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Old 08-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
BriKielyGSman OP
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Location: Alberta, Canada-motorcycle hell......
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Two up - Going down +1: South America Bound

Like most of us here at ADV Rider, I have ridden through a fair amount of North America, but I have always wanted to travel far and wide on my motorcycle. It seemed as though I was doomed to ride only as far as my three-week vacations would allow.

When my friend Dan mentioned that he and his brother-in-law were planning a trip to South America, I was envious. Man, I really wanted to go with them.

Dan works at a sawmill, and has saved enough time to take ten consecutive weeks off. Not really enough time for a leisurely one-way ride to Tierra del Fuego, but it is better than nothing.

As it turns out, Dan’s brother-in-law is not able to get the time off. That is the rewards of being in management, I guess. It sucks for sure.

As for me, after 16 years with a natural gas utility company, I was bumped up to 5 weeks holidays per year. I wondered if I would be able to take two sets of holidays back to back, or maybe even get a leave of absence. I figured it couldn’t hurt to submit a formal request and see what the response would be.

A month later, I found out: "Ten weeks of holidays (07-08) have been granted as long as you remain in your current position during that time." No problem!!!

Now the only other real hurdle was my wife. Well, maybe "hurdle" isn’t the right word. Let me say the only other concern was my wife. I knew that Conchita would have no problem letting me go on my own, but I just didn’t think that was a fair thing to do. She loves to travel as much as I do, and the facts that we would be going to Latin countries, her ablility to speak the language, and her growing up in the Caribbean (Curacao) meant that the only choice we had was to do the trip together - two up on a 2006 GS 1200 ADV!!!

Conchita was not as fortunate as I was in the holiday department. She is a teacher and taking the months of October, November and part of December off just did not fall into that schedule. So she did the next best thing - quit!!! She doesn’t seem too upset about it either - imagine that!!!!


C and I get along great, and I think it is fantastic to do a trip like this with my partner. Of course that has brought up some gear, space and weight (the gear-not us, well maybe a little "us") issues, but so far I think we have it figured out. Our 10-day trip to Silverton, Colorado, for a Horizons Unlimited meeting was a good test run. Turns out Conchita’s riding gear was way too hot, and we need to find her some good mesh stuff.

So, the big day is Sept 28th, 07. We will be leaving our place in northern Alberta, and heading down to Waterton/Glacier National Parks. Then we will ride highway 93 south into Las Vegas, where we will be getting a new set of Tourance tires put on the bike (BMW of Las Vegas possibly??). Dan on his KTM 950 will be leaving a few days after us, and we will hook up with him in Tombstone, Arizona, on Oct 5th.

After that, the only plan we have is to hit the Copper Canyon in Mexico, and then head south - hopefully updating our blog and this thread at least once a week. We had hoped to visit "the Striking Viking" on our way through Mazatlan, but it sounds like he may not be around at that time. Too bad, I was looking forward to meeting him. Maybe his schedule will change by then?

I am curious to see how the two bikes compare to each other as far as maintenance, etc. It may be a bit of an unfair comparison, as the GS will be carrying more weight.

As far as planning goes:

Parts
We are bringing a spare key antenna (the bolts have already been drilled out for a roadside repair if required), alternator belt, bulbs (headlight, brake light and signal lights), brake pads, and I am seriously considering having a spare ceramic clutch with me as well. I will Not be bringing a final drive (watch that be the thing that craps out on us)!!


Tools
Sockets and ratchet drive to remove both front and rear wheels. Torx sockets for all bolts. Tire repair kit with cycle pump and pressure gauge.


http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1171423241/

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1171424857/

Tire irons. Pliers, vice grips, spark plug tool with cap puller. Emergency head repair kit (condom type looking thing). Mechanics wire, duct tape, electrical tape, zip ties and jumper cables, etc.

This Coors Light cooler bag seems to work perfectly as a spare parts and tool kit, not to mention the obvious use. It will fit right into the bottom of the case and has a bit of padding. Might work.

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1174740644&size=m
(I cannot figure out how to embed the link in the photo - seems flickr and ADV are not good friends. Believe me, I tried!!).


Gear
Tent: el cheapo, a bit iffy in the wind, but we got lots of binder twine!!

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1172442334/

sleeping bags, sleeping pads: we decided to take only the down-filled (grey) bags. They are plenty warm and pack fairly small.

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1172286156/

towels: super absorbant and almost dry when wrung out. Well, I don't plan on showering too much really anyway.....

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1174742228/

Powerlet heated liners

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1172286784&size=m

First Aid kit and all sorts of pills.

Drugs: Lots-O-drugs!!

