Cheap Chinese Moto en Paraguay

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LrnFzx, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    On the occasion of the birth of our new baby,

    [​IMG]

    and in order to form a more perfect union,

    [​IMG]

    we invited her parents to visit from Paraguay. They've been here once before and he rides his bike 20,000 miles a year, but he's never had the opportunity to drive a motorcycle in these United States.

    A friend was getting rid of his Cheap Chinese Moto in the USA so I bought it to continue this story.

    My Cheap Chinese Moto en Paraguay took me everywhere and ran surprisingly well. Let's see if this Wildfire does the same here.

    [​IMG]
    #81
  2. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,611
    Location:
    Montreal
    Went thu this report this morning and definitely enjoyed it. Thanks very much for taking the time writing it.

    Lee
    #82
  3. SnoWing

    SnoWing Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Canada
    Those pictures sure bring back memories, my girlfriend at the time, now my wife hated the red dirt on her white shoes.
    I just wanted to ride......
    #83
  4. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    That's the first thing that impressed me while approaching Asuncion from the air - Red dirt and red roof everywhere. And it's so fine it gets into everything. My gray jacket had a red tint after a week of riding.
    #84
  5. SnoWing

    SnoWing Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Canada
    Hey; congratulations on the new ADDITION!
    I hope mom and baby are doing well!
    #85
  6. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania


    THANKS!

    The queen and the little princess are doing great. Such a good baby so far - but it's only been two weeks.
    #86
  7. Vitor

    Vitor Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    45
    Great report and congratulations for the baby

    Regarding the toilet paper bin that's standard alson in a few african countries that i know
    #87
  8. SnoWing

    SnoWing Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Canada
    I was born and raised in Paraguay, when you go again try to find Chololo, it's a resort close to Pirebebuy, we had some good times there, it may not exist anymore.
    I would like to ship my Goldwing there and ride Brazil Paraguay and Argentina
    Someday maybe........
    I have to keep the dream alive.
    #88
  9. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    We'll have to get a map together for toilet paper disposal habits. A doctoral thesis, maybe?
    #89
  10. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    I just checked with the Paraguayan family gathered here. My Mother-in-law went to Chololo as a child around 1970 and remembers the strong current - It was a school field trip for the day from Lambare. According to my wife's Father, it continues as a summer resort destination.

    I too dream of wandering those countries on two wheels. I absolutely loved it and I only made it 150 km from Asuncion at a max speed of 90 kph. It'd be so different behind the screen of my Concours.

    May your dream one day be fulfilled.
    #90
  11. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    I'm just ecstatic that I can write my story of Paraguay.
    #91
  12. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    My friend rode this 2008 Wildfire to work for a season and then put it away for two years. It has less than 3000 miles on it so I acidified the new empty battery and hopped it up overnight. Replacing the old varnish with fresh gas probably made the initial start-up a bit easier.

    Seeing my Father-in-law scooting along the brick alley behind the house reminded me of my first rides in that same alley.

    Pittsburgh is not an easy city to navigate. Hills everywhere and not a single road is ever straight. So we jumped on our bikes to pick up another motorcycling friend for our first learn-the-roads ride.

    [​IMG]


    We arrived at my friend's house. But then we had to break out the voltmeter since the bike wouldn't even turn over. Totalmente muerta.


    [​IMG]


    Just then I remembered that the previous owner mentioned a periodic fuse problem. It has one of those old-school cylindrical fuses parallel with the main positive wire so my friend scrounged up three replacements from an old bike he has.

    The first replacement burned out after a few seconds.

    I had taken off the right switch-throttle assembly the day before to add a section of bicycle inner tube and keep it from rotating so we took it off again and checked it thoroughly. Nothing obvious.

    Since night was approaching and we really didn't want to leave the bike at his house, we placed fuse #2 of 3 and planned a start-up procedure like they did in Apollo 13 for re-entry:

    - Apply brake to allow bike to turn over.
    - Kill switch ON
    - Press start
    - Turn on key
    - Pray

    I think the praying worked since it started up and we headed straight home. My friend followed in his car just in case something went really badly.

    Disassembly and diagnosis tomorrow.
    #92
  13. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    We failed to blow the fuse using all the switches available. One by one we tried them all since that would be the easiest way to find the problem. No luck.

    Figuring (hoping) it was probably some obvious fault, we then removed the front plastics to take a look.


    [​IMG]


    We disconnected and reconnected everything just for fun as we inspected all the wires, looking for anything unusual. A couple of minutes into it, we found some tape-wrapped wires that weren't original. Unwrapping the wires, we found


    [​IMG]


    Why the hand brake switch would cause the problem is beyond me, but somebody replaced the connectors and wrapped them tightly together either causing or trying to fix the obvious short circuit evidenced by the melted plastic. Separate wrapping is better.

    So we buttoned it up since we couldn't find anything else, fixing and improving the little things along the way. The cylindrical fuse was replaced with a modern bladed fuse holder and placed for easy access. The positive battery connector was not original and too flexy for my liking so we replaced that too, testing the bike at every step along the way.

