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Old 02-04-2013, 06:07 PM   #1531
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Monday morning started out with a trip downtown with Orlando on the metro. That guy can fast walk like nobody's business. Really fun weaving through pedestrians in El Centro. No time to take pictures as we made our way to the less expensive place to buy SOAT from the Seguros de Estado office. They sold me three months for around 35.00 as opposed to the annual policy for around 200 that other offices wanted to sell.

That done I headed back to the parcadero to finish bleeding the front brake, adjust it with some shims so it lined up and took it out for a spin. It's not perfect and the wheel is a little out of round, but nothing I can't fix down the road with a spoke wrench. Here is the Sherpa loaded up and ready to take off this morning:



and two of the mechanics at the parcadero that were so helpful in getting the Sherpa rideable:



Orlando drew me a map out of town and soon I was up in the mountains. The road to Cartagena was more of a freeway, so I saw a sign to Puerto Berrio and took a derecho off into the hills on a lovely winding mountain road. Puerto Berrio sounded like somewhere on the coast. It turns out it is up in the mountains over towards Venezuela I learned when I stopped at this restaurant for some lunch:



No worries, it was a great winding road. Here is what 9000 pesos ($5.00) buys you out in the countryside:



It looked like somewhere in Italy with all the brick buildings and red tile roofs:



Here are some kids on bicycles catching a ride on the back of a truck heading up hill:



nothing but curves for a 100 miles or so. I don't have an odometer so I'm guessing here:





I was almost to Puerto Berrio when a thunderstorm swept through. A real gully washer with thunder and lightening. A few kilometers after a village in the mountains the Sherpa just died. Probably soaked ignition or somesuch. So there I was in the dark coasting to a stop. And I thought to myself. It could be worse.

So I sat there in the pouring rain and decided the best course of action was to push the bike back to the last village and find a place to stay for the night. Let the bike dry out. It could be something simple like the kickstand switch going tits up. Or it could be the Ignition Control Unit. Who knows?

So I pushed the bike slowly back uphill. Glad I am a minimalist with a small bike. Over the top of the rise coasted down the hill to the village and a guy on a bicycle rode by and asked what the problem was. I explained I needed a place to stay so he rode with me down to the local hospedaje. It was full but the owner said I could set up my tent behind the restaurant.

And an engineer staying here has a laptop with wifi and gave me the password so I can upload this. Really nice folks. I'll add pictures as I can this evening. It is currently 8PM and they have some smooth latin jazz playing outside my tent.

Great place to break down I'd say. I never know from day to day what's coming. This is another interesting twist. I am confident the new day will bring more friendly and helpful Colombians for me to hang out with while I figure this one out.

More later.

Saludos,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 02-04-2013 at 06:50 PM
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #1532
Dracula
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Dear John,

This is so effin awesome I can't find my words for it, pardon my French.
Do enjoy every moment of this slice of reality as it is never coming back, and I know you do.
Am sure Sherpa will fire right up once it's dry or you will find some loose little wire needed to be re attached.
I remember in the old times people would get by with a sliced potato and two wires poking it instead of ignition capacitor or a lady's pantyhose instead of alternator belt, so you must find a similar recipe in Colombia for he Sherpa, am sure.

My Colombian colleague from Cali is now asking me about your updates every day at work so we have something nice to discuss.

Cheers!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #1533
trespalacios
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Wicked You made it out... kind of...

Hey it seems that you'll be staying in Antioquia a bit longer after all That was some detour you took. Puerto Berrio is a port on the Magdalena river, Colombia biggest river. If you follow the river it will bring you to Barranquilla (carnaval starts in 4 days). The original route (the one you saw as a freeway) is not for the faint of heart. Here's a video of what you missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...=pUL0XoBsBx0#!

What an awesome ride report!!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #1534
miguelitro
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any plans for Ecuador yet?
Mike
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #1535
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trespalacios View Post
Hey it seems that you'll be staying in Antioquia a bit longer after all That was some detour you took. Puerto Berrio is a port on the Magdalena river, Colombia biggest river. If you follow the river it will bring you to Barranquilla (carnaval starts in 4 days). The original route (the one you saw as a freeway) is not for the faint of hearth. Here's a video of what you missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...=pUL0XoBsBx0#!

What an awesome ride report!!!
Hola trespalacios,

I got all your helpful emails. Thanks so much!

Yes Puerto Barrios is a ways off the beaten track. Really like it up here. I almost made it. Only 22k away. This Colombian mountain riding is the bomb. I pulled into San Jose and was an instant celebrity. People wanting to know all about my ride. And am having fun here in the small pueblo I find myself in.

Colombia rocks! I am having a lot of fun breaking down in this country!

