|11-26-2008, 01:25 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
K100 with 100k miles DC to Panama
I'm pretty sure it will make it. The bike only has a hundred thousand miles, it isn't all that many... The flying bricks are indestructible. Its been meticulously maintained. That was all the rationalizing that I needed. Solo to Panama. I started in DC the first week of September and here I am sitting in Panama City.
The bike: 1985 BMW K100, somewhere around 100k miles. Its the second speedo (the previous owner estimated it around there from the service records).
I couldn't be more happy with how she performed. Never let me down, no issues the entire way. It refused to electric start twice (water got somewhere) but it started rolling with the help of a couple locals pushing me down the street. It dried out and hasn't come up again.
Starting in Washington DC. The first stop would be the Outer Banks, NC to spend a little time with the family. I would plan the way down to the Mexico from there.
The beginning, Washington DC.
It was a pleasant ride down to OBX. I've done it many times before in a car, but cruising over the causeway on a bike was much preferred.
I have to say that Ocracoke still holds a certain allure no matter how many beaches I visit.
Family vacation is over, time for the real adventure. I drove across the entirety of NC in a day. Stayed just outside of Great Smokey National Park.
From there it was just outside of Memphis TN, my plan was to do the states quickly and spend the majority of my time in Mexico and Central America. Decided to travel to Dallas in two days and found my way to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. A cool area once you get by all the urban sprawl. Not sure if the spring water helped fuel my ride, but it couldn't have done any harm.
The row of bathhouses from where the hot springs are drawn.
The men's changing room, not too shabby. The entire area has this great throwback feel to it.
Hot spring fountains dot the area.
Camping at De Gray Lake, Arkansas
Made it down to Texas and spend a few days with a cousin. The BBQ places were great down there. Anyone else have a love affair with a Dirty Love Burger? Who doesn't love giant spurs along the sidewalks?
Cruising down to Corpus Christi, I'm anxious to get out of the states and into Mexico. The last night in the states before making the jump south of the border.
The continuation of the trip will be added in the following days as I'm sitting around Panama City trying to sell her and catch a sailboat to Colombia. If anyone wants to meet up I'm at Luna's Castle in Casco Viejo. Yeah, I'm prepared for some flack of not continuing on, but Christmas beckons.
|11-26-2008, 01:33 PM||#2|
Motorcyclist and Dog Walk
Joined: Nov 2005
I had a K100. Great MC. Mine had 70K when I traded it to a Dr in FA for a CR500. It will make it fine. You have a tire kit right? Fuel pump mucho beuno? Tires bueno?
Have fun, stand by to be chastised for not wearing pants and boots.
|11-26-2008, 01:47 PM||#3|
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Port Kennedy, Western Australia
Well done, Luke. That's quite a trip on the old girl.
'13 Triumph Sprint GT; '04 Triumph Tiger 955i
|11-26-2008, 06:43 PM||#5|
Alabama & Costa Rica
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Sandy beaches of Alabama
Add me to thread
Sound like a great ride, I'll be following your journey.
BeachGuy on a K-75 (not with a 100K)
|05-06-2010, 05:33 PM||#7|
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: ex-Alaskan anchored down in Anchorage
And 2-up no less
My first trip to MX was on a 1985 K100RT. As you have stated bulit proof, the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. In over 100,000 mi. I have never had a passenger.
How does the bike handle 2up?
Did you have any problems with vapor lock/overheating.
After my last few vacations with the Gs's I am considering using the K bike on my next trip.
Truly an epic trip looking foreward to more!
|05-07-2010, 08:25 AM||#8|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
Thanks for the kind words! Glad to see other K travelers out there.
The bike performed well with Cindy on the back, she really started to enjoy herself as time went on. After we got her over squeezing the hell out of me during crazy situations everything was good. Nothing like avoiding a car/landslide/animal while in a death lock hug. It was my first experience riding two up for such long distances, stopping is slower, a bit more unwieldy going slow, you adjust. I think some basic passenger advice before getting them on is important. Lean with me, if we go down just stay on the bike and don’t try to keep us upright using your legs, etc.
