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Old 11-06-2012, 08:07 AM   #406
H96669
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Originally Posted by flying kiwi View Post
You think you've got a problem. I only started reading this thread at page 23. If I was to go back to page 1 and start reading, I'd never catch up, such is the speed of accumulating posts. Or maybe I'm a slow reader
Better break down my upcoming email to you then.Or maybe you'll have to read between the lines....ask Andi about that. Something about books and Groovy....

Busy at work with slow connection, also had to catch up on a few pages. Brings my question? I see pics on ADVGrifter's post but none of TMK's pics.Fine when home so may have to do with my slow work connection but seems to work fine on other threads albeit slowly. Puzzling me that one and very much in need of seeing Mexico again.

But I see five stars.....well worth it! Just like my first car...an Envoy "Epic".
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Tracks1 View Post
Are you going through Guadalajara?
I think we will be, we have no plans except Copper Canyon, time is open as are destinations.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:17 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post

You guys are worrying me now. You wait until you're in Mexico to address a shock problem? Southern California has more Suspension businesses than any place in the country!

You may have made an error leaving the USA needing chain and sprockets. Getting a package shipped to you in Mexico ... or nearly anywhere in Latin America is a royal PITA ... and it will most likely cost you serious money ... or it may not make it to you at all.
The shock only started weeping once in Mexico, I checked EVERYTHING prior leaving and there was no dampness, it is only weeping so not dead yet, I agree, a weep two weeks earlier would have been ideal but then Suzuki had my bike for the last two weeks anyway so either way I can't win and it was a sprint to the finish line as well.

We ordered the chains and sprockets 1 month out to find out the rears were on back order, we had to be out of the US by 2 Nov so we are stuffed either way as your Homeland Sec are not pleasant to deal with.

We are using the Sidewinder http://sidewindersprockets.com/index.html Ti sets, thought this would be a good move to avoiding future problems giving good life with high strength chain too, spendie but less problems features in my mind.

Everything else including new tires, wheel bearings, cushdrive bearings etc are all done, only waiting on the chains and sprockets which I had planned to do prior leaving the US but factors outside of our control meant this didn't happen in time, I thought 1 month would have been enough.

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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post

In Guadalajara, go to the BMW dealer. They know a shock tech there who may help. He just rebuilt a shock for a KLR rider last week. I'll look for the link, but you've got a start. Good luck.

This from Nathan's thread in Latin America:
I think the shock will hold till then, as I said it is more a weep than a leak, not dripping, soon as we can get the chains and sprockets we are ready to race, I do have a spare front but would rather wait and get EVERYTHING done and dusted as I hate doing stuff half pie.

We will see if we can hang around Hermosillo area until we ge sorted (with the chains and sprockets) then carry on around and about
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by Shaggie View Post
geez! how did i end up SEVEN pages behind???

i work too much!

loving the report n pics Andi n Ellen!!

Shaggie
Cheers Shaggie, not much to report in the next few days while we wait for parts etc so plenty of time to catch up
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by flying kiwi View Post
You think you've got a problem. I only started reading this thread at page 23. If I was to go back to page 1 and start reading, I'd never catch up, such is the speed of accumulating posts. Or maybe I'm a slow reader
Well you fullas wanted to know what is going on and we don't wonna be selfish eh!

The last few pages have replies and discussions so you can skip those easy enough

And thanks for your interest in following us mate, it is nice to know as we are only doing this trip for you
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #411
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Better break down my upcoming email to you then.Or maybe you'll have to read between the lines....ask Andi about that. Something about books and Groovy....
Yeah my cryptic part of my brain was somewhere else reading that ... accordingly I missed out ... never mind ...we still got to have some eventually thanks to bike failures and a revisit
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post
The shock only started weeping once in Mexico, I checked EVERYTHING prior leaving and there was no dampness, it is only weeping so not dead yet, I agree, a weep two weeks earlier would have been ideal but then Suzuki had my bike for the last two weeks anyway so either way I can't win and it was a sprint to the finish line as well.

