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Old 04-24-2013, 03:34 PM   #76
BMRDOUG
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Sounds like a great trip.
Wishing you guy all the best
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:09 PM   #77
Raiz
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Originally Posted by Panama View Post
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
Did you ever get this figured out? I have the same issue, and need a solution as well. I'm wondering if setting the sag correctly will be enough on my KLR. I'm currently considering a Cogenty Dynamics shock. All the options (Ricor, Cogent, and Progressive) look so expensive...
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:44 PM   #78
Panama OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiz View Post
Did you ever get this figured out? I have the same issue, and need a solution as well. I'm wondering if setting the sag correctly will be enough on my KLR. I'm currently considering a Cogenty Dynamics shock. All the options (Ricor, Cogent, and Progressive) look so expensive...
I have been in contact with Don at Topgunmotorcycles.com

Don has exchanged over a dozen emails with me walking me through the rear suspension world. Don has sent me a rear spring that is stiffer (7.4 KG) that carries 230- 280 lbs.

Quatrider: has kindly offered to receive this package for me as I dont have any other person to mail it to.

Once I get the part in my hand and installed I will post details.

But for now we are heading towards Belize.

- Blake
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:20 PM   #79
Panama OP
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4-23 Tuesday



Campeche to Progreso.



Our hotel had a 2 pm checkout so we decided to leave our gear in the room and take a ride around town. The tour guides show a fort as a place to see in Campeche so we headed that way.

The fort is meticulously maintained and since it was a weekday there were only a few people there. There is a 42 peso admission fee so that also may deter some folks. They have done a nice job of creating museum sites in different rooms on the lower level of the fort. There are displays of Mayan artifacts from the area, all nicely displayed in glass cases.



Upstairs in the fort are the cannons and a great view of the coast and surrounding area. There was also a nice breeze up there and we appreciated it since it was really getting hot.



We went back and loaded the bikes and by this time we were drenched in sweat. The thermometer on Eddie's bike now indicated 107 degrees. We took one last dip in the pool before departing.



Just before we got out of town we stopped at the last restaurant before leaving town. we had the lunch special of ribs and beans and struck up a conversation with the big al who owner the p lace. She was interested in the trip and the bikes. She was especially intrigued with Blondella. Finally the White Knight was getting some well deserved recognition. we gather around for a quick photo session then packed up and headed out of town.









By the time we gassed up it was now a warm 114 degrees. You just can't wear a riding jacket in this heat unless its some kind of mesh or perforated leather.



The road from Campeche to Merida is sweet. It's like a speedway, very smooth, wide lanes, no traffic and free. We made good time but with all our gear we stay between 65 & 70 mph.



In two hours we arrived at Merida. This is a big city with beautiful roads. The riding was easy and the turn offs were well marked. An hour later we were in Progresso. We met a few Americans at a supermarket who gave us advice on where to look for a hotel. We headed toward the beach and here were numerous choices. Most of the hotels here are very small with only a few rooms. We tried several until Blake and Eddie came upon Despartamentos Olga. We ended up getting a nice room on the second floor overlooking the beach and gulf. There was a nice sea breeze blowing and the night was cool.













This wasn't our most exciting day but we were glad to be at the beach with a nice view.










































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Old 04-28-2013, 12:21 PM   #80
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4-24 Wednesday



This was a down day. We found a laundry service nearby and dropped off our stuff, 12pesos per kilo. We can pick it up this afternoon.



Blake was busy ordering a part for the Grasshopper so The other three took a walk along the beach. There are restaurants and bars all along the beach and waiters are outside trying to drum up business. We walked down to a public fishing pier and watched some of the locals catch a few small mackerels and jacks.







By the time we got back Blake was ready to go so we headed into town to see whatever we could. We ended up at the public market so we strolled through. This is primarily a food market and there are small kiosks where they prepare food as well. It's not fancy but the food is pretty good and reasonably priced.

We tried some different things and then picked up some nice bananas and tangerines.

















Colin's Black Beauty has been needing a battery and we noticed a small motorcycle shop. They had the right battery so we used some of their tools and installed it right there. A very nice guy runs the shop. Black Beauty should be good for the duration.



We picked up our laundry and all felt like kids at Christmas. It was nicely folded and in large plastic bags. We were all really excited. We haven't had real clean clothes in awhile. What a treat. We felt like we got a great deal, it was about $14 for all our clothes. They came back looking like new, folded and smelling fresh again. Yippee!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:21 PM   #81
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4-25 Thursday



We left Progreso about 9 am. Enroute to the ruins at Chichen Itza. This was a 100 mile trip. Once we got out of Merida we got on the autopista, the toll for motorcycles was 42 pesos. As we were arriving it became clear that we wouldn't be the only ones in the ruins. There were no less than 25 large tour buses and dozens of smaller vans.