I was never for lack of power even climbing the steepest grades which was awesome. Steep grades can be a real pain in the ass because there are no passing sections and there are always rows of trucks chugging along at 10mph spewing tons of diesel smoke. The trick is to pass as many trucks at once an oncoming car or truck forces you back over. The craziest pass I remember was passing a semi that was also passing a semi all around a curve. It just wouldn’t have been possible without the hp I had on tap. I rode with the Seguin brothers for a time and it really made me appreciate the K100 all that much more. More on that later.
I think the Corbin seat is a must on the K bikes; mine also had the small sissy bar which gave Cindy a lot more comfort and security. She could just lean back and enjoy the ride without me leaving her behind when I’d jump off the line.
As for the vapor lock, I never had an issue with it. I had read quite a bit on it. Maybe it is more of a problem on the faired bikes? While the wind protection would have been nice, I’ve heard they just roast you. I was more worried about the electronics, all that heavy rain really made me nervous.
I’ve always liked classic cars/bikes. It’s easy to get caught up with the latest and greatest. Nitpicking about this and that, in the end it’s always more about the ride than the bike or the destination. On some of the rougher sections Nate and I would be in the frame of mind of ‘shit, let’s just do it’
lukeman screwed with this post 05-07-2010 at 09:00 AM
|05-07-2010, 10:47 AM||#10|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
The next day we made our way into Nicaragua. Just before the border Nate and Lindsey split off and entered a bit further east. They wanted some custom made leather boots, which they heard were quite cheap to have made in Nicaragua. We’d meet up randomly on the island of Ometepe. We never really made plans to meet somewhere, it would just happen.
Cindy and I pushed on to Leon where we stayed at a cool little hotel that had turtles walking around its courtyard. Cindy’s flight was two days out and we spent a peaceful couple days walking around Leon before making a break for Managua so she could catch her flight. We didn’t really get ourselves much time to get her to the airport so it was a mad dash. I got pulled over at a speed trap the local cops had setup. About four of them sitting around radar gunning, I passed in a no passing zone. Which I did, but there was a plane to catch. With so many of them together, it made it difficult for me to bribe. Basically I just told them I have to catch a flight that leaves in an hour, threw down a $20 on their trunk and said I’m paying my ticket now! They wanted more; I told them it’s all I had. It was the most expensive bribe of the trip. We barely made it to the airport. Say our goodbyes and away she goes. I’m on my own again.
Just inside Nicaragua
Nice courtyard at the hotel
My next destination was Granada for a few days then I wanted to catch the ferry to Ometepe. I proceeded to get pulled over three more times going to Granada. It was ridiculous, the first time I didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign, the second time I didn’t use my turn signal while making a turn, the last time I didn’t even let him tell me what I did wrong. I was so pissed off at this point I just pulled out 5 bucks held it up, told the guy that I didn’t care what infraction he was going to make up, this was the third time being stopped in 2 hours, and told him to take the money ladrón. He did, I sped off. It was almost refreshing just cutting through the bullshit story and saving myself 10 minutes of pissing around.
Granada was alright, the nice colonial part of town seemed a bit sterile for me in a way. One big tourist strip, I got the picture of the yellow cathedral and continued on.
Pain in the ass getting the bike on this little boat heading for Ometepe. The ferry was done running so this was it. I love the sense of adventure of pushing a bike onto a boat with a 2x8x12 one mishap and my bike is on the bottom of the lake.
It was a pleasant ride across.
Here is the island. I really grew attached to it after a few days. The locals are much more laid back than the rest of Nicaragua.
