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Old 04-11-2013, 02:00 PM   #226
troyfromtexas OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickrick View Post
Congratulations!

Excellent Ride Report!! Thanks for your time & effort.
I will be volunteering at the Texas Moto GP, would like to buy you a beer & hear some of your stories.
I am planning on riding south in a couple of years, once the last kid is out of the house, on my trusty DR 650.

Thanks again for the great ride report.
I should be around the grounds most of saturday. Hope to meet you. Thanks for following along.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:01 PM   #227
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The Adventure Begins... The Entire Route

I really did not have a route planned out when I began my adventure. I just rode to the first placed, asked around, then found the second place, etc. But, I wrote a post on my blog for every place that I visited, thus was able to record my route. Here you go...

Texas to Tierra del Fuego and Beyond

Texas
Austin
McAllen

Mexico
Reynosa
La Pesca
La Poza Azul
El Cielo
Alta Cima
Tamtoc
Xilitla
Zacualtipan
Aquismon
El Tajin in Papantla
Xalapa
Puebla
Cholula
Oaxaca
Puerto Escondido
San Christobal de las Casas
Palenque

Guatemala
Huehuetenango
Todos Santos Cuchumatan
Panajachel
Santa Catarina
Chichicastenango
Gualan
Antigua
Santa Lucia Milpas Altas


El Salvador
La Hachedura
San Blas
Juayua
Apaneca
Laguna Verde
Ataco
Alegria
Berlin
El Espino

Honduras
El Almatillo
El Espino


Nicaragua
Somoto
Leon
Cerro Negro
Granada
Mombacho
San Juan del Sur

Costa Rica
Samara
Monteverde
Mastatal
Uvita
Mombacho
San Juan del Sur

Panama
Volcan
Santiago
Panama City
Portabelo
Darien Gap

Colombia
Bogota
El Desierto de Tatacoa
San Augustine
Popayan

Ecuador
Quito
Isla Galapagos
La Mitad del Mundo
Mindo
Banos
Lago Agrio
Cuyabeno
Amazon
Cuenca
Ingapirca
El Cajas
Loja
Vilcabamba
Macara

Peru
Piura
Chiclayo
Huanchaco
Chan Chan
Lima
Huacachina
Chala
Arequipa

Chile
Atacama
Tocopilla
Chanaral
La Serena
Santiago
Puerto Montt
Puerto Varas
Frutillar
Puerto Natalles
Punta Arenas

Argentina
Provenir
San Sebastian
Ushuaia

Antarctica

Argentina
Lapataia
Tolhuin
Rio Grande

Chile
Punta Arenas
Puerto Natales
Torres del Paine
Puerto Natales
Osorno

Argentina
Villa de la Angostura
San Martin de Los Andes
Junin de Los Andes
San Carlos de Bariloche
Paso Del Indio
Puerto Madryn
Puerto Piramides
Peninsula Valdez
Mar Del Plata
Buenos Aires
Rosario
Cordoba
Mendoza
San Rafael
Valle de la Luna,
San Agustin de Valle Fertil
Ischigualasto
La Rioja
Andalgala
Tucuman
Salta
Siete Colores
Quebrada de Humahuaca
Posta
Coctaca
La Quiaca

Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento

Bolivia
Tupica
Salar de Uyuni
Potosi
Sucre
Saipina
Santa Cruz
San Xavier
Concepción
San Ignacio
San Miguel
San Rafael
Santa Ana
Samaipata
Perez
Sucre
Tarabuco
Bourgue
Monteagudo
Camiri
Villamontes

Paraguay
San Pedro
El Chaco
Parque Agripino Encino
Mariscal
Filadelphia
Loma Plata
Concepcion
La Laguna Blanca
Asuncion
Encarnacion
Jesus de Tavarangue
Trinidad
Ciudad del Este

Argentina
Puerto Iguazu

Brazil
Foz do Iguacu
Guarapuava
Curitiba
Ilha do Mel
Florianopolis
Sao Paulo
Rio de Janeiro
Niteroi
Ilha Grande
Buzios
Petropolis
Ouro Preto
Mariana
Itabirito
Congonhas
Tiradentes
Curitiba
Foz do Iguacu

Argentina
Santo Tome
Concepcion de Uruguay
Buenos Aires

Texas
Houston
Shiner
Luling
Lockhart
Austin
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:37 AM   #228
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The Adventure Begins... Austin Moto Fest Images from the Day















































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Old 04-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #229
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Fantastic display of bikes there in Austin! Some serious collectors/restorers out there. Very impressive!
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #230
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The Adventure Begins... From a blog to a book

I have really enjoyed sharing stories and photos with each of you through my blog TheAdventureBegins.tv. Your views, comments and support have been a great encouragement to me. Who would have thought that anyone would show an interest?

Almost on a daily basis I receive feedback in person or though my website about traveling in general or about my adventures. And often people ask me... what is next?

Well... I have been thinking about writing a book. But I have been wondering if anyone, other than my mother, might buy and read a book about my travel experiences. So I thought that I would try to survey you... my family, friends and fellow adventurers.

Would you take one minute to complete this five question survey? I promise that it will take less than 30 seconds. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Don't worry, you would not be under any obligation to buy a book at this time, I'm just asking questions and trying to gauge interest.

Click here to answer... The Survey

Cheers,

Troy
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #231
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A Conversation with Adventure Motorcyclist David C. Parkinson


I recently had the opportunity to chat with a fellow adventure motorcyclist named David C. Parkinson. I thought that some of you might be interested in what we talked about.

David, tell me why?
Ever heard of the Langston Hughes poem "A Dream Deferred?" Hughes mulls on what happens to deferred dreams. Doing this motorcycle adventure to South America was my deferred dream... I had always wanted to go on a long trip from when I was a little boy. In college I had an opportunity but started a company instead. When I left my job at Microsoft I had another opportunity but started anothre company instead. I knew at some point I had to make this happen; or else I would never travel and my dream deferred might shrivel up or explode!

The best thing about my motorcycle is…
I ride a 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. It's incredibly reliable. I have put 20,000 of the most difficult miles for any motorcycle to take but the V-Strom keeps coming back for more.

The worst thing about my motorcycle is…
At 250kg dry, without gas and gear. It's a bit heavy for off-roading but that hasn't stopped me from taking it plenty of places it was never intended to go!

I cannot travel without…
My Charles Schwab check card. This is a travel secret everyone should know about. It's one of the only cards I know of that you pay 0% foreign transaction fees on, is free to use at all ATMs worldwide, and finally they'll reimburse you for the ATM fees the ATMs charge you. So essentially you can get money out for free, whenever you want, whatever country you're in (no limits). The account is free (you must set up a brokerage account and a checking account) with no minimums. What I do is transfer $1000-2000 into my Schwab account to cover a month's expenses. With this technique you stop thinking about the ATM charge as they are reimbursed at the end of the month, and it makes it easier when you know you will be exiting a country not to have too much currency left over.

When I’m riding solo, I think about…
What a lucky ******* I am to have the opportunity to travel by motorcycle in Central and South America. More people should travel this way!

I like it when I ride into a town and…
See the smiles on people's faces. There's something about a motorcycle that just cheers everyone up.

I would like to go back to…
Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua. I was in love with Colombia and spent nearly 6 months there!

I was surprised to find out that…
Almost anything can be repaired. When abroad, it's normally the case that repairing your items is far cheaper than buying new items. Locals' ingenuity have repaired everything from my tent, my motorcycle, my watch, my aluminum panniers, to my GPS.

My attitude about travel is…
Do it when you have the opportunity.

The single most important thing that I could tell someone is…
When you like a place; stay there for awhile. When you meet a person you like, stay there for awhile. It's great travel advice that I wish I had followed more often.

You can read more about David and his adventures at his website www.davidparkinson.com
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #232
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Great stuff Troy! I like David's attitude and spirit. Microsoft? Who wudda thunk it!

Have you thought any further about your book? Self publishing makes it possible but getting a major to sigh you up is tough. But if your touring round doing talks and slide shows ... well that is the perfect place to sell a book.

I helped Host Austin Vince when he came into my area (NorCal). About 200 fans showed up and he sold just about everyone there a CD or two.
(his two movies). He did at least 20 presentations nationwide and sold CD's at all of them.

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:51 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Great stuff Troy! I like David's attitude and spirit. Microsoft? Who wudda thunk it!

Have you thought any further about your book? Self publishing makes it possible but getting a major to sigh you up is tough. But if your touring round doing talks and slide shows ... well that is the perfect place to sell a book.

