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Old 01-24-2013, 01:56 PM   #901
alaskanhusky
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Epic RR man. Former resident of the Dry shitties here. Report Inspired me to get my ass in gear and save up for a bike finally. Crazy you ran through Ecuador around new years. My buddy was up from Ecuador on new years to visit me and was telling me about the tradition of burning the stuffed dolls and actually made one to burn up here and then I see the real deal in your report. Anyways safe travels keep up the badass report and my ole man sends yah a Semper Fi !

Tom
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:13 PM   #902
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Well folks, I'm back! No wifi last night as I was stealth camping out on the Peruvian Altiplano with a few other riders. I'll be posting soon!

And thanks again to eveyone who has donated! I haven't forgotten about you all! As soon as I get a chance, your names will be added to the tank!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #903
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Flat Tire and Stealth Camping

Day 100 (January 24, 2013)
Cusco, Peru to
Day's Ride: 173 Miles



Returning to Cusco, we met up with Kurt and Corey (the two Canadians) and their friend John. John had done this trip about eight years ago and left his bike, totally disassembled, in Venezuela. On a whim, he decided to fly down to Venezuela, put his bike back together, and ride with Kurt and Corey to Chile. He's riding a 1970's BMW R90GS that constantly leaks oil and gasoline and needs to be push started every morning to get running. The needle on one of his carburetors is messed up for some reason, and he has to regulate the flow of gasoline to his engine by slowly adjusting the fuel petcocks as he rides. He's got some crazy stories.

Along with Mike, the three Canadians, and myself, we also managed to pick up an Argentinian named Alfonso on a BMW 650GS. So, now we were all leaving Cusco in a massive ADV MC with six riders.



Our plan was to reach Puno on Lake Titicaca and spend the night there. Unfortunately, a scant eight miles outside of town, disaster struck!



Riding over a patch of dirt in the road, I felt my rear tire lose traction. I assumed I was just sliding on the dirt and gravel; however, after it kept sliding around, I looked down and realized that I had a flat.

I pulled into a school parking lot and took off the wheel. Once again, the enduro stand that I made in Huaraz saved the day.



A quick examination revealed the culprit:





It appeared to be just a random shard of metal that I had picked up in the middle of the road. What are the chances? I got down to business and had the tube changed out in twenty minutes. I then went to air it back up and realized that I had pinched the new tube!



So I then had to pull the new tube out, patch it, and re-install it. What should have only taken 20 minutes ended up taking about an hour and a half. Luckily, the whole gang of riders pitched in and helped out. Mike and John even went down the street, bought bread and canned tuna, and came back and made sandwiches for everyone. Meanwhile, Alfonso helped entertain some of the kids who had come out to watch.



Finally, with the new patched tube installed and inflated, we got back on the road. I had already ridden this stretch of road on the way into Cusco from Arequipa, but it was nice to ride it at a more leisurely pace without getting rained on constantly.



Riding in a group of six people over long distances is actually pretty challenging. Everyone has their own pace and their own riding style. Still, we managed to make it work. I enjoyed letting someone else take lead for a change. I was also able to sit back and enjoy some of the sights that I had missed on the way in.



Due to the late start and the flat, by 4:00 PM we were still 100 miles short of Puno. We made the decision to eat a good dinner at a restaurant and then hunt down a place to camp.



The owner of the resteraunt told us of some Incan ruins near a small village down the road where we might be able to camp. After dinner, we rode down to the ruins and found that they were actually in the village and would probably not afford a suitable camp site. On the way in I had noticed a dirt road leading up into the hills away from the village; with the ruins out of the question, I decided to do a short recon and see if there wasn't a good spot to hide out and camp in the hills.

The road ended up being mostly eroded, overgrown with grass, and struin with baseball sized rocks. Still, about a half mile outside of the village, I found a small grassy field surrounded by a low rockwall and nestled between two small hills. It was the perfect campsite, hidden, quiet, and free!

I rode back down and told the others and we all headed back up into the hills. I was a little worried that John's bike wouldn't make it, but he managed to plough up the hill and through a gap in the rock wall with ease. Those old BMW's run forever.



We set up camp in the dark, and then got out the stoves and made Yerba Matte and hot Chocolate.



This was the first time I had practiced stealth camping on this trip. Usually, I have set up my tent in developed campgrounds or in the backyard at a Hostel. It was a nice change of pace and even nicer with five other riders to hang out with. Without any ride report to write, it was an early night: in the sleeping bag by eight!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #904
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That looks like an awesome camping spot! Too bad about the flat. Still, only 2 flats so far on the trip is pretty good!
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figures...my stud was rusty I played with my nuts a little and it cranked right over
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #905
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Thanks for posting the update, Bryce. I'm glad you got the tire repaired without too much difficulty. What tire irons did you bring on your trip, and what tire inflator are you using?

