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Old 04-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #226
Voidrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthree View Post
I have an 07 klx 250, and an 09 klr. I wouldn't consider the klx for the trip you're on at all. The klx is small and light, great for off road, and I love it there. However, that light weight (and low power output) are a terrible disadvantage in wind. A 30 mph headwind will have you laying on the gas tank, wide open, struggling to run 60 mph. Crosswinds are just straight up frightening. And this is without luggage. Fuel range is an issue for sure. I get maybe 100 miles out of a tank on the road, and as little as 55 or so off road. And the headlight sucks balls. If you're willing to accept a 50-60 mph pace and pack light, like bicycle touring light, and don't have to ride across prairies to get someplace interesting like I do, the klx might work.
I recently bought a 2000 Kawasaki Sherpa. My research shows its generally considered a couple hp shy of the KLX. I found it would get up to about 65 just fine, and tucked in I saw 73.

Crosswinds are much less of an issue than on my Ninja 250.

I do tend to agree about the fuel range and light though!

I'd have no issues taking my Sherpa on such a trip.

Not trying to be contrary, but if you want to know how a bike might work for you, I think a person just needs to find one to ride. There is nothing like first hand experience, with your size, your weight, and your individual preferences and riding style.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #227
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Small bikes.

Thanks for your input guys. I need all the help I can get making this decision I think whichever small bike I choose, it'll have the same set of issues. Smaller tank, narrower seat, lighter weight (which is the whole point) but makes it less stable. Of course any bike I pick will have to go through a extensive farkling project: bigger tank, performance mods, better seat, armor, luggage, etc. That's part of the fun of getting a bike I like to tinker. My KLR is farkled out to the max (except the tank), but most was done by the previous owner (which is great for my budget, but less fun). I don't think I would enjoy it in stock form any more than a small bike.

I'm almost convinced I'll make the switch. The question is: which small bike?
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #228
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03/29/2013 - 03/30/2013 - San Ignacio



I spent a couple of days in San Ignacio just hanging out and not doing a whole lot. My first full day there everything was shut down for Good Friday. I managed to find one open restaurant for lunch and felt lucky at that. I wandered the abandoned streets of the town and took it all in. San Ignacio is known for its caves and rivers. All of the tour places were closed so I wasn't able to book a spot on the ATM Cave tour (later when they opened, they were booked for days ahead), supposedly amazing and most famous cave in the area. Of the very few things people did recommend for me to do in Belize, ATM Cave was on the top of the list.









I didn't mind so much not doing a whole lot. The truth of the matter is I'm starting to get a little burned out. Usually approaching five months into just about any endeavor sees me tiring of it (if only a bit). I think I'm ready to “move on” in the sense that it's time to get back to work and stop wandering for a few months. Then I'll be burned out by work and ready to get on the road again! But first I have to get home, and that's another month of travel or so. I'm definitely not tired of riding. But I am getting tired of doing “Touristy” things like seeing ruins and caves and churches.

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #229
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small bikes

I was a little harder on the little klx than I intended to be, I didn't mean that 60 mph was the top end on the little bike, just that it seems "happy" at that speed and the faster you go above that speed, the less fun it becomes. I've had mine on the interstate for a bit, 10 miles or so, and it kept up with traffic at 75 or so, but that little motor was screaming it's lungs out to do it. Bigger tanks are available for the little guy to help with the range, and the seat really isn't bad. And it vibrates MUCH less than the klr. And the brakes are better.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:50 PM   #230
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Now your tired of ruins and touristy sites and I was going to mention the ones I liked on the east coast of Mexico. I guess timing is everything.
Well here goes any way.

Cempoala or Zempoala is an historically interesting site. The natives helped Cortez over throw the Aztecs.

El Tajin is bigger than Cempoala and will take longer to see.

Las Pozas is just plain weird. Created by Edward James it's a sureal experience.

You probably have seen one or all but I had to mention them.
I'm really enjoying your pictures and writing. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:20 AM   #231
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I was a little harder on the little klx than I intended to be...
Way to step up and validate the klx I think the problems you laid out earlier are valid, but valid for all small bikes. Not sure which bike would be the best, but the klx is in the top of the running. Modern, reliable, great aftermarket support, easy to tinker with and everyone seems to like theirs. Little bike travel would be very different from the KLR for sure! But riding the KLR at 75 isn't really any fun either...
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:24 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
Now your tired of ruins and touristy sites and I was going to mention the ones I liked on the east coast of Mexico. I guess timing is everything.
Well here goes any way.

