Mex City to Indy MotoGP and back with a lot of help from my friends

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by garrydymond, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We just recently got back from an incedible trip to the Indy MotoGP. I have never been interested in writing a report but I wanted to do this as a way of saying thank you to all those who helped us.
    So lets begin with the preparation. I have a 2007 Suzuki DL1000 with pelican cases. I was going to do the trip alone but my wife, Ivonne, decided to come along. I told her we would have a lot of long days as we only had 17 days to do the trip.
    The planned route was from Mexico City to San Fernando in Tamaulipas about 600 miles and then on to Houston. We had a place to stay in Houston with a guy we found on Horizons Unlimited. Then on to New Orleans where we would stay with a guy from Adv Riders. Then of to Birmingham Alabama to see the Barber Museum. Then to Deals gap and finally to Indy. We would stay at Greywolf's place. The ride home we would plan once we got there.
    I tried to post pics but was told they were too big. What do I do to be able to post them?
    #1
  2. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    Garry,
    necesitas subir tus fotos a un sitio de hospedaje y ya estando alli, solo copias el link de cada foto y las vas agregando en tu relato. No importa el tamano de la foto.

    yo subo las mias a www.photobucket.com es gratis y tienes hasta 500 mb de almacenaje (antes era 1 giga pero lo bajaron).
    Ahora que si te suscribes al sitio, pagas como 25 dolares al año y tienes derecho a 25 gb de memoria lo cual es muchisisimo, asi que no lo creo necesario.

    saludos y esperamos fotos


    Arte
    #2
  3. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Here is a pic of the bike ready to go. The tent and sleeping bags were strapped on top of the Pelicans. Rain gear and a few tools in the top box. The tank bag had very little as I figured we would need the space for souvenirs. I also had 2 tool tubes with tools in one chain lube and kerosene in the other.

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    Here is a pic from the rear with the tool tubes.

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    Here is the Odo so we can see how many miles we have at the end of the trip. THe bike had new brakes and tires and a recent service by the local Suzuki dealer. We were ready to go.
    #3
  4. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    A Photo taken outside the house. Grafitti is common in some areas in Mex City and we live in one of those areas. What we have now is quite good but it could change over night. We made an early start and we were on the road at just after 7am.
    Our route was from Mex City to Queretro then San Luis Potosi. From there towards Matehuala taking the road to Cd Victoria and then San Fernando. I don't know the road numbers as in Mexico nobody pays attention to the highway numbers. If you ask for highway number 57 nobody will know what you are talking about. Roads are called "the highway Mex to Queretaro" or "Mex to Acapulco cuota" etc.
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    We stopped near San Juan del Rio just after the toll for some Barbacoa which is lamb cooked in a pit oven. It is really good and a good breakfast break. The tortillas are blue becuase the corn has a fungus on it which when ground and made into tortillas makes them blue instead of the normal white colour. The taste is the same.

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    We made it to San Frenando just before sunset found a cheap hotel which was clean and had a pretty big room. It cost 350 pesos. There is a nicer place on the highway but we were too tired to look for it.

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    Almost 600 miles a record for Ivonne it would turn out to be the most miles in day for the whole trip. Tomorrow we would cross into the States. I already had my insurance which I bought from a shady sounding place called "Seguros Gringo. com" It covere very little from what I could see but would be good if we got stopped by the police. It cost about 60 dollars for 15 days.
    #4
  5. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We were up early the next day. We had to make it to Houston to stay with a fellow Adv Rider.
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    We got a picture of the sunrise and were on our way. We made it to Matamoros in about 1.5 hrs and stopped for breakfast at Sanbourns. We then went to the Intl Bridge. There was a lot of traffic and it took us over an hour to get to the other side. We were glad we had had breakfast on the Mexican side. We eventually made it to the American side. We went into immigration and went through the usual procedure . This means Ivonne gets everything done quickly while it takes forever with me as I have a British passport. After about 1.5hrs we were out and on the road to Houston. It was a long hot day's ride. About half way to Houston the bike started running badly. It wouldn't rev well or respond to throttle. It wouldn't idle but always re-started. I thought it was bad gas. We bought some gas treatment and started using plus gas. It would run between 80-85 mph without a problem so that is what we did.
    We called Billy to say we were on our way. He said he might not be at home but woul put the key under a stone and to make ourselves at home!!!
    We got to Houston with the bike running pretty badly and let ourselves into Billy's house. We spent a lot of time talking about motorcycles and travelling. Billy had been to Mexico and like us liked to host travellers. It turned out that Ben and Jen who had stayed with us also spent a couple of nights with Billy. They had been travelling on a Yamaha XS500 which needed a lot of love and care to start up. We checked out his pics of Deals Gap and got pretty excited about the trip.
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    Billy's house was extremely nice with a beautiful bedroom for us and air conditioning. We rested well and were up early the next morning for our trip to New Orleans.

