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Old 02-16-2014, 07:11 PM   #736
xlcc
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: valemount,bc
Oddometer: 132
alberta to penguins

I caught up on your adventure today and would like to thank you for a job well done!I am sure I'll be useing some of the info you provided when I head out this October.Have a safe return.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:30 PM   #737
Telkwa7
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Thanks, your ride and report was truly inspirational, well done!
As my wife and I will be departing on a rtw this September, and as we are still in the planning stages, could you tell me what insurance company/coverage you used. We are residents of BC and I was informed that the provincial carrier (ICBC) does not cover outside of N. America.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #738
DRRambler OP
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telkwa7 View Post
Thanks, your ride and report was truly inspirational, well done!
As my wife and I will be departing on a rtw this September, and as we are still in the planning stages, could you tell me what insurance company/coverage you used. We are residents of BC and I was informed that the provincial carrier (ICBC) does not cover outside of N. America.
You won't find an insurance company to cover you everywhere...at least I couldn't.

I purchased liability insurance for the bike at each border crossing that required it. I did not buy insurance for those countries that did not require it. Most in Central America did require it and I believe only Colombia and Ecuador in South America. Check out Liferemotely for great border crossing info.

I also bought insurance for Mexico at the border.

As far as health insurance I used Mediquote www.mediquote.ca . They have a really good plan which includes vehicle return and great staff. And it's a Canadian company to boot! Make sure to advise your provincial health care folks about your trip if it will be longer than 6 months, they can give you a little grace period.

I also subscribed to the SAR coverage that you can buy with a SPOT or inReach device.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:00 PM   #739
DRRambler OP
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Gear Review part 1

Gear Review

survey

Part 1 is a review some of the major items I had with me on the trip. I have intentionally kept each review as short as possible but I can elaborate if anyone is interested. Part two will cover some of the smaller items. Please let me know if there is anything I miss that you want to know about. The bike and tires will be in a separate review.

The rating system. This is how my brain works and believe me I had plenty of helmet time to think about this stuff.

Quality

A Perfect
B Almost Perfect
C 50/50
D More bad then good
E Not at all good

Usefulness

1 Could not do without it, used it all the time
2 Almost mandatory, rarely used
3 Could have left it at home but nice to have
4 Never used it

Alpinestar Scout Adventure boots

This was the only equipment donation I received and it was at the last minute. I didn't have the budget for boots so was going to use a pair of old Aplpinestar Gortex road boots. But my good pal Greg at Riverside Motosports and Parts Canada stepped up and supplied me with these great boots.



Rating B1

Absolutely comfortable from the box and really easy to walk in. Lightweight and relatively easy to get in and out of.
The left lower buckle is impossible to close unless I hit it hard which I have been doing with the heel of the other boot. This started within two months of daily use.
The left boot also is not totally waterproof. In light to medium rain, no problem. But in heavy prolonged rain my left foot got soaked all the time.

Would buy again.

Klim Latitude pants



Rating A1

Great fit, totally waterproof, no flapping in the wind, and good venting

Would buy again

Klim Badlands Pro jacket



Rating B1

Love the fit and the built in kidney belt is great to help support the weight. Generally comfortable but the collar is not a good design. Each time you put on the jacket you must make sure the collar is not turned over or it chafes. Also the elastic cuffs were a bother and I had them cut out.
There are plenty of pockets, which are not waterproof but that is not unexpected. The small zippers can be a bit stiff but they are the waterproof ones which by nature are a little tougher to move.
I'm not sure why but the sleeves are not waterproof. Perhaps the zips are leaking but this was very annoying. The main reason I bought this jacket was it is supposed to be waterproof and it eliminated a rain layer. However I was forced to don an overjacket everytime it rained. Venting is adequate in hot temps but only when in motion. It was a crazy hot jacket at sweltering border crossings.

Would buy again only after looking at other options first

Klim Element Glove long

element glove

Rating B2

This really should get a 1.5 for usefulness as it was the go to glove for almost all of Patagonia when it was cold and rainy. However it's not perfect. The main problem is the sizing but I can only blame my anatomy for that. To get a glove wide enough I had to get the XL and the fingers are too long. The other problem is the leather patch on the palm is really stiff and creates a pressure point on my hand when it is around the grips. I think this is slowly breaking in but like the rest of the glove, the break in time is very long. It's really comfortable other than that and they designed the palm to be thin for good heat transfer from the grips. They are totally waterproof and fairly easy to put on if your hands are a bit moist. Oh and the knuckles are Titanium!!

