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Old 10-26-2011, 12:08 AM   #946
bigalsmith101 OP
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Bikes in the 'hood.


Tuesday was a rather eventful day for me. Other people riding motorcycles rolled into town. Granted, I had been warned via P.M that they were coming, and an offer to find parts for my bike was even tossed in there. No parts were requested however, and they arrived at around 3pm.

Shaun, riding his KTM 690 Supermoto, and Arnaud and Angelica riding two up on a Suzuki DL650 were what I had to work with, so I did my best.

After showing them to the center of the city, or the town square as I like to refer to it, they parked their bikes, and we sat down for ice cream and coffee at my favorite ice cream stand. You guys are already familiar with the setting. Its where all the Drunk Men congregate on Sundays, by the statue!

After Ice Cream and Coffee, it was back to the hotel where they checked in. They got the frequent flyer discount and paid the same rate as me. Excellent. It was only then, that I actually saw the underground garage that my hotel has to offer. Awesome.

Meet Shaun (on the left) and Arnaud on the right!



After they parked their bikes, we set a time for dinner at 7pm. A couple hours later, we were off to my favorite chicken place to eat some food. I had invited Charlotte and Lison, but both of them were sick and were not able to come out. You can read Shaun’s version of events here...
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Originally Posted by snohobo View Post
We wake Alex from his vege fest and have ice cream and coffee. He informs us that the two pretty girls are sick and probably won't come out tonight but that doesn't stop me from shaving my balls and hoping for the best.
AHAHAHAHA. Or read all about his adventures which started less than 2 weeks ago, here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729679

After dinner, the guys went to work tying guinea pig legs to their handle bars. They had eaten some guinea pig recently and kept a clawed leg to ornament their bikes with. They tied it on with 30lb test fishing line.

After that, it was time to hit the sack. Everyone else likely slept longer, but I went to bed late. No surprise.

I woke to the sound of people walking up the stairs to say goodbye. I grabbed the camera and followed them down the stairs and into the garage.

Here you can meet Angelica as well.



Group shot. I nearly stole Shaun’s helmet (Large sized Arai XD), as mine is getting worn out. The visor got scratched to hell in the last “slide on your face” experience… I held back though.

Adios guys!



The entrance to the garage is just steep enough that the people that paved it built in steps as well.



Not to mention that you have to have some speed coming up it, and it enters directly into traffic.



At 8am on the dot, these guys were out of town headed to the south easternmost border with Peru. Until next time!



Well. I went back to bed then, and woke up much later. After procrastinating for a little while, I got my ass out of bed, hit the corner store for a water and bag of chips, and walked the 7 blocks to the lawyers office that I had been instructed to come back to visit today.

I arrived, Mr. Lawyer Man was ready. We went across the street and up 6 floors to talk to the man that needed talking to which happened to be the same man as the day before, but not the same one as the day before that…

We found the man, and then walked back down 6 floors to the cyber café that has a Xerox machine, and we made a copy of 12 documents. Then the man that had needed talking to said, “come back in an hour.”And so I did.

In the mean time, it was back to my favorite chicken place. 1/4 chicken on rice, with beans, and French fries, which comes with soup, and a coke is $4. I love this stuff! And so comes the before shot…



And after…



I was back at 4:30, an hour later, and it was up the 6th floor again with Mr. Lawyer man. This time I snagged a photo out the window, and up the hill, of Iglesia de San Francisco.



After talking some, it was determined that I would come back in the morning and that would be the end of it. I would retrieve my bike then. (WE’LL SEE).

On the way back, I remembered something that I read in reply to my Ride Report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trail717 View Post
PS: along the comments about safety standards—I couldn’t help but notice all the HV and mid level voltage overhead power lines in your pics, some of the clearances and attachment points look more than a bit dodgy, sort of like older 1940’s era standards
Well, sometimes when on the second level of buildings, the street poles come within reaching distance. So I took another photo.



And this is the prized translation of my title and drivers license.



Tomorrow, as they have told me, I should have my bike back…. We’ll see!

Onward.

--Alex
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:04 AM   #947
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Whoa!

Getting the bike at 8am!!!!! Photos and such to come!

