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Old 09-24-2011, 07:42 AM   #766
bigalsmith101 OP
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA
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Hey Everyone! I'll be in Bogota by the end of the Day!

Until then.

Cuttle: My foot would swell a little after walking so much, but it never hurt. I didn't have any problem, and now it looks almost the same as my right leg! The only difference I see how is from where the plate and screws are underneath!

Poolman: You've been there, seen that stuff. Nice "Chinchilla". I'll stick to the Chinchilla version from now on.

Until I get to Bogota, where I might feel like catching up to the present day with my blog, I loaded a video of Machu Picchu. Lets see if this will work!

At least the direct link should.

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Old 09-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #767
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Awesome report, I feel like I've been right along with you. Actually I've been using this report to subliminally convince my fiancee to meet me in S. America somewhere (i.e. get to ride there...she gets to fly). First time she's actually been excited about me taking a ride.

I've got one of those old injuries and hiking uphill is fine for me, hiking downhill.... Keeping a stash of Advil works wonders for me.

Congrats and keep having fun!.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #768
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Its taken me three evenings of pretty steady reading to get caught up, but this is one SA-WEET RR! And BigAl - you are one lucky dude! Hang on to Kristi - she'd definitely a keeper!

Looking forward to more updates. Best of luck in your travels!

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:11 AM   #769
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IN BOGOTA! Everything is where I left it!

srad600: Hey man. Work whatever angle you have! I told Kristi, "Hey, lets go somewhere awesome after you graduate... Like Australia, where I can work under my Canadian passport. You can do whatever you want..." We'll see how it goes, but it sounded pretty good to her!
More to come sooner than later.

C-Stain: You made it! Now you have to wait for updates! Thanks for the compliments on the ride report! Kristi isn't going anywhere! Don't worry. Oh, well, maybe you should, cause you can't have her! HA!

I've made it to Bogota, and the same day I arrived here, Tom and Charlie arrived in Cusco. My current plan is to catch them. We'll see how it goes.

For the interim though, Tom has an issue with his rear shock, and has requested that I get the public in on it. Spill your guts everyone.

From Tom's own post under the DR650 thread:

Help! Blown DR650 rear suspension in Peru

Hey Guys,

I've been on the road six months now on my 2008 DR650. I started in Seattle with Alex Smith (RR: No Jobs, No Responsibilities) in April and now I've finally arrived in Cusco. The bike has performed admirably the entire 15,000 miles so far, although over the last week my rear end has absolutely given out. I carry a lot of gear, and I'm sure that has something to do with it. It also didn't help that I just covered 700 miles of dirt in ten days fully loaded from Huaraz to Cusco on the inland mountain roads. It was a blast, but now I'm paying for it.

Before we set off I replaced the stock spring with a 8.3kg/mm upgrade from Procycle. It stiffened everything up real nice but has since let me down. I'm 6'2" 185lbs; when I left on the trip I could only stand over the bike with my heels off the ground. Now I can sit on the seat flat footed with bent knees. It has sagged a lot. Furthermore, the shock must be gone because after every speed bump the bike bobs up and down three times before leveling out. It's not fun or safe to ride in the current state. From what I've gathered I need a new spring and a new shock.

I've searched the forums quite a bit over the last few days when I had internet, but I can't find what I'm looking for. What do you all recommend I do for a situation like this here in Cusco, Peru? I've already paid a Peruvian mechanic $60 who said he could rebuild it and he ripped me off. The bike sat higher for about ten miles before it sagged again. I was stupid to trust him anyway.

Are there other rear shocks that fit on the DR650 easily? Anyone know if a 2010 Yamaha Tenere stock shock would fit (my current riding partner Charlie has one in California we could ship down). They don't sell many big bikes here in Peru so replacements are hard to find.

Am I best off ordering a brand new Ricor Racing rear shock from and paying (and waiting) for the international shipping? Can anyone recommend an awesome replacement (I hear Cogent is the best, but I don't have time to send my busted piece home and wait)? I'm willing to spend a considerable chunk of cash to put this behind me and have the bike better off for it.

I arrived here Saturday evening which means most mechanic shops are closed tomorrow. I met a guy on a Harley today who knows a real mechanic so hopefully Monday I can go to him with all these questions as well. Any info you guys can offer before I get there would be great. I don't want to get ripped off again and I don't want some junk Peruvian replacement that will blow out another 1,000 miles down the road. Sorry for all the questions, it's just that most threads on this issue don't pertain to people in the third world. I've learned everything I know about motorcycles on this trip, so anything new you guys can teach me would be awesome.

Thanks in advance,


Ok! Now help him fix his problem...I demand of thee! And read his blog!

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:35 AM   #770
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crusty bandage?

They use plain old ginger ale in nursing homes to flush IV lines, I suppose it would do well to soften the bandages too. Plus if the spicy food tears up your stomach it'll handle that too!! It's kind of like your leatherman, just in a bottle LOL!

