Bike Sold, Brakes Bled, Maintenance Done – Ready to Go!

Finally sold the KLR 650 this week. It’s off to a good owner who’ll use it right away this weekend and is planning a father/son trip to South America in the next few years. After months of having people come by he looked at it twice and came by with an hour’s notice and picked it up by trailer.

I’ll miss the bike for the light gravel road use and getting off the beaten path. To be honest, after riding the KLR to Alaska and jaunts around Calgary, I was never really inspired by the bike. It never felt like it did much of anything well – too many compromises. It was, however, reliable, excellent on fuel, and easy to maintain.

In retrospect, I should have waited and bought what I really wanted, which was a BMW F800GS or R1200GSA. Now that there is a F800GSA, I might be tempted to get one of those. They would be much better for touring, great fuel economy and a better dual sport for what I need it for – forestry roads, gravel, and very rarely something more challenging.

I did a bit of routine maintenance on the VFR to prepare for the trip. Changed the brake and clutch fluid. Clutch is literally a ten minute job – piece of cake. The brakes are not difficult but need to done in a specific order due to the linked braking system (front and rear are linked) and the ABS. I took my time and finished it this afternoon. There was some pretty nasty looking sludge in the lines but it was easily flushed out and they work excellently again.

So far I’m liking the Michelin Road 2s with the heavier carcass. They seem really well planted and a bit more rigid on highway riding. 3-400 kilometres and they still have the ‘tits’ on them – little mold thingies.

I’m going to venture out this week for a few practise rides to get my butt ready for the two marathon days early next week. I’ll get close to surpassing a milestone on the bike before I go, or for sure when I go on Sunday – 80,000 kilometres (50,000 miles). Actually, at 80467.2 I’ll pass that mark. The bike is now nine years old, and not to jinx my trip, still runs like new and has had basic maintenance and one electrical repair (which is a common one for my bike). Hopefully, ‘Old Reliable’ will remain that way for the duration of the upcoming trip which will be dangerously close to 10,000 kilometres.