We ordered the chains and sprockets 1 month out to find out the rears were on back order, we had to be out of the US by 2 Nov so we are stuffed either way as your Homeland Sec are not pleasant to deal with.

We are using the Sidewinder http://sidewindersprockets.com/index.html Ti sets, thought this would be a good move to avoiding future problems giving good life with high strength chain too, spendie but less problems features in my mind.

Everything else including new tires, wheel bearings, cushdrive bearings etc are all done, only waiting on the chains and sprockets which I had planned to do prior leaving the US but factors outside of our control meant this didn't happen in time, I thought 1 month would have been enough.



I think the shock will hold till then, as I said it is more a weep than a leak, not dripping, soon as we can get the chains and sprockets we are ready to race, I do have a spare front but would rather wait and get EVERYTHING done and dusted as I hate doing stuff half pie.

We will see if we can hang around Hermosillo area until we ge sorted (with the chains and sprockets) then carry on around and about
Bad luck on the timing of the Shock weeping! As I mentioned, you can get her sorted in Guadalajara.

I would be very wary of those SideWinder Sprockets. They will never wear out ... but are SO HARD they will eat up your new chain in no time. AVOID.
Use stock Suzuki sprockets or JT sprockets.

BTW, a quick stop at Chapparrel Motosports in San Bernadino on your way South would have likely produced all your chain/sprocket parts on the spot. They are THE SuperStore of MC Warehouse stores. Biggest place I've ever seen ... stock LOTS of chains, sprockets, tires and more.

If you're killing time, don't skip Copper Canyon. Well worth the trip.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Bad luck on the timing of the Shock weeping! As I mentioned, you can get her sorted in

I would be very wary of those SideWinder Sprockets. They will never wear out ... but are SO HARD they will eat up your new chain in no time. AVOID.
Use stock Suzuki sprockets or JT sprockets.

BTW, a quick stop at Chapparrel Motosports in San Bernadino on your way South would have likely produced all your chain/sprocket parts on the spot. They are THE SuperStore of MC Warehouse stores. Biggest place I've ever seen ... stock LOTS of chains, sprockets, tires and more.

If you're killing time, don't skip Copper Canyon. Well worth the trip.
Guadalajara will do for the shock even if it does poos prior it will do.

Hmmm, thought with harsh conditions etc the Sidewinders would be the way to go for longer lasting, my own want to do things better might kick me, time will tell, we are committed now.

Unwantingly we now have 18960 miles on the set, rear is still ok, chain is dry kinking, front sprocket looks more like a flower than a sprocket but not jumping yet, at worst we could try and find another front of the other set is a while off.

In Mccdee today with Wifi and air cond so will see what uncle google can find.

Again thanks for your help, no one has died (yet) so saweetas
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #414
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Mexico, Border to Hermosillo

We decided to head to Peurto Lobos, round 1 after getting our TVIP, not sure of the road, later in the day, got pulled up by a military blockade with ALL the dudes sporting machine guns, they were not offering coke and lollies!!! , luckily we are of no interest to them, they pushed and poked our luggage then waved us on, gracias fellas.



After getting lost from not being able to buy maps/books we decided to bunk down, we bought a cold can of coke to sugar up and cool down at a local dairy, a local fellow helped us out, he seemed to notice that we were slightly empty headed looking and was great help.

He bought out his map and showed us, it was slightly more detailed than ours and he offered it to us, we talked some more and he was heading to the US next week so we did a swap with him, we had two maps, one detailed and one broader map so he was over the moon as well.

We stayed at a small motel with a courtyard away from sight and it was close to town, some may call it crappy but it was luxury compared with camping.



A walk into town and we bought some nachos for tea then back to do the ride report above, as I said Ellen cashed it out early as she was stuffed and to be honest I was not far behind.

Following morning we tried to head to Peurto Lobos, the road started ok, went narrower, then rougher, then shingle, then sandpit.

Ellen does not do sandpits very well as you know and today was no exception, she took a binning at about 15 kmph and turned her bike back around 180 degrees where we had come from, with three pieces of plastic case lying dead on the ground I took this as a sign.





