Monday, June 2, 2014

Preparations for the Yukon/Alaskan Adventure

Preparations for our adventure have begun in earnest.  We are now on countdown, 10 days to lift off.  Maybe only 9, depends on our schedule next week.  Anyway, our departure is rapidly descending upon us and I want to be ready.

I purchased new Ladies Klim Altitude riding gear a month or so ago.  I can totally attest that it is rain proof (snow, sleet and hail proof, too!).  I washed my gear and Eric's so we can spray it with bug be gone stuff.  I think that will be nice when we get north where the skeeters are gigantic.

This is the goo we sprayed on our gear.  I hope it lives up to it's reputation :-)

Guess this is just as good a time as any to give a quick review of my new Klim Altitude riding gear.  First, it's not cheap.  No, it's incredibly expensive and I expect it to last a long, long time.  After years of asking, Klim finally stepped up and produced a Ladies line of adventure riding style gear.  I'm pretty darn happy with it.  Well, except for the color.  It's almost white with silver inserts and orange trim.  I like the orange trim but the almost white is a fail.  It gets filthy in quick time and doesn't wash clean.  I wish they had used the darker grey/silver for the main sections rather than the almost white.

The jacket is well built with lots of pockets.  Good zippers and lots of adjustability in the arms, waist, hips and neck.  I really wish they had put gussets on the sleeve cuffs.  I can barely get my summer, light weight gloves under the cuffs.  My heavy winter gloves with long gauntlets go over the cuffs and I don't know what to do with my mid-weight waterproof gloves.  I'd like to tuck them under the cuffs but that won't work so I guess I'll have to try and tuck the cuffs under the small gauntlet of the gloves.  More on this as I try it out.  Regardless, a gusset in the cuffs would be awesome.  Also, the pockets are NOT waterproof.  Listen up Klim :-)

I have no problem wearing my heated jacket liner under the Klim jacket.  I have plenty of room in the neck (unlike Leslie).  I like that the front zipper is a two way zipper.  When sitting on the bike, I like to unzip a few inches from the bottom especially when using my heated liner.  That way, the electric connection is easy peasy.  I hate the placement of the neck adjustment cord.  It is in the center back of the neck and my long hair catches on it all the time and it pulls...not good.  I wish they had put the adjustment cord on the side.

Here is a pic of the gear.  Underneath, I'm wearing LD Comfort zip top (pink) and tights (black) along with Drymax Socks and my new SIDI Adventure Rain boots.  This will be my everyday riding gear.  I'll complement the gear with the appropriate gloves (depending on weather) and heated liner when needed.  In this pic, I'm all zipped up and ready to ride (after putting on helmet).


 The jacket has some really nice features, one of which is the ability to open the collar and secure it with snaps so it doesn't flip or flap around when moving at speed.  I really like that.

The jacket also has great vents.  When the weather heated up, I opened all the vents and gee, it was awesome.  Lots of airflow to keep me cool.  Wish I could say the same about the pants but I cant.  The pants have a great fit and are extremely comfortable and move and stretch easy, however, they do not vent very well and in the heat that is a problem.  Also, the front pockets on the pants are a joke.  They are shallow and I can't see a use for them at all.  That was disappointing.  However, like I said, the pants fit very well and are super comfortable both walking around and in the riding position.  The knee armor fits well with no adjustment needed.

I'm wearing my Sidi Adventure Rain boots and I LOVE them.  They fit perfect from day one although they squeak something fierce.  I won't be able to sneak up on anyone!  I like that they are waterproof...yes, I've verified that many times.  And I really like the lug soles.  That gives me a lot of confidence on dirt, gravel or rough surfaces.  Yep, I love these boots.   I know, they are dirty!  Our last ride involved a muddy water crossing on a dirt road ;-)


I'll also be wearing my Schuberth C3W helmet that has J&M speakers installed.  I love my Schuberth.  It fits well and is lightweight.  It has a flip up front and a wonderful drop down sun visor.  When I first got the helmet, we did have to "spoon" a bit to get it to fit my dinky head but now it's perfect.  I need to adjust my Pinlock visor as it got wet and fogged up last time I used it.  But, I think we can sort out this issue and make everything golden.  When it gets cold or wet, I use the LD Comfort helmet liner and it keeps my head nice and warm.  That is definitely placed in the easy to reach spot on the bike!


I'll post another more detailed blog at a later date about the gear and how it performs for me.  I just wanted to give you an overview of my set-up.

Here is what I look like all geared up for a ride.


Besides my riding gear, I have new RUMBUX skid plate and crash bars.  And bonus, crash bar bags!!  Yippee.  These awesome bars will replace my current SW Motech bars.  The RUMBUX are much more beefy and protect higher up.  I'm happy to have this upgrade to my F650GS.

 This picture (above) shows the SW Motech bars already installed on my bike and my new RUMBUX bars and bar bags on the garage floor.
 Oh yeah, baby, that's what I'm talking about.  Oh yes, I'm a happy girl.

This picture is with the SWMotech bars.


And here are the RUMBUX bars.  See how much beefier they are?  And, they offer better all over protection.
Here is a picture of the RUMBUX skid plate.  I'm debating on putting the radiator guard on or not.


So, as of today, I have new Rumbux crash bars and skidplate.  New brake pads front and rear.  New air filter and oil change with new oil filter.  The chain looks good (but I have a spare in the pannier).  New Heidenau K60 Scout tire on the rear and a Shenko 705 on the front.  I hope to replace the front in a few days if the replacement Heidenau shows up.  The local dealer ruined my original front Heidenau when they attempted to mount it.  They assure me they have ordered a new one for me but it hasn't shown up.  Regardless, I have a good set of new tires ready for our trip.

