Thursday, December 29, 2016

Modification list ...the To-Do-List

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and are ready for the New Year!

The Steed may not look much different to the naked eye, but a lot has happened since the first parts list blog post.  Several manufacturers have supported this effort by supplying me with their products and more have pledged their support in the near future.  Please visit the sponsor section next to this post, these companies are helping me make this trek possible.

It feels like the modifications list may go on to the time I lift the kickstand in North Carolina.  The list is smaller now that most of the major weaknesses of the KTM 690 are resolved;

- fuel capacity (thanks Rade Garage)
- lighting (thank you MotoMinded)
- exhaust
- sub-frame reinforcement
- off-road fuel dongle
- fuel filler neck
- large kickstand foot plate
- protection: disc guards, bash/skid plate
- wheels (two thumbs up to Warp9)
- rear luggage rack

At the end of January, I will take the Steed to the Nevada deserts for a weekend test ride to insure everything to date is working properly.  It looks like Laughlin, NV will be the first test ride.  Death Valley test ride will be mid-late February.

Current Modifications To-Do list:
- seat
- steering stabilizer
- enduro mirrors
- auto-chain oiling system
- anti-vibration handlebar
- hand-guards
- luggage
- tires


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight

Did you know to date, more than 52,000 service men and women have been physically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Their active duty may be over, but the struggle is real!

Please donate through this blog. The money goes directly to help support all the wounded warriors. Join us in building awareness and by giving to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Seeing is believing.....

During the 5,000 mile adventure across America, there will be times when darkness falls before I can set up camp for the night.  There won't be street lights to illuminate this ride.  The stock/OEM headlight is about as effective as a candle in the wind, so I researched lighting alternatives.  Most of the time this means strapping lights to the motorcycle, usually on the forks.  During my research I found a company with the best solution for my problem, hands down.  The KTM Rally Kit Squadron Pro gives you power to light up any area while staying within the stock headlight fairing.  A clean look that won't be damaged in a side crash.

The company is MotoMinded and they have agreed to support my adventure as I travel across America on dirt to raise awareness and financial support for Wounded Warrior Project.  I will write a post for the installation and test ride on a future entry.

I want to thank MotoMinded and Chris Vestal for their support. I will think of you every time I'm riding in the dark, searching for a campsite!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight-Help during the Christmas Holiday

Christmas is 4 days from today.  The Holidays can be especially difficult for those service members in need.  Please take the time to donate directly to the Wound Warrior Project TODAY.  100% of your donations go to the WWP by clicking on the 'Please Donate icon on the top right column of this blog.  YOU can make the difference in someone's life.

The Wounded Warrior Program has estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while on deployment. 
The WWP is helping our service men and women have the support and care they need.

Monday, December 19, 2016

1,000 Followers and One AWESOME Exhaust

Prior to the trek across the Country, the blog is mainly focused on planning, outfitting the bike, etc. Over the weekend, the blog surpassed a milestone of 1,000 followers and financial donations are a little more than 5% of the total goal to date.  Not bad considering there is 6 months before the trek begins. Thank you for the support.

Ok, my inner motorcycle geek is coming out.  I enjoy outfitting adventure motorcycles, no surprise.  But after finishing the complete exhaust system tonight, wow!  Titanium and carbon fiber is the best combination.  There is an 8 lbs weight savings between the stock exhaust and header pipe.  So the auxiliary fuel tank with fuel weighs 1 lbs more than the exhaust weight savings.  Not a bad trade off.  The carbon fiber heat shields are awesome looking, hopefully I don't leave them in the Rocky Mountains after a crash.

Tomorrow I will install the rear rack and take a break for the holiday!  My operating room (aka garage), looks like a small nuclear device was detonated.  Time to tidy up the place.  After the holiday break, I should have a few more sponsors to announce.  Please take the time to visit the sponsor's websites and order what you need for your Steed.  You will find their logos on the right hand side of the blog.  Supporting the companies who support my trek with their products allows me to prepare the Steed and raise awareness and donations for the wounded heros who support our freedoms.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A hard days work....well not really...

Success!  After three hours of disassembling the Steed and reassembling it, the job is done!  It was a tight fit but Rade Garage used every last inch of available space to add the needed fuel.  The installation was straight forward.  ADVRider has several great forum threads with alternate instructions and short cuts.  Every KTM 690 owner needs this mod.  The other auxiliary options change the characteristics of the motorcycle and most alter the aesthetics too.

Thank you Rade for a producing a great product and THANK YOU for your support.

Now if the OEM parts arrive to finish the exhaust install, I'll be done for a couple weeks.  After the Christmas holiday, it will be time for a test ride!  Most likely Death Valley or Laughlin, NV.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

8" of fresh snow and it's still coming down.  Perfect weather for working on the Steed and snowboarding!

Last night I was able to change out the OEM sub-frame bolts.  The fuel tank is the rear frame of the bike, if the bolts fail, you're in for a long ride to the KTM dealer. There have been several reports of the OEM bolts failing under heavy use...which is exactly what I will be doing for 5,000 miles.

