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Old 04-15-2013, 05:29 AM   #61
GuateRider
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Location: Antigua , Guatemala
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You guys are in for a great ride

Let me know when you come to Guatemala, beer is on me
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:39 AM   #62
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:51 PM   #63
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Tuesday 4-16 Leave El Narjano

4-16 Tuesday leave El Narjano





We had a quiet night. We all went right to sleep and got a good rest.

Blake had to go back to town to take his tubes to Beto the "Vulca" hot patch guy. He got 3 tubes patched for 40 pesos. The town was hopping, vendors were everywhere so Blake picked up a few tacos and coffee for breakfast.



















As we were loading the bikes we met Anthony who from Brownsville Texas and was here on his honeymoon. He married a girl from El Naranjo. He shared some stories and experiences and recommended that we go see a waterfall that was half an hour away. We crossed the bridge again and took the first road to the left. It took us throughout the sugar cane fields for miles. Eventually we came out at a sugar refinery. It was massive, there were lines of trucks and it was obvious that this was the center of employment for miles around.







We continued on to Ciudad de Valles which was hot as hell. We bought a watermelon from a street vendor, she cut it up and we ate it there. We gassed up and continued south on 85 toward Xilitla. The road out of town was probably the worst road we have seen so far. There were huge trucks heavily overloaded with sugar cane coming into town and traffic was slow.



In Xilitla we wanted to see a swimming area called Las Pozas de Edward James and the ecological garden. This was based on designs from Salvador Dali. It had crazy architecture, sculptural oddities and lush vegetation. We found a guy, Goyo, to watch the bikes and felt completely safe with him (no real choice).





















We paid the 50 pesos admission fee. It seemed high for what we got but we were there and this was what we came for. The swimming area was small and there were about 20 other people there. The water was cool and refreshing and we needed a good cool swim.



When we left the Las Pozas Goyo said he worked for a man who had camping on his land just a few hundred meters up the road. Blake loaded him onboard and we rode up to see the area. The place is called Camping Santa Monica. There are several rustic showers (soon to have hot water), separate toilets for men and women, a nice bohio where we unloaded all our gear. There was a nice mowed lawn where we pitched our tents. The area is fenced and at night they close the gates there is a watchman at night and 2 nice dogs that sleep nearby and they do bark if anybody comes near.















If we ever fail to mention that it is hot here just assume it. These are tough people. One lady told us that it was cool in December and January then hot again for the rest of the year
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:35 PM   #64
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Wednesday 4-17 leave Xilitla

Wednesday 4-17 leave Xilitla



The camping/sleep was fine. It takes awhile to pack up when you have all your gear set up. Although Eduadro (the owner) told us that we should make the 20 minute ride back up to Huichihuayan (pronounced WE-chE-why-an) to see the river and area we just couldn't justify the time. We figured it would be no less than 2 hours and then we would have to backtrack. We just couldn't do it. Maybe next time.































We headed south on Hwy 85, which was a great 4 lane road that we traveled on it earlier in trip. This section of Hwy 85 is by far has the most curves and turns of any road we have ever traveled on. We peaked at 7000 ft and dropped to 4000, several times. There were horses, donkeys and cows in the road along the way. There was hardly ever a straight section that was .10 mile long. This was the craziest road ever. A total adrenaline rush the whole day.

















About 95 miles from Xilitia we finally reached Agua Fria Grande and the first gas station in hours. It was a beautiful, nice clean Pemex station and there was an old man selling really good peanuts from a sack. 10 pesos a scoop, seemed a little high but they were some of the best peanuts ever. Locally grown.









We bought several scoops for later. Across the street from the gas station was the El Sid Restaurant. It's the only place around and we had the best meal yet. Enchiladas de pollo and de res. Both excellent. Just a great meal for only 50 pesos each.



After the nice late lunch we hit the road again and had hours more of the same type of road. We were always on the edge of a serious (very serious) drop off. A big bus passed us and we tried to keep up with him but we couldn't do it. That guy was like a race car driver. It was just amazing to see that big Greyhound super bus flying through the turns like that.  I had to wonder how the ride was for the passengers, maybe they just didn't know any different.



