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Old 03-31-2014, 06:06 AM   #361
SteveTheLocal
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Excellent and insightful...

It was like taking a college course and seeing a new perspective. Dinner is on me when we next meet.
Cheers,
S.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:35 PM   #362
Blader54
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Really appreciate the socio-historical aspect of your narrative. Adds a dimension seldom found in other reports. Also, I'd be interested to know how it feels to be home again, with re-integration into the "normal" world. Thanks again for a fabulous report!
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:46 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Really appreciate the socio-historical aspect of your narrative. Adds a dimension seldom found in other reports. Also, I'd be interested to know how it feels to be home again, with re-integration into the "normal" world. Thanks again for a fabulous report!

This topic is my niche and vey dear to my heart so it was great to be able to share.

Today marks the first complete week I have been back behind my desk. When we did our trip to Europe in 2008, the reintegration was brutal... So I learned from that.

When Jackie left to go back to work from Santiago, I knew I would have several thousand miles of Pampa and Patagonia to clear my head, reflect on almost 6 months of amazing travels, experiences, and encounters. And I did just that.

Leaving Ushuaia for Buenos Aires, I rode that long stretch of empty and vast Patagonia for 3500 and some km, camped and ate by myself most nights, and had lots of time to reflect and think about the trip and what laid ahead when we returned home. I am lucky that my professional situation will be quite dynamic in the next few months.

For Liliane, being a Flight Attendant really has, at least in this case, a notable advantage; rarely do you work with the same people, so it isn't unusual not to see someone for several months, so not every discussion you have revolves around the question of; where have you been in the last 6 months? And the ensuing matter-of-fact answers that most don’t care to hear anyway.

Flight crews also always have a foot out the door, and often their heads in the clouds; and unless it's nighttime it's always sunny “in the air up there” so their perspective is also different compare to those of us more grounded in the "daily grind".

What is always fascinating is that when you leave for a "longish" period, say 6 months to a year or so, and return to the same desk, nothing has changed. You see the same faces and both friends and foes are still there, grinding, earning their daily bread. Of course unless they have a taste for adventure which is generally rare for people, present company excluded, they are not the least bit interested in hearing about your "most awesome" experience.

It's just plain strange if you ask me. Yes I was glad to be home but it would not take very much to convince me to suit, up pack up, and go again. The good news is I feel soulfully good, and have no regrets. Will there be another story to chronicle the next adventure of Jackie and Valentino... you bet, we just need to replenish the bank account for a while.

As soon as I take the time to do it; funny how that sounds doesn't it? I want to post a few more episodes and photos about northern Columbia, Mendoza and some of the ride on the Austral. I will also do a thorough equipment review that will include the bike, gear, and the stuff that we used on a daily basis. Most of it fared well but some not so much. I will let you be the judge.

More soon...
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 04-09-2014, 07:57 PM   #364
Blader54
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Thanks so much for sharing your insights on getting back into the daily routine after returning. It sounds like your alone time towards the end gave you the opportunity to reflect and accept that this journey was coming to an end and made reintegration easier. I'm probably just one of thousands here who dream about making a similar trip and whether it would be so transformative that it would be too sad and jarring to rejoin our "pre-trip" life. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. It really helps. Wishing you both all the best as you build up the funds for your next adventure and you can bet I'll be following along when you set out again!
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:23 AM   #365
ElReyDelSofa
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René,

I have really enjoyed your ride report especially because of your insights and commentary on Latin America and the forces that shaped it to what it is today. I finally got to Las Venas Abiertas by Galeano (in English) on my reading list and am a quarter of the way into it. Very profound read, it really opens your eyes to many things, especially with how the Bolivian people are towards Extranjeros today.

Thanks again for the ride report, looking forward to the next and soon my own.

Suerte,

Martín
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:55 AM   #366
SteveTheLocal
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Reintegration...

Rene, it's so true. I'll be back on my island tomorrow after my sojourns and although people ask, they really don't want anything more than a six word answer. However, in their defence, I couldn't relate either to any substantive answer before I experienced it first hand. That's what travel does...change perspectives, and moto travel, and I think particularly solo moto travel,, does it best, at least for me.
Are you on the "continent" yet? Perhaps a wee bevvie before you go? We'll have to take turns talking though! . See you on the road regardless.
Cheers,
S.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:20 PM   #367
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Back home

I was wondering when you would be back. We are on the Island until June so still lots of time to get together. I look forward to hearing how your trip went.
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:39 AM   #368
Fat Man Bass
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Welcome back.

