RR68: Return to Hollister

With the KTM 990, this has been a year of returning to adv riding. First Metcalf, then Carnegie and now Hollister.

I met with Ayon (Honda CRF250L Rally) and we rode down to Hollister Hills on Thanksgiving Sunday morning. We paid the $5 to get in and staged near the beginner area on the right. I took off my top box and went around the kids track a couple of times. I had put on a TKC80 tire on the front a few days ago (at home that too) and I could instantly feel that my front wheel behaved differently in the dirt. I was more confident for sure and I liked the feeling of a more grippy / knobby dirt tire.

We spent a couple of hours at Hollister Hills and covered all the green trails:

  • Rancho Road and Wood Camp return
  • Harmony Gate and North Canyon return
  • Lower Field Road and return

It was easy work for Ayon on his Rally, maybe a little more for me on the big KTM. Nonetheless we had good fun, I enjoyed a beer too!


Speedometer magnet replacement

On the last day of my 3 day trip to Nevada the speedometer on my 2002 SV650 stopped working. It actually worked intermittently, showing speeds of 40-50mph. A quick Google search showed that the speedo magnet could fail.

Here is the broken one (12 years, 22k miles of usage) next to a new OEM (part number 34983-21E00) I picked up from the local dealer

It was a real easy swap, 15 minutes tops. The big challenge was to mount back the front wheel alone using a combination of my hands and feet. I managed it somehow 🙂 The front stand definitely helped.

Beware of Shinko’s!

I’ve not been happy with my Shinko 244’s.  It’s been less than 2000 miles, and I’ve lost several center knobs. See pictures below showing three missing center knobbies. I’ve now counted 6 lost knobs in all.

There is also a discussion on SBR here and I can find tons of links online pointing to problems with Shinko’s. I’m going to take this up with motorcycle superstore (where I bought the tires), but more importantly, I’m staying away from Shinko’s.

Tires and Gel Grips

I recently installed a new set of front and rear tires. This has really made a world of difference. Cornering has become easier, vibrations have reduced and the high speed shimmy is noticeably gone.

I put on Shinko 244s ( Rears 5.10-17 and Fronts 3.00-21 ) after reading up a few reviews. I wanted a tire with good road comfort, but also one that allows me to head out to Carnegie or Metcalf every once in a while. I was also considering the Kenda 761 and the Shinko 705 but they were out of stock (and also a little more expensive).

I also put a set of black gel grips ( Pro Grips 714 ) and that has significantly reduced the high speed vibrations.

Cam Chain Tensioner Gasket & Oil Change

When I first got the DR, I immediately noticed that I have a small leak on the right hand side of the engine. Nothing major, just a few drops leaking after 60mph+ highway riding.

A quick Google search showed that it was the Cam Chain tensioner gasket. See this Thumper Talk link for an extended discussion and pictures


The leak looked just like the one pictured here (not my DR):

I was mulling over whether this could be a quick DIY … but then I realized that I’d have to remove the header pipes, maybe the oil lines and the clutch cable. So decided to have a mechanic do it (Spec-1 in San Jose, based on all the good reviews). And while the bike was there, I decide to get fresh oil.

Here is what I paid:

Gasket : $4.34 from the dealer (East Bay Motorsports)

CCT gasket replacement labor $80

Oil Change, labor $40

Oil 2.5 quarts of Castrol 10W40 $17.72. Didn’t buy a filter, I had one.

Total $142.06

Maintenance & Repair Log

  • 20,736: July 12th 2011. Bike Purchased!
  • 20,812: July 22nd 2011. New Cam Chain Tensioner Gasket. Not leaking since. $84.34 Parts + Labor
  • 20,812: July 22nd 2011. Oil & Filter Change. 2.5 quarts of Castrol 10W40. $57.72 Parts + Labor
  • 20,990: July 30th 2011. New tires front and rear: Shinko 244 Dual Sport tires $83 shipped, $105 to mount, balance and install.
  • 20,990: July 30th 2011. New Pro Grips 714 Gel Grips. $9.99 at Cycle Gear.
  • 21,939: September 25th 2011. Chain cleaned and lubed, using Wurth HHS 2000 .
  • 22,666: October 21st 2011. Air filter replaced with a Uni Multi-stage filter and oiled with Uni Air Filter oil . $39.97 shipped.
  • 22,720: October 29th 2011. Removed the air box snorkel. Noticeable difference in power!