Enguro 2014

Posted: 13/07/2014 in Ride reports archives

Hey!

On a weekend from 4.-6. July I was in Bosnia on a first time event called Enguro. It was held on a old military airfield in Banja Luka. I have teamed up with 2 other riders from Slovenia, but due to unfortunate circumstances, only two of us made it to Banja Luka.

The day started out quite interesting. After only 400m from the point of meeting the other 2 riders, I got a flat tire.
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So 2h after me getting a flat tire, we were finally back on the road heading south. After getting past Zagreb in Croatia we have hit some dirt roads.
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We have hit 2 dead ends, one would be ridable if we wouldn’t have been loaded with panniers and camping gear. But we have turned back and headed to the border on road.
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Here we have encountered a problem. Our leader has forgot his bike papers and green card at home. So he couldn’t cross the Bosnian part of the border. So only 2 of us could carry on. We have arrived at the destination at 20:30 in the evening. Here is our HQ in the morning before the ride.
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There was around 30 of us there, the bikes varied from KLE’s, TTR’s, XT’s Africa Twins, Super Teneres,… As many as there were bikes, there were different tires. From full knobbly tires to slick road tires. Here was a quick stop after a steep and technical decent.
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The rest of the terrain varied from fast gravel roads to rocky technical trails.
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Midday we took a brake on a river bank, to which only a handfull of us have descended as is was some steep and slippery rocks.
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After lunch, we were riding in between 2 mine field’s but unfortunately I didn’t took any pictures of it :( But I have a picture of how to get around a big obstacle blocking the road. There were 2 wood trucks on the road and we had to make a detour through some thorns.
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The Enguro trail took it’s tool on some bikes
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And that is how the day ended. On Sunday morning, we have saddled up and hit the road home. We took a road less travelled on our way to Kozara national park.
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Just before the border we took our final brake.
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All I have to say is that it was really a great weekend. From riding to drinking and meeting new and old friends. Hopefully there will be a part 2 of this event in September as it was rumoured by the organisers.

Regards.

Hey!

As we all know, KLE has quiet a uncomfortable seat for long rides. And because of that I have ordered a gel pad. It took me a while to find the time to open the seat up and cut out the foam, but it was a easy job anyone can do at home. Here are a few pictures with a few pointers on how to do it.

First lets make one thing clear, I did not reshape the whole seat or the cover, I used the original cover and foam was just cut out to accept the gel pad.

List of needed tools, etc…
– Gel pad of your choice
– Staple gun (high powered electric or pneumatic unit, seat plastic is really hard and a gift warping staple gun is not strong enough)
– Flat head screw driver
– Needle nose pliers
– Very sharp knife
– Sand paper
– Black marker
– Spray glue

First of all you need to decide where on the seat you would like to have the gel, where is your position when riding.
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Than use a flat head screw driver and pliers to carefully remove the old staples without tearing the cover
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You don’t have to remove the whole seat cover, only remove enough staples so that you can pull the cover back to have enough space to work on
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Now that you have exposed your foam, draw a grid on it, where you will have you gel pad. It is important that you make it as central as possible so that the gel won’t be to far on one or the other side
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Here is the point of no return, the first cut in to the foam. From here on you need po be very careful when removing foam not to remove to much. Its easy to cut foam away, but a lot harder to add it back on
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Work your way around the foam, until you get enough of it out to fit your gel pad. After roughly cutting the space, smooth it out with some sand paper
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When you are happy with the smoothness of your foam, spray some glue on the gel pad and on the foam, than press them together firmly
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After the glue has cured, you can reinstall the cover. First stretch it to the front, make it nice and tight. Than go and staple the sides back on and your done
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Now you are ready to put the seat back on the bike and enjoy your new seat.
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So after a few long rides I quite like the gel pad, it take around 45 min to 1 hour more until my back side goes numb and I have to stand up for a while. But it was worth the time and work involved.

Stay safe!

So as I have described in the previous post, I have attended a enduro event in Croatia. And in this post I will try to look back at the event, and talk a little of what I have experienced there and so on.

