Thursday, April 30, 2009

4/25/09 Snake Alley run

The plan of the day was to run out to Burlington IA and check out Snake Alley and eat at Big Muddys for lunch. The Route was all of Rt 34 out of yorkville Il and run it to the Mississippi and mileage for me is a total of 440.
Weather was not going to be perfect but the chance of rain for the morning was 30% and later to go up to 60%. As luck had it we were only 10 miles out of yorkville and we got wet. Turned around and had a little breakfast and more coffee.
After about a hour we headed out and found the weather was giving us a little break and we took off . All the way out to Burlington the weather was odd. You couldn't figure if it was going to rain or get sunny or both!!

I can't remember the last time I saw a Sinclairs gas station in Illinois. The pumps were so old they still have rolling numbers, how does the EPA let them still use these!!

We Found Big Muddys right under the RT34 bridge. Nice big place and food was average but it looks like it would be a rocking place to party. Super long bar and a really big room for live bands and dancing. Also a full view of the Mississippi, can't beat that..

This one of my bad pic's of snake alley. I should of done a top shot to of captured the full effect of how steep and twisty it is..
For me on my small bike I just put it in neutral and dragged the rear brake all the way down. I don't know if I would of went down on the Ninja but my buddy took his down with no problem.
It's the bricks that always make my a little nervous, especially if there wet!! On snake Alley the bricks are placed on edge and on about a 70 degree angle. The was to give horses grip while going up and down.
It was a pretty cool road and the houses were very nice all around the Alley. I'd like to go back just to shoot some homes and a little of the river front..

The ride home was pretty wild with the weather AGAIN!! We hit way more wet roads and light rain. At one point the sun came out for twenty or so miles and I thought that would be the perfect way to end the days ride after all the spotty weather.
About the Time I hit Newark IL on RT71 the evil clouds were back and lightning was bouncing off the ground. A huge front was in front of me and I was chasing it at a angle. I never got wet but I knew my buddy Jim was in the middle of it on his goldwing. He split off from me farther back since he lives farther north of me.
He called me later that night to tell me it was hell riding in that last storm. Super cold and ton's of rain. I felt pretty bad for him since I got off dry, but I did run smack into the cold front. The temps all day were in the 70 degree range and when I came to the cold front it went down to 47 Degrees. It changed so fast my gages on the bike fogged up for ten minutes. You gotta love heated grips!! :)

Overall a pretty long day and a lot of butt time. It was a experience!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Breakfast out to Serena Cafe

Serena Cafe was one of those lucky finds. Just don't show up on a Sunday after church!! LOL..
This little place in Serena IL is very easy to just cruise by and never think twice about it. A few years ago my buddy Jim needed some stuff from JC whitney and we were on RT52 that cuts right through Serena. After we were done with the store we were talking about somewhere to eat and we both noticed the Cafe. It's just the perfect place to slow down and get out of the fast pace where everything has to be done quick.
This time I wasn't with that Jim but with my other buddy Jim and his foreign exchange student.
We didn't have much time to ride but we had to get out since the weather finally warmed up.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

JNS Engineering skid plate ----- Sweetness!!

After two years of having the KLR someone finally came up with a good answer for the skid plate. has a rocking plate that bolts up to the stock mounting brackets. The plate is thick and longer going about inch or so past the oil drain bolt. It's made out of aluminum and the welds are very pretty.

My stock plate has taken some pretty good wackes and it's cracked around every bolt hole.
Not as bad as some other I've seen posted on the web, but I'm not going over downed tree or basketball sized rocks. The most it's seen have been softball sized rocks that would pop off of the front tire going down the trails.

Bolt up was super easy and took about 20 minuets. My front stock mount plates were, I think a little tweaked but bolted up perfectly. I did add some loctite since it's become a habit on this bike. Now just need to get out when the weather gets nicer to bounce some rocks at it!!

RD 400 pipes are out

Well the pipes are sent out to the powder coater and with two other parts. The kickstand needed to be replaced since the one I had was experimented with by me. The kickstand would not fold under the expansion pipes. So I bent the stand to work, kind of! It would still touch the pipe when up and clunk over bumps. has a kickstand kit to relocate it a inch farther out and you can take material off to adjust the up position. The kit's a little pricey but no more worries. :)
The pipes will be ceramic coated and will never look like this again..........

Sunday, April 5, 2009

KLR Wolo horn install and bracket

I've had this horn on my workbench for over a year now and no good way to bolt it up. The one forum I look at has a few people who did there own brackets to hide away. I've had a few ideas but never really liked mine. There is one guy out of the west coast selling these brackets that don't require cutting stuff off the bike. So nothing getting permanently harmed is my favorite way to go.

Nice simple bracket bolted up to see how the fit up is..
The welds are very nice and clean, no cold welds to fall apart from vibration.

The one other thing the horn NEEDED was a relay. The stock horn pulls 2.5 amps and the Wolo was pulling 15 amps. There is no way the horn switch will last long without a relay.
What I used was a waterproof relay from a recall kit I bought from work. The relay only pulls 250 milliamps so no problem for the switch.
I just safety wired the relay to the grill.

Nice and compact and works very well.

I think a lot of people think noise keeps them safe on the road. The whole "loud pipes save life's" thing is BS. I've had and have louder bikes and still get cars and trucks pulling over in front of me. Also 90% of the time I'll never use the horn to avoid trouble. It's just faster to get out of the problem than go for the horn and hope the crappy driver reacts properly. Most of it's use will probably to get my buddies attention.

added last shot after original posting.