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Old 04-13-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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250cc bikes. 14 countries so far....

Here's our story.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
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index

Mexico:

Guatemala:

El Salvador /Nicaragua:

Honduras/ Costa Rica:

Panama / Darien:

etc
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #4
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The bikes are 2000 & 2004Super Sherpa with 10,000 km each. The fork oil was changed, brake fluid bled out with new fluid, and new chain & sprocket on both bikes. The valves were checked & shimmed .
Thorne had an aftermarket skid plate and engine guards put on. Both bikes had some kind of hand guards ( bark buster?) installed.
Aftermarket larger fuel tanks. Plenty of info out there for that.
Spare throttle cables were put under the seat along the frame on one bike. A clutch cable was taken as a spare.
Both bikes got a TCI Sequoia rack. A Givi top box 46L was attached to this with low budget saddlebags put on the rack. A spare rear sprocket was bolted to the rack underneath the Givi top plate.
A set of ATV tank bags was slung over the frame, under the seat.
Tank bag on each bike.
A JohnDeere tool tube was fitted inside the rack opposite of the muffler.
A stainless steel reusable oil filter was fitted to each motor.
Extra front sprockets, brake pads, circlip for front sprocket, spark plugs, extra rubber bumpers for the Givi mounting plate( easy to loose) spare air filter for each bike, inner tubes( in tool tube) tire levers fit on the handlebar inside the crossbar pad. Plenty of metric bolts nuts, and washers. Extra valve shims and feeler gauges.
Toolkit: make sure you have a 3mm Allen wrench to drain the float bowl. A valve stem remover tool, circlip pliers for the front sprocket, the correct Allen key to fit the exhaust studs, all the rest : wrenches and sockets. The drain is 14mm. The crank ( turn motor to TDC is 17mm) 22mm for rear axle( stock toolkit has it) Fuses spare. Tire gauge. Electric air pump. This is the kind you buy to keep in the car, take the plastic housing off, to make it smaller, convert to SAE2pin that fits the lead on your bike( electric vest, gps ,battery tender, tire pump all fit) hand pump backup.
We had spare shifter, clutch and front brake levers on season one.
Motorcycle cover for parking.
Camping gear, pot kit, stove, sleeping bag, thoroughrest, tent all that is a lot of stuff. Rain suit and rubber boots. Parachute cord and clothespins, a variety of uses. Quick dry clothing for when not riding, some other shoes. I prefer regular old boots. Riding boots aren't very good for walking around. Gloves, thin cotton to block the sun when it's hot, Joel Racket for when its cold. If you forget something, you can find it along the way, sunglasses, sunscreen.
The rest of the schrapnel will settle in place as travel begins. Don't forget extra earplugs. They get lost easily and are hard to find the good ones.
The name of the game is to have only what you absolutely need, and maybe one or two things you don't, but want to have along.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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A while ago I came to realize that life is going to end someday. It's easy to agree to that, and casually cast the concept aside and pour another cup, and change the thought or conversation. But to sit back in your chair, and look at the calendar on the wall, letting the fact really become a truth to you, that's what I'm talking about.
It might be chronic illness, maybe an accident at work, perhaps some other sudden event that terminates your existence . Maybe you'll be lucky and old age will be what takes you out.
Many of us go through our day to day tasks with the attitude that there's lots of time. We can do so many things later on in life, but will we?
When those last breaths are taken, will it have been a life well lived? Perhaps it will be one where the desires of oneself were sacrificed to appease and satisfy someone else. Maybe some fears prevent us to step out and take a few chances. It's so easy to not disrupt the routines we have established.
The real wealth in human life today is time. Just take a look around. The wealthy folks all seem to have very little time, yet they cannot buy any more. The poor folks in some of the countries we travel through seem to have little financially but also seem to have plenty of time, and an inner peace and happiness that no dollar can deliver. Sure the wealthy (& regular) people can take pills or use other substances to try and bring about some artificial form of happiness, but maybe there are other things that could deliver what they are looking for.
We live in a complex world today and there are large disperancies between different people's. Ffundamentally we are all the same.
Coming to grips with your mortality is a big step towards becoming free in life.
Some will say " get a grip ! "
Soon you will realize that maybe you should instead loosen your grip, as you WILL let go of everything and everyone around you when the day comes.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't have some nice things in your life, but rather to enjoy them, without becoming too attached to them.
Suddenly a whole bunch of stuff no longer seems that important anymore.
Those precious collectible s all shined up and put away, or the newspaper clippings of you , winning the trophy , the trophy itself, all those will have no meaning after your gone. Let go of them now, yet continue to enjoy them, have nice things around you, but realize they will all go away as you loosen your grip.
It's a lot easier to establish a peaceful frame of mind and maintain that state when a few of these riveting truths can be fully acknowledged to the core of your being. Now the time you have on this earth may seem more clear. It's not much really , just a quick blip.
This is the stuff that shakes people up out of their mundane existence and gets them to reevaluate their purpose in life , often with radical changes in them.
Your purpose in life? Think about that one for a bit. Is it to make money? Maybe it's about family. What is it really though? What is your main reason for living?
Now bring that alongside the very real fact of your death occurring just a ways ahead , on the big calendar .
The false dream. So many people instill the "values" into us. The television is a big one also, but our parents, our boss at work, and the teachers in school all hammer it into you as you grow up, and continue into your adult life. Many societies expect a certain behaviour out of people, and when someone decides that they are choosing different values and taking a path of their own, it can ad confusion even unacceptance.
I'll give you an example: let's say your life is equivalent to one day. Would you like to work until sundown, then have supper, and maybe a bit of ice cream before bed?
That's like working your whole life, then doing some mediocre things for a few more years before the big dirt nap.
Seems unfair eh? Who designed this plan and who made the rules?
I'm thinking a three hour lunch break, or maybe several lunch breaks with all the fixings, then maybe we can do a bit of work as needed, and sleep with a smile on your face, knowing its been a great day.
A few more thoughts on the freedom. One of the biggest freedoms a person can have is being free of regret, anger, jealousy and the so many other mental agonies that rob you of your happiness . A man in jail can be more free mentally than a man riding his motorcycle . The mind can be a powerful storm or a placid pool of tranquility, but usually it pendulums back and forth as we encounter situations in our day to day lives, whatever that may be.
That is a road worthy of going down, exploring, gauranteed to have many curves and elevation changes. Low points where the grim reapers icy touch lets you sends a shiver down your spine and high points where you finally find the peace of mind that eluded you so long. That's the road that continues to elude me, yet we will travel thousands of miles appearing free, yet inprisoned by our thoughts.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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Crossing the border and beginning the voyage. a few photos. Jan 2013.


