Wednesday, December 28, 2016

More Nomad Woes

I have a set of Nomad Rider front crash guards on my 2016 KLR650. I purchased them in December of last year and by March the front downtube mounting plate on the right guard snapped clean. It wasn't the guard tube itself or a weld; it was the thick metal mating plate...and it's quite thick! Ultimately, Nomad had me a replacement in a week.

Fast forward to yesterday and I was at my dealer having some work done. They noticed that the footpeg mounting plate on the Nomad left guard has snapped. I hadn't noticed it.

I don't know anything about metallurgy but there really must be something wrong with the metal that this outfit is using. On the other hand, I note that SW Motech changed their design relative to the lower mount from the footpeg mount similar to the Nomad to a frame mount. Perhaps there's some design issues at play.

Well, at first I was kind of angry about the break and telling myself I was just going to get another brand set of bars. But like the last time, Nomad has quickly responded by shipping out a new guard. There was really no harm in this incident and they're promptly replacing the defective part. No harm no foul and I'm not out any money. I suppose for some the install might be a pain, but I actually enjoy working on my bikes so I don't have a problem replacing the part. Maybe I'll find some maintenance thing to do while I'm at it. :)


As of February 11, 2017, Nomad Rider has not replaced the fractured left guard as they promised. Not only did they agree to replace it, they got me to agree to accept a matte black bar which did not match the right gloss black bar. I have since installed a set of Tusk bars.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dunlop D606

I've been running Continental TKC80s on the KLR650. They are a great 40/60 tire. However, as we start to think about the 2017 Dual Sport Rally Season, I decided to go with something more aggressive ... specifically the 10/90 Dunlop D606.

Interestingly, I normally find the best prices on tires at RevZilla. However, this go-round, Rocky Mountain ATV beat out RevZilla and Motorcycle Superstore even had a great price, but they don't offer free shipping.

RevZilla priced the D606, Front=$97.61, Rear=$100.03. That's $197.64 with free shipping. Rocky Mountain priced the tires, Front=$84.88, Rear=$87.88. That's $172.76 with free shipping and a savings of $24.88. I purchased two sets...

When picking your dual sport tires, remember that you never get stuck on the road.


The two sets of D606 have been delivered. I'll be deferring installation until a week or so before our first rally which is currently scheduled March 3-5, 2017. Then we can take a weekend to test them and be ready to roll. I can't wait to take on Devil's Creek with these bad boys!!!!!

Update 2:

I just ordered a set of Tusk Side Crash Guards from Rocky Mountain ATV and found that I had a $10.38 credit from purchasing the tires. Sweet!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tank Repair

As mentioned in my post on the Trackside Aluminum Handguards, a fuel leak during a fall/drop damaged the paint on the fuel tank of my 2016 KLR650....

I was thinking about doing the repair when I got a suggestion to see if Kawasaki may repair it under warranty. Well, the problem there is that it was about two weeks out of warranty. However, the old adage that "you don't get anything you don't ask for" applied, so I discussed it with my dealer, Barneys Brandon. They didn't really poo-poo the warranty idea as much as they thought the facts and circumstances indicated that the tank damage was more accident related than defective. Just the same, they asked to take a look and thought that there was no harm in sending the claim in to see if it would fly.

Well dang...the dealer called again to see if I could bring the bike back yesterday for another inspection as requested by Kawi; they wanted the dealer to inspect the tank for dents and other damage. If none, Kawi was going to warrant the paint damage.

Amazing! Kudos and props to Barneys Brandon and Kawasaki! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Exhaust Cover Mod

A member of the FaceBook KLR650 Group posted a neat little modification to the stock exhaust pipe guard the other day that I thought was interesting. No benefit, total bling, but I had a big "repairs and maintenance" day in my shop today so I fit in the mod in the middle of everything else.

