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Old 08-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #1231
Shomani
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Originally Posted by Manuelsv View Post
Joking aside! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR AWESOME ADVENTURE! Follow your dreams! You are true inspiration to us all!

And I second the motion ... Write a book.. fill it with your awesome pictures .. sell it make some money and keep traveling!!! I'd buy your book!
I second the motion. Far too often we dismiss our dreams saying that it can't be done. You both are the proof that this is not true. All one needs is the courage to follow one's heart.

Thanks,
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:23 AM   #1232
Tallguybiker
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Quit jobs, sold home, gone riding

Ok. I get the need for rest. But enough. ONWARD WITH THE HUMAN DRAMA! I've enjoyed your blog very much and looking forward to more. I even test drove BMW in Las Vegas, based solely on your blog. You two have planted a seed within me.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:24 AM   #1233
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I've been procrastinating getting another blog post up, should be soon! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by martinz View Post
So I happen to notice that an '09 GSA has appeared locally f/s and I'm wondering how you deal with the premium fuel / octane requirement in many of the remote / impoverished places you are visiting?
Before the trip I was going to trade in my 12GS for an 8GS, but things kind of fell through and I ended up keeping the 12. It is a bit bigger and heavier and takes a bit of muscling to get through some of the gnarlier terrain, but what I like about the 12 is that it has an anti-knock sensor (something the 8 is lacking) which allows me to run on lower quality fuel. Surprisingly, I get better mileage on a tank of regular than I do on premium!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBR View Post
how many miles since you left last year?
Since we bought Neda's bike specifically for this trip, we use it as our official triptometer. It's got about 54,000 kms on it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:10 PM   #1234
Turkeycreek
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
I've been procrastinating getting another blog post up, should be soon! :)
Yay!
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #1235
edge2edge
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AWESOME thread!!!! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:05 PM   #1236
dryden_rider_54
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
what I like about the 12 is that it has an anti-knock sensor (something the 8 is lacking) which allows me to run on lower quality fuel.
I have a 2010 F8 and have been told by the dealer that it can be remapped to use regular fuel. Never had it done but have used regular in it occasionally when premium not available on Alaska trip and it ran ok.

Never tried it with the less than ideal fuel of the second or third world.

Looking forward to your next post be it the epilogue of this report, the prologue of the next or just a new chapter.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #1237
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Waiting for your update, cant wait
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #1238
Two Moto Kiwis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dryden_rider_54 View Post
I have a 2010 F8 and have been told by the dealer that it can be remapped to use regular fuel.
Heya dryden _ryder_54, talk to Naomi and Alberto about that before you touch it, at 12.75:1 comp ratio things can go wrong badly but that is also why your bike is very fuel efficient too, everyone who has left them alone seems to be ok.

Heya Gene and Neda, hope the break is going well, we are in Costa Rica at the mo. Panama in two days then down the the boat 12th

Love to you both,

Andi & Ellen
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #1239
dryden_rider_54
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Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post
Heya dryden _ryder_54, talk to Naomi and Alberto about that before you touch it, at 12.75:1 comp ratio things can go wrong badly but that is also why your bike is very fuel efficient too, everyone who has left them alone seems to be ok.
Yes I read about their issues and possible fuel related and that is one huge reason why I have not considered the re-map. If I decide to go on a distant journey like you folks will likely look for a bike that will run on lower octane fuel.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #1240
TxLoneRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dryden_rider_54 View Post
Yes I read about their issues and possible fuel related and that is one huge reason why I have not considered the re-map. If I decide to go on a distant journey like you folks will likely look for a bike that will run on lower octane fuel.
Yup, and I think BMW's decision to go with 91 octane or better on the new R1200GS is asinine, but that's just me.

My Tiger runs quite well on 87 octane thank you
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #1241
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/99.html



We were in such a rush to leave the country that we left our boots in Cuba.

Somewhere in the haste of packing on our last day, we rode to the marina in Cienfuegos (just a short ride from our casa) in our hiking shoes and didn't realize until much later that we had left our riding boots behind. A very aggravating and probably costly oversight!


Watching the bikes get loaded onto the Stahlratte for the journey back to the mainland

While we've been motoring across Cuba for the last month or so, the Stahlratte has been lazily sailing from the east side of the island to eventually pick us up here. From hereon, it's a 4-day journey with its sails unfurled to Isla Mujeres, a small island just off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Yes, Mexico! We're headed back to our favorite country on this trip!


Before leaving Cuba, Neda makes friends with a drug-sniffing cocker spaniel

The journey by sea is uneventful. If you call being green in the face for the first 48 hours uneventful. Thankfully, I didn't throw up on this leg of the sailing, something Neda can't boast about! HA HA! :) But in the last couple of months, after spending a total of 15 days on the open waters sailing from Panama -> Colombia -> Jamaica -> Cuba -> Mexico, I've decided that being out at sea is a very unnatural act for me. Previously, Neda and I discussed shipping our motorcycles by container across the Atlantic and spending half a month with the crew on the ship. We thought it would be a very romantic way to travel across the ocean. Now, I'm not too sure that would be a very enjoyable option...


Watching dolphins swim alongside the Stahlratte

Despite the seasickness, our time on the Stahlratte is always relaxing and the journey to Mexico was no different. Neda did some reading on the deck, I'd be strumming on a guitar somewhere, we were eating lots of great food and all the passengers on the ship traded stories about their time in Cuba. It always amazes me how different peoples experiences are, despite us all having pretty much the same itinerary. Things that fascinated us, annoyed others and vice versa.


Watching storms in the distance. The closeup is of lightning hitting the water. So cool seeing that!


If I did this, I'd be cleaning upchuck off my Kindle...

