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Old 05-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #166
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmaster
Excellent, probably see you this coming winter.

Hola Vince,

You can count on it! I will be down in South America in six months or so when it warms up in southern Chile. I imagine you'll be down that way by then.

I'm saving my money. Already have enough for the flight and a cheapass thumper. Just need to save up a few more thou for gas and living expenses.

In the meantime I will be following your ride report and living vicariously. Thanks for all the great pics! They keep poor saps like me going when we're not riding the world.

Have fun in Colombia!
Best,
John
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:37 AM   #167
WarLlama
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Excellent report, a real adventure ride.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:11 PM   #168
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Great report. Just the right ratio of words to pictures too.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:27 AM   #169
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Thanks for all the kind comments.

People have asked me about what I took with me as a minimalist and what I used. Rather than send private messages, I will show everyone what I found useful.

First up is the Motionpro trail tool. This little toolkit is a minimalists dream. Being a kid at heart I love this little transformer tool. It is several multi-use pieces that snap together in various combinations. If you liked erector sets as a kid you will love this tool. It is hard to say in words how it works, so I will use pictures.

Here is the 14mm wrench I use to remove my oil drain plug when changing the oil in the Sherpa:



And here it is snapped together and ready to use:



Here is the phillips head screwdriver I use to remove any phillips screw on the bike:



And here it is snapped together and ready to use for breaking loose tough screws:



Or like this as a regular phillips screwdriver:



Or shorten it to get in tight places:



Change the bits and use it as an allen wrench:



Or as a slotted screwdriver:



Or like this for removing the 8mm bash plate nuts to get to the oil drain plug:



Or flipped around it is a 12mm wrench:




Here is the 3/8ths drive socket for removing the spark plug on the bike:



And snapped together ready to use:



And the way it goes together for 1/4 inch drive small sockets for removing the oil filter cover, etc:



You get the idea. And Motionpro included a handy bottle opener as well in case you get thirsty while working on the bike. Anyway, this tool kit zips up into the included 3" by 4" compact zippered case:



It is an amazingly well made and compact toolkit that fits in the palm of your hand:



It replaces everything in the cheesy Kawasaki factory toolkit when combined with Motionpro tire irons. Yes, the tools are a bit unconventional looking, but quite functional and compact and is a pleasure to use for basic Super Sherpa maintenace on the road. Changing oil and filter, cleaning and oiling air filter, removing sidecovers and battery when I left the ignition on and killed the battery and needed to recharge it. That sort of thing.

I have to go to work, but will post some more useful minimalist ideas that worked for me when I can.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

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Old 05-22-2010, 02:36 PM   #170
Zecatfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns
I finally get to Tucson and stop at some friends house. She takes a picture of me with a bad Honduran haircut and a big Guatamalan smile. WHAT A RIDE! YEEHAW! I am one happy dude!

I missed this thread before.
Just awesome. I love Mexico threads and farther south.
Happy Trails.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:57 PM   #171
Buffalo Bill
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Hey, Neighbor,

Great Report............I love the sherpa. My wife had one when she was learning to ride, big mistake on our part selling it...Anyway, we'll likely have another one some day..

What brand gas tank was that on the Sherpa, and how much gas did it hold?

I get thru your neck of the woods quite a bit, I'll look you up one of these days...

Bill
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:46 AM   #172
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Darien Gap?

You said that the paved the road to Darien Gap, and the mud was gone.
I have to ask, does this mean the gap is getting smaller and they are actually building a road across it and one day will just be a foot note in history?
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Google Earth GPS Howto (still a work in progress) use USGS TOPO Maps to layout trails.
http://home.windstream.net/catfish/GPS


The Early Bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
https://sites.google.com/site/ozarkadventuretours/

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Old 05-23-2010, 05:40 PM   #173
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo Bill
Hey, Neighbor,

Great Report............I love the sherpa. My wife had one when she was learning to ride, big mistake on our part selling it...Anyway, we'll likely have another one some day..

What brand gas tank was that on the Sherpa, and how much gas did it hold?

I get thru your neck of the woods quite a bit, I'll look you up one of these days...

Bill
Hi Bill,

I have a Clarke aftermarket tank made for the Honda XR650L (any year). I adapted it to fit the Sherpa, since the stock peanut tank on the Sherp hits reserve at 100 miles or so. They make a 4 gal. and 4.7 gal. I have a 4 gal. that I got on Craigslist. It is made for the Honda XR650L and requires the Honda petcock since it has a different thread pattern than the Sherpa. Here is the link with the specs and colors:

http://www.justgastanks.com/store/in...roducts_id=236

There is more info on adapting this tank to the Sherpa with a pictorial how-to on the Sherpa thread over in Thumpers.