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1173887023&size=m


Immunizations:

Yellow Fever (done)
Typhoid Fever (done)
Hepatitis A/B (done)
Tetanus (done)
Rabies (2 out of three so far):
Rabies vaccine was $625 for each of us. Interestingly enough, it is exactly the same shot you would get for free if you happen to be bitten by a dog!! Had I known a little earlier..........??? Hey, there is still time to convince Conchita!!


Drugs:

Malaria pills galore!!
(1/day x2 and 4 weeks after returing home-150 pills. If the Malaria doesn't kill you, the drugs will!!!!)
Pills to prevent altitude sickness.
(La Paz in Bolivia is over 12,000 ft)
Pills to deal with altitude sickness if you do get it.
Pills to stop diarrhea.
Immodium.
Allergy Pills.

Foot powder(stinky feet is bad).

Photocopied drivers licence for the "nice" police people.


http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1171429735/
Let's hope it all posts....seems these photos are not grooving the whole process. It worked in the preview finally .....I am crossing my fingers.
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BriKielyGsMan's South America Ride Report - Two Up.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259451

BriKielyGSman screwed with this post 12-19-2007 at 10:48 AM
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
GB
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Lucky guy to have such a supportive wife, quitting her job to go on this adventure of a lifetime!!

Best wishes for a great and safe journey..

If you plan on camping along the way, I wouldn't go with the cheapo tent... get something good...

Keep us posted if you can

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:29 PM   #3
BriKielyGSman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Lucky guy to have such a supportive wife, quitting her job to go on this adventure of a lifetime!!

Best wishes for a great and safe journey..

If you plan on camping along the way, I wouldn't go with the cheapo tent... get something good...

Keep us posted if you can

Thanks for the good wishes...

Not 100% sure about tenting ALL the way. Many have said that the lack of campsites and the fact that hotels are so cheap (with secure parking) are great reasons NOT to camp. May end up shipping the camping gear home at some point.

On the other hand, 300 bucks for a good tent in the scheme of things isn't THAT much. It would be smaller and lighter too, I suppose.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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You might be better off leaving all the camping gear home, and plan to hotel it.. from what I've heard there isn't much in the way of secure camp site and with all your gear on the bike, you want it parked in a secure location, such as what a small hotel could offer. Check out the horizonsunlimited.com site for regional specifics.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:24 PM   #5
BriKielyGSman OP
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I wonder...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
You might be better off leaving all the camping gear home, and plan to hotel it.. from what I've heard there isn't much in the way of secure camp site and with all your gear on the bike, you want it parked in a secure location, such as what a small hotel could offer. Check out the horizonsunlimited.com site for regional specifics.
Yes, it certainly is a consideration. However, I think Dan has his mind set on camping, so I think I will bring the gear (also, C and I wil be in the States/Canada for six days), but I suspect I will end up shipping it home at some point.


The bike:

I am sure you all know what a GS looks like...if not, here it is!!


http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1099195169&size=m

Notice I have a new set of Anakees. Well, they aren't new anymore!! I have about 7000km on them, and it looks like the back only has about 3000 more. I am hoping I make it to Vegas with these. I think they are fantastic tires!! Better than the TKC's in all aspects, except all out mud or soft sand. I just need a little more life for this trip.

Installed some Rox Risers. They are great!! Way more comfortable for me. If finding a tank bag that fits was a problem before, now it will be real hard.

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1173888013&size=m

Touratech Crash Bar Bags. They help get some of the weight up front.

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1173889059&size=m

Standard height Sargent seat: approx. 1 1/2 inch lower than stock and way more comfortable. No complaints about the seat from Conchita. The stock passenger seat would have never cut it.


http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1172279690/


$150 BMW stick-on backrest. I don't recommend it at all. It's cheeeezy!! Conchita doesn't find it all that bad. It's not like she is putting all her weight on it.

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1171419849/

Rad protection and headlight cover.

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1171415711/


Garmin Etrex legend. It's nothing fancy, but it sure does the trick!!

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1099260410/
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BriKielyGsMan's South America Ride Report - Two Up.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259451

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:32 PM   #6
BriKielyGSman OP
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Location: Alberta, Canada-motorcycle hell......
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My wife - Conchita

I should introduce you guys to my riding partner...
Guys....this is Conchita
Conchita....this is the guys (and girls, I suppose).

Conchita will be the unofficial camera person for the trip. Any bad photos can be blamed on her!!!

http://flickr.com/photos/bckgsphotos/1172441390/
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:51 PM   #7
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maybe i missed this but do you have a friend with a trailer (as a backup) you can bring your through all the potential snow coming back north? winter is pushing hard.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:55 PM   #8
BriKielyGSman OP
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Location: Alberta, Canada-motorcycle hell......
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We dont have any friends!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins
maybe i missed this but do you have a friend with a trailer (as a backup) you can bring your through all the potential snow coming back north? winter is pushing hard.
This is a one-way trip. We are planning on shipping the bikes home either from Santiago, Chile, or possibly Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We have had enough of riding in the snow ..... for now.
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BriKielyGsMan's South America Ride Report - Two Up.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:34 AM   #9
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Location: CA Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range...woohoo!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriKielyGSman
We stopped along highway 95 to see the sights. Yup, this was about all there was to see.

