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Old 05-07-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
RIP, Clayton...
Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Seattle to Argentina on a KLR650

Hello Friends-
Finally! Everything is coming together and it looks like Iíll be leaving today. My plan is to stay with a friend in Portland the first night and try to make Salt Lake City by the third. Then Iíll take a bit of time to see Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, visit a friend in Tucson, and cross the border at Nogales. Iíve now read a number of books on motorcycle travel in general and riding in Central and South America in particular, and I think I have a good leg up on things. Special thanks to Glen Heggstad and Gregory Frazier for writing their excellent and informative books.
All I can really report on now is what the preparation has been like, and there is no question that there was a great deal of work involved. At certain times it felt like a full-time job. Iím a novice rider, and have been pleasantly surprised by how much support Iíve received from the motorcycling community. You all have given me much valuable advice, and two new friends I made, Glen and Carl, have done a lot to help me get the bike properly upgraded- thanks guys.
The upgrades have been pretty extensive, but have already started to show their value. I never realized just how many things could be improved on a stock motorcycle. Glen, Carl, and I went off-roading a week ago, and I must have dumped the bike at least five times. With the improvements, the bike came out more or less unscathed, though I was a little beat up by the end of the day. It was a good learning experience, however, and I now have a better idea of my limits on the bike. My strategy on the trip is to play things very conservatively, for I havenít yet developed the skill to be pushing any limits.
For those of you who might someday be interested in doing some touring yourselves, I'm posting a list of the things I bought and their costs below. This doesn't include the cost of buying beer and pizza for the guys who helped me work on my bike! Iíll also keep track of my budget along the way. I project I should be able to average around $35 per day if Iím careful, but time will tell.
All the best to everyone, and Iíll write again soon. Here's my website again if anyone is interested:

$2950 2001 Kawasaki KLR650
$123.25 Bike Registration
$157.20 Sub-Frame Upgrade, Radiator Guard, Water Pump Guard
$20 Adventure Motorcycling Handbook
$24.97 CO2 Kit for Tires
$31 Spanish CDís
$16 Spanish Book
$12.79 Iron Zip Ties
$100 Motorcycle Safety Course
$82.85 Hand Guards Maier
$289.58 Immunizations, Bug Repellant
$1140 Pannier Boxes, Shift Lever, Skid Plate, Foot Pegs, Doohickey Upgrade Kit, Master Cylinder Guard, Clutch and Brake Levers, Chain Lube, Carburetor Vent Kit
$50.12 Low-Profile Oil Plug, Oil Cap and Wrench
$22.41 Thread Locker
$16.98 Fuses, Tie-Down Straps, Razor Knife, WD40
$250.20 Tent, Thermarest, Kayak Bag, Platypus
$262.01 Armored Textile Jacket
$25 Motorcycle Endorsement Fee
$27.15 Gloves
$11.71 Oil
$98.16 Liteguard, Speed Bleeders, Water Pump Seal, Oil Seal, Mirror Mount, Throttle Rocker, Quicksteel, Grips, Threebond
$58.58 Spanish Books / Motorcycle Books
$44.21 1 Gig Camera Memory Card
$16.55 Metric Wrenches, ľí Drive Ratchet, Allen Keys
$532.32 First Gear Riding Pants, Glove Liners, Gore-Tex Riding Gloves, Textile Motocross Gloves, Spare Fork Seals, Tire Patch Kit, Neck Warmer, Fog-Off, Stretch-n-Seal Tape, Wire Couplers, Oil Filter, Chain Breaker, Spoke Wrench, Spark Plug, Tire Levers, In-Line Fuel Filter, Spare Clutch Cable, Spare Throttle Cables, Spare Bulbs, Chain Lube, Grease, Metric Wrenches
$348 Velcro Straps, Tape, Tank Bag and Accessories, Motorcycling Books
$264.10 Corbin Seat, Mirror Vibration Dampeners
$25.97 130/90W H4 Halogen Bulb, Spare Fuel Filter
$20 Larger Kickstand Base
$52.29 Threadlocker, Snap Ring Pliers, Miscellaneous Hardware
$14.42 Small Vise Grips
$208.84 Progressive Fork Springs, High-Temperature Bulb Socket, Brake Saver, Bar Snake, Headlight Cutoff Switch, Fork Oil
$15 Spare Passport Photos
$10.87 Tire Pump
$5 Miscellaneous Hardware
$15 Toiletries / Medication
$21.76 International Driverís Permit, Brazil / Uruguay Driverís Permit
$180.39 Boots, Straps, Compass, Mosquito Net, Tent Pegs, Tent Repair Kit
$15 Parts for Tool Tube
$16.31 Rechargeable Batteries
$10.88 Alteration to Pants
$4.33 Hose Clamps
$13.03 Disposable Cameras
$36.49 Spare Face Shield, Mirror Eyeballs
$266.48 Spark Plugs, Spill-Proof Battery, Brake Bracket, Counter Sprocket Retaining Plate, Front and Rear Monster Tubes, Spare Countershaft Sprocket
$7907.20 Total

It is one of the illusions, that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. -Carlyle
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