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Old 03-24-2013, 09:51 AM   #2206
ONandOFF
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Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
.... And you know what? Those were happier years.
You did teach me yet another life lesson by sharing your true opinions and I really appreciate that. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
... Two up on a 350 Jawa. That's what I'm talkin' about!! Now you're talking my kind of language!!!! Minimalist! It's a disease. There's no cure. ...
I have to admit to getting a bit sentimental going through these exchanges. Progressing through life and riding a motorcycle have many analogous aspects. Among those, you never know what's around that next corner or over that rise ahead. We don't always remember to think accordingly in life or in riding, and things we might have anticipated the possibility of suddenly become a surprise. But traveling light allows for a quicker reaction to more easily avoid the deleterious effects of obstacles.

I'm looking forward to riding around in South America. At a bare minimum, I want to take in all the far corners of Ecuador. And now, I'd like to hit at least some of the highlights of Colombia as well. Not the gringo trail, but roads less traveled as you describe. I can imagine this taking a year or more, so I'm thinking of following your lead and keeping a bike in Ecuador. Finding the right bike, getting it there, and finding the right place to keep it will keep me busy, but I have time. My wife will be going with me and has a few years before retiring. I also want to go as minimalist as possible, but keeping in mind I'm taking my lady and she needs to be comfortable. We have family in Ecuador which is advantageous for taking breaks from riding, camping, and hostels. I will look for a bike that's as small and light as possible and that will be able to keep up with traffic two-up and hold our gear. One on my list to look at is the wee-strom. Maybe a DRZ400, or an XR650L? Ulyses suggested a GS12, but that's really not my style. hehe... Although I guess I could strip it of frills and paint it flat black with Walmart paint.... I can see riding a Sherpa solo, but would have my doubts about two-up day after day.

You guys take care. Now I see what you use the name Dracula, Vic. Have fun with Al and the gang, John. Get some more riding in down there before you catch that plane back, cool?
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Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:21 AM   #2207
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi Adv Grifter,

I have lots of other bikes. No need to worry. I will be picking up my XR with low mileage when I get to Oregon.

I am good at buying bikes, but terrible when it comes time to getting rid of them. I have a garage full in Oregon that I really need to find homes for.

Hopefully, I will have time to get rid of some of my airhead BMWs. Good lord, I have a garage full of airhead parts. It's pathetic. I could probably finance a year in South America with all the stuff I have. I will likely give it away at firesale prices when I get there this summer. Airhead BMWs are an addiction and there is no cure. I have sympathy for my airhead brethren. I have transmissions, motors, frames, titles, parts for G/S 80s, mufflers, side covers, tanks, all the tools for tranmissions, steering head bearing removal, that sort of thing. Plus spare ICUs, Diode boards, wiring harnesses, etc. etc.

Cheers,
Airhead John
Wow! R80GS stuff is quite valuable ... plenty of guys out there doing restorations on Air Heads. Nice R80's sell for ridiculous $$$ and even the R100's are going UP in value. Hope you can get organized, catalog your stuff, clean it up and pawn it off.

Just imagine how much "lighter" you'll feel once it's all GONE! You are probably right, those old bikes/parts will give you over a year on the road.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #2208
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post

Minimalist! It's a disease. There's no cure.

Anyone can ride a GS12, F650, GS800, KLR650, XR650 or DR650 to South America. Nothing wrong with that. But when you get down here, you realize it costs 1500 hundred bucks minimum to get it back home. What's up with that? Plus the bike will be thrashed by the time you pound down Latin America over 1000s of topes and hopefully offroad through mud, construction detours, river crossings. Not to mention getting crushed or dumped in the ocean. By the time you have ridden 20 or 30,000 miles or so your travel bike will have been trashed. Why spend 1000s on a bike and farkles when you can pick up a used Sherpa for 1500. Sure it only goes 65 comfortably. So what? It gets 50% better gas mileage than bigger bikes. That adds up in the countries where gas costs 5 bucks a gallon or more.

