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Old 04-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #406
Tussocktopper
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First thanks for such a great ride report. The ferry is one of the most memorable trips of my life. We had a full moon
and clear weather I only slept about 6 hours during the whole trip.
Secondly keep chasing the oil leak. Knowledge is power. You maybe able to use silicone gasket seal backed with metal (tin can flattened, bottle cap,large washer) if not to stop it at least to slow or redirect it. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:31 PM   #407
Hogslayer
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Just came across this RR yesterday and finally caught up to this point today I will have to check out your Ural trip report because this one is most excellant.It does'nt hurt that both of you know your way around a camera some of your photos are mind blowing along with great writing also.

My wife not to many years ago lost her dad then not to long after her mom and if that wasn't enough like your wife also lost her younger brother in a freak accident all withen a year and a half time span, so I can understand your pain and sorry for your loss..

Hogslayer screwed with this post 04-11-2012 at 04:05 PM
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #408
Hogslayer
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Dam PC I wasn't done and it posted it anyways ,about the oil leak if the bikes running fine its probally just that a oil leak no biggie just makes a mess of everything.Having run older harleys for years if its leaking that bad now you should be able to clean around the head and see where its coming from.

Something has to be loose are cracked or a seal,gasket or o-ring has failed somewhere I'ld look real good around your valve cover since that was off when you had it serviced in Florida. I only worry when my bike does'nt leak than I know something is very wrong.I'm sure you will figure it out just take it easy since you only have a front brake for now.Good Luck and hope the rest of your trip goes well....
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #409
oktulsa17
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I kind of thought the same thing and had asked earlier if you might be doing some HDR. Don't get me wrong they are very beautiful and I'm enjoying them very much and they are inspiring me to get out and shoot some pics myself.

(btw... I didn't know you were wedding photos. I'm taking a wedding photo class right now.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superzoom View Post
Matt and Kristen,

Beautiful adventure and photos.

I'd like to humbly observe that on my laptop monitor, a lot of your photos are quite bright. I'm guessing that as a photographer, you're using a Mac for your photo editing, and that your monitor is calibrated. I'm concerned that the gamma on your monitor is way too low resulting in too bright edited pics. It would be a shame if that was the case, and that you were spending all this time editing such beautiful photos and the calibration was off.

I know I've personally edited batches of photos to be too bright because I was working in too bright a room.

I apologize in advance if I'm completely off base with my observations. The photos are stunning regardless.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:03 PM   #410
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Matt and Kristen,
Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us. I've been following since day 1, and your writing and photography has really made an impact on me. I've read a lot of ride reports on adv, and the good ones always make me wish I was on my own adventure. But your RR has impacted me in a way no other RR has. It's really clarified just how important it is to appreciate the here and now, to love those around us, to share the utter joy and beauty that surrounds us, and make good things happen while we have the chance.

A little over five years ago I was diagnosed with a condition that will most likely put me in a wheelchair within ten years. I had decided I should spend the good years working and "contributing" while I was able, but your RR has made it so obvious to me that what I should really be doing is LIVING! So instead of working 60 hrs a week, I'm going to go on my own adventure. I have my home for sale, and if/when it sells, I'm going to sell/donate/give away anything and everything I can, load up the bike, and ride. The first stage of my adventure will be to see every national park/monument/wildlife refuge, etc. in the US and Canada (it's been a dream of mine since I was a young boy).

I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart and soul for slapping me upside the head with the awesomeness that is your adventure. Thank you for giving me the insight and courage I needed to take the plunge. I can honestly say that the time, effort, heart, and soul you've put into this RR has changed my life for the better. THANK YOU!
If you happen to find yourself near Bozeman, MT between now and next spring (hopefully the launch date of my trip), you've got free room and board, and a tour guide, if you so desire. It's the least I could do after this wonderful gift you've given me.
Good luck on your journey, and may it be filled with love, happiness, and adventure!
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #411
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Day 36-39 in South America: El Calafate to Rio Grande

Day 36-39 in South America: El Calafate, Argentina to Rio Grande, Argentina



Tierra del Fuego (the Land of Fire) lies just across the Straight of Magellan and is divided between Chile and Argentina. The archipelago ranges from grassy flatlands to a mountainous Southern region. It has been the site of wars of the human variety (the Falkland War of 1982) and of the natural variety (the introduction of the North American beaver has wrecked havoc on the ecosystem). It is harsh and beautiful, full of history and spotted with large areas which are completely uninhabited.

