The next KLR Ramblers ride is on…

…20 January 2018. The details of the ride are coming soon, we are planning something a little different from what we did so far.

In the meantime, you can find rides and like-minded people in the Adventure Riding NZ forums.

We wish a very relaxing Christmas holiday to all of you with loads of fun time with loved ones, friends and on the motorcycle.



“Doohickey” is a placeholder name to refer to a machine or a piece of a machine what you cannot recall its name, function or both from time to time.

In the KLR world, the doohickey refers to the “Balancer Chain Adjuster Lever” which gained a bad reputation as a part which can break over the time due to design flaw.


Lets’ be honest, the old doohickey is looking flimsy and the fact, that it has been put together from two parts, doesn’t make it really reliable.

But just like with any other parts of the KLR, what owners aren’t 100% happy for whatever reason, you can get different after-market parts. The choices are almost endless in any area.

The reason I am writing about it now, is because the question emerged a few times, if this bit is still recommended to be replaced on the “new” KLR 650?

I think the best explanation if we put the three doohickey next to each other.


The left one is the old two part doohickey. The middle one is the doohickey from the “new” KLR 650. The third one is an after-market one.

The new doohickey is machined from one piece of metal and definitely looks more solid than the old one.

In terms of over-engineering, the after-market doohickey is the winner.

A broken doohickey can be a big problem anywhere. Doesn’t matter if it is your near by back country road or the remote steppes of Siberia . OK, in Siberia it is a bigger problem.


And now, the big question. Am I going to replace the doohickey on my 2014 KLR 650? No. I don’t just want to believe it, but the pictures are supporting, that the Japanese engineers are did acknowledged the problem with the old part, and did address it. In terms of engineering I think it is designed sufficiently to hold -up on the rides I am doing. Perhaps, if one day I will embark on an around the world trip on this motorcycle, maybe I will change it to the over-engineered after-market one, but until then I am happy with the current doohickey.

Auckland in a Nut Shell tour

While we are working at Adventure Riding NZ to bring together the NZ Back Country Discovery Route, it is a pain in the backside to figure out how to get through Auckland with the less possible pain. While the domestic or international adventure riders are looking for much as possible gravel and off-road rides, it is impossible to just jump over Auckland. Especially if you are from overseas, it would be silly to ignore it.

Last Saturday I put together an “Auckland in a Nut Shell” tour to guide the keen adventure rider through some of the notable spots of Auckland. While you cannot find gravel rides in the city, I still made an effort to put as less as possible motorway riding into the tour.

The map

The GPX file

Click here for the GPX file

So, here we go with the description of the tour:

Achilles Point

The route start from Achilles Point just after St. Heliers. Achilles Point is named after a ship called HMNZS Achilles which defeated the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in 1939. You can get a good view from here almost all the places I will mention below.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is a seaside suburb with a small beach and a number of restaurants, cafe, pubs and other eateries. There is also a park where you can enjoy your takeaway coffee and breakfast if you start the tour at the morning.

One Tree Hill

One of the spots where you need to be careful, because you can run into sheep or cow in the middle of the road in the city.  You can get a good view of almost all of Auckland from here, The one Tree Hill Domain together with the Cornwall Park is one of the largest parks in Auckland.

Mt Eden

Named after George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland it is an almost perfect cone of a dormant volcano whose summit is the highest natural point on the Auckland isthmus (196m). If you ride to the top of the hill, you will be at a higher elevation than the revolving restaurant of Sky Tower :-) You also can find a bunch of cafe, other eating places and small shops along Mt Eden Road.

The Auckland Domain and the Auckland War Memorial Museum

The museum is definitely a place to visit if you are interested in the history of New Zealand (with a focus on the Auckland area), natural history and military history. Also recommended to visit the Wintergardens with the Fernery and the two large glasshouses.

Sky Tower

While I titled this section after the tallest building of the Auckland CBD, the route goes through the whole CBD, and the following places can be mentioned along the route (with no particular order).

  • Auckland Art Gallery
  • The CBD waterfront
  • Albert Park
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Viaduct Harbour
  • Wynyard Quater
  • Queen Street


Devonport is a relatively old harbourside suburb of Auckland at the end of a peninsula. Devonport has been compared to Sausalito, California due to its setting and scenery. You can also find the home base of the Royal New Zealand Navy here. Ride up to the top of Mt Victoria for a good over-view of the area and take your time to cruise along the promenade or the small streets with old villas. The small shops and cafes can offer a good place for a break on your tour.

