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Old 10-24-2010, 12:49 PM   #16
AirborneAndy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGBrown
...I tried to plan my route but google maps can't find a route to Buenos Aeires. Must be broken or something

Ah... this reminds me of my first big moto adventure. Good luck and be carefull. Im heading down to SA myself in about a week. I'll watch this thread and maybe we will cross paths.

Btw, the reason you couldn't find a route is because there isn't one. Do a search on the Darien Gap.

Again, good luck and be careful.
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #17
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Also, google maps actually won't do any routing south of the US/MX border, even with obvious towns I find. I'll be taking a boat around the Darien gap.

I'm in Sacramento for a week or two, hope to see you on the road.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:02 PM   #18
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What a hell of a day three.
Left Tumwater pretty late and then, running south on I-5 somewhere between Tumwater and Hwy 12, my credit card and driver’s license vanished. The clip on my wallet came undone and they simply flew away. Good thing I was carrying a 2nd wallet with secondary ID, and my other card. There was lots of traffic and some construction along the way so I was starting to get a bit fed up with a long straight interstate and too much time with my thoughts. I even got to the point where I just felt like turning around since there was no point continuing the trip. If I'm not getting any excitement out of it and I'm not coming up with any good answers to my questions, then maybe I am just happiest when I've got something external to be miserable about. I hope that's not the case and I just enjoy the energy rush and the thinking that comes with getting dropped in the shit. A couple hours into Hwy-12 and the road fixed all my problems. Absolutely gorgeous riding! I cranked some nice Irish tunes, and rolled through a mix of nice sweeping turns, beautiful smooth new asphalt and nice scenery. The sky was clear blue, the valley floors looked up to some nice passes coming down around lakes with all the trees changing colour. The unsigned tightening turns gave me enough challenge to keep me on my toes. Lots of temperature changes made for a decent test of the rest of my gear - I definitely need some more warm clothing before Argentina. The arrow headed snake signs every few miles through a national park kept me smiling all the way; occasional sections of rough road with a “Motorcycles use extreme caution” sign and tight turns gave me a bit of variety when I got bored with the views and needed a challenge. Hardly any traffic at all except for the occasional big truck. I wonder if it's because Google maps steadfastly refuses to route anything this way unless you set it town to town manually dragging the lines, even with the highway avoidance turned on.


First day wearing Sidi Discovery boots but not sure if I'm a fan yet. The inside ankle plate on the right boot digs in something fierce when walking. I cut my leg in the few times I got off to take photos, and I'm marinating in them despite the reasonably cool day.
I wish I'd stopped for more photos but I was worried a bit by the coolness in the passes, and with my late start I needed to make some miles. This one, however, I had to stop for, after the best 2 hours of riding I've had yet. The road opened up into this valley, with the sun setting behind me and the moon rising over the ridge at the same time.




Best of all, not a single damn deer in sight but there are lots of dead raccoons. I'm beginning to wonder if people are running them over on purpose.
I had forgotten from my last ride (Sk to BC on a GS400) how much smell plays a part in the ride. The feeling of being there from hot and cold is one thing; but to me it's the smell that makes the biggest change from being in a car. Seems like most of the smell, good and bad comes from death, the unpleasant ones like the large slaughterhouse and cattle area I rode past, the deep peaceful earth smell of rotting vegetation in the forest, the delicious smell of all the dead trees on the backs of trucks as I pass. I can always smell the lumber trucks before I see them. Towns and States/Provinces have smells as well, over and above the smells of laundry and cooking you get close in. BC smelled sharp. So far one town has smelled like dill, another like pine sawdust, and the last, very strongly like black tea.

That afternoon of riding has solidified my resolve, I'm over the day three hump, and with such a great ride I'm looking forward to more. I'm so thankful to be out on this trip. This is where I belong. Time to do some more homework - I wrote about 2000 words yesterday but with midterm papers and a photo assignment to finish up by Friday I need some downtime, so yet again I'm back at McDonald’s for the free internet.



Here's a photo of a fellow working at a gas station who helped me sort out air for my bike, it's hard to find a compressor at the gas stations that fit into my rear wheel. We had a long visit as well while I warmed up.


