Okay, so the KTM is so far doing just fine in the snow. Save for the small “Endurance” LCD dash/trip computer… which died on me. So I have no speedo or Odometer… which is no big deal.
The bike handles as I expected it too in the snow, or even a little better. This is what I like about the KTM, the stability. Other bikes, when they lose traction, just seem to say “Oh to hell with it.” The KTM seems to fight to find traction anywhere. Standing on the pegs, you can just let the bike squirm around under you, hunting for some grip. The cold didn’t even bother me. Thanks to the combo of the moose-ears and the long johns, it’s not so bad.
This is a case of “If it’s stupid, but works, then it isn’t stupid.” It looks stupid. But it works. Very well. Normally on my ride to work I’ll lose feeling in my hands even before half way there. Now, it’s not a bother. The Moose Ears are actually my name for them… they are actually ATV Handlebar Mittens from an outfit called “Classic” that makes lots of ATV stuff. Never thought I’d buy anything from them, as I don’t have an ATV. But I was lookinat the ATV area of Basin Sports and was straightening things out there and I had this set that was the last pair and kinda in the way. I thought “Hell, I should just buy them to get rid of them.” And then I thought, “Hell yeah, I should buy them!” The Mittens look like Moose Ears, so that’s what I call them. They are a huge help. I’d rather have a set of Hippo Hands, as they are made for Motorcycles. These Classics are made for ATV’s. There is a difference. But the Moose Ears cost me 10 bucks, so I’ll call it good.
I am optimistic about my chances of surviving the Winter now. Every other Rider that I know of has now parked it for the remainder of the season. I am the only one left on two wheels that I’ve seen in the last week. I think I’m kinda nuts here… but then again, if certain things hadn’t happened that did happen, what would have happened was that would be driving a 2006 F-150 Crew Cab right now. Black. With a lift. Four Wheel Drive. And a heater. Oh well.
I keep going back and forth between the KTM 990 Supermoto and the 990 Adventure R models. It’s not like I have any hard on for KTM, as I had one and blew the engine the first month I had it. Since I’ve sold the ZX-11, I am without a Long Range bike and this makes me feel like I’ve had my wings clipped. Reason I sold it is due to my knees, but the position on these 990′s is one that I can still do… I sat on a 990 Adventure R, and it’s doable for me. Some of the other ADV bikes, not so much. I’m not sure about the position on the Supermoto though, I’ll have to find one first. The peg position is the same, but the seat height plays a factor here too.
I’m also thinking about turning my 525 MXC into a Supermoto. Primarily for better On Road riding as this KTM is now my Daily Rider. I don’t need Knobbies for the Highway.
I don’t know exactly what this is… But it’s a KTM dirt bike of some sort, rebuilt as Cafe Racer. I don’t know why I find this so appealing. I really don’t. I love Cafe bikes, but mostly those built on big brutal and thuggish engines. Not angry little Singles. I bet this would be an absolute blast to ride.
Cafe bikes continue to turn my head more than anything else. This is in spite of the fact that I couldn’t even put my feet on the pegs right now. My right leg remains uncooperative thanks to a knee that refuses to bend.
Speaking of KTM… My own is ready to be picked up again. I just have to wait till Tuesday because they are not open on Monday and I couldn’t get in there to get it Saturday. We’ll see. It will be very nice to have my Wheels under me again. While I can’t ride my ZX-11, I can ride the KTM thanks to the position of the foot pegs. I already miss my ZX-11 a lot. It’s parked in front of Ogre Ranch, sipping on a Battery Tender, waiting for me to come play. People who don’t Ride, just don’t understand this. “Just get a car.” They say. What they are really saying “I totally don’t get Motorcycles.” And that’s fine…. you don’t have to get it. Just please shut the fuck up then, okay? Riding is… like Flying. Next time you go to the Zoo take a close look at the Eagles there on their perches. They can’t Soar like they used to… they are Tethered. That’s how I feel when I look at my ZX-11. I feel like that Eagle that can’t fly.
So I took my Like New, Awesome Running KTM in to Beers to get an oil leak sorted out. As they are also the local KTM, Honda, and Zuki dealers.
Estimate was 1.5 hours labor and a 5 dollar gasket. So about 150 bucks. No Big Deal.
Two weeks later I get the call that the bike is ready. $550 bucks.
You can’t argue with them – they have your machine and if you don’t pay up, they will put a Lean on it and just keep it. So I sell my Glock model 20, 10mm pistol, and go get my bike.
Huh, I didn’t authorize all the other work, such as a timing chain. Whatever. Let’s ride. So I jump on the machine and go.
Huh… it’s kinda gutless. Doesn’t have the spirit that it had before the work. I’m heading home…. doing the posted speed limit, keeping an eye out for leaks.
The bike dies on me. Coughs, sputters, and dies. Wont restart. Oh, and the best is that it also feels really wobbly in the rear end. Like it’s going to throw me off kinda wobbly. So that’s not cool either. I thought it was fixed. Not that there was a problem with the rear.
I’m 3 miles out from Ogre Ranch and no one is answering the phone… so I’m pushing. 3 miles. On my bad knee. Up 3 long hard hills.
Halloween night, the Trick is on me.
Anyways, I called Beers this morning. They are going to send a truck out to pick up my bike. I intend to have them fix it. At no additional charge of course. They screwed up my bike, they are going to fix it.
So we shall see how Beers does a second time. I have not had this problem with them before.