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:18 PM   #906
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soft

Hey Bryce,

I was just on Giant Loops site and noticed they had new soft panniers for sale. If you did your trip again, would you ride with soft luggage like this?

http://www.giantloopmoto.com/collect...kiyou-panniers
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:40 PM   #907
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No, you're all wrong, it's me! I live vicariously through myself.....isn't that a Dos Equis commercial?

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:12 AM   #908
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Thanks for posting the update, Bryce. I'm glad you got the tire repaired without too much difficulty. What tire irons did you bring on your trip, and what tire inflator are you using?

Spud
Spud,

I have two of the short motion pro aluminium irons and one of the motion pro irons that has a 24mm wrench on the other end. For the compressor, I have one of those little Slime compressors that I picked up at Autozone for 13 dollars before I left. I plug it into the 12v outlet I wired onto the bike. I have a hand pump too; but only for backup.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:13 AM   #909
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Originally Posted by alaskanhusky View Post
Epic RR man. Former resident of the Dry shitties here. Report Inspired me to get my ass in gear and save up for a bike finally. Crazy you ran through Ecuador around new years. My buddy was up from Ecuador on new years to visit me and was telling me about the tradition of burning the stuffed dolls and actually made one to burn up here and then I see the real deal in your report. Anyways safe travels keep up the badass report and my ole man sends yah a Semper Fi !

Tom

Errrr!
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:18 AM   #910
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Hey, Ulyses,

In addition to what PanheadDan above recommends, might I suggest an afternoon of wrenching? Heaven knows that I am a poor example of conducting good maintenance, but it does help to go over the bike and check every nut and bolt on the machine, even down to checking the spokes. Truly, go over the whole bike and tighten everything that you can see or touch--this would have probably saved your muffler bolt. There are a ton of XL riders following this post, so all that you have to do is ask (such as, how do I check the fork seal....).

On another note, this is like the Fellowship of the Rings. I have no idea what we are going to do when you reach Mordor and return the ring to the fire within Mount Doom.

So, how do I check the fork seal?

I think instead of throwing a ring in motlen lava, I'll just drive the bike into the antartic ocean.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 AM   #911
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So, how do I check the fork seal?

I think instead of throwing a ring in motlen lava, I'll just drive the bike into the antartic ocean.
If you can find a Viking ship to burn it in while saying the prayer from the 13th Warrior I would approve.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:36 AM   #912
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To check the fork seal you will need to undo the gater cover and slide it out of the way to get a peek at the seal. If it shows a bunch of oil, it may be because a bit of grit has become wedged between the seal and the fork tube. If this is the case, it's possible to dislodge the offending grit using a piece of 35mm film or something similar. Pull the dust seal up far enough to allow access to the seal. Insert the 35mm film between the seal and the fork tube and using a sweeping motion, drag the bit of grit toward the outside. This will likely take several attempts. Re- install the dust seal and gater cover.
If this doesn't fix the leak it's time for a new seal. The fluid level will be incorrect obviously and will be more so the longer it leaks.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #913
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Peru to Bolivia, Crooked Cops, and Crossing Lake Titicaca

Day 101 (January 24, 2013)
Pucara, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia
Day's Ride: 248 Miles



Waking up early after nearly 10 hours of sleep, I climbed the nearby hill to get a better view of our campsite.





We really lucked out when we found that campsite. I walked back down to the tents just as everyone else was starting to get up.



We fired up the stoves again and started boiling water for instant coffee and porridge.



Bowls were on short supply, so we improvised.




After striking camp, we got back on the road and made it to the next gas station. Leaving the gas station, Corey, Mike, and I were all flagged down by a bunch of cops in a Hilux Surf. I smelled trouble, and sure enough, they demanded to see our insurance.

Normally this wouldn't be an issue; however, I had not bought insurance at the Peruvian border. Assuming that the Peruvian insurance wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on, I had just showed my American insurance to the border officials and kept on riding. Corey was in the same boat. Mike, however, had purchased the Peruvian insurance and the cops let him go with no issues.

Corey and I were now left with the unenviable prospect of trying to convince the police that our insurance cards from Canada and the USA were valid in Peru. Instead of playing the dumb gringo this time, I tried to explain everything very clearly in Spanish. As the discussion wore on, it became obvious that we were about to reach an impasse with the cops. They weren't satisfied with our story about having "international coverage" through our insurance and I knew that they couldn't sell us insurance on the spot. After a while, one of them started asking me how much my camera cost and I started to smell a bribe coming on.

