On the left is one very squared-off motorcycle tire. It's the rear knobbie that I took off my KTM this afternoon. With winter fast approaching (and "winter" also known as "the rainy season" here in this part of California) it was time to put some fresh rubber on the bike. I threw on some Pirelli Scorpion MT 90 A/T's that I'd used briefly last winter before I put the knobbies on to go exploring the Lost Coast over Memorial Day weekend. Both tire changes went more smoothly than ever, so it seems like I'm finally getting the hang of dealing with tubes and tire irons.
I also decided to put a new rear sprocket on, dropping from a 45T to a 42T. This will reduce the RPMs a bit and should help make all my highway travel a little less rev-happy. Right now the motor spins at around 5,200 RPM while I'm going 70 MPH; I'd like to drop that a bit to help the engine last a little longer. I'll see how this new sprocket works and if I have any trouble launching from a stop. If this works well I also have larger front sprockets and can drop the RPMs even more in the future.
After getting the new tires on I changed the brake fluid at both ends, too. I like to change it every year, but it'd been about 18 months since I got the bike and I still hadn't changed it out yet. (Busy, busy…) The front fluid looked fine, but the rear fluid was very dark, almost like maple syrup. I wonder if the rear reservoir doesn't seal too well, or if there's something else going on. I'll need to keep an eye on it.
Anyway, all the above took about five hours to do and by the end I was sweaty and filthy. I hadn't even bothered to shower earlier in the day, so a long, hot shower was well overdue. Matching it with a nice, close shave had me feeling pretty good! It reminded me that some of my favorite days are those that require a shower at the end. I feel like I've really accomplished something tangible on those days, which is a refreshing change from my etherial, software-driven job.