The all important folder full of papers that will allow me personal and permanent access to my bike.




---Alex
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:44 AM   #948
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Getting the bike at 8am!!!!!
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:55 AM   #949
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
Getting the bike at 8am!!!!! Photos and such to come!

The all important folder full of papers that will allow me personal and permanent access to my bike.




---Alex


I would save that just to frame it for an office...... impressive, your are a roads scholar.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:48 AM   #950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
Getting the bike at 8am!!!!! Photos and such to come!

The all important folder full of papers that will allow me personal and permanent access to my bike.

---Alex
Woohoo congratulations!!! That should keep you busy for the next 20-odd days.
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Life is dangerous. Not doing what you love makes life even more dangerous...
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:02 AM   #951
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I would save that just to frame it for an office...... impressive, your are a roads scholar.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:16 AM   #952
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
For all of those that didn't read the P.M's (no one did) that went between D-Rail and I, he asked if I would go back to Pelican Cases after the Happy Trail Panniers.

In a concise answer.

I will not ever go back to Aluminium panniers after I get home. Pelican case all the way.

Final Answer.

--Alex
My wife has the Happy Trails Aluminum bags. In a moderate spill, they split & crumpled. We spend hundreds of $$ at a boat yard in BC to make them functional again.



I might suggest heavier aluminum bags as an alternative. I have a pair of Hepco Beckers that have been on a couple different big BMWs before I bought them. They have been repeatedly laid down on big bikes and remain quite functional. In fact, most BMW riders would pay big buck$ to get the scuffed & worn adventure traveler look that I have.

These are the units on my KLR (although not nearly so shiny)

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #953
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Thanks for taking us along on the adventure. Will worth the price of a couple of beers.

If/when you and Kristi tour around the states, be sure to use the tentspace list.

Tom B
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:38 PM   #954
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Update on it's way.

laouen:


Statdawg: Hahaha. It's with the Prosecutor now, but I've got my eyes on the at thing. I WANT IT. I'll do my best to walk away with it. Roads Scholar.

sarahp: You don't know the half of it yet. MAJOR updates on the way! JAIL BREAK TIME!

IceCreamSoldier: You laugh! Its the closest I'll ever get to being a Rhodes Scholar! I hope all is well.


HellSickle: I'm sure decent, reinforced aluminum panniers would hold up pretty well. But I'll bet a low-side to high-side at 55+ mph will beat the hell out of aluminum case vs. a pelican. You're boxes look nice though. Wait till you see what mine looks like!

Barnyard: Thanks for following along or reading up to date! I got your email, and will be responding! Plans for the US are already in my mind.

Get ready. The pace is about to pick up!

--Alex
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:39 PM   #955
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Collecting a motorcycle takes…

A long time here in Ecuador


Or at least, it has been exactly one week from the day I started the process, and nearly 4 weeks in total since I arrived where I am now.

On Wednesday, October 25th, the Lawyers assistant told me to come back in the morning at 8am, and so I did.

I got up earlier than usual, didn’t sleep enough, and instead of meeting anyone, I found this.



I stood in the morning sunshine on the corner for 15 minutes, just in case, and eventually made my way back towards my hotel to sleep more. I was friggin tired.

On the way back, I saw this Honda XL 185s. There wasn’t anything too special about it.



Out of curiosity, I like to check the odometers on bikes that I see. This little bike had 85,062 kilometers showing! 52,866 miles, NICE!



Back at the hotel, I forced myself to sleep a bit more. Around 11:30am, I was back at the lawyer’s office. The outside door was unlocked, but the door to his office was closed. No one was home. Around here, when a door is closed, and its business ours, you just sit and wait for them to come back. They come back nearly all the time. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes until I say the Lawyer walking up the hill. He saw me, waved, got closer, shook my hand (I shake about 20 hands a day when I’m with this guy), opened his office, grabbed my papers, and off we went to get my previously translated title, notarized.


