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Old 02-17-2013, 11:38 PM   #1336
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
At first I crashed one of the big fancy resorts to hang out. I just drove right past the guard with my tinted face shield down and rode around the gate.
It was nice but I knew I could not camp there.
So I left to find a place to safely camp
Here is what I found

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:43 PM   #1337
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
But I asked a policia guy on a quad and he said I couldn't camp there on the beach
I found a restaurant/bar on the beach near by to ask where I could camp and the nice owner allowed me to camp at his place on the beach.
The place closed at sun down and I had the whole place to myself. It was enclosed so it was safe. It had bathrooms and showers. And it had tables and chairs.
It was perfect.
The owner and the guys that worked there were big motorcycle guys. If I would have showed up in a VW hippy van, they would have told me to get lost
Ha

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:46 PM   #1338
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
The next morning, after the restaurant had opened, I need help getting out of my parking spot.
car people just don't realize that motorcycles don't have reverse and it is impossible to push a big bike like mine in the sand

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #1339
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
Today, I rode up to El Valle.
It is a little town up in the mountains.
There are some hot springs there and if you know me by now, I can't turn down taking a dip.
I took the back way in.
The road started out nice. But the closer I got, the worse the road got. I finally rounded this corner and started to climb up this rocky hill that would be hard to walk up let alone ride a 600+ pound motorcycle up. As I rounded the corner, I was already half way up when I realized that it was too much for me and my bike and it only got worse from there. I hit the brakes and came to a stop on the hill. I nearly dumped the bike getting to that point because the hill had tons of marble to baseball size rocks on it. The hill was so steep, that my front brake alone would not hold me in place. I had gotten myself in to a situation where I thought for sure my bike was going to fall over. And I had not passed a car for miles!!!!

It took me about 10 minutes, but I used both my front brake and the clutch with the bike in gear as a rear brake. I very slowly got the bike turned around and pointed in the opposite direction.
I make it back down without further problem and took the paved road in to El Valle.
My GPS showed I was only 2 miles from El Valle when I turned around and I had to ride about 40 more miles to get there from that point

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #1340
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
The hot springs in El Valle sucked!
The pool was small
There were tons of people
It was like being at Disneyland.
Don't bother

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:01 AM   #1341
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
El Valle

But I did get to play in the mud

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:04 AM   #1342
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
The highlight of the hot springs was I got to meet some nice flight attendants from Holland. They had a 5 day layover in Panama.
Awesome job if you ask me.
I hope to see them again some where else in the world along my way.

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Old 02-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #1343
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
My BMW GS1200 ADV

After nearly 30,000 miles, here are my thoughts on my motorcycle.......
First off, let me say, I was never a "BMW guy"
I love their cars.
But I never cared for their motorcycles with the cylinders sticking out in to the wind.
And with that said, their is not another bike that I would rather be on for this trip.
I came close to getting a KTM 990.
I like a lot of things about that bike.
I like the strong V twin engine and its layout.
But I was not convinced about its reliability for the long haul.
There are three things that set apart the BMW from all other bikes out there:
It's shaft drive.
And that is so nice......I never have to lube, adjust and/or replace the chain and sprockets.
Second, it has tubeless spoked wheels. I am very surprised that the other bikes don't have this option.
And Third, it has a 8.7 gas tank. Again, none of the other bikes are nearly as big. I don't have to fill the tank up all the way if weight is an issue thru a techinical section if I don't want to.
I considered the new Triumph Tiger. I really wanted to pick that bike but it was unproven and it didn't have the aftermarket support yet. But I LOVE my 1996 Tiger.
Plus it doesn't have the dealer network around the world.
My first pick would have been a Honda. But Honda doesn't make anything even close (wake up Honda!)
I see Honda shops all over the world here. Plus I think they make some of the best bikes in the world.

The engine layout on my BMW has really grown on me. The engine is as wide as my rear luggage so it doesn't matter that it is so wide in the front. It gives me great wind protection and protection in case of a fall. I don't like the amount of heat the engine throws off riding down here in the tropics, but it will come in handy riding thru the Andes.

My biggest complaint is the transmission...............REALLY BMW??? On a $20,000 motorcycle????
It is like the transmission was designed in the 1950's......and it probably was. It clunks and doesn't snick like most modern transmissions. I really hate it. But with earplugs in, I try to ignore it. As long as it lasts, I guess that is what matter.

I know BMW is coming out with a new water cooled GS. And I am sure it will be a big improvement over my bike. But it being aircooled is one of the reasons that I chose the GS. I know it lacks the power for a 1200. I know it is old school and doesn't have the latest technology. But it also doesn't have a waterpump to go out. It doesn't have radiators that could get crushed in an accident. And it doesn't have coolent that needs to be changed and monitored. It is kind of like the old XR 400 and 600's that Honda made. They are so bullet proof!!!. The CRF450's are a better bike in every way but they are more fragile.