Cempoala or Zempoala is an historically interesting site. The natives helped Cortez over throw the Aztecs.

El Tajin is bigger than Cempoala and will take longer to see.

Las Pozas is just plain weird. Created by Edward James it's a sureal experience.

You probably have seen one or all but I had to mention them.
I'm really enjoying your pictures and writing. Thanks.
Thanks for the great suggestions Pete! After a bit on the east side I decided it's: Too flat, too straight, too busy and way too expensive So I cut down towards the center and back to Oaxaca. I'm taking different routes but heading up to Mexico City and mostly up the center from there. I will definitely check out Las Pozas! Sounds really cool!
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #233
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03/31/2013 - On to Punta Gorda



San Ignacio was fun if uneventful, but it was time to go dip a toe into the Caribbean. Instead of just heading east and then turning north on my way home, I decided it would be nice to take the road south as far as it will go (since I couldn't do that for Central America, just for Belize would have to do). The road happens to end in Punta Gorda, an unremarkable town from what I heard, but worth a visit. So off I went to the southeast down the Hummingbird Highway, another landmark recommended by a friend. The road was flat and mostly straight for a while, but once on the HH I did see some curves and hills (if not exactly mountains).





When completed, this hotel will have a great view of the shack below...


I passed small villages and swaths of jungle. There were plenty of signs for eco-tourist areas, waterfalls, national parks and caves down random dirt roads along the route, but I was enjoying the freedom of the road and the ride itself and didn't really feel like stopping. Along the way I was going around a corner and passed a KLR heading in the opposite direction. I stopped to say “hi” and met a really cool guy, Alex (another Russian exile on a KLR, hmmm) who's been on the road for 19 months. He's on adv, but isn't doing an RR, but keeps a blog: http://www.alexandertolchinsky.com/ Too bad he was heading the other way. Belize is a tiny country and before I knew it, I was near the coast and heading south. I can see why many a rider pass through within a few hours and barely notice that they were in Belize at all.











I followed the road south until it pretty much ended in Punta Gorda. I was there by early afternoon and found a cheap hostel on the street nearest the water that I read about previously. Belize is more expensive than the other Central American countries, but cheap places can still be found if one looks. Money is starting to get a little tight, so budget accommodations are always welcome. The owner of Amaya's Inn was nowhere to be found but a friendly guy named Tom, who just opened a bicycle rental place downstairs was happy to help me out. I got a room to myself for $20 Belize a night and went off in search of coffee and wander the town.









Punta Gorda is small and acts mostly as a stop over for people heading south to Guatemala or to points north. There were maybe a couple of other tourists, but mostly it was locals and expats (of which there was a surprisingly large number). I really dig the Garifuna culture here.

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #234
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This is a bit of a weird question but it's been bugging me for quite a while now & if you ignore me I'll understand.

I was talking with an outfit about doing a year in Guatemala (never came off). The company kept referring to the residents of that nation as 'Guats'. Do folks there refer to themselves as Guats?
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #235
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Do folks there refer to themselves as Guats?
Hi Slide. No, I don't think so (it actually sounds kind of deragotory, but I don't know... perhaps the company used it because it's short). I think mostly they refer to themselves as Guatemaltecos or Guatemaltecas (m and f). But often they refer to themselves by what city they're from more than anything. This isn't the official "sociological" answer, just what I noticed
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #236
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Yeah, I didn't think it was how they'd refer to themselves. I doubt the users of the term meant it to be derogatory in any way, though. It was a non-profit doing 'good works' there.

Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #237
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..It was a non-profit doing 'good works' there.

Thanks.
Yeah, it's just easier cause it's short
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:09 PM   #238
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04/01/2013 – 04/02/2013 – Punta Gorga to Hopkins

Tom, a cool guy who rents bicycles downstairs.


I spent a day in Punta Gorda just hanging out, eating good food, changing the oil and not really doing a whole lot of anything. The oil change was an interesting endeavor. I have one of those aluminum oil filler caps that requires a wrench to open (presumable to prevent some idiot from messing with the engine oil) installed by the previous owner. Over the last few months, this cap has begun to strip the very shallow nut-top. After draining the oil I discover to my chagrin that the nut was stripped to the point that I could no longer open it with the wrench. As (against recommendations) I did not bring vice-grips in my tool kit, this presented a problem. Luckily the hostel owner's son had vice grips, but before I found this out, my solution was to JB Weld a nut (13mm I found in the street) to the top of the cap so that I could use a 13mm socket to open it (a larger nut would have provided better leverage, but you work with what you find). I never tested it as vice-grips became available, but next time I need to add oil (not very often), I will have to see how this solution works. I have the original plastic cap at home that I will be using when I return. So, aluminum “security” oil filler cap not recommended unless you are VERY careful when opening it and tightening it.

