BEAUTIFUL RIDE UP IN SMOKE - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-22-2006, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 284
BEAUTIFUL RIDE UP IN SMOKE

ops:

I took the ole gal out for about a 30 mile loop through some two lane curvy countryside on a beautiful, georgous day. Was doing a final check on my XM radio setup and softside saddle bag hookups. I have made numerous trips previously although less than 15 miles with no problem.

The ride was peaceful and very enjoyable, traffic very light and I was pretty much all to myself through the 2 lane stuff. Got to the last leg which was superslab for the last 7 miles. Doing 76 or so indicated at about 4500 rpm's. After about 3 miles at this speed a small car pulled up beside me and hung just back far enough that I couldn't see the occupants. We were on a 6 lane area at this time. 3 lanes each way. They then surged ahead slightly and then dropped back again. It was getting on my nerves. What they were in fact doing was trying to determine if my engine was blown or I was on fire. Yep. On fire. They flagged me over and I was able to read the passengers lips as he shouted..."you are on fire!!!" Talk about pucker factor. I knew he was dead serious although I didn't believe it till I was almost stopped and the smoke boiled past me. The exhaust side was in full flames by the time I jumped off. I burned my fingers getting the saddlebag loose. Luckily it was carrying just a few hand rags from working on the bike and a large soft drink from Burger King that I used to put out most of the fire. The bike got some very slight smoke damage that will easily be repaired.

I am very fortunate that those guys came along when they did. I owe them a nice steak dinner. Ever watch the show East Coast Choppers where the family builds custom bikes for the rich and famous? Well this guy was a dead ringer for the dad... handlebar mustache and all. Maybe it was him who knows?

All I know is I was very glad to get home and clean the mess up and still be in one piece.

I discovered what started the fire by the way. I put an additional spacer on the exhaust shield at the rear of the muffler just to give alittle more space between the bag and the pipe. I thought it was fire proof. Not. I have used these bags in the past with no problem on the highway so I'm sure that was the problem. Oh well. No saddlebags no more. :roll:
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-22-2006, 05:06 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 71
Damn, that really sucks. Glad that you and the bike are ok though.

When I first put my hard bags on, I thought that I wouldn't have any problems with heat, but I noticed after one ride that the plastic was getting hot enough to bow inwards. I bolted an extra piece of lightweight steel onto the rack between the exhaust and the bag, and that seems to have cured the problem for me.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-23-2006, 12:11 PM
wyd
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 23
Damn that could of been alot worse for you. Glad you made off the bike quick enough not to get too hurt and got the fire put out before your bike got destroyed. Wow that could of really been bad. Very cool that they flagged you down as well.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-27-2006, 03:31 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 15
More info?

I put a spacer plate between the stock guard and it seems much cooler, but???? Your bags just started on fire? Did they have any heat protection built into them? What kind of spacer did you have?That really sucks.

I once had someone flag me over in my 72 Chev. A rear bearing and seal failed and got hot with the grease on fire and the rear tire was ready to burst into flanes. Thankfully i was at an rv pull off that had water hoses.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-27-2006, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlover
More info?

I put a spacer plate between the stock guard and it seems much cooler, but???? Your bags just started on fire? Did they have any heat protection built into them? What kind of spacer did you have?That really sucks.

I once had someone flag me over in my 72 Chev. A rear bearing and seal failed and got hot with the grease on fire and the rear tire was ready to burst into flanes. Thankfully i was at an rv pull off that had water hoses.
Snowlover, the bags were with the bike from the previous owner a few years ago. From time to time I would use them and they were ok except for causing the right cover back near the exhaust to melt some. Having said that.... I tried to improve on the situation by adding a spacer of dubious construction that did ok til I really started some longer and faster rides and then it finally burst into flames and "melted" and stuck on the bag and muffler as it burned. Pieces of it dropped still burning down to my swingarm and made a mess. I for some reason felt this material was fire resistant....WRONG. Next time I'll use some aluminum like ZROD has done on his post titled "A strong and friendly hoss" or something like that.

Again, the bags did not have heat resistant sides on the insides, but were ok until I tried to "improve" the exhaust side. Hope this helps.
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