The parking lot was filling fast but the attendant gave us the primo spot right in the front where he would be able to keep an eye on the bikes. We followed the huge crowd toward the entrance and got in line. This was a part of Mexico we were unfamiliar with. Until now we had not been anywhere that was overrun by tourists. As we stood in the line to pay the admission fee we all had the feeling that we were at Sea World or Disney. It really was amazing to see the mix of people here. There were mostly Europeans, apparently from a cruise liner or two. When I finally got to the cashier window I asked the lady if this was a normal day. Her response was that it was like this everyday.



This truly is a gift to Mexico from the Mayans. What a gold mine! Wealthy tourists everywhere dying to spend their money. This wasn't the day we had in mind when we started out.



The ruins were impressive. These are much higher than the ones in Palenque but the large crowds make it much less attractive. There are vendors everywhere, really everywhere. We couldn't take two steps without vendors trying to sell us something. The heat of the day and the relentless vendors just made for a tough day.

We spent several hours there and decided to hit the road toward Valladolid. We gassed up then bought some bottled water and sandwiches at a local convenience store. By now the temp was about as hot as a gringo can tolerate. We got on the road and although it was only a short ride (40 mins.) all of us had thoughts of passing out on the ride. We got to Vallodolid and guy recommended the hotel San Clemente. After a quick look we decided it was perfect. All of us were too tired to look anymore and this one had a pool.



We took a cool swim in the pool before getting cleaned up and taking a walk around the town square. There are lots of tourists here too. Mexico is doing well on their tourist trade. Most of the local restaurants seem to cater to the tour busses that pass thought the town.



We found a close restaurant and had a nice meal. Afterward we walked around the square again. We came upon a guy who had cut up a motorcycle and made a wagon of sorts. We all were interested in this one and the driver was willing to show it off. As it turned out the driver had built it himself. He was in a wheelchair and he had built a ramp at the rear so he could get in. He stayed in the chair to operate the trike. All the controls were operated by hand. He had added all kinds of lights and cool additions. Colin asked for a ride and the man took him around the block.








































































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Old 04-28-2013, 12:22 PM   #82
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Our last night in Mexico was spent in Tulum. We had a great dinner and looked back at the past few days. We really enjoyed the whole country and wondered what lay ahead. On our crossing day into Belize we ran into more helpful people interested in supporting our endeavor with what ever they could offer. Guidance and friendship is really what we cherish from our interactions throughout this adventure. We have found that every step of the way in and out of Mexico. Even at the last second on Mexican soil, the Custom Officers were gently letting us go. They know we shall return, it's just the charm of Mexico.



We all were sort of pensive after crossing into Belize and the hot summer day along with the culture shock definitely left us sad to leave.



A common question we receive via email is in reference to the safety of Mexico. Certainly our traveling circumstances are different than other travelers but at no time did we feel that the negative stereotype of Mexico being lawless and dangerous to be true. We would all come back in two shakes of a lambs tail.



To all our friends in Mexico, thank you for your help and the opportunity to experience the real Mexico. Whenever we hear the word Mexico, smiles shall appear before us along with beautiful memories flashing through our minds. We just left today and miss you already.



Viva Mexico










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Old 04-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #83
Panama OP
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4-26 Friday



We walked around Valladolid for about an hour in the morning. The Central Park is quaint and nicely cared for. They have free public wi-fi there. There was a team of people sweeping, washing and painting the park. We picked up a few snacks for lunch then returned to hotel to pack up.



We got on the road to Tulum, on the eastern edge of the Yucatan. There are some Mayan ruins there just off the beach that we wanted to see. The road from Valladolid to Tulum is a smooth fast highway. It was fairly free of traffic however, the traffic we saw was moving fast. We stayed well to the right and always with an eye on the rear view mirrors.



In under 2 hours we arrived in Tulum. This town is a bit more touristy than we have seen yet it had a fun feel to it. We noticed some thatched roof cabins off the highway and went in to see what was there. We found the Hotel Cabanas Green-Tulum, an Eco friendly garden oasis lodge. We went in and checked it out, it was absolutely beautiful. There were about 15 two story cabanas. The prices seemed a it high so we told the owner we would look around and if we couldn't find something better we would return. We tried a few more hotels and even a few hostels but nothing could compare for the price and quality so we returned and made a deal on a room.