JB Welded nut on oil filler cap.


Punta Gorda.










The next day I headed north to Hopkins, where there's actually a beach to lay out on. It wasn't a very far ride, going back up the same road I just rode down. There aren't many paved roads in Belize (and by the time I left the country, I've exhausted most of them). Hopkins is a cool little town down a semi-paved (formerly paved?) road a few kilometers off the main north-south highway. It's deceptively long, stretching north-south along the coast and only a couple of blocks inland. Just to the south of where the main road enters town, I found a cool backpackers hostel called The Funky Dodo, and decided to settle there for a few days ($18 Belize for a dorm bed). It's a cool laid back spot, and since I was in a small town (and there was no parking inside the fence) I decided that for the first time it would be okay to park my bike outside. Luckily I didn't have any problems (as usual).

Heading north...




Turning off to Hopkins.




That evening while hanging out at The Funky Dodo upstairs patio bar, I ran into Andi and Ellen of the 'Two Moto Kiwis” (see:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789269). I've been hearing about them along the way and sometimes read up on their RR (and all their issues with the new-to-them KTM). It was great to meet them and we ended up hanging out a few times while in Hopkins.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:17 AM   #239
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04/03/2013 - 04/05/2013 - Hopkins and heading north.

No place in Belize is complete without a junker on the side of the road...


Hopkins was a nice place to hang out for a while. There's not much to do if you're not really interested in scuba or snorkeling (which I wasn't just then). There is a very long and very narrow beach though, and a few nice places to eat and drink and some cool spots to just hang out and chill (which is mostly what I did). I did get terribly burned even though I though I timed my laying out well (guess not), and I did meet a bunch of cool people and drink lots of cold beer, so it was a good time.







After a couple of days it was time to move on. The Two Moto Kiwis recommended a spot in Crooked Tree so I decided to head that way and check it out as it was a convenient place to stop after a day of riding. I was going to take the road going directly north, but was warned off by the guy working at the hostel with: “a guy on a tiger tried that... he came back and had to have his bike welded back together”. So I decided to take the paved road back to the northwest and then cut over towards Belize City and up.





On the way out of town there were a bunch of people hitchhiking to the main road, so I picked one up as it wasn't far (usually I wouldn't let someone without a helmet ride with me). It was a great ride although the sky was overcast and threatened rain. I ran into a couple of Aussies who profusely thanked me for stopping to say hello. Apparently they've been passing other riders who don't so much as wave, much less stop to chat. The woman was on a Super Sherpa which she put over 180,000 Kms on (owned it since new)!! They were really cool and a pleasure to chat with (I think there's a photos of them in the Two Kiwis RR). I took a short tour through Belize City just to check it out. It didn't seem as bad as everyone said (although later I heard crazy stories from a local). Not too run down and the people seems nice (smiling at least). I didn't stay though and pushed on to Crooked Tree, a small village surrounded by wetland and a bird-watchers paradise.

The hitchhiker.


Stop for brunch.






A cemetery greets you upon entering Belize City... A sign?








Like the rest of Central America, lanes aren't important...


Leaving the city.


When I got to the lodge, it was closed as the owners went away on vacation, but the guy watching the place said I could just camp for free. It was getting late so I was glad for it. The place is really cool and it would have been nice to meet the owners, but the caretaker (can't recall the name) filled my evening with stories of crazy Belize families, living in the ghetto in Belize city and what a crazy country it was. Fun times. The camp spot was great and I would have happily paid the $20 Belize they would have normally charged, but it was even better free (even had good coffee in the morning).

The road to Crooked Tree is dirt, with wetlands on both sides.








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Old 04-15-2013, 03:05 PM   #240
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Hey amigo,

Very proud of you for going against the norm and visiting Belize. Glad to see you made it all the way south, I missed that part, so between our 2 reports I think we have it covered :)

Happy to hear of other riders in the vicinity. If you want to see another cool town check out Sarteneja and stay with Natalie at Backpacker's Paradise (turn right at the group of signs on the way into town). Safe travels,

Dorian
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