It is a simple installation once you remove the entire air intake assembly.

OEM bolts and location
New hardware

Where the airbox was....

OEM airbox removed
 Now that the air intake system has been removed, today I will install the auxiliary fuel tank from Rade Garage.  The install should take 2-3 hours.  Last night I test fit the tank.  It's a great design and well thought out and durable material.  This is by far the best option to add fuel to the KTM 690.

This is what it will look like when I'm finished.  Notice the new tank as well as an entirely new air intake system.

With a little luck I will rap up the auxiliary tank installation this weekend and finish the header pipe and exhaust install, after the parts arrive next week.  After that it is time for the Christmas holiday and a needed break from the real World.  Yes, that means time off in a warm climate....

Friday, December 16, 2016

Parts, parts and parts...

This weekend will be a major installation party...well a party of one at least.  It is currently raining in Salt Lake City, with a forecast of 2' of new snow in the mountains.  That's after 3' of fresh powder last weekend.  Sunday will be a snowboarding day at Snowbird!!!

While I'm waiting on the exhaust brackets to finish the installation of the header pipe and exhaust, I will replace the OEM fuel tank support bolts.  It has been reported that the OEM bolts fail under heavy use.  Yesterday the Rade Garage tank and foot pegs arrived. Excited to install the auxiliary fuel tank.  Rade Garage has the best solution for adding addition fuel to the Steed.  The lack of fuel capacity is a major weakness of the KTM 690.   During my ride, I need at least 180 mile fuel range between stops.  Rade's design allows the additional fuel capacity to be added without changing the characteristics of the KTM 690.  The Rade Garage tank sits within the frame, not bolted on the outside of the frame.

Rade Garage has been generous to support me on this trek by supplying me with a tank and pegs.  I will post pictures of the installation and test ride. Thank you Rade for the support.

Below are the latest pictures of the Steed.  Parts and tools are strewn out everywhere.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight - Serving those who have served our GREAT Country.

The goal of the Wounded Warrior Project® is to be serving 100,000 warriors and an additional 15,000 caregivers and family support members by 2017, and raise $500 million for our Long-Term Support Trust to care for the most severely wounded after their caregivers are no longer able to provide the necessary care. 

Please help provide the continued care these soldiers need by DONATING NOW through this blog. The money goes directly to the WWP and your donation is tax deductible.   

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Adventure Decal

It isn't an official adventure unless you have an ADV sticker for the trek.  My Rockstar Marketing Team is putting the final touches on the reflective ADV decal.  Everyone who donates $50 or greater will receive a decal.  Once the decal is finalized, I will send the details on how to claim your sticker.

Below is one of the latest revisions!

The ADV decal from this year's adventure to the Arctic Ocean and back....

Friday, December 9, 2016

Outfitting the Steed.

As the parts arrive I'm installing them.  Brake disc guards, bash plate, fuel dongle, fuel neck and cap are all installed.  The new Titanium full Akrapovic Exhaust arrived😲....can't wait to install it!

The Rox handlebar risers are too tall and the rear sprocket is too big, so back to the drawing board. The 690 vibration is enough to shake your fillings out of your teeth.  My plan is to install a Flexxbar Handlebar with a Scott's Stabilizer.   This is just what the doctor ordered and a genuine life saver.  5,000 miles is a long way to ride with numb hands.  After fixing the vibration in the bars, next will be the seat, trying to decide what model.

Top choices:

1. Seat Concepts
2. Renazco
3. Touratech seat
4. Guts Racing
5. XPC Racking

The auxiliary fuel tank from Rade Garage, new air intake system and rear rack should arrive next week.😋

Still working out the luggage system.  The big question is rack or no rack.  Weight is a major concern.  The main reason for riding the KTM 690 rather than my larger KTM 1190 is pounds.  Hauling the bike over obstacles on the trail, picking it up after a fall/crash fully packed will happen.  The Rocky Mountains and the sands of Southern Utah and Nevada will test the bike and me.

Fuel neck and cap
extended foot

Bash/skid plate
Front disc guard
Titanium Akrapovic Exhaust


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project® Spotlight-The High Cost of Freedom

We all have heard and repeated that freedom isn't free.  Some of our veterans have paid a very high price for our freedom and that is why I'm so passionate about raising awareness and donations for our wounded heroes. We, as Americans, owe them more than we can ever pay for what they've sacrificed for our Country. Please consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, you won't regret it.

