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Old 02-12-2014, 03:56 PM   #121
Ric H2
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Location: North Alabama
Oddometer: 2,756
Great stuff......I'm jealous !!
67 Kaw 120ss - 69 Bushwacker - '74 Kaw H2 - '77 RD400 - '66 Black Bomber - KLX250sf - '10 R1200R - '14 Bonneville T100 SE
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:42 PM   #122
His Pistolship
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Thanks for the report; I've quite enjoyed it. Good luck on the rest of your travels.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:35 AM   #123
Thomas B. OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Switzerland and around the globe
Oddometer: 216
Just found another one of Tortuga

Sandra had some more off-road for us planned the next day and we headed out along the sea the next morning. It was a good wide gravel road and the riding was fast. After following the road for maybe about 30 km Sandra had another “special” for us. She had looked for a way to get to the tarmac road and found a dirt track on the E32 map. She then created a track for our GPS units by setting waypoints on the map and made a track out of them. This turned out to be a very nice and special ride. In the beginning there were still some 4x4 tracks heading our way but they were old so the track wasn´t used very often.

We were heading into a canyon that by the time got narrow and then wider again. It was pretty sandy as we were often riding in a riverbed. There were no other tracks anymore in places because the water from previous rainfalls had erased them. Where there were tracks they often went through the bushes and other vegetation. Either the drivers didn´t care to much for their vehicles or the tracks were so old the plants had grown after the last 4x4 went through. Who knows? We had to pick up the bikes a couple of times. The track went back and forth in the canyon. You were riding towards a rock wall and it looked like a dead end and the there was a small narrow turn that was often quite a bit more than 90°. So you had to slow down a lot and in the turn the front wheel would dig into the sand and sometimes cause a fall. But still it was a great ride.

After around 30 – 40 km we climbed out of the canyon and ended at the gate of a local living by the road. He was standing there, looked at us for a couple of seconds when we arrived, and then opened the gate for us so we could pass to the road. Nice of him.

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:54 AM   #124
Ric H2
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Location: North Alabama
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Tap....tap.....tap...... you guys still out there ?
67 Kaw 120ss - 69 Bushwacker - '74 Kaw H2 - '77 RD400 - '66 Black Bomber - KLX250sf - '10 R1200R - '14 Bonneville T100 SE
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:03 AM   #125
¿Por dónde?
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'08 990 ADV, '03 DR-Z400S

Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:56 AM   #126
Thomas B. OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Switzerland and around the globe
Oddometer: 216
Rich2 - be pacient!


Once on the tarmac we headed south for a couple of miles only to take the next gravel towards the ocean. It was around noon and it was hot and in such situations I always like a bit of unpleasant work to keep the riding from getting boring. So I do what I do best and pick up a nail. (see TAT part of the report) I manage to get to a shady spot with the flat and find the cause of it very fast.

Since I know where the hole is I decide not take the wheel out but just get the tire off the rim, pull out the tube, and patch it. I still have to get some weight off the rear wheel so we pile up two big rocks and place the bike on them. It is not very stable so Sandra has to hold the bike the whole time.

Here is me holding the bike and waiting for the glue to dry before putting the patch on.

All works well, I get the tire back on the rim, and then, since this is the “bad luck tour”, my old hand pump fails on me. I have had this pump for almost 30 years now. It came with the R 80 G/S I bought then and it has been a good piece of equipment until now. (no plastic on it) It has inflated dozens of flat tires I had all over the world and now? There was still good pressure building up I could feel when I put my thumb on it but it wouldn´t open the valve and let it into the tube. I took it apart but couldn´t find the problem. Finally I managed to get 1 bar into the tube but not more. Ok that´s enough. It was a well graded road with no big rocks so I would take it a bit easy and try to top up the air as soon as possible. A pickup came by and told us that there was a camp a couple of kilometers ahead and that they might have a compressor. We drove off and stopped at the camp. Of course they didn´t have any air, but as we just wanted to take off one of the guys said he would have to come with us to unlock a gate some kilometers ahead. At least that was lucky and kept us from wondering how we should pass a locked gate in the middle of nowhere.

When we arrived the gate had two locks and – of course – the guy only had the key for one of them. So he radioed to the others and someone else set off to bring the other key leaving us waiting for almost an hour in the baking sun.
Later in the afternoon we came to another locked gate and there was no way around it or a sign of anyone that might have a key. So we had to turn around and take a different way. (Luckily there was one.)
It was getting late when we past Bahia Asuncion so we called it a day and went to look for a room.
The next morning we kept heading south on some better some not so good gravel roads. Up to now my rear shock was still working good and had not lost any more oil but this was the day it decided to take a big leak. Within a couple of kilometers it lost all its oil leaving me bouncing on the spring with no damping. Ok that was no fun anymore. And the worst thing was that with small fast bumps it would make some ugly metal banging sound. I was really frustrated since this was the end of our off-road riding in Mexico and there was no chance of getting the shock repaired down here. I limped the bike to Punta Abreojos and then cruised through the town to find a place where we could eat and drink something and think about our options from now on. We found a small restaurant by the ocean and although we still had some driving to do I needed a beer (or two) to wash down my frustration.

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Old 02-19-2014, 11:49 PM   #127
Thomas B. OP
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Location: Switzerland and around the globe
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After a couple of beers and some fish tacos we got onto the tarmac and headed to San Ignacio for the night with no fixed plan yet for the following days. We would decide over some more beers in the evening.
After arriving in San Ignacio and checking into a hotel we got help with our decision. We were thinking about leaving my bike somewhere and continuing on Sandra´s bike 2up on tarmac and some easy gravel, but when we parked the bikes in the hotel yard I had a look at Sandra´s patched left engine case and saw that the crack had gone wandering. It now went all the way to the oil dip stick opening and had come out of the patch. And of course it now was leaking again. Not bad but who knows where this was going to go. We now somehow had enough and decided to go north on highway 1 and back to the states.

