Matt Meanders Mexico & 'Merica - WR250X

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by h2oboy, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    My job is terrible. Every 7 years they make you leave for 8 weeks. They call it a sabbatical. The only bonus to making me stay away from work is that they pay me during this time. If they're not going to let me work, then I'll show them, and tack a week of vacation on the end and stay away for 9 weeks. Take that work =P

    So I can't go to work for 2 months. What to do with myself?

    Motorcycle trip of course. Big road bike (FJR1300) or little sumo (WR250X)?
    I can go far on the FJR, and I have in the past. This time I think I want to do something a little different. I want to have adventure and be able to go where ever I want, whenever I want. Sumo it is.

    Where to go? I have a timeshare that works on a point system and I can go anywhere in their system as long as there is room. This means I look for somewhere I can ride to and back while taking my time.
    Puerto Vallarta fits that bill nicely. I book the resort for 2 weeks after my sabbatical starts. That gives me plenty of time to meander on down and see some sights.

    I have 3 solid dates. 1 - when sabbatical starts. 2- When I need to be in Puerto Vallarta. 3 - When I need to be back to work.

    I have some stuff on my bike and I have my passport and debit cards. Sounds like enough planning to me.

    This trip has already completed and I'm back home but I would like to give back to this great forum and share my adventures with you. Have a look at some teaser pics.


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    #1
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Go WaterBoy Go! Now where's my popcorn, I'll enjoy this one, now get busy man.


    Sent from the hand of Throttlemeister.
    #2
  3. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Bike info -
    It's a 2008 WR250X, Bought with 10k miles & 16181 miles at start of my trip 25016 miles at the end of the trip.

    Upgrades by previous owner were:

    FMF full exhaust
    Fuel Injection Module - (Maybe a Power Commander, I've forgotten)
    Fender eliminator
    ProTaper Handle bars
    Hand guards with integrated turn signals
    Zeta Shorty Levers

    Upgrades by Me:

    A new saddle from Seat Concepts
    Screen - MRA
    IMS footpegs
    Flatlands bash plate.
    Pro Moto Rear rack
    Powered Pelican 1450 case w/ quick disconnects to rear rack.
    Giant Loop Coyote bag (yellow)
    14/48 gearing (13/42 is stock)
    IMS 4.9gal fuel tank - (200-325 mile range with this tank depending on right hand).
    Shinko 244 Tires, with the rear changed to a Dunlop D606 when the Shinko needed to go.
    #3
  4. AUstate

    AUstate n00b

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    :lurk
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  5. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 1 Monday May 12

    First day of big trip, first day of 2 months away from my home and friends in the Portland area.

    I had a small headache. I feel a little stress mixed in with the excitement of heading out.
    The headache gets worse fairly fast as I head away from home. I make a couple of stops on my way out of town due to adjustments I found I wanted to make to my packing and mounting of bags to the bike.


    I stop for lunch in Sandy and can only finish half of my turkey sandwich. My headache is getting much worse. I must progress. I drink more water hoping it will help. I get part way up Mt Hood headed towards Government Camp and have to pull off at a campground. I become environmentally friendly and deposit the nutrients from my lunch into a fire pit. I feel a little better. I clean up and continue on up the hill. When I get to “Govy” (as the locals call it), I buy some aspirin and more water. I head out into the great unknown starting to feel some relief as I descend the east side of Mt Hood heading to Thye Valley.

    I stop at Rock Creek reservoir to watch the geese and enjoy nature while I fully recover from the morning’s pain fest.


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    I have a theory that all of that pain was stress induced. I am heading away from my “stuff”, the place I call home. Even though I plan on seeing many family and friends while I’m on the road, this is the longest I’ll be away from “home” since summer breaks during high school. I’m not going to have anyone within minutes from my location, whom I consider friends or family for the majority of my time on the road.

    Either that or it was from all the Sangria we drank the night before.

    I continue on, travelling several nice roads before I arrive in Fossil OR for dinner. The waitress says “Our special tonight is Bacon wrapped “I’ll take it” sirloin”. It has 2 of my favorite things. Bacon and Wrapped. It was quite good although the garlic they stuffed between the steak and bacon almost over powered the bacon. I’m glad I like garlic.


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    After I gorge myself on meat, I then head to Bear Hollow camp ground just south of town to retire for the night.
    #5
  6. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    I'm in :thumb
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  7. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

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    subbed
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  8. Critt

    Critt Rambling on

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    Borden, ON --> Winnipeg
    Sub'd. :lurk
    #8
  9. Travism

    Travism Adventurer

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    Seattle, WA
    I am *so* subscribed to this. You had me at the first teaser pic!

