Upcoming trip to Canada and the East Coast

Starting on Friday 20th, I'll be riding my bike to Detroit to meet up with a co-worker.  From there, we're going to cross the boarder into Windsor and ride around a few cities in Canada to meet some customers.  After that we'll head back to his place in New Hampshire, and I'll hang out there for a day before I head home.  Below is the rough route I'll be taking:


View Larger Map

 Although, I'll be doing a lot of higway miles, I hope to stay mostly on two lane highways and check out some nice senery.  Along the way, I'll be camping in Nebraska, and Iowa.  I'll also be camping on the way back, but I haven't decided where I'll be camping yet.


Last night I mounted my panniers and tank bag, and started test loading my stuff.  I wanted to make sure I can fit all my camping gear, and also make sure my tent rode well on the lid of my right pannier.  Here is the setup so far:


I'm pretty much ready to go, but the other day when I did my first oil change, I forgot to put the crush washer back on the drain bolt for the oil, so now I have a slow drip.  Tonight, I'm gonna pull the bolt off quickly, and slip the washer on.  I've got some extra oil, so whatever I loose, I'll replace.  After that, I should be ready to rock for 3k miles or so.  I plan on taking video and pictures along the way, and I'm gonna try to keep this blog up to date as I'm crusing along.  I may also do a ride report on ADVrider, but I haven't decided yet.

- - Rob


Let the adventure begin

So last Thursday I finally picked up a new KTM 990 Adventure.  I would have posted on the blog sooner about it, but I've been too damn busy riding.  I've got just shy of 400 miles on it, and I didn't even get a chance to ride Saturday because we were celebrating Kim's birthday.  Anyway, you've probably heard me talk about this bike in the past (and Kim is ready to break up with me if she hears another word), but here it finally is:


I have purchased the panniers, but the stealership somehow didn't put the mounting hardware in the boxes, so I'm waiting (of course they have to order that stuff).  I really hope they get it to me before my upcoming cross country trip.  

This last weekend I had a chance to get it offroad, and seriously loved it!  This bike does everything: fast lane on the highway then right offraod like it's no sweat.  For more info on that ride, check out the ride report I posted on

I'm hoping to get back to really blogging it up on my moto blog now that I have a bike that really inspires me.


- - Rob


Glenwood Ride Report

I decided to just post my ride report on the ADV forums, because I've never done one there before.  Anyway, if you want to check it out, it's located here.


- - Rob


12 Volt Accessory Plug on Kim's Versys

I recently added a Ram Mount to Kim's bike to hold my Nuvi GPS so I can get my navigate on while I ride.  The Nuvi has a rechargable battery, so I've pretty much just been charging it before I go for a ride, and it has been holding out for a good 4 - 6 hours.  This isn't a problem for day rides, but on multi-day rides or those long days when I'm slabbing it as far as I can, I thought it might be nice to be able to charge the GPS or even run it from the bikes power.   So I decided to add an accessory plug so I could not only run the GPS, but charge my phone or camera battery while I ride.  Anyway, I took pictures, and here's a quick how to.

Disclaimer: I'm not an electrician, and I don't endorse taking your bike apart and adding stuff to it unless you want to.  In that case, go ahead.  Just don't come to me if you mess something up.  Modify at your own risk.


I started by going to Amazon and searching for "panel mount 12 volt plug" as well as heading over to the Kawasaki Versys Forums to see what others had done.  Anyway, here are the materials and tools I used:


Powerlet 12 Volt Panel Mount plug

10 feet of 12 gauge stranded wire (I ended up only using about 8 feet, but it's good to have a little extra)

30 amp inline fuse holder

10 amp automotive fuse

2 10 - 13 gauge butt connectors

8 or so zip ties

2 ring terminal connectors




Small bit

3/8 inch bit

Dremmal with sandpaper bit

Phillips screw driver

Alan wrench

Wire crimper with wire stripper

 The first thing I did was take the plug and figure out where on the dash I was going to mount it.  I lined it up and made a little center mark where I was planning on drilling using a sharpie.


Next I started to take the platics off the bike so I could get under the dash and take a look at how I was going to run the wire.  At first I just took one side off, but after getting in there, I could tell I was going to have to move the tank, so I took off the other side.  You can see in the picture below, I'm pointing to the wire bundle I wanted to follow, and you can see that it's not very exposed unless I move the tank.


In the picture above, I've removed the little black platic pieces that cover the edge of the tank.  You only have to remove one screw and the panel then pops out of the rubber gromets that are holding the rest of it in.  To remove the top two main fairings though, you have to remove the windscreen first.



After you get the screen off, there are about 5 more screws in each fairing that have to be taken out with the alan wrench.  Once you get those off, the fairings pop out of the one rubber grommet that is holding them in.  At this point, you pretty much have the bike where you need it to be to start your work.


You now have access to the back of the dash.


The next thing I did was drill the hole in the dash.  I started with a small bit and drilled a pilot hole.  I then moved up to a 3/8 inch bit.  Finally, I used my dremmel and bored out the hole to the size I needed.  You could probably do this all in one step with a hole saw bit, but I didn't have one, and didn't want to buy one.  If you do use a dremmel, make sure you go slow and check the size often.  You don't want to make the hole too big.


The big bit.


The dremmel.


Once I got the hole to the size I needed, I dropped the plug in and screwed the back knob on.


Once I had the plug mounted, I took off the two bolts that hold the tank on.  I carefully propped the tank up so I had full access to the cable pack I wanted to follow.


Now I started running the wire down the same path as the stock wire set.



Next, I cut the 10 foot piece of wire in half and mounted two ends in the plug that came with the Powerlet.  I slipped the plug into the Powerlet, and then laid the cable along the stock wire pack.  I roughly measured out where I wanted to splice in the fuse wire (right near the fuse box on the bike), and then pulled the cable back off and cut the hot wire where I wanted to splice in the fuse holder.  Once I got the fuse holder spliced in with the butt connectors, I began the final install of the wire.  I plugged it into the Powerlet and started loosley zip tieing it to the cable pack.


From here, I made sure I had enough cable at the back of the Powerlet to let the bars turn all the way both ways.  After verifying the clearance, I snugged down the zip ties and began mounting the wires to the battery.  I did this by measuring the remaining cable to the battery terminals, cutting the wire to length, and then crimping on the terminal connectors.


Now that I had everything wired up, I tested the plug and sat on the bike and checked the clearence of the wires again and turned the bars side to side.


Once I was satisfied that I had everything working, I trimmed the tails of the zip ties, and then put all the plastic back on.  Then I took it for a few hour ride.  Tomorrow, I'm going on a long ride, and I plan on running the GPS off of the new plug.  I'll see how it holds up.

Update: Yesterday, Kim and I took a 400 mile ride, and I ran the GPS off the new outlet all day.  I even left it plugged in when Kim and I stopped for gas and rested.  It worked like a charm, and kept the GPS charged no problem.  Here is another snapshot:

-- Rob


Things are on hold for the moment

Because I've been travelling a ton for work, and I recently sold my Aprilia, my moto blog is going to be on hold a few more weeks to a month.  I plan on getting back on this thing with the furry as soon as I buy my new bike (which should be in the next month or so).


- - Rob