Not that I have anything against bigger bikes. If you have the money and need the throttle, I say go for it. I am just offering up alternatives for folks who are financially challenged like me. If you are traveling solo and don't need a lot of gear, there are alternatives. I am living proof that you can ride to South America for less than you might imagine.

Saludos,
Juan Minamilista
So true. Expensive bikes will get "used up" traveling S. America, especially if you include Brazil.

Minimalist Rocks! I first learned of this trend in around 1997-98 over on Horizon's Unlimited. There I saw several young English, Irish or Aussie kids doing RTW on small, cheap and expendable bikes. These guys were the Kings of Cheap. Most would buy something used locally, usually imported or used Japanese bike. Brazil sell a few interesting bikes and now ... I guess Colombia has a nice selection too?

ADV Rider came along, it took a while for the folk to wake up to the benefits of small bikes. GS was King here for ages. (Helge Pederson syndrome)

I went minimal when I toured Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam on rented bikes. I rented 125 bikes in Thailand in '92-93. It went so well I did the same in Cambodia, then Vietnam (rented a Minsk for Vietnam).

Cambodia I rented a Frankenstein Honda 90 step through ... made from parts. None of my rides were long, just 3 or 4 weeks as I was still working. But I saw the light, realized that especially for Asia ... a small bike that is common among locals is the way to go.

I have a DR650. I would take to Latin America ... but won't be shipping it home for $1500. Rather sell it off in Chile ... or like you John, leave it. Store it until the next ride!

Suerte!
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #2209
ONandOFF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
... Minimalist Rocks! I first learned of this trend in around 1997-98 over on Horizon's Unlimited. There I saw several young English, Irish or Aussie kids doing RTW on small, cheap and expendable bikes. These guys were the Kings of Cheap. ...
Cool. If you're still interested in reading about trips like that, check out this guy Nick who has been on the road for a while and is down in Bolivia or nearby right now, pondering whether to hit Ushuai this late in the year.
__________________
Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #2210
JDowns OP
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Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerguy View Post
maybe you could use proceeds from an ebook to support other minimalist riders inspired by your stories.
Hi beerguy,

That is an excellent idea! I have been donating 10% to ADVrider. But anything left over goes to riders while I'm home working.

Thanks for the tip. I like it.

I'll start over when I come back.

Saludos,
Juanito
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #2211
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Joined: Mar 2005
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It's Palm Sunday morning in Latin America. That means everyone is hung over from Saturday night or in Church. Great time to ride in Medillin.

Mind you, I had to wake up at 2AM to park the Sherpa inside the pub after hours. Here is what the street looked like last night at 2AM:





It's like a block party every weekend night. Live music. Congas, guitars and horns playing Salsa Colombiana in the streets. If I were forty years younger it would be a hoot. As it was, I wheeled the Sherpa into the Shamrock and went to bed.

This morning was quiet as I left with my saddlebags containing all my tools and tubes. Headed up, up and up from Poblado. Here is looking back from the ridge:



The weather was fabulous this morning. No way I could keep up with the super motos and sport bike knee draggers in the curves winding up over the mountains. It was very cool and refreshing in the upper elevations. Stopped in Rio Negro to take a shot of some local bikes:




They were drinking coffee and looked like locals. I was too shy to go up and introduce myself. Nice bikes though.

Stopped at a stone yard:




That slate would be a bitch to lay I thought to myself as I went across the street to a Comedor. Here is Maria:



She was cooking up chicken empenadas for 60 cents each:



Here is a Sunday afternoon park up in Rio Negro:



More later….
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #2212
MikeS
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Hola Juanito!

Your rating on my "who is this guy" scale just jumped a lot when you mentioned your airheads inventory. Although I've let my old iron go, I found myself riding airheads a lot since I first started riding in the late 1960's. Lots of memories on them, especially the ones before the 1970 change.