You're one lucky dude! Someone once told me,"There's only 2 types of riders, those that have been down, and those that will be down." You've been down enough for awhile, it'll get better, simple law of averages thing. As many have said, listen to some of us old asses, heal right the first time! Hell I still have a slight limp from the bus that took me out 3 days b4 my 21st bday, and that was 24 yrs. ago! The worst is over, stay safe, and ride on. AFTER YOU HEAL!
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:35 AM   #771
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Has Tom's shock leaked fluid? You'll notice it leaks oil because the whole area will be damp and dirty. The rubber stopper will look "wet" even after washing, etc. It's very hard to miss.

If it hasn't leaked oil and if a DR650 uses a shreader valve, try pumping around 145 PSI into the shock bladder. It might have just lost it's nitrogen. (air will work, no harm done). If you don't have a pump to get this high try to find a road biker as their tires often take higher pressure and many of their pumps go up to 150psi. A compressor would work too but be damn careful. If you can control the regulator that's best. I wouldn't do it otherwise. The bladder is very small.

If the shock is off the bike and during the stroke you can hear sounds like air being sucked through the valve stack it's got a leak somewhere and requires a rebuild. The dampening will remain crap till fixed.

I can't see a spring wearing out. Yes, they do wear out, but it shouldn't be a problem after 15,000 miles.

There are two seals that seal the nitrogen in. One is the shreader valve itself, and the other is the bladder when inserting it into the bladder chamber with the cap inside the bladder.

The places the OIL can leak is that same seal the bladder makes with the bladder chamber, the dampening valve on top, and the shaft/chamber seals on the rod side. Above the bottom of the rod assembly is a "piston" assembly with seals for the shaft and outer chamber.

Replacing these seals require a complete shock disassemble and re-install. Not overly hard but you'd still need the parts...

Wasn't it Columbia where the police use DR650's? Any chance a shop there can hook you up with a rebuilt shock? Or a new one if you are willing to drop the money (they aren't cheap).
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:01 AM   #772
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haven't check in on your your ADV in a bit and it looks kick-ass as w/ a beautiful women (who can throw down at the bar!) involved.
enjoy it! ...and speedy recovery.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:37 AM   #773
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Great Report

Happy to hear you made it to Bogata and everything is well. The report from Machu Picchu was awesome. Great photos
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #774
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Great RR and fantastic adventure! Your greatest find on this trip is Kristi--don't let her get away! A woman who loves adventure, is beautiful, and most of all, loves being with you is a rare find now days.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:10 PM   #775
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Antonio Banderas would make an ideal Spainish guide according to your Mom.
And, for the record, that was a 2003 Triumph T-100. Took it for a spin, did you?
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:37 PM   #776
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Took it for a spin.

Padre: You take the keys from the Zuma, and the keys from theTriumph, and you put them somewhere, likely in your locked office. Yet you never lock the door that leads to the room that has the entire set of family vehicle keys, lined up.

I rode it, the fall of 2008, with Kristi on the back, to the Movie theater and went out for Ice Cream.

I was complimented on "my bike" that I was quick to say was my Dads. And the man asked what year it was, '77, '76, '75???

"Nope, it's an early 2000's Bonneville T100, a remake of the older versions." said me.

"Damn. That's cool." Said the guy.

"Yeah, it's cool," Said me.

Of course, I looked cool too wearing Andy's black and blue leather biking jacket. Not to mention Kristi straddling the back seat in leather boots. Yes. We looked awesome.

I took it for a spin and it was awesome. I think I rode it more that year than you did... Just kidding.

Alas, you sold it to some poor, soon to be divorced guy that needed it more than you. I'm glad I rode it while I had the chance!

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #777
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Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
"Yeah, it's cool," Said me.

Of course, I looked cool too wearing Andy's black and blue leather biking jacket. Not to mention Kristi straddling the back seat in leather boots. Yes. We looked awesome.

Nice Jacket too.

Get busy living

manshoon screwed with this post 09-26-2011 at 11:34 AM Reason: Photo permission
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #778
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Hey Mr Shaggy glad you are well and back in Bogotá. I just read about Tom's issue with the DR.
FWIW I was recommended a shop in Lima where we took our bikes for maintenance and I would blindly recommend it to you as well. The place is called Moto Performance ( give them a call and see what they can do for the bike. There is this tall dude there whose name I cant recall but he knows his trade. When I was there they had a couple of KLRs and one DR from fellow foreign travelers. They were really helpful. (Maybe they can even recommend someone in the cusco area).
ANyways, sounds like the trip has been a blast even with the hiatus, and that you will be back on the road soon.
Best of luck, safe riding.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #779
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the photos you shared with us of Machu Picchu almost made me dizzy looking at them.

glad you are all having fun....for as much as i've loved reading/seeing your travels thru Peru in busses, trains and on foot, i'm excited for you to get back on your bike. selfish me.

safe travels,
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #780
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Great pictures of Machu Picchu! How did you find the hiking at that altitude? You must be looking forward to getting back on the bike.

BTW tell Tom to take a break from riding till he gets that shock fixed. Those roads sound bad enough without a bad shock to kick him off the saddle at the wrong time.
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