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Old 09-01-2010, 07:45 AM   #1
kizniche OP
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Georgia
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1: Sic Infit

    A few years ago I wrote a list. It was meant to be nothing more than an expression of my desires. It contained epic long and short-term goals, without a time constraint or an expectation to accomplish any. Between “skydive” and “hike the Appalachian Trail” was “motorcycle South America.” I remember when this came about. It was early 2007, and while traversing New Zealand with my old pal, Phil, I had been reminiscing over a motorcycle trip with my mother that occurred two years prior, covering 2200 km through Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria on two BMW R1150R motorcycles. As I stared out the passenger car window into the lush New Zealand mountainside, I realized that what was missing from New Zealand was a motorcycle, and what was missing from motorcycling Europe was New Zealand's tropical rain forests and unexplored wilderness. Instead of New Zealand again, my next destination would be South America. I nixed the idea of renting a bike or shipping my own and decided to mix things up. The allure of a dangerous journey through beautiful Latin America was what captivated me, and so my goal only naturally evolved into motorcycle Latin America! Thus, the title of this publication is En Moto al Sur, which translates from Spanish to On Motorcycle to the South.

    Preparations for this trip began just over three years ago after returning from New Zealand, when I moved from my hometown of Stuart to Boca Raton, FL., resuming my university study of the biological sciences. Being monetarily broke and driving the wrong bike for this type of trip, I was staring down a challenge to become ready by my graduation. Fortunately, scholarships and grants covered my tuition and most of my apartment costs, so my job at the local off-campus college textbook store expanded my savings. July last year, I hopped a plane to Denver, CO and purchased my first KTM, a 2005.5 950 Adventure, bringing what had been previously just a few words on a piece of paper and some fanciful ideas, into the tangible realm.




    A lot of encouragement has come from my father, family, friends, and strangers, and to you all I thank, but there was no greater support than from my mother. Entrusting me with my first motorcycle at age 9 and teaching me to ride sanely, she accepted the dangers of what she was unleashing with a stride. She always supported my travels, including this one. Without her support, I might not have been able to fund my new bike, have the fortitude to mount it, or even be in the position to contemplate this type of journey this young (or ever). The tentative plan was to set off shortly after my graduation in May, 2010. Devastating news struck early December, 2009, when my mother discovered she had severely progressed liver and colon cancer. I invited her to move from North Carolina to live with me while she sought treatment. My final, most demanding semester coincided with her diminishing in health. Sadly, she didn’t make it to my graduation or to see me off to South America. Her death this past March has only reinforced my determination to continue on, bringing the strong spirit she instilled in me along on my trip.

    In the past month I’ve reduced my possessions to only those that can be carried on my moto, left my apartment, and quit my job. I intended to work through the beginning of the Fall college semester, the busiest season of the year, but the pressure was building. A decent amount of preparation still remained. My girlfriend would be moving to Atlanta to pursue her Ph.D. at GSU. I weighed spending my last moments working 10 or more hours per day in a stressful work environment vs. sharing them with loved ones and finishing preparations. Although I consider many of the people I worked with friends, something had to give. I as well as many others would claim I'm a masochist had I chosen to stay.

    Prior to leaving the country, I'll be visiting family and friends in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. With today's exodus from Boca Raton, my course is set for North Carolina and Tennessee's Tail of the Dragon. ETA: 2-3 weeks.

Hasta la próxima vez!


SUM OF ALL GPS TRACKS TO LAST UPDATE
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Solo Latin America on a KTM 950, 9/2010 - 2/2011
En Moto Al Surhttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031


2012 KTM 690 Enduro

kizniche screwed with this post 09-06-2010 at 12:32 AM
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:52 AM   #2
zadok
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All the best for the trip. Looks like you are well kitted up for it.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
Aussie_Gringo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizniche
A few years ago I wrote a list. It was meant to be nothing more than an expression of my desires. It contained epic long and short-term goals, without a time constraint or an expectation to accomplish any. Between “skydive” and “hike the Appalachian Trail” was “motorcycle South America.” I remember when this came about. It was early 2007, and while traversing New Zealand with my old pal, Phil, I had been reminiscing over a motorcycle trip with my mother that occurred two years prior, covering 2200 km through Germany, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria on two BMW R1150R motorcycles. As I stared out the passenger car window into the lush New Zealand mountainside, I realized that what was missing from New Zealand was a motorcycle, and what was missing from motorcycling Europe was New Zealand's tropical rain forests and unexplored wilderness. Instead of New Zealand again, my next destination would be South America. I nixed the idea of renting a bike or shipping my own and decided to mix things up. The allure of a dangerous journey through beautiful Latin America was what captivated me, and so my goal only naturally evolved into motorcycle Latin America! Thus, the title of this publication is En Moto al Sur, which translates from Spanish to On Motorcycle to the South.

Preparations for this trip began just over three years ago after returning from New Zealand, when I moved from my hometown of Stuart to Boca Raton, FL., resuming my university study of the biological sciences. Being monetarily broke and driving the wrong bike for this type of trip, I was staring down a challenge to become ready by my graduation. Fortunately, scholarships and grants covered my tuition and most of my apartment costs, so my job at the local off-campus college textbook store expanded my savings. July last year, I hopped a plane to Denver, CO and purchased my first KTM, a 2005.5 950 Adventure, bringing what had been previously just a few words on a piece of paper and some fanciful ideas, into the tangible realm.






A lot of encouragement has come from my father, family, friends, and strangers, and to you all I thank, but there was no greater support than from my mother. Entrusting me with my first motorcycle at age 9 and teaching me to ride sanely, she accepted the dangers of what she was unleashing with a stride. She always supported my travels, including this one. Without her support, I might not have been able to fund my new bike, have the fortitude to mount it, or even be in the position to contemplate this type of journey this young (or ever). The tentative plan was to set off shortly after my graduation in May, 2010. Devastating news struck early December, 2009, when my mother discovered she had severely progressed liver and colon cancer. I invited her to move from North Carolina to live with me while she sought treatment. My final, most demanding semester coincided with her diminishing in health. Sadly, she didn’t make it to my graduation or to see me off to South America. Her death this past March has only reinforced my determination to continue on, bringing the strong spirit she instilled in me along on my trip.

In the past month I’ve reduced my possessions to only those that can be carried on my moto, left my apartment, and quit my job. I intended to work through the beginning of the Fall college semester, the busiest season of the year, but the pressure was building. A decent amount of preparation still remained. My girlfriend would be moving to Atlanta to pursue her Ph.D. at GSU. I weighed spending my last moments working 10 or more hours per day in a stressful work environment vs. sharing them with loved ones and finishing preparations. Although I consider many of the people I worked with friends, something had to give. I as well as many others would claim I'm a masochist had I chosen to stay.

Prior to leaving the country, I'll be visiting family and friends in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. With today's exodus from Boca Raton, my course is set for North Carolina and Tennessee's Tail of the Dragon. ETA: 2-3 weeks.

Hasta la próxima vez!
Brilliant start to your journey, mate.

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
kizniche OP
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2: Con Amigos en la Playa


    The Palm Beach County tax collector was my last stop leaving Boca Raton to renew my moto registration, and by high noon on the 1st I had safely made it to Stuart, FL. The previous day had me worried I might not get on the road this day. After putting new tread on my rear wheel in the morning hours of the 31st, the four vaccines I had taken the 30th began inciting a formidable immune response. Inflammation left me run-down, red-skinned, head aching, and with mild pain coursing through my joints. A sushi dinner that night, at Fuji Dragon, rejuvenated me and the next morning I was feeling top-notch.

    It was a swelteringly hot morning as I set off. I was glad it was such a short trip on the highway slab. I soon got some Thai noodle dinner in my stomach with my friend Sean, and was off to another friend's house before heading to the beach to call it a night. As I hoped, Max was able to hook me up with a 2-gigabyte DDR2 stick of ram to replace the 1 gig in my laptop. Garmin's Mapsource (software for working with maps and tracks for my GPS) or Windows7 was faulting because of a lack of available ram. This new hardware was faster and of higher capacity. It was just the thing to get the Weee-PC working at a usable speed. The cool evening with refreshing rainstorms persuaded me to drive an extra 20 mile loop that night before arriving at the beach. I managed to get a few hours sleep between being woken by the no-see-ums, aka the vertebrate-blood-sucking flys of the Family Ceratopogonidae. Like this night, they sometimes storm the beach with full force.

