KLR is ready for the big trip

Received the final bits and bobs yesterday in the mail. I installed the TRAX luggage and SW Motech EVO racks. I got a fantastic deal from aviciouscycle.com, even cheaper than I could have got it online from the US. The kit includes the locks, racks, hardware and luggage/panniers – KLR Enduro Travel Pack.

I was quite surprised by the sturdiness of the EVO racks – in pictures online they look quite simple and budget. When they are on the bike they look very solid and are constructed of tubular steel.

They were relatively easy to put on. It took the afternoon to sort everything out and mount it all. One oddity a few of the bolts for the tail light assembly were really short, so much so that I had to remove the ferrules that came on the bike stock. It shouldn’t be an issue but SW Motech should have included bolts that were about 10-15mm longer with the kit.

Also the electrical wires they included were too short. They provided just enough to “almost” hook the wires together (grrrr!), except it doesn’t take into account the wires are up under the fender well and impossible to connect with such a short length (crappy crimp connectors, too, more grrr!). I took apart the rear signals and rewired them with additional wire so it would reach easily and make the connections well within reach. Really? Would it hurt to include a few feet of wire for a $300 dollar set of racks. Obviously this decision was made by an accountant and not one of the engineers. Accountants out there, are you listening? Don’t cheap out on little things that tick your customers off. End rant….

The tolerances for the racks and system are just right. The right side allows for extra space around the exhaust and is slightly farther out, but not noticeably so. The right side also needs to be monkeyed with a bit to make sure it fits on – assembly order for best fit.

The TRAX panniers/luggage are gigantic. I thought 45 litres per side would be big but these are absolutely enormous. I’ll have no problem carrying all my gear this summer. It makes the bike quite wide (this is a gross understatement)which is fine for highway use but for anything like single tracks or bushwhacking the bike is just too wide. The measurement across the rear from one side to the other is 43 inches. That’s wide my friends!

** Insert joke here – “Honey, do these bags make my rear look big?” 😉 **

** Of course not, honey. They are very svelte and utilitarian. They look great, really they do….” :_)

A couple minor things like tubes, heated vest and a few light tools and the bike is ready for the big trip in August. I even had a chance to sneak out for a ride yesterday for about 180 kilometres, until it started to snow that is. It isn’t even broken in yet and I’m getting 45 miles/gallon for fuel economy, even with old stale gas that has been in it all winter. Should be a great and cheap commuter and tourer.

One annoyance is the throttle still sticks when trying to turn it (accelerating) – I’ll have the dealer look at that. Now if the darned snow would just stop falling and disappear….

KLR Starting Odometer Reading – 418 Kilometres