We stopped in Ixmiquilpan. We tried hard to find a hotel with a/c but que lastima, no hay. We checked several and not one had it. We finally decided to stay at Gena Inn. It's fine, large rooms, great bathroom and shower and Omar at the front desk couldn't have been more helpful. He spoke some English and was a very kind person.











After getting cleaned up we went down to the resturant where we had a beer and a small soup and got up to date on the hotel wi-fi. We were beat so we turned in, looking forward to a great night's rest.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #65
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Thursday 4-18-2013

4-18 Thursday



We had a good night at the Hotel Gena Inn. The temperature dropped nicely once the sun went down and we all slept comfortably.

We were at the hotel restaurant when they opened at 8 am. We were ready for a cup of good coffee.

So far we haven't really found good coffee but this place has it. The breakfast was great too. Very nice wait staff and nice presentation of the food. Very reasonable too.







We loaded up and headed south on Hwy 85 which gets straighter after a few miles of more twisting and turning. The altitude goes up to just over 8200 ft and the temperature dropped a bit, it was actually really nice. We gassed up just before Pachuca. Eddie noticed a loose bolt on Black Beauty's radiator.





 We did a few minutes of preventive maintenance and went on. Within a few minutes we stopped again for a local pastry. They were similar to an empanadas and were very good. Now we were ready for the more than 2 hrs ride down to Puebla.

This is a big city. The traffic was some of the heaviest we have seen. There was a lot of road construction and it took awhile to get through. Considering the traffic, we really haven't had a close call or really encountered any crazy driving. For the most part we all feel that traveling as a group we seem to get the room we need on the road.

We continued on toward our goal of Orizaba. This was another 100 miles but it was primarily toll road and we moved along at 60 + mph. This road was absolutely beautiful. The last 20 miles is fantastic. We climbed to over 8200 ft. Then began dropping into the valley. The views were amazing at every turn. We passed through 3 really cool tunnels cut through the mountains. Blake has a camera mounted on his handlebars and he was snapping pictures as we went.



When we got into the center of town we met a guy who had worked in California for 4 years and he spoke perfect English. We asked about hotels and he said there were 3 hotels up the road but they were 4 star hotels. When we asked about cheaper hotels and he said there were a few but they weren't safe for people like us. Those were his words. Since it would be dark in an hour we headed out of town and found a simple place called Hotel Samborcito. The lady at the desk showed us the rooms and she had a secure place to park the bikes for the night. The rooms were fine, simple, but would do for a night and we didn't have to ride anymore. The best part was the bikes would be locked in for the night (270 Pesos/ $12 each).





We went over to the hotel restaurant and had a very nice meal. The dining room was crowded when we arrived so we felt the food would be good. The food was great and we all felt like we got a good meal for the price (60 peso/ $5.00).

As we were finishing dinner the lady who was doing the cooking came out to see how everything was. She asked about our trip and introduced us to her 10 year old son Ivan. He's learning english in school and asked if we could talk to him. Eddie took this task seriously and once he got Ivan to relax he worked with him for about 30 minutes. It turned out to be a great session for all. Ivan did pretty well and Eddie did a great job. We told him he could stay here and teach English to the kids here.






















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Old 04-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
You guys are in for a great ride

Let me know when you come to Guatemala, beer is on me
Thanks Man! I will shoot you a PM when we get close. Thanks for following along.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Bgunn View Post
Good job on the bike prep, now relax and enjoy the journey. Funny.. how sooner or later south of the border, we all eventually wind up in a.... auto (Love hotel) hotel.
To date that was the cleanest hotel we have had.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #68
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4-19 Friday "Winds a Blowing"

4-19 Friday "Winds a Blowing"

We got up about 7:30 and went over for a good cup of coffee at the hotel restaurant. The breakfast was fine. We had huevos a la Mexicana, Scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and salsa and a side of tortillas, they come with every meal.





We headed back over to load up the bikes. We had them at the owner's house, locked in the patio for the night. We felt very secure with the bikes in there.