Knowing the road wasn’t going to get any better and most probably worse we decided in the interests of Ellen not getting hurt or the bike suffering big damage to turn back, sorry hardened ADVers but we do have to be reasonable about what we tackle within Ellens riding ability as the trip is about us not just me.

Heading back to Carborca we stopped for lunch, we asked the price but somehow between getting the price, eating then paying the price doubled, he had my money and only gave me back what he thought it was worth, we were ripped, learnt from that.

We headed off toward Santa Ana, arriving there we bought another cold coke as it was very hot, we decided to can it for the day and found a small motel, $250 for 4 hours ..... hmmmm.

Given it was the cheapest place we could find we managed to get it for the night, we were surprised to find a huge mirror as the bed head and the bed about a mile wide, classic.



The next BIG adventure was going into town for Wifi, we left the motel and headed into town, a driver came around on our side of the road ... WHAT THE ... we carried on the road then a bus came round on our side ... WHAT THE ... then I realised that someone who looked like me was riding the wrong way up the interstate .... FARK ... just as well we were in Mexico as no one even worried.

Ellen sat on the back and let me do it too ..... that is what happens when you are spent, hungry and thirsty, we were very lucky not to get hurt, lesson learned.

After being ripped off for lunch we decided to eat in so we knew what we where up for.

Heading off to Hermosillo was interesting as well, armed guards at the toll stations were not to be messed with, then another military blockade, we were waved on again, then a Police blockade, quick glance over us and we were waived on again.

A little daunting coming from New Zealand where you see nothing of this.

We basically spent the day in Mc Donalds, learning Spanish, drinks, Wifi etc and a Couchsurf that night to come, see if we can get local knowledge.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #415
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Andi - what cameras are you using?

Some of the forest and landscape pics have such vivid colours - have you been doing post processing too?

loving it mate!

Shane
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #416
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Andi - what cameras are you using?

Some of the forest and landscape pics have such vivid colours - have you been doing post processing too?

loving it mate!

Shane
It is a Canon SX40 HS for the big shots and a Panasonic Lumix FT3 for the waterproof and grey scale pics, no post processing as we don't have anything to use.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #417
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cheers mate :-)
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:28 PM   #418
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USA Sum Up

Buenos tardes amigos, sorry for the last few days silence, we haven't r e a l l y been ignoring you (much)

Setting up and grounding our feet in Mexico has taken a little longer than hoped with one thing and another, but WE'RE BACK! with the new and improved Andi & Ellen

Andi's Take

OK, The USA Sum UP, mostly great but some grumbles, not everything is beer and skittles so don't be offended as this is just how we see it from the Kiwis perspective.

The USA has been a bumpy section of our travels for us with epic bike failures, time off the road, people belittling us trying to make themselves feel better or bigger or something... it must be a bugger to have a little tiddle

On the other end of the spectrum, on top of some of the coolest places we have been the people have made our trip, a few kicks in the nuts does not compare the many back rubs!!!

Montana, we were greeted by huge fires which was kinda cool in a funny way, something different for us, a little less than ideal to ride through tho.

We met the coolest people in the campgrounds etc, we were surprised by really neat locations in the middle of nowhere and can kinda understand why a lot of Americans don’t travel out of the country as you have so much here ... that is no excuse to come see us though!!!!

I can’t begin to thank all the people along the way as (almost) everyone we met contributed to making our trip better and better with information, help and just great welcoming friendships.

For me being a total petrolhead Reno featured for me at Scott and Joannes, Scott and I doing the bloke ride hooligan day out was mint and something I really needed to do, the DR 43 hp is a workhorse but the 100 plus HP of the 990 and 950 was the devil inducing fun factor which I miss, doing 110 mph on the shingle just bought the kid out .

How could a man not grin



People highlights, next sum up I do I am going to write it as we go with notes so my old memory can remember but needless to say without the people involvement there would be a lot less to write about, so many people were just interested in what we were doing which was so cool.

