Saturday, April 15, 2017

Roll Chart Holder

Issue: I have a couple Moose Roll Chart Holders for dual sport rallies. They're designed to attach to the handlebar at the crossbar with a hose clamp. However, the new ProTaper bar that I installed doesn't have a crossbar. So I set up one of the chart holders for a Ram Mount.

Solution: I have a lot of left over Ram Mount stuff that I've collected over the years. I bolted a Ram 1" Ball to the chart holder and then put a ball on the bar. Viola!

When's my next rally?

The Hooch in June!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fat Bar Mod

My son and I purchased a new bar for our 2016 KLR650 after the stock bar got bent on a fall at Devils Creek. We picked out a ProTaper Contour Bar with a fat bar mount, but upon installation we really just didn't like it on the KLR, so we need to find something else.

As for the ProTaper, I moved it over to the DR650 and we really, really like it on that rig!

Bar: ProTaper Contour, Henry/Reed Bend, P/N 027925 ($67)
Bend: (inches/mm) Width=31.5/800, Height=3.6/92, Rise=2.4/61, Pull=2.2/57
           (OEM Bend Width=32/812, Height=3.1/79, Pull=2.3/58)
Mount Surface: 1 1/8", adapter required.
Control Surface: 7/8", stock controls fit.

The design of the Contour retains 7/8" control surfaces so none of the controls had to be replaced.

The installation required a bar clamp conversion. For that we used a ProTaper Universal Solid Mount Bar Clamp Adapter. The conversion clamp results in 3/4" of additional rise. ($36.00)

I was previously using universal risers on the stock bar so the height is just about the same when all is done. However, the stock height was 3.1 inches. The height of the contour bar is 3.6 inches + the adapter 0.75 inches = 4.35 inches. So overall, this set up is increasing bar height by 1.25 inches.

Installation is easy. I had to dremel away two placement nipples on the switch boxes. My Trackside hand guards obviously no longer fit.

After getting the bar installed, I decided to replace the grips and found that the throttle side grip was glued to the throttle tube such that there was no freaking way to get it off!

The OEM replacement part is a grip glued to the throttle tube as well. I purchased an aftermarket Motion Pro tube off eBay for around $10. See the part number for this tube in the photo.


Discovery Rally

Wrapped up the inaugural Southern Discovery Rally, March 31-April 1, based in Hohenwald, Tennessee. It was a 750 mile trip up to the Rally, but worth it.

This was the second use of the toy hauler (my converted utility trailer). Between now and my next rally I'm going to see if I can re-purpose it for toy hauling and camping.

The Rally was based at the Fall Hallow Campgrounds.

The campground was literally right across the road from one of the northern entrance points to the Historic Natchez Trace Parkway.

Primitive camping was $20 a night. Somewhat of a pain was that the place had only 2 bathrooms in one place on site for all campers. The bathrooms were a long walk from the private tent camp area. Also, while they had hot showers, they were in the 2 bathrooms!

On a positive note, the primitive camping area was very nice and I was able to set up right next to a river. I sat on the bank watching for fish; didn't see any. They said that the river had lots of bass and bluegill.

When I got back to Tampa on Tuesday. I heard that one of our riders had his motorcycle stolen at the campsite. Apparently it was a rare KTM so pretty big loss. I guess I (and everyone) needs to think more about the security of our equipment at these rallys. It's too bad that we just can't get away from this king of thing, even in most rural Tennessee.

Rider's Meeting...

There looked to be about 60-65 riders. Three groups set off on the same tracks each day. This particular club included a lot of supermotos; maybe a full quarter of all the bikes. There were only two large adventure bikes (both KTMs), one V-Strom with 2-up.

The terrains were largely what I call hard-pan; pretty much a clay/dirt surface, lots of gravel. No sand at all. As you may expect there was a good degree of elevation changes and the typical turns and switchbacks.

Three groups, same track, faster riders in the front. It was a very fast track. At one point the lead and I kicked our pigs and I was looking at 85 mph at one point.

The first day was about 106 miles and that is kind of long for this old man at those speeds. I kept up but I felt it the next morning.

After lunch, back on the trails. There was another event going on in the area called "Mule Days." We only encountered horses and mules once but apparently this was a really big event in the area.

On Saturday there were many river crossings. One river, we just kept going back and forth across it. It was mostly a rocky bottom, but one spot was a stretch of flatrock with super slippery moss and seaweed on top. About 25 riders...including me...went down in that hole. Fortunately it was only about 4-5 inches deep.

This guy had a new and super clean Africa Twin...splash.

Both the KTM Adventure bikes and the 2-up Strom...splash.

This hole caught everyone off guard, even those that made it. I know this kind of crossing and experienced it alot in the Texas Hill Country the couple times I've been there. It happens when water flows over a shallow flat surface. A normal rocky bottom crossing is feathering the throttle up and down accordingly through the rocks allowing the bike to bounce side to side. This flat, slippery crossing is a controlled straight line with more speed (actually momentum). Two degrees off on the front tire and it will wash every time. No, I did not walk the hole like I know I should have. I rolled up on the hole, the two in front of me made it and I assumed it was just another rocky bottom. My bad!

More water on Saturday...

The scenery was really quite spectacular. When we slowed down or stopped for a break it became clear that it was a really cool place to be riding.

This rally was the inaugural Discovery Rally. I heard that they were going to also have a Fall Rally. I'll definitely be going to those rallys. I hope Fall Hallow gets another couple bathrooms and showers installed before then!


I'm very experienced with river crossings, but this hole got me on April Fools Day.

Southern Discovery Dual Sport Rally, Hohenwald, Tennessee

March 31-April 2

Sorry for the quality. These are screen shots of a video someone took.