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 for an updated Kawasaki “E” model forged doohickey, Wexman/Carl inspection port and adjustable bullet proof adjustable extension spring. By the way my engine has 49,000 miles on it and still uses almost no oil between 3,500 mile oil changes.

Rod is presently running 15/44 gearing (stock is 15/43) and I just went from 15/45 to 15/46 for mountain riding.

Rod and I did two side by side roll-ons. The first was in 4th gear from 4000 – 6000 rpm, and the other we did in 5th gear from 4500 – 6000 rpm. Despite me having the advantage of pulling two more teeth at the rear than Rod, he pulled away from me to the tune of approximately 15 yards on both roll-ons. Long time KLR master rider Ron Jensen who is now on a 650 V-Strom was amazed considering that both engines have stock bore, stock compression, stock jetting and near stock exhaust.

The Cycle dyno reported 37.1hp for the “A” model and the dyno now at Cycle World registered 34.8hp for the new “E” model. We think Rod’s engine has at least 40 ponies.

What tickles Rod is that he’s getting considerably better gas mileage than before.  On a recent 250 mile paved mountain ride with Pauline me, Rod’s bike got 61mpg from fill-up to fill-up.

How can you beat having a cleaner running engine with more horsepower and increased gas mileage?

Rod has one remaining problem; with more ponies came some clutch slippage. Rod will soon have our ace mechanic and suspension guy Ed Runnels install new clutch plates and 15% stronger clutch springs.

 Bits and Pieces, by Elden Carl

 The other day I sent out 10 emails from my “Spot” while located in the San Diego County mountains on a rather hot day. When I got home Pauline informed me that Kurt Grife had called from his home on the cool comfortable central coast of California regarding the “Spot” in question. Kurt asked Pauline if I had my “cool” vest with me. When Pauline replied in the negative Kurt suggested she remind me that I own a “cool” vest which I should find and use in the hot weather.

You know you’re old when a Baja riding companion has to watch over you from

300 miles away. “OK Kurt I’ll fess up! Pauline made me dig out my cool vest and it now hangs next to my perforated summer jacket. And yes, I promise to use it appropriately this summer. Muchisimas gracias senior grandote.”