Sunday was spent working on the KLR. I really wanted to go for a ride a couple weeks ago, but even though I’ve had it on a battery tender, it wouldn’t start. The stock battery put up with my abuse for two years, and finally figured out it wasn’t going to change me and moved on (is there a specific ribbon color for abused & neglected motorcycle batteries?). After looking around at some replacement options, I settled on a kit from Happy Trail.
It took two weeks (with no communication from them) before they shipped, which sucked. It’s tough to be driving around in a truck on a nice sunny day and see a bunch of bikes on the road. Other than that I was pretty happy with the kit. I got it installed in just a few hours (I should note that this isn’t just a battery replacement. This is a kit, altering how the battery mounts on the bike, and replacing the factory battery cables). The Odyssey battery actually sits on its side in he bike, and there’s a bit of re-wiring involved in making that happen. The whole process is pretty involved. If anyone is interested, you can see videos & pictures here.
During the process, you have to unbolt the exhaust header so you can swivel the pipe out of the way, and get to the negative battery cable’s frame mount. Imagine my surprise finding the exhaust header bolts not even finger tight, but barely hanging on the threads. This sort of thing really shouldn’t surprise me anymore. What else do you expect from a thumper, though, right?
The culmination of all this work was a nice relaxing bike ride. We haven’t had the bikes out since we moved up here in October, and that’s way too long. Unfortunately, Joe didn’t feel like working on his bike, so it was a solo ride. His loss! I didn’t stop anywhere exciting (Starbucks & Walmart), and I didn’t take any pictures. But damn if it didn’t make my whole week to be back on two wheels. I don’t know if it was having a solid new battery in there, or tightening up the exhaust system, but it seemed to run a little better than I remember, too.
Depending on the volunteer duties, I might even be able to ride it for the Spring Fever Poker Run!