With some sleight of hand action, I snagged the Notary Lawyers photo. Little work happened, but what did “go down” was what needed to happen. When asked the price, I was charged $30, and the first real feel I have paid since I started my “release of motorcycle” campaign. (Not including heinous amounts of photocopying at $0.03/pg)





The result? A very official looking folder with 13 pieces of paper inside that I have had copied for $0.39 a time, at least 5 times. EVERYONE wants a copy. Luckily every corner has a copy shop. Why these guys don’t buy their own copier for, I don’t know. They’d save an hour a day.




The fancy stamps, stickers, and signatures of the Notary Lawyer. (Side note: All lawyers are referred to as Doctor here. As in, “Hola Doctor”, shake a hand, etc. And if you’re my lawyer, you call the pretty lawyer women, “Doctorita”, hahaha. They do have a “doctorate” right?)





From the the Notaries Office, it was off to Biblian, to talk to the prosecutor, and judge that are in charge of my case. My Lawyer seemed to have something up his sleeve, and I didn’t really understand his technical lawyer talk either. I can shoot the shit in Spanish mind you, just not legal terminology.

So off we went. We arrived, and we chatted, and we talked some more, and we chatted a bit more. I shook about 15 hands, I said, “Buenas” at least as many times, and I sat in a chair. Lawyer man shot the shit with the second Prosecutor (who I met and shook hands with just then), and explained my case.

“He’s has an accident. He’s been here for over 3 weeks. His friends are traveling ahead of him. He’s alone. He needs his bike. Can we get his bike? And while we’re at it, how about we move his hearing up to say, tomorrow, or Friday”

Prosecutor Number 2, “Where are you coming from? USA? Holy shit! How long? Seven months? Holy Shit! All on a bike? Yes. Holy shit! Where are you going? Argentina. Holy shit! What kind of bike is it? Suzuki DR650. How much was it? About $5,500 when I left. That’s ALL!? I have a Honda CRF450 that I bought, it was $8000. I ride motocross. How long have you been here in Azogues? Almost 4 weeks? Damn! Are you traveling solo? You are now, but you have friends 2 days ahead of you? SHIT! Let me call the other prosecutor. Let me talk to the Judge. I have free time on Friday morning. You’ll get your bike tomorrow, and be free to go Friday, and catch your friends on Monday. Done.”

HOLY SHIT. WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

Did I mention that this guy rides motocross, is much younger than the other prosecutor, and was wearing a sporty (clean and never ridden in) Shift motorcycle jacket?

And so he called the other prosecutor and got his permission to take my case. Then he walked across the hall with my Lawyer and I in tow. We shook hands, etc. Prosecutor Number 2 states his case to the Judge.
“Senor, this guy is traveling from the USA, he’s been here for almost 4 weeks, and his friends are only days ahead of him. He needs to leave. We have free time on Friday. Can we get him into an audience? 2:30pm? We have 8:30am free. Ok. 8:30am, Friday the 28th. Done.”

HOLY SHIT. WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

Back in the car, and headed to the lawyers office, the Lawyer Man tries to explain what’s up. All I understand is that I’ll be getting my bike the next day, and having a court hearing the day after. I don’t understand the legal parts. So we talk about what I do for a living. I tell him that I drove trailers in Alaska, in the snow and ice 20 degrees below zero. He looks at me like I’m crazy. “Like the Discovery Channel?” he asks. “Yea, like that.” I say.

(Disclaimer: I spent 6 months in Juneau AK, where the lowest temperature I saw there was only 15* F (-7.5*C). Then I spent one week in Fairbanks, lowest temperature I saw while on the job was still only -20*F (-25*C). TOM spent 2 months there in Fairbanks, 25 days of which never went above 0*F (-15*C) and he saw multiple days on the job at -40*F (-40*C).)

Back at the office, Lawyer Man showed me what was up.



The Criminal Warrnts Judge can replace or repeal a precautionary measure ordered before or dictate nonetheless of having previously denied if:





a) Current new facts so warrant;

b) The obtaining of new evidence or substantiating facts give justified rights or not those upon the deprivation of liberty. (Just CAN’T Translate this)


Well. I got the point, and he elaborated. He had been informed that the police investigation of the accident proved my innocence, and that I was not guilty of any wrong doing in the traffic accident case. He would present such evidence, and the case would be closed. I would no longer be required to stay in the country any longer as had been the case earlier. And with that, he told me to come back the next day at 8am, to go get my motorcycle….


