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Discussion Starter #81
THE KWIK MART KRONICLES 88

I hit the “Fuel” icon, and the same Garmin device that couldn’t get me out of the woods bounded off down the road like a freakin’ deer hound, aha, the Jackman QuikMart, civilization, more or less. I stumbled off the bike in a disjointed fashion, terra firma, I’d been in the saddle since I left pavement on the other side, seemed like last week. Fueled, then into the store, I needed grease and sugar, often disguised as sustenance.



It was late in the afternoon, and I was thinking about my options as I stood in front of the limp pizza slice display, four slices left since they put them in there about the same time last year. Suddenly, I was elbowed out of my reverie by a woman as big as a damn refrigerator, no, check that, big as a side-by-side model, This gal had blond spiked hair, stiff and dead as bristles on a corn broom, my guess is she styled it with some gel, like napalm, didn’t know ya could buy that OTC. She was pizza shopping, and grabbed three slices from behind the glass, thanks a bunch, sista.

I asked “Are all the slices the same?”, and she replied with a snarky smile “No, some’s better than others”, as she turned on her heels, heading for the register, dripping enough oily grease that it looked like she had tossed a rod. I’d been gamblin’ most of the day, what the heck, and I bought the last piece, a slippery mofo, I had to stab it with a fork and pin the damn thing down just to keep it on the plate.

I stepped outside to eat my slice of pizza, already regretting the purchase, ya need some room to properly eat this type of stuff. Bent at the waist, elbow high, trying mightily not to get grease all over my gear. It would probably be better to eat this slice naked, it was nasty, might have a mind of it’s own, by-pass all formalities, and go shooting right out the pop-gun end.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
like the pannier racks available, i don't care for the aftermarket rear racks either. designed for a pillion seated in front of a top box or other luggage, the plate is too far back for me. time to build my own design.

i had 3/4 tubing on hand, and enough suitable scrap for the mounting feet, but what i didn't have was a cheap cast plate in the right size and shape. i finally located the cast rear rack from a KTM 1190, cheap, and near perfect dimensions for the bike.

once the mounting feet are fabbed and tubing bent, it's another one of those jobs where fitment means that there's tack welding in place, no way around it. the finish welds are off the bike, but even then the feet need to be clamped down to avoid thermal distortion.





the plate mounts to underside welded tabs with weld nuts, and uses the typical M8 SS flange bolts found in other locations on the frame.

 

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I’m really digging those pannier racks! Not sure about the top, thought. Looks little like a shelf above the seat. Maybe its the view angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
I’m really digging those pannier racks! Not sure about the top, thought. Looks little like a shelf above the seat. Maybe its the view angle.
the design is constrained by the seat height at the rear, but actually works quite well visually when the rest of the tail assembly is in place. compared to the aftermarket racks, this KTM plate is 8-10 inched farther forward. the cast KTM plate itself is much better than anything available for the ER6 lineup, including the Versys. i guess it should be a little better on a $17000USD moto, but now it's on my rat. there must be at least a bit of irony there.

typical Versys rack on the old red frame moto with the small Pelican i've been using. now the Pelican sits over the seat, no more caboose.

bike still muddy from West Virginia gravel...

 

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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
THE KWIK MART KRONICLES 89

Fuel at the Cassier intersection, and kick it toward Watson Lake, ETA is now 3PM. I make a beeline to my tire man and when I tell him I need our two sets of tires changed pronto, his response is “Can't do it, maybe tomorrow“, and points to six stacks of new car tires that were ahead of us and ready to be mounted. This is going to call for some one-on-one negotiation. After 10 minutes of banter, he agrees to do one bike, and 5 minutes later after turning up the charm to the “Extreme BS” setting, he agrees to do the other. But only if we collect the tires and are ready to go in 15 minutes. Run the short distance to the Air Force Lodge-man, I didn't know that bike would go 70 in 2nd gear-collect the tires, thank them for all the help, and I'm back with time to spare.



