Over the last few months I’ve continued to collect bits and pieces to upgrade or improve the stock components of the KLR for next summer’s trip.
I upgraded the footpegs to a more motocross style peg (IMS Supersport Footpegs). Better grip and a larger platform for balance should be a big help. Also I upgraded the mounting bolts to harder steel for additional strength. Frankly, the OEM footpegs seemed a bit cheesy and underwhelming and were quite slippery when wet.
I put on a longer windscreen to help deflect the air higher (Zero Gravity – Sport Touring Windscreen). The OEM one is very low and puts wind right under my helmet which creates obnoxious noise. I haven’t had much luck with changing screens on my other bike (I have 3 for the VFR and not one of them make much of a difference for noise and windblast). Hopefully this will help as I’ll be putting on quite a few clicks on my journey.
I put on an accessory power supply (SW Motech – Cigarette Power Supply) for charging my iPhone, iPod and, if need be, it can be used as a power source for an air pump to reinflate tires.
Now that I’ve had heated grips on my other bike I had to have them on this one. I bought some Oxford Heaterz Sport grips. They were a piece of cake to install and look remarkably like the OEM Honda ones I installed on the VFR.
The addition of a SW Motech – Vibration Resistant GPS mount on the handlebars of the bike will also be useful. It’ll keep the GPS down low enough to be behind the screen and away from the elements. It also seems to be a really good location for visibility. I’ll have to test that out.
I still have to hook up the power supply or a fusebox for all these accessories. It’s a bit of a pain getting into the battery compartment so I’ll rig something up so that the fuses on all these new electrical components are easier to reach. I’ve purchased an Eastern Beaver PC8 Fuse Box for under the seat. With a bunch of monkeying around and some cleverly routed wire it just fits under the seat. It allows the heated grips to be switched power along with two other sources) and the cigarette power and GPS to be supplied power unswitched. I bought the 18″ harness but the 24″ one would have been a better fit. A pain in the arse to hook up but hopefully it will stop me from having some colossal electrical meltdown like my experience last year on my VFR.
Apparently the headlight assembly is about $300, so I bought a guard since I’ll be riding quite a bit on gravel and dirt roads. The Cee Bailey guard is aircraft grade plastics and moulded to fit the front of the lens perfectly. Although with best efforts the 3M velcro that holds it on will not remain stuck on the headlight lens.
While I only have about 500 kilometres on the bike I’m not particularly fond of the stock tires. They are great on the highway but don’t seem well adapted to gravel and dirt road use. I’ve done plenty of research about tires and almost bought Continental TKC 80s which have an excellent reputation as an all-round as well as dirt-oriented tire. I stumbled across a type of tire that is well-tested in Europe and Africa – Heidenau Tires. I bought a set from a distributor in the US for about $320 shipped. Apparently these have excellent road manners, excellent dirt and off-road capability, and are incredibly durable (I’ve read of riders traveling 20,000 kilometres on a set). One weekend soon I’ll take the wheels off and mount these. They are also available in Canada now at A Vicious Cycle – Heidenau K60
The last addition was the Trax rear top case. Honestly, after having the larger one on my VFR, I thought this one was actually quite small. I guess once I add the side luggage (each side is 45 litres) I’ll still have a lot of room for gear, tools, etc. on the trip.
A few more additions before the summer – skid plate, voltage meter, side luggage and racks, and maybe, handguards. Then the bike will be ready to rock and roll!