Following a deep research of the literature, bike specialists
and "Panamericans" I knew that the bike has to have
the following characteristics:
- Extremely durable
- Light in weight
- Easy to maintain and service
- Very good offroad abilities
- Can run with lower quality gas
- Big gas tank allowing daily tours of 500km mimimum without
This is why I finally chose a KTM Adventure. Fully equipped
just 185 kg on the scale, rough and robust Single engine combined
with superb offroad suspensions , tested in many different
Rallyes around the globe.
Minor changes and installations:
I found an Adventure model year 2000, in fairly good shape
(no motocross) and already equipped with some useful modifications:
Hydraulic supported clutch Magura Hymec, higher handle bars,
special seating for long tours, competition air filter and
exhaust system for a better torque.
The hydraulic supported clutch seemed to me as a very useful
accessory. However, after consulting the specialists at KTM
Sommer (Oberhausen) and KTM Dörr (Wiesbaden) I exchanged
this device and mounted again the "normal" clutch
using the cabled version (and added a second cable in parallel).
I it far easier to swop the cable that repairing the hydraulic
system offroad I was told. And I have to admit, that sounds
also added the alloy cases of Touratech, the rack being out
of steel and mounted with bolts and screws, being easy to
The headlamp cover is also from Touratech, also very easy
To allow faster repairs I added gasoline pipe couplings to
the gas tank. During the last week they already have proven
to be a good investment while working on the engine.
Various tour reports and the temperatures ahead of me in Alaska
and the high Andes made me think of heated handlebars, somethings
I have never respected before that trip. So I bought and added
the Daytona II system (testwinner, offered at POLO) to the
KTM. I will let you know whether they were worth it
chain, the already known weakness on a trip like that, needed
special attention. I invested into a permanent chain lube
system (Scottoiler). Will it really extend the service interval?
Again I will let you know
finally I decided not to mount the KTM original tool box,
costing € 590, but using my skills and tools to install
a self-made box around the original engine cover (I used 2
mm strong sheet zinc).
Missing now are still the stronger coupling parts (for heavy-duty
use), a pair of front suspension covers, a new chain and the
change to a smaller front pinion (for better torque in the
first 2 gears). That should do it.
Tent and sleeping bag:
Again I used all the brain and know-how pool of friends to
finally visit a real outdoor specialist, Blackfoot in Cologne.
Here the crew carefully listened to me and my plans and gave
me correct advise, not just a sales job
in a North Face tent, easy to put up by yourself, a good and
comfortable sleeping bag up to freezing temperature (in the
extreme below 5 Celsius), a special cooking device (runs with
all fuels) made by MSR, and more useful items such as a LED
headlamp system, special water cleaning device and chlorine
drops, a flexible water reservoir and a compass. For the overnight
stays in cheap hotels etc I will take a sleeping bag inlet
made of cotton. Just to be prepared
Well, whatever I take needs to be small, must have a strong
battery and a large memory system. And of course should shoot
pictures in various qualities up to a high end picture. Finally
I bought the Pentax Optio 555 model (5Megapixel, 5 times zoom,
thereof 3 time optical) including a big and fast SanDisk SD
card (256 MB). Up to now all tests and fotos are of excellent
quality. Also the downloading via USB to the website is easy
enough. Visit the pictures in the gallery.
I guess every biker has made his own experiences. This is
why I chose Goretex materials. Something to take off during
the desert trips, but keeping you dry and warm in Alaska.
I found a touring jacket at the Hein Gericke shop in Cologne,
the model Tuareg. It offers good protection and a zip-out
Goretex layer. With that my body will be able to breathe also
in the desert (and in theory it sounds so easy). I havent
decided on the boots nor helmet yet, this will follow my Croatia
Well, I havent been offroad often in my bikelife yet.
Immediately I booked 2 training courses at my friends office
for offroad tours (www.enduro-connection-tours.com).
There we will get all the gear and materials needed including
KTM bikes, have 4 days to experience the dirt and ourselves.
I also will get the chance to learn more about the service
intervals for tyres, chains, brake system etc.
The first tour starts on Good Friday, the second one will
be during the Whitsun weekend.