Lone Ridin' 15 Countries: California to Argentina

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cycleTown650, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    They are great for parties or went I cant find my tent at night after one too many.
    #21
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  2. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    I thought about this too and I agree. I just find the RAM mount a convenient way to charge the inReach on long days.
    #22
  3. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Have fun, be safe, post lotta pictures.
    #23
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  4. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    Third week into my trip and I am starting to get a hang of it. With what felt like an initially fast pace through Mexico, I have somewhat started to slow down a bit and take in my surroundings with cooler temperatures and an incredible water fall (La Huesteca Potosina) that where recommended to me by my couchsurfing host (see pics way down below).

    My current progress.

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    While I was in Mazaltan, which is a nice little beach town, I was told about Devil's Backbone- an adventures and curvy all day drive up to Durango. Supposedly, the old highway is one of the most dangerous roads in Mexico due to murders and robberies since the old highway runs through marijuana grows and poppy fields with little police enforcement. The newly built highway which is a toll road and has less hairpins and zigzags, was recently built to improve that whole area and reduce crime. I considered taking this road from Mazaltan based on a recommendation but decided against it as I have already made plans for Guadalajara and was not willing to take my chances. I regretted not taking the old highway to Durango as I later found out from another couple that the road felt safe to them and they even ended up camping in their 86 VW micro bus in a national park near the road.

    I ended up getting to Guadalajara fairly quickly as their toll road ("Quota") seemed like the autobahn with some people doing well over 90 MPH.

    A cool welcome to Guadalajara and a relief from the sweltering heat of Baja and Mazaltan.

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    I was staying with a couchsurfing host who mountain bikes near some of Mexico's best trails and got a chance to discover their mt. bike scene as I am a huge mt. biker and got into dual sport adventure riding because of it. I ended up renting a cheap walmart mt. bike at the park, quickly to regret it as it was no Canondale. My ride ended shortly as I thought I lost my keys, later to find out a locked them in my top box :baldy.

    The park was perfect for mt. biking, camping, hiking, and running. I was really wishing I had brought my mt. bike with me for this perfect occasion. For those who don't believe carrying a mt. bike on a KLR is possible, here is my solution to the problem.

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    The last day in Guadalajara, I decided to check out my thermostat as my motorcycle was running really cold driving in the mountains, as if I have just started it. When I purchased the bike, I added the thermbob modification to improve the bikes cooling system. After the bikes hit and run, I replaced the radiator with a high performance one which was twice the original thickness. I was now trying to decide if my upgraded thermostat was stuck open or my new high performance radiator was working too well for the bikes good.

    I took out the aftermarket thermostat and it looked like the seal had popped off.

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    After installing the extra thermostat that was sold with the thermobob kit, I was hoping my issue was sold. Nope, my drive to La Huesteca Potosina showed that changing the thermostat did nothing to resolve the issue. Now, I was thinking it with my radiator. So to remedy the solution, I stuck a Styrofoam plate over half the radiator to reduce cooling capacity. My new solution will be tested on tomorrows drive. Anyone that has more insight into this my issue, feel free to offer a suggestion.

    I have found that driving on the toll roads in Mexico can be pretty boring as they tend to be very straight, short, and expensive when you are on a shoe string budget. The free ("Libre") is where all the fun is as they are curvy, plenty of elevations change, and go through small towns which makes for an interesting ride. I can always appreciate some curves.
    #24
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  5. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    The toll roads where fast and straight with little to see.

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    I eventually got into La Huesteca Potosina, near the town of Tomasopo. This water hole with multiple water falls going into it is popular with the locals and was very busy.

    A truly magical place. The gopro does no justice here.

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    I ended up pitching camp in the area under a grove of mango trees. The whole time there, mango rained day and night, free for picking and eating.

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    The waterfalls are so popular that they even have their own little hotel for those who do not dare to camp or take their chance with getting hit by a
    mango. The waterfalls reminded me of Havasupai Falls in Arizona.

    The cozy accommodations if you choose to skip camping.

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    The plan now is to head to Guanajuato City and then Mexico City.
    #25
  6. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    Leaving La Huesteca Potosina after two nights of camping in the humid jungle, I was looking forward to cooler temperatures in Guanajuato City and a bed.

    Stopping at gas station, people began to approach me and ask about my journey and wanting to take photos. Everyone here in Mexico has been really friendly from locals to the military.

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    Once I arrived in Guanajuato City, it began to feel like Barcelona in Spain with all the old architecture. This city is definitely worth a visit and one of a kind as the city center is surrounded by mountains and you enter and exit through a system of tunnels which made difficult to navigate by GPS as I could not get a signal.

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    The narrow streets were open to donkey traffic as well.

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    A truly beautiful city.

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    #26
  7. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    After getting to Mexico City, I was hosted once again by locals who were able to show me around the city and take me to their local spots.

    Sac-Nicte and her boyfriend, just some of the very generous people I have met here in Mexico.