Since you've hunkered down a little, I am curious how you located inexpensive dives and hostels during your travels. Did you use the internet? Simply go to the centro and ask around? Books like Lonely Planet, or Sjerd's motel book? Luck, charm, and good looks?

I know rooms and motels aren't always obviously signed or located, from my two trips to Mexico. The protocol for finding a cheap room is a little different once you're south of the US border.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #2213
JDowns OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Wow! R80GS stuff is quite valuable ... plenty of guys out there doing restorations on Air Heads. Nice R80's sell for ridiculous $$$ and even the R100's are going UP in value. Hope you can get organized, catalog your stuff, clean it up and pawn it off.

Just imagine how much "lighter" you'll feel once it's all GONE! You are probably right, those old bikes/parts will give you over a year on the road.
Hi Adv Grifter,

Some people invest in stocks and bonds. I invest in vintage moto parts. They go up in value the longer I keep them stacked in the garage.

Of course, I will sell them cheap to make some fellow airheads happy. Money comes and goes, but airhead love is forever. 25 percent of retail was always what I was looking for. So that is a starting point.

Saludos,
Juan Mechanico
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:01 PM   #2214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
Hola Juanito!

Your rating on my "who is this guy" scale just jumped a lot when you mentioned your airheads inventory. Although I've let my old iron go, I found myself riding airheads a lot since I first started riding in the late 1960's. Lots of memories on them, especially the ones before the 1970 change.

Since you've hunkered down a little, I am curious how you located inexpensive dives and hostels during your travels. Did you use the internet? Simply go to the centro and ask around? Books like Lonely Planet, or Sjerd's motel book? Luck, charm, and good looks?

I know rooms and motels aren't always obviously signed or located, from my two trips to Mexico. The protocol for finding a cheap room is a little different once you're south of the US border.
Hi MikeS,

You must be my age. I remember when I first saw my best friend's brother on his /2 back in the 60's. I was captivated. He rode that bike back to University from Eugene Oregon where I was living and I was smitten. I had to have one. It took a long time. All I could afford in the late 70's was a CX500. Sort of a Motoguzzi knock off Honda. But damn, I loved the sound of that motor. And believe me, if you wanted to go over 80 that short stroke motor with the low gearing would be howling.

And then I saw an R100 on Craigslist. I went over and test rode it. HOLY SHIT!!!! That bike was awesome. Of course this was back in the last century. But still. I had to have it. Rode BMW airheads for a decade or so. But then I took a two week trip to Costa Rica and rented a Honda 250 Tornado many years ago.

Oh baby!!!! 250's rule in Latin America. I had so much fun on that dirt bike. The hell with street bikes. I came home and bought a 1996 XR250. Still have it. I'm picking it up in Oregon this summer. I bought the Sherpa because it has electic start and six speeds, but that XR is a sweet moto. I'll ride it this summer while I earn some more money so I can fly back down and ride the Sherpa here in Colombia south to God knows where next year.

As far as finding reasonable places to stay, I am a ride report junkie. I take notes and write down ideas. Plus people PM me with free places to camp.

I think your best bet is to write a live ride report. I can't believe all the great ADVriders I have met on this ride who have taken me in and given me such great advice on roads to check out etc. It's a lot of work, but it has kept my ADVbuddies entertained all winter and resulted in the best ride of my life.


Saludos,
Juanito
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:44 PM   #2215
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
I rode around the hills today above Medellin. I have no idea where I went. It was so much fun racing uphill with the locals. The 125's had no chance. I passed a GS800 in the corners who just couldn't keep up. Of course, then a KTM super moto blew my doors off and just about clipped my left mirror. Holy crap!!! That guy was haulin' ass. I downshifted and tried to keep up with him. I don't think so. Guess again Mr. 250 Sherpa. It ain't gonna happen.

The people I met today were SO nice. I wandered around Saint something or other for a while. Really nice town. Stopped across the street from these townhouses. that look a lot nicer than anything you'll find in Bassett Nebraska:



I actually didn't have to pay for food today. Everywhere I went, people insisted on buying me lunch. I can't tell you how many empanadas I ate. People are so nice here.

