Sorry guys been a bit busy with the more mundane things in live (job) but here it is. The big KLE road test.
Holland to Cape Town by the eastern route. We took the auto train to Croatia and from there trough Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Soedan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and south Africa. Back by plane and the bikes per boat. It took us three month. With I think is the absolute minimum in which you can do this.
KLE 500 (2000 model)
- Rear spring in the second to stiffest setting (improves ofroading a lot, next time I put it in the stiffest setting)
- front suspension was already stiffened by the last owner, by putting some air in(I have been told this improves them a lot but it is a delicate operation, don’t over pressurize them.)
- I had a disk welded on the side stand, great improvement, still have it.
- D.I.D chain and sprocket, still amazingly good after the trip even the dessert sand doesn’t seem to damage them, my dealer who has Regina as a standard brand was really impressed.
- 1 long haired Dutch sheep skin. Yes I know I looks tacky, but my, does it improve that horrible seat.
- TKC 80 twinduros with we fitted in the south of Egypte. In cape town the rear one was bald, the front tire still had another 1000 K left. Good tires. Though there is something weird about fitting on of them on a KLE, the rear doesn’t really fit. There are two small bits of metal (welds?) on the inside of the triangle with knife out two grooves when you start riding. The grooves never went all the way through the knobblies but it was a scary first 100 ks. It didn’t ruin the tire either but still I think it is weird. Maybe a extra chain link will sort this out.
- re lubed the air filter. And did this ones on the trip (Kenya at PJ’s great place for spareparts and a good hangout) also greased the inside of the air filter.
- total fluid chance and valve clearance etc.
- I fitted a home made green painted tick chicken wire headlight protector, looked nicely agricultural. Not sure if you need one.
- Crash bars.
- put a mountain bike drinking flask (bidon) on the handelbares with two hoseclambs. I cot the idea from the toaratech webside. But they wanted 40 euros for it. My solution just 5 euros.
- GSM recharging outlet, with fuse. (cheap one from motozoom.com)
- removed the pilon footpegs. Saved 5 kilos. Because the exhaust was not covered any more it tried to melt my right boot. So I put some isolation on it (Croatian
can, cut up, filed with some slices from a wine cork en fitted with a hose clamp.) works great.
- two 5 liter Jericans on the back sides
- waterproof duffel back on the back. Get a real waterproof Ordlib one not the cheap copy I had.
- 50 cal ammo box bolted on the extreme rear as a safe. (I looked at proper boxes but my are they expensive, in theory this was also my emergency centre stand, thank god I didn’t need it)
- small tank bag.
- two bags, with I mounted from the tank to the crash bars. (type, army surplus Berghaus backpack sidebags, if that helps) worked great.
What did I notice:
- The before mentioned tire thing.
- fit a proper center stand. i didn’t need one but improvising one in the dessert did not look to good.
- it eats license plates with noblys, I read this before I went but did not believe it, so I lost my license plate somewhere in northern soedan. So mount it higher if your running knoblys
- great ofroader, never really needed all the toque it has. Nice and lite, my traveling mate rode a Africa twin, I kept calling it the pregnant sow
- lost my license plate.
- The rear wheel fender got cracked, probable because of the license plate thing, I put a monster tyrap around it and it still holds
- The plastic tube around the rear spring (I have no idea what it does, protection?) melted, but that never influenced the driving
- no punctures at all, weird aint it? My mate had just 2.
- Broke both my mirrors, one falling in Turky (my fault) an the other while it was being transported back (Thanks Maersk) so I fitted the new transalp ones (wel, cheap copies of those, looks great)
- I really want a bigger tank.
All in all great travel bike. My mate road a Honda Africa twin. I don’t really think there is something you cant do on a KLE with you can on a twin. And I think the KLE is a better offroader. I JUST WANT A BIGGER TANK.
here a you tube link offroading in the sudan. i"ll try to post some pictures to.
YouTube - Crossing sandpocket in Sudanese Nile route