Monday, November 21, 2011


Anyone living with a chronic disease is forced to make changes in their life.  My life has been full of them over the last 8 years.  Some changes were out of necessity while some changes came from a personal desire to continue doing something I love to do.   While my RA has been semi behaved for the last couple of months, it has reminded me of our impending winter this past week.  We have had a couple of cold fronts move through and I would notice more stiffness and pain as much as six hours ahead of the fronts moving in.  I can hardly wait til the real winter starts ... I was getting bored with feeling reasonably good.
My latest change involves purchasing a new motorcycle to make it easier to ride with RA.  Saturday I bought a 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 in pristine condition.  It was painfully stock and obvious that the bike had never left the asphalt, it had street tires on it.  I couldn't help myself, I had to take it out for a ride today.  Obviously it was not going to handle very well riding it on dirt with street tires, but I was amazed at how smooth the ride was on it.  The bigger, heavier bike was absorbing so much of the vibration and shock while riding ... my plan for this bike appears that it may work out.  I have my work cut out for me though, phase 1 will involve stiffening up the suspension while mounting some Dunlop 606 tires front and back and moving the license plate location.  Phase 2 will see the addition of  handguurds, handguard protectors, GPS mount, triple density grips and possibly grip heaters.  Phase 3 will consist of a slip on FMF Powercore 4 exhaust, opening the air box up, possibly rejetting the carb if needed and a rear master cylinder guard.  There are other mods I am wanting to do to it, but that will get me started anyway.

I would like to wish everyone out there a Happy Thanksgiving.  I can't believe it's already time for Thanksgiving, where has this year gone to?  May you be able to enjoy it with family and friends.


Laurie Grassi said...

Look fabulous, Terry! May you have much fun on it! :) L

deb aka abcsofra said...

So where is the pic of you on this new fab bike? Can't wait to see you on it. And I just know that this modification will keep your face in the wind and on the paths again. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

tharr said...

Laurie, thank you, so good to hear from you! I hope you are doing well these days.

Deb, my bike looks just like the stock photo but with mud on it sitting in the garage. It will take a couple of months to get all of the mods done but I think it is going to be worthwhile. Just as long as I can keep it from falling on me! Thank you.

Wren said...

Sounds like this new bike is just the thing to keep you busy and motivated during the cold, wet, and often painful winter months, Terry. That's one beautiful bike. It'll be fun comparing the fully modified version to the photo you posted today!

Here's wishing you and your family a joyful and bounteous Thanksgiving.

rheumforgod said...

How exciting! A new bike! Praying you enjoy endless hours of riding as comfortable as possible. Were it not for the things I love doing, I might go a little crazy. Glad you keep managing to ride.

I find it so fascinating that all of us seem to painfully feel the shifts in the weather. My body aches when the barometer is about to drop here in TX.

Have fun with that bike! Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving!

Candied Frogs said...

Hey Tharr, Looking forward to following your exploits on that fine looking KLX650!! I've been a street rider for many years and I just took up riding into the woods on a KLX250. I'm LOVING every minute of it. Shoulda started doing this years ago.

Anonymous said...

Awesome choice. I know it's not hard core, but I have confidence that you will make it work and have a cool winter project to boot.
Funny about you mentioning a slip on, I'll never forget my first Jardine slip on for a CB550 Four. I was so afraid to take a hack saw to that pipe. Things are feeling more like winter each day here.
Rubber side down and have a great time with family and friends this holiday.
Phil - Syracuse

tharr said...

Wren, it was unbelievable how much more comfortable the bike rides. Of course you give up stability and some control to get the comfort so I am going to see if I can't gain some of that back through some mods to the bike. I love working on them almost as much as riding them so it will be fun in the garage as well. The weather changes have hurt more than normal here lately, hope that is not a sign of things to come with this winter.

mary said...

The bike looks great Terry!! Enjoy your winter project.
Almanac says early snow then a warm winter. Let's hope.

tharr said...

Kelli, so good to hear from you!! Thank you, I have no doubt if it were not for riding and working on them, I would not be doing nearly as good as I am. They keep me focused and I have something to look forward to. The weather changes have really hammered me recently. I thought maybe it was just me. Talk to you later.

Hello Andy, nice to meet you. Always love running into fellow enthusiasts!  We come from opposite sides of the tracks (dirt and street) but meet in the middle.  Dual sport is gaining in popularity and growing by leaps and bounds.  I have a ton of work cut out for me with my 650 but I'm anxious to see how it works out.  Besides, I like working on them almost as much as I like riding them.

Hey Phil, how ya been buddy? It's pretty awkward feeling jumping off of the KTM onto the KLR. I like working on them, just need a boatload of money to get started. Things have changed a LOT since the days of the CB550 (what a cool bike though), aftermarket parts are huge now. It's much simpler to work on them and to find what parts you need than it was 35 years ago. Dreading winter big time already ... and we haven't even dipped down below freezing yet. Thanks Phil, you too!

Thank you Mary. I am going to keep a log of the before and after photos as I build this bike. Just waiting on 3 boxes of parts right now to get started. I could deal with getting winter over quick and early then warm up a bit.

Lana said...

RA has definitely forced us to make changes - some for the better, some not. Like you, I am starting to feel winter in my joints. Congratulations on new bike and I hope you really enjoy it. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

tharr said...

Lana, I am already dreading winter. I hope it won't be a bad one but the way the rest of the year has been, I'm expecting the worse. Thanks, I think it will definitely make it easier on me riding (as long as I can keep it off of me).