Feel free to drop by if your travels take you to north central Nebraska, or you're welcome to spend the night any time you are out this way shooting more great photos of the Great Plains. Bassett is a small town and I live at 312 Augusta.

I have been enjoying your photos on the Great Plains photo thread. Good stuff!

Best,
John Downs
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:58 PM   #174
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zecatfish
You said that the paved the road to Darien Gap, and the mud was gone.
I have to ask, does this mean the gap is getting smaller and they are actually building a road across it and one day will just be a foot note in history?
Hi Zecatfish,

You must be part Cajun with a name like that!

The Darien gap is the same size as always. It is just more accessible now that it is paved all the way to the end of the road. A lot of straight line riding down the 180 miles past Panama City to Yaviza . I too wish they would put a road through to South America. It's only about 30 miles as the crow flies through the swamps to Colombia. They've been talking about pushing the PanAm highway through for as long as I can remember. But I wouldn't hold your breath. In the mean time it is 375.00 by boat or 900.00 by plane to get your bike across the Darien. It is currently more cost effective to fly down to South America and back and buy a cheap bike to ride around on. Which is what I intend to do.

Cheers,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:54 AM   #175
tylerjwhite
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O ya

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyKooter
When you start your next trip, post a link here. I'll leave this in my subscription folder.
I second that request. I have a 2001 BMW R 1150 GS and it is my only bike. I am also married and want to do a trip like this. I would go all the way to Peru if I had the time and money. So I am trying to find a way to get the time and money. I would love any GPS points you have and loved all the advice on stuff you have put there so far. I guess the question is do I buy two small cheepy bikes or just take what I have and then make the time and save the money.

Anyway I really enjoyed your blog here at work and appreciate the time you have taken to make myself and others informed and entertained.

Thank you

Tyler
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:08 PM   #176
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Take what you have.

Leave now.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #177
Uncle Mike
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Thanks John for the great RR. I like the minimalist approach and the Sherpa certainly prooves that you don´t have to have a big rig to do big trips.

Nice toolkit! Looks like something I need to get.

Hope you hit the road again soon.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #178
tylerjwhite
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Made plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by candohome
Leave now.

I talked to two of my friends today and we are making plans after school ends.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:13 PM   #179
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerjwhite
I second that request. I have a 2001 BMW R 1150 GS and it is my only bike. I am also married and want to do a trip like this. I would go all the way to Peru if I had the time and money. So I am trying to find a way to get the time and money. I would love any GPS points you have and loved all the advice on stuff you have put there so far. I guess the question is do I buy two small cheepy bikes or just take what I have and then make the time and save the money.

Anyway I really enjoyed your blog here at work and appreciate the time you have taken to make myself and others informed and entertained.

Thank you

Tyler

Hi Tyler,

I agree with Candohome. Just take the bike you have and head south for as long as you have money and time. GS 1150 is a great bike to head south on. I know it is hard for younger guys with a family to get away. So you have to really want it. Two weeks is enough time to have a lot of fun. And if you can get away for longer, so much the better. When you get to be an old fart like me you will never wish you had worked more and gone on fewer adventure rides.

Have fun!
John Downs
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:52 PM   #180
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,436
On the road tire repair

Although the Motionpro trail tool is all I needed to do the basic maintenance on the bike on the way to Panama and back, i.e. change the oil and filter, clean the air filter, check the spark plug, and tighten any loose nuts or screws, I also carry a complete minimalist kit for on road tire repair:



It consists of Motionpro tire irons with the 22mm wrench on one end for getting off the rear axle nut, the other 12/13mm tire iron/wrench has a nice nub on the end that hooks the rim for getting the last little bit of tire over the rim without pinching the tube. They are light weight aluminum, but strong as steel and are the best tire irons I have ever come across with smooth nicely shaped spoon ends. Motionpro puts a lot of thought into their tools. I also carry some valve core remover tire caps in case I lose the ones on the bike and a spare valve core in case I lose one in the dirt, and some patches and glue for inner tube repair. This is all you need for removal and repair. Although on long trips I also bring along a spare front and rear tube:



And always carry a wallmart battery powered air pump with the cover removed and stripped down to the bare essentials:



It all fits in an old beat up BMW zipper bag that originally was for carrying a spare quart of oil that I have re-purposed:



It all zips up into a lean mean minimalist tire repair shop you can hold in your hand:



It came in handy when I had a flat in southern Mexico and when I changed my rear tire in northern Panama.

It is all I have ever needed for fixing flats and changing tires on a long trip, so is all I ever take.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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