New Quartzsite Camp

We had an eventful drive from Imperial Dam back to Quartzsite. Patti appears to have lost fourth gear in her transmission. We had a couple of roadside stops to try to figure out what was wrong. Fortunately, we were in radio contact the whole way (I may be a ham radio nerd, but those FRS radios that don’t require a license are so handy for convoying with anyone), so I didn’t lose her or have to figure out how to turn around with the trailer. I talked her through pressing the “Overdrive Off” button on the end of the shifter column, and that seemed to stop the slipping long enough for us to get back to La Posa South.

I set up my camp a little differently this time, with my trailer and van at right angles to each other. I figure this way I can block the wind in two directions instead of just one, and have a nice little area to myself in between. Yellow Wolf and I discovered an old fire pit that had been covered by the huge log I parked next to last year, so we cleared it out, and I may yet use it for some campfires of my own.

I opened my trailer to find the tie-down straps had come loose and my bike had fallen over during the drive, snapping off my right mirror. Further investigation revealed that the mirror itself was fine, and the bracket that holds the brake lever and reservoir onto the handlebars had broken. This is actually the least expensive part to replace of the three. I found and ordered a replacement, but what do I do until then?

My Apple CarPlay motorcycle unit (you can read my review at ADVRider) came with a few brackets to mount the unit to the bike. One of them just happened to be an exact replacement for the original bracket that broke! I had to get some longer bolts at the hardware store in town, but now the brake lever is securely attached to the handlebar. I’ve become far less of a pack rat than I used to be, but even now these tendencies come in handy from time to time.

Even better, since I kept my DoubleTake Mirrors from the KLR, I can use them to replace the mirror that broke off! They vibrate a bit more than the stock mirrors, which is why I wasn’t using them on the V-Strom, but it’s not bad. After this experience, I’m considering using them anyway and folding them in when I’m trailering the bike. That way, if it tips over again, the mirrors can’t possibly break off if they’re not in the way.

Since I already had my tools out, I went ahead and installed the handguards I ordered a while back. These came straight from Suzuki, designed to fit this bike perfectly. They aren’t as strong as the ones I had on my KLR, but I also don’t expect to beat them up nearly as much, either. They may not hold up in a crash, but they’ll be good enough to push branches out of the way, and will definitely keep my hands out of the wind. The installation instructions weren’t very good and left out many steps, but I figured it out, and now they’re on quite solidly.

That, plus my various freelance gigs ramping up, was a good way to spend the day. It was a cold one, with temperatures topping out in the mid-50s, plus the usual Quartzsite wind. According to the forecast, this should be the end of the cold. It’s supposed to warm up every day this week, hitting the 70s by the weekend. With any luck, it’ll be warm enough to install my second Maxxair roof vent by the time it arrives next week.

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