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Old 12-10-2008, 11:20 AM   #391
tricepilot
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
I am back in San Francisco!

I will try to fill in the rest of the trip chronologically, but the upshot: The bike is in San Antonio getting an engine rebuild, so I flew home with a return date randomly chosen for the 16th.

The San Antonio shop (a huge Yamaha dealer with a growing KTM business) took the engine apart and found there was no oil in it. Since the bike never consumed oil, I must presume that the mechanic at Motoaltavista forgot to refill it. I feel like an utter moron for not double-checking the work. Naturally, the oil pressure light is not working - maybe a burned out bulb.

So, just in case you ever wanted to know: You can run an LC4 for about 700 miles without oil before it fails. Respect.
Jeff ,

I went to visit your KTM 640A today - easy to do since the shop is only about 4 miles from Casa Tricepilot:



The engine is on the work table






She seemed lonely, so I started to read her a few pages from Pirsig's book, and then the shop manager kicked me out.

Before you fly down here on the 16th I have an update for you

PM sent

Bob
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:16 PM   #392
mookymoo
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Out of curiosity, how did you not notice you had no oil?
Surely the engine would have been noisy as heck?
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:16 PM   #393
sp4ce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
This is where Yael pointed out to me that my camera was set to -2.0 exposure bias... and apparently it has been f'd up since Guanajuato. I hadn't looked very closely at the pictures after downloading them, but now I realize that most of my pictures are far too dark. Sad. Beware handing your camera to drunken friends!
SET IT BACK!

I've loved your pics (think Tikal) because they were a little underexposed if anything and not the standard washed out overexposed snaps. I just thought you were a competent photographer!
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:46 AM   #394
stickfigure OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookymoo
Out of curiosity, how did you not notice you had no oil?
Surely the engine would have been noisy as heck?
I didn't notice anything wrong right up until the failure. No unusual noise at all. According to the San Antonio folks, it had "less than a quart of oil", so maybe there was just barely enough to keep it operating.

I also ride with earplugs and music, but not so loud that I wouldn't hear/feel something wrong with the engine. Also, my first ride to the gas station every morning is without earplugs.

Still not sure about the warranty, but it looks good. Unfortunately most of the KTM dealers neglected to add service information to the ktmdealer.net central database, but I'm hounding them and they're responding.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:47 AM   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
Jeff ,

I went to visit your KTM 640A today - easy to do since the shop is only about 4 miles from Casa Tricepilot:
So sad!

Thanks Bob, that was awesome. When I finally do get there, the beer is all on me.

Jeff
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:11 PM   #396
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Playa del Carmen



Playa del Carmen is a big party town, full of norteamericano tourists, fancy shops, restaurants, and expensive hotels. It's actually quite pretty but we only stayed one night, pushing on to Isla Mujeres the next day.

Early in the afternoon, I agitated for a big party. Then I fell asleep early while Scott, Yael, and Nir went out barhopping. They came back at 3am and made grilled cheese sandwiches... and I never even woke up. I must be getting old.


Yael's photo


Yael's photo

This must be the most boring Playa del Carmen story ever
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #397
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Isla Mujeres



Nir and I dropped our bikes off at our respective shops in Cancún (fortunately they were one block apart) and hopped on a ferry to Isla Mujeres. Despite being a mere hour's ferry ride from the land of gigantor hotels and package holidays, Isla Mujeres is a world apart. It has a quiet backpacker vibe, cute restaurants and bars, and no big hotels. There is only one bar open late - the bar at the Poc Na hostel - so everyone on the island knows where to go.





White sand beaches and blue waters! That is Cancún off in the distance:



The Lonely Planet describes the Poc Na as the "Club Med of hostels". It's true. The hostel is right on the beach and serves as the definitive the social center of the island. We spent a week there, getting to know some of the (other) Israelis that we had seen earlier in our travels.



