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Old 10-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #16
VooDooDaddy
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Location: SW Iowa
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Hey JD,

Cheers to you my friend. I'd be happy to give you a couple dineros once you get a paypal link going. I know what it's like doing everything on a limited budget. With three growing kids roaming the house, there's not a lot of spare change to be found. I'll be doing my SA trip in hopefully 2018 or 2019 when my kids are out of high school.

Until then is a long wait, but believe it or not, I already have most of my gear ready to go, and my bike of choice will be my lowly DR350. Everyone thinks I'm nuts. "Oh, you can't go to SA,...it's too dangerous. You'll get kidnapped by a narco-trafficing, thug" Or,..."you can't ride a little 350 to SA, you need a bike with at least a million cc's"

And I continue to be absolutely dumbfounded by the great people here at the ADV nut-factory who are riding 800lbs behemouths with enough luggage and misc. gear to outfit four people let alone themselves.

It's really, really refreshing to see someone do their SA dream trip without a million dollars, a GS1200, and spending the entire trip in a hotel/hostel/resort.

Good on ya!
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:29 PM   #17
dankatz
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Subscribed! Good luck on your trip! Me jealous...
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by VooDooDaddy View Post
Hey JD,

Until then is a long wait, but believe it or not, I already have most of my gear ready to go, and my bike of choice will be my lowly DR350. Everyone thinks I'm nuts. "Oh, you can't go to SA,...it's too dangerous. You'll get kidnapped by a narco-trafficing, thug" Or,..."you can't ride a little 350 to SA, you need a bike with at least a million cc's"...

It's really, really refreshing to see someone do their SA dream trip without a million dollars, a GS1200, and spending the entire trip in a hotel/hostel/resort.

Good on ya!
Hi VooDooDaddy.

This rides for you! I remember following my friend Gene through the woods. He was on a DR 350. What a sweet bike. No way I could keep up with him. Well okay, Gene can ride circles around me. But that little Suzuki is a good one. Continue ignoring the naysayers and follow your dreams. The older I get the faster time flies. Your kids will be in college before you know it. I look forward to reading your ride reports in the not so distant future.

I really enjoy writing ride reports. And yes, I will figure out how to put up a paypal donate button if I run low on funds and people are enjoying reading along and would like to help keep this ride report going a tad longer.

I have nothing against people who ride big bikes and live large. It's fun to read their ride reports. And yes I know their rear shock cost more than my bike. Nothing wrong with that. I just can't afford to do it. Anyway, I have been through Mexico and Central America many times and it pounds the crap out of your bike. I would hate to have a lot of expensive stuff to keep an eye on really. And living in rural Nebraska, I actually enjoy seeing how far I can go on a limited budget. Its not for everyone though. But if nothing else, I hope to inspire some of the younger folks out there to see that yes they can ride long and far for less than they might imagine.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Now get back out and finish picking corn before the next storm rolls through! And feel free to drop by for a free place to stay if you're ever through the Sandhills of Northern Nebraska. We're practically neighbors. I imagine we have a lot in common.

Best,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 10-03-2012 at 12:11 AM
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:52 AM   #19
Paulutions
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Thumb You Are An Inspiration

