Terms Do Matter

Terms Do Matter

I’ve coined two phrases relating to motorcycles, neither of which I expected to catch on. The first term “multisurface motorcycling” was too technical for the casual motorcycle rider, but it defined the capability of any given two-wheeler intended to be used on paved surfaces and beyond. The more savvy and experienced “go anywhere” riders seemed […]

DR650SE Improvements for Reliability

DR650SE Improvements for Reliability

As I’ve said before a properly set up air-cooled DR is the most reliable multisurface motorcycle you can buy. I have ridden more than 145,000 on/off road miles since 2002 on DR650SE’s and these are the changes I’ve made and why. Approximately six months after purchasing my new 2002 DR650SE I was southbound on Highway […]

The KISS Principle – You’d Better Believe It!!

The KISS Principle – You’d Better Believe It!!

The person who came up with the slogan “Keep it simple, stupid” knew what he was talking about. In fact, the more complex our lives become, the more these words ring true. It seems we are constantly being led to believe that we must embrace the latest technology because it will make our lives better. Not necessarily! Motorcycles […]

DR650SE: Failures and Fixes

DR650SE: Failures and Fixes

I’ve logged nearly a quarter of a million miles on DR’s since 1990, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I owned a DR650SE. Since that time I’ve studied the big DR’s engineering screw ups and came up with appropriate fixes for some of them. Models from 1996 through 2002 The chronic leaky base gasket from hell often […]

Light Is Right, Even If You’re Not a Kiwi

Light Is Right, Even If You’re Not a Kiwi

When Kawasaki added another 25 or so pounds to the front of the already heavy KLR 650 in 2008, it ostensibly became an ADV bike (a sports-tourer equipped with semi-knobbies). Many who understood the negative effects caused by excessive unsprung and overall weight looked for a more dirt friendly big single. Some have turned to […]

Stock Air Filters Suck!

Stock Air Filters Suck!

Come to think of it, all air filters suck air. The problem is that some of them suck more than air. Not good! If you are an off-road rider you should service your air filter in a timely fashion or you may start sucking dirt at some point. Even if your multisurface motorcycle is kept […]

Mexiphobia

Mexiphobia

My two favorite hangouts happen to be south of the international border, which is located 20 miles from my home. About once a week I make a 200-mile round trip on my motorcycle to and from El Sauzal and Ensenada, using a variety of paved and dirt roads along the way. One of my favorite […]

What’s an ADV

What’s an ADV

I coined the term “multisurface” motorcycle back in the last century because there was no other term that described the type of motorcycle I built and rode or the kind of riding I did. I never expected the term “multisurface motorcycling” to catch on in an age of ever increasing silliness where two-wheelers are concerned. […]

It’s a Small World

It’s a Small World

It Is Indeed a Small World. The other day I took off on one of my short mountain loops of about 50 miles. About half way through the ride as I headed uphill on Honey Springs Road I noticed a motorcycle following me. Not knowing if the rider was familiar with the many curves ahead […]

Speedo Cable Service

Speedo Cable Service

Japanese speedos are very reliable as long as you don’t abuse them or store them upside down. However, like other things on a motorcycle, speedometer cables do need periodic maintenance. If your speedo needle bounces a little when you’re underway, it could bethat the inner cable is dry. Speedo cable service is easy: Simply disconnect […]

Modern Baja: Different But Still Lots of Fun

Modern Baja: Different But Still Lots of Fun

When the best all around dirt rider I ever knew, Alan Dietor, and I began riding in Baja Norte in 1974, there were very few paved roads and what pavement existed was pretty bad. It was easy for the late Niles Ussery to set up a Tecate 500 course to and from San Felipe without […]

Oil and Oil Filter Replacement

Oil and Oil Filter Replacement

Way back in ancient times before synthetics and motorcycle specific oils, some folks used to change the engine oil, usually Castrol GTX, every 1000 to 1500 miles. Some felt it was necessary to also replace the oil filter (if the bike was so equipped) each time theoil was replaced. The procedure I follow has always […]

Motorcycle Oil Consumption

Motorcycle Oil Consumption

Back in 2008 Top Gun Motorcycles purchased a new Kawasaki KLR650-E model which turned out to be a lemon.  Initially we had ran into some seemingly fueling problems that turned out to be improper routing of the CA emissions system from the factory. After our normal break-in, we began to notice that oil consumption was high: […]

Long Live Your Chain and Sprockets

Long Live Your Chain and Sprockets

Glossary MSM – Multisurface Motorcycles/Motorcyclist MMP – Multisurface Motorcycle Products TGMP – Top Gun Motorcycle Products MSM Weight Categories Lightweight – up to 250lbs Middleweight – 250lbs – 300lbs Light-Heavyweight – 300lbs – 350lbs Heavyweight – 350lbs – 400lbs We’ve been monitoring the drive system on a twenty some year old “A” model KLR650 for […]

Top Gun’s New Custom Spring For The DR650SE

Top Gun’s New Custom Spring For The DR650SE

Glossary MSM – Multisurface Motorcycles/Motorcyclist MMP – Multisurface Motorcycle Products TGMP – Top Gun Motorcycle Products MSM Weight Categories Lightweight – up to 250lbs Middleweight – 250lbs – 300lbs Light-Heavyweight – 300lbs – 350lbs Heavyweight – 350lbs – 400lbs If you’ve been visiting our website for long you know that Top Gun has had a […]

