Breaking in a new motorcycle

Look online for how to break in a new motorcycle, and you will find more opinion on “the correct way” than you asked for. Of course, there is always the manufacturer’s instructions, which can be found in the owner’s manual. My best guess is that the engineers who designed it know the best method for proper break in.

So that’s the method I am following for my new Kawasaki KLR 650: keep it under 4,000 RPM for the first 500 miles, and then under 6,000 RPM up to 1,000 miles.

It requires some miles, and of course roads. Yesterday, I cruised out to the dealer, Clinton County Motorsports, just to say “hi.” And then, I managed to find a little gravel to test its stability. I was very pleased.

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The more I ride this KLR 650, the more I like it. It’s going to be a great exploration vehicle.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Allan Karl begins his World Rider book tour

Round-the-world adventure rider Allan Karl kicked off his WorldRider book tour in Columbus, Ohio, recently. Speaking to several different groups, signing books and talking with patrons, Allan, delighted the crowds with tales of his adventures.

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His book, Forks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection, is unique in that it not only tells the stories of his travels, but also offers up recipes from the countries he visited in his three-year, five-continent motorcycle adventure. His plan is to offer a sampling of a recipe at each of his stops. In Columbus, with the help of one of the local restaurants in the North Market, he offered a Fattoush salad to the audience. The recipe comes from the Middle East.

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Allan plans to visit many more cities in the USA in the coming months. Check his web site for a location near you. WorldRider.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Facebook vs. Helmet Time

Frankly, trying to make a decision while reading Facebook posts and comments is a terrible idea and could be a disastrous influence. For Facebook, not only wants to get in our minds, it was recently announced they were using posts and comments to influence emotions of users. Now, I’m all for social research, but that just doesn’t seem right. I have a better solution for decision making—helmet time.

Helmet time? Yes, helmet time. What is that you ask? Well, helmet time occurs during a motorcycle ride and the helmet does double duty as your “thinking cap.” It can be very productive, and it’s safe because you’re wearing the proper gear including a helmet. You won’t be answering the phone or texting. It’s just you, the road, and the thoughts in your head, and empty roads can be some of the most productive places.

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For some time now, I have been struggling with my motorcycling efforts. I have wavered back and forth between selling what I have and buying a second bike. The bike at the top of that list is a new Kawasaki KLR 650. I’ve always wanted one.

Within the past couple of weeks, I have gone to the dealer to buy one. The first time I went, the one sitting on the floor had just been sold. The second time I started out, I was riding the V-Strom, and the farther I rode on this fine motor bike, the more I questioned why I would want anything else. I even had a check in my billfold. That’s how close it was. I never arrived at the dealer. Of course, I shared this with my wife, and she suggested I wait a week or so to see if it’s really what I want to do—buy another bike. It’s been two weeks, and I have been perusing through all the KLR 650 Riders Group posts, photos and comments on Facebook.

This morning, I put a fresh blank check in my billfold, and headed up the highway on my trusty V-Strom towards the dealer. The smoothness of the bike, the effortless pull of the engine, the knowledge that this bike truly gets 60+ miles-per-gallon. It has taken me everywhere I wanted to go—without issues and without worry about whether or not it will get me home.

Eastward I ride, thinking about this motorcycle and how it meets all my needs, and the “thinking cap” starts its process … again. My conclusion—again—why would I want to ride anything else. Where would another motor bike take me that this one can’t?

Just east of Morrow, Ohio, on Route 22/3, I reach the intersection of SR 123. To continue towards the dealer is straight ahead…. I turn south to follow more twisty roads before turning back towards home.

I put the blank check back in the checkbook, and I pull up my Facebook account to delete one or two motorcycle groups that were wasting my time and my more important helmet time.

See you on the highway.

Brent

SideStand Up: the end of an era

Recently, I participated in the chat room and listened to the last episode of an online radio program/podcast of “the world’s largest motorcycle podcast,” SideStand Up, hosted by Tom Lowdermilk. It was a sad moment, but also one of accolades and congratulations, for Tom and his crew were ending on a high note.

Sad because it has come to an end, and all the friends made will no longer have a place to meet, listen and learn. Joyous, because it has been a great ride.

Tom has provided a valuable service to the motorcycling community by addressing current issues as well as interviewing travelers. Keeping up on industry trends, association activities, and the exploits of motorcycle travelers around the world. Last night, it became very apparent that SideStand Up is a global program, as people called in from Australia and South Africa. Yes, global.

Is there anything out there now or on the horizon that will fill the gap? I can’t think of any. There are a few motorcycle podcasts out there, but nothing that compares to Side Stand Up.

The regular hour and a half program lasted more than three hours—three hours of conversations, most memorable moments, hilarious stories, and of course best wishes for the host and founder, Tom Lowdermilk. Clearly, it was an emotional evening for Tom. I got my chance to add my kudos when at the end of the program, Tom asked listeners to dial in and talk. So, I did.

The next day, I had travel plans to drive to Illinois, and I managed to arrange a quick stop in Indianapolis to give Tom a big hug and wish him well. Reminiscing about the previous evening, he was still trying to hold it all together.

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I asked Tom for two things: a photo and a quick comment. He said, with a little waver in his voice, “It was a wonderful six years. It was the best. Some of the best years of my life.”

Thank you, Tom. You did good. And, we are all the better for it.

See you on the highway.

Brent

You can download the final episode from iTunes here: Side Stand Up, Episode 930.