--Alex

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Old 10-27-2011, 11:16 PM   #956
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I can't wait until technology takes us to where we can hear and see these interfaces,........ On a blog! terrific news. So can I be the first to suggest you don't listen to "Bat out of Hell" by Meatloaf when you're leaving........... yeah, you probably don't even know who/what they are........ I can relax............... slow and steady wins the race........every time.

proud of you for doing the right thing and getting the legal clearance to resume your "slow and steady " travels......

onward!!!upward'!!! and outahereward!!!!!!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #957
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So can I be the first to suggest you don't listen to "Bat out of Hell" by Meatloaf when you're leaving...........slow and steady wins the race........every time........onward!!!upward'!!! and outahereward!!!!!!
Hey Paul!

I've got plans to make time, but I'm in NO Rush. It'll be Lima where I have a pair of TKC80's waiting for me at the Flying Dog hostel. I paid Tom for them when I was back in Cusco 5 weeks ago (Sept 20th). He's since worn his rear down and is on his second. La Paz, Bolivia after that, then into Argentina via the Salt Flats.

You are right. I don't know who Meatloaf is, but I'm TERRIBLE with song titles and artists names.

ONTOGETHEHELLOUTOFHERE

--Alex
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:30 PM   #958
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Cuenca Philharmonic Symphony

Well hot damn! I’m getting my bike back, AND my court hearing has been moved up more than 2 weeks! Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Well, that enticed me to go get some chicken, and head back to my hotel. Not too long after I had been there, I received a Skype chat message from Charlotte. It said, “We’re going to a music gig (classical) at the church. Do you want to go?”

Of course I wanted to go, and I said exactly that. I stuffed face on my chicken, surfed the web, and was ready to rock and roll an hour later when Charlotte and Lison showed up in the back seat of Gabby’s car. Sweet. We even had a ride.

Minutes later we were parked in front of Iglesia de San Francisco, and I was snapping photos. Check it out Padre!



The view over the city is pretty good from up here too. Awesome.



The inside of the church is just as impressive as the outside as well. Stone pillars, painting, sculptures, wall hangings, and a very impressive back drop behind the pulpit.



We took our seats around the mid section on the left hand side. Here’s my view from the bench.



Say hello girls! From left to right are, Gabby, Charlotte and Lison.



We arrived about 15 minutes early, but by 7:05pm, things were underway, and we were being serenaded by a fantastic singer with the Cuenca Philharmonic Symphony behind her. Awesome.



Oh yea. I forgot. To my left, were two robed priests, standing, and enjoying the music while I was seated in my shorts and flip-flops. What a ridiculous presentation I made. If I had thought ahead of time, I would have at least put on my socks and sandals, and worn my only pair of pants. At least on second glance I saw that one priest wore traditional style sandals… That counts right?



I wasn’t the only one out of place thought. This dog was having a great time.



After the first set, the singing woman stepped down, and everyone gave a standing ovation.



What came next though was my favorite. This guy ripped into the Yamaha Grand Piano like it was a play toy. He shredded the keys like than Jimmy Hendrix shredded a guitar. It was awesome. And then, THEN, he whipped out his accordion, and gave the originals an example! YES! As you might be able to tell, I very much enjoyed it.



Well, the second set ended with a call for an encore, and so it was. The symphony played a second song, and the Pianist/Accordionist ripped it up again. I spent about an hour uploading a mini video of the guy tearing up the piano keys,
cause it was bitchin.


http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=MVI_8242.mp4





After dinner, the girls were hungry, and so we hopped in the car and Gabby took us to a café that was open. Three of us ordered a beef plate, while Lison ordered fried fish. (Seems she’s pescatarian*, i.e. doesn’t eat meat other than fish.) Three of us had a glass of Strawberry juice as well ($0.75). It was the first time I had beef since I left Bogota, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!



With dinner over, it was time to go to bed. These are working girls, and they had work in the morning. Not me! I had a motorcycle to pick up in the morning!

