Jul 30 2008

Ticking off the biggest thing on the list

tim

On Monday morning I dropped in to Hands On Motorcycles in Lilydale and put a deposit down on a new KLR650. On Tuesday afternoon I picked up my shiny new bike! I’ve already put about 50kms on it, and though it was cold, it was great to ride.

It was also a good chance to try out the new helmet, and see what it is like at highway speeds. I’m petty impressed. There’s nominal wind noise, even at 100km/h as long as you hold your head straight. The wind resistance on the peak is also pretty low. If you turn your head the noise and the resistance increase, but that’s to be expected.

The stock windscreen on the KLR deflects the wind to the bottom edge of the helmet, which means my neck is reasonably protected, though my helmet is taking the full force. A taller screen will be great for longer rides, particularly in cold weather, but I can understand why some riders complain that things can be a little too isolated behind a big screen.

I’ll need to look at thicker gloves, and probably some easily removed waterproof or thermal pants for the winter. The ride home was great fun, but I didn’t have a whole lot of feeling in my fingers by the time I got home.

First thing to go will probably be the “beak” front fender. Swapping that for a KTM fender is a cheap and simple modification. After that I’ll look at the SW Motec crash bars and skid plate. The main carburettor mod is don at first service (woo hoo!) so I won’t have to worry about that, and the dealer said I needn’t worry about shimming the carb needle unless I also plan to open or replace the exhaust. And that I won’t be doing for a while.

One down, heaps to go…

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Jul 26 2008

Helmet

tim

I’ve been out of the country for a couple of weeks, and I hadn’t heard from the helmet guy, so I dropped in today to see if they were in… and they were!

Last time I was there I tried on a small (the only size they had), and was surprised how comfortable it was, even if it was tight. Tried a medium and a large today, and was just about to settle for the large (which would have sucked, since they only had them in black), when the ever helpful sales guy suggested that I try the medium again.

It turned out that if you give the helmet a good shove from the back, the pressure goes from the front. Tried the medium for a while in the shop, and was really happy with the fit.

Tried some goggles, and though the one they had will fit at a pinch they don’t quite touch around my nose. Turns out that they sit just as well without the strap! I tried my old Spy goggles when I got home, and they’re a great fit. The foam touches and seals to my face, without applying any real pressure at all.

Really happy with the fit… now let’s hope it lives up to expectations in terms of wind noise and isolation.

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