Would buy again

Shoei Hornet DS Helmet



Rating B1

I love this helmet for comfort and visibility. The peak is only useful in high sun and is a wind catcher. I removed the peak during the windiest parts of Patagonia and the difference was amazing. When I started north again I put it back on because the sun was always in front of me and it did help with the glare. I also have a Shoei RF1000 and the fit is almost identical. The only real issue is wind noise and for that reason I won't give it an A. In fact I don't think I could give any helmet an A for that reason.

And it gives me a really cool hairdo!

Would buy again

Garmin Montana GPS



Rating B1

Almost flawless until heavy rain and wind in Peru. The screen developed a bad condensation problem and then the back light totally failed. At one point even the touch screen was acting up which rendered the unit useless for a time.

I have no complaints about software or the user interface. It performed as well as I expected considering the maps I had installed. For the most part I don't use GPS for turn by turn directions. I use it to see where I am and what direction I'm going. In cities this is essential for me so I don't get turned around the wrong way. The big screen of the Montana is great if the backlight is working.
I never used the built in camera.

Would buy again, in fact I have to get this one refurbished when I get back home.

Delorme inReach for Smart Phone



Rating B1

I really like this unit. The ability to send and receive messages is an important feature for me.
In other regards it functions much like the Spot brand device. I would say that the inReach is more sensitive to overhead cloud than the Spot and therefore some tracking points did not make it. At times I had trouble sending a message if it was cloudy but almost always had eventual success.
I used the 12v power adaptor most of the time so battery life was not an issue. I did bring Lithium batteries with me so I could use it off the bike like on my Darian gap voyage.
The RAM holder held it safe but the antenna rattled in the housing so I used some tape to fatten up the antenna and secure it.Also the RAM holder was not designed to hold the 12v power adaptor so I had to make some mods.

Would buy again

Screens for Bikes Windshield



Rating A1

Peter at Screens for Bikes was kind enough to send this to me with no shipping costs.
This is one tough windshield. It performed really well keeping the wind off my chest. It did move the air flow right into my face which did contribute to the wind noise but I think it was a good trade off.
There was no vibration from it at all even though it is mounted to the flimsy headlight surround.

Would buy again

Happy Trail Teton 7.5 Panniers and racks



Rating A1

These guys are tough and really easy to straighten if you need to. After hundreds of openings and closings the latches are still perfect. The seals have taken a beating but the boxes are still waterproof and the seals are easy to replace. The mounting system held firm with normal use. With abnormal use one of the boxes was pulled off the rack. I needed to use a rock to straighten the metal enough to reinstall it but when I had access to a hammer I got it perfectly flat again.

The racks stayed solid but I must admit I had them reinforced before I left. I had read stories of cracks developing on heavily laden bikes so I took no chances. I believe this was not necessary in the long run.

Would buy again
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:50 PM   #740
whiteh
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Thanks!

Just found your trip log and went through it all in two sittings. Great report fun ride and great read. Wish I could go but will have to limit trip south to Mexico thru to Panama. Hope you make that trip to
North to Alaska soon.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #741
sophijo
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Reviews

Thanks for the review and, again< for the wonderful trip!
Dave
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #742
pceire32
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Location: Santa Monica CA
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Thank you for the review and all the effort you have put into this RR it is much appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:37 PM   #743
Telkwa7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRRambler View Post
You won't find an insurance company to cover you everywhere...at least I couldn't.

I purchased liability insurance for the bike at each border crossing that required it. I did not buy insurance for those countries that did not require it. Most in Central America did require it and I believe only Colombia and Ecuador in South America. Check out Liferemotely for great border crossing info.

I also bought insurance for Mexico at the border.

As far as health insurance I used Mediquote www.mediquote.ca . They have a really good plan which includes vehicle return and great staff. And it's a Canadian company to boot! Make sure to advise your provincial health care folks about your trip if it will be longer than 6 months, they can give you a little grace period.

I also subscribed to the SAR coverage that you can buy with a SPOT or inReach device.
Thanks for your quick reply with good information.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:43 AM   #744
davey1212
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Location: Somerset, UK
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Congratulations !!!!!!!!!