First thing that will stay in my memory for the riding days to come is an advice that I got from one of the riders: “When in doubt and things start to go wrong, just open the throttle”. And I must say that opening the throttle saved me a lot of times from picking up the bike in hard parts.

Next observation I made was that getting drunk the night before the ride, waking up with a hangover and climbing on a 200 kg beast of the bike isn’t the best combo :)

Moving on to the bike. I must say that I was really surprised that I could keep up with the smaller bikes and more experience riders with my KLE, and that the KLE didn’t fail me. My biggest worry was that I would had some mechanical brake down. But the worst thing that happened was a bent shifter lever after a spill in mud. this picture was taken after field straightening, before it was bent complete 180 degrees to the foot peg. IMG_4375

Luckily the KLE shifter pedal is made out of some soft steel insted of aluminium (it would snap off). So I took it to work with me straighten it out and had it painted black, this kind of paint should stand up good to all the rocks and debris as we use it to paint pneumatic rock drills and hammers. Also I have checked at Kawasaki dealer for a new part and they wanted 70€.
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The front suspension handled really well, and soaked up the bumps without throwing me off course. At the end of the day there was still some room left to move on the forks and the wheel never hit the front fairing. Overall I couldn’t be more happy with the front end of the bike, it was really worth all the work and money spent on it. There was approximately 40-50 mm of unused travel, which translates to around 250-260 mm of the 310 mm travel was used.
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I think that KLE covered in mud looks quite good. Do you agree?
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Other things I have found out on the bike that needs some attention in the future:
1. Get some sort of folding mirrors. Not because I am afraid of breaking the OEM ones, but to get them out of the way when riding off road.
2. Carry pressure gauge with me and appropriately change tyre pressure depending on the terrain. I don’t want to ride off road with that much air in my tyres again.
3. Remove the front wind screen as it is tinted and in shadowy forest you can’t see s*** through it.
4. Get some new handguards ans those are pretty beaten up after 3 years on Varadero and 4 years on KLE.
5. Sort out the rear suspension. Though it isn’t as bad as the OEM forks were.
6. Put KLE on a diet :)
7. Don’t drink to much the night before riding :) :)

I guess a project bike like this there is always something to do on it. But the bottom line is, I have really enjoined attending this event with KLE, meeting new people and I will be going to other similar events for sure.

Hi!

Last weekend, from 9.5.-11.5 I have attended a Croatian enduro event called Benduro. It was the first enduro event that I have attended. This was also the fourth time it has been done, and it was very close to Slovenian border, just good 3 hour ride from me. Also 5 other Slovenians were attending the event so we decided to meet up and ride together there as it is illegal to ride off-road here in Slovenia.

So we have arrived at the location on Friday evening, unpack, get to know some new people and drink to much beer :)

Arrival
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All kinds of bikes were present, from big bikes…
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…we also had one Ural, few Tenere’s,…
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…to smaller/lighter bikes…
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…to KTM’s.
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In the morning we have been divided in 2 groups, hard enduro and soft enduro group. After some convincing after a few beers last night I joined the hard group with all the other Slovenian riders on 2 Tenere’s, 1 KTM Adv640 and 1 DR350. The ride got tough really quickly. First hill climb was fast and rocky at the start and it got muddy so fast I dropped my KLE before I could blink. I really hate MUD, no mater how long the patch of mud was I almost always lost it. It wasn’t bike related problem, it was user error :) On the dry trail there were no big problems or drops of the bike and I have really enjoyed the ride.

All packed up and ready for the ride:
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A few shots of the short stops, didn’t have time to take photos on the muddy stuff as I was usually picking up the bike and on the interesting stuff we were really going fast.
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When you are in a group with EXC’s, Husabergs, 690 Enduros etc… and you are riding a 200+kg beast, you know you will work up a sweat.
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After a bit over half of the day riding, we have stopped for a lunch. There I had a quick chat with one of the guides and decided I will stay behind with 2 other riders as the terrain would get really nasty and I was all out of energy.

So I have said good bye to those guys…
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…and waited for the big bikes to arrive.
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Riding with the big bikes was nice and relaxing, though terrain on some places was rough and fast flowing. I really like it as I could have relaxed a bit more that I could with the hard group :) We went to visit a lovely waterfall in the middle of nowhere.