Its night by the time we make the trip, upon lifting the bike down the workers sheer off the gear shift lever. Great. I end up searching around for someone that can weld in town. Yes, on the BMW its aluminum, no one has the ability to weld it, which I kind of figured. Eventually find a mechanic that knows the owner of the local motorcycle shop. It's late, I'm beat. We take a Kawasaki shifter, widen the opening and make it work. I roll into a hostel, drink a liter of beer and pass out.
Next day I decide to do a bit of riding around the island. I need to get out of the town where the ferry docks and decide to ride to the other volcano. These two separate volcanoes are joined by a strip of land that created one large island. I found this great place to stay right on the lake front, the sound of the waves was great in the evenings.
Remember that tropical depression? It dumped here as well, the lake was really high.
I did a bit of swimming, it was a hell of a lot of fun. There are actually sharks in the lake. Bull sharks can swim up river like a salmon to enter the lake. I thought the locals were just messing with me but I later checked it out to be true...
The hotel was on the north side of the east island. The owner was this nice middle aged man that enjoyed talking to me about the German girls that also were staying there. The best part about this was the fact that I was the only guest that spoke Spanish and we would be having this daily conversation with everyone around, including the German girls. The conversation normally turned to how white their skin was, the color of their eyes, their breasts, ass and legs. I encouraged this behavior of course, and told him that the shorter one would sometimes look at him while he was working. I told him that German girls were very strong and powerful, he agreed and his mind wandered.
There were three Irish guys staying there as well from Wexford, Ireland. I grew up in Wexford, PA outside of Pittsburgh. Much drinking ensued. These boys could drink; luckily I had been prepping for this moment since beginning this trip. In the end everyone either passed out or went to bed and it was just me sitting outside. I took a last shot of whiskey just because and went to bed.
A sloppy night, here they are singing "The Boys of Wexford" everyone got a bit choked up as it was a bit emotional. It commemorates the Irish Rebellion of 1798. It was quite amazing bringing together Wexford boys from two different continents.
'We are the boys of Wexford,
Who fought with heart and hand
To burst in twain the galling chain
And free our native land.'
This version is pretty close. It really takes me back.
All of us did an 8 hour volcanic hike the next morning, god knows why. We didn't realize that they weren't going to serve us breakfast as part of the deal and found ourselves with no food the entire day. Made for an interesting day, someone had a can of coke which we split amongst all 8 of us. The taller German girl bitched the entire time.
On the way up
Amazing view before going into the clouds
No doubt it was a tough hike. Here is the truck on the way back
The tall one, always so pleasant.
Nate and Lindsey showed up the following day having spotted my bike from the road. Everyone else was headed toward San Juan Del Sur. Nate, Lindsey and I would catch up with them down there but first we discovered a yearly festival on the island with a rodeo. Next post, a raging bull nearly destroyed both of our bikes and we accidentally ate horse.
lukeman screwed with this post 05-11-2010 at 10:06 AM
|05-07-2010, 03:01 PM||#12|
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: nw1/4 ne1/4 Section 11
Nice ride. I am looking hard at the old K's right now, nice to see one out doing its thing. Enjoy the ride!
|05-12-2010, 10:28 AM||#13|
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Central VA- right on the way
if this is the Matrix why can't I at least ride a wheelie -Pork Butt
Be seated on the porch at Yokum's store and after a while a friend will ride in. - Old Lion
What is wrong with you guys? -RapidWife
|05-12-2010, 03:26 PM||#14|
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Hanford CA
I clicked on this because my next purchase (hopefully) is going to be a K75/K100, but am THOROUGHLY enjoying this! Thanks for eventually finishing it, do you think you'll do a write-up of the latest trip to purchase a vehicle? :)
You never did mention what you do down in south America, do/did you live/work there?
|05-07-2010, 03:37 PM||#15|
Joined: Nov 2001
Location: in The Cloud
What a great read! I wish I was on the road and visiting the places you've described so well.
Thanks for taking the time to write, download photos and post. We love it!
"Converting oxygen to carbon dioxide since 1951."
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