Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lessons in listening

I was exhausted from my 95 mile rain soaked hill ride Saturday so I planned to just ride the KTM950 all day Sunday or part of the day and the rest on the 250.  My friend Paul wanted to ride off road on his Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, a generic dual sprt bike made to spen 95% of it's life on public highways, paved or gravel.  He begged to do hard stuff, I was going to let him put around Wayne for a bit but Nooo, he didn't want to go off-road, he wanted to ride with his road buddies 1st then do something closer.   We left Gulliver's Travel's stuffed full of trucker food and headed south with his road buddies looping around until we landed in Coshocton for a rendezvous with Allen and anyone else who may have shown up.

Speaking of his road buddies, they were a bit over enthusiastic, passing on double yellows all morning forcing the rest to do the same or get left behind. I found it to be a bit nerve racking, especially carving corners on D908 knobbies.

A few of us continued on to play in the dirt, Allen (DR650) Paul (DL650 V strom) and Jim (800GS). One guy HAD a nearly new V-strom. It was new until he dropped it half way down Quarry Rd and snapped off the end of the brake lever and broke the front turn signal. Luckily he had crash bars. Somewhere down the hill I whacked the right tank guard on the 950 pretty hard. Enough parts moved that it cracked the header. I couldn't feel or see the leak, but I could hear it. At the bottom the Jim on the GS800 (pretty new also) tried to submerge the beast in the creek at the bottom.

Then we were on an abandoned rail bed. It was a nice cruise until we crossed a paved highway where Whitey took his cigarette break a couple summers ago when we were helping a few rookies climb up to the road. I looked down in the now overgrown ravine and proclaimed it didn't look that bad so I dove in head first. A hundred yards in and there is no Paul or Jim, Just Allan. Allen said they were taking turn dropping their bikes. By the time I got back, Jim was over but Paul failed to negotiate a small 5" sapling and once again, tossed his Strom on the ground (in honor of Meef?). Got him going only to find out someone did a fine job of barricading the trail with big timber and we had to turn around (Sorry Guys).

At this point we found out Paul had now lost his left turn signal also and snapped off the tip of his shifter. While scouting a possible out we also noted his bike had twisted the sub-frame strut where the left passenger peg used to sit relatively level. It ain't level no more, the V-strom was no longer new, it now officially used 

When I got home I pulled the right tank off to inspect the header. It didn't feel right and when I pulled the heat wrapping off from the previous owner I found a lot of rotten metal and it basically fell apart on the floor. The wrap had held it together for about 2 hours.

The hole had been on the bottom where I couldn't feel and like a plasma cutter, torched a hole in the plastic side of the skid plate and melted the top cover of the relay switch for the starter to the starter fuse. When I pulled the cover, the fuse came with it.

I am lucky though, could have been the gas tank  I am lucky also in the fact I was worried about what was under the heat wrap so I bought a new header on Advrider for $35 about 1 month ago. KTM price $243.00!! Thank God I am a hoarder!!! 

Heading to Summit Racing tomorrow morning to get new heat-shield for the tank, no more of that heat wrap crap.

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