--Alex

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:33 AM   #959
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Today was a new story

I met the Lawyer at his office at 8am, as he requested. I was early, and he arrived in his Mitsubishi Montero. I hopped in, and first step was to drive to Biblian, to see Prosecutor Number Two.

The Prosecutor has gone about his business and accomplished everything that he has said he would, and to top it off, he had a stack of papers that needed to be copied. Perfect.

Down the street we go with a stack of 10 or more pages that have been added to the 13 or so pages that were in my original folder. We find the copying place, make the copies, pay the lady (I always pay for the copies) and go back to the Prosecutors office to hand them over. We keep a signed piece of paper, say thank you, confirm the appointment for Friday at 8:30am, and then head back to town.

I suppose I should mention that Biblian is a small town that is 3 miles from Azogues. It’s more like a suburb to me.

Back in town, it was off to take a look at the bike, to make sure it was there… Excellent. Please notice my severely displaced hand guards, broken head light, and front brake line hanging on the front cowling.



When my right hand guard got twisted upward, the make shit bolt that holds my “Advmonster” LED light (LED Auxiliary Lights - ADVrider) to my “Highway Dirt Bike” (HDB) hand guards, (www.highwaydirtbikes.com/HDB_Shop/) impacted the banjo bolt on my front brake master cylinder, and ripped it right out of its home. DAMN.



My left side auxiliary LED light lens cracked. Shit. That means water.



When you run into large object on the highway, unprepared, bikes get bent out of shape! My pro-taper 1 1/8th bars have stood the test of time. Shoot, this time, even the left hand guard got bent a little. Can you believe that? HDB Guards don’t just, “bend.”



Oh yea… My right side pannier and lid. Happy Trail, I like your pannier racks, and I like your mounting pucks. They kick ass. But I just don’t think I can handle Aluminum boxes. Not yours at least.



I saw another bike in the corner, a Yamaha 125. It had 80,505 kilometers on it. 50,034 miles, NICE.



Well, that was good enough for me. The bike is still there. No worries. On the other hand, someone else had something to worry about, as a funeral procession was taking place on the avenue outside the police impound lot. :/



Well, after confirming the status of the bike, it was off to the Jefetura de Policia’s office (A police boss man). Before that though, I needed 2 copies of my passport. Oh, and the Jefetura’s office is closed. So, instead, Mr. Lawyer Man took me to a motorcycle shop that he recommended because the Police motorcyclists use it. He took my there, I told the man what was up, and he just said, it was no problem, and that I should come back in an hour and a half. So, after more hand shaking, we went back to the Police Boss Man’s office. He was open.

First though, it’s a cigarette break.



At the office, I was asked to pay $1.50 for each day that my motorcycle remained in the Police Parking Lot. My lawyer made a valiant effort to mitigate the fee (27 days multiplied by $1.50 = $40.50), but it was to no avail as we’d have to come back tomorrow as the systems that allowed it weren’t on the same computer. So, I paid the man. So far, I’m up to $70.50.

From there, it was all straight forward. We got a signed piece of paper that said I had paid, and headed back for the bike. I couldn’t start my bike, because the kill switch was jammed closed, so I couldn’t ride it to the motorcycle shop. Mr. Lawyer Man had an audience in 30 minutes, and wasn’t about to miss it. In 3 minutes, he had a truck lined up to haul me and the bike a mile or so to the shop.

The three of us heaved my bike into the back of a short-bed, dual-cab pickup truck, and with a single length of rope, the driver tied it in. I hoped in the cab of the truck, and off we went. It turned out that the driver spoke pretty good English, and understood me even better. He had lived in the United States for 11 years, and the child in the back seat was even American.

Only a few minutes and three dollars later and I was dropped off at the Motorcycle shop. Que bien.



Inside of 4 minutes, the shop owner had placed a new front brake master cylinder in my hand. How much? $18.00…. I’ll take it.



After installing that, adding brake fluid and bleeding the brakes, it was onto the head light. First step was removal.



Second step was convincing the helper that was now assisting me to retrofit the high-output 60watt halogen bulb from my old busted headlight into the new one. I wasn’t too fond of the idea of riding with a 30watt halogen bulb in my new $10 headlight assembly. He agreed it was better, and we installed it.



