Saturday, November 26, 2011

A few mods on the Tenere

A big apology to all my readers is in order for I have been away from the blogs for a while.  I lost my job a while ago and my head has been preoccupied with other more important things.  I had just bought the Tenere and started the modifications when my company decided to outsource my job to a big consulting company.  I kind of knew it was coming but it was still unexpected and also at the wrong time.
Oh well, things happen for a reason and I'm sure I will recover and new things will show up for the better.
I haven't been riding as much as I wanted, been mostly doing short local rides around New Jersey.  I do have a few ride reports to complete but my head has not been in the right place for me to blog.

I started looking for an adventure bike when I had the idea to go to Prudhoe Bay after reading many ride reports on the ADV site and I have always had the picture in my mind of how I wanted the Tenere to look like, black was going to be the theme.  With that in mind I started looking for protection and luggage for the bike.  I wanted the equipment to be rugged and to be able to take any punishment I might put the bike through since I intend on keeping the Tenere for a long time.  For protection I decided to go with Altrider parts.
First thing I installed was the skid plate powder coated in black.  It's a very well made part and very strong.  It will protect the headers and the oil filter from rocks and other flying debris.

The bike needed some side protection in case of a fall.  The Altrider crash bars are built from one inch stainless steel tubing, hopefully they will never rust.  The Tenere has the radiator and fan mounted under the left side panel and the crash bar will protect it from a side fall.  They are designed to distribute the weight across six mounting points, three on each side and are powder coated in black.

Since this bike will be going off road and there will be times when I will need to stop in soft sand, I had to do something about the kick stand.  Even though the Tenere kick stand has a pretty large foot print, it can never be big enough in soft sand, bigger is always better.  Altrider makes the perfect side stand foot to keep it from sinking or falling on soft surfaces.

Yamaha decided to put a plastic/fiber luggage rack on the bike and on the first edition some customers outside of the US reported broken racks.  For the US, Yamaha redesigned the rack but it is still made of plastic/fiber.  Since I will be adding big aluminum panniers to the bike, a stronger rack was a necessity.  Once again Altrider came to the rescue with a very well built and strong aluminum rack with lots of places to hook bungee cords.  The rack has a small area underneath that allows for the storage of a little toolbox or compressor.

I had ordered the luggage from Twisted Throttle but the manufacturer had encountered a problem with one of the parts on the mounting rack and that delayed the delivery of the part.  With the rest of the luggage stashed away in the garage waiting to be installed and with the protection on the bike it was time to hit the local roads and do some adventuring.

I rode a few dirt roads to get used to the bike and to play around with the traction control and the ABS.  I am loving this bike a little more after each ride but lets not kid anyone, it's not a light bike and commands respect on the dirt.  For more aggressive dirt riding I will have to install a set of knobby tires.

Until I install the luggage I have to limit myself to short distances and that implies staying in New Jersey.  I do have a few nice roads close to my house and I have been taking advantage of my free time to ride them.

Soon the luggage will be installed and I can start planning some longer trips but unfortunately winter is fast approaching.  Losing my job at this time was definitely at the wrong time.