On HW1

And me bouncing around on the highway

Taking a break on the way up.

Sandra always on my rear wheel.

Some last seefood in Mexico, cracking crabs.

After a good meal, some beers, and margaritas we set off back to the US in the morning where we arrived the following day. We needed some sort of import paper for the bikes so the company that would bring the bikes back to Europe could prove where they had entered the USA. At the control post at the border I asked the guy where I could get that and was sent behind the building into the vehicle control yard. There nobody wanted to know of any kind of import papers but said we should have come with a carnet. But the guys were great. After I explained to them what I needed it for one went off to talk to his boss and came back and said they could give me a ……. and a ….. and named some numbers. I asked what that was and he explained that those were some forms for a slightly different purpose but one of them should do. I told him that it sounded good and half an hour later I had 2 different forms in the hand that said that the bikes had entered the USA.
The following day we arrived in Phoenix once more and called Bob to tell him what had happened. He told us to come to his place the next morning and he would take care of it.
Bob took the shock apart again and said he had put it back together as it had been the last time but normally there is a plastic washer on both sides of the seal and my shock only had it on one. That was probably the problem as the seal wasn´t under enough pressure to press hard enough onto the rod. He took everything apart, cleaned it, put it a new seal and the additional washer, and put it back together. He was a real gentleman as he didn´t accept any money for the work but waved us off with the best wishes.
Bob had suggested to go back to baja again, but we had enough of the tarmac and decided to go back to ABQ and think of something else for the last 10 days of our vacation.
One last cold night in Showlow with subzero temperatures and another 10 – 15 minutes of kicking the KTM in the morning to get her going in the cold and we were back in ABQ where we put the bikes into storage again.

Bikes back in storage.

And lock them away until summer.

Sandra had found a rental car for a very reasonable price in the internet and so we decided to do an average tourist sightseeing tour to some National Parks during our last days. Arches, Canyon Land, Monument Valley, Bryce and finally the Grand Canyon were our stops and I must say we had a good time seeing the beauty of the southwest although I would have rather been on the bike in Mexico.

Our car.

And just a couple of pictures of what we saw.
Canyon Land

Monument Valley

Bryce Canyon

And the Grand Canyon

Just to prove we were there.

After another great night with some ADVriders in ABQ (thanks again for your great hospitality) Sandra and I boarded a plane that brought us back home.

The ABQ ADV riders, thanks for the great nicht.

And on the plane over the rockies.

And at last here is what we did: green is the bike part to Baja and yellow is the sightseeing part with the car to the NP.

We will probably be back in August to do the western part of the TAT so we´ll be with you again soon.
I just have to get my shoulder to work properly again up to then, but I was allowed to take off my sling three days ago so now I have to get it to move again and then build up some muscles. It all takes a lot of time, but I hope I´ll be back on a bike by the time it gets warm over here and off the tarmac some weeks later. We will see how things go.
See you

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Old 02-20-2014, 12:57 AM   #128
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Thank you!

Thanks for taking us on another adventure!
Hope the shoulder gets into shape without too much pain.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:42 AM   #129
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Thanks for taking the time to post this fine RR.
Hope your Aug trip has a few less bike issues. Looking forward to reading about it.
IBA#32778 2008 R1200GSA 2007 G650XChallenge
No man is as good as he ought to be, and few men are as bad as they seem.. (from a early 1900s post card found in Perry, Missouri..)
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:32 PM   #130
Ric H2
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Location: North Alabama
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Thanks for sharing....all good stuff....and I'm jealous !!!
67 Kaw 120ss - 69 Bushwacker - '74 Kaw H2 - '77 RD400 - '66 Black Bomber - KLX250sf - '10 R1200R - '14 Bonneville T100 SE
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:07 AM   #131
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Location: Central fly-over land.
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Of all the wonderful parts of the world you could choose, you picked ours. I'm always interested why, but also pleased you think enough of us to want to return. Glad to have you.

On the enlarging crack in the engine case: You might consider drilling a small hole at the end of the crack, and then patching it up. Use proper care with the metal shavings of course.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:53 AM   #132
Baja Ho
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Location: Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
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Thomas & Sandra

Thanks for this great report, wish you could have continued south in Baja, it would have been great to have had you stop by and talk about your adventures and bikes. Will be looking forward to the rest of your TAT trip.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:16 AM   #133
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great pictures Thomas, thank you! heal fast!
530EXCR and a bunch of 2 strokes that you dont want to read about. :)

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Old 02-25-2014, 03:35 AM   #134
Thomas B. OP
desert racer
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Switzerland and around the globe
Oddometer: 216
Thanks alot for all your replies,

Boxall, the ability to move is coming back, but it does still hurt from time to time. I'm not allowed to put any stress on it yet. But we'll get there.


Jeff, ya, that wasn't the easiest trip we ever did. Sure hope the next one goes a bit smoother.

Boatpuller, well we are always looking for offroadriding all over the world and that was the plan for this trip. It is a lovely spot, that's for sure. We might come back some day.


Baja ho, well I would jave liked to reach Cabo too. Would have been nice to meet you. Maybe another time or in another life.


I'm still a bit handycapped with the shoulder and the docter doesn't allow any bike work yet, so in the mean time I'll give you another RR.
Just started one on Iceland if anyone is interested.

See you soon.
Cheers Thomas
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:22 PM   #135
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Mountains
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Thank you for the report, photos are very inviting!
I'm hoping to do a similar ride in the near future with my wife.
Many thanks for the info! Looking forward to your summer ride!
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