It is also as far South as we will ever ride our motorcycle... although riding Antarctica would be pretty epic.



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From El Calafate we made a classic Patagonian ride: winds, a bit of rain, a hint of sun, a few miles of pavement and long stretch of gravel.


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We continued on past hundreds of sheep.


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About five minutes after the above picture was taken, the frame to our sidecar fender broke for the third time. Without any words or even expressions of angst, Kristen and I removed it from the sidecar and strapped it on the rear rack. I think we’re getting better at this whole frustration thing...


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After a good days riding through the emptiness of Ruta 40, we ran into the town of Rio Turbio, Argentina. An interesting thing happened here: we knew there was a border crossing somewhere in the area, but didn’t know exactly where. Kristen had our GPS out but it wasn’t showing much detail. Instead of stopping and trying to find ourselves on a paper map, we continued to race through the narrow streets, a left turn here, a slight right there and eventually found ourselves parking at la frontera.

This was a significant moment of realization for me, because as a couple, our sense of direction is about as fruitful as a spoon cutting steak. South America is in the process of sharpening several of our duller senses...

We made a quick border crossing and then rolled into the sleepy town of
Puerto Natales.


*

We found a quiet hostel on an even quieter neighborhood and hunkered down for a few days to make some repairs.

*



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It took a bit of asking around (and one painfully long conversation with a
mechanic down the street from our hostel - I wish I could speak Spanish better) but we finally found someone to try and make a better weld on the sidecar. With a lot of hand gestures and a few choice Spanish vocab words, I was able to convey my idea and he got down to work.


*

By no means is it the prettiest welding job (I have a feeling the guys at CSM Motorsports are crying right now) but I think it will get the job done.


*

While getting the sidecar welded, I realized that our extra gas can was leaking... badly. So I went to work with some JB Weld in four seperate places on the can.


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Again, not pretty but effective so far.


*

While checking all the hardware on the sidecar, I noticed a new trend. Due to the amount of rocks being thrown around on the gravel roads, every bit of framing looks like it has been sandblasted. Crazy.


*

More bad news was found while I poked around. I knew that we had been losing a little bit of oil but hadn’t been able to find out where it was coming from. Kristen and I spent a good chunk of time with some rags and really cleaned up the bike from all of the oil splatter. I then turned on the bike and we were finally able to isolate the problem area - a bolt that runs into the engine case right in front of the right head. The bolt is also home to a connection for the sidecar frame. Uh Oh...

*

It wasn’t all work, however. We spent a good chunk of time wandering around the town to meet the tremendous number of street dogs in the area...


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...Kristen got handsy with one of the locals..


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...learned about some of the local politics...


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After several days in Puerto Natales, we decided it was time to move on further South to Punto Arenas.


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Oddly, the main thing we did while in Punto Arenas was to visit a huge cemetery near our hostel.


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The Punta Arenas Cementario is a interesting place. It was inaugurated in 1891 and holds magnificent crypts of prominent families to the simplest of unnamed gravesites.

Definitely worth the stop if you’re in the area.


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It is so large that there are even street signs for each row.


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About as scenic as a graveyard can get.


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Punta Arenas recently just had some horrible flooding in the area and the place is really a mess at the moment. Apparently a large amount of sediment was deposited in the streets due to the floods and they are still trying to clean up the mud.


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The next day we headed out of town and towards a ferry on the East coast of Argentina that would take us down to Tierra del Fuego.


*

It was some of the easiest riding we’ve had since arriving in Patagonia. The massive wind was directly behind us the entire morning. Ahhh...


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Riding along the coast, we came to a completely deserted town with an interesting feature on the beach.


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I mean, how could I NOT climb up on this thing...?


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Soon enough, we were on the brink of entering the Land of Fire.
(It was a free ferry, by the way).


*

Tierra del Fuego! We made it!
Ten minutes after arriving, we hit a gravel road. We rode back into a little town we had just passed through and asked if the gravel road was the way South to Ushuaia. The man laughed and said that it was and that we needed to be careful as it was not only pretty rough but slammed full of trucks.
Perfect.