Welcome to Nevada!!! See you later today!
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:18 AM   #10
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Wink crossing my fingers!!!

Maybe, just maybe, if all the stars are aligned......

BRI, CONCHITA & I GET TO MEET IN VEGAS!!!!


I have not seen Brian in what, 16 years. We used to hang out in Cold Lake, Alberta when I lived there way back when.

Have a great ride today & enjoy the warmer weather. It only gets warmer from there.

Keep me posted!
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:28 PM   #11
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Great report!

Thanks for an intriguing report - I love the pictures!

As a guy trying to sell his wife on the same trip to SA, I'd love to hear from Conchita what she thinks of riding on the back. Are the days too long or just right? Are you guys using an intercom? Other thoughts or tips?

Don't sweat answering now, but a post-trip report would be great.

Cheers,
trond
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
BriKielyGSman OP
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Together again!!!!

Conchita, Ben and I hooked up with some Colombians, who also know Carlos and Alba from Cali. We all rode to Cuzco together. On the way, after fixing our second flat tire, C and I had a little spill on a hairpin turn. Nothing too serious. We were going slowly. The three others ahead of us almost went down as well. It was like ice. I had no warning or time to react. All I knew was one second we were going up the hill, and the other we were going down the hill -on our side. I figured something wasn't quite right at that point!!! No damage to either C or myself. Just a couple of scratches on the bike. No photos either - thought it would be a good idea to get the bike off the road. We brushed ourselves off, and away we went. Taking care in the corners for the rest of the ride.

To all those that are going to do the road from Nazca to Cuzco, be warned - when the locals tell you it will take 14 hours - believe them!!! Awesome road though!!

Anyway, we pulled into Cuzco last night, and the Colombians had a contact here. It turns out that it was the same contact that Dan had. He took us to a Hostel, and what do we see in the court yard?? A KTM half taken apart!!! No sight of Dan D though - he was checking out Machu Picchu.

Right now, Dan is beside me at the internet cafe, trying to find out if you guys have figured out his problem yet!!!

TDF -stands for Tierra del Fuego (it is the name of the island where Ushuaia is).

Conchita will answer as soon as we can get connection with our laptop!! With photos....

Today we are trying to figure out how to get to Machu Picchu. It is quite an ordeal with buses, trains, accommodations and not knowing if there is a train back or not. Pricing is all wishy washy. That guy says $200, Dan paid $100...??? I am sooo confused!!!!!

B and C (well actually just B this time - C is getting laundry done).
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:50 PM   #13
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The Latest???

Hey Guys,
How did you like Machu Picchu and is it as nice as everyone says?
Dan, what is the latest news concerning the KTM?
How many more KM's to TDF?
Take care, talk to you soon.
A&D
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:14 PM   #14
BriKielyGSman OP
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Peru........

Quote:
Originally Posted by motrhed
Hey Guys,
How did you like Machu Picchu and is it as nice as everyone says?
Dan, what is the latest news concerning the KTM?
How many more KM's to TDF?
Take care, talk to you soon.
A&D
Machu Picchu was the highlight of the trip - fantastic! Report to follow when we get caught up.

KTM is still down and out. Dan has some ideas to try tomorrow. Maybe clean out the float bowls on the carbs - bad gas??

I think about 6000 k's left to go. Just a guess, though.

When C and I first crossed into Peru, all we wanted to do was to get the hell out of this country. The garbage on the Pan American Highway is disgusting. It is a desert of garbage.

However, as we ventured off the highway into the mountains, things have changed. It got greener, cleaner and a lot more scenic. So far, Peru (for me) has been the most interesting country. Extremes from poverty and garbage to some of the most fantastic roads and sights I have seen.

Here is Peru..............



Detour - can't go this way. Almost all the construction we have seen is done by hand.


Cañon del Pato...........C and I rode this along with Ben....










The Pan American Highway......






This is what you see from the highway.


Check out all the photos of this set in a full screen slide show.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bckgsph...44691311/show/

B C and.......................D!!!!!!
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BriKielyGsMan's South America Ride Report - Two Up.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:41 PM   #15
BriKielyGSman OP
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C and I had a little spill...

The scene......very slippery corner.




The damage.......






We fared pretty well all in all. The side case impressed me: no dents or bends at all.

B and C and D
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