OK, I've still got stuff to do before I can ride into the sunset, but the list is getting shorter. Short enough that I went out for a ride to test various issues and took some pictures.
Let see, we started with this in December in Virginia.
And ended up with this in May. Wow, the seat looks like it's going to be much more comfortable. I forgot how the original seat was so narrow.
The body panels are wrapped with vinyl. This is my first experience with wraps and I hired a company to do it. Early conclusions are that it is much cheaper and faster than paint. The cost to have someone wrap these panels is about the same as the material cost for paint. The color is great, although surface perfection is just as important as paint. Defects show. Also, I am getting a tiny bit of edges curling up. More to learn.
The KTM rides more firmly than the KLR but it seems just sporty, not uncomfortable. The handling is very similar to the KLR, so I'm finding confidence in the corners comes easily. I wonder if I am ever going to have a bike that has a name that starts with a letter other than K?
Two thoughts on the orange and black. No, I wasn't going for a "Great Pumpkin" look. With the frame orange and the gas tank and other details black, I felt like a third color was kind of busy. The bike has lots of surface shape with angles and facets everywhere. For me, that meant the color on the body had to larger areas of color that follow the body shape. Graphics and stripes just made it busy looking.
For years, I had a picture on the wall of my office of a Dakar KTM sponsored by 555 cigarettes. Since they were racing in countries that didn't allow cigarette advertising, they had a blue fairing with a line of white exclamation points down the front edge of the fairing. From the front 3/4 view and the side, the fairing gave a long, angled line that was both distinctive and a little sculptural. I was thinking that bike when I came up with the color scheme for this bike.
I think it's fair to say it is not your everyday sportbike or cruiser. I think the guys at Rade Garage (fairing supplier) in the Czechia have done a great job of combining the look of a Dakar race bike with nice lines and form.