CJ’s Journey to WV and some product reviews…

Hello fellow bloggernauts.  I have received some updates and product reviews from the likes of Craig Johnson and Matthew Fehrmann regarding the Hatfield-McCoy trailriding experience.  Here’s the scoop, in CJ’s words, Matthew’s beautiful photos, and my proofreading and commentary (my commentary is written in pink- you can choose to ignore my snarky comments, but I might throw a few insightful ones in there, too).

April 9th.

Luggage on and time to go!

Katie and I finished packing (I’ m not sure it’s fair that I had to help pack for a trip I couldn’t go on…) and I was ready to head out on a bike I didn’t even test ride around the block. I’m half a day behind. I trust my work and the help of my great friends Joe (DeiselJoe) and Mark that stayed late (2 am for Pete’s sake!!) turning wrench and holding lights as we mounted new parts and drilled holes in prototype pieces.

I headed out around 12:30 (CT), overcast and 47F. Gerbings liner already warming up and keeping the chill away. My plan was to get as far as I could, without being stupid (I’ll keep my comment to myself here).  I had 12 hours  and 625 miles to go and I had not been on a bike since last Fall (End of OCT), About 6 months ago. My 2006 KTM 950 ADV S now has 76,933 miles on it and still willing to take me on these crazy trips.

The further I got south the warmer it got, and I was able to turn down the Heat Troller on the Gerbings a little. By the time I hit Chicago it was sunny and 65F.

Big delays in downtown Chicago, but at least with my I-pass (If you don’t have an I-pass, get one.  It works on tolls pretty much through the country, saving $ and time.  Check out their website for tolls where it works), I can zip through the tolls without digging for change. Such a handy device for bike riders.

Soon I’m into Indiana and the bike is just humming away like last season.
It’s now 70F and at the first rest stop I get to I pull over to swap some gear.

I had been using my HELD Warm and dry gloves up to this point and it was time to get them off and get on a lighter set.  They worked GREAT.  I have tried many gloves over the years, from ATVs, Snowmobiles, and now motorcycles, these really are the best colder weather glove I’ve ever owned. They keep the wind off you so you stay warm, but they are not bulking like many other gloves. The palms are still thin enough to get the heat from your heated grips. I found no tight spots or odd seams on the inside. I have not tried them in the WET yet….I’m sure my day will come. They allow wonderful feel for the controls, one HUGE plus that may other gloves failed to offer. (What I thought looked cool about them is that they have a built-in wiper blade on the index finger to help wipe rain off your faceshield.)
Now that it’s warmer I swapped on the set of Namib. I found that these ran a little larger than the Warm and Dry. I use a size 10 W&D, but size 9 Namib. These are a shorter glove that stop just past the wrist, but still have very nice protection in them IF that would ever be needed.

I’m also testing out a set of Heidenau K60 Scouts front and rear.  When I mount tires I don’t balance them.  I guess it’s a personal thing.  I just slap them on, paint mark- If they have one- to the valve core, air up and go.  With a knobby, I’ve found that I don’t really notice a difference, so I save the time for other things (like basket weaving and salsa dancing).  I mount my own tires with tire irons to keep in practice for field repairs.  I found these to be no different mounting than any others I have used.  I will be using a 21″ front and a 150/80-18″ rear.  As soon as I rolled out of the driveway, I noticed how smooth they were.  Once I got them up to speed, I was blown away. They are stable, smooth, and predictable.  They have great feel and manners on the road in the dry.  No rain here yet, but might get some later to test that on.

We’ve been working on some LC8 Rekluse changes to setup, and I think we’ll need to try a few more setups to get this dialed in better.  I’m very happy with the Rekluse system and this is the first time in the last 50,000 miles I have ever changed its setup.  I thought, what the heck.

In Harrison, OH I gassed up for the first time after leaving Mukwonago– 376 miles later.  I was staying a steady 70 on the freeway and run 17/45 gearing with luggage.  I got 34 MPG on this stretch, pretty good I thought.

I found a Travel lodge South of Cincinnati around 9pm and grabbed some food at the local White Castle (You sure can never go wrong with a White Castle!!!).

I called the guys en route to Matewan, and everything was going well for them.  They would be there that night.

I hit the hay around 11:30pm (ET) after 410 miles.

Overall, it was a great day.  A long day and I was tired, but it felt great to be back on the bike again. I look forward to sunday when I can get in the to hills and meets the guys for our first Spring Dual Sport Ride.

Until next time, CJ and Katie.

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