January 04, 2010

Bike Prep




This could be tricky.  The KTM has 52,000 km on it (~30,000 miles).  It is still very tight, does not use oil, and everything works the way it should.  My gut and 40 years of riding tell me that it will go the distance, but this trip will add at least another 30,000 km and possibly double the miles already on it.  Something will go wrong.  I will have to replace tires, chain and sprockets.  Oil changes will have to be done on the road.   I can perform all my own repairs, but I will need access to parts and I will not be able to carry all the tools I would need to fix all the things that could break or wear out. 

The internet tells me that there are KTM dealers in every country I will visit.  Motorcycles are a popular form of transportation in Latin America, so there will be plenty of shops and expertise.   The KTM's wheel rims are of a size able to accommodate a variety of common tire sizes and types, notwithstanding  the factory would not recommend such, they will work in a pinch.

All major and minor maintenance has been done, fork oil, engine oil, coolant, brake fluid,  replaced.  Back tire 50% front 80+, chain and sprockets 80-90%.  I may put on a fresh rear tire in the US. 

The bike is still somewhat dusty from its last ride, and it will be a while before it sees a hose and bucket again.  

I really don't know what to expect re security,  I am thinking that travellers tales of highway robbery and kidnapping grow with the telling, but on the other hand I would be foolish to ignore the warnings.   A KTM 640 Adventure is a bike that only an owner will love, it is not one that tends to make others covetous.  It looks like a mutant grasshopper.  It also has a 37" seat height (no short people).  On its center stand it looks quite intimidating,  the seat almost reach the armpits of six foot me.  Given that motorcycle thieves are weaselly belly crawlers, I am thinking they will give it a pass.

All 'stuff' to be locked inside the Givi bags, another reason for leaving the camping stuff home.  On the down side, the locks on Givi luggage are exactly the same cheapo locks found on filing cabinets that most any office worker can open with a paperclip and pocket knife. 

Bottom line, this is a trip of a lifetime, and if it costs me a broken or lost bike or stuff, that will be part of the experience.  No regrets.

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