Preparing to go ‘walkabout’

As some you already know, your obe­di­ent scribe is plan­ning a trip, what my wife and I refer to as ‘going walk­a­bout’ after the aus­tralian tra­di­tion of ‘see­ing what’s out there’. In this case, I’ll be using a KTM 950 adven­ture for trans­porta­tion, and ‘out there’ is shap­ing up to mean­ing most states west of the Mis­souri riv­er; cur­rent the rough­ly plot­ted course does­n’t include kansas, okla­homa, neva­da, north dako­ta or montana.

Grand plan is a rough rec­tan­gle, with seat­tle, san diego, austin, and des moines form­ing the cor­ners. I have friends and/or fam­i­ly in all those places. The only hard date in the 4 week adven­ture is that I and 3 bud­dies have tick­ets to the World Super­bike races at Miller Motor­sports Park in Utah on memo­r­i­al day weekend.

So with this in mind, I sold my BMW F650 (a nice sin­gle, but cross­ing texas on a 650 sin­gle did­n’t appeal) and acquired a low-mileage KTM 950 adven­ture and set about set­ting it up for trav­el­ling like I like. This meant replac­ing the bald back tire, chang­ing the oil, adding con­trols for the heat­ed grips (instead of the sim­ple switch) and for con­trol­ling a heat­ed jack­et lin­er Warm-n-Safe makes these great con­trollers . It also includes a GPS mount­ed some­where easy to reach and easy for 50-year-old eyes to read. Pics in the next installment.

All of this is pow­ered from a ded­i­cat­ed, fused cir­cuit that is run from the bat­tery in the skid plate, up to the under-seat tray, and then dis­trib­uted to the var­i­ous acces­sories from there. also includ­ed is a relay to insure that I can’t walk away from the bike with the grips turned on.

The bike already had a lot of what I think I’ll need: fac­to­ry pan­niers, tank bag, rear bag, hand pro­tec­tors, crash bars, after­mar­ket seat from Renaz­co Rac­ing, and the fac­to­ry ‘tour­ing wind­screen’. What it did­n’t have was decent lights. A lit­tle read­ing turned up the answer: the USA head­light is but a pale imi­ta­tion of it’s euro­pean coun­ter­part. Soon, a box arrived at the house with a euro head­light and switch, and an H7 low-beam HID con­ver­sion. Install hap­pen­ing soon. Read about it in the next install­ment of ‘prepar­ing to go walkabout’. 

Right now, I have to get ready for the April Fool’s Tri­al! see ya there!


About the Author

Jim Harriger