I go first and pull the bike in the shop like I owned the place, get my tools out, and the front is off, changed, and back on in a flash. Move to the rear, same thing. I'm rushing around in a blur of activity, and when the rear is on, I tell Beemer that I'll back it out and tighten things up outside so he can get the GS right in.

Beemer said “I'm not changing tires“. Huh? His rear TKC was shot too, and his Tourance was right there ready to be mounted. I said “You can't get anywhere on that TKC, we sure don't want to change it on the side of the road“.

Beemer had jumped on the 1150, and when he turned to me he said “I'm going home. I'll send you some photos. Good luck“. He rode off east into the smoke, just like that.

I was standing there watching him ride away when the tire man came up to me and said “What the **** just happened there?” I said “Don't know, I guess he's going home“. The tire man was really pissed, and I can't blame him. He had turned his schedule upside down to accommodate us, or now, just me. Beemer had stood silent while I negotiated tire changes on the two bikes.

I was able to calm him down and gave him my old rear TKC, no good to me, but he could sell it for $50 to someone that just needed to get over to Whitehorse for a new tire. I realized that when Beemer had pulled out, he only had one spare on the back of the bike. We go on the hunt and find Beemer’s front Tourance tire tossed behind some old car tires on the side of the building. That tire had some life in it, and might bring in another $75.

If the guy was still pissed now, I don't think he was pissed at me. We talk things over a little, I apologize for the commotion and slip him a $10 bill, beer money. “You know you don't have to do that, eh” and I said “I know you didn't have to change my tires“. He reached in his pocket, pulled out a card, and wrote a number on the back. “If you come through this way again and need anything at all, call this number“. That's the way we parted, and that's the way I like to do it.

I started solo, now I'm solo again. Ok, still got the cop motor, got the cop tires back on, let’s ride some freakin' place, and I was rippin' back west to the top of the Cassier, 6,000 miles to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
i drill lots of holes in steel during my fabrication efforts using my decades old drill press. if i was to offer advice on a drill press acquisition for home shop use, other than overall good quality, i would say to confirm the low speed RPM spec. your home shop is not a production environment, no coolant spray, and no tool room dude to keep your tooling sharp.

high RPM without coolant means heat and short tool life. slow is good, and your twist drills seem to last forever. i might use cutting oil in certain situations, but otherwise i'm just looking for a speed that produces long shavings, not chips.

i also use hole saws frequently, just the common type, non-industrial. if your drill press can't run slow with these, you're screwed.

 

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Discussion Starter #89
THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 90

I’d paid for my fuel, but what the heck, I had that lucky-day feelin’, and decided to go into the Kwik Mart for a lottery ticket, can’t be ignoring those premonitions even if ya ignore the 273 million to one odds, must be my mind doin’ those springy cartwheels.

I was almost to the front door when Mudslide came around the corner of a van and stepped into my path, whoa there son. Mudslide, or more affectionately known as just plain Slide, was a black man sized approximately six and a half by four by three…that’s in feet, folks, in case ya missed the damn picture. Simply no telling his weight, I’d hate to even guess, and I doubt he even knew himself. Try explaining to those girls at the Walmart customer service counter why you were returning a box of scrap metal that used to be a spring scale…just tell ‘em a guy named Mudslide put a foot on it, sorta by accident.

Having Slide in front of you is about the same as having a tractor trailer jack knife across your road, so even on foot, y’all better hit the brakes. Bald head under a worn out ball hat, smile a yard wide, he said “Hello there Mr. Dave, been awhile, yessiree, been some time now.”

I’d met Slide years earlier, face it, there just aren’t that many people found in the casual acquaintance category that you could point a finger to a date on a calendar, and say “Right here, this is when we met.” Not so with Slide, he showed up as a mason tender on one of my big jobs the morning of September 11, 2001.

He was hard to miss on the jobsite that morning, and I asked my masonry contractor about him “Oh, that’s ol’ Mudslide, big job like this I always roust him out, sometimes he be hard to find.” I was watching him work, arms big around as coffee cans, hands big as catcher’s mitts, he was feeding concrete block to the masons and 80 pound bags of mortar to the mixer like a massive black machine, yeah, I get it…big job, go find the big man. A once-white towel draped around his neck, I was struck by how light he was on his feet for a man his size, not unheard of, but not that common either.