*

Soon after hitting the gravel, believe it or not, the sidecar fender broke... again. This time it was not the weld but two bolts of the hardware that held the fender onto the frame. They had completely sheared off and the other two had heads that were stripped. With nothing else to do, I put a ton of zip ties everywhere and hoped for the best.

*

The wind ended up shifting on us and the road turned out to be really nasty. Along with the crowded border crossing, we rolled into the town of Rio Grande right as the sun was setting.

*

After a hard night of sleep, we awoke to this:


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As I started working on the tire, not five minutes passed before I was given help by five gentlemen.


We were able to get the tire patched up and thanks to a tiny air compressor that we’re carrying, the tire was back to normal in no time. As we were working on the tire, however, we noticed that the staff had put some cardboard under the bike because of the massive amount of oil that was leaking out. I refilled the engine oil, we stopped at a gas station to feed the bike and we were on our way to the end of the world.

*

Next up: Ushuaia and the end of the road.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:44 PM   #412
AJ990R
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Great ride report!

Awesome pics! Bigboi is a beast! You guys rock! Best wishes!

AJ
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:26 PM   #413
mightymatt43 OP
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Day 40-44 in South America: Rio Grande to Ushuaia

Day 40-44 in South America: Rio Grande, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina



I’m sure that there is something poetic to be said about it, but I honestly don’t know why Kristen and I are drawn to the end of the road. I do know that I’m in complete agreement about the journey being more important than the destination, but there is a definite energy to communities living at the edge of civilization. We felt it when we rolled into Inuvik, Canada a few years ago and that same sensation came flooding back as we entered Ushuaia, the southernmost town in South America.

*

After repairing our tire in Rio Grande, we hopped on BigBoi and headed out of town.


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After a chilly hour or so of riding, we began to climb up towards a pretty significant mountain pass - something that neither of us were expecting for some reason. The changing leaves were a sudden reminder that fall was underway in this part of the world with winter close behind. It was also a reminder that we had experienced fall twice in four or five months...


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As we messed around at the highest point in the pass, clouds rolled in and brought along in an odd mixture of bright sun shining through the rain.


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Ushuaia!
Even from Valparaiso, arriving in Ushuaia still felt like an accomplishment.
Six weeks and 5,500 miles of challenging roads through energy-sapping weather.
We’ll give ourselves a quick pat on the back...


*

It turns out that Ushuaia is a bit bigger than we were originally expecting. One of the bigger towns we’ve been through in a while, if fact. After roaming around the streets for an hour or so and seeing a handful of nasty, overpriced hotels, a friendly group of locals stopped us and led us to a great hostel, complete with very secure parking for the bike.


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While eating dinner that night at the hostel, we found out that the next day was a holiday and everything would be closed city-wide. As it turns out, the city of Ushuaia had been celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the Falklands War, a conflict between the United Kingdom and Argentina over ownership of the Falkland Islands. The tension is still felt here, the receptionist at the hostel even told us to be careful about using the term “Falkland Islands”, as in Argentina they are known as Islas Malvinas.

Even President Cristina Fernández was coming to town to make a speech.

*

The next morning we woke up, ate way too many medialunas (croissants) and headed downtown to the festivities.


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Wherever the President goes protesters are never far behind...


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Lots of security personnel in trench coats...


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We originally had snagged a spot where we figured the President would make her exit after the speech but after a couple of hours of waiting we got bored (mainly hungry) and took off in search of an open restaurant.

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Forty-five minutes later while sitting down to eat, we spotted the President on TV leaving right past the spot we had been standing. I suppose we should have been patient...
...but let’s be honest, our stomachs are in charge.

*

After lunch, we headed back to the crowds in the centro as Kristen had a few words she needed to say from the podium. She was, of course, given a standing ovation...


*

We walked around downtown a bit more and then headed back to our side of town.
The obligatory Casino:


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This poor kid (above) got punked by his older sister (goalie) who not only stopped this shot on goal, but also laughed in his face afterwards. I was immediately reminded of my childhood...


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We spent the next few days enjoying our cheap and clean hostel while it rained outside, eating busloads of pastries from the panaderia down the street, and listening to the hostel’s guard dog howl.