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Old 10-25-2010, 01:31 PM   #19
WildsideRider
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I'm in!! I love RR's using different (see non dual purpose) types of bikes. Good luck man, stay safe, have fun!!
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:19 PM   #20
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Hey Jeremy... be very cautious around animals, especially larger ones. If you see a deer, cow or some other large animal on the side of the road, SLOW DOWN. Animals do not know that they should not run in front of you. They just know that they should run. And the clearest path is often across the road. Also, they will often wait until you are right up on them before they bolt.

There use to be a "sticky" thread here about a young man who was doing almost the identical ride you are doing. And, it ended very tragically when he rode passed a bunch of donkeys on the side of the road - instead of slowing down he gassed it and one ran in front of him.

Have fun and be safe.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneAndy
Hey Jeremy... be very cautious around animals, especially larger ones. If you see a deer, cow or some other large animal on the side of the road, SLOW DOWN. Animals do not know that they should not run in front of you. They just know that they should run. And the clearest path is often across the road. Also, they will often wait until you are right up on them before they bolt.

There use to be a "sticky" thread here about a young man who was doing almost the identical ride you are doing. And, it ended very tragically when he rode passed a bunch of donkeys on the side of the road - instead of slowing down he gassed it and one ran in front of him.

Have fun and be safe.
Thanks for the advice and concern! I'm well aware of Clayton's trip, it was a really great and then sad story to follow, I think of the advice from that thread often.

I've been a lurker for a few years on here, read as many RR's as I had time for, and all the faceplants.
I never expected to make the trip anytime before graduating, then I thought I'd be riding with someone else as well.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:01 AM   #22
AirborneAndy
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What's up J? Where are you at? I'm headed across the US/Mexican boarder today thru Nogalas. Will PM you my cell in case you want to ride with us for a while.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:18 AM   #23
MikeMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGBrown

I had forgotten from my last ride (Sk to BC on a GS400) how much smell plays a part in the ride.
No worries, Mexico has an app for that! ;)
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:20 AM   #24
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Great report. So nice to see that you didn't wait until you had the "right" bike with all the stoopid "correct" farkles.

Your bike is the the right bike (no need for quote marks on that).

Enjoy.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:23 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.B.S.
Ah, warms my heart, this

I can somewhat empathise with a flipped over in a ditch CX500...


I did something similar with my '82 CX500Turbo, on a Texas trip, once.

All fully loaded up with several metric tons of luggage, (going from Vancouver BC to Galveston), I stopped near the booth leading into Nasa space centre for a picture of the cute girl security guard.

Went to heave the bike up on the centrestand, and the right side leg sunk into the soft shoulder, toppling over and away from me, down into the ditch.

I hung on like grim death, willing the bike not to tumble down.

Didn't work. I got catapulted up over the seat and went down into the ditch with the overloaded beast as well.

Keep up the good work and great pics, beast wishes, mate!
Ouch, and I thought Aurora needed a diet, those turbo ones weigh even more!
Always wanted to try riding one of those turbos, sweet bikes.

If you aren't already there, check out choppercharles.com, great dedicated forum for CX's with a turbo section as well.
Thanks, beast wishes indeed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeman
Great stuff man. Definitely one of the more interesting bikes i've seen doing this trip! I'm sure you'll have a great time.
I'm sure we will, Aurora is getting tired of sitting, we've been in Sacramento almost 3 weeks, working till 1am a lot of nights, just about ready for a road test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Kiwi
Where are you at the moment Jeremy?
How many miles do you get out of a gallon because it sounds a bit thirsty! Can't wait to read your next instalment. We have four weeks till we leave. In LAX on the 25th of November. Talk soon
D & C
I get about 40. Aurora can't hold her drink, only takes a gallon and a bit when run dry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Look Mom No Hands!
Great start man. I'm doing a similar trip myself (minus the "and back" part). I'm currently sitting in my friend's apartment in San Diego getting ready to cross the border tomorrow to ride down Baja. Maybe I'll see you out on the road sometime?
Ride safe.
Cool, I hope so, I'm planning to cross in Texas, although the current issues around the border there are making me rethink skipping Baja. I want to hit Merida, MX as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneAndy
What's up J? Where are you at? I'm headed across the US/Mexican boarder today thru Nogalas. Will PM you my cell in case you want to ride with us for a while.
Sorry, still in Sacramento, Honda lost my damn cam chain, so we were very delayed on the bike, on top of some strange injuries working on it. Did you know you can fill your thumb with air from a compressor? I'd never seen anyone do that before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkens
Great report. So nice to see that you didn't wait until you had the "right" bike with all the stoopid "correct" farkles.