Scenery, where to start, you guys here in North America (meaning Canada and USA) have SO much on your doorstep, at worst you can ride from one end of the globe to the other with only one flight or boat trip through the middle ...GET OUT THERE!!!!, we will have to come back to see what we have missed so make sure it is still good nic when we return please

The one thing I will criticize is Americans, not across the board but quite a lot have not even traveled out of their town or state which is a little sad given what your country offers you for recreation, scenery, locations and even the ease of getting either very fast or via cool as back roads, this is not a whinge just a suggestion from an outsider.

Another suggestion is the Yogi Bears in the National Parks probably don’t really need a 6L V8 double cab dual axle truck to change toilet rolls as we witnessed ... he was a WELL fed Yogi Bear too so a little exercise would do him good ....national parks could then be made more accessible cost wise to many more ... again just an observation and suggestion from an outsider, who will listen ... ha no one.!!!! ... but now I am lighter very venting it

The only disappointing National Park was Yellowstone, the park itself is fantastic and the hot pools etc just mint, unfortunately the Yogi Bears running the place are just idiots (as agreed by many not just us), sorry guys but no better way to put it, again we understand you need to run it properly but with a $1.00 badge and a dumb hat they are just angry over protective over regulated over the top fun police.



The nicest area for me was Crater Lake, we were given probably one of the best weather days while there which makes a huge difference but the location is simply stunning and an outstanding asset to the US, don’t take our word for it tho.

This photo for me is awesome .. just wow which ever way you look at it, you guys have some stunning landscapes ... spoken from a kiwi heart from the heartland of kiwi where stunning scenery is in abundance.



Also Moab and Bryce Canyon are stunning, we see nothing like this in New Zealand, we will be back for another look for sure and to see all the stuff we wanted to but missed our due to bike failures and lack of time.

The National parks for the most were very well kept, the only disappointment was the ridiculously high camping cost in California coupled with the worst facilities, as a tourist and RTW adventure rider I would steer people away from California if you are on a budget.

The rest of the Parks were very inviting, Diamond lake even had showers and was a very reasonable cost.

The Government Machine and Bureaucratic bullshit is unbelievably heavy and probably the worst we have seen in all our travels world wide, some things are more difficult in 3rd world countries due to lack of technology, language barriers etc, none of this should be an issue in the USA but it is and it is overboard when it comes to Homeland Security, I appreciate the need for security but there needs to be a level of common sense that is not that common in this sector, grump over .

Super duper highlight was HU meeting Cambria, meeting people, comparing notes etc .... most excellent , meeting Ted Simon and Greg Frazier .... mastercard moment you cannot buy.

Greg Frazier with us, we didn't charge him



Ted Simon with us, we let him off free too



Ma and Pa Hubbers Grant and Sue Johnson, you guys ROCK!! .... seems we were giving away free photos all day .... the things we do.



Ellen’s view

Because I’m in charge of the kitchen, I had a few observations for our American counterparts.

American’s don’t use a JUG

If you want a cup of tea, try to “put the jug” on in an American’s home, that’s kind of difficult because there is no such a thing called “jug” in their kitchen. Most people we know don’t drink tea, they drink “soda” instead. Finally I asked a friend what they do if they want to make a couple of tea, she said: “ we use microwave to heat water.” So now I know how to make a cup of tea in the US.

Toaster

The toaster in American’s kitchen is also different from our Kiwi’s. They actually use a small table top oven instead our four slice toaster. It was weird in the beginning, but to be fair, the toaster does a good job, you get evenly brown toast within minutes.

Coffee

I love my coffee, so do the Americans. But their coffee is very different from what we have in Kiwi land. Almost every household has a coffee machine, but not the fancy one which makes cappuccino, it is just a filter machine. Their coffee is half of the price we pay in NZ, also if you go to restaurant, you get refill as many times as you want. Haven’t seen any instant coffee in any home, they all have filter coffee.

Sugar, Salt and sauces

Americans use lots of sauces for their food. If you go to a restaurant, there would be at least four difference sauces on the table, tabasco, ketchup, ranches and mustard, plus salt and pepper. I found their food is covered with heavy sauces, not sure if the chief try to cover badly cooked food or people just used to the flavour of sauces.

Another thing I found is their dessert is far too sweet. We can’t taste other flavours of a cheesecake rather then sugar sweetness! Even the organic cereal has 26% of sugar. There is so much sugar, even a loaf of bread is sweet.