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    She was also hosting three Argentinians who have been on the road for almost a year now who were paying for their trip by playing music in the streets and any venue that would host them. Poto, fourth from the left, told me that they received tips in various forms and that the most interesting tip was when a cop in Columbia tipped them with weed.

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    Mexico City was a lot nicer than I though and had lots to see and do.

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    Leaving Mexico City, I decided to visit a friend in Puebla which was two hours southeast of Mexico City. It was a nice place to explore and take a break from Mexico City.

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    #27
  8. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    Arts and crafts were popular in Puebla. The skull was decorated by gluing tiny little beads individually.

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    I continued my way down to the Yucatan peninsula, spending ten hours on the bike. It was nice to be able to do that without getting sore as my body got used to the long hours on the KLR. On my last five hour into Merida, I noticed an odd wobble that my KLR developed. I initial thought I bent a rim going over one of the hidden speed bumps that are placed in random places on the road. After a closer look at my Heidenau k60 rear tire, I noticed it was disintegrating piece by piece, making the bike to wobble at low speeds.

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    I was not happy as this was a fairly new tire that was highly recommended by many. I reached out to Revzilla.com where I bought the tire from and they advised that I would have to ship the tire back to Philadelphia for a warranty replacement. This would not have been a problem if shipping from Merida to Philly did not cost more than what the tire did new. After some back and forth with Revzilla and $50 credit from them, I bit the bullet and spent a day searching for a tire in Merida, buying a Perelli MT 60 replacement which hopefully will last longer. I will commend Revzilla for doing their best to resolve my tire warranty issue and going out of their way to offer me $50 store credit.

    With the bike sorted, the problem was quickly forgotten as I was spending time with family in Merida.

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    The plan is to spend more time in Yucatan and then make my way down to Guatemala. Mexico is proving a hard place to leave.
    #28
  9. lubelhu

    lubelhu Forever n00b

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    "I noticed it was disintegrating piece by piece, making the bike to wobble at low speeds."

    Never seen a Heidenau k60 do that, but it seems to be an old model?? The ones I use always have a steady band in the middle.

    Have a safe trip
    Luc
    #29
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  10. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    I bought the k60 this year before riding the noob rally in Death Valley, when did you buy yours?
    #30
  11. lubelhu

    lubelhu Forever n00b

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    Bought one spring 2015, one this March to go to Death Valley and one more a few weeks ago, all with the central band.

    And I LOVE your pedal bike rack!!
    #31
  12. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    Maybe they sold me an older model...

    Thanks, the bike rack only cost me $60 bucks for parts at home depot and half a day of fabricating.
    #32
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  13. AKpilot

    AKpilot Adventurer

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    We had 2 different K60 rears start throwing lugs on our trip last winter. One in Colombia and another just north of Ushuaia. After talking to Heidenau I chalked it up to over inflating the tire and running it so heavy on hot pavement. Kind of sucks cause we could have easily gotten the same miles out of the cheaper tires. Now after reading this and a couple of other reports I am thinking there is other issues at Heidenau.
    If you go to the next bigger tire size it should have the solid band in the middle. My plan was to try that on the next tire but unfortunately my motorcycle riding has gone way down since we have gotten home. 2.5 months until our next adventure
    #33
  14. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I believe the K60 tread varies a bit depending on size - the center band seems to show up for sizes that would be used on larger/heavier/more road going bikes. Sucks that it happened and replacement wasn't easier...
    #34
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  15. MFGamesta

    MFGamesta Been here awhile

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    Great ride report. Keep up the great work!
    #35
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  16. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    I am surprised you are willing to give the K60 another chance. At 500 miles the tire developed cuts in the tread and at the time I did not think of it much. Hearing that I am not the only one who experienced issues, I would not consider any Heidenau tire again at this point.
    #36
  17. pnwadventure

    pnwadventure Adventurer

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    Great write up! Looking forward to trying this ride eventually.
    #37
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  18. Bob Allen

    Bob Allen Been here awhile

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    Troy W:motoPOCKET.JPG Canada 1 copy.JPG I hate it when I miss a chance to get some of my motoPOCKETS on a bike headed on a true adventure. My bags were actually developed after my trip thru SA to Usushia. All those border crossing convinced me there had to be a way to organize the documents required. If you find your self sitting still long enough in one spot and,have an address thats pretty reliable I'd be happy to send you a couple in exchange for a few photos as you travel along. Send me a note at-info@adventurepockets.com -if your interested. I hope to leave San Diego and get as far South as Gutamala again this fall. Keep your eyes peeled for a couple older GS's. One from Canada and the other from Idaho. Keep in mind that the further South you get the fewer rules there are and more fun you will have. Ride safe. Bob
    #38
  19. cycleTown650

    cycleTown650 Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the kind offer Bob, I will let you know if I ever get a solid address for shipping down south.
    #39
  20. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I would keep my passport on me all the time, any time, whole time.
    #40
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