Eric and I both have fuel cells that we will keep mounted on the bikes for this adventure.  That will add a small level of comfort or just take us longer to run out of gas!

I spent time today cleaning out my panniers and repacking everything.  I checked all the emergency lights and made sure I have spare batteries.  I eliminated my Frog Toggs because my Klim gear is waterproof and I won't need the additional rain gear.  I checked over my tire repair kits and need to get some fresh glue but other than that, I'm good with stickies, plugs, proper tools and compressor.

I have a few tools (especially chain repair and replace tools!), chain lube, a first aid kit, rain cover, miscellaneous zip ties, tapes, glues, fuses and stuff one should probably have in case of emergency.  Yup, emergency lights, flashlights, flares, and whatever along with plenty of spare batteries.  Bungy cords and a cargo net along with several plastic ziplock bags are also in the panniers as well as spare oil filter and fuel filter.  I've tucked in foot and hand warmers (never know it might get chilly), space blanket, mosquito wipes, ear plugs, hat and belly bag.  There's probably more stuff but this is the meat of it.

I forget to mention some things because they are just part of my bike like the Spot tracker, ZUMO GPS, CB Radio, and volt meter.  Heated grips and heat troller for my electric jacket.  I also carry a can of Plexus with several clean cloths for cleaning my faceshield, windscreen and lights.

I have a Wolfman tankbag that I need to re-arrange.  Then, I think all I need to do is pack a set or two of street clothes, some shoes, a swimsuit and my toiletries and I'll be ready.  Oh, I'll definitely pack my cooler (a/k/a portable bar) with snacks, sodas and juice.  I already have a hydration system on the bike so will keep that full of ice and water.

LOL, I totally forgot to give information on our bikes!!  Eric is riding his 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere.  He currently has about 74,000 plus miles on it.  He is using Heidenau K60 Scouts both front and back.  He has a beautiful, custom Ernie Azevedo flat fuel cell mounted over the pillion area, RUMBUX crash bars and skid plate and a number of other customized farkles.

I'll be riding my 2011 BMW F650GS with about 74,000 plus miles on it.  Hahaha, Eric jumped ahead of me on miles because my bike was out for a good part of the riding season two years ago getting the engine rebuilt!  My bike is loaded with after market products - simply too many to list.  But, I have made it incredibly comfortable for me to stay on for long periods in any weather.

Thanks for reading and soon we'll be on our way.  I will try to be a good blogger and entertain you daily with pictures and stories of our ride.

Cheers for now,
Cletha





21 comments:

  1. What a lucky grrl to have Eric to ride with. He's pretty lucky too. I guess it's one of those win-win deals you sometimes encounter! :-)

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    1. HMarc, it is absolutely fabulous!!!! Definitely a win-win for us.

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  2. Good luck to you and Eric. Look forward to reading more.

    Gregg Lenentine

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    1. Thanks Gregg. I'll try to be a good blogger :-)

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  3. Nice write-ups. Will follow when I can!

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    1. Thanks Flyguy, I hope you enjoy!

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  4. It certainly is a win-win. I found the love of my life, and she rides motorcycles! Bonus for Cletha, she enjoys my bike valet services. ;-)

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  5. Very professionnal! Thanks for taking the time.

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    1. Thank you Andre'. I hope you follow us. We're so excited to take this trip and have been planning it for quite a while.

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  6. I am going to have to look into those crash bars. Keep the posts coming!! And have a great trip too. :)

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    1. Thanks Kelly. Sure hope to meet you in person some day. The crash bars are AWESOME!! They are made in South Africa and my hubby is the only US distributor. Since they bolted on to my bike so effortlessly, he'll be making posts on ADV and other forums about them. However, if you decide you want a set, let me know. Unfortunately, they are pricey :-(

      I'll try my best to be a good blogger. This will be a fun adventure.

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  7. I'm already enjoying what you have written so far so I can't wait to read your posts about the trip. It sounds like an awesome adventure! Love your rig with all the farkles and such. Can't believe it is a 650. It looks HUGE on the photos :) - Minna

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    1. Hahahaha, Minna. You did make me lol. It's a bitty bike compared to the GL1800 I used to ride :-) I love the little F650. Yup, she is farkled out quite well and does well for me. Would love to meet up with you in person. Maybe soon :-)

      I'll try to be a good blogger and not get distracted. I'd love to share our adventure with everyone!

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  8. Thanks for taking the time to share all your planning!! I will enjoy reading all your blogs Cletha!! I know you and Eric will have a great time and I will be following all your blogs!��

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    1. Thanks Becky. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Countdown has begun :-)

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  9. Best wishes on this ride. Following.

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    1. Thanks Yamatour. I'll make my best effort to stay current with the blog.

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  10. Looking forward to your reports. (Will miss meeting you in SLC after the 5 & Dime!)

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    1. I hope you enjoy my blogs! Yeah, there is never a good weekend...I love riding Steve's rallies but we decided to go to Alaska this year. Have fun in SLC!

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  11. Great summary of your bikes and preparation. It is nice to see another riding couple. Hub and I ride a 2011 1200GSA (his) and a 2008 1200GS (hers). I will be blogging about our trip in September, but living vicariously through your trip for now! :D Lynne

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    1. Fantastic Lynne. You'll have to provide me a link when you hit the road. I love travel and especially on the bikes!

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