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With no break of the rain in sight, we finally decided to strap on our rain gear and head to the Parque Nacional de Tierra del Fuego, home to the literal end of the road. It turned out to be a lovely, albeit wet, ride through a beautiful park.


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Quite a nice golf course at the end of the world...


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The end of the road (obligatory):


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17,848 km (10,700 miles) to Alaska.


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BigBoi was feeling quite proud of himself.


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We walked past the sign along a few hundred yards of boardwalk until even it came to an end.


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So there you have it: the end of the world
(BUT it’s not anywhere near the end of our journey)


*

Next up: Winter Arrives.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:23 PM   #414
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Replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Dub View Post
So long, guys. Safe travels!
Thanks! We had an awesome trip - pics to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadracer_Al View Post
Enjoy your sea travels! I love traveling by boat - they're big machines, and there's always a low hum that feels very relaxing to me.

Regarding NZ, it's spectacular. The scenery is wonderful, the glacial lakes are stunning, there is a lot of support for hikers, and ample nature preserves to visit on foot.

We have friends that live in Christchurch, and used their house as a base of operations. We rode around the South Island for 8 days, like all vacations, twice that would have been better. The traveling is not nearly as adventurous as your current journey, but a little less difficulty can be nice, too.

NZ is "first world" and there is never a worry about unfit food or water (although the earthquakes can and do affect water quality), or finding food and lodging. It's a small island, too -- you can cross width-ways in half a day with leisurely meals.

I can't recommend it highly enough.
That hum from the ship just lulls me to sleep... same with the swaying in the swell. Although I should say that we've been off the ferry for several hours now and we're both feeling like we're still out at sea...

As far as NZ - I think we're just going to have to go. I've heard way too many good things about it. Just add another place to the list...


Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeman View Post
Haha, have a picture of me doing the exact same thing. "Really, we're doing a kitschy tourist photo..?" Peer pressure won, pass the velveeta.

Hope you get the bike sorted out. Would it have been possible to do the rough, snowy, windy parts on two wheels? Sounds like those wind gust would knock you off the road.
That makes me really happy, you have no idea...

As far as the wind and snow - I know a ton of people come down here on their motorbikes and some really play down the issues with the wind. We've met several other bikers down here, though, and all have said that they've never experienced anything like it. Every one of them had a story about almost being blown clear off the road. And with the weight of our rig, we really get tossed around.

And in the snow all bets are off...

This place is well worth it though - just an amazing place to ride.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gobbler View Post
Great ride report and pictures…didn’t get a lot of work done yesterday and today while reading it.

Funny thing…I just started dating a girl who rides (we did a 3 day trip to Death Valley within 1 month of knowing each other) and reading about your experiences together made me even more excited about future travels with this wonderful woman I was lucky enough to meet. The obvious love that you two have for each other is very touching and makes your ride report that much better to read.
Sorry about the distraction... I did the same thing when I was home. I would spend hours reading about other people's rides on ADV - it's easy to get sucked in.

Right after Kris and I got married, I immediately went on a national tour with the band I was with and Kristen took off to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Uganda for months doing photography work for an NGO. A year and half later, we looked at our calenders and saw that while we had been married, we had spent way more time away from each other than together. Right then and there we made a decision to change how we were living. So now, traveling with my wife is a gift, man...I wouldn't have it any other way. Take advantage of enjoying traveling with your girl, my friend!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tussocktopper View Post
First thanks for such a great ride report. The ferry is one of the most memorable trips of my life. We had a full moon
and clear weather I only slept about 6 hours during the whole trip.
Secondly keep chasing the oil leak. Knowledge is power. You maybe able to use silicone gasket seal backed with metal (tin can flattened, bottle cap,large washer) if not to stop it at least to slow or redirect it. Good luck.
The ferry was a great time - I can totally see how you could lose some sleep if you were so inclined. We had some dodgy weather so we had to spend a good bit of time indoors, but it was gorgeous regardless. Report on that coming up.

I'm definitely working on the oil leak. I would love to get a professionals opinion on it, especially since the bike still so new. Either way - thanks for the ideas, when we get up to Santiago I'm going to really dig into the thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogslayer View Post
Just came across this RR yesterday and finally caught up to this point today I will have to check out your Ural trip report because this one is most excellant.It does'nt hurt that both of you know your way around a camera some of your photos are mind blowing along with great writing also.

