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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who Knew? KLR's Aren't Bulletproof After All...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Well let me start by saying I'm so sorry to Dyann.  Her new (to her) KLR took a $hit yesterday.  We were cruising along beautiful highway 395 when she had full power loss.  In addition to the bike shutting down, it was on temp redline.  That said, I immediately removed the fairing and checked coolant level, which was full.  I didn't want to bump the bike as I didn't want to cause further issue with the motor if she had thrown a rod or spun a bearing.  Plus, if it was the alternator or stator it wouldn't have done much good anyway.  I didn't think she blew the motor as I was behind her and didn't notice any smoke or have specks of oil anywhere.  We flagged down an incredibly nice CHP officer named Danny and he called a tow truck.  We had it towed to Reno Kawasaki, which was luckily only 10 minutes from my new friend and host Arlo (fellow ADVrider).  We prayed it was a small electrical gremlin and went on our way.  

Arlo was an incredibly generous host, and in addition to offering up the comforts of his home, provided us with a nice night tour of Verdi.  Fast forward to today, we got the call that we were dreading from the dealership.  Unfortunately the KLR had burned through two full quarts of oil in our three days of riding, and had essentially seized the engine.  Game over!  I feel guilty as I probably should have given the bike a once over prior to setting off.  She did check the oil before departure and said it was full.  The kicker, I had offered to show her how to change the oil at Arlo's so she had a full three quarts and a filter in her bag.  I'm not sure how it's possible for a bike to guzzle/burn essentially all oil in the motor in several hundred miles.  Standard for a KLR?  There was never a visible leak anywhere, and I never noticed smoke when behind.  You'd think the owner would have mentioned how oil hungry the damn thing was when she bought it.  Maybe the oil pump was faulty?  Maybe a bigger issue?  Who knows...  Long story short, her ride, and our ride together is over for now.  She will be renting a car to get to Sonoma for the wedding, and I guess I'll continue on my way home solo.  I'm bummed as I was really enjoying our time and rides together.  

All that said, I'll try to fill a portion of this post with some positive writing/thoughts.  When I left off we were in Sequoia National Park.  From there we ended up riding north to Yosemite, which was absolutely beautiful.  Indescribable beauty really.  The ride leading to the park, the roads within, and the ride out had me smiling and stopping for photos the entire way.  We found a really nice campsite within the park, which surprised me.  After exploring the park that day, and laughing fireside with a couple of new friends that evening, we set off yesterday morning for Arlo's/Verdi.  East on 120, then north on 395, the entire ride was stellar.  Not only was the scenery breathtaking, but the ride is peppered with quaint old towns like Lee Vining and Bridgeport.  It feels like you are riding back in time to the 50's...  back when the US was filled with small towns and friendly people.  

Speaking of Arlo and the great guy he is, he's been following my posts from the beginning.  It's been cool and motivational to have people along for the ride.  Over long conversations last night however, I couldn't help but feel like I may have disappointed him a bit.  I think along the way he expected me to find the 'golden ticket' to life, the perfect career, an exotic beach to live on, and the love of my life.  Well, I didn't.  It was like the author of a book he enjoys reading was there in person, and he was urging said author to finish the damn thing!  It was a strange feeling.  During the ride yesterday I was smiling the entire time.  I'm so happy at present.  I'm confused as $hit with everything, this trip ending, not knowing how things will pan out, BUT I'm excited about all that.  I can really do anything I want now.  Along the way I've been gifted with much more patience, I've overcome and lost the majority of my fears and anxieties, and I've certainly become more comfortable being uncomfortable.  I honestly feel comfortable now not knowing how my book will end.  I'm not terrified of the unknown.  In fact the opposite, I'm giddy with anticipation at this point.  Life is special, good, and God knows...  short. 

Anyway, I guess that's enough rambling for now.  I'm gonna get Dyann drunk to ease her bike woes and help Arlo prep some ribs for the grill.  I think tomorrow we'll do a loop around Lake Tahoe, then head out on Friday.  I have three options.  First, head to Sonoma solo to join her for the wedding festivities, then ride back to Verdi to rendezvous with the KLR and continue our planned ride to Denver.  Second, I could head to San Fran to visit with a couple of friends, then meet Dyann back in Verdi when her bike is done.  Third, and the option I'm leaning towards at present, head out Friday on 50 towards Great Basin Nat'l Park.  Then kick it down through Zion/Bryce, and Monument Valley.  Then enter Colorado near Four Corners for a ride through 550, then ultimately back to Denver solo, the way this whole thing began nine months back.  Decisions, decisions...  Hmmm...  

Anyway, chat soon.  This adventure ain't over yet! 

~ D

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