    Plus you stopped in Fossil where I have family connections. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventure.
    #9
  10. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 2 Tuesday May 13

    I wake up feeling fairly refreshed and ready to go. I head back into town for some breakfast. Today will be a day that I try and get into some dirt with the motorcycle. Adventure awaits.

    My preferred method of finding adventure; select a point in the distance on the GPS, ensure I have it set to not avoid dirt roads and to take me the shortest route possible.

    My GPS is a Garmin Nuvi designed for use in cars, not motorcycles. That being said, things that Garmin considers “roads” there is no way a 4 wheeled vehicle could follow.
    I was mistaken in the amount of forward progress I would be able to make this day. When I first selected the point on the map and Garmin did it’s route thing, I was under the impression that I would be able to make it to Granite OR by 3 pm or so.
    After following many cow paths, literally cow paths, and being blocked by many fences and gates, then traveling through the forest and getting stuck in a stream trying to reach a spot that Garmin says is a road, I finally make it to a real road. An over grown 2 track that hasn't seen a vehicle in a couple years, if I had to guess.

    I follow that until it gets to a bigger road then a bigger one after that. I finally come to a sign that points me to FS-53, 7 miles to the north.

    Screw Garmin, I’m following signs now not my electronic adventure finder.


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    Saw this sign after traveling up the cow path for a couple of miles. Pointing away from where I came from. There is more cow path ahead of me. How is a motorized vehicle going to get to this point with out coming down one of those??? OH Forest service, you're as fun as Garmin.

    Here's a video I made of me finding adventure. Most of the video happened on this day.

    <object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/aUW9_DPqH-s?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/aUW9_DPqH-s?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    I arrive in Ukiah OR a little before 6pm. I am surprised and relieved while sitting down for dinner when the waitress tells me that I&#8217;m in luck and that it&#8217;s taco Tuesday.

    Somewhere during the last 2 days festivities I had lost a day. I needed to be at my parents&#8217; house in Idaho on Wed and I was preparing myself for a long ride into the night in order to get there.
    I don&#8217;t remember being that happy for a taco Tuesday, ever.

    After my relief of discovering that it was Tuesday I decided to celebrate by heading down the road to Toll Bridge campground outside Dale OR and park myself for the night.

    Tomorrows&#8217; route should be easier. I&#8217;m not going to program Garmin for adventure mode, I have a route planned.
    #10
  11. Critt

    Critt Rambling on

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    Borden, ON --> Winnipeg
    So what happenned when it rained to the Nuvi?
    #11
  12. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    I didn't get rained on very much. Sometimes I would leave it powered off, sometimes I would leave it powered on and sometimes I'd put it away. It all depended on how much rain was coming down.

    There are several things you can do to make a Nuvi more water proof. Run a small bead of silicone around the edge of the screen and frame, tape over all holes, or just put a plastic bag over the whole thing. I didn't do any of those.

    The only problem I had with the Nuvi was it would fail to charge on the bike about half way through the trip. This was due to the vibrations which caused the USB connection on the back to get out of tolerance. It would constantly lose connection and reconnect which would end up draining more than charging.
    #12
  13. Critt

    Critt Rambling on

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    Borden, ON --> Winnipeg
    Yes, GPS units (and most electronics) are not well suited to handle vibrations.

    LOL @ "...or just put a plastic bag over the whole thing. I didn't do any of those."
    #13
  14. makad

    makad P/T Shed Dwelling Hermit

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    The Shed, Coolup
    nicely loaded :norton

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  15. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

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    I am in ! :clap
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  16. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Seoul Survivor
    in!
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  17. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 3 Wednesday May 13


    Something that I didn't mention before. My original plan was shot to crap before I even started the trip. I was originally going to take the 15 days until my reservation to meander on down to Puerto Vallarta. The reason my plan was shot to crap was that my cousins wife called me up to say she was doing a surprise birthday party for my cousin the Saturday after my sabbatical starts.
    This meant my new plan was to meander to Idaho, spend a few days with my family and surprise my cousin then move in a faster than meander speed towards PV.

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    An even more restful night than the previous. I get up and start to break down camp and put my gear on. When I put my pants on, (the new Bilt Explorers I bought for this trip) I discover that the change from my left pocket is now in my left ankle.

