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Old 09-26-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
cejnys OP
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Houston, TX
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Around South America and beyond

Winter is coming to the north hemisphere so it is time to load my bike and head south.

After 10 years in corporate word, I have handed my notice. After several months of planning suddenly everything becoming extremely real and it is time to leave Texas and to head south on my 990 Adventure.

As you can see I will not be traveling alone, we will be doing this adventure two up with potential purchase of another small bike somewhere in South America.

The plan is to leave from Texas and ride all the way to Panama, then take a boat to Colombia and go all the way to Ushuaia. From there we would like to go all the way back to Colombia via the east coast.

We are planing to visit all the Central & South America countries and would love to hang out with local guys (and girls) as much as we can, so anybody out there who wants to go for a beer or two with us just give me a shout.

First report from Mexico should be out shortly.

Radim & Lauren

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Old 09-26-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
PDX Alamo
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I'm in

Headed to columbia in late November , maybe we'll meet. Safe travels
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
khan46
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"ride all the way to Panama, then take a boat to Colombia"

why are you not riding into Colombia? why're you taking a a boat?

Sorry just trying to understand what your plan is as I'm planning a ride south too.

if its possible, upload a map with your route
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
jgbnm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan46 View Post
"ride all the way to Panama, then take a boat to Colombia"

why are you not riding into Colombia? why're you taking a a boat?

Sorry just trying to understand what your plan is as I'm planning a ride south too.

if its possible, upload a map with your route
Darien Gap.


Sent by a way I don't really understand.
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #5
Stretch67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan46 View Post
"ride all the way to Panama, then take a boat to Colombia"

why are you not riding into Colombia? why're you taking a a boat?

Sorry just trying to understand what your plan is as I'm planning a ride south too.

if its possible, upload a map with your route
From Wikipedia:

"The Darién Gap (Spanish: Región del Darién or Tapón del Darién) is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest within Panama's Darién Province in Central America and the northern portion of Colombia's Chocó Department in South America.

It measures just over 160 km (99 mi) long and about 50 km (31 mi) wide. Roadbuilding through this area is expensive, and the environmental cost is high. Political consensus in favor of road construction has not emerged.

Consequently there is no road connection through the Darién Gap connecting North America with South America and it is the missing link of the Pan-American Highway."
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Old 09-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
JDowns
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Cruising south on a 990 with a good looking ADVgal. Sounds like fun to me. If you can keep your ride report current, ADVriders will invite you over for a visit as you travel south. Some of my fondest memories are the folks I've met in my travels.

Make sure to take a pic of that white jacket when you get to Tierra del Fuego so you can compare it to your first post.

Hope to meet you down in South America in a few months.

Best luck.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
cejnys OP
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@ KHAN46, I guess other guys helped me to explain this, we are taking a boat to "bypass" Darien Gap as you cannot cross it by land.

We have website set up www.aroundsouthamerica.info where you can see our roughly planned route. It will probably be changed but it will give you an idea.

@ John, Lauren is already working on the jacket not to look so shiny and she is quite successful. It would be pleasure meeting you down there.

@PDX Alamo, lets stay in touch and we can defo meet there. Hoping to cross to Colombia early Nov.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
cejnys OP
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Bike mods

Before I start with the first journey info I want to share some of the upgrades I made to the bike. I had soooo much fun reading all the articles with recommendations and tips. It took me about 6 months to get the bike when I was happy to go for this ride. Also I want to say huge thank you to Craig Johnson from CJ Designs who gave me really good advice and helped me to make the right modifications.

This is her fully dressed up as we ride right now:

[IMG] photo DSCF8165_zpseb2475a4.jpg[/IMG]