Food price is another interesting point. We paid $3.64 for two nectarines, they are not big. However, a big 7 inch cake only cost you $2.99. In general, fruit and vegetable are more expensive than processed food . $4.99 for a big No.12 chicken roasted, you can feed 4 people no problem, who would bother to go through all the trouble of cooking at home?

Fast food kingdom

McDonald, KFC, Subway, Denny’s, BK, that’s all I knew prior to this trip. My new list now is: In And Out, Chipotle, Dairy Queen, Panda Express. In and Out makes fresh burger, now becomes the biggest rival for McDonalds. My new favorite Chipotle serves Mexican food, new generation of fast food which has the healthy image, ironically it is owned by McDonalds



That concludes our view of the USA, in summary we loved it and will be back to see what we have missed better prepared next time with local knowledge under our belts, I will talk with Barack and discuss some of the shortfalls

Some useless information too, we budgeted $60.00 / day for two of us (per Naomi and Alberto), including bike repairs and maintenance it came in at $64.05 / day which included tires and all, without bike costs it came in at $60.45 / day so we blew our budget completely , also Naomi and Alberto came in at $60.25 ... damn ... beaten...gutted!!

Of interest, when staying at inmates, normalish mates and some humans places this saved accommodation costs but our piss drinking and good food budget went through the roof and got a hiding, conclusion, still cheaper to camp and self cook but one must also have treats on the trip.
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Two Moto Kiwis screwed with this post 11-09-2012 at 06:36 PM Reason: Added pic
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:54 AM   #419
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Enjoying your reports and photos. Thanks for allowing us to "ride" along with you both.
Cheers Rob
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #420
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The Heart Speaks - No 3 - USA

Andis Take

Things I have learnt about me, firstly my fear of heights has come to haunt me, I have found with age vertigo has come to get me, assuming then it is bodily preservation with sensibility as a result of older age, I find myself telling Ellen to come back away from the edge....it hasn't worked!



She even takes the bloody bike too!!! :eek3:



Secondly, dehydration and hunger are the two quickest ways to entering into a mindless navigational pubscrap on the side of the road, we have both found when it is late in the afternoon you are tired, hot and or dehydrated that a quick stop, food and water goes a l o n g way to having a sensible navigational discussion.

Leaving California today (1 November 2012) had mixed reactions, to say farewell to long term great mate Shann was hard, man hugs and hidden tears from me.

Once we hit the road trying to make it to the border as least as late as we can was the mission and a mission, several points of interest going into the "next time" tin due to the lack of time, the one thing I have come to hate is deadlines as this always seems to bring on more stress.

I cried in my helmet trying to get my head around the shit we have been dealt with the bikes, call me a baby but I struggled to ride properly and I didn’t enjoy it despite being on a great bit of road, I feel let down badly by Suzuki and thus my choice of our bikes for our trip has held up our trip and created difficulty for us, not our fault but our problem. down:

I have to admit the bike issues pushed me hard, so hard that on Wednesday I went for a walk to clear my head, this was after taking the bike back again for the mystery metal in the oil and having lost the G9 comms unit as Ellen did not put it on properly so it was smashed beyond repair and to get personal I had the shits (from being so wound up I think).



I was ready to chuck it in and go home ..... kinda weak thinking but when you are battle worn you start to think preservation or exit mode, something you have to kick yourself out of and step above, this my friends takes strength when you are down.

So back to the story, I walked into a shop as #2’s was calling and time was short with the crook guts, I was hungry and probably slightly dehydrated, after doing my deed I think I exited out a different door and carried on contemplating life, suddenly I found myself questioning which way I was going .... was the sun behind me or in front ... or beside me? 1:

Long and short of it I got completely lost and ended up in an area less than ideal, no way of knowing which way to go, all square blocks etc.

I could not think straight so I decided to head one way until I reached shops or something were I could use a phone, as luck would have it this worked, I looked across the road and saw T Mobile so made a B line for that.