This jobsite was out of cell range in 2001, so it wasn’t until late morning and a 20 mile trip to the lumber yard, that I got some news. When I got back to the job, I gathered up both my crew as well as the mason’s, and explained what had happened. I mentioned that one theory was that the hijackers were armed only with box cutters, and although there was some muttering and cussing, nobody had much to say…except for Mudslide.

He was standing almost directly in front of me in this shallow half-circle of men, and said “Ain’t no A-Rab going to cut me with no ****ing box cutter, never, that be the truth.” I was looking into those eyes when he spoke, no brag, no grand-standing, he was speaking what was, in his mind, a simple fact. I believed him, he had the look. Lordy, any A-rab found cross-wise with Slide that day would have become a footnote in history, luckily, I’d never seen the first anywhere near where we were working.

So here was Mudslide once again, older, but not much different from that long ago jobsite, how could I not return that big smile? There had been promise in the day, I’d felt it, and it was here that I’d won one of life’s little lotteries, no ticket purchase required, two lives forever intertwined by a single event.

“Slide, my friend, how ya been doin’, beautiful day ain’t it?”
 

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Discussion Starter #90
i had already cut down the subframe to give me more room for suspension travel, and then also cut the fender liner so i could use the last few inches around the tail light, and keep the seat trim/rear fender plastic. i've added mounts for custom fenders in the past, but this time i added custom mounts for the OEM fender parts which tie back to the frame and reworked fender liner plate which replaces the OEM liner and mounts. the stock fender mounting does not do well on rough road conditions and the plastic tabs have a tendency to break, which can be inconvenient at best. time to fix it.

a steel plate was added under the remaining small piece of OEM fender liner which is also the tail light mount, then bolted to the custom fender liner mount. a saddle was fabricated to fit over the top of the subframe tubes and gets locked in place with M8s. a custom fender brace will be added too. the entire arrangement is very sturdy, much better than the flimsy OEM mounts.



(more to follow)
 

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Discussion Starter #91
more on swapping aluminum and steel for OEM plastic...

the OEM plastic tabs and dowels aligning or mounting all the assemblies on the ass end of these bikes will break if you happen to run enough rough roads, been there. of course, if ya happen to drop the bike a bunch of times, then they will also break, been there too.

fender mounting plate with a tab for a future fender brace. the plate shares bolt holes with the fabricated saddle across the top.



the plate fits tight in a well formed by the plastic on the underside of the remaining fender liner and locks everything solidly together.



cut down fender liner mounted to the fender assembly. the fender brace takes the wiggle out of the OEM fender so that the plastic tabs that align the fender to the subframe trim and the plastic dowels that connect the taillight don't snap off. rough roads are hell on plastic.



the fender liner in front of the cut is now aluminum.

besides making up all the lighting connections, the last thing on the list for the rear of the bike was the fender brace, gotta have one, lets try a hockey stick knock off. the brace connects at the tab on the new fender liner mount and the OEM license plate bracket. i think most of the newer ER6 bikes come standard with some variation of this brace, maybe i wasn't the only one who saw a problem. the fender is nice and solid now.

 

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Discussion Starter #92
THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 91

I planned to stop somewhere around Kluane Lake, and I was ever hopeful of catching the first look at the lake around every corner and topping every rise. I could see blue on the little GPS screen, but it still took forever. I was ready to stop, it seemed like this dusty construction zone gravel had gone on for a hundred damn miles. I hit the west end of the lake and I'm expecting that deep blue, WTF, it's frozen over. They must have had a winter for the record books.

I intended to camp at the nearby provincial park, but when I stop for fuel at Burwash Landing, Paddy, the old guy that owns the place reports that the park is closed due to bear problems. I'm jokin’ around with Paddy, and he invites me to camp for free down next to his old timey resort on the lake. Be nice, and you get treated nice. Thanks, Paddy.



