Your Riding Safety Depends on Good Information

I began riding and working on motorcycles in 1955 after completing my Korean war service, and now more than a million miles and 63 years later I’m still at it. I’ve noticed that even with the proliferation of websites dedicated to motorcycling, there seems to be a  real lack of good information. I’ve come to believe that face to face communication makes it easier to evaluate both the information and the background knowledge of your source.

My best days as a student of motorcycling engineering and preparation were when I had personal relationships with people like Charles Curnutt who invented long travel staged rear suspension units. I also learned from Stig Pettersson of Pettersson Pro Suspension, who became the top builder and tuner of of Ohlin’s shock absorbers and still builds and services my custom KLR and DR Ohlin’s units. Scott Wexman, a licensed mechanical engineer and outstanding motorcycle mechanic, was a great mentor. Other professionals who shared their knowledge and expertise with me were the late Don Vesco, motorcycle racer and land speed two-wheeled record holder; Rob North, iconic frame builder who built Don Vesco’s racing frames; Vey de la Cruz, master motorcycle and jet ski engine builder and tuner; and Robert and Kenny Buchanan at “Buchanan’s Spokes and Wheels.” I have probably bought more rims and spokes from Buchanan’s since the early 1970’s than almost anyone. Without them I could not have corrected the many factory wheel mistakes that I have encountered.

Since the mid-fifties the above experts and a number of others have educated me, both through interesting phone calls and lots of face to face and hands-on instruction. Now, many years later, I appreciate every bit of information that was so generously shared with me. I truly hope that the information I share with my readers here is an extension of those many decades of expert advice.

Editor’s note:
Elden began writing Technical Insights columns 21 years ago for Gino Pokluda’s “Kawasaki Dual Sport News” and later for For the
past several years he has written exclusively for the Top Gun website.

Elden is more than willing to share the information he has acquired over his 63 years of motorcycling. If you have a question or problem you are trying to solve relating to the Suzuki DR650SE or the (soon to be extinct) Kawasaki KLR650, please send your question to Elden may respond to you directly (give us your phone number) or if it’s a question that we think would be of interest to all our readers, he may write an article addressing your question.