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Old 02-09-2011, 12:04 PM   #151
JGBrown OP
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Ride to the beach.

Over the past few weeks, I caught up on the ride report, homework and emails.
I rode to the beach at Progresso one day with a passenger, we stuck a piece of rebar over top of the exhaust and under the swing-arm and wired it in place for foot-pegs, wrapped in silicone tape to slow the heat transfer where it touched. It actually worked out OK. Managed to have some real fun in the sand, and got buried right up to the axles, and fall a few times. She knew right away how to get us unstuck with boards and logs, while I tipped Aurora to the uphill side she got them under without even being asked. We walked the beach for a while as it got dark.

Not just the perfect jungle gym for children, or a bed to sleep on with built in beer holder, the Honda CX500 is also the ideal place to do make-up!



Socks: the correct footwear for wreching on bikes.
You can see the first attempt at rebar placement if you look close too!






Road to the beach



Borrowing a board, off a boat trailer



Well dug in, we actually managed to get all the way down to having the exhaust pipes below the surface of the sand, this photo is after moving forward out of the hole and wedging the tire up with the log again. Tide was coming in two to add a little excitement to our problem solving. The sand down to the water was so steep we could just lay Aurora onto the high side to get the log under.










Now I've got my boots in the Gulf of Mexico


Strange barnacles here


Tired after all the work, and time to ride back.

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Canada to Panama on a 79 CX500: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62962
Logbook for
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:25 PM   #152
Kevan Garrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGBrown View Post
Over the past few weeks, I caught up on the ride report, homework and emails.
I rode to the beach at Progresso one day with a passenger, we stuck a piece of rebar over top of the exhaust and under the swing-arm and wired it in place for foot-pegs, wrapped in silicone tape to slow the heat transfer where it touched. It actually worked out OK. Managed to have some real fun in the sand, and got buried right up to the axles, and fall a few times. She knew right away how to get us unstuck with boards and logs, while I tipped Aurora to the uphill side she got them under without even being asked. We walked the beach for a while as it got dark.
Hey JG.

Great photos and ride report. Really enjoying it. Also like the rebar passenger pegs. Good old-fashion bodging. If you were riding a BMW you would need the $800 Touratech's, made in the Fatherland out of high grade unobtainium. Yours are much cooler.

Be safe, keep riding and writing and enjoying time with your family.

Peace

Kevan
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:08 AM   #153
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Hey JG.

Great photos and ride report. Really enjoying it. Also like the rebar passenger pegs. Good old-fashion bodging. If you were riding a BMW you would need the $800 Touratech's, made in the Fatherland out of high grade unobtainium. Yours are much cooler.

Be safe, keep riding and writing and enjoying time with your family.

Peace

Kevan
Thanks!


That's not what she said about the footpegs though!

The missing muffler meant her foot got more than a little bit warm, as it was about a half inch above the exhaust stream.
She had an interesting monologue going when the heat would come through.


And they damn near impaled my ankles a few times, made moving the bike around when it wasn't running fun too.

I've got some new ones, proper ones at that(cost me 5$, and an hour of explaining the design, and digging through scrap) they are made out of unobtanium(unobtainum here in Cholul being defined as round pipe that is the same size as square tube for making the brackets)
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Canada to Panama on a 79 CX500: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62962
Logbook for
motorcycle travelers I'm developing, draft now available for review.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739193

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:27 AM   #154
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Since arriving I've replaced my missing tools as best I could with stuff from the local shop, added a machete too, for 6$ for a decent carbon steel one with a sharpening stone. I was bought new clothes for Christmas. Resupplied on medical stuff, food, and stove fuel.

For anyone else thinking of running an alcohol stove on this kind of trip, the weight and space savings are fantastic, plus you can always make another one with whatever's at hand.
I use a modified penny stove, way better than the titanium unpressurized ones with too many holes.
Boils me tea in about 3 minutes, without the fiddling of a gas stove.


In retrospect I would have been just fine with a small titanium cup to save even more space, though the stove heats most efficiently with a wide base as the flame is quite diffused. The fuel can be hard to find, drug stores only carry 70% rubbing alcohol which burns terribly dirty and doesn't heat well. After a day's searching Home Depot and the like for denatured alcohol without any success we found the best solution, Comex paint stores sell it as Industrial Alcohol, I paid 2.50 for two one liter bottles.
They don't have any idea what's in it or how pure it is, but the restaurant down the road uses it. They weren't sure if they use it as fuel, or to put in the food, or to drink! Maybe a bit of all three. I'm not sure if it's pure ethanol, so I don't think I'll try it or that restaurant, but it burns with a clear blue flame, and none of the soot you get from using rubbing alcohol as a fuel(especially the 70% they sell here)it's perfect.