The BMW attracts a lot of attention down here because it is a BMW and it is expensive. And that is not a good thing unless you like all that attention.

I will think of some other things about the bike to say but let's take a look at the way I outfitted my bike:
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:10 AM   #1344
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
Jesse Luggage

I am going to sound like a spokeman for Jesse Luggage but they make awesome bags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First they are big and compact. Just look at them.....they are pieces of art! The curves soften their look. The BMW bags look so bulky and don't carry any more stuff. The Jesse Safari bags are deeper than the others because the tapper at the bottom. This maintains the lean angle of the bike. They are sronger with thicker aluminum. The latches are nice. At first I thought it would be a weak point since there is only a small peg keeping them shut, but it has held up well.
Unlike, every other bike I have ever seen, I chose to mount my hard top case directly behind me instead of hung off the back. It did this because I wanted to keep my weight more centered and I plain like the looks of it better. Plus I have the top case mounted to their "solo plate'. This means it can removed with the motorcycle key in 2 seconds just like the passenger seat coulld. That way, when my GF (or my new GF, I should say) wants to ride with me, I can pop off the case, pop in the passenger saddle and off we go.
I am very happy I got the Jesse Luggage. In fact, I don't think their stuff costs any more either.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:12 AM   #1345
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
I got this map from touratech. I am keeping track of my route on this map mounted on my top case. That way, if someone doesn't understand me, I can just point to the map when they ask me where I am coming from and where I am going

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:25 AM   #1346
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
Touratech windshield extender is working great. I have the windshield mounted in the second lowest setting so it cuts thru the wind better (and looks better). With the extender, the wind is directed over my helmet. It is sooooooo nice for cruising down the highway. And it cuts the wind noise too.

Also in this picture, you can see my Garmen 660 Zumo GPS. I don't know how people did a trip like this without a GPS. I have only the "World Map" downloaded in it but it does a great job with the cities and roads.
Often, it is "off" by quite a bit. And sometimes cities are not in the database. But where it comes in handy is when I am trying to get thru a big city and the street signs are none existant (which is just about everywhere down here). It gives me an idea which direction I am going and that I am heading the right way. Without it, I would still be trying to get thru Mexico City........Ha!
But it failed to warn me of my pending doom yesterday as I headed up in to the mountains to El Valle. The GPS said the road was paved and it looked like the road was on the map......so how bad could the road be? BAD!!!!
It was the recommended shortest route
In reality, with the GPS, a map in my tank bag and asking for directions, I assemble all that information together and make my OWN decision which is the correct route because one or more of the input sources are generally wrong. It is up to the Capitan to steer the ship and make the best decision of which course to steer.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #1347
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
I bought these stubby levers off of ebay. They were shipped from China. I really bought them to carry as back ups for the stock ones. But in Belize, I put them on for two reasons.......
One, on one of my tip overs, I bent a stock lever slightly. The long levers will bend easier because they hit the ground first. These are shorter so they stay better protected. I am carrying the stock levers as my back up now.
Second, they look bitchen! They add some "bling" to my bike (like it really needs more)
The one thing I don't like about them is they go out of adjustment on their own sometimes.....especially off road with the vibration. It is not a good feeling when you go to hit the front brake and the lever is not where it used to be.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:35 AM   #1348
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
I bought these adapter plates and mounts from Touratech to hold my water bottles and camp stove bottles.
These snap on and off quickly in case I need to put a passenger on.
Some times they get in the way. I am not really sure I would do it again. But I can always get rid of them if I ever decide that I don't like them there.
As a side note, I tell the kids that they hold NOS for extra power
LOL

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:40 AM   #1349
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
My Wolfman soft bag is holding up well. I carry all my camping gear in it. And it took me a few trys but I have everything organised so it compacts well. Everything has its place. Plus it is yellow so it matches my bike and you all know how important that is. Looking good is feeling good!
Plus I have a Packsafe wire mesh lock around it. To steal my stuff inside would involve much more than cutting open the soft bag. With some wire cutters, you could get my stuff, but it would slow someone down. In reality, I am just trying to keep the honest people honest. A professional is going to get your stuff regardless. I just want to slow them down a bit

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:43 AM   #1350
flyingdutchman177 OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: the Arabian Peninsula
Oddometer: 5,444
My Arc'teryx Backpack is waterproof and carry my boots and some dried food. I use it for day hikes and contains a water bladder for drinking. If you know this company, everything they make is top notch and really expensive. I bought this used on ebay and it matches my bike too

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