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Even on foot the terrain was rough and tough going :)
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But the walk was worth it
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Leaving the water fall we headed in a grassy valley, where they have a nice hill climbing spot.
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When guides said let it rip, we lunched in to the hill that was coverd with 50-60 cm tall grass.
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After a few runs, I got tired, laid down in the grass and watch 2 guys on BMW 1200GSA and Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 tear up trenches in the ground.
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Coming back to the base camp was through a little creek that we have started from. It was a nice end to a great day riding, around 130+km.
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It was a really nice day riding. The organizers have really gone far with organization, preparation and execution. They have taken a good care of us, good and plenty of food, cheap beer, good accommodation and generally being friendly and helpful all the way.

If you would like to see more pictures and videos from other riders there you can find them on the forum here
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Thanks for reading and see you on the road, or even better see you somewhere off the road :)

Kriega US-5

Posted: 28/01/2014 in Equipment archives
Tags:

Hey!

Lets start off this year bloging with a short review of my new pack, the Kriega US-5. If you don’t know Kriega, RevZilla made a short video of the brand and products guide.

Now these pack are supposed to be 100% waterproof, and there is quite a lot of happy users out there. So I thought I would get the smallest one to check it out. Also the bag contents has been changed for 2014->, they added a aluminium hook strap kit to it and raised the price for £10 (~12€), but the plan(hopefully) for my US-5 is to attach it to Hydro-3 and I don’t need the alu hooks for that, so I bought the “old” bag.

So what do you get when buying the US-5. Well you get the bag itself, 2 mounting straps and 2 strap keepers so that they don’t flap around in the wind.
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The bag itself is a roll-top design with outer water resistant layer and inner removable white waterproof layer.
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On the outside of the bag there is a mesh pocket and a zipped pocket. On the zipped pocket there is a YKK water resistant zipper.
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This bag can work as stand alone bag or you can attach it on any of the Kriega backpacks and other dry packs. There is a very long thread about those packs and all of the Kriega gear on AdvRider.com and its worth reading.

Stay safe!
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Update 17.5.2014

Comming back from enduro meeting in Croatia and having used my Kriega US-5 on my bike for the first time I have to say I am very impressed at how well it worked with Kriega tool roll on the back of my KLE. US-5 is just big enough to hold my tool kit and yet small enough to not interfere with getting on and off the bike. Will definitely getting more Kriega bags in the future as they really are the top of the line.

All packed up at home
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After a day of riding
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Happy 2014!

Posted: 01/01/2014 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone!

Happy, productive, successful and most of all a safe 2014 to everyone that is following my blog. There is a lot of interesting things coming to this blog in next few months. Some gear reviews some bike modifications and hopefully some future season ride plans. So stay tuned for some interesting stuff.

Have a great 2014 everyone!

After a long and wet first day, me and my grandpa woke up to a beautiful cloudless day.
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We had a quick breakfast, got our bikes loaded up and head out on the road. Our first challenge was to get to a main road out of the coastal area and not get on the highway. After a lot of wrong turns and dead-ends we finally managed to get to Črni Kal. We have been here yesterday but haven’t stopped because of the rain. But today it would be a shame not to stop and enjoy a great view.
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My camrea doesn’t have a program for getting a panoramic view, so I had to take three pictures of the Črni Kal Viaduct. It is the bigges one in Slovenia.
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About 15min later we were back on the road, enjoying the weather, open and empty roads, scenery, grabbing a bite to eat,… and before we knew it, we were at our destination for the day. Sitting there in the shade, drinking beer I realised I haven’t take a single picture that day… Ow well, it happens if you are enjoying the ride so much. But I have a few pictures of our destination of the day.

At lunch I have called ahead reserved a room for us at Kanu camp Radenci at Kolpa river. The camp is really beautiful, it is located in a small village so it is peaceful and relaxing. For those who don’t want to camp, like us, they have a few small rooms which are really nice.
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Area around the camp is really nice to. There is a river Kolpa nearby where you can go rafting or swimming if you want.
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And so the day came to an end and after a few beer’s we went to bed and slep like baby’s.

To be continued…