The resort must have done well during the heyday of traffic on the highway, but now I don't think that many stop. Wonderful setting on the edge of the lake, and you're looking across to the mountains on the other side. They have a restaurant, so after setting the tent, I wander over.



I survived the ride, no goofy fuel incidents, camping for free, on the lake, food right here, and they serve beer. Nothing, and I mean nothing could be better. Well, they could have had a bikini contest going, but heck, that would have put it really over the top.

The lone restaurant patron was an older local guy, so I naturally go over, introduce myself, and ask if he minds having company for dinner. I wanted to catch up on the local news. “Pleased ta meetcha, pull up a chair?”, so I had dinner with this guy, and man, was it a trip.

I’m hardly seated, and the conversation starts down this winding path of truths, half truths, fibs, and outright lies. Bewildering, perplexing, outrageous, and all the while straight faced, sincere, and entertaining. It was so entertaining, I never had time to look at the menu, and finally just said “Gimme whatever he ordered“, and pointed across the table.

We talked about a hundred different subjects, and he would switch back and forth, sometimes three times per sentence, trying to keep the loose ends tied together. I glance over at the waitress and she’s circling a finger around her ear, a signal that says “This guy is freakin' nuts“. Just when I’m thinking the same thing, the guy would come out with a statement that was so original and so profound that you just didn't know what to think. Maybe he's just a little nuts, but then, so are a lot of people I know.

The subject turned to his claimed winter activity, gun running from a business located in Cape Town, South Africa. He supposedly sells AK47s to all the rogue armies in that region and had the business card to prove it. I think I’m going to get some of those cards printed myself, plus a deep tan and an eye patch. He had a whole pocket full of rifle rounds in different calibers, I'll be needing those too.

He wanted to sell me an AK47 right then and there, maybe he had a whole trunk full out in the parking lot, no problem getting that thing back into the States, right?. Watch the headlines, you might see this guy on the front page for any one of a number of reasons. They were closing the place down, so I saw him out the door and he drove away in his old wreck of a gun runner car. Talk about entertainment, I could have sat there a good while longer, whew, the perfect ending to this eighteen hour day.
 

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Discussion Starter #93
THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 92

The customs dude at the St. Leonard crossing was unusually surly, must hate Yanks, or maybe unhappy with the current state of his pesos, dunno. My passport has numerous Canadian border stamps, and his computer would tell him I’ve crossed the border a crazy number of times for someone not living near the border itself. Welcome to New Brunswick…or not. Watch them mooses.



I had a few loonies in the tank bag left over from previous excursions, now destined to be exchanged for frozen yogurt. Yogurt sure, but I’d followed a young lady into the store, raven haired, every bit of 6 feet, and dark eyes that sparkled when she smiled…exotic as all hell, need I say gorgeous. She was with a guy who had a KTM race bike in the back of his truck, maybe she was the Monster starting gate girl, heck, she could have been handed that job by acclamation in a matter of seconds. The watch cap wearing KTM MX-racer dude circled the V649 for a look on the way out, c’mon man, check what’s hangin’ at your elbow, get your priorities right. Had some good pineapple yogurt too, plus a bottle of water, only $13 CDN. I think the yogurt scale read to 6 digits, a microgram of sorts, but who’s counting, it’s only loonies.

Sunday traffic to Saint Quentin, a place my momma said I’d end up at if I didn’t wash behind my ears and take out the garbage at age 5, now all these years later, here I am, San Quentin.



When a covey of 15Y/O girls scamper across the road in front of the bike, hmmm, in certain segments of Stateside society, they’re known as San Quentin quail…lay a hand on one, and ya go directly to the big house, tends to make certain people mind their manners.

I’d been looking for a camping spot, and continued up 17 where I finally found a campground behind the local forestry museum, empty except for a small motor home parked in the back. The sun was still up, I wasn’t taking any chances given the fiascos of the previous nights, and actually had the tent set up before dark, whew.



