Friday, August 14, 2015

Body Count '15 - #14

I got some redemption for last week's sloppy job. Even though the other one was stinkin' up the shed to high heavens, this one was still brave enough to hang out under there. His courage was short-lived, and the .17 and I got back on track.

Monday, August 10, 2015

KLR650 "Wheatwacker" mod

I found out about this fairing mod a few years ago over on It was devised and shared by a fella that goes by the handle Wheatwacker, so the mod thus bears his name.

Bein' a taller fella, I've been wantin' to do this for a long time, and I finally got a slow Saturday at work a few weeks back to go about it. Naturally, I forgot to start takin' pictures until I was halfway though, but I share what I remembered to take.

First step was to cut the fairing from the outer edge to the headlamp opening. I drilled a hole first to alleviate any cracks that may have attempted to spring out from the end of the cut.

Next was to cut the wedges out of aluminum. I used .080 sheet stock... not too thick, but still good and sturdy. I used light cardboard to figure out the angle of the wedge, then used a bandsaw to cut the aluminum to the final shape. One thing I did that I haven't seen with others doing this mod is I made sure to incorporate the upper fairing mount holes into the aluminum wedges. Perhaps I'm off base, but I felt this helped with keeping everything sturdy and tight.

Then came the hard part. I had to form the aluminum to match the curve of the fairing. This was best done by hand, although I used a brass hammer on some areas to add to or flatten back some of my curves.

Once I had the wedges formed correctly, I used a vice clamp to set and hold them in place, and I started drilling the holes. I drilled the plastic and aluminum at the same time to ensure that everything lined up correctly.

My initial plan was to mock everything up using screws and nuts, then rivet everything together. After getting the screws in place for the mockup, I decided to just throw on a lock nut and call it a day. This'll give me more flexibility when I add in a dash later, as I can use longer screws through the same holes to mount the dash.

After that, I simply tightened everything up and re-installed it on the bike.

From start to finish, it took less than two hours, and I was taking my time to make sure everything was clean and just-so. It's definitely an easy mod to do, and it helped straighten out the wind buffeting effect tenfold. Not only that, but it also seems like the fairing is a lot sturdier than it used to be, which makes for a gentler ride.

Next up will be a custom-fit dash, so I can get my switches and power supply out from behind the dash cluster.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


I was on my way to work last night when I rolled over 30k on the KLR. Less than two minutes later, the chain decided to exit stage left. First time in my ridin' career that the chain broke on me. Luckily, it didn't catch anythin' and lock up my rear tire at highway speed, and I was able to coast to a controlled stop.

I only carry tools and spare parts when I'm travellin' (I should know better by now), so naturally there was nothin' to do but find a ride and wait. By the time I got it straightened out, it wasn't even worth going to work.

Not a happy camper, but it could have been worse, I suppose.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Body Count '15 - #13

I'm a little ashamed of this'n. I finally rushed a shot with my beloved .17, and send the hog under the shed to die. I normally wouldn't count that, but he didn't make it that far, and I was able to see him under there, finish him off and confirm his demise.

A few days later, this poor ol' vulture spent almost an hour walkin' on top of the shed, tryin' to figure out how to get dinner...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Work around the house

I'm normally off runnin' around, workin' or doin' somethin' other than stayin' home and bein' productive around the house. This past weekend, I made it a point to keep the schedule clean and fix that. I had a reasonably productive week for once, and finally feel like I'm makin' progress around the estate. Only took a year and half.

First and foremost was gettin' the workbench set up in the shop. Most of the projects around the house involve me buildin' somethin', so this one needed to be done a long time ago. It's got a long way to go until I call it complete, but at least it's up and functional.

Half the battle in the shop was the damned mess of shit that's been piled up in it the last year and half. Among all the other junk in there was an old kitchen cabinet destined for the basement (see below) and a mess of skid tops from work, aka free, decent wood. I didn't make much progress on the mess as a whole, but I got the cabinet outta there and was able to stack the skid tops in a single pile. I gotta say, it's one purty pile of wood.

Next up on the list was the basement workbench, where I hope to set up my reloadin' equipment and huntin' stuff. My buddy Erik was guttin' his house and was gonna burn this ol' kitchen cabinet, but as sturdy as it was, I opted to take it off his hands. I raised it up to a comfortable workin' height for me and put a new top on it. Again, it's not anywhere near completion yet, but it's a solid start.

 On top of that, I'm still procrastinatin' with gettin' our winter firewood split and stacked, so I need to start checkin' that off the list too. I got a brief start on a pile of locust, and was reminded by the aches the next mornin' that I haven't swung an axe with any regularity since last winter.

All in all though, it was a very productive few days. It's amazin' how much I get done when I take a few days off and don't go anywhere.