Benduro 4: Aftermath

Posted: 19/05/2014 in Ride reports archives

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 πŸ™‚

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€.

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.

I think that KLE covered in mud looks quite good. Do you agree?

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 πŸ™‚
7. Don’t drink to much the night before riding πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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.

  1. swis2k says:

    About putting KLE on a diet, what do you have in mind? I do a lot of offroad with my friends (KTM 450 and Husaberd 350). Some times its getting really hard, but haveing some experience in motocross, helps me keep up with them. If KLE would be a little easier it would make a great difference.

    • Ghosty_SLO says:

      Well I have been thinking of a few things, some are more doable and cheaper than others:

      1. Get rid of the front fairing and replace it with KTM EXC front mask and lights(cheaper version than Britania composites Lynx fairing that I like), getting a smaller speedo unit (Trailtech vapor or similar), to lose some weight high up on the bike. I would look something like this:

      2. Make a light weight stainless steel exhaust pipes as those OEM ones are thick walled and very heavy, of course a carbon fibre or alu end can completes the lighter exhaust.

      3. I would remove the passenger pegs, but I do sometimes take my girlfriend with me so that is only a option for solo off road trips.

      4. Change the steel OEM swing arm with a alu one from KXF, EXC, CRF,… The hardest thing on my diet list, as I don’t completely understand the logic and working of the rear suspension linkage, how it all works with different angels and so on.

      5. Carbon fibre bash plate, you could save around 2-3 kg on that.

      And that is about it, if you don’t want to mess with the frame of the bike. Because if you would really want to strip KLE of its weight one could take a grinder to the frame and cut some of the rear frame off, throwing away some of the bars, losing luggage rack, huge rear light,… But you would need to adopt or make some sort of a new rear end. Wasting a lot of effort and money for only a small gain. You could also make or adapt a plastic tank to fit on the frame, and get rid of that heavy OEM metal tank,…

      There are a few possibilities out there, some are more reasonable than others, so you have to decide what you are comfortable with doing and how much are you willing to spend to achieve your goal.

      Hope my answer helps you.

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