These are the mods:
- Touratech Zaga Pro Panniers & Locks
- CJ Designs Fuel Filtration Caps
- BDCW Side Stand Relocation Bracket
- Wing Exhausts
- CJ Designs Tail Rack
- Rade EVO6 Windscreen
- Touratech Folding Break Pedal Tip
- Slavens Skid Plate
- Kaoko Throttle lock
- GPS Garmin 62 S & GPS Touratech Mount
- RAM GPS Holder & Arm
- ADVmonster Auxilary Lights with Remote Dimmer and ON/OFF swith
- Uni Pre Filter
- Touratech Large Sidestand Foot
- Touratech Brake Cylinder Guard
- Spot Gen3 & RAM holder
- KTM Heated Grips
- Heated Vests Wiring
- CJ Designs Large Footpegs
- Slavens Front Springs 43mm x 465mm 0.58kg/mm
- Slavens Shock Spring 62-225 16.2 kg/mm
- Operation Manual Storage Tubes
- CJ Designs Kick Stand Safety Switch Removal
- MITAS E-07 21 90/90 front & 150 70/18 rear tires
- Heavy Duty Michelin Tubes

These are the spares/special tools we are taking with us:
- Bearings & spacers (Front & Rear & Steering)
- Fuel Pump Kit
- Water Pump Kit
- Break/Clutch Leaver
- Spare Tubes (front & rear) & repair kit
- Chain Tool, Front & Rear Sprocket (Terra -X, DID 525Zvm-x, 16&17/45 sprockets)
- CJ designs ECU Cable
- 1liter Motorex motor oil
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cejnys screwed with this post 09-29-2014 at 10:03 PM
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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I'm in.

I'll be headed for Panama in a month on my GS so will be watching with interest!
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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i wish
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
luckychucky
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KTM Jacket

I'm in just to see how long that white KTM jacket last!
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:02 PM   #12
cejnys OP
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Mexico

Our plan to ride through Mexico was pretty straight forward, we decided to cross it as fast as possible. I can imagine that most of you is shaking your head and saying "why?". Well the main reasons that we live fairly close to Mexico and visited many times before and also Lauren was a bit worried (bit paranoid) about our safety while riding the bike.

First day we made it from Laredo down to Matehula and checked in Las Palmas hotel which was a bit pricy for our budget. We felt safe, bike was parked right next to our room nicely covered. We had even a game of night mini golf....

 photo photo-2_zps22eab547.jpg

Lauren's jacket still nice and shiny

 photo DSCF8075_zpsd8c4d3f1.jpg

Next day we wanted to get as close as possible to Mexico city. Few friends told me that going through this huge city can take some time mainly during afternoon so we picked a route around. Unfortunately I messed up a bit, instead of taking 040D road we took 45. It was a bit longer but it was really nice ride through some hill country with nice bends. Also for the first time we experienced road bumps which are extremely annoying. At the end of the day we ended up in Pachuca. Fairly large city located about 2500 m above the sea level. For the first time we took Motel; also recommendation from my friends. Well I had kind of idea but when we checked in it was mixture of feelings. On one side I was extremely happy that the bike was parked in a garage, on the other side the room was kind of empty and not really inviting. Well it served the purpose to get good sleep and to be ready for the next day riding.

This is motel garage, from here you walk straight into bedroom and bathroom (quick in and out)
 photo DSC_2210_zps30b01609.jpg

One thing I noticed during the first two days was that the bike was doing extreme milage on the full tank. One point I thought that the reserve light was broken when we covered 190 miles on the tank and the orange light was off. Still do not understand why? Eventually it dropped to 140 miles which I was experiencing before.

Mexico is absolutely stunning place
 photo Weather_zpsb8880aab.jpg

Despite the fact that we were going petrol station to petrol station we could not resist Mexican food
 photo DSCF8092_zps89a41411.jpg

Our third day took us to Veracruz region; we were happy that we made it close to the coast. The ride was pretty straight forward and boring, except the part when we descended to Orizaba. In about 10 miles we dropped close to 2000m of altitude. The air become more thick and more hot.

When we were getting closer to Minatitlan we noticed higher presence of heavily equipped army. We did not pay much attention to it. When we got there and were looking for a hotel we experienced army blocking the main road of Minatitlan and controlling documents of everybody stopped. When we checked in a hotel we found out that government started special operation to fight trouble in the town about two days before we arrived. It was very intense night, even considering the fact that we were sleeping in a hotel. I would not recommend anyone going into that region right now. We were absolutely safe but did not have good feeling about that place.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #13
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I'm in.









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Old 09-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #14
O'B
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Yup!
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:52 AM   #15
TurboTagTeam
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Oh how I envy that 990!

How are you crossing the Darien? I'm making the same trip next month
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