Here's a picture of the stove cooking food for 7 when we ran out of propane for the normal stove.
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Canada to Panama on a 79 CX500: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62962
Logbook for
motorcycle travelers I'm developing, draft now available for review.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739193


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Old 02-12-2011, 11:28 AM   #155
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Well it looks like you've been having a blast with family!! Good luck heading south, look forward to more fun times and wacky repair jobs.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:02 PM   #156
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WOW! Thanks for the motivation

I have just stumbled across your post as I sit in Tullum, Mexico seriously considering getting a bike (almost anything "affordable") and riding is north to the US where I am living now.

Are you still on the Yucatan? Would LOVE to pick your brain - beer is on me.

I can not seem to find anything about solo women riders doing this trip with the exception of your banter with "Sarah". I may have to be that person!
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:14 PM   #157
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One more thought...

Could I get away with doing the trip with a 400? - Just a little concerned about the bike being too light with traffic & such... and of course too heavy that I can not manage it.

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:24 AM   #158
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Could I get away with doing the trip with a 400? - Just a little concerned about the bike being too light with traffic & such... and of course too heavy that I can not manage it.

Thanks!
Probably more people have been round the world on bikes less than 400cc than larger. I would rather have my DR350 on rough, potholed or dirt and gravel roads than my 1100GS. The GS would be better for US major highways but I have no doubt the DR would cope just fine. All it needs is a more comfortable seat.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #159
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Could I get away with doing the trip with a 400? - Just a little concerned about the bike being too light with traffic & such... and of course too heavy that I can not manage it.

Thanks!
I think a little DRZ or other sub-500cc dual sport would be perfect for a trip like this. I'll be honest, as much as I love the GL/CX motors and bikes, I don't think if I went south I'd use it, mainly because of how top-heavy (and heavy-ish in general) the bikes are. Also the CX wasn't made for dirt roads - it can certainly be taken on them by someone who knows how to ride it on those surfaces but a lighter bike would be much easier to pick up on the eventual spill on rural roads.

'Course that's just my opinion but I think it would be an adventure however you go about it. Jeremy sounds like a good guy to pick the brains of, and hopefully if you do end up doing the trip those of us here at ADV look forward to reading about it! :)
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:30 PM   #160
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Sure I'd be glad to meet up.

So far I'd say:
spend less on the bike than you need to, and double/triple the running expenses. Everyone told me that, and I still managed to spend more on the bike, and be short on money for riding it. Plus, at the end of your trip you can sell it/dump it without worrying about the cost.

lighter wins over ccs on everything but the interstate.

Newer isn't always better. Old aircooled technology can be repaired just about anywhere, at least enough to keep riding.


One bike I might suggest that I have actually ridden in Saskatchewan(the roads here in Mexico are nicer than there)
during a summer of floods, roads washing away and general bad weather, on everything from deep mud to loose gravel to the equivalent of the interstate was a GS400. It did it all without complaint on street tires, though I had to get rid of the front fender when it started melting the rubber off my tire and making me crash anytime I turned due to filling up with mud, then drying, there's a fold of metal perpendicular to the tire's direction that causes it.
It has a decent wheel size(18") which it is possible to find tires for easily just about anywhere I think many bikes here use the same size from looking at them.
tolerable ground clearance and weight, decent fuel capacity and economy.
I flipped it more than once riding offroad in the coulees(steep hills along the river near the town I was in) and it seemed none the worse for tumbling downhill, or going end over end.
The technology is about on par with everything around here, but it's got more power than most(air cooled twin)
Reasonably low center of gravity too.

It has a 6 speed transmission, and will cruise at 75-80mph at lower RPM than the CX500.






Honestly, I love Aurora, especially with all the work we put in, and I know she'll run forever and through everything. The trip wouldn't be the same with another bike for me. But in terms of practicality you'll enjoy the lighter weight and fuel economy much more often than the extra performance.

IMO it depends a lot on the roads you plan to travel, and how much time you have.

If you are planning to ride to Canada, and go on the interstates often, I'd say no smaller than 400CC if you are on the trucking routes.
I read in another thread there were some issues getting bikes smaller than 400cc into Mexico(though that could be partly due to them trailering the bikes)
However, anything other than that I'd go for less weight, less fuel burnt without question.(full of gas, without bags, Aurora is over 500lbs, and gets 33-35MPG)

I think around here at least, a 250 dirt bike would be perfect. Most of the non-toll roads are so full of topes etc, that I just don't ever use the huge amount of power Aurora has(relatively speaking of course, we are probably faster to accelerate than just about everything else on the roads here 2 or 4 wheeled), and the extra weight and length of wheelbase makes me much slower over topes, and is pretty hard on me sometimes(mostly I feel like I'm riding a hard-tail, my suspension is bottomed out almost entirely just sitting still) plus I burn more gas etc.

There are some roads I have not taken because of the weight, but they are few and far between. While we are ideally set up for long term travel, because we can get by on just about anything in terms of road surface, and get repaired just about anywhere in the world, and run on low quality/octane gas if I was doing it again, and wanted to be sensible I would probably have gone with a DRZ or similar.