You, sir, are the real deal. You are an inspiration to working guys everywhere. Making the most out of the least is what adventure is all about. I live near Gallup, N.M where our local bike shop has a Sherpa sitting out back. If you wind up needing parts sent to you, pm me & I will see what I can do. Looking forward to reading your posts.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:51 AM   #20
Paulutions
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By the way, I am rather new to off-road adventure riding. But, I've done a lot of backpacking. When I got on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia in June, I had $300.00 and had to work along the way. I made it to Vermont by fall, found work on a farm where I wound up returning to work for 3 seasons & am good friends with that family to this day. Anyway, there are lots of inspiring people who do the A.T. on a limited budget, while there are also many who spend thousands on expensive gear and are so obsessed with conquering the trail that they burn themselves out and forget to have a good time. I could go on and on with stories, but I'll just say that I quickly learned that the people who tended to have the best time & go the furthest were the ones who spent the least amount of money and carried the smallest amount of weight. On the AT, you were almost never more than a week away from your next opportunity to get supplies. You could carry a week's worth of good plus your necessary gear & realistically keep your pack to between 25 & 35lbs, depending on how extreme you got about weight. Some guys even cut the handles off their toothbrushes. At any rate, I have often wondered why the same sort of ultralite philosophie wasn't more present in adventure riding. Nor have I yet figured out why I would need a huge, heavy pannier system on a motorcycle when, on the trail, I learned to keep my load down to a pack not much bigger than a day pack. However, Iwill say that' when I started hiking the AT, I had a very large, expensive backpack that I had bought used & believed that I just wouldn't carry as much in it. I eventually had to come to the realization that the more I could carry, the more I would carry and traded down for a smaller pack. I also bought a very expensive pair of hiking boots that, within 300 miles started to crumble apart. I was happy to in cheap, $20 running shoes from Kmart for the rest of my trip. It may just turn out that you pioneer a movement of minimalist motorcyclists. Call it a school of thought, write a book, & charge big money to give seminars on how to travel light & cheap.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:03 AM   #21
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Hi Paulutions,

This is my book and seminar. And it is free for the taking. I was fortunate to have an English professor stepfather who explained to me just how futile it was to think you could make money as an author. Although his books of poetry are in the Library of Congress, the pay was meager for the effort involved. Anyway, I enjoy writing and reading these stories later on. And I imagine people who like traveling light and cheap aren't the most likely candidates to pay big bucks for seminars.

But I am definitely in the less is more camp. There are plenty of minimalist riders out there. Some by choice. Others by necessity. You are wise. I too started off for Asia in my younger years with a huge backpack and returned nine months later with a daypack having sent everything else home or given it away. Everyone finds what works for them eventually. But I agree that large expensive solutions aren't necessarily the best for everyone. Having hiked the AT I am sure you have noticed that mental toughness and perseverance in the face of adversity is more important than expensive gear.

Anyway, thanks for the kind offer. Nice to know someone's got my back in the Land of Enchantment. Although there's not much I can't fix on the road. The Sherpa is dirt simple to work on. In fact I went to tune it up two weeks ago and backed out the spark plug only to find some piece of crud welded itself to the bottom thread and boogered up the spark plug threads as I backed it out. Had to take the head off and install a timesert:



With the camera flash you can't really see the boogered bottom thread on the old spark plug in this crappy photo, but you get the idea. Anyway, that bike is like working on a riding mower only easier access. Although I did have to adjust one exhaust valve shim. It had tightened up a couple thousandths. I haven't had to touch the valves in 21,000 miles and had never done shim under bucket. But with the internet, and the Sherpa being a miniature KLR style there was plenty of info on the net for figuring out how to take the camshafts out and replacing the one shim. I just watched this KLR650 valve adjust video on Youtube and it was the same disassembly procedure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2d-V4udwaA

Anyway the bike is back together now. The hardest part of the job was figuring out how to reset the automatic cam chain tensioner. But I like taking things apart and figuring out how they work. And I know from previous trips just how thankful I have been that I took the time to put on new tires, fresh battery and fix everything at home instead of on the road.

So if an old fart like me who has to remove the top end to do a tune up can make it to South America and back, just imagine how much easier it will be for you.

Maybe you'll be hearing from me if the motor blows in Honduras.

Thanks again. Nice to have you along for the ride. And who knows? Maybe that Galluping Sherpa has your name on it.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 10-05-2012 at 11:11 AM
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:33 AM   #22
VooDooDaddy
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My minimalist philosophy comes from my time on active duty in a Marine Corps infantry company. Humping a pack mile upon mile upon mile, you learn to "travel light, freeze at night". This attitude has stayed with me throughout my adult life, and I live a minimalistic lifestyle, and continuously struggle to keep things as simple and uncluttered as possible.

