Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
My Intro to Motociclismo
I have always had a thing for bikes, but never owned one until late in life; my 20’s. Regardless I would take advantage of anyone who was not careful enough to ask questions like, “do you know how to ride? Have experience or a license?” Then again, if you showed any kind of weakness what so ever I was usually on your bike and long gone by the time you thought to ask! From memory I have ridden an early 90’s KX125with a powerband (YIKES!), a late 90’s YZ 80 (crazier than the 125 IMHO) and had stolen a few times a YZF 600 while the owner was out on the lake (he left the keys in it, zoom zoom). There have been many others but in 2006 I finally had one to call my own, kind of.
My first bike was a 2001 Honda Shadow 600. Fun bike, comfortable but it never crossed my mind to just up and drive and not stop. I only used it to commute to and from work until it was too cold, or snowed. Longest ride ever was a two hour, each way, trip to a buffalo ranch in western MN. I did like the bike, nice to learn on, but it was lacking a fifth gear and I was moving to Costa Rica. The bike was my older brother’s, I had paid half what we agreed on, used it for the summer and when I had to wear all my ski gear to stay warm on it, I drove it back to his house and he repossessed it. He cleaned it up, resold it and bought a Harley he rarely rides. I wouldn’t either! It is likely broken.
2006 to 2008… I am semi established in Costa Rica and picked up my second bike, a Daelim 125 pandillera. It was a Korean made bike that came with a Honda Owner’s Manual written in Korean. It was the right price with all the wrong characteristics. It had a stolen title and owed a few years of registration stickers. Again, I only thought to commute with the bike, never got the title cleared and paid any fines when stopped right on the spot. Then one day it just stopped running and I knew little (nothing) about mechanics. So it sat.
At this time I was single, working with a Real Estate developer and I was doing alright. I also had met my first inmate who turned me on to the www.ADVrider.com community and also the Long Way movies which spawned an obsession.
Meet the instigator, inmate/lurker YBCAGED
So I got to thinking ; how can I turn a whole bunch of money…
into a steamy pile of ?
The plan was to make a buck off of riding every day. My mistake? Ask China why they make such sh**ty quality sh*t. I planned to do the break in myself so I knew how they could be ridden and knew it was done correctly. Then I would find some fun routes (ask YBCaged about this topic) and start a web site. Easy, right? Not one of them made it to 2,500 kilometers before blowing up. On two the radiators burned holes from which all the oil poured out. The third? It pissed oil out of every possible place there was a gasket nearly from day one. I fought the dealership. They couldn’t find parts. They returned them to me in the same broken condition telling me they were fixed. I thought about suing and then remembered where I was. Months went by and they finally got them back to me, one at a time, slowly.
I would get one back and have to return it again for the same leaks. One time there were stains all over the engine case and the head mechanic tried to tell me it was like that. I started yelling. I fillanlly got one back I could keep. It got stolen. Got the second one back and finally the third. The warranty was extended on them so I sold one. The third one then got stolen. Shortly after I got a call from the OIJ (FBI in CR) telling me the first one had been recovered!
After months of paperwork and a fax of roughly 45 pages I was told I had all the documents needed to pick up first stolen bike. I took a two hour bus ride over the mountain to one from one building to the next to retrieve my motorcycle. When I got to the impound lot, to official said something like, “I’m sorry, this isn’t the document. You will have to get a different one from our office in San Jose.” +2 hours on the bus.
I got on the phone with Jose (I forget his real name) at the Fiscalia building I was just at.
The conversation went something like:
“Jose, it’s Greg.”
“Do you remember looking at all those pages I faxed to you?”
“Do you remember telling me ‘todo esta aqui’?”
“Do you remember when I asked if you were sure everything was there and how I was not going to make two trips, etc…?”
“Ok Jose, talk to Jose II, the officer and tell him this is your fault and to give me my moto so I can go home.”
The Joses chatted a while, and I finally got the bike. It didn’t start so we had to bump start it. A little dusty and a few scratches but it ran. Still leaked oil ! I almost sold it to Jose II right there on the spot for $200. I said give me the money, find a lawyer, call me when the paperwork is done and I will come back here to sign if it can’t get done today. He almost bit, but wisely declined.
The story goes, some bandito had my moto, the cops were looking for him, found him, he ran and crashed. The bandito later tried to sue the cops and my corporation because he broke his nose and wrist. When I filled up with gas and oil on the way out of town I had a fun conversation with the gas pumper guy. He tells me a friend of his has the same bike, but just crashed it and broke his wrist and nose. He would fill up at this same station too. I listened and when things were all done and the gas gun put away I made sure he knew his friend was a POS thief and this was my bike all along. I smiled, he didn’t and I drove away.
My garage now looks like this.
I sold the black one with the stolen title for a hundred bucks and beer. Finally unloaded the Chino POS and was free of that nightmare. The little Honda; only had a clogged jet and still runs well today.
So after taking a bath on that little adventure I amazingly had some coin left over. So for just a fraction of what I paid for three Chinese piles of poo, I got this:
Dec, 2008. The first ride with the new (to me) DR650.
We have since gotten quite intimate
Now, enough blah blah blah, it is time for a ride…
Sorry about the long wind on this one, here is what is next...
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR
, The Bike Teardown
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"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln