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Old 11-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #361
ExOze
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ZUMO mount

Jeff, first of all I have really enjoyed your RR and have taken copious notes just in case I'm fortunate enough to follow in your tracks some day. As far as the Zumo goes, I have the non-locking Touratech mount that seems much more durable than the OEM piece. It has several rubber isolators and it hasn't failed me yet...although my excursions to date pale in comparison to yours.



Safe journey home...
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:48 PM   #362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebikeboy
I checked out that smellybiker site too and that looks great. Nothing better than a product made by someone who's sick of the most well known GPS provider. It seems to have a bit of an "open source" vibe about it too which always appeals to me...(why I got the google g1 instead of the iphone)
Just to give you fair warning so you don't yell at me later... the smellybiker maps are good to have but the quality varies from country to country. They were good in Panama, ok in Nicaragua, and horrible in Honduras. But then the paper maps were horrible in Honduras too.

Ride the bike you have the most fun on... but definitely make sure that you know where your service intervals will put you!

I have some questions for you about the G1 but I'll do it in PM 'cause I doubt everyone else wants to read our geekery
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:46 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExOze
Jeff, first of all I have really enjoyed your RR and have taken copious notes just in case I'm fortunate enough to follow in your tracks some day. As far as the Zumo goes, I have the non-locking Touratech mount that seems much more durable than the OEM piece. It has several rubber isolators and it hasn't failed me yet...although my excursions to date pale in comparison to yours.
That might help the main unit survive better, but it still leaves the cradle problem. The basic Garmin mount is still there:



The problem is the connector. Those pins are small, springed, and suffer severely from electrolytic corrosion. Take a look at this:



There is no way this unit can survive long in a high-moisture environment like Central America. The little rubber cap (which tends to crack and break off anyways) does not make a very good seal. The connector is under-engineered.

You might say that part of the problem is leaving the cradle on unswitched power. I initially mounted the unit to switched power and got sick and tired of having to press "Yes, keep running on battery" every time I turned off the bike to talk to someone. So that is not a solution. Near as I can tell the only way to reduce (but not eliminate) this problem is to put a separate hard switch on the dash and remember to turn it off every time I dismount the unit.

Lame lame lame. Garmin failed. Oh, and the fact that they do not allow any of their merchants to ship a new cradle internationally is a huge slap in the face. I get angry thinking about it. Thanks for fucking me in Mexico, Garmin.

On the other hand, I'm not sure TomTom is any better. I'm going to research it though.

Jeff
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:43 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
Mine failed similarly - in shorter time and in fairer conditions.
You have to treat it with something: ACF50 - or electrolitic grease - else those pins are always going to go.

Whats worse is that the underside of the unit itself - the contact plates are very thin. If they corrode or get physically damaged (vibration) then it just makes no contact.
I had a cradle then a unit fail inside 6 months.

The only alternative is something like a 276C - which has no cradle.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:24 AM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
Just to give you fair warning so you don't yell at me later... the smellybiker maps are good to have but the quality varies from country to country. They were good in Panama, ok in Nicaragua, and horrible in Honduras. But then the paper maps were horrible in Honduras too.

Ride the bike you have the most fun on... but definitely make sure that you know where your service intervals will put you!

I have some questions for you about the G1 but I'll do it in PM 'cause I doubt everyone else wants to read our geekery
Good deal---I'll be researching this further then...As much as it might be annoying that there aren't great maps of all these countries in one provider, it also means that these countries are still great places for adventure...

As for the bike I'm still trying to figure out some things like tire availablity which might be an issue since my rims are 17 inch supermoto ones...and I can't figure out if they are actually tubeless or not...anyway I won't dominate this thread with my stuff since it's you're thread...but thanks for the tips.

And for the G1, pm me and Geeks Unite!
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:48 AM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebikeboy
As for the bike I'm still trying to figure out some things like tire availablity which might be an issue since my rims are 17 inch supermoto ones...and I can't figure out if they are actually tubeless or not...anyway I won't dominate this thread with my stuff since it's you're thread...but thanks for the tips.
Funny, this is actually somewhat relevant... Gavin went through the same process to find 17" dualsport tires for his Multistrada. After a lot of research, we found two different dualsport-ish tires for his bike:

* Pirelli MT60
* Avon Distanzia

You might have more options; his rear tire is huge and rarely seen in dualsport tread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebikeboy
And for the G1, pm me and Geeks Unite!
Done :)
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:03 AM   #367
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Thanks for the tire tips!

I've got another thread going over at CafeHusky.com and a member there has recently really helped me out with tires that work on 17'' rims. Here's the link for any who are interested:

http://www.cafehusky.com/forums/show...=9386#post9386

There are a few options out there. Not sure the availability of tires like these in Central America though. Might have to buy a couple extra and throw them around my neck!
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:06 PM   #368
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Semuc Champey



Our next stop was Semuc Champey, an amazing limestone formation in central Guatemala. Nir and I rode up while Scott took a bus and met us a day later. The rains had left the road covered with mudslides:







The ride was beautiful though:



We stayed at a hostel/ecoresort in Lanquin called El Retiro Lodge. The place was *full* of Israelis! Out of about 80 people, maybe five of us were goyim. Armed with my new vocabulary I blended right in, although I'm sure everyone was wondering why our conversations were so short and always revolved around street food.