Can you publish this report as a book?
I will be one of the first buyers.

Will read the whole report again ( and again...)
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ST1300 ABS 2006 Pan European Black metallic
ST1300 ABS 2004 Pan American Blue
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:09 PM   #369
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Laugh Flattery, flattery, flattery...

Flattery will get you everywhere...


Just a few trip stats:

Total ride:31514 km

Moving average 88,6 kph

Overall average 69,6 kph

Max speed 160 kph

Lowest point (-) 52 metres

Highest point 4767 metres

I still want to do my equipment and gear review and post a more pics, but somehow between life and getting ready to move time is short.
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:39 PM   #370
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Eh? Bike review



So I will do a review of all gear and equipment we used during our trip, and I figured I might as well start with the bike.


Bike 2008 GSA purchased in 2010 with 18,000 miles, US import, second owner.

I thought I would start with that. It is cross-post on G-Spot as more may be interested.

Of course as with all reviews, YMMV.

We rode two up approx 25,000 km and I rode another 6000 alone. I don’t want to make a long list of pre trip prep, but apart from all the required and pro-active maintenance done on the bike, it had the new 3.0 vented FD, installed in 2012 after mine failed, as well as a set of new Hyper-pro shocks. I also had the starter rebuild; the bendix was finished, and the rear ABS sensor replaced due to a certain level of corrosion. Finally I had done the quick fuel line disconnect conversion.

The first occurrence was in Salvador when after backfiring, the throttle body popped out. This was rather easily fixed with a bit of fiddling, a hammer and a block of wood. The culprit was probably bad gas.


Leaving Cartagena, Colombia at approx 58,000 miles, I felt the clutch starting to slip and nursed the bike to Ruta 40, the BMW dealer in Medellin, where the clutch plate was replaced.

The first day we got the bike back, on our way to Salento, I dropped the bike (from static, it was my second static drop since leaving Victoria, BC) and on my way down the heel of my boot hit the Throttle Position Sensor and broke it to pieces.





The irony of this incident is that shortly before leaving I removed the protector because I tend to hit my shin with it.

Somewhere in northern Equator, at a fuel stop, we notice that the rear mudguard was loose. Upon further investigation I realized that the bolt with the spacer affixed to the guard was broken. I removed it and kept it along for an eventual repair. It would be “repaired in Quito” by a recommended mechanic who did the best he could, considering he machined a new spacer, and did not have the original bushings that were missing. The repair did not hold longer then the ride between Quito and Cuenca. I would hold on to the mud guard until I got tired of it and just tossed it.

During a desert crossing from Uyuni, Bolivia to Ollague, Chile on a road of mostly hard pack, lots of washboard, with some rocks and sand, the front fender completely ripped off. Just a note, one of my two previous static drops had caused an airline crack in the plastic front fender. So it really did rip off. It did not come loose; the part that remained attached to the bike still had the four screws holding it in place.




By the time we reached San Pedro the Atacama, I noticed that my windshield mount needed to be tightened, but also that one of the two stainless steel brackets that holds the crash bar assembly was broken in half. Note, that my 10.8lbs pounds tool roll was secured to the crash bar assembly with three C-clips, and I am quite conscious that between the washboard, and rock-garnished hard pack we had just ridden for 500 km, I needn’t be surprised.





That would be the end of my mechanical occurrence for the next 12,000 Km “until I got home”. Not so bad you would think right?

The last 6000 or so km from Santiago de Chile to Ushuaia, and north to Buenos Aires, included a 1000 km ride on the Austral as well as several lengths of more rocky-hard pack-washboard-sometimes sandy roads in Tierra Del Fuego. This last stretch from Santiago was however ridden solo, (-) pillion and her gear, clothes, etc…

Tires used during the trip; Heidenaus, Michelin, and Pirelli, total of three rears and two fronts.

Three changes of low beam.

Three engine and FD oil change.

No flat.