It was a beautiful evening, light breeze, and I sat at the picnic table sipping cheap whiskey, making an entry in the travel log. The tent was set on the campsite gravel, rock hard, and as the day closed I was thinking about how many times I’d slept directly on the Bouclier Canadien with only a piece of canvas or nylon separation…not quite a thousand, but for sure another night.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
in other shop news, no bike work, but my youngest grand daughter is in town for a few days, rising college senior this fall, and wanted a gnome for her garden. hey, have at it, so she rummaged through some scrap in the shop, found what she wanted, marked it up with a sharpie, then i made the cuts.

she, not me, migged the whole thing together. off to a good start...



no moss growing on some of these kids. i've encountered many a grown man who was absolutely useless in a shop environment, but here's a young woman who is not the least intimidated by any process, and has developed a fundamental knowledge of how things go together.

the ears she picked out of the junk buckets were folding supports from a Toyota truck tailgate.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
tube bending, oh yeah, duplicating back-to-back bends in the same plane, easy peeeezy, but back-to-back-to-back bend mirror image duplicates with a z-axis bend in the middle...well, let's just say that it takes a little more effort. check that, lots more effort.

 

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Discussion Starter #96
THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 93


Down off the Hill, I'm very thankful to be back on chip and I can see what brought the Norwegian settlers out from Minnesota in the 1800s. I had come through driving sleet at the top of the mountain, then a harrowing pig-poop road surface on the 18% grade down the west side, first gear compression braking all the way, a feather’s touch on the rear brake, and it was still too fast. No guard rails here, a little error in judgment would let ya test terminal velocity for about 1000 feet.



The land flattens out on this side and you’re surrounded by the Coast Range, seemingly in all directions. The road follows a rocky river running to the inlet, small farms flanking both sides. I didn't have a place to camp, so I was looking for a spot as I approached Bella Coola at the end of the road.



Fuel first, and I stop at the only place I see in town right on the main street. Lucky, because the guy closes at 5 and I only beat that by ten minutes. I don't think many riders get out here, and he’s amused that I've come all the way from the east coast. “Have trouble on the Hill, eh?”, and when I tell him about it, he laughs. I ask him whether he gets out to Williams Lake much and his answer is to the point “What for?”. If I was tucked away out in Bella Coola, I might not feel like going anywhere either.

Restaurant? And he points across the street “The best“. Camping? “Oh, ya need to go back down the road to the Riprap, eh.” Harbor? “Straight ahead, but we just had an opener and the boats are gone, eh“. Power wash? “On the side of the building, eh. Here, this will get ya started, eh.”, and as he handed me a Looney, I'm reminded why I love Canuckistan. He’s out the door and locks everything up. If I had rolled in 10 minutes later, I would have missed him.

Power washed, then down to the waterfront, and I'm always attracted to these places. Not the yacht clubs or marinas, but the working waterfront. I like to see what the local men are doing. If it's commercial fishing, barging, marine construction, or the like, I want to know how they do it. The docks are quiet, but talk about a setting on this sunny afternoon. It would be tough to find a place to compare.



Back to the restaurant, my stomach growling. The dining is both inside and out, with the tables taken by locals, I think I was the only tourist in town, dirty riding gear, covered with mud. And the young waitress, hey, it's just not my fault that I keep drawing these cards, but if you were sitting where I was you wouldn't complain, not for a second, trust me on that one. Lordy, where’s that menu? The food was excellent, as far as I remember.
 

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Here are a few pics of "the HILL" giving a bit of an oversight of it, w/out snow at the sides.







And this one at the bottom of "the HILL".

 

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tube bending, oh yeah, duplicating back-to-back bends in the same plane, easy peeeezy, but back-to-back-to-back bend mirror image duplicates with a z-axis bend in the middle...well, let's just say that it takes a little more effort. check that, lots more effort.

What's this for? Crash bars?
 

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Discussion Starter #100
shop news...

grand daughter says she needs arms and hands for her gnome, rummages around in the shop until she finds lengths of steel rod in two diameters, walks over to the #4 Di-Acro, "Hey, this thing bends steel right, how does it work?"

then she formed the hands and arms, welded those on.

peace bro...

 
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