I walked in and asked if Shann worked there .... yes, she said so that was a complete fluke which turned out ok.1:, he returned from lunch some 10 minutes later and took me to the Clawsons Honda as they had rung about the bike which was sorted.

People say don’t sweat the small stuff but enough small stuff adds up, if you get 10 x 1 little issue you suddenly have some shit to deal with and when you are relying heavily on your equipment this deepens the issue considerably as it is closer to your heart.

So to finish this section up we are sitting in the tent writing this up two days before hitting the border, today is November 1st, we are meant to be out November 2nd and today to finish it off my headlight blew???.

Not a biggy ... just some more shit to deal before hitting the boarder on an already overtight time table.

Bikes

The Suzukis, our DR650s cost us 6 weeks off the road in six months, if not for the help through the ADV and HU members it would have been 10 fold harder.

Although Suzuki have repaired our bikes they have cost us dearly both time wise and monetary wise, FYI a Suzuki bought in the USA does not have warrantee in Canada even though we are still in North America, that sucks the big one for an international RTW biker, so my advice to all is weigh up who gives and international warrantee not just a back yard warrantee as this is useless of your bike breaks out of the US as we found out the hard way in Canada.

At least a BMW or Ducati which you expect to have issue with still looks cool when broken down!!! :

The other thing I have found I miss is cats and dogs ... pets, luckily Shann had a crazy cat ... a spider cat that could climb cupboards in a single bound.




Ellen’s point of view

Some friends say we are on vacation, I would say we just changed our life style, because at least I don’t have a job to go back for so technically we are unemployed and homeless :.



It’s also time to reflect who we are, why have we ended up here and to understand ourselves better.

We found the reflection ... but nothing changed!!!



The broken down bike hit Andi hard, but I have looked it from a different angle. We all like to take control of some part of our life, for Andi, particularly, he likes to take control of his bikes and buying Japanese and new you would think we would not have been put in the position we were put in.

That is all good if he buys a bike with no factory warranty, if you have a problem, too bad, fix it yourself. However, paying new price and buying new bikes the liability is on the manufacturer. That means you don’t have that control when the ball is in their court.

That creates the conflicts by itself. If the manufacturer didn’t come to the party as Andi would liked, there is another problem. Therefore, being fussy about quality and not having the total control looks like a beginning of the disaster. If that does not work once, and if you can’t control that part, why not change the way we do things. Maybe spend less money, buy a second hand one, test drive before buy it, if anything goes wrong, take full responsibility.

Next time we might buy a beater ... this looks fairly solid



At least you don’t have someone else to piss you off. Andi might not agree with me, it seems I’m on Suzuki side which I am not, just doing the devils advocate for future trip/shit management.

It’s my fault to lose our Scalar G9, it upset Andi even more when it happened while the bike was not fixed and causing stress, Jamie from Scala Rider kindly offered to replace the unit however we decided to run without helmet comms on this trip, sometimes it is hard to let it go but we had to make that decision, some people are destined not to have comms sets and we are on of them but I have to say we will use them again.

We had spent so much time repairing our bikes instead of traveling around USA, which was quite upsetting, we were off the road for 25% of our time. What we did was to accept what we have and make the most of it. We took the opportunity to visit places we didn’t go at the first place.

We had our most amazing sleeping experience in a Catamaran hull which was cool. Take the whole experience as part of traveling. We might have missed out some places, but we also experienced things which we would not if we hadn’t the misfortune with the bikes.

We learned always be positive for the situation which didn’t go the way you liked it. The moral of the story is: there is always a silver lining of the cloud although sometimes hard to find.

If you feel really bad just cry ... get it over with and feel better for it!!!

In conclusion

Traveling around the world on two motorcycles sounds glamourous and for 99% of the time it is great but you are more vulnerable to outside influences so you have to find a different sort of strength within to overcome the ripoffs, let downs, bad weather, breakages, crashs etc and realise that if you are still alive and well then the material things can be replaced.

Some people say that a bigger budget will stop a lot of problems, to some degree this is right however your inner strength and ability to cope and see normality and see through it will buy you far more ground than money.... however if we won lotto I would not complain 2: :.
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