The WWP 2015 Annual Alumni Survey captured the views of more than 23,000 injured service members, resulting in a 39.4 percent response rate, which makes these results the most statistically relevant and largest sample size of veterans who have been injured on or after 9/11. Some of the key findings include:
  • Nearly four out of every five warriors surveyed have a friend who was seriously wounded or killed in action
  • 75 percent report the memory of an upsetting military experience that has haunted them in the past month 
  • More than 42 percent report having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) 
  • The top five reported injuries and health problems experienced during post-9/11 service are:
    • post-traumatic stress disorder,
    • sleep conditions,
    • back, neck, and shoulder problems,
    • depression, and
    • anxiety

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Overland Expo West

It is exciting for me to announce that I will have a exhibitors booth at Overland Expo West  They have decided to sponsor my exhibit and attendance.  The past several years I attend the Overland Expo West, it is a great place to learn about new overlanding ideas, see new gear and talk to other overlanders.   It is the premier event of the year and a must do for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.  See you in Flagstaff!  I will be there in my booth, with my motorcycle on display.  This is the best event to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project and the Crossing America on Dirt trek.

Thank you Roseann and Jonathan.


Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – Overland Expo returns to the Grand Canyon state for its twelfth show at a brand new venue: the Fort Tuthill Fairgrounds, just a few minutes south of Flagstaff off Interstate 17. During the weekend over 10,000 people from around the globe will arrive at the Coconino County owned property, whose grounds include a historic Army fort. Surrounded by tall ponderosa pines, the venue offers all-weather access with plenty of pavement and parking, grandstands, a large stage and pavilion, a large building for our theater / social hours, and an organized campground with room for 1000 units, as well as access to unlimited camping in adjacent Coconino National Forest at 7,800 feet.

In addition, there are dozens of miles of mountain biking trails and an adventure course right in the venue. Highlights: • Our most dynamic and centrally located Camel Trophy Expedition Skills Area yet. • A challenging driving course hosted by Land Rover. • Tire testing track by BFGoodrich. • Flagstaff food trucks and hosted happy hours. • Free shuttle service to and from surrounding forest camping and Flagstaff hotels.

Overlanding is exploring the world by self-guided means, in your own vehicle or on your own motorcycle. The journey is the purpose in overlanding. The most cost-effective way to overland is to camp along the way, though many people alternate camping with hotels, hostels, or couch-surfing. Overland Expo 2017 WEST will feature the same dynamic event experience with a blend of professional trade show and educational opportunities that have made Overland Expo the most popular overlanding show in the Western Hemisphere, and most unique in the world. Its sister show, Overland Expo EAST, is held each October in North Carolina. This year BF Goodrich tires and Four Wheel Campers, along with Land Rover, 7P International, RawHyde Adventures, and BMW motorcycles, are the top sponsors, hosting an array of activities ranging from a custom instructional driving course built and staffed by the world-famous Land Rover driver team and an “Adventure Motorcycle Village” with a teaching arena and riding course.

Our 2016 WEST show grew by a whopping 40% and so we expect another bump this year. Numbers in 2016: • 255 exhibitors, authors, videographers and VIP travelers / feature vehicles • 190 classes, programs, films, demos • 462 session-hours of programming • 160 presenters, instructors, and VIPs • 95 staff & volunteers • 10,000+ total people on site from around the world during the weekend • 550 participants were Overland Experience package attendees • Attendees came from as far away as Australia, Denmark, Argentina, China, and South Africa. • Many U.S. states and nearly all Canadian provinces were represented Exhibitors this year will include Four Wheel Campers, BFGoodrich Tires, Sportsmobile, ARB-USA, Global Xpedition Vehicles, EarthRoamer, American Expedition Vehicles, Jeep and RAM, Equipt Expedition Outfitters, AT Overland, Overland Journal, OutdoorX4, American Adventurist, as well as dealers representing BMW, KTM, Triumph, Kawasaki, Honda, and Ural—250+ makers of equipment, camping gear, vehicles, as well as providers of services and travel resources and authors and filmmakers. Overland Expo is an annual event, founded in Arizona in 2009, that brings together overlanding enthusiasts and the rapidly growing industry that serves them.

This three-day weekend is designed to educate and inspire people to get out and explore their world—there are hundreds of session-hours of classes, workshops, and roundtable programs for four-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycle enthusiasts; a large trade exposition with exhibitors, vendors, authors, and filmmakers; and evening inspirational programs and music.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Around the World...power of the Internet, continued

Adding to the countries from the original post titled Around the World...power of the Internet, followers from Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Israel and Sweden are viewing the blog.  Social media is the primary tool to get the word out about this trek and Wounded Warrior Project.  Although the trip is in the early stages with 6 months to go before the ride, donations have started and Wound Warrior Project is benefiting.  This is awesome!

Most of the weekend has been spent in the operating room (aka the garage) installing the first shipment of parts and researching additional parts needed for the Steed.  I will post pictures soon.  As often as UPS and FedEx are delivering parts, I should have them help sponsor the trek 😀 This week I've purchased parts from a few overlanders on  The wealth of knowledge is priceless as I research the best options to outfit my Steed.  Getting feedback from riders who have experience with my setup have helped me make better product choices, which will hopefully reduce my downtime in the middle of nowhere, broken down or stranded.  Thanks to everyone on the site for the guidance and product reviews.

Thank you for spreading the word about this trek and Wounded Warrior Project.