Wednesday 9 March 2016

Carbon KLX

Never a fan of the sticker covered MX look, I don't care for
big, white, fridge-like panels designed to take numbers.
I can't seem to own a bike without re-imagining it.  The Ninja went from flat black to blue and orange.  The Concours is continuing a transformation into gold and crimson.  Now it's the KLX's turn.

The white plastics on the KLX look cheap, appliance-like and nasty.  To rectify that I started looking for carbon pieces but they tend to be focused on sports bikes and I couldn't find any KLX sets.  

I then looked for replacement plastics I could experiment with, but they aren't cheap.  My next stop was sticker sets, which tend to be even more juvenile than the original graphics set-up (though the black metal one looked alright).  Why is everyone fixated on death imagery (skulls, bones, flaming effigies, etc.) on motorcycles?

A short term fix is to just focus on the offending pieces
(the headlight surround, fork protectors and rear side panels).

Amazing how five panels makes the bike look so different.
Longer term I'd like to learn how to form carbon fibre panels, but short term I've found a number of cheaper fixes to my aesthetics problem.

Canadian Tire sells the Dupli-Colour carbon fibre kit for about forty bucks.  It comes with two colours and a patterning cloth.  I should be able to sort out the natty white panels (two front fork guards, the headlight surround and the rear side panels) with that kit.  It's a cheap, short term fix.

I was reading about a vinyl wrap project Performance Bike UK was doing last night.  They did the whole bike in vinyl, but you can pick up carbon fibre look vinyl for next to nothing.  Maybe I should try that instead of the paint.  After some looking up on I found some carbon fiber look vinyl wrap that will let me try out what PB did with their Suzuki on a smaller scale.  I also found some mirrors on hand that are much less derpy than the stock KLX mirror, and the
$45 for shipping on a $27 part?  Really Amazon?
price seemed reasonable until I got to checkout - this Amazon 'retailer' is charging $45 in shipping for a $27 part.  They can't be selling too many of those.  Fortunately I found a similar mirror with reasonable shipping costs and ended up getting a body colour mirror, 4 rolls of carbon look vinyl and a vinyl applicator for the same price as that over inflated shipping price, taxes and delivery included.  Amazon is no longer Amazon, it's a whole 
bunch of sometimes shady online sellers.  It's more like ebay than Amazon of old.

With more cash on hand I'd like to swap out knobblies for something more road focused and dualsport/scramblery.  Having the knobblies around for intentionally deep off-roading will be good, but I think I'd use the bike a lot more if I could get places without the tires slapping the pavement like wet squid suckers.

Canada's Motorcycle has Shinko 705s in the right sizes for under one hundred bucks each.  Two hundred and fifty bucks in and my carbon fibre KLX will be a step closer to the more road friendly scrambler I've been dreaming of.

Further research unearthed some pretty cool options.  This twin light headlamp seems pretty Airwolf cool.

Acerbis does a variety of front ends for enduro/dual sport bikes, like this Cyclops one.