THE BIKES

Takayas bike

2015 Honda CRf250L –

We bought it a year ago with 600kms bone stock.  We chose this bike because of its reliability and ability to lower the seat height to suit a lower rider.  It is a more modern bike than others in its class and has a liquid cooled engine(radiator), fuel injection (instead of carbureator – better at high elevations) and has a counter balancer shaft that helps reduce virations of the engine – a common trait of single cylinder bikes.  TK loves her new bike becausue it has more power and is better on the highway than her old Kawasaki Super Sherpa.  A tad heavier but she will gain some mad skills with all the practice we are sure.

Below are a list of the modifications.

Acerbis gas tank allows for extra gallon of fuel- range we think is around 320 kms a tank – plus we have one gallon Giant Loop Gas Bag  should get her close to 400kms.

Kouba lowering link to lower rear end of the bike 1.5″ +\-

Seat Concepts lowered seat to lower another 1″

Front forks were lowered internally by RMR suspension in Abbotsford

Aluminum Skid Plate from Flatlands Racing

Stator case covers by Adventure Spec (in case you drop your bike on a rock and it punches a hole in the crank case – a long shot I know but it happend on TK’s last bike leaving 2 litres of oil on the trail and a call for help to our friend Jake for an off road resuce

Denali LED Auxillary lights – even though we never try to ride at night it does happen

Windscreen – I forget from who but it was the lowest profile one we could find

Heated Grips – From Heat Deamon and a pigtail for pluggin in heated vest. Barkbuster handguards

Pannier racks from moto-racks.com

Soft Panniers – Giant Loop Siskyou – these are a moderate size that feels right on the bike, easy to take off, water proof, and shouldnt break your ankle if you get your foot pinned underneath.  We have steel core locking cable straps and a bike cover for security.

Everything else is stock- if I had to do it all over again I would have bought her a lynx fairing from Brittania Composites which has great lighting built in, and has a dashboard to mount all the other switches etc plus Ian the owner is an amazing resource.

Marks bike

2012 KTM 690 Enduro R

Bought it year and a half ago used with 9000 kms on it – and we are starting the trip with 15500 kms. I moved to this bike because it is about 100 lbs lighter than my 2009 BMW f800gs, I can pick it up myself when it dumps. There was no point to have a bigger, more powerful bike when TK is pottering along behind on her 250, plus this bike is much more fun off road, better suspension being a big plus.  In this category of bike there is nothing else that is very close without alot of modification in terms of performance.  Reliability on the other hand I have had some problems with.

Dirt in the fuel system is a common issue due to the bad design of the filler neck – dirt just falls into the tank – and as a result was stranded 400 kms from home on one trip and limped home on another.  I since have re/re the entire fuel delivery.  New fuel pump, new cleanable fuel filter relocated outside the tank, injector professionally cleaned, Profiltea bag filter on the pick up, filter sock at filler neck and a Rally Raid upstand filler neck so no dirt falls in.

Safari tank 14lt – doubles the range of the bike to close to 500kms.  The stock tank is under the seat – this tank drapes over either side of the front of the seat and ties into the stock tank.

Lynx R fairing from Brittania Composites.  Locally made in Langley BC, provides excellent lighing, a projector bulb for low beam and LED for high beam, a dashboard to mount GPS, voltmeter, USB plug, Air temp guage, heate grip switch, as well as the stock speedo/dash.  The windscreen also provides better air protection and is movable up and down.

Giant Loop Diablo tank bag

Touratech pannier racks (also helps support rear part of bike which is just basically the plastic fuel tank)

Mosko Moto Back Country 35 litre panniers – These are soft bags are mounted to a resin horseshoe wedge system that allows the bags to be quickly removed from the bike, making access to the bags quick and efficient, very german like, but they are USA made

Mosko Moto Scout 60lt  duffle across the back

New wheel bearings, pivot bearings/regrease, chain and sprockets. New rocker arms and bringing a set of spares – another known issue on these bikes.

Front and Rear suspension were sent out for a service.

Replace stock seat with Seat Concepts tall

Perun moto sub frame bolts to replace soft stock bolts.

Emperor Racing Skid Plate and Handguards.  (Would have bought Rally Raid skid plate with 2litre spare oil reservoir if I could choke down the $600 tag)

Acerbis Chain slider

Knight Designs lowered footpegs.

UPDATE #1  A week before we left on our trip I had the idea to take the bike into our local dealer to go over things one last time – and do a leak down test on the engine to ensure the motor is healthy.  Turns out it wasnt – the piston was shot up and one of the rings was broken and making a mess.  A big thanks to No Limits Motorsports in Squamish for catching this and rush shipping the parts and getting me rolling again.  We had to delay leaving 5 days to get this done – turns out it was a good thing as we need that time to pack our lives up – even then it was still a gong show.

UPDATE #2 , Sept 13 -2 days into Montana my voltmeter indicated 12 volts when running – it should be around 14.2 volts – that means something is wrong and the system is not charging.  The stator in the motor generates to electricity which then goes to the regulator which cleans it up, dumps the excess voltage, then sends it to the battery.  Regulator failure is a common weak part of this bike and I had a spare with me which I installed outside some atv dealer in Seely Lake.  Turned out not to be the problem so called AAA and got towed to Missoula KTM dealer Big Sky Motorsports, who determined the stator was at fault – so here we are holed up in a nice cheap hotel while we overnight the stator in and should be up and running again tomorrow.  Just in time for the nice weather to end and a cold front to roll in and bring rain and cold weather – albeit much needed to help put out some crazy forrest fires ragin around Montana.

Update #3

On the way south while riding in the Copper Canyon area of Mexico we had to ride a massive first gear technical hill climb in insane heat. When i got to the top, the bike was so hot the exhaust boiled the gas in the tank causing it to expand. It touched the hot exhaust and melted a hole in the tank and all gas leaked out. We limped back to town where a mechanic took the whole back of the bike apart and patched the hole with jb weld quick steel and epoxy top coat and also wrapped the exhaust pipe in heat shield insulation. The repair has been awesome and held up great for over 40,000kms.