A Honda CGL125 in Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by pdedse, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    In a little more than two weeks I'll be heading for San Isidro del General, Costa Rica, a town commonly referred to as Pérez-Zeledón, about 3 hours south of San José.

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    I'll be there as the program leader of a group of college students studying Spanish for six weeks. They'll be in class 4 hours every morning, but I'll have some afternoons and weekends to explore PZ and the surrounding area. PZ is a town of about 50-60,000, more or less according to different sources.
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    I just bought a brand new Honda CGL-125 to explore the area while I'm there. Kind of strange...the bike is at my sis-in-laws in PZ, waiting for me. I've never ridden this type of bike, never even seen it. But it's there...waiting. Actually, I should clarify--it's my wife's bike...mywifewhohatesmotorcyclesbike! :eek1 I'll explain later....

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    I've no doubt it'll be underpowered and undersized, but I'm hopeful...and grateful that I'll have the opportunity to do something like this...visit some places I wouldn't get to otherwise...hopefully you'll check in from time to time.

    Saludos.
    #1
  2. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Started this back in Jan of 2013...if you want to jump to the new entries:

    click here
    #2
  3. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Have an awesome trip! I've seen the locals riding the little Honda 125 street bikes through some pretty technical terrain, so just ride like they do and you will have no problem.:D

    Cheers,
    #3
  4. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    I was kind of doubtful about the bike's capabilities, but seeing this made me feel better:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zX4RYxah0eA

    He's got his trip outlined on facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/<wbr>funAdventure

    The video led me to a another youtube vid that shows the Honda CG lineup over the years. Not exactly the same bike, but similar. I think the later year CGLs are produced in either China or Brazil.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=quApLJ1hTBo

    It'll be nice to finally "meet" the bike soon. All my brother and sis in laws say I'm too big for it at just over 6'3", but I'll have to make do. I think what they mean is that I should just hand it over to them.
    #4
  5. bingo43

    bingo43 ¡Que Viva!

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    I love the fact that you have disguised your ADV ride to Costa Rica as a "learning experience". Let me get this straight...Your school is going to pay you while you are in CR and you get to ride any afternoon and explore the volcanoes, mountains, jungles, rivers, oceanside, beaches? That is rough employment. Brutal. Sign me up! I like the bike. Burn through those stock tires quick ands see if you can find something more knobby. You might have to bring it with you. I'll be watching closely. I'm excited to see those backroad skills!
    #5
  6. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Well...yeah, if you're gonna put it like that....but it IS rougher than you might think.:wink:

    I wanted a bike all ready go go from the day I got there. I decided to buy instead of rent because there's a good chance I'll be in CR 3 times over the next 14 months, two 6 week trips and another 3 week one.

    So I basically bought the Honda CGL-125 by email and phone. The salesman asked me what I wanted to use the bike for--just in the city? I told him no, some off-road "stuff" too. He offered to put more knobby tires on it, so it should have them on already.

    They also trucked the bike at no extra cost from SJ to Pérez-Zeledón to my sis-in-laws, about 3 hours away. I was very happy about that because I didn't want the first time I ride the bike to be through busy SJ, then up over "el cerro de la muerte"--3200 meter elevation (about 10,500') at its highest. But then again, maybe that's the best way to break in a bike like this. Here's my bike buying decision:


    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838561
    #6
  7. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    So obviously this isn't a RTW trip, not even a cross a continent one...heck, it's not even a tour of Costa Rica. I have six weeks to do day trips, weekend trips, taking my time getting to know the area around Pérez-Zeledón.

    I love this part of CR. My first trip to PZ (alias "San Isidro del General") was back in 1988 as a student while studying in San José. I made the trip to climb "el cerro Chirripó", a hike that I've done 5 times over the years. I hope to go again during this trip. Some students seem interested in going as well. To get there, you have to take a bus, drive, or ride your brand new Brazilian made HONDA CGL-125 from PZ (San Isidro on the map) to the cute little town of San Gerardo de Rivas. From there you've got a spectacular hike from about 4000 ft to some 12500' plus.