One day our gang rented scooters and terrorized the island:



You can walk across Isla Mujeres the narrow direction in about two minutes. The long direction takes about thirty minutes away by scooter. Here's the southern tip, where the Spaniards found a small temple to the Mayan moon goddess. Thus the name of the island.



The rain kicked up so we ducked into a random resort-ish place towards the south end of the island.


Scott's picture

When we tried to start the bikes again, only mine and Scott's (of the six) would start. Doh! The lame bikes were left behind for the rental company to pick up later.


Scott's picture

Isla Mujeres was a good place to spend a week, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a laid-back but fun and social vacation. Flights to Cancún are usually the cheapest in Mexico. You can party, you can eat, you can hang out on the beach, you can windsurf or kitesurf or snorkel or dive. Unfortunately for us the weather was not cooperative; it wasn't quite too rough to dive but it was windy and rainy enough to dull our appetite for activity. I would love to go back and explore the reefs.
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stickfigure screwed with this post 12-12-2008 at 03:20 PM
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #398
Jamie Z
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Location: almost Memphis
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Would you believe I just read this whole report from the beginning?

Jeff your storytelling and charisma are incredible. Nice pics too!

I made a similar trip to yours last year and our experiences are quite different, except for your way with women. How you got the Mexican babes to go out I'll never know. I was stood up twice.

Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed Guatemala and Nicaragua. And though I enjoyed Costa Rica (I took classes at the University of Costa Rica--your pics brought back memories) I found it to be overrun with tourists and comparatively expensive, as did you. I didn't spend near enough time in El Salvador, only one night. And just like you, I spent less than a day in Belize. The $30 exit fee made me quite angry. We both took this picture:



As well as several others.

I also had trouble with my Garmin GPS, though not a Zumo. When I emailed Garmin to explain the symptoms and the GPS would no longer power up, the response I got was to turn it on and perform a reset. I found Garmin to be quite unhelpful until I actually showed up at their world headquarters in Kansas.

You met up with a lot more people than I did, many more motorcyclists, a fair number more locals, and it amazes me how many of your friends from home met you along the way. Was that just by coincidence, or did they come down specifically to meet you?

Your bankroll is clearly far more than mine on your trip, I spent just $25 per day, including lodging and gasoline. Your many pics of food and beer made me quite jealous. I ate lots of tortillas.

In addition to all the Israeli travelers, did you meet any Belgians? Though not in proportion to Israelis, the tiny country of Belgium produces a huge number or young travelers through Latin America.

Anyway, thanks for the report. It's a great piece or work. I'll be reading the rest as you post it.

Jamie
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #399
stickfigure OP
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Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
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BEWARE: Biker's Garage/Moto Kuri in Cancún

I started a separate thread about the unpleasant experience retrieving my motorcycle from the bike shop in Cancún. If you'd like the dirt (including the email exchange), take a look here.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:55 AM   #400
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The Flamingo Coast



This was a magical day.

Nir and I made plans to reunite with Scott "somewhere west", then set out to explore the north coast of Yucatán state.



We reached the coast at El Cuyo, a small fishing village:





From El Cuyo we rode west along the narrow stretch of sand you can see in the satellite photo. The rays of sun were even more vibrant in person:



The road became dirt:




Nir's photo



At times the bay covered the road:




Nir's photo

Just wow:


Nir's photo




Nir's photo

More two-track:



Then the road opened up onto the pools of a gigantic industrial salt mining operation. You can see them on the satellite map.

Instead of riding along the edge, we rode out along the burms that separated the ponds.





The ponds were full of flamingoes!!


Nir's photo

We rode out into the middle of nowhere, giant pools of brine on both sides:





The sun was setting:


Nir's photo


Nir's photo

Some of these shots should be used as KLR ads:


Nir's photo


Nir's photo

The wind was picking up. Salt foam started collecting along the paths:



We stumbled across a huge mass of it that looked like a snowdrift:


Nir's photo

I rode around:


Nir's photo

Nir rode THROUGH:



No, it really isn't snow!



Hmmmmm, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all...