We all needed gas and once we got there we noticed that some bikes were low on radiator coolant. We topped off the coolant and just as we were ready to leave, a group of locals on fast street bikes showed up. We got some tips on getting out of town while they checked out our bikes. They were most impressed with Blondella. She's a KTM 990, not a common bike in these parts. We all rode out of town together then they busted it al left us.









The first 100 Kms. Was a fun ride. The road was nice and the weather was fresh. We dropped from 7500 ft to 400 ft. The terrain got flat and plain. We already miss the mountains. Our destination for the day was Villa Hermosa, about 575 Kms away. Although we took the toll roads they were some of the worst roads we've traveled on so far. There were portions needing repair every few hundred feet. There was heavy truck traffic and in general and it was just not so fun.



After clearing the mountain ridges the air was overcast and it looked like it might rain. We continued on and the wind picked up. There was debris blowing around and soon we had a strong cross wind from the left side. Before long the wind picked up and it became difficult to hold our speed. The wind continued to strengthen and the bikes were leaning over to the left into the wind. This was the most difficult ride we have had yet. We guessed the wind speed to be near 40 mph and we had to drop our speed to about 45 mph. We learned after via the weather channel it was 50 mph wind speed.





As we neared the port city of Coatzacoalcos the traffic got heavier and there were more trucks with big loads. The wind got stronger and it started to rain a bit. There wasn't a good place to pull over and get out of traffic so we continued on. We crossed a large 150 foot tall bridge where we felt like we were being pushed off the edge.













As we passed Coatzacoalcos there was sand blowing everywhere. We stopped at a Pemex for gas and the poor people working there all had dust masks on and the lucky ones had goggles. We had to cover the gas tank while they filled us up so the sand wouldn't get in. In some places the sand was 6 inches deep.







It was getting late and conditions weren't getting any better so we picked the next closest town, Agua Dulce, and headed for it. As we arrived in the town we realized that we had made a mistake and were in a hell hole of a town. We drove around looking for a hotel and after a bit we found three. These were real dumps. At one hotel, we looked at a room and there were no less than 10 big roaches on their backs dying. The next one smelled like fresh raw sewage in the bathroom, a definite deal buster. The last one didn't have a place to park the bikes.



We realized things weren't looking real good and just then a nice car pulled up and the driver says "Viva Mexico" and hands a beer to Colin. He took a hit of it and passed it off to Hugh. We asked if he knew of a hotel and he said "follow me". He took us the center of the town. This was the tightest traffic, barely moving and everybody was looking at the gringos. The guy pulled up to a cop and told him to stop traffic so we could go up a one way street to the hotel. We couldn't even recognize that it was hotel.

We got a large room with four beds, a/c, wi-fi and the best part was they let us bring the bikes into the small lobby. We drove them up a steep ramp and parked them next to the video games and a shrine dedicated to the recently deceased owner of the hotel. At night they rolled down a garage door and the bikes were secured for the night.



It began to rain so we decided to stay in for the night. Eddie ordered pizzas while Colin and Blake ran across the street for something to drink. We sat up on the second floor balcony overlooking the street below and enjoyed our pizzas and an adult beverage. We deserved it after this day of riding.

4-19 Friday "Winds a Blowing"

We got up about 7:30 and went over for a good cup of coffee at the hotel restaurant. The breakfast was fine. We had huevos a la Mexicana, Scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and salsa and a side of tortillas, they come with every meal.



We headed back over to load up the bikes. We had them at the owner's house, locked in the patio for the night. We felt very secure with the bikes in there.



We all needed gas and once we got there we noticed that some bikes were low on radiator coolant. We topped off the coolant and just as we were ready to leave, a group of locals on fast street bikes showed up. We got some tips on getting out of town while they checked out our bikes. They were most impressed with Blondella. She's a KTM 990, not a common bike in these parts. We all rode out of town together then they busted it al left us.



The first 100 Kms. Was a fun ride. The road was nice and the weather was fresh. We dropped from 7500 ft to 400 ft. The terrain got flat and plain. We already miss the mountains. Our destination for the day was Villa Hermosa, about 575 Kms away. Although we took the toll roads they were some of the worst roads we've traveled on so far. There were portions needing repair every few hundred feet. There was heavy truck traffic and in general and it was just not so fun.



