“Hitting the canvas? Nah, that was nothing! I was back up before the the referee could count to two!” That’s how I feel today. My knee hurts, I apparently hit my shoulder worse than I thought ’cause I am a bit tender today, my hands hurt a bit too but somehow I am eager to get out there again. And there is no time like tomorrow because the mechanic finished up really quickly so I have to go back to the scene of the crime, get the bike and ride the 50 km back tomorrow. In rain, according to the weather wizards.
I knew the KTM 690 Enduro was a sturdy bike but taking that kind of beating and no real functional loss is still impressive. The mechanic did the service and even the valves were within spec, the bearings fine and it was mechanically solid. The few kinks, like the clutch sensor and such, I will fix myself to save some money. Oh, and the noise I’ve been hearing and worrying about? Turns out it’s the cam chain tensioner, just as I suspected. The shop didn’t have any on the shelves so I’ll buy an aftermarket mechanical one what won’t give up on me when I’m halfway to the Savage land.
One little scrap with the ground won’t stop me from riding. On the contrary. I feel more eager to ride now than ever. It will be a little bit nervous tomorrow, and I will be really careful at every turn but I must admit I feel both vulnerable and invulnerable at the same time. Like “is this the best you can do?” kind of feeling.
Now that I know the bike is in at least a working condition, I am going to feel much more comfortable riding it longer distances. First order of business: put on the new TKC80 tires I’ve been waiting to put on together with the new rear brake rotor and new brake pads. Mount the new stand plate I got off eBay. Mount the cam chain tensioner. Fix the clutch sensor. Adjust suspension. Remove the stuck bolt keeping me from mounting the lifting handles properly. Examine the instrument gauge and fix the loose connectors causing it to be half assed dim sometimes. That’s about it.
I am also thinking about changing sprockets. I feel like I hit sixth gear too fast in the city, I would like each gear to produce a little bit more speed. According to the mechanic, most people drop a tooth in the front but I want the exact opposite. The bike is quick enough without it but I want to lower the RPM at cruising speeds since I won’t be wrestling the bike around too much in technical situations. Hmm… I guess I have to think about that for a while.