We unloaded and immediately went for a swim in the beautiful garden pool. What a refreshing treat that was. They have done a fantastic job of planting beautiful flowering plants all around the grounds. Lazaro, the owner was super helpful and made us feel very welcome. He gave us directions to the ruins and we were off.



We got there at 4:30 and entrance to the ruins closes at 5 pm. The parking lot was almost empty when we went in and were able to move around without having to deal with the huge crowds we had encountered at Chichen Itza. It was a perfect time to see the ruins. The afternoon heat had subsided and there were only a small number of tourists. These ruins are overlooking the sea. It's a beautiful sight with spectacular blue of the Carribean just below the ruins. About 6 pm they start closing so we walked down the road about half a mile to the public swimming beach. We all took a nice refreshing swim then started back to our bikes. We saw several really nice birds along the way. They stayed close and we got a few good pictures of them.



We returned to the hotel for another swim in the warm garden pool. The Internet signal was very good there so called home on Skype. It was fun to talk about the area and show it live on Skype. Mexico has very good Internet. Almost everywhere we went we had pretty good service. Many restaurants have it, most hotels and many public parks have had it. Nice!



There are many nice restaurants along the Main Street and the activity at night is fun and safe. Many restaurants have tables out on the sidewalk where it's cooler and you can see the people passing by. We enjoyed a good meal and by then were exhausted. The Mexican Riviera sun had taken its toll on us.

We headed back to our lush garden cabin looking forward to a good night's rest.




























































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Old 04-28-2013, 01:04 PM   #84
Panama OP
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Adios Mexico, Hello Belize

We had a tough night at the Green-Tulum ecolodge. Because we negotiated a low price for the four of us we got put in a cabin near the entrance. We were woken at 2 AM to the sound of a taxi beeping its horn for the lodge gate to be opened. This happened again at 4AM. Most of the other cabins are at the rear of the property so I would stay there again, but request a cabin in the back of the property.















We had a great breakfast at the lodge and headed toward the Belize border.



The road was very nice and we were able to cover lots of miles quickly.



On the highway Hugh's windshield bolts managed to fall out so we stopped at a hardware store to get a replacement.



While we stopped, Blake's green KLR would not start. The KLR has a glass fuse that often breaks due to vibration. So we push started it and were led to a auto parts shop where the owner Kiko provided use with tools and new style plastic fuses and receptacles.











We made a stop at a gas station near the border to gas up as Belize has expensive gasoline.

We also had a quick lunch of sandwiches made on the back of the bikes.














As we were eating our sandwiches two bikes with luggage raced by. We soon found them on at a road side restaurante having a soda. Andres from Denmark is heading to Venezuela. He had his camera and electronics stolen while at a hostel in Palenque, MX. Christian is from Nicaragua and was the founding member of the "Los Pistones" motorbike club. 





We spoke with them for thirty minutes and continued towards Belize. 












We easily exited Mexico, and entered Belize.


The process was almost two hours only because we went two at a time to ensure the bikes were "watched".









Before we knew it we were speaking english and switching currency from Mexican pesos, to Belize dollars.





Panama screwed with this post 04-28-2013 at 01:19 PM
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:09 PM   #85
Panama OP
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I would like to add that we were in mexico 15 days and aside from the entrance visa and insurance (about 70 dollars) I spent $530 US.

That is an average of about 35 a day! We often split rooms 2 or even 4 ways. We always got a room with internet, safe secure parking, and 90% of the time AC.

We always took a quota road when it was offered, and this added to the cost.

We only drank a few cervesa's out, and instead would buy them at the store and enjoy them at our cabin or camp.

We also found that rum is 1/2 the price as the USA so we buy bottles of rum and it last us two evenings for 4 guys. We did need to buy ice and cokes to mix it though. I hope this helps anyone who is on the fence about a Mexico ride.

We also never ever had a issue with security all the people we encountered were very nice!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:39 PM   #86
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Costa Rica Fun.

If you just want to get to Panama then stay on the Pan American Highway. But after Jaco it is flat, HOT and boring. Then when you get to Panama the boarder crossing sucks. Very busy and slow. The from Boarder to Panama City is filled with police looking for the adventure guys with FAT pockets. Don't speed! You will pay. I got pulled over 4 times my 1st day then 3 times my second day.

I like to go to east coast boarder. Yes it is more riding but the border crossing take 15 minutes. The Panama side is great. Nice mountains and no police.

If you do run the west coast try to use this road on the map. Very high in the mountain. Fun ride and much cooler.