I helped Host Austin Vince when he came into my area (NorCal). About 200 fans showed up and he sold just about everyone there a CD or two.
(his two movies). He did at least 20 presentations nationwide and sold CD's at all of them.

Good luck!
I'm still working on the book. Right now I'm hunkered down in a cabin in Truckee, CA working on the book and trying to get in a little fly fishing. Hopefully I'll have good results with one or the other.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:35 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by troyfromtexas View Post
I'm still working on the book. Right now I'm hunkered down in a cabin in Truckee, CA working on the book and trying to get in a little fly fishing. Hopefully I'll have good results with one or the other.
Either way you have set yourself up for WIN!
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by troyfromtexas View Post
I'm still working on the book. Right now I'm hunkered down in a cabin in Truckee, CA working on the book and trying to get in a little fly fishing. Hopefully I'll have good results with one or the other.
Truckee is excellent!
Be sure to say Hi to all the young beauties at Wild Cherries Cafe ... a great Cafe. I always stop on my way through.
Good Fishin' !
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #236
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The Adventure Begins... Hammock Camping for the Adventure Motorcyclist

Check it out, fellow Adventure Motorcyclist David Parkinson wrote this review about hammock camping and about the Hennessy Deep Jungle XL Hammock for TheAdventureBegins.tv.

See the video

About Hammock Camping
After a long day of riding a motorcycle in a foreign country... you’re tired... you’re exhausted. When the sun starts to set, the last thing you want to think about is finding a flat and dry place to set up your camp shelter - setting up your tent, moving your gear inside and inflating your air pad. Over the last twenty months of riding my motorcycle from Seattle, Washington to Buenos Aires Argentina, I’ve spent many nights camping underneath the stars, mostly ‘stealth camping’. For the uninitiated, that means camping where there is no official campground. While I love stealth camping, it can get tiring, especially when you’re spending 20 minutes to setup and another 20 minutes to break down. After 20 months of packing and unpacking, I admit I don’t particularly enjoy the shelter setup or breakdown process.

(Eno DoubleNest Hammock)

But when I left the States, I didn’t just have a tent, I had a hammock! The motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared.” So, with that in mind, before I left the US I bought a Eno Doublenest Hammock and an accompanying Eno Guardian Bug Net. During 20 months on the road, I spent about 20 nights in this setup. While the setup process differed from that of setting up my tent, I didn’t notice significant time savings, nor did I have a good fly for the hammock, which meant I got rained on a few times. Also, adjusting the hammock was a pain as I had to tie and re-tie knots with webbing each time. When I lost some of my better webbing, I bought inferior nylon webbing, which resulted in me being dumped forcibly on the ground more than once. Also, it was difficult to get the knots out of my webbing once the hammock had been loaded. I cannot recommend these for the motorcycling traveler.

I needed a better solution. I’m currently plotting a motorcycle trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina through Brazil and Venezuela. I did a lot of research on the perfect hammock at hammockforums.net. The two best brands discussed most often were Hennessy and Warbonnet. What sets these two brands apart from the rest, other than their inherent quality, is that they each have a bug net integrated with the hammock. This means no separate bug net at setup/breakdown time. I decided to go with the Hennessy Deep Jungle XL for two reasons: At the time of my writing, 1. The Warbonnet hammocks required a 3-4 week lead time to purchase and receive a hammock, and one must buy a tarp separately. 2. The Hennessy hammocks were readily available and ship with a tarp.

(Hennessy Deep Jungle XL Hammock)

Here are my initial thoughts on the Hennessy Deep Jungle XL Hammock. I will also post a follow-up review after I’ve used it more extensively along the beaches and jungles of Brazil and Venezuela.

Features and Functions
Pack size/weight: I think I can scrunch the whole setup to the size of a football... and this package includes the fly as well! It weighs in at 2 pounds 13 ounces, less than one half of the weight of my REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent!

Pouch in the hammock: You can hang gear like your keys, tablet and head lamp in the integrated movable pouch that hangs on the ridgeline of your hammock.

SnakeSkins (integrated stuff sack): These are basically nylon stuff sacks that you place on your hammock line that make packing the hammock a simple matter of sliding them over the hammock.

Bubble Asym Pad: The hammock ships with an integrated bubble pad for cold weather camping. I plan on using my hammock in hot or tropic environments so I can’t comment on this.

