Monday, 4 August 2014

Powder Coat

I've been pretty busy with work for the last couple of months and I haven't been able to get much workshop time. What little workshop time I've had has been spent working on stuff for other people so my various projects have been neglected.

On Friday I picked up some stuff for the Buell and the Africa Twin projects from Tallaght Powder Coating and so I got to spend some time on them over the long weekend. The Africa Twin is very much a long term thing, but the Buell should be back on the road in a couple of weeks.

Powder Coat

#PowderCoating #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Kawasaki KLR 250

I just picked an old Kawasaki KLR 250. I went to look at it last week and it seems salvageable so last night Noel collected it on his stunt-bike trailer and dropped it out to the workshop.

Why a KLR 250? Well, a couple of reasons really...

Firstly, I want something pretty cheap. I don't anticipate this bike getting a lot of use and I don't want to tie up a lot of cash in it.

I want a field/trail bike that's light and manageable so I don't really want anything bigger than a 400cc. I don't have much use for a motocrosser because I'm not interested in going terribly fast and because trail riding is for all intents and purposes, illegal in Ireland so if you're going to do it, something quiet and discreet is probably best. And, although I love riding two-strokes, for me reliability trumps thrills - that's just the way I roll.

I considered an XL250, but my prior experiences of Honda air-cooled singles has been poor and so I'd prefer something liquid-cooled, particularly as a lot of my trail riding is done at low speed in forestry.

So, cheap, light, four-stroke, liquid-cooled...

KLR 250s were made from 1985 through to 2005 which is a pretty long production run (AFAIK, the KLR 650 which appeared at the same time is still in production now!). Both the 250 and 650 were adopted by the US military who obviously had enough purchasing power to convince Kawasaki to leave well enough alone and so neither the 250 nor 650 changed very much over their production run.

This is something I find quite interesting - the way some things reach a level of 'good enough' and avoid becoming obsolete. Other examples of this are the Colt 1911(developed in 1911 and still in limited production over 100 years later), likewise the AK47, the Piper Cub (developed in the '30s, still in production) and a couple of years ago in Los Angeles, I met a cop who was riding a Kawasaki Z1000 exactly the same as the ones featured in CHiPs in the mid '70s - it was brand new! Same 8-valve air-cooled motor, same skinny tyres, same single piston brakes...

Anyway, I haven't had a very good look at my new purchase yet, but hopefully it'll be a reasonably quick and easy recommission. Watch this space...

Kawasaki KLR 250

#KLR250 #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage