El Poncho’s been my main mode of transportation since I purchased him in August of 2016. He’s a 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650. He replaced Taco, my 1998 Yamaha XT 350.

Purchased with only 10,800 km on the odometer, I’ve been looking forward to keeping on top of the maintenance schedule. I am passionate about mechanical maintenance and passionate about doing it myself. Not only do I tend to shy away from expensive hourly rates, but if I don’t do the work myself I find I’ll always end up knowing less about my machine, how it works, what requires attention before and after rides, and most importantly, I’ll be ill prepared to perform repairs on the side of a road or trail. Nothing drives me to open up my toolbox more than the thought of taking a bus home from a motorcycle trip.

Secretly though, I tell myself I’m preparing to race in the Dakar privateer class.

Each year I find myself seeing more of British Columbia and travelling deeper into the backcountry roads. This year is especially exciting though as my dual sport now resides centrally on Vancouver Island. Before I get ahead of myself though, there’s plenty I need to do to El Poncho.

Major tasks on the docket include a valve adjustment, changing the oil and filter, cleaning the air filter, changing the coolant, changing the brake fluid, lubricating the steering stem bearings, lubricating the swing arm and rear suspension, making sure all the controls work smoothly and that nothing needs immediate attention.

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El Poncho is due for his 24,000 km maintenance. Major tasks on the docket include a valve adjustment, changing the oil and filter, cleaning the air filter, changing the coolant, changing the brake fluid, lubricating the steering stem bearings, lubricating the swing arm and rear suspension, making sure all the controls work smoothly and nothing needs immediate attention.