Integrated Bug Net: This saves an incredible amount of time with setup. Two zippers allow you to seal yourself in, or open the bug net and drape it. Before, I had to run a ridge line, then run clips, then hang the bug net. In addition, my previous hammock took up more space in my motorcycle panniers because the bug net was separate.


Double Layer Hammock Material: Mosquitos are a pesky bunch and, believe it or not, they can actually bite through a single layer of material. When buying a hammock, I recommend you purchase a double layered hammock.

Fly Included: There is a rain fly included so you have a complete sleeping system. If weight and size are not an issue, many people opt to use a hex tarp.

Fast Setup/Breakdown with Single Ring Suspension: When it comes to hanging the Hennessy, the generally accepted model is their figure 8 lashing, which keeps their cord brand new. The only downside to this method is that it is not adjustable. I wanted something that’s easy to tie, easy to un-tie and adjustable for those times when one end of the hammock hangs too low or too high. You can read more about this dilemma here. This suspension system has made setup of the hammock no more than a few minutes. Hennesey doesn’t recommend this system as it can lead to cord damage.


Pros

Fast setup and breakdown
Integrated bug net
Great nights sleep! (I spent last night in the hammock here in the hot muggy weather of Kansas, I’m hoping it was a good test for Brazil)
Complete out of the box: comes with everything you need out of the box... nothing else required

Cons
Lacks the footbox feature of the Warbonnet hammocks. Warbonnet hammocks feature extra material for your feet to make you lay flatter. That being said; I slept very well in the Hennessy.
Cost: it’s a bit expensive at $339.95, but the good news is there are Hennessy models starting at $99 (The Scout) I just happen to be 6’6” and needed a longer hammock. If you compare the price of the Deep Jungle XL compared to the Warbonnet + the tarp you must purchase (if you don’t want to get rained on); these top of the line hammocks are very comparable in price.

Closing Thoughts
I'm excited to take this gear to South America. I'll follow up from Brazil!

- David Parkinson
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:16 PM   #237
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I lived and traveled around Mexico, Cent. America and S. America for 7 years in the 70's. Only a small part on Bikes. For some of those years I used a Hammock. Lots of people in Mexico and Cent. Am. live in Hammocks ... in fact whole families live in them, every night. This is how I learned, watching locals, asking questions.

Lots of travelers had Hammocks too ... and I tried lots of different ones. The Euro, UK, Oz ones were hopeless, IMHO ... what in the world would anyone from England know about Hammocks Some local ones from other Latin countries were also not great.

Some Noob travelers did not know how to lay in a hammock (like the girl in the pic above ... all wrong). You don't lay length wise in Hammock ... you lay diagonal or cross ways. Now you can really sleep ... and not fall out. This is Hammocks 101 on the subject.

The best hammocks I found were the multi colored Cotton weave type made in the Oaxaca area. Tourists buy Nylon ones ... but they are STIFF and uncomfortable, but last forever. The Cotton ones give, are very comfortable but over time ROT in the Sun. I paid $15 for my Deluxe Hammock. It's what most ALL the locals used back in those years.

Based on advice from Mexicans living in Hammocks ... I bought a "Matrimonial" which gave ample room. These Mexican Hammocks are a fine weave of many strands. It's important to keep untangled ... easy once you know how!

In places like Tikal I simply clipped a 2 oz. piece of Mesquito net over me. cheap, expendable, packs to nothing, for sale in any Tienda.
Basic: Do what the locals do. Now light up a Mesquito Coil up wind.

During my Hammock days I was back packing. Once I got to S. America I sent my Hammock and a bunch more stuff home ... as Hotels/Hostels were the best call along the Gringo Trail. I had seen enough Sub Tropical Jungle in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras ... had NO INTEREST of more in the Amazonas regions. Been there, done that.

The problem with Hammocks is ... what do you do when there are no good Trees? Sometimes finding a place to hang it puts you in a NOT SO GOOD or SAFE situation. Most travelers don't want to carry a Tent ... and a Hammock! I chose a Hammock but in some situations had to go begging for a place to hang it ... or to sleep.

But when it would rain all night (like in Tulum, Mexico and Tikal) the poor guys in tents floated away. I carried a cheap Poncho (cost about $1 then), kept me and gear more or less dry!

While living in El Salvador (Surfing and teaching English at a local school) I slept in a Hammock at my rented house ... a big Palapa really. Chose my Hammock over the beds supplied with the house. Too many BIG Scorpions around, Rats in the Palm frawns ... so Hammock with Mozzie net was best. Even so ... Scorpions would sometimes drop ... No worries ... the big black ones are mostly harmless. (six inch long)

Just my .02 cents after 2 years in a Hammock.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:20 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Truckee is excellent!
Be sure to say Hi to all the young beauties at Wild Cherries Cafe ... a great Cafe. I always stop on my way through.
Good Fishin' !
I've driven by many times, but now I'll be sure to stop by.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #239
troyfromtexas OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
I lived and traveled around Mexico, Cent. America and S. America for 7 years in the 70's. Only a small part on Bikes. For some of those years I used a Hammock. Lots of people in Mexico and Cent. Am. live in Hammocks ... in fact whole families live in them, every night. This is how I learned, watching locals, asking questions.

Lots of travelers had Hammocks too ... and I tried lots of different ones. The Euro, UK, Oz ones were hopeless, IMHO ... what in the world would anyone from England know about Hammocks Some local ones from other Latin countries were also not great.

Some Noob travelers did not know how to lay in a hammock (like the girl in the pic above ... all wrong). You don't lay length wise in Hammock ... you lay diagonal or cross ways. Now you can really sleep ... and not fall out. This is Hammocks 101 on the subject.

The best hammocks I found were the multi colored Cotton weave type made in the Oaxaca area. Tourists buy Nylon ones ... but they are STIFF and uncomfortable, but last forever. The Cotton ones give, are very comfortable but over time ROT in the Sun. I paid $15 for my Deluxe Hammock. It's what most ALL the locals used back in those years.

Based on advice from Mexicans living in Hammocks ... I bought a "Matrimonial" which gave ample room. These Mexican Hammocks are a fine weave of many strands. It's important to keep untangled ... easy once you know how!

In places like Tikal I simply clipped a 2 oz. piece of Mesquito net over me. cheap, expendable, packs to nothing, for sale in any Tienda.
Basic: Do what the locals do. Now light up a Mesquito Coil up wind.

During my Hammock days I was back packing. Once I got to S. America I sent my Hammock and a bunch more stuff home ... as Hotels/Hostels were the best call along the Gringo Trail. I had seen enough Sub Tropical Jungle in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras ... had NO INTEREST of more in the Amazonas regions. Been there, done that.

The problem with Hammocks is ... what do you do when there are no good Trees? Sometimes finding a place to hang it puts you in a NOT SO GOOD or SAFE situation. Most travelers don't want to carry a Tent ... and a Hammock! I chose a Hammock but in some situations had to go begging for a place to hang it ... or to sleep.

But when it would rain all night (like in Tulum, Mexico and Tikal) the poor guys in tents floated away. I carried a cheap Poncho (cost about $1 then), kept me and gear more or less dry!

While living in El Salvador (Surfing and teaching English at a local school) I slept in a Hammock at my rented house ... a big Palapa really. Chose my Hammock over the beds supplied with the house. Too many BIG Scorpions around, Rats in the Palm frawns ... so Hammock with Mozzie net was best. Even so ... Scorpions would sometimes drop ... No worries ... the big black ones are mostly harmless. (six inch long)

Just my .02 cents after 2 years in a Hammock.
I appreciate that .02 cents. Pretty good deal. I agree with ya.
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2011 Suzuki DR650
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #240
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The Adventure Begins... On Any Sunday - The Movie


I enjoy watching films of all genres. But I must admit that I especially enjoy watching films about motorcycles and motorcycle travel. Over the next few weeks I'll be screening some of my favorite motorcycle movies. Check it out...

On Any Sunday is a classic film and perhaps one of the most nostalgic motorcycle movies of all time. The film is a documentary about the various forms of motorcycling as the sport was emerging in the 1970's. Malcolm Smith, Bert Lawwill and Steve McQueen star in many of the scenes. My favorite segment is with Malcolm Smith riding the International Six Day Trial in Spain. While the style and cinematography of the film is perhaps a bit dated, I think that the humor is timeless.

The complete film is now available for viewing on YouTube or click right here. (1:36 minutes)

If you have not already joined my blog or facebook page for TheAdventureBegins.tv, why not?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/TheAd...98783000136160
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2011 Suzuki DR650

troyfromtexas screwed with this post 12-15-2013 at 05:03 AM
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