Subscribed my friend, and I'll take you up on the offer soon. Me and some friends have been making some trips up into your area, and into southern S. Dakota.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VooDooDaddy View Post
My minimalist philosophy comes from my time on active duty in a Marine Corps infantry company. Humping a pack mile upon mile upon mile, you learn to "travel light, freeze at night". This attitude has stayed with me throughout my adult life, and I live a minimalistic lifestyle, and continuously struggle to keep things as simple and uncluttered as possible.

Subscribed my friend, and I'll take you up on the offer soon. Me and some friends have been making some trips up into your area, and into southern S. Dakota.
You are welcome anytime. Plenty of flat places and even a couple beds to sleep in here in my house. Or camping in the backyard if I'm out riding. Anyone in Bassett can direct you to my house. Nice thing about small town living.

And there is actually some decent riding heading west on the Outlaw Trail down the Niobrara over towards the Badlands, Blackhills, Spearfish Canyon etc.

Hope to see you down the road.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #24
crashmaster
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Looking forward to this one John. The next full moon is almost a month away. Screw the Moon, get on the road already!
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #25
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Looking forward to this one John. The next full moon is almost a month away. Screw the Moon, get on the road already!
Hey Vince!

Welcome aboard! I feel like I know you well after reading your 1000 page ride report. But as you know, it is a whirlwind of last minute things to handle before you leave on a long trip.

I think you are the one that needs to get back to South America sooner rather than later. It is calling. I can hear it!

That orange bike of yours misses carrying around guapas chicas almost as much as you do.

Hope to see you down the road someday.

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #26
crashmaster
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Hey Vince!

Welcome aboard! I feel like I know you well after reading your 1000 page ride report. But as you know, it is a whirlwind of last minute things to handle before you leave on a long trip.

I think you are the one that needs to get back to South America sooner rather than later. It is calling. I can hear it!

That orange bike of yours misses carrying around guapas chicas almost as much as you do.

Hope to see you down the road someday.

Suerte,
Juan
I hear ya. Yeah, I need to get my butt back on the road, on the bike anyway.

Funny thing is, the most complicated thing was not bike prep, gear prep or any of that. It was getting my life in the states in order so it could run on autopilot while I was gone for a couple years.

Suerte!
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:33 PM   #27
Misery Goat
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Hola Señor Misery Goat!

Believe me I would love to be riding that big Orange bike of yours. Just watching your videos brings back fond memories of splitting lanes Latin American style on the centerline moto lane.

I certainly enjoy reading your ride reports. I noticed a picture of your bike at Rancho DiAndrew down in CR in the valley of Toucans and waterfalls. I look forward to dropping by there again. That place was mighty fine.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
Yep, Vinnie recommended Drew's place to me in CR. It's a little slice of heaven up on that bluff overlooking the beach and Andrew is good peeps. Give him my best when you get down there.

I'm looking forward to reading about your exploits.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #28
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Yep, Vinnie recommended Drew's place to me in CR. It's a little slice of heaven up on that bluff overlooking the beach and Andrew is good peeps. Give him my best when you get down there.

I'm looking forward to reading about your exploits.
I look forward to positating the negative in your honor hanging out on the lanai looking out over the Whales Tail as well as jumping off waterfalls. The view off that covered upper deck was nice even on a rainy day:



Will be sure to say hi to Drew and crew for ya. I recommended that place to one of my sister's birdwatching friends and she emailed me to say thanks a few months back and Drew added a note at the bottom saying the valley missed me. Gotta get down back there. Can't wait!!!!!!

Best,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:30 AM   #29
SchizzMan
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Subscribed.

Again.

rtwpaul just passed through here on his way south and mentioned your earlier RR which we both had read. You are one if a few riders who have influenced me to leave the GSA in the garage and get a 250 for riding Mexico and CA.

Buena suerte,

JD
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:09 AM   #30
Bob
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Thanks for the new link.
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