I want to go back to the “until I got home” part. I quickly proceeded to disassemble everything I knew how to put back in order to thoroughly clean and inspect the moto in the comfort of my shop. Apart from a few dried out O-rings, and seemingly well used brake pads and a few missing Tupperware bolts all was good in the world.

On my second day of commute back to work, the rear caliper popped of the rotor due to the flange mount braking, as a result it also broke a spoke and scuffed 2 more. The jury is still out on what caused this but it points to either under or over torque bolts.

To me it remains a mystery because I never touched the rear brake assembly when I did my clean up, and the last potential manipulation of the caliper “would” have been when the last set of tires were mounted in Santiago de Chile, over 6000 km ago. Unless an improbable impact to the rear brakes during shipping from Buenos Aires to Seattle would have caused this.

Link to post







After weighing my option for a fix, I just attached the rear assembly with tape and tie wraps, and took it easy, riding the bike to my friend mechanic about 150 km from my house, aiming to repair the brake disaster, and change rotors and pads.

Upon initial inspection we immediately noticed that there was an oil spray pattern on the rear rim. My thought was that I might have made a mistake (despite triple checking) when I change the FD oil during the cleanup. When testing the wheel lateral movement at the 3 o’clock position, he noticed an ever slight movement. Upon further investigation we found that:

1x 33 11 7 722 890 outboard seal
1x 33 11 7 674 121 needle bearing
1x 33 11 7 722 800 inboard seal
1x 33 11 7 722 799 ball bearing
1x 33 11 7 695 218 cover o-ring
1x 33 11 7 722 797 guide ring (inside seal)

We’re going to need to replace these. Considering I had a version 3.0 complete FD, it seems odd. And then: A play in the pinion bearings was detected as well. And then both u-joints of the drive shaft have play too which requires

1x 33 11 7 698 132 pinion needle bearing
1x 33 11 7 699 866 pinion bearing
1x 07 11 9 904 691 o-ring
1x 33 11 7 698 274 o-ring
1x 33 11 7 722 888 pinion seal
1x 33 11 7 701 691 compression ring
1x 26 11 7 706 394 Drive shaft ($905.51 USD)
1x 26 11 8 527 718 Circlip

Lucky for me I found a Drive shaft for 200.00 BP in the UK on Fleebay.

Final thoughts, we met several Beemers along the trip. One Swedish guy, who rode a total of 80,000 km with a low mileage 09 GS, he had the FD replaced State side. 

A German couple who also started in AK, who had so many issues that I can’t even recall, we rode about 5000 km together, and visited 3 dealerships in Peru, Bolivia, Chile. Among other he had his clutch (entire assembly) replaced in Medellin and his FD and shaft died and were replaced in Bogota. Note that his bike had similar mileage than mine, was ridden 2up, and very overloaded. Another couple (Mexicans) on a 10’ GSA had FD failure in Guatemala shortly after departure 2up not heavily loaded. Finally a solo US dude 06 GSA had his FD and shaft fail in Mexico, and later his clutch in Ecuador.

Of course I am quite conscious that YMMV, and that you cannot ride for free. And that many, many, many other factors weigh in when making this type of review nonetheless…

Our bike has now 68,000.00 miles; I have always meticulously maintained my GSA. Maybe not such much cleaned, but maintained, yes! It has and will continue to be my daily commute and long distance tourer when it is fixed.

I am glad we never got stranded anywhere during our trip, but honestly I feel I have put this bike to the test and it barely gets a pass.

My previous moto, a Honda ST1300 06’ also a shaft bike, also shipped, and extensively toured with, also ridden 2up, and at times overloaded and dropped a few times from static. I always used both bikes for their intended purpose. Maintenance and pre-trips prep excluded, only 1 low beam failure in 70,000 km on my ST1300.

At the very least you have to scratch your head a little bit…
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 06-24-2014, 09:46 PM   #371
Motardca
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Hi Rene and Liliane,
I mentioned in an earlier thread to get together here in Vernon or Silver Star this summer. I would love to pick your brain about your trip to the South, so if you guys have time come to the Okanagen for a weekend or a few days I have enough room. We could organize a meeting at Silver Star.
Nik
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:34 PM   #372
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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