KLR Rear Suspension and Chain Control

KLR Rear Suspension and Chain Control

As I sit here in my favorite Subway restaurant (#40249) at the corner of Avocado Ave. and Hwy 94, my mind harkens back to early 1990 when I purchased my first KLR650 ; a very clean and slightly used 1989 A model. Even before I took my new acquisition off-road I knew I had some […]

More on Final Gearing

More on Final Gearing

Every two or three weeks I ride down to Ensenada and stay overnite at Hostel Sauzal at 344 “L” Street in El Sauzal approximately 1 ½ miles south of the 100 kilometer sign.  For $15 you get a clean bed and one of Maria’s tasty breakfasts in the a.m. (011-52-646-17-46381). Besides doing some writing and enjoying […]

Stay “SPOT” On, All the Time

Stay “SPOT” On, All the Time

I’ve pretty much avoided the electronic age I have only two modern instruments of communication; a simple cell phone that won’t tweet, twitter or “doo doo” in my pocket and a thing called a “SPOT”. The cell phone is for emergencies only between Pauline and me, but the SPOT and I are inseparable. I won’t go […]

Roll-On With Rod

Roll-On With Rod

I called Rod Morris and he suggested we meet at Bell Valley east of Potrero on Hwy 94 for a roll-on test between my stock 2004 KL-A model and his 1999 KL-A model. Rod’s KLR has a fresh MMP/Top gun engine that we wrote about previously. My “A” model has a dead stock engine except […]

Air Filtration

Air Filtration

Some guy on one of the Internet sites wrote recently that I had been riding off road bikes since before there was dirt and that I had forgotten more than most people ever knew about KLR650’s. The first claim is partly true in that Baja dirt is much different from when I first started riding […]

KLR650 Chain Adjustment Revisited

KLR650 Chain Adjustment Revisited

Back in the last century (1990) when I purchased my first KLR650 (1989 A-3), one of the first things I noticed was how much chain slack the factory recommended (50 – 55mm or slightly more than 2”). I put the bike up on my Handy Lift and studied the situation concluding that the factory was […]

Riding Twisty Roads

Riding Twisty Roads

The most memorable encounters are mostly with lighter bikes usually singles in the 350 to 400 pound range. Of the heavier bikes, the GS Beemers come to mind. Ron Jensen was a terror on his early GS1000. He could keep up a pace on challenging mountain roads usually reserved for lighter more agile bikes. Ron […]

Two–Stroking Around the World

Two–Stroking Around the World

Long after I thought two-stroke motorcycles were extinct I ran into Paul Suchy at Santispak 10 miles south of Mulege Baja Sur. Parked there on the beach under a palapa was a loaded down JAWA 350cc two-stroke twin that had already traveled across Europe and Asia followed by a boat ride to Washington State where Paul […]

Reliability is Not Accidental

Reliability is Not Accidental

Back in 1955 when I completed my Korean War enlistment and left the military, the first thing I did was to buy a new 200cc Triumph Tiger Cub. As my salesman, Jim Keating had predicted, I soon tired of the lack of power produced by the little single and moved my 200lb butt up to a 1955 AJS […]

Racing Rod’s Rod

Racing Rod’s Rod

  Rod Morris and I recently did our first two day Baja loop since rebuilding and breaking in both of his MMP/KL-A KL engines. The overnite would be at Maria Navarro’s Hostel Sauzal (hostelsauzalbc@hotmail.com, phone: 011-52-646-17-46381) north of Ensenada on Hwy One (344 Avenida “L”). For 15 bucks you get clean facilities complete with a comfortable […]

Fixin’ Rod’s Rods: Part 1

Fixin’ Rod’s Rods: Part 1

Rod Morris has two KLR650-A’s. One is an A-10 (1996) and the other an A-13 (1999). The 1996 was previously owned by Joe Carpenter, the best KLR dirt rider that Rod and I have ever ridden with. The 1999 was once the property of Mark Behling who built our first website multisurfacemotorcycling.com which has since been shut down. […]

Tex Ernhardt Baja Ride

Tex Ernhardt Baja Ride

On Wednesday January 16th 2013, Tex Ernhardt, triple threat master rider/driver/pilot Bruce Redding and a dozen friends took off from Phoenix, AZ on the 14th Annual Tex Ernhardt “No Toro” (No Bull in English) Baja ride from Phoenix to Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur. Since the ride really gets cookin after on overniter in Ensenada, […]

Mileage! Smileage!

Mileage! Smileage!

For years I’ve carried in my wallet a small laminated 50 word paragraph from an article written by the late great Gordon Jennings. I’ve quoted it before but here goes again. To paraphrase; Mr. Jennings wrote that “the typical” motorcycle has 8.5 square feet of frontal area producing 60 pounds of drag at 60 mph […]

Mis-drilled Shaft Hole

Mis-drilled Shaft Hole

The Skipper recently gave me a print out concerning a factory machining error in the inner left cover of some “E” Model KLRs (2008 -2009). For a compulsive the fix would be to carefully measure the depth of the hole to determine the exact length of the error followed by having an aluminum plug with […]

Maintenance Tip (KLR650/DR650)

Maintenance Tip (KLR650/DR650)

“Grease your long bolts”   If you don’t like rust on your cross bolts, it’s best to apply a film of water proof grease to the bolt shaft before installation. This is especially important when you’re getting ready to install the long fat cross bolt that goes through the front of the “uni-trak” lever on […]