Apparently this week marked the beginning of a long Israeli holiday so in addition to the usual army escapees there were also many vacationers. While it made the lodge crowded (the first couple nights we had to sleep in hammocks), I was happy because it also meant there were other adults to play with. They taught me Yaniv; I tought them Spades and Pinochle.

We also, of course, went out to Semuc Champey. It's about a 40 minute ride from Lanquin along a steep muddy road. Nir and I left the bikes "at home" so we could hang out with our friends, but it turns out that standing in the back of a 4x4 is actually pretty fun.



From a high vantage point, here is Semuc Champey:



A shot with an orchid in it for my mom:



Hi mom!



Hi Nir's mom!



Down below:


Yael's Photo


Yael's Photo


Yael's Photo

There is a huge river that runs through a cave underneath the limestone formations. Here is where it goes underneath:



Here is where it comes out:



And here is some food from the El Retiro Lodge. There are no "options" for dinner per-se; they make one big batch of food and you're either in or out. It was good. This night was some sort of Italian buffet:

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Old 11-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #369
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Ten Dangerous Things I Did Before Breakfast

Semuc Champey offers much to the aspiring adrenaline junkie.

First, jumping off a huge rope swing into the river:



This waterfall flows out of a cave higher up on the side of the hill:



We climbed into the cave!



We went about a kilometer back into the cave, swimming at times, climbing up rickety steel ladders at others:











At the end was a waterfall that you could climb around behind. Unfortunately flash pictures don't come out very well with the amount of spray in the air and it was otherwise dark except for a couple petzl-type flashlights.



Speaking of climbing, I couldn't resist doing a little bouldering. Other than the camera flash, the only light came from the little petzl on my wrist:



Now the crazy part. One part of the route inside the cave requires climbing up a ladder over a large wall. The water flows down through a small hole roughly like a drain. Looking towards the drain:



Would you crawl down this hole? Remember that it is nearly pitch-black.



Scott and I did. You have to hold your breath while making the plunge.





Once you start an adrenaline binge it's hard to stop. What a pretty bridge.



There wasn't a sign saying "No Jumping"!



We wrapped the day up with a nice relaxing inner-tube ride down the swollen river with no lifejackets.



Awwww...



It was brilliant to bring a waterproof camera on this trip.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:43 AM   #370
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Grutas de Lanquin

There is another, much larger cave system in Lanquin called "Grutas de Lanquin". Gruta means cave. Go figure.

This cave system apparently goes back hundreds of kilometers.







"Hey Scott, want a live cave spider?"



"Of course I do!"



The amazing thing about this cave is that it is home to millions of bats of several different species.



At night they emerge.





If you stand in the entrance, they fly by your head!



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Old 11-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #371
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Still going...

I just stumbled on this thread this week, wondered why it was at the top when it was a year old... you are still on the trip

Excellent RR I have really enjoyed it so far, thought for sure that by the time I reached page 25 you would have already been back. Keep up the great report


Glad it isn't over yet!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:31 PM   #372
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KTM engine failure in northern Mexico

After eleven months of travel and seventeen thousand miles, my novia anaranjada chose Saltillo, Mexico (four days from home!) to throw a tantrum that it can't be placated with a few trinkets and a light massage by the right mechanic. Some major bearing failed in my KTM 640A's engine

I'm posting this out of order in wild hope that someone might be able to offer some advice or help in this thread. On the bright side, sitting around waiting for bike repair probably means I will have time to catch up the last month and a half

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Old 11-24-2008, 10:00 AM   #373
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wow, really sorry to hear this SF. believe it or not, i know EXACTLY how you feel

wish there was something i could do for you, but i'm way up in the northeast.

goodluck.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:43 PM   #374
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Doh, that sucks.. hope you can get it repaired with minimal hassle. Maybe your bike is telling you to stay in Mexico (it's getting cold in San Francisco now)!
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:44 PM   #375
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Flores



Nir and I planned to ride north into the Yucatan through Flores, Tikal, and Belize. Scott had already been there so we arranged to meet up in a week in Tulúm.

We found an obscure, mountainous dirt road north out of Lanquin.











After a couple hours we came across a road that was under construction. The guy at the roadblock said the road would be open in a couple hours; we decided to see for ourselves.









While the weather was great for our ride, it was pretty obvious that the northern part of Guatemala was getting a lot of rain. This lake was pretty badly flooded, consuming the buildings along the banks:



The ferry across was an outboard motor mounted on a swiveling disc.



By the time we got to Flores both Nir and I discovered that our Happy Trails racks had torn and needed welding. I am saving up a great deal of bile for a future rant about how poorly this product has performed.



By the way, it is true, those charcoal canisters actually do "fall off":



Flores itself is a beautiful little town on an island in a lake, connected to shore by a small bridge. It's touristy in a cute way. I like it. The view from our balcony:



There is one restaurant in town that sells exotic meats. The armadillo stew was interesting but not amazing:



I've seen a lot of amazing sunsets on this trip, but this was one of the best:

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