Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter's Coming - Project Chosen (by default)

Sorry for the lack of posting recently. It's been pretty miserable here (Chicago) lately with a lot of damp days and cool conditions. The NX has spent a lot of time in the garage. Additionally, I traded my Transalp for a 1997 DR650SE. While the TA was fun it wasn't really what I was looking for; it was pretty bulky and (in my opinion) heavy. The DR is much lighter (~100 lbs) and much more svelte. It feels a lot like my old DR350SE but with some serious grunt. In retrospect, this is what I should have bought when I sold my DR350SE. So, I've been in the process of seeing what the DR needs. It doesn't need much but it does need some TLC. So, I thought I would "refresh" it over the winter. The major item would be having the frame sandblasted and powder-coated. Then, maintenance issues will be rectified during re-assembly (bearings, cables, gaskets, seals, filters, etc.). When Spring rolls around, the DR should be good to go for a few years (I would hope).

Since no one responded, I guess I'll be rebuilding forks over the winter. That's OK because it will give me more time (and $$) to spend on the DR.

Here's a little more feedback on gear:
The Olympia Bushwacker is still capable of keeping me warm with temperatures near freezing. I believe it was 33º F at O'Hare this morning. I wore a long sleeved cotton pull-over under the jacket/liner. I had no trouble keeping warm.

After my Joe Rocket gloves, which were waterproof and warm, split a seam, I purchased a pair of Tourmaster Cold Tex 2.0 gloves. They have leather on the palm and padding on the knuckles. They kept my fingers warm on the ride this morning and I'm only using the plastic hand guards on the NX (note: the NX does not come with hand guards from the factory. I adapted a set of Transalp guards to fit the NX). I have yet to install the Tusk Hand Mitts on the NX. When I do, that will allow me to ride in temperatures 10º colder.

The Gaerne Balance boots also kept my toes pretty warm. I was surprised they did that since I was expecting to have to wiggle my toes all the way to work. Nope, never really thought about it actually.

Temperatures are expected to rise back into the 40s and 50s (daytime highs) next week. However, it's pretty obvious that my riding days are numbered. I still hope to make it to the end of the month but may not be able to go much past that. We'll see.

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