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:49 PM   #87
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Interesting reading about Tulum. When I used to go to Tulum there were no hotels, only ruins and a couple of places to eat. Seems like progress has ruined another nice place.
On the way back consider spending some time in Merida. It is a nice place. Try the Casa de Balam.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:55 AM   #88
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Thumb Would love to go back...

Haven't been there on two wheels but I was there about 1990 or so. I was in the military and we still owned the canal and life was pretty good in Panama. Keep posting about it. I'm planning to go there again when I'm done here...
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:55 AM   #89
Panama OP
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Arrive Belize

Arrive Belize 4-27



Saturday afternoon about 2 pm we checked out of Mexico and into Belize. Leaving Mexico is fairly simple. You get your passport and the import document for the motorcycle stamped. Then you go over to the BankofMexico office to get the refund on the importation fee. This too was very straight forward and the lady who handled our docs couldn't have been nicer. She explained that since it was Saturday and the banks were closed the electronic transaction wouldn't appear on our credit cards until Monday. We shall see. We bid a fond fairwell to Mexico and crossed over the bridge into Belize.



Once in Belize the first stop is at the insurance store where we had to buy mandatory insurance. We got a week of coverage for $14 U.S. The exchange rate here is $2 Belize for $1 U.S. this should be a bit easier to calculate than the Mexican pesos.

Once we had the insurance, the next stop was the fumigation shack. The guy in there wasn't much of an ambassador and looked like he just got out of prison. He did the paperwork, charged us $5U.S. then did a quick pass around the bikes spraying something on them. What a joke, there were cars, buses and trucks all driving by while we had to get sprayed. SCAM!



Once we had the fumigation papers it was up to the immigration office. There we got our passports stamped and the paperwork to import the bikes into the country was completed. There was no charge for service. From there we drove thru the customs area where they asked a few simple questions about what we were carrying and we were good to go. Hello Belize.



It is a bit of a cultural shock coming this way. Things are different. The beautiful charm of Mexico and its people is missing here. It's hard to understand how it can be so different when its only the other side of the river. Very Carribean with a gangsta flair to it. I think this may take some getting used to.



Once clear of customs and immigration we went into the town of Corozal. We had driven through it without realizing it. We turned around and found the Corozal Bay Resort. They have several nice spacious, clean cabins right on the water. The price was right so we got two. What a treat, we each had our own bed.



The cabins have really nice showers and toilets. At home you often take it all for granted but after a few weeks on the road you learn to appreciate the simple things. The rooms face the water and we had a nice stiff breeze coming right through the front door. There is a/c if you want to pay for it but the conditions were so good we didn't need it. We ended up staying here two nights. This is the second time in 16 days that we have slept in the same place more than one night! The rate here are like $25 US per cabin and they are huge, mini fridge, tv with all the USA cable stations and good internet. Not to mention the nice pool and ocean view. The owner is Canadian, his family drove here ina camper when he was 7 years old and they never left.



We all got cleaned up and went into town for dinner. We had chinese food and the local belkin beer about $5 US per person and we were stuffed.


Welcome to Belize.






























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Old 05-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #90
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4-29 Monday

4-29 Monday

A couple of the guys were not feeling well enough to travel so we stayed at Corozal Bay. We're not exactly sure what got them but they needed to rest up.
Douglas, the owner of the Hotel had told us of some ruins about 45 minutes away. Blake and I decided to make an afternoon trip over to see what we could find.
The road was full of potholes and since it hasn't rained since January the road was super dusty. We had to ride side by side so we didn't dust the other guy out. After about 20 minutes we came to a river and there was a primitive ferry that took vehicles and people across.
The ferry could hold about 3 cars or pickup trucks and a pair of motorcycles. The ferry was hand cranked from bank to bank. It was only about 75 yards across and took about 5 minutes to make the crossing. The cranker dude was a government employee and the ferry was a free service. We felt a bit obligated to take our turn cranking and the operator was willing to have us help out.
After we made the crossing we blasted ahead of the cars and trucks because the dust would have been impossible to drive in. At times we hit pockets of dust as much as 6 or 8 inches deep. We were covered in fine white talcum like dust.

Eventually we found the ruins, we were the only ones there, and had to pay $5 U.S. each to get in. The ruins are in poor shape and they are no signs to describe anything. It was a free for all. We had total run of the place. We climbed around, took a few pictures, swatted tons of mosquitoes and called it a day.
The ride back was the same. The ferry was full coming back and other people were more anxious to crank than us. We visited with other passengers for a few minutes.
By the time we got back to the Hotel we were ready for a quick rinse then jumped into the pool.
It was a quiet day but we made the most of it. The other guys were starting to feel better and we made plans for the next day.
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