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Old 12-07-2013, 05:16 PM   #31
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Ciudad Catedral
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Fantastic ride report! I counted no fewer than 15 air-cooled VW's in your photos. And an AMC Gremlin!

Please send me the coordinates for the rusted-out VW bus so that I may go and recover it.
Los Tres Chaquetas Ride Baja 2013 -

A KLR RIDES (to) THE BAJA 500 (to spectate)! -
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #32
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you actually expect people to take responsibility for their actions in today's society?!

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Old 12-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #33
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Great Post!

This is likely the best First Post on AdvRider!

Great ride report, great pictures, great era in time.

All the Best,

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Old 12-07-2013, 06:09 PM   #34
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cool RR thanks for posting
2004 BMW GSA
2013 Suzuki Wee-Strom
2012 Suzuki DRZ 400s
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #35
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Great old pics. I gotta dig up my pics of Cabo from 1983.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the comments! I hesitated before doing this write-up, since the site seems more to be about current adventures and the latest border crossing issues relevant to riders on the road today. “This is likely the best First Post on AdvRider!” I am honored! But no rating…?

This is the camera that was used to take all the pictures (except this one!):

It was a Minox 35EL, which came out the same year as the bike and was at the time (and maybe still is) the world’s smallest full-frame 35mm film camera - the ultimate touring biker camera of its day. Andy Warhol used one and the Russians soon cloned it, calling it the Kiev. It was half the size and weight of the digital Canon G12 which I currently use, but no zoom, no antishake, no autofocus or rangefinder, no built-in flash--and it cost about a buck a shot to shoot.

For fun, the old Minox film camera specs vs. the new digital technology:
* Focal length: 35mm fixed (vs. 28-140mm equivalent zoom)
* Focus (minimum): 1m manual (vs. 1cm macro, automatic or manual)
* Aperture: f2.8 to 16, manual (vs. 2.8 to 8, automatic or manual)
* ISO: 25-800 fixed, depending on the roll of film (vs. 80-1600, variable manually or automatically)
* Shutter: 1/500 to 1 sec. automatic (vs. 1/4000 to 15 sec, automatic or manual)
* Exposure: Aperture priority (vs. many different modes, automatic or manual)
* Metering: Averaging (vs. many different modes). To get backlit photos which were not underexposed it was necessary to cheat by taking the camera out of the leather case and temporarily setting the ISO dial on the bottom to a value 1/2 or 1/4 than that the ISO of the actual film--and remembering to set it back after that shot to avoid spoiling the rest of the photos on the roll.
* Size: 100 x 61 x 31 (vs. 112 x 76 x 48)
* Volume: 190cm2 (vs. 400 cm2)
* Weight: 200g (vs. 400g)
* Exposures: 24 or 36 per roll (vs. thousands on an SD card).
* Resolution: 10 to 30 effective megapixels depending on the quality and ISO of the film (vs. 10 MP for the G12). The lower the ISO, the lower the film grain and higher the effective megapixels--but the longer the shutter speed and higher the camera shake blur when it was not a sunny day.

About more photos of Colorado, here are few more between New Mexico and Colorado on that trip, as far as I can reckon where I took them. Film doesn’t have timestamps, let alone geotags! I didn’t include these photos in the ride report, thinking that the countryside would be the same today except for the increase in Winnebagos … and Harleys which were rare on the road then; that was the year that AMF sold Harley-Davidson before it expired. I notice that there were no guard rails along those mountain highways; I wonder if there are guardrails now:

About riding in SEA, I enjoy it both on road and off and that’s a large part of the reason I am still here. Mexico was good preparation for rural Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar! I will upload a couple of Asia ride reports.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #37
Joined: Mar 2012
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excellent..but i thought these type of rides were only made after 2004 on the modern better stuff with all the high dollar suits and gizmos (I used moms garden gloves for protection back in the day as an example)...i never went anywhere outside my own town until 2008 when i got a cell phone..most excellent it-god speed
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #38
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Amazing! I really like seeing places as they used to be. Cant wait for your new stuff.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #39
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It was still five years before CB radio was replaced with cellular phones:

And by 1988 you could get this motorcycle-sized one for only $2500 plus subscription fees and usage charges:

Of course they were analog phones tied to local networks, and wouldn’t have roamed to Mexico anyway!
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #40
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Brought back memories of my trip to Baja in '73. Thanks. Great photos
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #41
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Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #42
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Fantastic report!

And how we obsess nowadays! -- Blue jeans, a pair Fryes, and a leather jacket from Sears; and that was pretty much the extent of a guy's riding 'wardrobe' back in the seventies!

In 1966 there was a construction strike while Phil was in Vancouver, and so he found work in a motorcycle shop on Hastings St. Unsatisfied with the service being offered to touring riders passing through, Phil resigned and opened his own repair shop across the street in a building only 12 feet wide. Operating on a shoestring, he landed a Kawasaki franchise and acted as an unauthorized BMW repair shop. He added BSA and Yamaha and before long became an official dealer for BMW. By 1970 he sold only BMW and continued for the next 14 years, becoming the largest-volume dealer in Canada
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:18 AM   #43
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That’s a great link to Phil Funnel’s story. Here’s Phil in his traditional shop at 541 East Hastings in 1973, the place where I bought the bike I rode to Mexico.

There is a new 1972 R75/5 next to Phil, and the sidecar and “On Any Sunday” (1971, with Steve McQueen) poster behind him. Of course the pre-politically correct tool company calendars in the workshop out back were even better! Phil located his shop near decades-old Pacific Cycle, which employed Phil for awhile before he quit over their poor customer service practices. Soon afterward they lost their BMW distributorship but continued to sell other brands, including Honda and Vespa until they closed in the mid-1980s. These low-quality photos were taken with a Kodak Instamatic with Flashcubes. The first one appeared in the BMWMOA “The First 35 Years” Anniversary Book. Here is Phil today:

Here is another photo in front of the shop in 1976 with Pokie, the master mechanic now in Colorado, and Shail, another great mechanic who became a Vancouver BMW dealer himself.

BMW prices were a lot lower back then!

Back to 1981. Here is Phil Funnell in his live-aboard sailboat just after I returned from Mexico—and just as interest rates in Canada went over 22% in the final battle to control inflation.

The new owners of Funnell BMW were hurt by the 1980s financial crisis like many other business owners who had to finance their inventory. The Funnell BMW going-out-of-business sale in 1983 was like a wake. There would be no more dropping-in for coffee and a rag-chew with other touring enthusiasts on Saturday mornings—and Phil did indeed develop enthusiasts, also as a BMWMOA Ambassador.
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:45 AM   #44
Joined: Oct 2013
Location: Manila, Philippines
Oddometer: 71
What a brilliant ride! It took me back in time to show me how good and how fun you guys had it back then... That was a motorcycle adventure in the purest sense! Thanks for sharing! EPIC!
Blasting off to the horizon!
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:48 AM   #45
Joined: Mar 2012
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that is history and what a great story on that dealer within this RR..granted we could go off on a tangent and discuss what things were like in dealers back then (saw dust and machine clippings, grease on the floor and those glorious honda ct70's/xl70's in colors you wanted to eat like topaz orange)..but i digress..cept for these sterile dealers we have today is just pathetic...excellent..just excellent historical perspective...sorry for the off topic but bringing back a lot of memories-god speed
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