At first, no. Turns out my intenet provider was sending them to spam BEFORE I ever got a chance to dowload the emails to my computer. I had to login to my Comcast account, turn off Comcast spam entirely, and then I was able to receive the emails on my computer.
I have been on two additional Nevada trips. The first was with the Tusk medium panniers and rack, and 326# of weight including rider (214#) and gear (112# including pannier weight). The second was with Nelson Rigg drybags and Precision side racks, and 295# of weight including rider (same 214#) and gear (81# including pannier weight). Note that the change from Tusk hard mediums plus rack to the Nelson Rigg soft bags plus PM rack alone saved 20-22#. That is a substantial decrease.
On the first trip I went over the Sierras on Foote's Crossing road, an old dirt, rocky, snotty, cliff-side mining road that led into Alleghany and the Sixteen to One mine. The bike handled just fine at anything over 3mph, but below that speed, in a rock garden and when trying to squeeze between a tree and an RV leaving camp in the Sierras, it oscillated. The difference between previous trips and this one was that at anything over 3mph I could push the KLR limits with no problem.
On the second trip, with the Nelson Rigg soft bags and Precision racks, I went over the Sierras to Moon Rocks OHV area to meet some camping friends, and then we rode Winnemuca Ranch Road 30 miles to the Dead Cow airstrip on a dry lake bed near Herlong for a fly-in and air drag racing. This dirt road included 2' deep water crossings, 45 degree off and on camber turns, and boatloads of rocks and sand. The KLR handled it all with aplomb except for the sand. My two friends on 250s blew past me and frequently had to wait for me, of course,....so the bike pairing was not so hot, but at the end of they day they were barn sour and ached badly, while I could have kept riding. I pointed that out to them, of course, just to ensure they understood the benefits of the KLR ;-) With the NR bags and Precision racks, there was absolutely no oscillation of any kind at any speed. I was also pulling out every dirt bike riding technique I have learned and really pushed the KLR too hard....and it still worked just fine, except for the suspension damping and sand performance.
Note that I had a 7.4 rear spring on both these trips, and the sag was still too much (~70-95mm) depending on whether the shock was hot or cold and whether I bounced too much on the seat before measuring....which I did once. Newbie mistake.
So, 31# less weight and changing to soft bags fully eliminated the problem, even with too much sag.
I am now able to ride the bike hard enough to see that the damping is a limiting factor. it hydraulically locks on high speed fork movement and the rear packs down at speed over bulldozer track ridges even on the softest damping setting. Time for Cogent!
The biggest difference between this bike when loaded and all the dirtbikes I have ridden is that you cannot enter a sandy area at high speed that is more than 1" deep without having serious trouble. Less than that is fine, but more than that results in instant push and discombobulation. Cogent is a partial solution but Seldridge still had problems with sand instability even with Cogent. I also found that I cannot hold the painted tank with my knees, as they just slip to the rear, so getting some friction stickers for the sides of the tank is a must for sand. I can't loosen my grip on the handlebars unless I can hold the tank with my knees.
Obviously my 34/36 F/R tire pressure doesn't help, but on this heavy bike I am not lowering the pressure.
Given the problem entering the sand at speed, I tend to ride slower (30 mph or less) at all times on roads which would tend to have sand. (Ironically, I can haul a$$ on rocky snotty roads). So, I get more time to enjoy the scenery around me and arrive at my destination refreshed and still raring to go! And laugh at my 250 buddies who are beat and exhausted from a measly 70 mile offroad ride!
I'll do the Cogent soon and see how that helps the sand performance...I know it will make all aspects of the offroad handling of the bike better.
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