Last week I managed to get in a decent ride. We're in the middle of summer and having a heat wave, so it was pretty hot. It ranged from 90° to 110°, at least in fair weather.
The first leg of the trip was a two-day ride up to Sacramento to hook up with my buddy Tim. The objective was to ride all back roads and I managed to ride some of my favorites, CA58, Indian Valley, Peachtree, Mt. Hamilton, and San Antonio Valley. Picked up a couple of new roads, Mines Road and a bunch of stuff in the delta area near Rio Vista, plus most of the levees around Sacramento.
I overnighted at Pinnacles National Park. The campground is so-so, but they get you for an entry fee and a campsite fee, so I can't recommend it unless you just really want to stay there. I stayed because I'd never been there and SLOKLR used to rave about it.
The second leg of the trip was a day ride up over Mormon Immigrant Trail, then south and east on CA 4 to go over Ebbett's Pass. Stopped at Alpine Lake for a late lunch and spent two hours there waiting out a summer thunderstorm. On the way back to Sacramento there were a bunch of new back roads between CA 4 and US 50.
The third leg was a short trip out to Winters for lunch, followed by a ride out and back to Angwin. I had a pinched nerve in my neck from early in the ride, so I wasn't in the best of shape or moods, but it was a good ride.
The fourth leg was the usual blast down I5, up the Grapevine and over Tejon Pass. This is the same ride that tried hard to kill me last year, and this year didn't disappoint. Tejon Pass has it in for me. I had heard that there was a slight chance of rain in the pass, so I knew that, 100%, I was going to see rain. It was torrential. Folks were pulling off the road and waiting it out. Traffic was moving at 30 miles an hour. Most had their four-ways going, including me. Water was running in the road and the rain was hard and felt like hail coming down. Lightning was hitting the hills on both sides of the road quite frequently. Fortunately, I had my heat vest on because I had been running in ambients near 100°, so it soaked up a good bit of the moisture. The temperatures dropped to 70° during the storm, but after about 15 miles the skies cleared and the temps shot back up to about 95°. The rest of the ride was uneventful and cool because the vest got recharged.
Here's what the ride looked like. North is to the left.
I gathered some data on oil temps.
Conclusions, at decent moving speeds and with a Thermo-Bob, coolant doesn't care much what the ambient temperature is nor what the engine load is . Oil cares a lot what ambient conditions and engine load are. Taping off the holes in the engine guard and skid plate doesn't do much, maybe 4°, but, arguably, taping off the holes and the gap between the guard and the plate does more. I'm going to have to wait for winter to see if the taping helps when things are much cooler. As I have noticed before, if you add cold, wet air to the mix the oil temperatures plummet. During the rainstorm on the pass, when I was finally able to look down and see the oil temperature, it was 165° and climbing when it should have been at around 200°, given the ambient of 70°.
And the Wössner? Nice. Though I rode mostly in the 4000-5000RPM range, it loves to rev and quickly. Power was plentiful. It ran up the Grapevine Hill at 75mph inf 5th as effortlessly as it would run 75mph on the flats. No where near full throttle. Someday I'll get back over to Cholame Valley Road and see what it will do. My current gear is a 16/43 with a KLR600 primary, so about the same as stock KLR650 gearing. Might be fun to put a 17 on it for a speed run.
Problems. My neutral switch seems spotty, so it needs to be swapped out. The Vapor tach is smooth and rock solid, but cuts out somewhere north of 6500RPM. I think that means that the resistor I have in the tach line is too small. That was not much of a problem, as I pretty much kept it under 5000RPM. The USB port died, and I needed it. Piece of cheap Chinese crap.
Things I was concerned about but didn't need to be. The Gen 1 ignition worked flawlessly. The new VRR worked perfectly. The KLR600 bits and the kick start train didn't give any problems. Oil consumption was not measurable.
I have an oil sample with 100 miles on it that I have been saving up to send in with the next sample. I'm going to drop the oil and send off the two samples of Rotella. The new oil will be Kawasaki oil.