Four days later, the skyline of Cancun greeted us with such a change from the decaying buildings of Cuba. It was like returning to civilization again! We spent quite a bit of time scrambling around the ship looking for our boots before realizing we had left them behind. This made us very late for the ferry from Isla Mujeres to Cancun, so there was a last-minute mad dash to make it back to the mainland. Seems like our travels are a series of Hurry-Up-And-Waits (and then Hurry-Up again)...


Leaving the dock at Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Sans boots... :(


*phew* made it onto the ferry. Last on the boat!


Pirates?

In a scene straight out of an action movie, a couple of crew members from the Stahlratte (you can see it in the distance) fly towards our ferry in their dinghy. It seems they forgot to give us some travel documents for Mexico and had to do a daring sea-to-sea exchange to get the documents to us. LOL!


Happily tooling around Mexico

Cancun was glorious! Mexico is awesome! We had to spend the first couple of days getting all of our import papers in order, TVIP, etc. All very familiar procedures. Everyone here is friendly and helpful and not after our money. Everything is familiar again, from the OXOs (convenience stores), Chedrauis (grocery stores) to the Pemexs (gas stations). We know how much everything should cost and where to go to get stuff. When we walk into a store, there is so much selection and variety, in stark contrast to the single brands the government of Cuba allows in the stores. Being in Mexico felt like being able to breathe again! Figuratively, of course... since there are no air pollution laws here... :)


One of the things we replaced was our Point-And-Shoot camera. Here it is in action.

We took some time to stock up on supplies and replace a few things that we broke or lost in our time in the Caribbean. I couldn't find the old waterproof Nikon camera that we drowned in Jamaica (waterproof, go figure...), so I bought a Fuji FinePix XP150. Ironically, we didn't take one picture of Cancun, despite being there for 3 days. We visited the local BMW dealership trying to find a replacement for my All-Round Boots, which I loved, but damn my dainty, elven feet, they didn't have my size in stock... :(

I did see the new R1200GS Liquid-Cooled version, and I liked what I saw. It's wonderfully ugly, just like mine! I want one!


Riding through Chiapas, Mexico

When we first booked our Cuba detour, the plan was to return to Central America and tour through it again unrushed, seeing how we had to scramble to meet the Stahlratte the first time. Unfortunately, right now there was a bit of a time-table to leave Mexico, as our Central America visa was nearing expiration and if we didn't re-enter Guatemala before the end of the week, the expired 90-day visa meant that we could not re-enter any of the CA4 (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras) countries for another 90 days.


Just outside of Palenque, Chiapas

It felt good to be in Trek-Mode again. Unfortunately we were riding in our hiking shoes, which made us feel very exposed. We really have to get proper riding boots before we attempt any gnarlier terrain. Our destination is Guatemala, to the very spot where we left off before our mad dash to meet the Stahlratte. Our route took us through the same places we travelled initially, we rode the same roads (shortest route) and stayed in the same places, eating in the same restaurants we had visited the first time through. It's very time-consuming finding restaurants and hotels, and frequenting the same places saved a lot of time and headaches. And stomach-aches as well... :)

Felt redundant taking pictures of the same places we had visited. But I did manage to try out the new camera en route. I'm not that happy with it. I like my old Nikon better.


The automatic light sensor on the Fuji is not very intuitive and takes some getting used to to get the best contrast. Most of the riding pictures turned out too dark to use.

While taking a break at a Pemex, I was approached by one of the gasoline tanker drivers who was delivering petrol to the station. He seemed curious about our motorcycles and started asking me questions. I had flashbacks of Cuba and initially viewed him with suspicion. What did he really want? Then he flipped out his cell phone and started thumbing through it, showing me pictures of his own Suzuki sportbike he had at home. We then had a great conversation about sport vs touring bikes and he was curious about how the BMW bikes handled.

But it struck me how scarred I was from our time in Cuba and how it's so difficult relating to others when there's little socio-economic common ground. When I look back at all the places we've bookmarked as potential places to live, like La Paz in the Baja Peninsula, I realize that they're all very middle-class cities where the residents were less concerned about putting food on the table and spent their time pursuing more self-actualized pursuits like music, dance and the arts. And motorcycling for pleasure travel...


Waiting for Neda to do her thing at the Mexico/Guatemla border


Dodging chicken buses in the hills of Guatemala


Weaving through the Tuk Tuks on the rainy roads of Guatemala

Our primary adversary on this trip has been the weather. First, outrunning the bitter Arctic winter as it chased us from Alaska all the way to the Mexican border, and now we are riding straight into the infamous rainy season in Central America. We encountered a few washed out roads and landslides. I know how badly our bikes do with all the weight of our luggage up high and running street-tires, and I'm a bit worried about how we'll manage.


Slip, slidin' away

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #1242
martinz
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Thanks for the update . . .

Sorry about the boots! Good to know you made it off the island without encountering any great trauma. Although, as someone who HATES losing anything, I feel your frustration.

If I can be philosophical for a moment - everyone I know who has left Cuba (former citizens), has left at great cost, leaving behind family, friends, home, possessions, the beauty of the landscape, literally everything familiar, and most had very little notion of what awaited them on the other side. I'm sure it must have crossed your mind as you boarded Stahlratte, how many Cubans would give almost anything to have the opportunity to board with you.

Looking forward to continued updates!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:15 PM   #1243
Honkey Cat
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Phew, crazy adventure so far, keep on trekking
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:56 AM   #1244
elemental
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Read the whole thing over the last couple of days. Glad to have caught up. Can't add much to all the comments except to echo the sentiment that you guys are awesome.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #1245
kristof-lars
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awesome story! im currently in the midst of finishing my house and selling it to run to the other side of the world (australia) pick up a bike there and trek around, very inspiring story :)
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