My wife not to many years ago lost her dad then not to long after her mom and if that wasn't enough like your wife also lost her younger brother in a freak accident all withen a year and a half time span, so I can understand your pain and sorry for your loss..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogslayer View Post
Dam PC I wasn't done and it posted it anyways ,about the oil leak if the bikes running fine its probally just that a oil leak no biggie just makes a mess of everything.Having run older harleys for years if its leaking that bad now you should be able to clean around the head and see where its coming from.

Something has to be loose are cracked or a seal,gasket or o-ring has failed somewhere I'ld look real good around your valve cover since that was off when you had it serviced in Florida. I only worry when my bike does'nt leak than I know something is very wrong.I'm sure you will figure it out just take it easy since you only have a front brake for now.Good Luck and hope the rest of your trip goes well....
Thanks so much for the encouragement on the report. It's always a blast for us to hear from people, so thank you.

I can't imagine how tough that must have been for your wife and for you too. About 11 months later, we're both still dealing with the whole ordeal. Multiplying that pain by three is almost incomprehensible.

As far as the leak, I'm really hoping that it's just something simple. The bike is really running perfectly fine and I've been able to doctor the oil level to keep it up to where it needs to be. I'm ready to get it figured out though - my right boot and pant leg around the ankle are totally black! Thanks for the advice...


Quote:
Originally Posted by oktulsa17 View Post
I kind of thought the same thing and had asked earlier if you might be doing some HDR. Don't get me wrong they are very beautiful and I'm enjoying them very much and they are inspiring me to get out and shoot some pics myself.

(btw... I didn't know you were wedding photos. I'm taking a wedding photo class right now.)
We definitely looked into it and I think we probably do have a bit of a calibration issue going on. That, along with some new things we've tried in the editing process and our love of bright colors probably attributes to it. Either way, we actually like how most of the pictures are turning out... it's all in good fun.

Getting into the wedding photography business is a great thing, if you can get the business end figured out. It turns out that my wife is a genius at it - she was able to pick and choose the clients she wanted to work for and turn down the people that seemed like they were going to be a nightmare. You can make some real $$$ from it with the right business plan... Good luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefly View Post
Matt and Kristen,
Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us. I've been following since day 1, and your writing and photography has really made an impact on me. I've read a lot of ride reports on adv, and the good ones always make me wish I was on my own adventure. But your RR has impacted me in a way no other RR has. It's really clarified just how important it is to appreciate the here and now, to love those around us, to share the utter joy and beauty that surrounds us, and make good things happen while we have the chance.

A little over five years ago I was diagnosed with a condition that will most likely put me in a wheelchair within ten years. I had decided I should spend the good years working and "contributing" while I was able, but your RR has made it so obvious to me that what I should really be doing is LIVING! So instead of working 60 hrs a week, I'm going to go on my own adventure. I have my home for sale, and if/when it sells, I'm going to sell/donate/give away anything and everything I can, load up the bike, and ride. The first stage of my adventure will be to see every national park/monument/wildlife refuge, etc. in the US and Canada (it's been a dream of mine since I was a young boy).

I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart and soul for slapping me upside the head with the awesomeness that is your adventure. Thank you for giving me the insight and courage I needed to take the plunge. I can honestly say that the time, effort, heart, and soul you've put into this RR has changed my life for the better. THANK YOU!
If you happen to find yourself near Bozeman, MT between now and next spring (hopefully the launch date of my trip), you've got free room and board, and a tour guide, if you so desire. It's the least I could do after this wonderful gift you've given me.
Good luck on your journey, and may it be filled with love, happiness, and adventure!
I can't tell you how much your comments meant to the both of us as we read them this afternoon. It's been a pretty tough day - today would have been the 33rd birthday of Kristen's brother, Ryan, so we were both already feeling a bit emotional. You have given us both a real gift by speaking joy into our lives today. For that, I can't thank you enough.

The change you're making in your life is an inspiration to the both of us. It's difficult to totally flip your life upside-down, but you're moving forward despite the complications. We are both honored that we could have played any role in your decision to make a change - but it sounds like it has been tugging on your heart for awhile. You won't regret it. You will never look back and wonder why you dropped all the "stuff" to get out and live. Stuff is just stuff. I hope that you'll do a ride report of your own and encourage others to do the same. I know that I would read it!

