A couple weeks have now passed since I returned from my trip.
I’ve had to reacquaint myself with my day to day mundane life, which has been an experience to get back into the groove of things.
Coming home to a web server that was down did not help matters either.
It took a few days to get a new hard drive in, a couple of days trying to salvage and restore my backups, and a week and a half to actually go through and post up my journal entries.
I was hoping to have everything done within a few days of actually getting my server up, but after starting to post them up, and wanting to go through my photo’s as well, I kind of ran out of time.
Going through over 3000 photo’s, and trying to pick a few during each day of travel to represent the day the best really became much tougher than I had expected.
Starting out with just getting up to day 9, then up to day 18, and then looking for my lost day 19 (which I eventually found), and posting that along with day 20.
As I read back over my journal entries I realize I could have most likely written a lot more for each day. I skipped out on details that I hope to one day recover in individual updates to this trip.
Right now, it is time to continue with the site. Posting up the rest of my recipes, posting up some reviews I’ve neglected, and planning for my next adventures, wherever they may be.
But regardless of what is to come, my adventure north taught me many things.
It taught me that nothing ever goes as planned. And that the best thing you can do, is just push on.
I think back to that very first day leaving, how much I was disappointed by the end of the day, how I just already wanted to give up. Not that I really wanted to give up, I just felt maybe the signs were pointing home, and to try and organize better next time.
If it was not for that older gentleman at the Tim Horton’s, I may have come home on Day 2. I may have never had to chance to continue on, and I may have pushed that adventure aside.
If I had done that though, what followed never would have happened.
I never would have met Doug in Dawson Creek. I never would have met Geoff in Whitehorse, or Stewart and Carl in Dawson City.
I would have missed out on meeting some incredible people, that I am thankful now, that I have had the chance to meet.
How the entire trip turned out, was pretty much nothing like I had planned.
The plan was Inuvik, I ended up in Prudhoe Bay.
I expected to do this alone after Gus was unable to come, and instead I had a friend to meet just waiting around every corner it seemed.
To be honest, and I have said it before in one of my journal entries, and I still stand by it.
The adventure was not the places, but the people I met along the way.
I met so many great people, that the trip, regardless of where I went, I do not feel I would have been disappointed with the outcome.
Although I did not make it to Inuvik, it gives me yet another reason to return to the great north, and I will.
Dawson City became my favorite town. Just how it is, the town reminds me of a much simpler time. The dirt streets, the old buildings, the friendly atmosphere, the way the whole town seems to take you back.
I can not wait to return once again. And I will. Whether it be to the Dust to Dawson or to just visit on my way to Inuvik. It’s a place I want to return to.
The KLR worked for the most part, flawlessly.
Yes I had a few bumps here and there, but those were unrelated to the bike itself, and settled more heavily on the aftermarket components of the bike.
For starters, I do not feel I will be purchasing or endorsing a Two Brothers Exhaust system any time soon.
The absolute fact that it could not finish this trip, nor even make it half way, and how it just seemed to crack to pieces and fall apart, makes me wonder about the overall quality of their other products.
I have a Two Brothers on my SV650 Race Bike, and it is most likely something that will be coming off and being replaced with an M4 or the like.
As I pondered over it, I wondered how something like that could just fall apart.
This is an exhaust that is advertised as “Off-Road Use Only” and the fact is, it couldn’t even hold up to the little bit of gravel roads, and dirt roads that eventually shook it apart.
I cannot imagine what it would do in a true off-road environment.
My rear brake line was the other casualty on the bike.
This is partly my fault, and partly a design flaw.
The lines are a bit shorter than stock and are routed differently. This means when the swing arm is fully extended, there is a bit of tension on it.
With repeated extensions, and a good old hard flight, it just was too much to take at the little fitting at the end.
The fitting though just was not up to snuff for something that is to be used in a rough condition.
Instead of a full solid fitting, it basically comes down to a small nipple as can be seen in the photo of the brake line busted.
Their just was not enough material their to support the line when taunt, and I guess looking back at it, it was better the line, than something else, such as the caliper or the master cylinder.
The left hand SW Mototech Crash bar cracked in the same spot that my right side one had.
After looking at how they built these, it is apparent the reason why these continue to crack in this location.
One, the welds are not great. Standard mig welds that are weakening the tubing around it.
Secondly, there is the fact that there is no gusset.
A gusset would fix this location, and I am going to most likely pull them, and gusset them myself. I will also be contacting Twisted Throttle about this as well. That way they at least know that the items from SW Motech are still defective, which after speaking with a rep, it seems they are aware of this.
Other casualties on the trip included my gerber knife, which I had used to open the box at Adventure Cycle Works.
I must have left it on the table, as I never did find it.
My RotoPax yet again failed me. I do not know what the problem is, but the spout does not work, even after checking it when the new one was sent to me.
It swelled up, and although I was able to get it out of the container in one piece this time, it would not open when the sleeve was pushed back.
I will be looking to find some regular spouts to replace these, as they are not something I can rely on. I will be letting them know, and regardless, they have had great service.
Other then these items, everything else performed as needed and worked out well, my meals I had prepared included.
So the big question has been, since I returned is “Are you keeping the KLR?” and that in itself has been a big item I’ve been thinking over the last couple weeks about.
I can’t say that I fell in love with the KLR throughout my trip.
I could have really went for the smoothness of a twin, the extra power, and the comfort that the DL would have provided.
But the KLR worked, and it continued to work.
I made a couple changes before I left at the suggestion of a local Kawasaki Mechanic to help reduce my Oil Consumption problem.
The first change, was moving up to a 17 tooth front sprocket from the stock 16.
I also went one step further and replaced the rear sprocket with a 42 instead of the stock 43.
This change lowed my revs by about 500 at speed (instead of 4500 for 60mph, it was 4000).
Secondly, he suggested I remove the crank case breather from the air box, plug the hole in the airbox, and then buy a K&N or the like crank case breather filter, and mount it externally.
So I purchased a BMC Serviceable Filter and did just that (BMC is half the cost of the K&N if anyone is interested).
Between these two changes, I dropped my consumption from 1 quart every 600 miles, to 1 quart every 1200 miles, a 50% reduction in consumption.
This actually put my consumption in an area I was comfortable with, and could deal with.
So the question has been asked multiple times since I have returned, will I keep the KLR?
The answer to that is, most likely.
I had bounced around in my head multiple times since I came back if I was selling it, or keeping it.
I think if I make a couple more changes, specifically the big brake kit on the front to help with the stopping, and a 685 kit to help keep balance the engine back out, I think it would make me much more happy.
So for another 600 or so bucks, I may just end up with a bike worth keeping, instead of selling, saving up, and buying a DL down the road, and having to start all over in making it my own.
At this point, I’d rather just keep the KLR, save up, and buy something else to have fun with. I also will be racing again, so that is a hole in which no amount of money ever seems to fill.
I’m looking forward to whatever little adventures I take next. I’m not certain when my next big one will be. I hope that in a few years I can leave this continent for another and explore it and meet the people of different cultures outside of our own.
Right now I am focused on doing little short day or two camping rides as well as some backpacking now that summer is here in the Pacific Northwest.
Other than that, it is time to finally get back into the groove and get some things done!