Say goodbye to the busted head light! Adios you pile of crap!



Next step was to address my broken clutch adjustment screw.



And then after that, to deal with the burnt our break light that hasn’t functioned since the first week of Mexico. That turned out to be a BITCH, as the light bulb had rust/welded to the insertion slot, and removing it turned out to be impossible.



Marvel at the rebar turned tire iron that measures about 3.25 feet long.



Watch the shop assistant saw off some tabs on the edge of my new rear light bulb socket to replace the old one that was chopped out.



By now, its 2pm and according to the boss man, seen below on the far left of the table, it is time for lunch. The guys are getting hungry as well. I am invited, and so I go along. I hadn’t eat yet, and I was damn hungry as well. Meet the guys that fixed up my bike!



While we were sitting there at lunch, I asked the shop owner how much the meals cost. He replied that they were $1.50/each. We’re talking about a bowl of bean and noodle soup (that I think is really damn good), and a plate of rice, vegetables, and meat, accompanied by a glass of fruit juice. I almost laughed because it was so cheap.

Right before we left, he got up to pay the bill for himself and the shop workers. He was probably going to pay mine as well. However, I beat him to it, and when he set down a $10 bill, I snatched it out of the waitresses hand from behind the counter, slapped it back on the counter in his direction, and handed over my own money. $7.50 for 5 meals. Call it a donation to THEIR fund. The owner said thank you to me no less than 3 times. He meant it too.

Back at the shop after lunch, I was hard at work tweaking things, and making sure everything was good to go. The front turn signals were addressed and I had new L.E.D lights on in a flash ($8.00 a pair).

After that, I locked the hand guards back into place, adjusted the lever positions, tightened the mirror, and shortened the screws holding my Auxiliary Light brackets. Putting the front cowling on was a slight chore as the new headlight unit is slightly larger. Adjusting the inside diameter of the cowling proved simply enough by using a hack saw blade to remove a few flanges, and VIOLA, I’m functional again.



Next on the list was to take care of the Chain. I had replaced the chain in Bogota before I left, and used a 525 o-ring master link to do it. However, the master link was such a bitch getting it on, and not of the right fit apparently as the chain formed a kink at the master link and wouldn’t flex at that point. It was the right size as per the package AND stamping on the link (DID 525), but if just didn’t fit.

Getting it off proved to be easier with a 4” dye grinder, and it was replaced with a 530 master link as a 525 was not available. To make it fit, one of the o-rings on the chain was ground down, as the 530 link was JUST too short to make it fully to the other side. I’m not worried about it. I’ll last.

Next, was creating a buffer zone between my left hand aux light and water. I unscrewed the outer bevel that holds the glass plate in place and removed the plate as the release of pressure allowed it to fall into 3 pieces. I then placed 3 layers of clear plastic bag over the exposed LEDs, and screwed the bevel back in place, forming the plastic into a 3 level waterproof barrier. I then wrapped electrical tape around the light to prevent seepage from the not fully screwed down bezel. Until I can find someone to cut me a perfect circle out of glass, this will have to do.

And now, the only things left on the bike to worry about are the right side mirror that was shattered, and finding a replacement windshield, as I broke mine when I body slammed it. I’m willing to bet that finding a new mirror will be the least of my worries, and a windshield will show up in due time.

Last but not least, I pay the man... Total... $40....



Then, for the first time in 27 days, I got on my motorcycle, and rode it back to the hotel, wearing flip flops, shorts, and a long sleeve shirt. I didn’t even have a helmet or sunglasses. That’ll be the last time that happens.

I stopped off on the way back to the hotel to ask a welding shop if they could fix my side bag. They suggested another shop, and that was that. I’ll go their tomorrow after the hearing.

Now, I just have to mentally prepare myself to leave this place. Saturday will mark 4 weeks that I have been here. I am thinking Monday, the 31st, Halloween, will mark my date of departure, and my subsequent entrance into Peru…

Hot damn boys and girls!

ONWARD!!!

--Alex

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Old 10-28-2011, 04:27 AM   #960
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