The saying jack of all trades, master of none keeps coming to my mind.
However, the other side which bothers me more, is that it is hard to actually FIND areas that would be impractical to go with Aurora. Most are at least gravel or pavement, albeit with big holes. Paving crews are everywhere it seems like, even the supposedly unmaintained roads on my map, and any interesting areas are closed off with barbed wire, rolls of it are for sale everywhere too. Listening to the stories from my grandfather of the days of buses driving straight across the sand and desert, just following tracks and getting lost, without any roads makes me wish I could time travel.(He moved here in the early 50's)

So I'm kind of split on the whole idea, it is nice to have a much lighter more economical bike, but really I have yet to see a road(or even paths into abandoned Haciendas) that a heavier bike couldn't go along with a little caution, and the extra CC's are nice on the highways in the USA and Canada.

It really depends on what you want in the end, I'm sure you could find a way to do the whole trip on side roads, and maybe even dirt-bike type trails if you've got the time, but it's worth assessing what you actually want to do first.

Ride what you've got, or can afford, with patience and time just about anything can make it(though I don't know about old, small British singles, my grandfather's horror stories of trying to ride to Dawson, and into central America on them in the 50's/60's makes me suspect it would suck)


If you are taking a computer, get an electronic copy of manuals for the book, and get involved in an online forum for that bike. If not, get a paper copy, and still get involved in the specific forum. Best resources for fixing the bike are found that way IMO, local materials and bodging is fine, but understanding what and why things are broken really help.
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Canada to Panama on a 79 CX500: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62962
Logbook for
motorcycle travelers I'm developing, draft now available for review.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739193

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Old 02-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #161
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Subscribed! Didn't know you had the ride report over here as well. Need to catch up on the trip. Glad to see you are doing well after following the reports on Larry's work on the CX.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #162
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Thanks for the response!

Many thanks to the detailed responses on my question of doing your (Jeremy's) trip "backwards"!

Jeremy - are you still in Mexico? If so, I am in Tulum for the next 1-2 weeks before heading north and will be buying a bike in Mexico, ideally in the Yucatan somewhere... assuming all checks out. Let me know your timing and we can sort out a meeting.

Sarah - the "woman's view" on the bike was huge also!

Cheers, Carrie
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:45 PM   #163
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Many thanks to the detailed responses on my question of doing your (Jeremy's) trip "backwards"!

Jeremy - are you still in Mexico? If so, I am in Tulum for the next 1-2 weeks before heading north and will be buying a bike in Mexico, ideally in the Yucatan somewhere... assuming all checks out. Let me know your timing and we can sort out a meeting.

Sarah - the "woman's view" on the bike was huge also!

Cheers, Carrie
Buying here? I think your selection of bikes will be much smaller, I didn't even know there was anywhere in the Yucatan with anything other than full sized harley davidsons that catered to the >200cc market.
I do know prices here are pretty steep though,

Ideally, I'm going to get on the road on Tues/Wed, heading south to Palenque, then east through Guatemala to Belize to see if it's possible with the newish crossing.
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Canada to Panama on a 79 CX500: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62962
Logbook for
motorcycle travelers I'm developing, draft now available for review.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739193

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Old 02-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #164
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Hey Jeremy,

Yep I know about pricing and limited choices. Still a pipe dream and if the right bike comes my way perfect. If not, with any luck the van or car will and I will just pretend I am on a motocicleta for now.

Just had dinner tonight with a guy that just came into Tulum two days ago on his KLR650 via Honduras, Guatemala to Belize then up to Chetamul with no problem. So I can connect you two if you want more beta on different crossing options.

If you need a bed, I have a spare foamy that could serve you well.

Cheers, Carrie
Cheers, Carrie
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:51 AM   #165
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Sarah - the "woman's view" on the bike was huge also!

Cheers, Carrie
Carrie look for ride reports by a lady who goes by Nicomama here on the boards. She does a lot of on and off road long distance rides on her DRZ400 that include interstate as well as gravel roads and the bike seems to lap it up. She's also an incredible packer, with tips on making your own foodstuffs for quick rehydration (ie, it's the fat in meats that goes rancid, so if you get the leanest burger you can find, cook it up into tiny bits, drain/wipe out all the fat, then slow cook it on a cookie sheet at low temperatures and you've got meat that'll stay good for a long time in nearly all conditions, just waiting to be rehydrated in soups, pastas etc). :) ETA: I myself have been thinking of finding a Honda CT90/110 Trail for a trip like this, there's not much to them and they go forever. My DL650 is awesome for highway riding but I think it would be the wrong choice for Jeremy's kind of conditions and my newbie-ish riding style.

Jeremy does your CX really only get 30-35mpg? My GL was consistant with 46 when I had her no matter the conditions. I guess roads down there aren't quite as even or easy though...
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