I will let you guys know what happens.
Oh, my leg was going better yesterday too. Off the cane and everything. Well, I’m back on it now. Knee freaking hurts like hell today. That’s what I get for pushing. But then again, I was angry enough, I needed the outlet.
Update: An attorney friend says I have an actionable case if I wanted to file a lawsuit. I told him no, I just want my bike fixed. However if it gets nasty, I’ll get at least a new Dyna Glide out of them. I don’t want to take anyone to court. I just want to ride Motorcycles. That’s all I care about here.
Hit Red Cloud Loop, just North of Vernal. I was looking for an alleged Ghost Town that is up there someplace. I didn’t find it, but I think I know where it is now, and will hit it next weekend. I didn’t get to do a lot of pictures because I was White Knuckling the whole way, going quickly, and just taking it in and enjoying the experience. On the way out, exiting above Maeser, this is the route down. The views were spectacular. I had to stop and take a pic a couple places on the way down.
Do to the requirement of attending our monthly team meeting at the Range today, I opted to ride the KTM. The Range is not Sport Bike Friendly. Not at all. It’s not even Car Friendly. It’s 4X4 friendly for sure… So the KTM went to work with me.
I like it. Due to the use of Off Road Cogs instead of actual Tires, it did have an abundance of vibration. But that was expected. It’s very different through the curves, the way these sorts of machines lean. I like the riding position and the fact that its so much easier to stand up on the pegs. It’s odd standing up on the highway… but fun. I only went tops 67 MPH and not my usual Warp Factor 9, but it didn’t feel like I was going slow. It’s just a fun machine. I got used to the bike more… and coming home on it I was much more confident and comfortable. I liked it even more.
I also liked the fact that I was able to say to myself, “Hey, where does that little turn off go?” So I took it… went over a couple hills and across a field and back onto the highway. NICE! That is the exact thing I wanted an Enduro for. I can go anywhere on it. I love that. It’s not smooth pavement only. I am digging this Enduro thing. The Two Wheeled Jeep thing. It’s addicting. I find myself daydreaming about where I can go and explore. I’ve gone up to Paradise Lake a couple times… and it’s fun. But I want to take it further. Go explore some Ghost Towns. Go up to the tops of some of these mountains around here. And I will.
An Enduro is liberating. It really is.
Went for a ride on the KTM… this time I went and hit dirt. About five miles on sand, dirt, gravel, and rocks.
I have to be honest, this was absolutely horrifying. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. No, seriously… out of everything I’ve ever done – this was the scariest. I got to a point where I overlook Highway 40, and I had to stop to take a breather. I was drenched in sweat and my heart was racing! Oh man. At one point, it felt like my hair was on fire and my balls were on fire… and I glanced down… I was only doing 28 MPH. Oh Man!
But I survived, didn’t face plant. Kept the bike up. Coming back I was able to open it up some more… went faster. Caught a bit of air. It was scary and thrilling.
I’ve wanted an Enduro for years. And I’ve wanted a second bike to add to the Ogre Ranch Stables. Finally brought it home. It’s a KTM 525 MXC… I’ve probably mentioned it before. Well, the deal is done and the bike is mine now.
The bike is in brand new – seriously, like it’s never been ridden, brand new condition with a ton of upgrades. First thing I have got to do to it though… is lower this beast. It’s tall. I’m talking, big time, Shaq Attack altitude. To give some perspective, here it is with my Superhawk…
The bikes were parked almost completely side by side, with the Rear Tires up on the concrete pad… The KTM is a big machine. My ZX-11 isn’t much bigger than the Hawk was in physical size, and the KTM is just dwarfing it. The riding position is very much upright. It’s like a Culture Shock Whiplash riding this thing. Of course, the hard part is getting it going… and by that I mean getting up on it. I’m about 2 inches too short for it, or so it feels. The bike was set up for Desert Racing, which it never had a chance to do, so it’s in Desert Attack Mode right now. Yeah, that’s going to have to be changed a bit. I need it in more “Dual Sport” mode. She’s Street Legal as she sits now, lights and everything… good to go. But Tires and Suspension are set for Baja 1000.
The big question: Why?
Man, I don’t know. I just always wanted an Enduro. I’ve been attracted to Adventure Touring. Go freaking anywhere. Up trails that disappear over mountains. That kinda stuff. Now I have the machine… I need to go do it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
The biggest thing I got to get over is riding on Dirt. I’ll be honest… it scares the shit out of me. I’ve not had good luck on dirt and gravel and such. So this is me overcoming my fear of Earth. Once I can do that – I’ll be in a much better place psychologically when it comes to riding, regardless of what I am on.
As a second bike. Not going to give up my Street ride. I’m broke, so no need to send me links or offers for Enduro bikes… It’s going to be some time before I’m ready to get serious. But a friend offered to let me test ride his KTM 525 MXC freaking monster of an Enduro.
Plenty of torque, effortless wheelies even when you are not really wanting to wheelie. But wow… You are tall in the saddle on that machine! Stretching my legs, I could barely touch the ground with my tip toes. When braking, the front end had a good dive to it… could have been unsettling, but the bike was very solid and stable. But if I got one of these, I’d have to spend a lot of time to get used to this sort of machine. Plenty of juice for a lot of Get Up and Go. Getting on the bike is tricky. Getting off the bike is also tricky. I’d want an Eduro that’s about 2 inches shorter.