    The test rides were fine. We bled the front brakes and adjusted the rear. Now I'll lead him on some longer runs to see if he can learn some of the main routes and eventually go out by himself.
    #93
  14. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,611
    Location:
    Montreal
    And one aspect of your story telling that I enjoyed is that you write it from "within", with the eyes of someone for whom it is the daily life, not with the eyes of a tourist. What stroke me the most is when you describe the display of "carne fresca". Fresh meat at the butcher shop, exposed to the sun, air and flies. Normal stuff in Paraguay but that wouldn't "pass the test" in North America. All that you described is the normal life of normal people with the usual normal ordeals. Yes, road are how they are and everyone is used to it. Transportation are what they are. Social and economical structures are what they are. And even the shit pot is what it is... :D
    #94
  15. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania

    And now I am trying to wrap my brain around my Father-in-law's perspective of my life in Pittsburgh that is normal to me. I lead or follow on our moto rides and he does some of the strangest things - sometimes I have absolutely zero clue what he is thinking.

    But I want to understand him.

    And writing helps me understand.

    So thanks for reading (and I hope you're reading this on the pot - I don't care where you put the paper.)
    #95
  16. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    It's less than a mile from my house to some good twisty roads and I'm a quarter mile outside the city limits of Pittsburgh. With only the occasional stop sign or traffic signal to interrupt the ride, we left on one road to return on the other and get him familiar with major intersections and the good roads.

    Abandoned building photos are always interesting and they make you feel like you're far from civilization.


    [​IMG]


    I led on the first loop just to show him what to watch for. Then we plotted the route home since that's kinda important. We switched leaders and he promptly ran a stop sign at 30 mph. It's not like the sign was hidden or anything - there was a 'stop sign ahead' sign. So I overtook and we talked at the next stop.

    We finished the loop and headed home. I had shown him the route home a couple of times so I let him lead and he almost took us up the ramp to the main highway toward Pittsburgh. I figured he and his bike wouldn't handle anything more than 45 mph so I pulled ahead and motioned him off his path toward home. Then we saw another Chinese scoot and stopped for a photo shoot.


    [​IMG]


    Navigating in an unfamiliar place is always a trial.
    #96
  17. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    This morning dawned with a beautiful blue sky - not a cloud to be seen.


    [​IMG]


    Unusual for Pittsburgh. Normal for Asuncion.


    Yesterday's high temperature in Paraguay's winter was better than our summer high here in Pgh.
    #97
  18. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    Sadly, this view really impresses them every time.


    [​IMG]


    It's just a creek, right? But if you've seen any creek in Paraguay, they're disgustingly full of garbage of every type. Kids toss their wrappers out the bus window with the blessing of their parents and there are plenty of people who can't afford garbage pickup. Sometimes the houses perched precariously on the creek bank eject their waste water directly to the creek with every flush. So garbage ends up wandering the streets and creeks.

    I love catching crayfish and snakes in the creek while we watch Great Blue Herons fish and Bald Eagles fly overhead. We've got it good.
    #98
  19. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    Tio Silvino died today.

    In Paraguay.

    He's my Father-in-Law's older brother and this thread is now about my Father-in-Law's adventures. Here in the United States.

    Silvino is to be buried tomorrow as is their tradition. So no chance for a complete family reunion.


    [​IMG]
    Tio Silvino with my wife on the right and her sister on the left


    We took that picture last summer knowing that years apart can change a family. A lot. They were a family of ten kids. Now seven. One sister died at seven months, another a few years ago at 57, and now Silvino at 66. Their Mom is still alive and she's not happy about it. She turns 98 - tomorrow.

    Both recent family deaths were related to diabetes. What do you do when you don't make any money? You can't afford much protein and the cheap food is sugar, white flour, white bread, and rice - a constant diet of that will kill a diabetic.

    It didn't help anything that Silvino spent his earnings on drink and smokes. They amputated both his legs in the last few years and he was in the local state hospital for some other dread ailment when he died.

    Both my grandfathers died while I was in Paraguay.
    My wife's grandfather died after she came up here to marry me.

    Death at a Distance

    :cry
    #99
  20. LrnFzx

    LrnFzx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    Etna, Pennsylvania
    We went for a tour to get some good views of Pittsburgh.


    [​IMG]
    Actually a wonderful view of the city from afar


    "My name is Romualdo. I've gone down about forty times while riding about 20,000 miles a year - just an estimate since the odometer often doesn't work. Some of those crashes were from back in my drinking days, but that's just what happens when you ride so much on bad roads in the dark and the rain with a headlight switch in the off position or so weak it only illuminates your front fender."


    [​IMG]


    "The cow's not unusual. It's the fence that's the strange thing."


    [​IMG]


    Our church on the Northside of Pittsburgh


    [​IMG]


    "American football. That's a game I'll never understand."


    [​IMG]


    "Those geese don't have owners? Nobody eats them?"


    [​IMG]


    "Where my daughter got her first degree."


    [​IMG]


    Pittsburgh through a gap in the trees from Troy Hill.