Here's a before shot:

Here's an after shot:

Again, before:

Again, after:

The silver was my idea. I have high heat paint in several colors. If this doesn't fly, I'll easily go back to black. I have orange, too. :)

I had to change out the hardware. Turns out the cover was actually loose. There are little rubber grommets (P/N 92161-1475) around sleeves connecting the cover to the pipe...not a good place for rubber. In the year and couple weeks I've owned the bike the grommets were rotten and deteriorated by the heat. I just used larger sleeves, no rubber on the inside and vinyl washers on the outside.


Well, I decided that I didn't like the silver and went back to black, but I put a gloss hi-heat on to tie into the crash guards.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trackside Aluminum Handguards

I've been living with those crazy bat wing hand guards that came stock on my 2016 KLR650 for over a year now. Crappy things, the left side actually came loose and would flex back into the clutch lever and actually engage it; couldn't tighten it, finally got it to stay in place with a zip tie.

Anyway, I had a little incident that forced the issue of a handguard upgrade. I was riding my bike into my garage the other day, slipped and did a low side slide down. Normally I stop and dismount in my drive and push my bike inside. Why I was riding it in, I'm not sure. I have a special surface garage floor, it's not "supposed" to be slippery. Since I have Nomad front and Dirt Racks rear side guards the only damage from the fall was the right bat wing, which got crushed and cracked.

That was the damage from the fall. Then what happened was every time I tried to pick the bike up, it slid on my garage floor. It was like picking it up on a skating rink. I couldn't get it up. So I slid it against the freezer and as I lifted it the side of the freezer started caving. Damn! Well, I just left it until my son came home so we could do it together. UNFORTUNATELY, the tank leaked and the secondary damage from the fall was a couple spots of paint burned of the tank where the gas leaked. Snap!

Well, the tank repair is for another post. This post is about my handguard replacements. Normally, I do a bunch of research on my bike accessories, but in this case I have experience with the Trackside Aluminum Handguards at Cycle Gear. I'd purchased a set earlier this year for my 2016 DR650 and like them a lot. These guards normally run $100; however, in each case I got the sets on sale for <$50.

The Trackside handguards are as solid as any others. I've had Barkbusters and other popular brands that are three-four times the price of the Trackside. The Tracksides get the job done and I think they're really well designed for universal applications.

The best feature of the design that I can point to is the multiple points of adjustment. The more adjustment points the more applications and the easier the installation. Below is a photo with some notes reflecting adjustment points.

As also noted in the photo above, the KLR bar end isn't an open bar like most, so the expansion anchors are not used in the KLR application.

If you find removing the bar end weights to be difficult, yes that's "red" threadlocker on the bolt!

Okay as for the installation...

On each side of the bar is a plastic wire tie. I removed it on both sides. I resecured the wires with zip ties after my installation. Those wire ties just pop out of the bar with a screw driver. That left little holes on the top of the bar that I sealed to avoid water getting in there and promoting rust.

Some sealers shrink. Devcon Metal Patch and Filler doesn't. That's what I used to fill the holes.

On the left side of the bar is a metal guide. Unfortunately, that had to go. It came off with a hacksaw. Then I ground it down to smooth and treated the bare metal.

Here is the right guard bar installed. There are no wiring or cable issues.

Here is the left guard bar installed. The install worked best routing the clutch cable above the guard post and all the other wiring below the guard post.

As you see in the photos, I've left the bar end weights on...for now. You do not need to leave them on if you don't want. I'm not sure if I want to keep them installed or not. They do add a little additional protection. I think I'll ride it awhile before making the decision to take them off or leave them on. I'll post an update either way.

With the aluminum guards installed, the deflectors were mounted and I tweaked the final adjustments. The main things that I considered was that there was absolutely no contact when the bar was fully turned either way and there was no interference with cables and wires. Once tweaked a quick test ride confirmed the install was effective.

Really, the Trackside Aluminum Handguards are good looking and effective guards. Good deal at <$50, too.