    Let me back up a little bit here. Before I went to bed at Bear Hollow campground I had discovered my keys, which I had put in my right pocket, down at my right ankle. After 1 day of riding the seam in the pocket had given up, now after the second day of riding the other pockets seam had given up. These pants are supposed to be my protection if I happen to do the “Pete Rose” while riding. At this point I had no faith that these pants wouldn't just blow up if they ever contacted the ground. My planned route for the day was NF-10 to Granite then paved roads to Cycle gear in Meridian ID and exchange these pieces of crap pants for anything that wasn't a Cycle Gear specific brand.


    Back to NF-10. This is 37 miles of dirt road and one of the more major NF roads. I wasn't planning on adventure. I started getting an uneasy feeling when I started getting to snow which only had dirt showing through at the tire tracks. I was still rising in elevation. I then came to a patch of snow that the tire tracks didn't’ break through all the way to the ground. I made it through that section fine and was now heading down hill. I thought I was home free. Around a few more corners and about 10 miles from Granite, I found my nemesis snow bank. It was a fairly sharp banked corner. The snow being much higher on the outside of the corner made it banked even more steeply. There was one set of tire tracks which had been made through here some time ago. I decided to try and take the lower and shorter tire track. I got about a third of the way and my front tire kept trying to slide down the slope. I should point out that there was a ravine and creek where my front tire was trying to go. I decided this wasn't worth the risk. I pushed my bike backwards out of the snow and attempted the top tire track. This one looked more defined and I felt as though my tires wouldn't try and make a break for the creek.
    I was correct, my tires didn't’ try and go anywhere. I got a few feet in and my tires just sunk in. Looking at my choices; the possibility of 10 more miles of this lost out to turning around and riding the 27 miles back to pavement and ensuring I made it to Cycle Gear before they closed.

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    I made it to Cycle Gear. Spending the next 4 days with family. Motorcycle trip to continue on Monday May 19th.
    #17
  18. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 4 Monday May 19

    Boise to almost Las Vegas

    The day started out right for adventure. I got halfway between Boise and Mt Home (the next town), when I got my first motorcycle flat tire..... ever. It was karma. I had been carrying around 2 spare tubes and decided to lighten my load some so I left one at my parents house. That'll teach me. The valve stem had been completely ripped off of the tube, so there was no repairing it. I put my only spare tube into the tire and continued on.


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    Now I worried that I'd get another flat and have no way to continue on without assistance. I called around in Mt Home and no one had any tubes.
    I then pressed my luck and continued on to Twin Falls. Pressed luck turned into good luck. Action Motorsports was open and had my size of tube. I bought one.

    Leaving Twin Falls the wind started and there were storm cells dropping moisture from the sky. I did my best to avoid them but I couldn't dodge them all. I got moist.

    Here's a picture of some of the clouds behind the sign. I have a habit of taking pictures of information signs because I know I'll forget what they say later on.

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    I wasn't expecting to say this next line when I started this trip.

    I wish I had my heated gear for Nevada.

    I got to Wells NV and they had a sign up saying that the road was closed 26 miles ahead, expect delays. I saw people coming the other way so I figured they might just have one lane closed. I got to about 25 miles and I reached a stopped convoy of cars, RV's and Semi's. Since I'm on a motorcycle I weaved my way to the front. Where I was met by a Dept of Trans person who was not excited about me coming up there. I park my bike a couple of semi lengths back, got off of the bike and approached the scene. The DoT worker was much more pleasant now. There was an over turned apple truck carrying 43k lbs of apples, blocking both lanes.

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    I stated that it was probably apple sauce now. The tow trucks had arrived and were going to right the sideways applesauce truck. I was told it would be about an hour before they would be done and traffic could start moving.
    I looked off to the side of the road and it was all sage brush as fare as the eye could see. I inquired if they would mind if I went out there in the brush to pass the truck and come back onto the road where the other direction of cars were stopped. They said as long as I stayed at least 50ft from the truck I should be fine. They were saying that the top was going to pop on that trailer when it was righted. While that would have been something to see, I didn't want to wait an hour.


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    As I came back onto the road past the truck, the people out of there cars were giving me smiles of approval and thumbs up. This happened down most of the line. I hope they weren't doing that thinking that the road was opened.

    I stopped at a rest area to rest and warm up a little bit in the small hut used for other things. That rest area had all sorts of information about the Pony Express, The Lincoln Highway and about the natives that used to live in the area.

    Here's one of the pics for the Pony Express.

