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Author Topic: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)  (Read 1096 times)

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Offline JonW

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Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« on: September 03, 2018, 12:36:09 pm »
so back in June last year I was faced with a bit of a cash crunch and made the very hard decision to sell my faithful XRR.

I advertised the bike for exactly what I paid for it, and within a few days the money was in my account and the bike gone.

My thinking was that I would either replace it with another XRR or something similar but lighter and more off-road biased within a month or two.

Unfortunately fate conspired against me getting a bike as quickly as I would have wanted. Firstly I couldn't find anything that I fancied, and then I had quite a nasty off while taking a friend of mine's 450 for a quick ride. It took me a month or two to recover from my injuries, and made me question for a while whether it was actually worth getting back on a bike.

After spending  what felt like forever browsing Gumtree and the forum for 250's 450's and 525's I eventually came across a friend's 520 that was up for sale. It's quite an old bike, but he's spent some money on the top end and most importantly it's licensed and on the road. After a couple of test rides last week I did the transfer and the bike was mine.

How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline zebra - Flying Brick

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 12:47:22 pm »
nice! welcome back... (...as it were!)
Chris
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Offline FrancoisTz

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 12:48:19 pm »
Good luck, enjoy.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank amongst those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 12:50:48 pm »
Sunday morning I decided I needed to do a bit of a ride so that I could try and bond with this funny looking orange bike that had replaced my beloved Honda.

I decided to ride out through Muden area to one of my favorite riding destinations, darkest Africa.

One of my concerns with this bike as the small petrol tank and limited range. on the XR I had 16l which could do 240km. The KTM has 8.5l and will probably only be good for about 170km, so I included a 2l bottle of petrol in my backpack in case I got stuck.

I headed out of Howick, then through the karkloof and onto Muden.

I have to admit I was a bit tense at first, courtesy of my prang the last time I rode, but after a while I started to relax and really enjoy the ride.


How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline DeeCeeBee

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 12:54:37 pm »
Nice to see you back on a bike Jon
Enjoy it!
BRP...now joined by Africa Twin Adv Sport
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 01:03:36 pm »
Cool to see you back on two wheels :thumleft:
Keep the right side up and enjoy as you always do!
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Offline benreaper

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 01:24:34 pm »
Lekker Jon, I can relate to your excitement to be back on the bike.
 

Offline CUZZY

Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 01:40:09 pm »
Welcome back Jon! Many happy smiles!
 

Offline Dirty Boy

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 01:46:34 pm »
Hi Jon
That's brilliant news and congrats on the new bike, I know you will do it justice. You live in possibly the best area in ZA for having exciting routes on your doorstep, go get muddy.

Take care

James
 

Offline Edgar

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 01:54:29 pm »
Nice looking KTM, enjoy it.

PS: I know the agony of not having a bike. It's enough to drive a man insane....
 

Offline 0012

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 01:58:38 pm »
congrats on getting a bike again, terrible to be bikeless!


->    TransAlp 650 - sold
:(    Yamaha XT1200Z - written off - R.I.P.
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 01:59:37 pm »
In the five years or so that I had the XRR I always swore it was the perfect bike for me, so on this bonding ride I couldn't help comparing the two bikes as I rode.

The first and for some, most important difference on the two bikes is the happy button. While I had the XR I always maintained that the lack of an electric start wasn't a big deal and I was quite happy to kick it into life evry time. I have to say that the happy button makes a huge difference. I remember some of my rides where i was pretty fatigued from the heat and the terrain and then having to kick the bike to life while balanced precariously on the side of a rocky mountain. I know some of my riding buddies will probably be as relieved as I am that I now have a happy button.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline JonW

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 02:02:23 pm »
I found the optimal gearing on my XR to be 14-48. This made the bike pretty responsive through the gears and allowed me to cruise fairly comfortably at 120. The KTM currently has a 14-42 setup, which I would have thought might be a bit long geared. This however is not the case, the bike is still very perky, quite easy to lift the front wheel in 3rd just with the throttle and certainly pulls like a train right through the gears. The KTM is a 6 speed, something I always thought the XR should have had, and sat comfortably at 130, although I can't say I was that comfortable at that speed. I think I will change the gearing on the KTM to a 14-46 quite soon, but it definitely isn't lacking in the acceleration department.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2018, 02:05:32 pm »
Another difference between the bikes is the weight. I think the KTM is about 20kg lighter than the XR, something I could really notice when riding over rocks on the KTM, it just seemed that much easier and didn't tire me out like the XR did. another big plus on the KTM is the hydraulic clutch, which makes feathering over technical rocky sections a breeze compared to the heavy cable operated clutch on the XR. I don't know if my XR's clutch was heavier than usual, but I regularly used to battle with arm pump which really affected me badly. The KTM's brembo brakes are far sharper than the XR's, something that I am going to have to get used to quickly. On the XR, using the front brake was like a request to reduce speed at some unspecified time in the future, whereas on the KTM you pull that front brake lever and the wheel stops turning immediately. at this stage I think I prefer the XR's more relaxed front brakes for off-road riding, but maybe it's just a matter of getting used to the sharp KTM brakes.

Really enjoyed being back riding through the unspoiled bushveld of Darkest Africa, luckily I still have all my GPS tracks saved on my computer, so riding through there was such a pleasure. As it turned out I didn't have to use my 2l reserve in my backpack, but it was comforting knowing it was there. Got home safely at around 16h00, no incidents to speak of, didn't have to use the kickstart once (although I am still happy to have it), bike ran perfectly, didn't miss a beat. I can say that I have properly bonded with the orange thing, but I can also say that I do miss my XR.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline Ri

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2018, 02:15:10 pm »
Congratulations and happy riding!

It really is terrible to be bikeless, or hurt and unable to ride.

Enjoy! :ricky:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 02:15:32 pm by Ri »
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Offline ktmmer

Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2018, 02:18:00 pm »
Congrats Jon,  enjoy the orange machine !!
 

Offline 8 min Mark

Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2018, 02:22:07 pm »
Nice story Jon


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Offline JonW

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2018, 02:30:58 pm »
Thanks for all the good wishes guys.

Having a bike standing in the garage brings about a sense of contentment that only a biker will know  :thumleft:
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2018, 03:29:58 pm »
Very nice tracks those  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far

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Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline DavidMorrisXp

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Re: Back on a Bike (bikeless no more)
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2018, 06:04:29 pm »
Jon check out this channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJAvmhgP0h1AEKY8vTEJPJg

Congrats on the bike, it looks the business

Check out my YouTube channel, please like & subscribe

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUyKBSrBu-N5oswrTlAhphQ