Your bike is the the right bike (no need for quote marks on that).

Enjoy.
Thank you, although she is pretty farkled up now, I almost feel like I'm not adventuring anymore without my 10 year old street tires.

I went so far as to blow 35$ on heated grips, felt a bit guilty, but as the missing chunk of report will show once I'm done writing it, riding straight through the night including enough hours below freezing riding with my left hand on the throttle and my right warming up on the jug, the rest of the time with my left on the left jug convinced me for safety reasons at the very least.
The rebuild has eaten all of my money(2500$ incl parts ) But Aurora's a brand new ride now, quite literally even though she looks older and ready to quit. The only thing not completely torn down and worked on was the rear drive. We wouldn't have made it much past the border without it, the cam chain tensioner was about 1mm away from snapping completely, and the chain had eaten into the aluminum and a bolt in the motor. The exhaust was rusted right through inside.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635210
Is the start of the build thread.
And also the reason I'm not going anywhere right now!

Credit cards from here on, and my parents have decided to help out from here until I get some more of my own money in January(student loans) which I never expected but am incredibly grateful for.


Thanks for all the good wishes from everyone, it really means a lot, and I hope we bring a worthwhile read to you all.

JGBrown screwed with this post 11-11-2010 at 02:08 AM
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:57 AM   #26
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More delays.
We had my bike all back together again, you can see most of the progress in the build thread in my sig. 3 weeks of good solid work, 7 days a week almost, and long days.
Went to go for the test ride, and...
The upgraded gas tank leaks like a sieve. Somebody "fixed" it with solder and spraypain where it had rusted.
Looking like another 3 days of waiting, then testing. It took 2 days, and 80$ worth of Acetone to dissolve out all the cream, it was put on wrong and incredibly thick.
Next is cutting out the bad section and TIG welding in new steel, then lining with Por-15 tank liner, and a day or two of curing, and only then can we move on to finishing up putting the turn signals and taillight on, and the rear fuel cell.
I'm starting to get a bit of cabin fever, I can't wait to be back on the road.
The test ride was great however, Aurora is absolutely perfect now, wouldn't trade her for any new bike in the world. Should be back on the road inside of 5 days.


After lots of welding

and
frustration fixed by time with the shop cat

she now looks like this if you don't want to read the build thread, these three pictures are the gist of the project.
The guy sitting on her in this picture is the brilliant mechanic who's been fixing her all up.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:41 AM   #27
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Day 4 into 5 part 1.

Day 4 into 5 part 1.

View from under my tarp


I Started off day four just past Umatilla waking up on the side of the highway after just barely enough sleep to a beautiful but freezing cold morning sunrise. I'd camped next to a huge Walmart distribution hub They had some really nice fields and a disused entry road off the side of the highway, perfect place to catch some sleep. It was cold when I went to sleep, and colder still when I woke up.



If you were at HU Canada West, you might recognize the set up style of my tarp, but this time I didn't get any complaints made about it.

Camp for the night


Frost all over the bike.


Packed up and ready to go


I made my traditional morning stop and McDonald’s to use the internet and warm up for a while. The sun came out, everything started warming up and I started to feel like I was really heading south into warmth and sun. Back on the road, I was drying out, but bored rolling south on I82 still wearing my waterproof pants without noticing their vents. Trying to stay ahead of trucks, and in a nice space in traffic I was doing about 65mph, to keep a nice bubble on either end. Seems that sometime in the last leg of my ride I rolled into Umatilla, and crossed the Oregon border, with an accompanying drop in Interstate speed from 70mph for everything but trucks to 55mph for all traffic. Looking back I realized I was potentially up for a performance award, as I was pulled over by a state trooper. After a bit of clarification about speeds permitted in Oregon he checked out my passport, motorcycle permit and insurance paperwork since i still thought I had lost my license and visa on the side of I5. I asked if I could get a photo for the forum, but he wasn't sure what the regulations were about it. So I took a picture in the other direction where I was stopped.



