Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kawasaki KLR 650 Camo “Trail Recon” ADV Bike Project Report

QWR's 2017 Kawasaki KLR 650 Camo "Trail Recon" Project Build

QWR believes the 2017 SheetIron Dual Sport Ride was the perfect venue from which to announce a long overdue vehicle upgrade to our “Adventure Bike” module.  

Hosted by the Oakland Motorcycle Club, the annual event stages from the Stonyford Rodeo Grounds where approximately 500 dual sport and adventure bike enthusiasts travel on public land routes and county/state paved/non-paved roads from the eastern border of the Mendocino National Forest through BLM’s Cow Mountain OHV Area to the coastal town of Fort Bragg, California.

QWR selected Kawasaki’s KLR Camo 650 for our “Trail Recon” Adventure bike project.  The goal was to build a trail-worthy and dependable bike capable of both single and multi-day long range trail recon trips on Forest Service and BLM lands to inventory and/or assess current road/trail conditions and to analyze routes for future designation recommendations to enhance high quality backcountry access for adventure motorcyclists.

TUSK ADV/DS Crash Guards

The first order of the day was to contact our friends at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC for a set of their popular TUSK Dual Sport/ADV Crash/Engine Guards to protect the bike should it have any unplanned meeting with trail obstacles.  Installation was straight forward.

TUSK Aluminum Panniers w Pannier Racks

 Next on the list was a set of their TUSK Aluminum Panniers with Pannier Racks.  They were ordered in size Medium so as to keep a slimmer profile while still being able to hold tools, tire tubes, first aid kit, BIG BOY Silky Folding Saw, modest camping supplies, and other necessities. 

SW-Motech Centerstand
The folks at Twisted Throttle signed on to help with some cool SW- Motech products to further improve the functionality of the bike with a center stand to aid with tire/tube repairs out in the boondocks.

SW-Motech Skid Plate

Next was installation of the SW-Motech aluminum skid plate/engine guard which helps protect the bike’s underbelly from unexpected impacts from sharp rocks or other hard obstacles.

SW-Motech DAYBAG 600

The SW-Motech Day Bag 600 was selected for those multi-day overnight trips where extra clothes and other gear are needed to improve any overnight stay in the backcountry.

IMS ADV 2 Footpegs and Shifter

Being a fan of IMS products, QWR wanted to add the IMS ADV 2 stainless steel footpegs which offer the rider a large platform upon which to stand.   They are very comfortable and help instill a sense of security.  The IMS shifter enhanced the rider’s shifting ability with adventure boots on.

QWR has chosen to evaluate the bike with the current factory suspension that was recently upgraded.  Having done 450 miles over the last few days on paved and native surfaced roads might have proved to be a wise choice.

Seat Concepts KLR 650 Seat

Over the years, QWR has become a big fan of Seat Concepts and the giant strides they have made in off-road and adventure seat comfort.   Getting one of Seat Concepts' KLR seats was a must have and was put to good use during this recent trail recon ride.

MRA-Vario Touring Windscreen

Another product to help complete the initial build was a MRA-Vario Touring Windscreen from Twisted Throttle.  It deflects the wind stream at highway speeds to just above the visor on my KLIM F4 helmet while allowing an unobstructed view of the trail.

Kawasaki KLR 650 Tank Bag

 Holding small items like cameras, maps, air gauge, power bar, cell phone, reading glasses, etc. was given to Kawasaki’s TRANS TANK BAG.  The padded tank bag has numerous zipped pockets or sections where you can stow items neatly away.  It has a very custom fit and blends in well with the overall “Camo” or Team Stealth concept of the bike build.

Emgo Rear Trunk

Lastly, QWR wanted a small locking trunk so we selected the Emgo Travel Trunk that holds additional small to medium sized items.

QWR believes that riding 450 miles over the last few days on county paved and/or gravel roads and Forest Service dirt roads and trails in elevations from 1,500 ft. to 6,000 ft.  was a good initial test for our Trail Recon Project Build.  The Kawasaki Camo KLR 650 performed flawlessly and got 50 mpg which gives it a range of about 250 miles or so.

Trail Recon ADV Bike on Mendocino NF

All of the products worked in harmony to help create our official Trail Recon Adventure Bike that has been dedicated to help ADV and DS riders enjoy continued access to high-quality backcountry recreational experiences for current and future generations.

FS OHV Route - Mendocino NF

QWR wants to thank our following partners and sponsors;  Kawasaki Motor Corps., U.S.A, Roseville Kawasaki, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Twisted Throttle, IMS, and Seat Concepts for their generous support of this project and our efforts to promote and protect responsible motorized recreation on public lands.

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