Saludos,
Juan Berrio
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #1536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hola trespalacios,

I got all your helpful emails. Thanks so much!

Yes Puerto Barrios is a ways off the beaten track. Really like it up here. I almost made it. Only 22k away. This Colombian mountain riding is the bomb. I pulled into San Jose and was an instant celebrity. People wanting to know all about my ride. And am having fun here in the small pueblo I find myself in.

Colombia rocks! I am having a lot of fun breaking down in this country!

Saludos,
Juan Berrio

People Look at the plate , Where the hell is the country of Nebraska.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:32 AM   #1537
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Originally Posted by miguelitro View Post
any plans for Ecuador yet?
Mike
Hi miguelitro,

If not this year then next year for sure. South America is huge. When I run out of money, I'm parking the bike and heading home to work. But I will fly back down and continue exploring the continent. Might take a while at the rate I'm going.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:52 AM   #1538
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Your right in the the thick of the really good stuff right now


Have fun in the Tres Cordilleras!

How about some photos of the repair work, something about a brake caliper hanger welded on
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:54 AM   #1539
GuateRider
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Thumb

Good to see you back on the road and riding again .
Suerte mi amigo!!
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #1540
bESS
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John:

was so happy to see you back on the road. I chuckled when you wrote, "it could be worse" . I'm going to use those same words when I have a problem (crossed fingers)

enjoy your down time and hope it just needed drying out, but that doesn't mean you have to leave where you are

bob
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #1541
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
Your right in the the thick of the really good stuff right now


Have fun in the Tres Cordilleras!

How about some photos of the repair work, something about a brake caliper hanger welded on
Hi TM,

Whatever the Tres Cordilleras are I am liking it. It looks like this continues on over into Venezuela from the map of Colombia I bought downtown in Medellin yesterday. Might have to take a detour over that way.

Everyone here says it's dangerous as hell, which sounds good to me. I tell them that people in my country think it's dangerous as hell here in their town. So far everyone here is really nice.

Saludos amigo,
Juan de Cordillera
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #1542
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
Good to see you back on the road and riding again .
Suerte mi amigo!!
Hola GuateRider,

Glad you are still following along. Nothing can keep the Sherpa down. Smashed front end, torrential downpours killing the ignition. They can fix anything around here.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #1543
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bESS View Post
John:

was so happy to see you back on the road. I chuckled when you wrote, "it could be worse" . I'm going to use those same words when I have a problem (crossed fingers)

enjoy your down time and hope it just needed drying out, but that doesn't mean you have to leave where you are

bob
Hi Bob,

It just needed drying out. Everything good now.

Saludos,
Juan
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:22 PM   #1544
GRinCR
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Talking

I bet you and the Sherpa are as happy as we are to see you on the road again, in Sur America!!

Thanks again for the re-con... It'll be interesante to see if this "wet killing" problem persists. I have the same problem if my bike is parked in the rain; dead, no spark. Leave it sit overnight… next morning, first kick and it fires! Love electrical problems! Mostly the ones which fix themselves.

Enjoy the Colombian baked goods! When on the road here, I have yet to go wrong walking into a bakery with la Bandera Colombiana on the sign or pasted in the window. Delicious!

Cheers to you again for the fantastico RR en vivo.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #1545
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi Bob,
It just needed drying out. Everything good now.
Saludos,
Juan
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesage View Post
Amazing ride and great documentation. Thanks a lot for your "postcards from the edge." It must feel great to be rolling again! Look forward to more.

Re: engine killing in heavy rain/water: This is pure speculation, and you may have already thought of this, but does a klr250 have a carb vent tube hanging down below the engine like the klr650? T-mod?

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=331781
Hey Juan de la lluvia! You probably already know all the tricks for protecting your wiring and carb intake from water, but never hurts to double check since she was all in pieces.

I like Di-lectric grease on multi connectors plugs. Reduces corrosion, resists water. Keep clean.
I also like pieces of bicycle inner tube as sort of condoms for vulnerable wiring. Use small zip ties to secure.

I've heard of bikes dying just from carb vent tubes hanging down in heavy rain. I had that issue crossing deep streams. Re-route vent tubes UP and away from exposure.

WD40 (I doubt it's available down there) is a great water dispersant .... and hence the moniker : WD. Will not harm anything and chases water out of electrical and electronic parts and connections. Also, check (and dry out) things like KILL switches, safety cut out switches on clutch, side stand. (if not already defeated)

If parking try to at least cover the ignition switch and bars best you can.
A $3 Poncho can work OK.
Hope you get her straightened out John. Have fun, no rush catching up here. We're all here with you, patiently waiting further updates when the time is right.
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