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    Hiking Chirripó from 2003. I know riders sometimes don't have the time on their long trips, but if you're heading through CR on your way to Panamá, doing this hike would allow you to stretch your legs a bit. Need 2-3 days.
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    You'll have the chance to fill your lungs with clean air!

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    Your body and legs will thank you for getting back on the bike after this hike.:eek1
    #7
  8. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    :clap Tuanis mae!
    We might be riding up by Rivas Sunday the 3rd....
    #8
  9. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Tuanis indeed! What kind of bike will you be on? I have no idea what mine's capable of!:eek1
    #9
  10. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    I bought this girl last year;
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    #10
  11. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    [​IMG]

    Your bike....my bike...I'm reminded of a certain song from the past...one of these things is not like the others...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FClGhto1vIg

    :1drink

    Me thinks I would have a hard time keeping up, maybe we should meet :freaky first to determine the CGL's capabilities...and the lack of mine.
    #11
  12. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    I've got a question that I suppose I could Google, but I like first hand experience and stories. The Honda-CGL 125 has drum brakes front and rear. I've never had a vehicle with drum brakes before. I have googled them to see how they work, but what care / maintenance is involved with them?
    #12
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    We leave next week for CR. I say "we"...this is a working road report for me. I'm the program leader for 12 community college students who will be taking 6 weeks of Spanish in San Isidro, at least 4 hours a day, sometimes afternoon activities as well. Students receive 15 credits of college Spanish during 8 weeks of classes--two in Oregon that I teach and six weeks of classes in CR taught by Tico instructors at SEPA, the language school we plug into. It's a pretty good deal for them, our college keeps student expense down by doing all the leg work ourselves. SEPA:

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    We had a great program running for about 15 years in San Miguel de Allende, MX, but we had to cancel a couple of trips due to the real or perceived dangers of Mexico. Personally, I think SMA is one of the safest towns either side of Spain, but our students were no longer signing up. Click "Is Mexico Safe" if you somehow missed that discussion...not sure if they've fully answered the question after 852 pages, 12,771 replies and over 1,010,000 views as of this post. :wink:

    Anyway, I was charged with finding a new study abroad school and we decided to go with a country that had a "safe" reputation. I chose the area of San Isidro del General (aka "Pérez-Zeledón") because it had what appeared to be a good language school, wasn't in over-crowded San José, wasn't a tourist town...but was close to some beautiful beaches and great mountain hiking. Set up a visit with SEPA, visited the school and town for a week, and found it to be suitable for our purposes. This being the first year our students will study there...time will tell.

    But I was comfortable with the decision because I've visited the area about a half dozen times over the last 15 years, visiting family and going to the beaches south of Domincal. It seemed to me to provide a good balance of small town with decent facilities, good access to other destinations and is...."safe", I guess. So now the students and I have about a week to finish packing and begin the adventure. I was in their shoes some 27,28 year ago when I left the U.S. the first time...went to Spain to learn me some Spanish...good golly I was young. I can see a bit of myself in the students going on this trip. Full circle type thing...ok, maybe 3/4 circle.


    Anyway, I'm sure students and I'll be heading west on the weekends...it's less than an hour from S. Isidro to Domincal, via that red line labeled 243, or 22...or whatever, doesn't matter. Nobody I know uses hiway numbers there...let's just call it "la carretera para Dominical". A very twisty, hilly, oft-cloud enshrouded road that's never boring to ride or drive. I really like this area of CR. On the east you have the peaks of Chirripó and the west the beaches. Good place to be. They will learn lots of Spanish, hopefully, even more about themselves. It never seems to be enough.

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    The students will get to spend a weekend at La Cusinga, a nice eco-lodge some 30 kilometers south of Dominical. I'll tag along on the bike.
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    #13
  14. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    well amigo I think you need an assitant that speaks Spanish and just let me know so I can clear my schedule and ride with you.. I mean work for you.

    here is what I wrote you in the KLR site

    hey amigo!! you are going to costa rica!!!

    let me tell something, my first bike that I bough in 2004 was a honda Bros 125 cc with drum brakes front and rear like the one you have picture, I know it is not the same bike but i never had scares on it, and I drove that bike for 4 year and 10,000 km (6K miles) even did the I-5 for 2 miles (then I decided I did not wanted to die!! and got off), the drum brakes can be very good, I never service them (maybe I should have) and my first stopping SCARE came 1 day with the stock brakes of my 2005 KLR!!! and that thing had weaker breaks that my bros! I know I was going a tad faster on the KLR (maybe 20 mpg faster) but one day I saw some car plates SO up close even my friend who was ridding behind me asked if i wanted to come that close or... YES I had to really pull the brakes to stop! so the next day I order a 320 mm front brake for the KLR.

    of course I never drove on wet stuff and it was not hard to lock the rear break.

