KLRs Through The Darien Gap! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-22-2018, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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KLRs Through The Darien Gap!

Four KLR650 assaulted the Darien Gap, the trackless jungle between Panama and Colombia; three of them actually MADE it!

Here's the Ride Report:

Taking 4 KLRs THROUGH the Darien Gap, Leaving Deadhorse in November | Adventure Rider

Paul, I think you can see from this situation, riding out to obtain repair parts for the deadlined bike wasn't a practical option in the middle of the Darien Gap.

Again, judging from the text of the ride report, looks to me like the rider likely fried his clutch from improper operation/inexperience. Clutches last longest, in my opinion, when either FULLY engaged or FULLY disengaged. While "slipping," or "feathering" the clutch may be necessary in some cases (other than when starting from a stop), the practice involves a maintenance cost; sometimes, a high one, as the Darien party discovered . . .

--------------------------------------

Somehow, the party didn't try any field expedient to restore the ailing clutch's function (shimming clutch springs, swapping disks between the ailing KLR and the operational ones, etc.) . . . Since the clutches on the remaining "good" bikes failed in time (probably the cost of previous sidecar service by the bikes), without resupply of clutch disks available, abandoning the first clutch casualty bike and pressing on may have been the best approach.

If they ever enter a similar challenge, spare clutch packs will ride along!

----------------------------------------

Whatever, a daring, fascinating, and adventurous expedition!

Last edited by Damocles; 04-22-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-22-2018, 08:51 PM
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IMHO only, it could have been Too Easy to have had 4 in-operable KLR650's from an attempt of the 'makeshift' repair, which you envisioned. Then everyone would have been on foot.

pdwestman
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-23-2018, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
IMHO only, it could have been Too Easy to have had 4 in-operable KLR650's from an attempt of the 'makeshift' repair, which you envisioned. Then everyone would have been on foot.
Silly me, Paul! I thought I addressed this possible outcome in my post above:
Quote:
Somehow, the party didn't try any field expedient to restore the ailing clutch's function (shimming clutch springs, swapping disks between the ailing KLR and the operational ones, etc.) . . . Since the clutches on the remaining "good" bikes failed in time (probably the cost of previous sidecar service by the bikes), without resupply of clutch disks available, abandoning the first clutch casualty bike and pressing on may have been the best approach.

If they ever enter a similar challenge, spare clutch packs will ride along!
Regardless, even with your approach (no "makeshift repair"), they DID wind up with four inoperable KLRs on the journey (as described in the ADV post).

Lesson learned: If you set up your KLR650 up as a sidecar rig, and ride it through the snow from Deadhorse all the way into Panama to the Darien Gap, check your clutch disks BEFORE you then head toward Colombia.

(I still stand behind my MacGyveresque field expedients, especially when isolated with no plausible hope of repair part supply (no Kawasaki dealerships in the jungle)! )
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-23-2018, 08:17 AM
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So this made me think, when one of the bikes lost the clutch due to totally warm plates, what if you divied up the plates between three bikes. Would they all work more or less or does one, two or three worn plates mean the even if you have some good plates, that the clutch is dead. I don't know how many plates the klr has yet as I just got mine.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-23-2018, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroy75 View Post
So this made me think, when one of the bikes lost the clutch due to totally warm plates, what if you divied up the plates between three bikes. Would they all work more or less or does one, two or three worn plates mean the even if you have some good plates, that the clutch is dead. I don't know how many plates the klr has yet as I just got mine.
I thought the same patroy75, as posted above (besides and/or in addition to shimming the clutch springs). However, the three "good" bikes lost their clutches later in the journey, too.

Thus, as pdwestman suggests, the expedient may have meant only that ALL bikes would be deadlined sooner.

No hope of parts supply; the inevitable delay waiting for parts would have meant the expedition would have run out of money, and all the "indigenous" helpers would have gone home, leaving the motorcyclists to practice their survival skills (if the cartels/rebels/head-hunters didn't get them).

Abandoning a KLR650 in the jungle pains me; yet--the decision may have been the best one at the time, under the circumstances.

Regardless, gotta hand it to the expedition for its daring and perseverance. Looking forward to reading about the continuing trek southward to the tip of South America, and viewing the movie they shot along the way.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-24-2018, 12:23 PM
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Awesome story to say the least. I grew up in Brazil FYI and that country would be a dream on this bike.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-21-2018, 11:18 AM
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Thisn is a ride that I've been wanting to do for awhile, now. I'm not too sure about the KLR, though. I like the bike, but doesn't seem to be for me.
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