Thursday, July 21, 2016

Key Blanks

I finally got around to purchasing a couple key blanks for my 2016 Suzuki DR650. The motorcycle came with two keys. I keep one stored away. Normally, I carry a third spare key on the bike somewhere in case I lose the key on the road, although, of course I've never done that...wink, wink. I got an extra blank so my son can have a key.

Seller: Online Locksmith (via Amazon)
Blank: SUZ18
Brand: JMA
Price: $2.94 each x 2 = $5.88
Ship: $2.04
Total: $7.92 for two blanks

That's considerably better than the OEM blank which is $16.38 each at BikeBandit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sand Pit

As mentioned in previous posts, back on May 8 I slid down powering out of a sandy rut and injured my knee. It was the rear I lost, not the front. Anyway, the injury was an MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) Tear. Well, over the last couple weeks I've been working back up to my regular trail. A couple weeks ago, we rode dirt/gravel roads, last week I was in ONF on their sandy roads...Monday I gave the Sand Pit a try.

There are two "Sand Pits" here in West Central Florida, maybe more. One is a mile long stretch of deep sugar sand on Graveyard Road in the Richloam WMA. The other is the entire Croom WMA! If you want to practice your sand riding in West Central Florida, head to Croom, east of Brooksville. Not to be confused with the nearby Croom Motorcycle Area; I'm talking about the Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Okay, one confession that I need to make is that I wasn't as gear up as I should have been when I got the injury. It's just so freaking hot here in Florida that sometimes you just role the dice and that's what I did that day on May 8. I wasn't wearing my high boots, knee or elbow guards, neck brace or even a long sleeve shirt. Would any of that helped? Not sure, but being off gave me some time to think about my gear.

The only item that I thought about was better knee protection. My knees are quite exposed when upright and on my side. Specifically something that protected substantially all the way around. My injury (MCL) was to the inside of my knee; that's what Medial means. So I found some EVS knee pads that seem to be the ticket. EVS Glider Lite Knee Pads...$44.10 @ Revzilla.

These type of knee pads are preferable over the knee/shin because I wear high motorcycle boots. They're also preferable because I can fit them under my motorcycle pants. Otherwise, they have an inner sleeve for a tight but comfortable fit and three velcro straps to keep them firmly in place. They're definitely light, but I'm not going to kid you, in 85 degrees sitting on an air cooled dual sport in the woods, you're gonna be sweatin' under there. Glad I got them. I will continue to consider my gear. As I get older I may need alternative stuff.

So back on the Sand Pit, well, it really didn't go that well. I was alone and became a little tentative. The way through sand is with the throttle and speed and being tentative don't go together well. So I decided to cut it short and come back (hopefully) this weekend with my son. If he's there then we can keep track of each other, game on.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Laminar Screen Flex Mod

Back in May I purchased a Laminar Speed Screen (PN SS-961-S, S for Smoke) for my 2016 Suzuki DR650. I really did not need a highway screen; rather, all I needed was something that would deflect highway travel winds between trails a little better. The Laminar Screen was definitely the ticket.

However, the Laminar Screen mounts directly to the headlight shroud and that is one flimsy piece of plastic. So flimsy, in fact, that at any speeds over 45 mph the screen forces the shroud to flex back into the gauge area and rub on the speedometer. It's actually wearing.

I thought about various mod approaches and decided to shore up the shroud a little better in the area that it flexes. The mod I chose was to rivet a couple strips of steel plate inside the shroud such that it wouldn't allow the bend/flex..or at least as much of it.

It's a one inch strip of steel that's 6.5 mm thick. Wind is not going to bend this stuff.

I cut a couple six inch lengths and then bent the angles I needed in my vice.

I pre-drilled five 1/8" holes on each plate for the 1/8" rivets...

...and then put a good coat of black paint on them.

Then I installed them in the shroud. These will both keep the shroud from flexing at the mid-point and keep the top of the shroud forward.

Looks a little Franken-Plastic at the moment. I touched each of the rivet heads with some black paint so as not to be too obvious....not that I really cared, more to keep the rivets from rusting.

A quick trip out to he highway and back and this mod is holding up pretty good.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ocala Forest Loop

Back on May 8 I sustained an injury to my right knee in the form of an MCL, which stands for Medial Collateral Ligament Tear. It was not a painful injury at all, but it prevented me from bending my leg at the knee and, as a result, I've been unable to ride my motorcycles. Well, to be honest, I did ride them a little, like just around town with my right leg extended, just to keep the battery charged and the carb clean.

Normally, the MCL recovery is 4 to 6 weeks, but being an older guy, things take longer to mend. At the conclusion of 8 weeks, my son and I (and one of his friends) went out for an Adventure Ride. Nothing technical, just a few gravel roads here and there. We rode about 115 miles and my leg was pretty stiff. We bailed on the rest of the ride.

Today, 9 weeks into the injury, I headed out again and had a much, much better day. I'm not at 100% but I'm close. I rode 280 miles up to Ocala National Forest and back. I didn't ride on anything more technical than the sandy service roads up there. My leg did fine and I think in a week I'll definitely be 100%.

I have a lot of places that I want to explore up in ONF. Today wasn't the day, but it will be soon.

I had my SPOT GPS Messenger Tracking all day. Here's a look at the tracking map.

Pheew! Good to be back in the saddle. I can only spend so much time fishing. :)