    This bike is also sold in Mexico, but I do not remember since when because it was not for sale in 2004 when I bough my Bros, any way it is a bike to explore and it is light so if you fall no problem just get the bicycle up and go!

    Amigo have a lot of fun down there!

    Damasovi
    #14
  15. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    [​IMG]
    Feb 9-10 :freaky
    #15
  16. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Ok...I'm intrigued...those are some good looking...stickers? What's going on 9-10 Feb?
    #16
  17. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Getting close...5 days till departure. On a trip down the Mexican pacific a while back, had a black, 4 season First Gear jacket with good ventilation; still, the humidity was incredible at times and you just sweat a downpour. Was tempted to just forget an mc jacket because I've been in this area of CR before and have used shorts / t-shirt / sandals the entire trip--the long sleeve shirt and pant didn't even get out of the suitcase. But, I figured I'd give a mesh jacket a try. This arrived this morning and fits like a glove.

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    Will have to go for a test ride in it even if it's not designed for the 37 degrees we have this morning.

    I'm taking tent, camping supplies, light sleeping bag. I've only really camped once in CR. In 1989 along the Caribbean side, south of Cahuita at a spot called Punta Vargas. Got there by riding a bicycle from Limón. A full week along the beach, under palms...even survived a group of howler-monkeys' feces bombardment--foulest smell I've ever encountered, spent half an hour washing myself and tent fly off in the ocean. But I was alone and felt uneasy leaving the tent alone for long periods of time. It will work though for an over-night beach trip. What I really want to do though is camp at a "lote" that my wife and I purchased several years ago, 7 acres in the forest, half way between "Platanillo" and "Barú" north of the red hiway line. Longer term plan is to build on it, but short term I want to camp there a few nights to see what's like at night.

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    All this is dependent of the bike's ability to get me back in there...or rather on mine!
    #17
  18. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    My buddy Bryan Sylvester http://www.bsylvesterart.com/ helped design those, 2 day music festival south of Uvita;
    http://thebestfestival.com/lineup/

    Vecino, your lote is close to mine! See Punta Mira on that map......good gravel roads for access in that area.
    Hope to have a beer with you down there and talk moto :freakyJust 10 more sleeps for me.
    #18
  19. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Wow, that's quite a coincidence about the lotes! And your friend has quite the talent--looking at some of his work, I'd guess that he's been influenced by having traveled in Costa Rica. Also very cool to know about the concert. I'm going to see the students this morning and I'll give them the link to the concert and tell them about it. Wouldn't surprise me if some of them want to go. Is it a big enough event where you have to buy tickets in advance, have lodging / camp site reserved prior? I've got my tent packed....hmmmmm. Y la cervecita...suena muy bien.
    #19
  20. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    ¡Ya llegamos! Made it to CR with the 12 students. Bus got us all to hotel with tons of luggage and we found a "soda" - a family run restaurante - that was still open, barely. We walked about a block and a half and the students were amazed at the huge holes in the "sidewalk", the lack of street lamps, the cars whizzing by on the narrow street. Watch where you walk and stay out of the way of the cars--good first lesson for them.

    It was fun watching the students deal with native speakers of Spanish as they ordered. The lady taking their order didn't speak but a few words of English so it was a good first outing.

    Tomorrow we take another bus to Pérez-Zeledón and I get to finally meet the HONDA CGL 125 I purchased. Only thing is, there's some question as to when I'll be able to legally ride it as the plates aren't ready for it for another 5 days...or more. I'm looking into getting a provisional one. Other wise I'll have to change the title of this from six to five weeks.
    #20