Getting started in Bishop with Paul Krause and Casey McCoy
I left San Diego yesterday afternoon to ride up to Bishop and meet up with Paul Krause and Casey McCoy for our three day adventure to Oregon. Yesterday’s ride was rather dull, just up the highway, but once north of Ridgecrest, the weather cooled down and the riding was very pleasant.
Paul’s plan was to leave right after work and get to Bishop about midnight. Midnight became 4 am, so he only got a little sleep last night. But we all met up for breakfast this morning and headed east to see some of Casey’s Nevada routes.
After 40 some miles of mixed pavement and casual dirt, we finally hit the first true dirt section. Not one mile later I knew something was not quite right with my shift lever. It was pointing nearly straight down. I had not had time enough to damage it on a rock yet. So I figured the bolt was probably lose. But on closer inspection, that was not it either.
After having the shift lever off and back on twice, we decide that the problem lies in the shaft, it moves in conjunction with the lever. It will spin away too far up and way too far down. I make a call to KTM, the best guess diagnosis is that the weld on the right end of the shaft must have broken. The bike will still shift, but only with a gentle touch.
At this point we are right to the middle of nowhere. My choices are few, but the bike seems to be fine for casual riding down the pavement, no bad noises or anything. I make a few quick calls and weigh the options.The closest KTM dealer is in Carson City and they say they can get me in for a look see right away.
So I part company with Paul and Casey and they continue on their way. I ride the 150 miles to Carson and that brings us up to right now. The 990 is on the lift right as I speak. It is a major operation to get the clutch cover off. It requires removing the header, which means the gas tank and body work have to come off also. So I hope to have a confirmation of the problem soon. I will be spending the night here in Carson City, but might get back on the road tomorrow. That would let me catch back up with the guys and get back on the ride plan.