Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Kawasaki KLR 650 - Join The KLR Kult!

The Kawasaki KLR 650 – Join The KLR Kult!

On road or Off road the KLR 650 will take you where you want to go

Kawasaki began selling the KLR 650 in1987 and changed the bike very little until 2008.  The second generation KLR 650, while not earth shattering, did bring some much-needed upgrades.  Better wind protection and suspension being the biggest changes.  Even with the changes made in 2008, the KLR 650 is a “dinosaur” in the motorcycle world and yet it's still one of Kawasaki’s best selling motorcycles.

Why has the KLR 650 lasted so long and why has it reached cult like status among the thousands of KLR 650 riders worldwide?

It’s an affordable adventure motorcycle:  With the price of most adventure motorcycles well north of $12,000, the KLR is a bargain with a price tag under $7,000 for a new one.  Then again with so many KLR’s out there, a low mileage used one can be found for even less.  Add to the price, a 6.1-gallon (23 liter) gas tank and a manageable weight, the KLR 650 has a great range and is easy to take down most dirt and gravel roads.

My friend Paul camping with his 2007 KLR

It’s simple and reliable:  With a near bullet proof, single cylinder engine, basic electronics and a design that most back yard mechanics can work on easily with a few tools and a shop manual, you can travel with confidence on your KLR.  If it does break down, parts are readily available just about anywhere in the world and if you are unable to fix it yourself, there’s a good chance someone close by will.

Aftermarket Upgrades:  I’ll be so bold as to say that the mighty KLR has more aftermarket part available for it then are available for Harley Davidson’s.  Outside of a dealer showroom, you’ll have a difficult time finding two KLR’s that are alike.  Owners have done everything from building supermotos, daily commuters, street trackers and full on Around The World touring machines out of the KLR.

Well placed aftermarket parts with more to come.

The Horsepower Paradox:  The KLR has a whopping 35 hp – 38 hp depending on whose numbers you go by.  With some modifications to the air box, the addition of an aftermarket exhaust pipe, engine upgrades and carburetor modification, it’s possible to get a few more ponies out of the engine package.  With all of that, the KLR will still fall short of the more expensive motorcycles and yet it uses all of its power wisely and is fun.  I own two other motorcycles with over 100 hp and torque enough to roast the rear tires and my KLR still makes me smile.

The Kawasaki KLR Kult has a strong following and will likely keep Kawasaki building the motorcycle for a few more years, at least.  Join us!

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Be Careful Out There!

So I'm riding home from work this evening, riding down the main street in town and one that I ride everyday.  I'm following two other cars through an intersection, keeping my distance and positioned on the road to maximize my ability to see vehicles coming head on and to give those vehicles a good view of me.  A large 1 Ton pickup was waiting to turn left and sure enough turned in front of me.  Thankfully the speed of traffic was slow and I was able to lock up the brakes and avoid an ugly and likely painful collision.  If I'd hit that impatient and unobservant driver (my words at the time were way more "colorful") he would have been at fault and I'd be hurting or worse.

With this little incident as inspiration please read a post from earlier this year called Take Responsibility For Yourself because when it comes to Vehicle vs. Motorcycle interactions the motorcycle and it's rider will always lose regardless of who is at fault.  Observation and avoidance is the only way to stay healthy and safe on the road.

Stay safe and learn to avoid collisions with other vehicles.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Adventure Touring is all about the adventure. The bike is simply the vehicle.

I'm trolling Facebook and on one of the adventure touring pages I see photos from a couple from the UK who are riding from Alaska to Argentina on Honda C90's.  Most riders would consider anything smaller then a 650 cc machine to be too small for this type of trip, but not this couple.  Currently they are in British Columbia Canada and are experiencing some snowy conditions and yet they are pushing onward.

Check out their blog at Wonder On A Honda or on Facebook at Facebook Wonder On A Honda.

Proof that any motorcycle / scooter can be used for adventure.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Monday, 10 November 2014

Pacific Marine Circle Route, Dirt Modified

The Pacific Marine Circle Route is a favorite of Vancouver Island motorcyclists and visitors alike.  The scenery along the route is a great mix of mountains, the southern West Coast and East Coast of Vancouver Island and Lake Cowichan.  Throw in wildlife, rivers and some great twisting roads and it's easy to see the popularity of this route.

The traditional route along Pacific Marine Road is paved, although rough in sections between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew.  For those who crave dirt roads, there is another way.  Instead of turning onto Pacific Marine Road at Mesachie Lake, continue along South Shore Road to Honeymoon Bay and take Gordon River Road.  This road is a great 60 km (36 mile) logging road that passes through mountains and along rivers.

Some of the beautiful scenery along Gordon River Road

Port Renfrew

An amazing Fall day at Jordan River, BC - Part of the Pacific Marine Circle Route

I'd like to thank my riding partner for the day, Darren La Vigne, for showing me the Gordon River Road route and for his company.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride