Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hydraulic clutch fluid

Sitting at a long red light yesterday, I began to stare at the dingy, dirty colour of the hydraulic fluid in the clutch reservoir. On my noon hour, I zipped over to the local KTM dealer -- a very small shop called KTM  GST-Shop. The owner seems like a real hardcore KTM dude, with a motocross and supermoto background. There is a much bigger KTM dealer in Berlin, but a little further away and not enough time to get there on my lunch break. I'll take a ride some Saturday.

I picked up a bottle of Magura Blood mineral oil for the clutch, and while I was there, I also grabbed the KTM factory 18mm handlebar mount riser kit (identical to this). I spent about 30 minutes flushing out the old grimey fluid this evening an refilling with the fresh Magura oil. Went for a very quick test ride and the clutch pull does feel a little better. I plan to do the same for the front and rear brake fluid over the winter.

While I was in the mood to spend $$, I also bought a 16-tooth front sprocket. The '06-'07 Super Duke came stock with 17/38 gearing, while models from '08 and newer have had 16/38. I have found the gearing on my '06 to be very tall ...... let the clutch out in first gear just fast enough to get rolling  (forget about accelerating) and by the time the bike is in motion, you're already doing 35-40 km/hr. Very hard to manage at low speeds in traffic -- requires lots of feathering the clutch. So, a 16-tooth sprocket should make things more rideable -- or so I thought. 

So, tonight as I removed the countershaft sprocket, I happened to notice there was already an aftermarket JT 16-tooth on there. Shit @%#! ...  I guess the previous owner beat me to it. But even still, it's geared very tall, I find. Many folks on the forum say that 16/40 or 16/41 gearing is the best compromise for street riding. I guess I may look at replacing the rear 38 with a 40 or 41 at some point.  I did check and the original 38-tooth is definitely on the rear.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New ride - KTM 990 Super Duke

It's been about 6 weeks since I moved to Berlin, Germany and about 3 months since I sold the WR250, and 5 months since I sold the DR650. My search for a bike in Berlin began before I arrived. The website was my primary search tool.

I managed to find a very nice specimen in beautiful condition with low mileage: a 2006 KTM 990 Super Duke. Bought it from a local BMW shop that took it as a trade-in. I went for an hour long test ride last Saturday. Lots of power, comfy riding position, awesome brakes, accurate suspension, impeccable fueling, and an addictive growl from the exhaust pipes. I won't get to take it home for a few more days because I need to arrange a license plate, registration transfer, insurance, etc. Being a newcomer to Germany means I'm still learning my way through the bureaucratic red tape, but I expect to get it home shortly. The upside is that since buying the bike, I have arranged to rent a private garage just a short walk from home.

2006 KTM 990 Super Duke

If you'd like to read more about the Super Duke, click here

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Berlin bikes

It's been a month since I moved to Berlin.  For the moment I have no wheels, except a mountain bike. I've been looking around casually -- online and a few bike shops. Just kicking the tires to see what's out there.

I've also been taking photos of bikes I find interesting on the street. Some I like, some not so much. But for the most part, I'm snapping photos of bikes you don't see often in North America (or bikes you never see there). There are even a few car photos.

Anyway, here they are. Enjoy.