Ticking off the biggest thing on the list


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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