We rolled into San Felipe after dark. The first thing we did was hose off the bikes - the salt foam had already hardened into a solid chalky texture. The town itself was the perfect end to a magical day - a cute, sleepy fishing village with a clean, beautiful beach and a single hotel right on the waterfront. It might be the most picturesque town I found along the entire Gulf coast. Predictably, the fish was excellent.

The view out the window in the morning:



This day captured the essence of what I love about riding. I wanted to take a picture almost every 50 feet.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:37 AM   #401
SS in Vzla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
This day captured the essence of what I love about riding. I wanted to take a picture almost every 50 feet.
Quote of the week
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:10 PM   #402
quicktoys2
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Wow, scenic and a fun day.

I can't imagine the salt did any good to your chain, so I hope you also oiled your chain after you guys rinsed the salt off.

Soto
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:03 AM   #403
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The Flamingo Coast, Continued

We continued west, skirting along the coast when possible. Often it was. The roads were tiny:



There wasn't much passing room, not even when stuck behind a smoke-belching, fire-breathing asphalt tar truck:



There wasn't much out there. A few fishing villages, a few decaying buildings:





We stopped in a fishing village for lunch.



The sign looked promising. "PESCADO FRITO"



We grabbed a seat...



...and watched some guys work the nets, unloading their catch:



After a few minutes, one guy walked up with a couple fish and asked us which we wanted... a few minutes later we had this:



In Progresso we found a seven-kilometer-long pier with cruise ships at the end. We tried to ride out there but the guard wouldn't let us through



We rode on to Campeche. It's a very clean and modern city, right on the ocean and full of pretty colonial architecture. Why didn't I take any pictures? I can only guess it's because the previous coastline was so insanely awe-inspiring.



One interesting thing about Yucatán state: The anti-narcotics forces there don't mess around. Big military checkpoints, soldiers with M16s and stocking masks to hide their identity. They went through my panniers with a surprising degree of thoroughness. Oddly, they didn't check the drybag in the pacsafe net on the tail. It would have been a big pain in the ass to unload and reload.
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:08 PM   #404
Pockethead
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Those overcast pics would look wicked in HDR
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:15 PM   #405
x2468
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Location: Tallahassee Florida/Derby Vermont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure


This was a magical day.

Nir and I made plans to reunite with Scott "somewhere west", then set out to explore the north coast of Yucatán state.



We reached the coast at El Cuyo, a small fishing village:





From El Cuyo we rode west along the narrow stretch of sand you can see in the satellite photo. The rays of sun were even more vibrant in person:



The road became dirt:




Nir's photo



At times the bay covered the road:




Nir's photo

Just wow:


Nir's photo




Nir's photo

More two-track:



Then the road opened up onto the pools of a gigantic industrial salt mining operation. You can see them on the satellite map.

Instead of riding along the edge, we rode out along the burms that separated the ponds.





The ponds were full of flamingoes!!


Nir's photo

We rode out into the middle of nowhere, giant pools of brine on both sides:





The sun was setting:


Nir's photo


Nir's photo

Some of these shots should be used as KLR ads:


Nir's photo


Nir's photo

The wind was picking up. Salt foam started collecting along the paths:



We stumbled across a huge mass of it that looked like a snowdrift:


Nir's photo

I rode around:


Nir's photo

Nir rode THROUGH:



No, it really isn't snow!



Hmmmmm, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all...



We rolled into San Felipe after dark. The first thing we did was hose off the bikes - the salt foam had already hardened into a solid chalky texture. The town itself was the perfect end to a magical day - a cute, sleepy fishing village with a clean, beautiful beach and a single hotel right on the waterfront. It might be the most picturesque town I found along the entire Gulf coast. Predictably, the fish was excellent.

The view out the window in the morning:



This day captured the essence of what I love about riding. I wanted to take a picture almost every 50 feet.
awesome. thanks for the tip. ill try to do that. if the rental place ever calls me back. how was the fuel situation? how many hours would u say it is from cancun to el cuyo?
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