Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Great ride, but crappy engineering is the mother of invention!

Posted by desflurane on January 25, 2013

Yesterday afternoon temperatures were seen above 50 degrees, the sun was shining merrily, and somehow I found myself done with work before 1pm – a combination of positive factors nearly unheard of in recent months. This, combined with the moisture provided by recent snowstorms (almost completely melted by now) offered a recipe for but one thing! Dirt bike happiness!

After sharing a quick lunch with my wife (who i found uncharacteristically sympathetic to my plan) I suited up, stoked my engine and headed off to the hills.

I have to traverse perhaps two miles of paved road before the rubber touches soil. They slipped quickly past and apart from the unfriendly looks I garnered from our neighborhood security patrolman, were uneventful.

I couldn’t suppress my ear-to-ear grin as I tore into the soft, heavy earth. My front wheel rose majestically into the air on straight-aways when I got the bike on the pipe. Apple-sized chunks of moist dirt would rain down around me when I let off the throttle. It was heavenly!

Once I topped the row of hills that extends southward away from my neighborhood, a small, trackless valley was calling out to be explored. I descended carefully over broad patches of snow-covered shale and eventually came out onto he valley floor where the main road runs its length.

At this point I glanced down toward the left peg/shift lever and noticed that the little bolt that holds the toe piece onto the lever body appeared loose. Not to worry, within minutes I had the tools out of my pack and I was ready to fire it down tight once more.

But no! Whoever designed his aftermarket lever was an idiot! The toe-piece was held in place with a two-part threaded arrangement carefully designed so that the high frequency vibrations of the engine would gradually rattle the assembly loose and allow the lower half to drop out on the trail – never to be seen again! Genius! A little more rattling (facilitated immensely now that the toe-piece dangles loosely) and the whole thing would follow its already lost brother into the weeds!


After some thought I recalled that the road crosses a fence about a mile further from where I was. I climbed aboard and rode there without delay.

I quickly located a loose strand of fence wire that would never be missed, and liberated it with the aid of my orange KTM toolkit pliers. I then fashioned a kind of circlip that held the toe piece in place reasonably well, and wouldn’t come out without considerable effort.

It worked, and I was soon back on the trail enjoying the fine conditions. As you can see from the dirt on my bike, the ground was good and moist without being muddy enough to pack up on everything. It was great!

Here is a wider view of where I was.


And from another angle. I had just come directly over the peak of the rocky hill behind he bike. And I rode back up and over it after snapping these pics. The hill doesn’t look too treacherous – because it isn’t. It just happens to be a silly obstacle that psyched me out after the crash that left me with an open thumb dislocation (which occurred about half a mile from the spot in the photos). For me it was one of those little confidence-building moments where I told myself “I refuse to be afraid of this…” and went for it. Came off flawlessly.


When I got back to the garage I put a nice torx head bolt through the toe-piece with a locking nut on the bottom. Should stay put now! At least until the threaded bolt chews its way through the aluminum of the lever. It’s a time bomb, but I’ll get a little more use out of it before swapping the whole unit out… Again!



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