After clearing the mountain ridges the air was overcast and it looked like it might rain. We continued on and the wind picked up. There was debris blowing around and soon we had a strong cross wind from the left side. Before long the wind picked up and it became difficult to hold our speed. The wind continued to strengthen and the bikes were leaning over to the left into the wind. This was the most difficult ride we have had yet. We guessed the wind speed to be near 40 mph and we had to drop our speed to about 45 mph. We learned after via the weather channel it was 50 mph wind speed.



As we neared the port city of Coatzacoalcos the traffic got heavier and there were more trucks with big loads. The wind got stronger and it started to rain a bit. There wasn't a good place to pull over and get out of traffic so we continued on. We crossed a large 150 foot tall bridge where we felt like we were being pushed off the edge.



As we passed Coatzacoalcos there was sand blowing everywhere. We stopped at a Pemex for gas and the poor people working there all had dust masks on and the lucky ones had goggles. We had to cover the gas tank while they filled us up so the sand wouldn't get in. In some places the sand was 6 inches deep.







It was getting late and conditions weren't getting any better so we picked the next closest town, Agua Dulce, and headed for it. As we arrived in the town we realized that we had made a mistake and were in a hell hole of a town. We drove around looking for a hotel and after a bit we found three. These were real dumps. At one hotel, we looked at a room and there were no less than 10 big roaches on their backs dying. The next one smelled like fresh raw sewage in the bathroom, a definite deal buster. The last one didn't have a place to park the bikes.



We realized things weren't looking real good and just then a nice car pulled up and the driver says "Viva Mexico" and hands a beer to Colin. He took a hit of it and passed it off to Hugh. We asked if he knew of a hotel and he said "follow me". He took us the center of the town. This was the tightest traffic, barely moving and everybody was looking at the gringos. The guy pulled up to a cop and told him to stop traffic so we could go up a one way street to the hotel. We couldn't even recognize that it was hotel.

We got a large room with four beds, a/c, wi-fi and the best part was they let us bring the bikes into the small lobby. We drove them up a steep ramp and parked them next to the video games and a shrine dedicated to the recently deceased owner of the hotel. At night they rolled down a garage door and the bikes were secured for the night.







It began to rain so we decided to stay in for the night. Eddie ordered pizzas while Colin and Blake ran across the street for something to drink. We sat up on the second floor balcony overlooking the street below and enjoyed our pizzas and an adult beverage. We deserved it after this day of riding.


























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Old 04-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #69
Panama OP
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Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL
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KLR Rear Shock

Hey Guys,
I will post this in the Central America section as well, but wanted to try here too.

I have a 2006 KLR 650, I weigh 200 lbs and have 50-55 lbs of gear in top case and side panniers. I started the trip (10 days ago) not being able to flat foot both feet and now I can easily flat foot. I am concerned that my rear shock is going to crap out or break half way through my trip and leave me stranded. I have the top adjustment at 5 and have not yet looked at the dampening adjustment.

Is there anything I adjust or modify or rig up? I am in Southern Mexico near the yucatan and getting close to the Guatemala border (5 days?).

Does anyone have any experience shipping parts quickly to Mexico or Guatemala? Thanks

Blake
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #70
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4-21 Sunday

4-21 Sunday



We decided to go the Mayan Ruins this morning. They are only 8 Kms. from the hotel. They open at 8 am so we got an early start which turned out to be a good thing. On Sunday admission is free to "nationals" and activity was picking up as we arrived. This is Mexico's poorest province and people are doing whatever they can to get money. There are loads of guys who all wanted to watch the bikes. We picked one and still put our cable on all the bikes. There were a few tour buses in the parking lot and a steady stream of cars and buses were arriving. We made our way past all the vendors selling food, trinkets and artifacts. We paid the 57 pesos admission and went in seemingly ahead of the large groups that were forming.





