I found a nice picnic table and pulled shoes and wrung out socks leaving puddles of muddy water. My bike was caked with that sandy clay and I had to pull the seat to deal with a loose wire before I could head back via Milton road and on to Copperopolis Rd. An adult bald eagle flew directly above at the highway 4 crossing.

All in all, a short but memorable way to roll over 17,000 miles on my bike. The rain never caught up with me but there was a strong cross wind most of the way back. I'll need to do a serious cleaning when things cool off. My rear brake seemed to work OK but I did have trouble shifting at times either as a result of my cold wet feet or slippery surface. My clutch lever seemed to be rubbing against my hand guard so I have some things to work on before I go must farther.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rolling Again

Well, it seems like I just kept working with the rear brake caliper and the more I did the more it came apart. I figured out a few things with help from the manual and a website and eventually things fell back into place. At least close to it. I gave it a test spin and got no loud sounds or parts fallening off and I did have some braking. I got some further tips from the KLR list and it seems that I'm in the normal range although that rear disk was pretty hot. Your results may vary....

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Wheel Blues

Well, I decided to take the easy way out and get help with the flat. Who knew, I might have some rim damage or something causing that big leak around the value stem. Tight for time as always, I yanked the wheel off and took it in Saturday morning. The fix was easy and the tube was salvagable as a spare. So far so good. Then I set out to put things back together and found that working in poor light and tight spaces in the garage was not fun. I was stuck when I learned that I had not properly removed the brake caliper and couldn't do so now for lack of the right allen wrench. Hmmm, interesting as I have done this all before several times.
Off to Sears I go and shortly afterwards, The bike is rolling. Stopping now is a different matter as I can't get the brake pads to clear the disk brake. Things seem to be unraveling on that front so my next plan is to slowly ride it to the shop and get them to put things back together correctly. Lessons learned? Don't hurry and go over the manual and round up all tools needed ahead of time. I will be adding one of those folding allen wrench kits to my bike tool kit too as I seem to lose things otherwise.

Oh well, I didn't really want to ride today anyway, right?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Flat Out

I had a great afternoon ride Saturday and got out to the Consumnes River Preserve after riding around some barracades and inspecting the new bridge. That was fun and got me on a favorite little stretch of dirt road following the river. Later, I parked and took the boardwalk out to a blind where I watched sandhill cranes, lots of ducks & shorebirds, and just enjoyed the breezy sunny weather while I ate my apple and used my binoculars.

On the way back I blasted down the freeway in a hurry and just parked. The next day I had a very flat back tire with what seems a leaky valve stem. It could have been worse if that had happened on the freeway or back along the river 25 miles from home. Now I'm getting advice on valve stems, tubes and putting off fixing that back tire. Bummer!

Oh yes, I still haven't turned over 17,000 miles!

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