a nice town on the way.

Riding towards the 22 km cobblestone road which takes us into Real 14



For a few bucks the local cowboys will take you up to the silver mine on horseback...Glancing back down into one of the coolest towns in Mexico (that I have seen)

Leaving on a Friday morning as the town gears up for the increased visitors during the weekend.


Riding south. A little bit each day. Poco-poco.

Xilitla


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Old 04-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Being " on the road " will change you. Short trips with homesickness and a quick return to the usual routine will not bring about the difference. It's the longer journey, where you have slashed away the tentacles of modern day living, to enter into an open ended freedom, that's when the change takes place. Your thinking changes.
After a while your thoughts are no longer connected to anything to do with home, work, and to a lesser extent , family. Your thinking becomes centred around the day to day necessities of living from the seat of your motorcycle.
In many ways its a state of real freedom, perhaps it's a variant of the freedom being sold when you see some motorcycle advertisements.
To be free, to wander with the contours of the land and the patterns of the weather. You meet other travellers along the way, and they mostly all share this same state of mind, the almost dream like immersion into the journey, with its challenges , frustrations and amazing moments so rewarding that only those that have been on the road for a long time can know and acknowledge with a glazed over expression as far away places are described in detail.
Then one day you realize the road has changed you. The places you have been, the people you have met and the way others live so far away from your home that you have witnessed first hand, so ingrained and burnt into your memory permanently . You cannot be the person you were when you left home so long ago. You were there. You saw it. You can go home, but you cannot "go back" to who you were before the long ride.
You were on the road. Now the road is on you.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #8
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It was here in Xlitla where the green bike had its first small problem. The intake has a small vacuum port which provides vacuum for the stock petcock. This was plugged off and not needed with the larger aftermarket tanks. This plug came off, allowing the bike to suck in extra air(unfiltered) causing the bike to run lean and overheat. This went on for a few days before I was able to figure out what had happened and block off the port again. The engine seemed ok.


Walking around the Edward James psychedelic gardens where we swam in the pools to cool off after being amazed by this place. We had Sjeords hotel book with us on this trip. It saved us a pile of time and money. We were able to navigate directly to the best accomadations. By best, I mean affordable with bike parking. It was around Xilitla where we really got into the good riding. At this time we also exchanged information with other riders who know Mexico much better and they suggested some great riding areas we should try out.



Tolatonga. There is a big cave here with hot water pouring down inside. We set up the tent and enjoyed some time inside the caves. the ride descending into the canyon was difficult to capture with a still image.




Avoiding Mexico City (this time) and staying on the libre roads, which was sometimes a bit tough to navigate to stay off the toll roads, we take a backcountry route in Puebla. Some nice riding for sure.


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Old 04-13-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
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Las Posas

I loved it there!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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Heading for Veracruz state.









Last section after riding some of MikeMike's amazing routes. I believe this is the 5 Haciendas area. The good riding was impossible to truly capture with a still camera. It needs video to really grab onto it, but better than video is to actually go ride it. I'll have to dig through my 1000's of photos and see if i have some good ones. (edit : only low rez shots-the only other one I have is the climb up the stairway to heaven,where the good riding began)
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Wow! Love that take on time, how much we have of it, and how we are conditioned to use it. Great photos, too. Looking forward to a whole lot more of this report!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:52 PM   #12
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Oaxaca


We rode the 250cc Kawasaki motorcycles towards Oaxaca state, really getting into the groove of things, knowing there was a whole lot more ahead of us to explore. Live to Ride. Ride Free. Its an image of a paved road, to a rider it sends a message.



We really liked Oaxaca. I had seen it in other Ride Reports, and knew it would be a great spot to stop for a few days. We met Gene & Neda there in the centro and they told us if we don't have our Darien crossing figured out yet we better get on it. The Steel Rat books up fast. We contacted Ludwig with email and he told us we missed the booking. We wont be able to sail on the boat at our expected arrival time in Panama.








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Old 04-13-2014, 01:03 PM   #13
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Awesome! Thanks for posting - your pictures are amazing... I'm tuned in for more.

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Old 04-13-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
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Oaxaca coastline


A moment where you can breath a bit and reflect" Life is OK"


We made arrangements to sail with Ludwig at a much later date, yet continued to travel at our "pace". Everyone has thier own pace. We had uncertainties about getting to Colombia, yet the trip was focused on South America. We missed a lot of Mexico and CA believing its in our "neighborhood" and much easier to come back for 2nds and 3rds than it is to get to South America. We settled on a nice beach area just west of the Zipolite area. We bumped into KennyANC during one of our short day rides. Spending two or three nights here was a good break, we bought one month of Mexico insurance and it was running out sooner than we expected.



Taking a ride into town for lunch and a few supplies, then back out to the campspot on the beach.


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Old 04-13-2014, 01:39 PM   #15
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Wonderful photos. Thank you.
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