I encourage you to learn as much Spanish as you can before heading to South America. If you can keep up an in depth conversation in Spanish it will serve you so well. Especially if you are traveling solo and are non-threatening.

People will invite you to sit down and eat with them and share stories. It is AWESOME!!!

I had no idea where I was in the Saint something or other town so took off on a gravel road to who knows where:



more later...
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #2216
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There is a lot of bars on those buildings...



you sure this wasn't a prison. In Canada we call them Club Fed and they all have nicely manicured golf courses.

YK
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #2217
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So I stopped at a comedor and another family invited me to eat with them:




the lady was making empenadas from potatoes, chicken, tomatoes, onions and god knows what:



I had to take a leak and this is the masonry I was looking at in the bathroom:



Lord have mercy. I could teach these boys a thing or two about quality masonry. Ah well. I'm just an accidental tourist. Never mind.

more later.....
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:08 PM   #2218
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by ONandOFF View Post
Cool. If you're still interested in reading about trips like that, check out this guy Nick who has been on the road for a while and is down in Bolivia or nearby right now, pondering whether to hit Ushuai this late in the year.
Good for Nick! He's late for Ushuaia this year. May be too cold by late March. So many young guys out there right now ... doing it. But don't forget our seniors either:
Ted Simon, Lew & Punky and Simon Gandolphi on his 125.

The most important, IMHO and one of the early minimalists has to be Austin Vince, director of Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa. He did two RTW rides, made films of both:
http://www.mondoenduro.com/mondoenduro.html
http://www.mondoenduro.com/terracirca.html

Aboard 350 Suzuki DR's, these guys were all stars. Austin's future wife also made inroads, Lois on The Loose did AK to South America on a XT225 and then Africa on a XT250 ... SOLO! She wrote books about both trips.


Recently here on ADV Rider one of my favorite reports is Brit Nathan (nathanthepostman) Milward's ride documented here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ht=moped+named

Nate's book "The Long Ride Home" sits on my travel book shelf now. It's not bad ... but his ride report is better. No color pics in his book. Good Moto travel writers are rare. My favs are Dan Walsh and Ted Simon.


Adv Grifter screwed with this post 03-24-2013 at 05:13 PM
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:08 PM   #2219
JDowns OP
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Originally Posted by yellowknife View Post


you sure this wasn't a prison. In Canada we call them Club Fed and they all have nicely manicured golf courses.

YK
Hi Yellowknife,

Yeah, these upscale places in Colombia all have bars and locks.

It's not like rural Nebraska where you can leave the keys in the ignition and never lock your doors. There's theivin' goin' on in these parts.

I imagine it's hard to relate to if you live in Yellowknife where everyone knows everything about everybody and there's no way in hell you could steal something without 40 people reporting you to the mounties.

Saludos,
Juan Honesto
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #2220
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
It was Palm Sunday so everyone coming out of the church had some kind of palm frond:



I stopped again down the way and noticed this bamboo post holding up several tons of corner weight on a building. I tapped this post and let me tell you, I am impressed with the compression weight bamboo can withstand:



I broke my left mirror again when I was in Guatape whenever I was there last. It snapped as I parked under the stairs. I was at such a loss today without that mirror; So I was looking everywhere for a repuestos de moto. Of course nobody is open on Sunday. Excepty Anna Maria:



and she rolled down the doors as soon as she sold me an izquierda espejo (left mirror) for 7000 pesos ($3.88).

Then it was a quick trip back to Medellin on the main road. I didn't bring my passport or bike papers so when I passed a Policia truck at twice the posted speed limit and he lit me up and started chasing me, Ay carumba, I split lanes like a pizza bike and left him in the dust. Took a right and powered up the hill blowing through red lights. No, I'm not proud of what I did. But no way I'm getting a ticket on a moto. My finances are limited.


Buenos noches mis amigos de aventura,
Juan Rapido
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