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    The wind was an ongoing theme. I stopped in Ely NV for dinner and fuel. When I left it was dark. Wind was still blowing. When I got down in elevation some after Ely it at least warmed up a little bit. I continued on through the dark until about 70miles from Las vegas when I got a hotel.
    #18
  19. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 5 Tuesday May 20

    North of Las Vegas to Phoenix

    I was cursing the wind today. I should have pushed on last night. It was blowing but not this bad. Headwinds suck but headwinds on a loaded 250 with 70 mph speed limits is a whole new level of suckage.
    Wind is the continuing theme through out the day. My bike has 6 gears and I was in 4th and 5th most of the day to try and keep near the speed limit. I drafted people whenever possible.
    The wind finally died down a little bit when I was almost to Phoenix. Got to my Uncles house fairly exhausted. Tomorrow I rest. Kinda.

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    There is a joke in here somewhere. You can also see the wind in all of the flags.

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    Gas and machine guns. A natural combination

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    Took a break here. Needed some water and a picture of Dr Suess trees.

    I had shipped my camping gear to my cousins in Houston while I was in Boise. I was planning on hoteling it while in Mexico. Hence my bike is now missing a bag in the pictures. I still had my Hennessy hammock with me though if I found somewhere I really needed to stay.
    #19
  20. h2oboy

    h2oboy Been here awhile

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    Day 6 Thursday May 22

    Phoenix to Hermosillo Mexico

    4 days until PV reservation

    Alarm goes off at 5 am. I actually get up. Those that really know me know how big of a deal that is. Google says it's 3.5 hrs to the border and I want to get there fairly early because I want to be fairly far from the border before I stop for the day.

    Do I even need to mention the wind again? I'm starting to really hate the southern US and Northern Mexico.

    I make it to the border and go into the immigration office. They are having technical difficulties and send me onto the office at km21. I was worried I was going to miss it but you can't. The office at the border is fairly small. This one is the real main one. I ended up there at the perfect time it seems. The place was set up with the human equivalent of cattle chutes but there was only 1 person ahead of me. I was in and out in about a half hour which I believe is pretty fast. I could have made it even faster if I had done the TVIP and insurance online before I got there.

    All checked into MX and headed back into the wind.


    Let my back up a bit back to Nogales. It isn't as Mexican as I was expecting. America has infested the world with our giant chain stores. Whatever store or fast food chain you go to in the US is probably down here too.
    The first thing that I noticed that said "I'm in Mexico now" was at a stop light. I see the left turn arrows light up and the far right hand lanes in both directions make left hand turns in front of the 2 left lanes which are continuing straight. That was kinda crazy but also kind of ingenious for any big rigs that need to make a corner.

    Now back out into the wind. Roads are straight and gas stations (Pemex) are plentiful.


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    Mexico south of Nogales

    First priority stop and get some Bimbo's.
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    I think that's the Mexican equivalent to Hostess.


    It's hot and I stop at a couple OXXO stores for bottled water. About 2pm I'm about 30 miles to Hermosillo and my bike stops all of a sudden, like it's not getting gas. I pull off to the side of the road, sit there for a second thinking about what might cause that. I hit the starter for troubleshooting purposes and the bike starts. It seems fine so I get back on the road and continue on. Bike runs fine all the way into Hermosillo. I stop at a taco stand because I'm in Mexico and pretty sure that's a law. Delicious.

    I hop back on the bike and head out into the slow traffic. My bike dies again, then again a few blocks later. It's getting bad and I can only make it half a block before it dies again. Luckily it's in front of a hotel. I book a room and have the front desk call the Yamaha dealer in town to see if they have a fuel pump in stock.

    Nope. They say it'll be 15 days to a month to get one shipped in.

    I do more research and this appears to be a known issue for my year of bike. When the fuel pump gets hot it can't create enough pressure. The bike has almost 18k miles on it and this is probably the hottest weather it's seen.
    I tossed around a couple of ideas in my head and decided that I will continue on. Tomorrow I should be close to the coast and I hope it'll be cooler and not have the fuel pump acting up. If the fuel pump does start acting up in the morning when it's cool, I will be revisiting some of those thoughts I had previously tossed out.

    After I had a plan for the following day I decided to walk down to the Cathedral and central square in town.


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    Jogger on the Hermosillo green belt? Second one I had seen running down there.


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    View from my hotel room looking towards downtown Hermosillo.


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    There were venders with carts surrounding the square. But they all seemed to be selling the same things. 1 - Flavored Doritos or Frito's that they opened on the side and loaded with different toppings. 2 - Little handmadeish knickknacks / trinkets. 3 - Flavored shaved ice.
    With that many different vendors they should have a much greater variety of things to sell.

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    Train for the kids to ride around on.
    #20