Dave, Yours has been an epic adventure with, as I have said before, fantastic reporting in terms of data, story and pictures...........one of the all time greats on ADV. You have made it look easy(ish) but that should not detract from your accomplishment as you have done what most people only dream or talk about it. Remember how nervous we both were before we started ??
As for the cost......$13,000 ?? In real terms the experience you had (in my humble opinion) is beyond price and is probably the best investment (after marrying Wanitta) you have ever made.
It is a honour to know you and look forward to meeting you both again.....my treat this time.
Have a safe trip home, Dave
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:35 AM   #745
NickW909
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Dave,

Congrats on completing your trip and many thanks for providing us with such a great RR. The many facts, figures and information you have provided have helped me greatly.

Much appreciated and safe journey home.


Nick.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #746
Eagletalon
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Congrats on finishing your trip! Can't wait to hear more about budget and all the other things. Trips like this keep the hamster wheel spinning. Are you ready to get back or you wish you could still be out there for another month?

Later
John
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:07 AM   #747
DRRambler OP
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagletalon View Post
Congrats on finishing your trip! Can't wait to hear more about budget and all the other things. Trips like this keep the hamster wheel spinning. Are you ready to get back or you wish you could still be out there for another month?

Later
John
If I knew I had another 6 months to go I would be fine just carrying on. But with the end here I can't wait to get home to my family. I have a new job waiting for me and we are moving to the west coast so I'm pretty excited to get back.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:10 AM   #748
DRRambler OP
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Last Day of Riding

Day 165 Bahia Blanca to Buenos Aires February 16


View Larger Map

It was to be a very long day today. I had 640km to ride so I got up early and started moving by 8. I took highway 51 North East towards Azul which is a little shorter than Ruta 3.

The road was much the same as the past few days with long straights and a curve here and there.



Wake Up! A curve in the road!



HEY CK, Skelly still wearing pink!



My plan was to just stop in the suburbs but I failed to find a cheap hotel anywhere so continued into the city. After a few futile attempts at finding lodging a nice man asked if he could help me. His Daughter and Son in law helped me find the Palermo area which is the hotspot for hotels, hostels, and places to eat.

Well there were plenty of those things but they were all full. By the time I found the Palermo Hotel it was dusk and I was a very tired rider. The hotel cost 275 pesos and the parking was 100 pesos for 12 hours. I had to leave before 8am the next day or would be charged the 24 hour rate.

In the room the phone rang and the front desk girl tried to tell me something. I didn't understand so I started down to the lobby. She intercepted me with my GPS in her hand. Wow, I didn't even realize it was missing because it had dropped out of my helmet when I picked it up from a chair in the lobby. Thank you!

The next morning I got up early and rode to Dakar Motos about half an hour away.



I waited in the beautiful morning sunshine for Javier and Sandra to come and open up the shop. We immediately got down to business and Sandra gave me all the details of the shipping process. I stayed the night in the back of their shop where they have a mini hostel set up. They only charge 100 pesos for a bed and 40 pesos for the bike.

On tuesday I rode to the airport with two fellows who I had met way back in Panama. I had to refresh their memories because the meeting was very brief and helmets didn't come off so we didn't know each other's faces. But I recognized the bikes, One GS1200 from Alaska and one from Holland. The Alaskan bike was being flown to Miami so we rode to the airport together.

Final Mileage





TKC 80 after some 10,000km cupping badly



And The rear Hiedenau K60, down to the wear bars



The instructions from Sandra were great and everything happened the way she said it would. The bike is all wrapped on the pallet and ready to go. I chose not to remove the front wheel which in hindsight was a minor mistake that cost a few bucks but it will be easier to get it set back up in Vancouver.

Sorry no flash allowed











Total cost of shipping $18,843 pesos including the Dakar fee of 1,000. 14,300 of those pesos were exchanged on the Blue market at 10.5 pesos per US dollar and the rest from an ATM at the official rate of 7.7 pesos per US dollar....you do the math.
The next step is to take the train downtown tomorrow and pay the shipper in exchange for the waybill.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:42 AM   #749
RedDogAlberta
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Outstanding wrap up to a fantastic report! Well done sir.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:24 AM   #750
grahamspc
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The only word that seems to fit is EPIC!!
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