    I woke up rather early at 7:30 on the 2nd, from the sun and the unrelenting biting flys. I found breakfast at the local supermarket then had a peculiar thing happen to my bike before I left. As it does sometimes, the engine let loose a cringetacular clunk-crack as I hit the starter. Unlike previous times, though, I noticed popping coming from the exhaust while at idle. I took the opportunity to bring it under Max's carport and check out this mysterious condition as well as suss out a gnarly speed wobble I noticed happening in the 30-40 mph range, since hitting the road the previous day. I adjusted every suspension setting I could to the owner's manual recommendation for maximum payload, except the left fork's rebound adjuster. It was seized; and with a lack of proper tools and knowledge of shocks I would leave that job to a professional. A quick test ride revealed the wobble was greatly reduced, but still remained. With the one shock rebound not a likely cause, it was most likely due to the unbalance of luggage. I'll be taking the fork to be serviced at WMR Competition Performance on the 7th with new fork oil and whatever replacement parts.

    One problem was mostly sussed, but the cause of the popping had been eluding me. I found it only coming from the left exhaust- the rear cylinder. After reading many insightful posts on Orange Crush and messing with the remote idle screw adjusters for far too long, I gave up until later. I managed to make it less apparent by enrichening the rear cylinder's fuel mixture, but I was still not satisfied with the way it was running. A few hours later I took off the seat with a hunch, and sure enough, found a silicone vacuum cap and zip tie missing from the rear cylinder's vacuum line (used for synchronizing the carburetors with a vacuum gauge). It was nowhere to be found, presumably gone from vibration or a backfire that happened as I started it in the morning. Instead or risking another vacuum cap and zip tie, I secured screws tightly in each hose. I started it up and that old familiar purr was back! That night, Sean and I lured some amigos out to the House of Refuge Beach with promises of fire and beer. Hopefully we did not disappoint.


SUNSET ON THE ST. LUCIE RIVER AT THE HOUSE OF REFUGE (STUART, FL 9/2/2010)


BURNIN ON THE HOUSE OF REFUGE BEACH (STUART, FL 9/2/2010)

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Solo Latin America on a KTM 950, 9/2010 - 2/2011
En Moto Al Surhttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031


2012 KTM 690 Enduro

kizniche screwed with this post 09-05-2010 at 08:49 AM
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:22 AM   #5
kizniche OP
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3: Up the Coast

Photo Album / Álbum de Fotos  -  GPS Track / Recorrido del GPS  -  GPS Track of the Hike / Recorrido del GPS de la caminata


    I saw many old friends around my home-town over the weekend. I was met with open arms and delicious meals. The KTM shop was closed Labor Day, so I took it easy at the beach. Before that, though, my photographer friend Austin, who recently returned from California, joined me to visit Domino's House, a no-kill adoption cattery and animal shelter where another friend and recent roommate Christian was newly hired at.


Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) (Domino's house, Palm City, FL 9/6/2010)


Tired Kitten (Domino's house, Palm City, FL 9/6/2010)


macroalgae of the Phylum Rhodophyta (Virginia Forrest Beach, Stuart, FL 9/6/2010)


Spiraling Barnacles (Virginia Forrest Beach, Stuart, FL 9/6/2010)
    Early Tuesday was my appointment to have the left fork's rebound adjuster repaired along with refreshing the fork oil in both shocks. Joe and the others at WMR Competition Performance know their KTMs. They handled my bike with precision care. Check out their showroom. I hung out for the ~2 hours it took to be serviced. In that time I got some valuable tips for my trip and I left them with my web link to follow my progress. The servicing didn't completely fix my steering wobble, so I was in search of a scale. An hour later I found myself scratching my head, again. I discovered each of my panniers weighed 39 +/- 0.5 pounds. Since the center of gravity seems as though it needs to be precisely balanced to be rid of the wobble, instead of following an obsessive-compulsive path, I may soon be searching the market for a steering damper.


KTM 450 SX-F (Palm City, FL 9/3/2010)


KTM 250 XC-FW (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)


KTM 450 HC (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)


1190 RC8 (Palm City, FL 9/7/2010)
    The decision was made to travel 25 miles south to Jupiter with Austin to see two mutual friends, CiCi and Jessica. We stayed the night in the dorms at FAU's Jupiter Honors College, and returned to Palm City the next morning with CiCi. We told her the plan, that she was coming with us to Orlando, after we were on the road. She was thrilled. A quick load of laundry in Palm City gave us some clean threads and I a moist cell phone! Miraculously, 30 minutes of blow-drying resuscitated it and we were ready to go. Most of the ride with our car and moto convoy was along Hutchinson Island, a barrier island that lies on South Florida's Treasure Coast.