In a last ditch effort to get away without paying, I decided to change the subject and play the friendly gringo. I asked one of the cops if he liked the Berreta 92 that he was carrying. He said that it was a good pistol and I told him that I had the same one at home in the States. This spawned a discussion on the merits of various pistols and before long the cops demeanors had changed. Before long one of them asked if I had served in the Army. I sensed an opportunity to appeal to the "Brothers in Arms" theme and told them about my time in the Marines and in Afghanistan.

After we went down that path, everything got better. Before long they were smiling and joking and after a few minutes they let us leave. I asked them if I could take their picture with the bikes, but they politely refused, saying that they needed to protect their identifies. Still, I managed to sneak a photo in while they weren't looking.



Back on the road, we headed south for Lake Titicaca and the Peru-Bolivia border. The first views of Lake Titicaca came soon:



As I rode along the lake shore, I noticed several teams of locals weaving ropes along side the rode. I went to take a picture and the local lady pulled her hat down to cover her face. Apparently they aren't too fond of pictures.



Eventually Mike and I reached a little turnoff overlooking the lake and stopped to get a few pictures.



After the Canadians caught up, we continued pushing for the border. We elected to take the border crossing at Yunguyo which involves crossing the border onto a peninsula in the lake, then taking a ferry to the mainland side of Bolivia. There is another border crossing that skirts the lake, but we figured it would be a little more fun to ride a boat.

The border crossing proved to be muy tranquilo. Once again I was surprised at the contrast between Central American borders and South American Borders. We were in and out of the Peruvian offices in about 10 minutes.



Crossing over to the Bolivian side, I saw an interesting sign for the pay toilets:




Just in case you can't make it out, there is a bird wearing a trench coat with a slight vapor trail coming out of his behind. Where do they come up with this stuff?

Getting into Boliva required slightly longer than getting out of Peru, thanks in part to the $135 tourist visa that Americans are required to purchase before entering. Apparently there is some bad blood between Bolivia and the States, especially after they declined to continue participating in the Coca eradication program that the US was pushing. Furthermore, we apparently charge Bolivians a substantial fee to get into the States, so I guess we had it coming. Still, it's a pain in the ass, especially when I watched the Canadians waltzing into the country without paying a dime.

The final process for getting into Bolivia required us to obtain signatures from the Cops. Before handing us our papers back, the police officer launched into a big, rambling, incoherent speech. It soon became apparent that he was asking for a "donation" so that he could re-paint his office. Obviously a thinly veiled attempt at bribery, I couldn't help but chuckle. We eventually told him that we were poor gringos and could not afford to give out any donations. We half considered waling across the street and buying him a can of paint at the hardware store, just for laughs.

Leaving the border, we rode the final 40 kilometers to the ferry crossing.



The ferries consisted of large wooden rafts powered by tiny outboard motors. It was quite amazing just how many vehicles they could cram on these things. We saw one take on a full size steam roller. Incredible.







All in all, the ferry ride cost 15 Bolivianos apiece. It was worth it though, at least to just have an interesting story.



Turning the bike around on the raft in order to disembark proved challenging. Especially Mike's massive BMW.



After disembarking, Mike and I said goodbye to the Canadians who were planning on camping that night and made tracks for La Paz.

Riding the sun down into the scrambled outlying barrios of La Paz proved to be an interesting experience. The choking diesel fumes and swirling dust, the cinder block structures, the bumper to bumper minibus traffic, the native women in their bowler hats and brightly colored skirts, the occasional electric blue flash of an arc welder, and the reek of burning trash and decomposing dead animals all combined into a beautiful cacophony typical of Latin Americana.



Pausing just above the main city at a mirador (viewpoint), we snapped a few pictures of the city in the growing twilight.



We made it to Hostal Maya Inn just after dark, only to find that they were full! However, they were able to store our bikes in their garage and take a reservation for the following night. After a few minutes of searching, we found a nearby hotel and crashed.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #914
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead_dan View Post
To check the fork seal you will need to undo the gater cover and slide it out of the way to get a peek at the seal. If it shows a bunch of oil, it may be because a bit of grit has become wedged between the seal and the fork tube. If this is the case, it's possible to dislodge the offending grit using a piece of 35mm film or something similar. Pull the dust seal up far enough to allow access to the seal. Insert the 35mm film between the seal and the fork tube and using a sweeping motion, drag the bit of grit toward the outside. This will likely take several attempts. Re- install the dust seal and gater cover.
If this doesn't fix the leak it's time for a new seal. The fluid level will be incorrect obviously and will be more so the longer it leaks.
Thanks! Does anyone have any pictures of this stuff?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #915
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for heavy bikes the center stand is a real gem,can pivot on it ,a 180 within its own wheel base.
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