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Old 04-08-2010, 03:29 PM   #76
Cycleman4
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Job well done

Great story. When Is the next adventure? Thanks for keeping the dream alive.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:54 PM   #77
TaZ9
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You've convinced me!

One of the best ride reports here in a looooong time. A real adventure with great photos. I was kind of questioning my decision to buy the Sherpa, but your story has sold me on it's reliability and I will be heading out this weekend to drive the 900 miles to pick up a new-to me Super Sherpa. I just wish I could ride it back. Thanks again for a great read.

Taz

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns
So the final tally was 9600 miles to Panama and back. I left with 3000 dollars and got back with 727.00. Of the 2273.00 spent, 400.00 went to the dentist in Guatemala and I spent 150 bucks on toll freeways on the last 1500 mile leg through Mexico which I would not have done if I had been low on cash. I was gone 34 days. So minus dentist and tolls I could have done the trip for under two grand. It cost about 200.00 total for border crossings and 45.00 for mandatory insurance. And I bought a rear tire and tube in Panama for 100.00.

I am relaying this info since not too many folks report on how much it costs to go on a minimalist tour. So you know what to expect if you decide to head south on an adventure. It doesn't have to cost a fortune if you stay in moderate hotels and guesthouses and ride a fuel efficient bike. But I think you also should know that it is a LOOOOOONG freaking way to the Darien gap and back, and that I am a little nuts, and riding a stock seat on a 250 thumper will give you an iron butt if you don't already have one.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaZ9
One of the best ride reports here in a looooong time. A real adventure with great photos. I was kind of questioning my decision to buy the Sherpa, but your story has sold me on it's reliability and I will be heading out this weekend to drive the 900 miles to pick up a new-to me Super Sherpa. I just wish I could ride it back. Thanks again for a great read.

Taz

Hi TaZ9,

Glad you enjoyed the story of my travels. The Super Sherpa is a solid bike. I can hardly believe that little thumper kept humming with no complaints. Day after day. It amazes me that a little motor like that kept up for the long haul. It's a trooper. No question. I love that little bike.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:35 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cycleman4
Great story. When Is the next adventure? Thanks for keeping the dream alive.

Hey Cycleman4,

Glad you enjoyed it. I think I'll fly down to South America next winter and buy a thumper and cruise around for a while. Although I wouldn't mind going back to Costa Rica. I'll write up a report when the time comes. I love reading ride reports when I'm at home not riding. Even my own. They bring back the memories.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:11 PM   #80
slowsuki1
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great read and pics. i love these rides on little bikes.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #81
Rossbike
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Thanks for the great report. Awesome trip and nice tile work too. Your month long trip to the dentist cost the same as my one afternoon across town. Your money was better spent than mine. I just have to figure out how to tell the wife I need a month off to go to the dentist.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:20 AM   #82
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that was a nice story.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:39 PM   #83
DauntlessDave
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Terriffic RR

That was great. I recenlty graduated from an NX250 to an F650 and I'm supposed to sell the NX but after reading this thread I'm loath to part with the little 250 thumper. I had the NX on a 4 day trip in the New England hills and mountains, so I know what I'd be missing. I gave your thread some stars, 5 in fact.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:00 PM   #84
Larry Ferguson
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Great report

... and adventure! The tile work was not too shabby either. I have a couple 1973 Honda XL250s I am restoring and was thinking of an adventure like that with one of them. If you ever get up around the Sioux Falls area, drop me a line and we can ride.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:05 PM   #85
Klay
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Thanks for the story. Flying down there and renting/buying a little thumper sounds like something I might want to do, too.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:20 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ferguson
... and adventure! The tile work was not too shabby either. I have a couple 1973 Honda XL250s I am restoring and was thinking of an adventure like that with one of them. If you ever get up around the Sioux Falls area, drop me a line and we can ride.

Howdy Larry,

Sioux Falls is just down the road from where I live. I'll be sure to drop you a line the next time I'm heading that way.

Twenty years ago, before ADVrider was around, when motorcycle travel stories were harder to come by I read this tale

http://users.rio.com/tynda/Page22.html

About a guy in his seventies who rode Honda XL250s. You might get a kick out of reading about his adventures to South America, across Russia, around the world, through Africa.

He would head out from Michigan in freezing winter weather in his snow mobile suit heading south for adventure. He's my HERO. Tough old bird. Riding a 250 thumper. People from the upper midwest and the northern plains tend to be stubborn and persistent. My kind of folks.

Cheers,
John Downs

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Old 04-09-2010, 08:49 PM   #87
SteverinoB
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Enjoyed that RR...I agree with you...Small Bikes = Big Fun!

I will keep my eyes peeled for your next adventure!
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:16 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DauntlessDave
That was great. I recenlty graduated from an NX250 to an F650 and I'm supposed to sell the NX but after reading this thread I'm loath to part with the little 250 thumper. I had the NX on a 4 day trip in the New England hills and mountains, so I know what I'd be missing. I gave your thread some stars, 5 in fact.

Hey Dauntless Dave,

Don't sell that Honda. It's hard to find an NX250. They only brought them in here from '88 to '90. It's a great bike. Gets great gas mileage. Water cooled, six speeds, electric start and a top speed of 90mph. Damn. That would be so much fun to ride in Mexico and Central America. And they have 16 inch rear tires for that bike all over Latin America, home of the mini-thumpers. What a sweet ride. Sell the F650. Just kidding. F650s are fun bikes too.

Glad you liked the story and I am humbled by all the nice comments and private messages I have gotten since posting this a couple days ago.
ADVriders rule!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:36 PM   #89
enecks
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Mr. Downs, that was an amazing report.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:26 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay
Thanks for the story. Flying down there and renting/buying a little thumper sounds like something I might want to do, too.

Hi Klay,

I can see you flying down for some adventure riding. I think you'd really have fun! A lot of folks have family and work obligations that don't allow them to take off for a month or so. But you can still have a blast even on a ten day or two week trip renting a little thumper in an exotic country and riding around.

I went down to Costa Rica a couple years ago on a two week junket. I flew down for 650 dollars roundtrip and rented a 250 Honda for 50.00 a day for 12 days for 600.00. Boarded the plane in the snow wearing my riding pants and jacket and carrying my helmet and a small dry bag with maps, clothes as carryon luggage and that's about it. And soon I was in the sunny tropics. I got off the plane and grabbed a taxi to the rental place and took off for 12 days of riding. It was SO MUCH FUN. I bought some disposable razors and bungee cords and anything else I needed, and bungeed my drybag to the back seat and rode around exploring the country. Bought a new tee shirt every few days and threw my old one away. It was a great minimalist adventure.

You might catch some flak from family or friends telling you what a selfish, foolhardy person you are. Or how dangerous it is. What do they know? JUST DO IT. You'll never regret it.

Nobody makes these adventures come true for you. You just have to make up your mind and GO. You'll never regret it.

Cheers,
John Downs

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