Going around to all the National Parks would be epic. We've seen quite a few of them and we've often said that one day we really need to explore the beautiful places of the US more thoroughly. Take lots of pictures!

Again, thank you for your timely encouragement. If we're ever in Montana, we'll be sure to shoot you a message.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ990R View Post
Awesome pics! Bigboi is a beast! You guys rock! Best wishes!

AJ
BigBoi is indeed a beast - I'll be sure to pass that on to him! Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:07 AM   #415
Abenteuerfahrer
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My friends....you prevailed...you made it to the southern end of the Americas; Ushuaia, Argentina...too you did make it to the Northern top end to Inuvik, NWT, Canada.

Congradulations and what an accomplishment and hope to see you both do many more. You're an inspiration to both young and old. Your Adventures have no doubt left you with great memories for life and the stories you will tell your children and grandchildren! I am sure this trip left you wiser, more patient, and with a tiny bit more focus on things that matter.

And so as Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindness, all foes to true understanding. Likewise tolerance, or broad, wholesome charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in our little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"

Cheers....
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #416
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Mechanical Advice.

So, we're taking a day off to work on the bike and enjoy Puerto Varas today. My first order of business has been my brake situation. I took everything apart and got the pads out and you can't imagine how caked everything is with oil. I spent a good bit of the morning cleaning everything up but here's my question: I bought some fine sandpaper and wire brushes, would it be totally foolish to try and sand down the pads a bit and continue to use them? I don't want to damage the rotor and I just don't know if it's a good idea. They still have a good bit of wear to be used and I'd rather not chunk them if they can be salvaged.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post
So, we're taking a day off to work on the bike and enjoy Puerto Varas today. My first order of business has been my brake situation. I took everything apart and got the pads out and you can't imagine how caked everything is with oil. I spent a good bit of the morning cleaning everything up but here's my question: I bought some fine sandpaper and wire brushes, would it be totally foolish to try and sand down the pads a bit and continue to use them? I don't want to damage the rotor and I just don't know if it's a good idea. They still have a good bit of wear to be used and I'd rather not chunk them if they can be salvaged.
Considering your situation, I'd give it a try. I've done it before with BMW drum brakes with some success and didn't seem to hurt anything. Obviously your braking efficiency is lowered by the oil impregnation but roughing the surface should bring back some life....IMHO....
I am just a dumb old "Airhead Guy" though.....
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:03 AM   #418
Hank
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Brake Pads

You might try to find some brake parts cleaner and try to break down as much oil as possible. The sand paper and brush will not damage the rotor. The problem you might have is that the brake pads tend to soak up the oil like a sponge. If your lucky the pads may have just glazed and the sandpaper should do the trick.

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:03 PM   #419
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I've found soaking oil contaminated brake pads or clutch plates( when running dry clutch) in white gas "Coleman Fuel" if you can find it where your at, soak for 24hrs than lightly sand works pretty good.

Coleman fuel sucks the oil and grease out better than any other solvent or gas I have used in the past.

Acetone also works good the trick is you have to let it soak the longer the better ,if you just try to clean pads without soaking the pads they will still be oil soaked on the inside and will release oil as the pads heat up when your braking and contaminate your rotor all over again .

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Old 04-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #420
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Goal 1 is keeping fresh oil off of the new pads... They will only last a few hundred miles before becoming contaminated again. As I suggested, a shield of some sort, even a rag that you change daily.

Goal 2 is making everything as clean as possible. Oil under the motor will eventually reach the brake. Removing it daily will help preserve your brake pad non renewable resource.

Clean the rotor repeatedly until it doesn't stain a paper towel. Its metal, it won't absorb oil.

I've never had much luck cleaning brake pads, they are too absorbent. A wire wheel will make waves in the surface of the pad, sanding with coarse sandpaper on a flat surface will probably work ok, but I'd keep them as spares.

Regarding the fender bolts, see if you can upsize the bolt and add a belleville washer or stiff coil spring under the head.

On edit: I just came up with the idea of using disposable diapers to capture the leaking oil. I wouldn't put it on the cylinder itself as it might fatally compromise the cooling.
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