Cruising up Hutchinson Island (Jensen Beach, FL 9/8/2010)


St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant (Fort Pierce, FL 9/8/2010)
    A short turn inland soon brought us to our planned destination for the day at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. Off-road travel was prohibited, so we hiked the 1/2 mile to the primitive camp ground. A quick scout of the area revealed a stairway to a dock over the tranquil St. Sebastian River.


Beginning hike to set up camp (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)


I in the trees, Cici and Austin on the ground (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)


Trouser flag on the St. Sebastian River (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)
    Dinner was quick but tasty and the fire helped keep the bugs at bay once the sun had set. As Austin and CiCi took a late-night swim, I found a tree frog that was modeling for me. A cool breeze from the river was with us for most of the night. A few hours before daybreak I was awakened from the cold (70 °F/26 °C), but I was too cozy in my hammock to go out to find a blanket, so I endured it until the sun came up.


Austin and CiCi - 4 sec. exposure, no moon, LED flashlight (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)


Our mighty flame - .25 sec. exposure (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)


Tree frog (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)


Closer Tree frog (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/8/2010)
    We got up somewhat early to catch the remaining sun rising over the river. We gave our fiercest Haka faces for the camera and began our northward hike to the canal. A large portion of our hike was through blackberry patches, but sadly their season had ended months ago.


Kyle, Cici, and Austin on the trail (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Trailside (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Grasshopper of the family Acrididae (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Grasslands (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Shrub-like poisonous plant Lantana (Lantana camara) at the end of the canal hike (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)
    Our 7 mile hike left us famished. We took a quick dip in the river then had lunch. The evening ended with us charming the manatees and alligators with our didgeridoo and guitar. We broke camp early the next morning and after a quick refueling at a market, safely reached our friends' Anthony and Dansir's home in Orlando, FL.


Sunset from behind on the St. Sebastian River (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Didgeridoo and guitar over the river (St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL 9/9/2010)


Poolin` (Orlando, FL 9/10/2010)


Kyle makes a splash (Orlando, FL 9/10/2010)
__________________
Solo Latin America on a KTM 950, 9/2010 - 2/2011
En Moto Al Surhttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031


2012 KTM 690 Enduro

kizniche screwed with this post 09-12-2010 at 01:46 AM
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
kizniche OP
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Brief update

Thanks zadok and Aussie_Gringo for the encouraging words.

I made it to Atlanta, GA two days ago. I'll be here for at least another week, before heading to NC then the Tail of the Dragon. I've been stressing over my water situation. I gave away my stainless steel water containers because they were too difficult to safely secure to the bike. Instead, I'll be going with Rotopax's locking mounts and their 1-gallon water containers. They'll arrive in NC next week. One will be attached to the front of each pannier, as I already have the rear taken with Kolpin fuel packs.

A Scotts steering damper and triple clamp kit is due to arrive here tomorrow. This should stop my 25-35mph steering wobble and alleviate some stress... not to mention pump up my confidence offroad!

I'll leave this post free of pictures or video. This first page of the thread is getting heavy to load. I hope you all are enjoying my experimenting with my new camera and macro photography.

Cheers
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Solo Latin America on a KTM 950, 9/2010 - 2/2011
En Moto Al Surhttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031


2012 KTM 690 Enduro
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:53 AM   #7
BusyWeb
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:59 AM   #8
Aussie_Gringo
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Beautiful photography kizniche...keep us posted
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:20 AM   #9
ktm950se
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'Looking forward to much more!

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Old 09-17-2010, 09:29 AM   #10
prometheus rising
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Looking like quite an adventure, have fun, be safe and post often
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
kizniche OP
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This arrived in the mail today.



...and now in search of a drill.
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Solo Latin America on a KTM 950, 9/2010 - 2/2011
En Moto Al Surhttp://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031


2012 KTM 690 Enduro
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #12
ahimsa
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Beautiful photography!
The algae one is top notch But I find it hard to read caption.
I ll be checking for more.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
tiernan
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following

What kind of camera do you have?
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:43 PM   #14
flyingz06
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i have to own a orange bike soon! Beautiful.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:46 PM   #15
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Looking forward to this one!
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