Epic Ride 2016: Scenic Route To Iowa City!

It’s that time of the year when Work makes me question the choices I’ve made in my life. Questions like “what the hell am I doing in this god forsaken shithole town?” It is at this point where I realize a vacation is in order. When thoughts of flipping tables and rage quitting put a cathartic smile on my face, I know I need to plan a ridiculously arduous motorcycle trip across country. Naturally. It also requires me to bone up on my blogging skills. It’s been ages! I always “love” relearning the WordPress app on my iPhone…

All previous adventures have utilized the Mighty Spyder. My pack mule. My 990cc introduction to the magical world of motorcycles. 

That beast of a machine has given me 60,000 miles of bug splattering memories. She’s big, she’s weird, she’s fast, and goddamnit, she’s expensive to maintain. I enjoyed every moment with her. But, I’ve recently discovered the rush of two wheeled motoring. An honest to god workhorse of a motorcycle. It’s not pretty. It’s not fast. It’s ridiculously cheap. I give you the KLR650! 

Recently upgraded with a number of farkles. That’s motorcycle speak for pimping my ride. First up is the Tusk pannier racks and pannier boxes! That was a 30 minute install that took my incompetent ass 2 days to complete. Only stripped one screw in the process.

Next up is the Happy-Trails fork brace. This is designed to keep the pig of a bike from wobbling at high speeds. So far, it hasn’t disappointed. It seems to be a slightly cheaper knockoff of the Eagle Mike Mfg fork brace. Like $4 cheaper and not anodized, but most importantly, it was in stock!

Next up is footpegs. The old ones were just the stock rubber covered pegs. So many times have I scraped my shins sliding off those bastards in the rain. I chose Happy-Trails branded footpegs. I would’ve gotten the Tusk footpegs from Rocky Mountain ATV-MC, but like the fork brace, they were out of stock. These guys are wider and grippier. No sliding off them!

Next on the farkle list, a power outlet for the life blood of any adventure, my iPhone. This thing is the cheapest of the cheapest Chinese crap that I found on Amazon. Wish I knew the brand name. It got decent enough reviews and was easy to install. Maybe not the prettiest thing in the world, but it seems to work. It has a standard cigarette lighter outlet and two USB ports. It’s wired directly to the battery and has a power switch on top to stop it from draining the battery when the bike isn’t running. 

The most expensive upgrade for this trip has been the road tires! Metzeler Tourance. Cost more than the panniers! Guy at Reno Motor Sports said I’ll get 6,000 miles out of them. They’ll also let me brake better and give me a smoother ride on the highway.

Next on my wish list is a Lexx MXe slip-on exhaust. Supposedly it makes the bike sound better and gains me a couple more horse power. Another cool addition would be the KLR Dash windscreen riser. Maybe for the next trip. 

Feeling pretty good about the upgrades to the bike. Been testing them on my daily commute to work for the last week or so and nothing has shaken off. 

Stay tuned for route planning in follow up blog posts. My friend Geno has plotted a course for me that looks quite intriguing. 


About heartajack

I'm a graphic designer and occasional filmmaker that recently discovered the awesomeness that is the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. In recent years I've become obsessed with food and learning how to prepare it. I make the best damn ribs...EVER.
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