East Coast Bays

From Devonport you head to the north through the East Coast Bays. Many small picturesque beaches, bays and town centers along the way. Take your time and do not hesitate to stop for taking photos or just to enjoy the view.

Long Bay

The end of this route is Long Bay. The coastline is occupied by the Long Bay Regional Park, and the shoreline is the Long Bay Marine Reserve, which opened in 1995. The beach is sandy and swimming is safe. It offers forest walks and scenic cliffs. It is a good place to have a longer break before you are heading to your next stop. Riding through all of Auckland is not as easy as it seems at first look and will definitely will take more time than what you think at first.

I hope you will enjoy your ride through Auckland, and don’t hesitate to drop us a message through our contact page or ask questions or recommendations on the Adventure Riding NZ forums.


GPX files

I am getting questions about how to download the GPX files for our rides all the time. Now I have the time to put together an illustrated how-to, to make everyone’s life easier.

So, first step is to go to the KLR Ramblers website and click on the link which is supposed to lead you to the GPX file. This is the obvious part.

The link will take you to I have chosen Dropbox as our file hosting provider for a practical and a selfish reason. The most important is, Dropbox is offering a reasonable large storage for free, and the more personal reason is, Dropbox client is available on all platforms what I am using every day. Although the KLR Ramblers files are hosted for free, Dropbox a company which is trying to make money, so I am not upset about they approach to trying to gather new customers and sell subscriptions, but here it is how can you go around.

After clicking on the download link, you will get the below screens, depending on if you are downloading on a computer or a mobile device.

Dropbox on a PC
Dropbox on a mobile device

Instead of creating an account, logging in or downloading an application, simply just click where the red arrows are indicating, to jump to the download.

In the next step, just click on the “Direct download” link (indicated by red arrows) and the file transfer will begin.

Dropbox on a PC
Dropbox on a mobile device

After the completed download, the file will be in your “Download” folder most likely or in the folder what you specified before the download just began.

If this “how-to” doesn’t work for you or you think I forgot something, please let me know through our contact form.


November – Ride report

Here are a brief account and a few photos of the KLR Ramblers ride from November.

Ten riders gathered at the Pokeno Fuel Stop on Saturday. The weather was good and everything else did look promising. The first quarter of the ride was just as good as the pre-ride. The conditions on  Klondyke Rd were on the challenging side slightly because the damage by the logging trucks and the not too fine repair works by the forestry company. Later at Port Waikato, we run into a road closure because of a car rally event further up on the road. Thanks to Adrian’s knowledge on the local roads we did find our way back to Onewhero, Wiramarama Rd, Baker Rd and finally we ended up at our pit-stop at Nikau Cave Coffe.

Because the first leg of the route was longer and took more time than we anticipated, after a good coffee and some food we broke-up and some of us headed back to Pokeno, but most of the group set out to finish the unridden part of the ride as it was planned.

I would like to thank Adrian to help us out with his local road knowledge, and Herman and Anton to take part in the pre-ride and leading this ride.

I believe we got the best what Waikato could offer on this Saturday.

This ride was the last in 2017 and we can meet again on 20 January 2018 for the first ride of 2018. We wish a very relaxing Christmas holiday to all of you with loads of fun time with loved ones, friends and on the motorcycle.

Here are a few pictures from the ride.


Taking fuel and adjusting the tire pressure before the ride
At the Pokeno Fuel Stop
At Nikau Cave Coffe
The weather was perfect for the ride
The best what Waikato could offer



KLR Ramblers ride – November

The details of the November ride as follow:

  • Date: 18 November 2017
  • Time: 9 am
  • Meeting point: Pokeno – Pokeno Fuel Stop (Corner of Great South Road and Market Street) You can adjust the tire pressure and top-up your fuel there if need to.
  • Where are we going? See the details below.
  • How are we going to ride? We are expecting you to be able to navigate through the ride on your own by using a map or with a GPS if you have one. (Files and information for both means of navigation are provided below.)
  • The whole ride will take approximately 4 – 4.5 hours and will cover roughly 170 km gravel and sealed road.

There will be one auxiliary rider. He or she will leave the start last and will be the last in the pack. You can also contact the auxiliary rider on mobile-phone if need. We will select this rider later and share the phone number with you at the start.

Be prepared to ride on gravel (in various conditions) and sealed public roads. All kinds of bikes are welcome not just KLR650.

Save the date on your calendar and download all the information what you need.


The GPX file:

Click here for the GPX file.

If you are riding with us, we will assume, you have read, understood and accepted our “Legal disclaimer”. Click here to read the legal stuff.