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Old 11-09-2012, 12:11 AM   #16
650x
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #17
CourtRand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parcero View Post
Quite possibly the best KLR paint job I have seen. Might do a version of this on my plain black, dull, boring, KLR. (The bike's not dull nor boring in any sense, just the paint job!)

Ecuador's a great place to ride.
Hey I am really enjoying the start to this and can't wait for more (even though I was there!).

With regards to the paint job - thanks very much! These are actually vinyl protective stickers that we put on the bikes so that our customers don't have to worry about scratches and for expensive paint jobs.

If you want, we can print out a copy of them to take with you the next time you are in Quito.

WIll & Jen - thanks for this entry and we are looking forward to sharing the memories here with you..
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:13 PM   #18
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subscribed!


Really interested in hearing some details about the bike that Jen rode.

I didn't think a tour like this would be possible for the "shortypants" crowd.

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with the smaller bike

I posted something on Day Trippin' about a recent day ride, which is all I do here. Then again, I live here in Cuenca, Ecuador having retired from Boeing last January. My wife is a native of Guayaquil, the port city which is the largest in Ecuador and that qualified me for citizenship, which I now have. So I bought a Yamaha XTZ250 in August. A new unsold 2011 model, cost is $8K and the bike is made in Brazil and has F.I. In the States the 2013 model made in Japan will have F.I. and only costs about $5,200. That is why gasoline and diesel are so cheap, they are heavily subsidized by the government and the taxes on imports must be what covers it. A KTM 990 Adventure I looked at was, gulp, $27,000 and the KLR650 is $15K. But frankly the Yamaha does just fine, there aren't many paved roads down here and so the traffic on them is high, and you have already read about what the drivers are like. I say no thanks to the lane splitting and being any sort of aggressive, they are just nuts down here on the roads. Fortunately I have to travel less than 10km and I am into the countryside where more people are on horseback than cars:)
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #20
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Ok, back to the write-up! I know someone's been like but I had a busy 1st week back...

Anyway, turns out Adam Cooper is quite the rock-star videographer. Here's the first cut:

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:58 PM   #21
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^^

That is awesome!
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:10 PM   #22
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Day 3 (aka Day 1 of the Tour)
So, we show up at the shop the next morning, ready to ride and find out that Mark and Mark actually did catch a redeye flight from Miami and will be arriving any minute. Just a slight delay - no worries.

'cept, their luggage did not make it, AND they have already been up for 24 hours straight and we're heading out on a full day ride. They get geared up with some loaner gear in the shop and we head out to brave the city traffic of Quito once more.

We got out of the city pretty quick and safe and start to settle into the groove of the ride. Keep in mind, this is a "tour" and the guys at Freedom do an excellent job of striking a nice balance between, riding dirt, riding some frikin awesome sweet twisty pavement, and soaking in the local culture. First stop, a museum at the equator!


There was a few things to see here... water draining with no whirpool right on the equator, water draining with a clockwise spin 6' on one side of the line and water draining counter-clockwise on the other side


One of the Mark's trying to walk in a straight line on the equator with his eyes closed (harder than it looks, especially if you've been up for over 24 hours straight)


And... the most important, how to remove, clean and shrink a head


This poor guy's head was down to softball size
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #23
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After leaving the museum, we turn away from asphalt and won't see it again until almost dark that night. Most of the day is spent descending and ascending dirt/gravel roads that drop deep into river gorges and back up the other side

The white poles in the pic mark the road


Most of the terrain is fairly vertical


Lots of lush green landscape
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #24
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Staying entirely on back roads


and some Incan cobblestone roads


we make our way up into some rainy clouds to Laguna de Mojanda, at 12,500 feet. The lake is at 12,500 and that mountain in the background is still going up...
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #25
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Kelly - to answer your question, yes. This can be a shortypants ride. In fact, the main reason we chose Freedom was because they had a bike that fit Jen.

She named it "Pepper".


It was a DR200, which some ladies may say is a yawner. But we did not go there to ride extreme single-track or to obsess over bikes. We went for the landscape and the culture. The riding and the pace were tame, with a few hairball moments here and there. As Court told us, we're going WAY off road and if you crash, you may be 12-36 hours from any kind of medical attention, so we are keeping everything "reasonable". To which Jen replied, "Safety Third!"

To be honest, the DR200 did great! It was jetted properly and Jen was always able to stay 1 bike behind the leader, while the rest of us played cat and mouse catching up.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #26
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So, all smiles, and Mark and Mark are still awake!


We start making our way down the mountain to Otavalo and towards our final destination for the day. As we ride through town, there are many homes that almost look like huts. I start to wonder where in the heck we are going to stay for the night, and will it be able to keep the rain out.


I am pleasantly surprised that the guys from Freedom have really picked out THE best places to stay. First class!


We each get our own cabin on the edge of beautiful Lago San Pablo


Complete with a well-stocked bar


And view of the water


If that wasn't enough, we are asked to quickly stow our gear. The boat ride starts in 15 minutes. The green railing in this picture is the outer edge of the party boat, which also has a bar, tiki torches on the corners, and a decent sound system.


Night time cruise on the lake, complete with traditional red ponchos, and maybe a beer or three...
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #27
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Very cool!
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Quote:
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I'd rather be riding a 200 in Ecuador than any dream bike here.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:36 PM   #28
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Tour Day 2
First stop, the street market in Otavala. The Marks need some additional clothes, as they will not see there luggage from Miami until about 12 hours before they head home to Texas.

One of the Marks goes minimalist and buys one change of underwear for the next 5 days. At least he had the good taste to get something with motorcycles on it


The other Mark goes missing for a while, looking for boots and riding pants. No picture, but the best boots he could find were roughly equivalent to rubber fishing boots. Gonna be a long ride...

Jen gets her game face on ( and new scarf from the market)


Sylvain discovers chocolate chip cookies


Court gets ready to mount up
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:43 PM   #29
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One of the rules for the ride was that, if you dropped your bike or crashed, you had to carry the baby, prominently displayed for all the villagers to see. Someone (from Texas ) put his kickstand down on soft spot on Day 1 and nearly saw his bike go over the edge while being nowhere near it to catch it. The baby had a ride...


And that edge would have been a real doozy...
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #30
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We saw our fair share of flats on tour day 2

The KLR


The GS800 (behind Sylvain on his KLR)


The KLR


Are you guys EVER going to finish fuckin around with the KLR?


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