Denver to Latin America for 3 months

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by WilderRider, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    This trip has been in the back of my mind and in planning stages for years. I have wanted to ride my motorcycle (any one will do, but I really like my DR650) from my house in Denver toward Latin America.

    I say Latin America, because I am still not sure how far and all of the countries I will visit. Ideally, I will make it at least to Colombia and visit the areas where my father was born and raised. I had heard many stories from him and my grandparents and I have never seen that area. Because I do not want to rush it, though (and because of all of the headaches of the Darien, etc.), I may leave South America for another trip. I will just have to see when I get to Panama.

    But, as I was saying, the window of opportunity finally opened up to take this trip this fall. The bike is now ready, after some new shoes.

    [​IMG]

    The kids still at home (9 and 12) are reasonably situated with school, what I need to do from my job, I can do remotely, and my loving wife is more than capable of holding down the fort while I head off into the jungles of Central America.

    My plan is to leave September 21 and start heading south. I want to be home before Christmas. Otherwise, it is a pretty flexible schedule. :clap

    I will keep updating this thread as much as I can while I go. Hopefully, I will get to spend some time practicing my Spanish and meeting some fellow travelers along the way. :freaky
    #1
  2. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    ¡Feliz viaje y buena suerte, WilderRider!

    I rode a similar path last December and am still in the process of riding a staged trip through South America, leaving the bike and flying home to take care of business and family matters. I'll be doing Medellín, Colombia to Cuenca, Ecuador later this month. I have two children as well, ages 9 and 11. Unfortunately I can't get away for three months at a crack, but I should be able to make it to TDF by the end of February.

    PM if you need anything.

    ¡Disfrute al máximo!
    #2
  3. panchogarrancho

    panchogarrancho Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nicaragua,opening Triumph Nicaragua in August
    If you need help in Nicaragua let me know,I usually keep spares for my DR's and have a pretty good shop at home.
    There is about 5 DR riders in Managua that belong to my group and might join you from Managua to the Costa Rican border.
    #3
  4. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    I am in!!! :clap
    #4
  5. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

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    You are gonna love it.

    Staying tuned :lurk
    #5
  6. auldublinr

    auldublinr Adventurer

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    Denver
    I'm in 2 .You Havin goin away beers I'm definitely in for that.Anyway you're gonna have a great trip.Youre gonna have a lot of us ridin along side ya so you'll never be lonely.Best wishes.
    #6
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    #7
  8. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I just started reading about your thread. I hope I can finish it before I take off because I had really thought about doing something similar (stages, I mean).

    It is definitely tougher leaving kids at home, but I hope I have some good tales to tell.
    #8
  9. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I definitely appreciate it and will keep it in mind if I need something around there. I have done a lot of long-term maintenance to get the bike ready for a longer trip. It will be starting with almost 26,000 miles.
    #9
  10. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Thanks. I hope I can update this thread often enough to make it worthwhile. Of course, so far it is pretty boring. Just getting ready. I think the bike is about there, though.

    [​IMG]

    This will be my total packing capacity too. I am trying to do this LIGHT!
    #10
  11. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Looks like a great place. I will definitely try and get by there. I do think my primary route is going to be along the Pacific Coast. That may change, of course, but as you know, living the mountains makes you really want to see the sea.
    #11
  12. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    Final bike preparations underway. The bike got a bath today to clean off mud that has been there since Moab in March. Just not enough rain in Colorado this summer to wash it off.

    This a partial list of what I have done since returning from my last Mexico adventure to get the bike ready.

    New chain (DID Xring 520)
    New front and rear sprockets
    Brake fluid
    Installed Procycle jet, cut airbox
    New bearings front and back
    Greased and lubed shock dogbone bearings
    New Cush drive rubbers
    New front (Shinko 244)
    New Rear (Shinko 705)
    New rear brake pad
    New fuel line (clear)
    Trued tires (front and rear)
    Installed Keintech wheel stand bar
    New tank panniers (Aerostitch competition size)
    New throttle cables (old throttle and clutch cables still attached as spares)
    New pick-up pulser coil (the original having failed in Moab in March)
    NSU screws locktited (Dr650 specific preventative maintenance)
    New Pelican case in the rear
    LED turn signals
    bypassed clutch and side-stand safety switches (to avoid cutting out)
    Voltage meter
    new shorai battery
    New oil and filter (of course)
    A few other miscellaneous repairs, but just what I break.

    A few of these I did over the winter, so they have up to 4,000 miles on them already, but I think they should last throughout this trip.
    #12
  13. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Happy Adventurer

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    What year is your DR650 and how many miles are on it? I will be curious to see how well the Shinko 244 and the 520 chain set up holds up. Several RTW riders on DR650's had big problems with the 520 chain set-up as the front sprockets played havoc with the sprocket shaft splines.

    I really like your travel light mentality. Too many riders tend to overload their bikes.

    Best of luck and enjoy the ride!

    Taz9
    #13
  14. auldublinr

    auldublinr Adventurer

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    Hopefully you're ahead of curve ball on maintenance,wish I knew what a dog bone bearing was!!!!:rofl I know what you mean by wanting to stick by the coast but some of those mountain towns will knock your socks off if you haven't been up there before.We'll be waiting patiently for your story/pics when you have time to report.Wishing you well.
    #14
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Sayulita is along the pacific coast, about 1/2 hr north of puerto vallarta.
    how are you heading down? mainland or baja/la paz/mazatlan ferry?
    #15
  16. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    It is a 2007 and I have put the last 20,000 miles on it. After my final shakedown ride today, it has 25,942 to start the trip.

    And I am not worried about the 520 or Shinko244. I have been running those for a long time without problems. Like I said, I just replaced those again and am even carrying another 16 CS to swap out to try and lenghten the life of the chain. I am using a 16 because I went up to 46 on the rear and that puts it close to stock gearing for the roads. When I am offroad, I use the 14.

    I am definitely excited about my light packing. I already test packed it and it all fits. Unfortunately, my light modo means I am not taking any camping gear, but it is the right choice. I like to camp and have done it on my other Mexico trips, but this time LIGHT makes RIGHT.
    #16
  17. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    yeah, hopefully. And, of course, to be more precise, I should say the Shock Linkage Bearings, but I just think of them as the where the "dog bones" are.:rofl
    #17
  18. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Yeah, I looked at your posts about it and found it out there. Looks like a ton of fun.

    This time I am just heading straight down from the north. I did Baja last fall. It is more fun IMHO than Chihuahua, etc., but I am not planning on spending much time in norther MX anyway. That is easy enough to get to on shorter trips. I would rather spend more time further south. So I am just going to avoid that detour.
    #18
  19. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    I'm in. Definitely.

    Sounds really great! You have a loving supportive family that supports your dreams. Give your wife and kids a big kiss. The ability to telecommute is gravy.

    I'll be leaving on a DR set up similarly to yours about a month behind you. I've been dreaming about this for years. I'm trying to work out a similar telecommute arrangement as yours, but doubt they'll go for it. Doesn't matter ...

    ¡Buen viaje! Hope to see you on the road !
    #19
  20. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Happy Adventurer

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    I'm glad to hear that you like the Shinko 244. I am on my second DR650 and have put nearly 50,000 miles between the two. I have tried lots of different tires and was looking at the front Shinko 244 for it's reasonable price, but wondered about it's handling and durability. Looks like you are in for a great time.

    Ride Safe,

    Taz9
    #20