The area is well maintained and clean. The ruins are very impressive. They are all built of rocks of all sizes. How did they design these massive structures? How many men did it take just to collect these rocks? How did they get them up there? As you climb up these massive structures you realize how many must have gotten crushed or broken up during the construction. The views from the top are spectacular and they seem to go on and on.





We spent about 3 hours climbing all around the ruins. The views from the highest ones were impressive and beautiful. These people were great planners. The jungle comes right down to the edge of the ruins and we saw howler monkeys and toucans in the trees. There are vendors throughout the area and we got a little history lesson from one young man as he explained the significance of each of the replicas.



We met two European girls ( Esa-Lu and Janina) who were traveling north through Central America. Actually, Janina had started in Argentina and her trip be 5 months when she is done. We exchanged stories and experiences since they had already covered the south and us, the north. We walked around the rest of the area for about an hour visiting with them.



The girls were going to Aguas Azul, a beautiful river with waterfalls and good swimming area, after the ruins on a tour bus. We knew about the river and since they were going and we didn't have plans for the rest of the day we decided to ride out there as well.

The ride is 60 Kms on a mountain road with crazy turns most of the way. Although the ride got a bit long once we saw the river from the top of one of the mountain turns we knew it was going to be good. There is a 27 peso admission fee but its worth it.













The falls were beautiful, lots of water moving and plenty of swimming holes. There must be a mineral in the water that makes it so blue. It is clear but there is this blue tint to the water that makes it feel clean.





We met the girls there and found a spot out on one of the rocks where we staked out our area. The water was refreshing and we all enjoyed the swim. It was the highlight of the day and one of the best things we have done on the trip.



Eddie had picked up some extra helmets and Colin and Eddie gave the girls a ride back to town on their bikes. We took it slow on the ride back and enjoyed a beautiful early evening. Later that evening we all went back to Tinajas restaurant for a super dinner. We can highly recommend Tinajas to whoever may be passing thru Palanque.














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Old 04-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #71
Panama OP
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4-22 Monday

4-22 Monday



Before checking out of the hotel we had to update our Mexican Motorcycle Insurance. We had originally bought 10 days but it about to expire so we added 5 more days.



We walked right next door to one of the nicest supermarkets any of us have ever been in. What a fantastic selection of everything. The fresh breads and pastries were exceptional. We were like kids in a candy store trying to decide what to buy. We settled on a few fresh baked pastries and some great coffee for breakfast. We also picked up some breads and cheese for sandwiches later.











We loaded up the bikes and hint the road. Our destination for the day was Campeche. This was about 225 miles. The ride was uneventful. There were plenty of toll roads, a few military checkpoints which we passed through without any problems and lots of hot weather.



After a few hours we pulled over for a lunch break. We made our sandwiches and huddled in the shade as best we could. It was incredibly hot and amazingly a raspado vendor(snow cone) came pedaling by. Eddie flagged him down and we all enjoyed fresh shaved raspados to cool off and finish our lunch. What timing.





















We continued on without any issues and by about 5 pm we were in Campeche. We rode straight toward the ocean and found a hotel just across the street from the gulf.





This run down old hotel had a nice pool so we fixed a drink and hit the pool to cool off.

After a nice swim we got cleaned up and went down the street for a quick dinner then came back and hit the rack. We were all beat from the heat of the day.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:55 AM   #72
motoged
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Loving it......

What's with the 2X4 on the KLR?

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Old 04-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #73
mrantimatter
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Originally Posted by motoged View Post
Loving it......

What's with the 2X4 on the KLR?

Jack for changing tires, probably.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:17 PM   #74
Panama OP
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Originally Posted by mrantimatter View Post
Jack for changing tires, probably.
The wood is "Wilson" sometimes it is needed on the 2009 as a support. The load in the boxes (50lbs) makes the bike unsteady on uneven hills.

It is also used to beat out axles and stuff.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panama View Post
The wood is "Wilson" sometimes it is needed on the 2009 as a support. The load in the boxes (50lbs) makes the bike unsteady on uneven hills.

It is also used to beat out axles and stuff.


oh , i thought KLRs came with wooden tools as standard equipment ....


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