With an uncomfortable seat and soaking wet pants I'd been standing up, and shifting from side to side when I was actually sitting. I'm glad he just missed that performance or I bet I'd have a nice award to show for it.
getting off I82 and onto US395 was fantastic, Mark, a rider I met on the Port Angeles ferry insisted it was a great route better than I-5 or the 101. Despite the increase in distance, he was absolutely right.

Mark unloading off the Port Angeles ferry


It wasn't as easy as I-5s straight and fast path, or as scenic and warm as the 101. But it was a rider's road, perfect pavement, new enough to be smooth and even, but old enough not to be oily or soft. Big sweeping turns, and tons of variety in the scenery. The landscape changing from forest to fields to hot canyons with sharp tight turns and desert to high mountain passes.
Friendly trees

Looking back down the road in Oregon


obligatory sign picture

A good writer once said that riding is much like being a Prince in Amber, and it's certainly true.
All of this nice weather left me with no idea of what I was going to be doing over the next 30 hours.


One last picture, I didn't have any idea where to put it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:44 PM   #28
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Man that reminds me of my first major roadtrip on my GL500 (the touring version of the CX500). I still have such a soft spot for those bikes, despite the fact I still consider them very top-heavy: they're virtually indestructible and can go-go-go, provided 1) you don't have too steep of a hill with lots of items, and 2) your stator doesn't get fried.

I'm not sure if you're a part of it yet but check out Honda CX500 and GL500 Forums. The people there are an entire encyclopedia of knowledge on these bikes and were a Godsend for me on more than one occasion!!!

If you're not too in a rush for Argentina check out the deserts in the southwestern states - right now is the PERFECT time to visit weather-wise! I particularly love Joshua Tree National Park but you'd probably like Glamis Dunes (seriously, some of those sand dunes are HUGE) and parts of Anzo-Borrega Desert (I skipped Slab City when I went through, always did regret that).

Subscribed and look forward to reading more about your adventure!

ETA: HA! I check out the CX site and there you are, with several others helping you out. I really do miss my twisted twin now!!!
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:21 PM   #29
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Gotta love ride reports like this, the "gotta get out of town" and unique bike aspects just give them a special high quality flavour.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:22 PM   #30
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGBrown
[FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=4]Currently in: Sacramento USA.


This is my first trip report, any suggestions are appreciated.....



I tried to plan my route a couple days before I left but google maps can't find a route to Buenos Aeires. Must be broken or something


Aurora loves to go, but she hasn't got much stamina, after an hour of riding she needs a drink.
Several pieces of advice from someone who just got back from the same trip:

1) Google maps won't plan the route because there is NO WAY to drive to South America. You've heard of the Darien Gap right? You'll have to either fly your bike and yourself or find a boat from Panama to Colombia. Neither are cheap, so good luck with that. The easiest place to find a boat is Puerto Lindo east of Colon, but they all want a LOT of money.

2) You'll want to figure out why your bike is burning gas that fast. There are some sections down south where you'll want at least 200 miles of range or you'll be SOL. Remember it's not the states. There aren't gas stations every twenty miles and just because there is a station doesn't mean it has gas. I had about 350 miles of range and still had a few VERY close ones, but then again I took a LOT of crappy dirt roads through the middle of nowhere that you probably won't try on a CX.

3) Have fun. Live it up. Buenos Aires is GREAT. Also be sure to plan on spending some time in Medellin and Bogota in Colombia. Two awesome cities, both very different.

4) Watch your ass. The driving in can be absolutely insane. I got hit by two cars in Colombia. Their fault both times. Also, be sure to by insurance in Colombia or the cops will take your bike away and you may never see it again. It's cheap, so don't try and sneak by without it. Biggest rule of all. DO... NOT... RIDE... AT... NIGHT............EVER. The driving is much worse because everyone's drunk and all the crooks are out trying to f&*k with people. Find shelter or a camp site before the sun goes down. Always.

If you want a preview of things to come, check out the link in my sig. Have fun!!!
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