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    Billy has a Triumph Tiger and when he changed the tire had installed it incorrectly as the rear caliper fits into a lug to stop it from moving. The first time he applied the brake it rotated backwards stretched the brake line until it split. I had done the exact same thing on my Suzuki so understood his anger and frustration. We worked for a while trying to figure out how to install it but like most things British it was not going to be easy. It is much easier to do on the V-Strom. This is good because it happened to us in Cordoba, Veracruz on a trip last year to Guatemala. We were able to to a new brake line made in about half an hour and it took only a couple of hours to fix everything.

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    The next day we took a picture of Billy and were on our way. The bike started up without any issues and we rode out of his place without any worries.
    #5
  6. 97Octane

    97Octane Defining Mediocrity

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    Whoa!

    Billy here. Glad to see you made it back safely. Anytime your in Houston again, your more than welcome to stop by. You will always have a second home here.

    You ever get your bike sorted out? I finally got the damn brake line on. Had to remove the rear shock to even get to it. What a PITA it was just to change out that brake line.
    #6
  7. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    The bike was finally was fixed up. It ran pretty well from Houston to Corbin Kentucky and very well from Little Rock Arkansas back to Mexico. Some of it was a major $$$$ problem and some a very simple fix.
    I will try to post reports everyday until I finish.
    It was an amazing trip and thanks for the help.
    #7
  8. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We say our goodbyes to Billy and head of for New Orleans. We stop for breakfast at Dennys where we order to Senior breakfasts. These are omelettes made from only 2 eggs and just enough foo for us to be able to eat. The amount of food that is served at a lot of places is way too much for us to eat. We notice a lot of very large people so it is probably fine for a lot of people.
    We head of for New Orleans the bike is running fairly well but at stops sometimes won't idle. We continue to use plus gas and run some more fuel injector cleaner in the gas.
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    We stop at Lake Charles for a rest and to stretch our legs. It is very hot and we try to keep hydrated. I constantly drink water from my hydration system but it is pretty unpleasant as the first couple of mouthfulls are hot and then it turns warm. This, although not nice, is much better than getting the shakes from dehydration.

    We stop somewhere for gas and a quick pizza. I try calling Paul, who we will be staying with but I get his answering machine. I leave a message and think that we may be looking for somewhere to camp.

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    We stop at the Mississippi Welcome Centre which is a fantastic place with wonderful A/C and a lady who offers us ice cold water. This is a real treat after drinking so much warm water.
    There is a tapestry on the wall with a somber reminder of Katrina.

    I try calling Paul again but get the same voice mail. Oh well, we have his address and will just show up and knock the door and take it from there.

    We continue on through the heat with the bike working well. We follow our mapquest directions to Paul's house only making missing the turn off and having to back track a few miles. We arrive to this wonderful house next to a lake. This is a long way from our grafitti streets of Mex City. We knock the door and are greated by loud barking. A lady answers the door. Have we come to the right place I wonder? It turns out to be Laura. She tells us Paul is working a will be there in a while. We come in and I put the bike in the garage. I now know we have come to the right place as there are 2 Burgman scooters, a Suzuki 600 with top back and panniers and a 1200GS Adventure.

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    We get installed in our beautiful room and then go outside to sit down and relax on the deck. Laura is Real Estate Lawyer and works only 10 mins from her incredible house. This is quite a difference from us. It can take Ivonne over 2 hours to get home from work and it takes me 45 mins to get home from where I work.

    Laura points out some little things bobbing up and down in the water. It turns out they are turtles. She asks us if we want to feed them. We excitedly go down to the lake and feed the turtles. They are all different in size and coloring. This is a very relaxing experience and we both go back to the deck feeling great.

    I take a few pics of Ivonne and a stunning sunset.

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    Paul shows up and, of course, turns out to be a great guy. He tells us about some great roads we shouldt take on our way to Deals Gap and exactly how to get to the Barber Museum. He obviously feels sorry for us as we have no GPS and gives us some maps.
    He cooks us some great burgers and we talk for a while about travelling and bikes. He turns out to be a Suzuki man and had a 650 V-Strom but couldn't get a screen the eliminated the buffeting. He asks me if I know if the madstat works which I later find out from several Strom owners that it is THE answer.

    We talk about hurricanes and Paul tells us that he lost his house in Katrina. I can't imagine that type of loss and remember the somber reminder from the Welcome Centre,

    We leave not too early the next morning for the Barber Museum. After saying our goodbyes and taking a few pics. We are on our own from here to Indianapolis.

    Thanks Paul and Laura for the hospitality.

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    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Love Mexico reports :super
    :lurk
    #9
  10. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Not much of Mexico in this report but I will happily answer any questions. We did find a great road on the way back which goes from Linares across to Mtehuala. It goes right over the mountains with lots of curves and elevation changes. We hit a bit of roadworks with mud and gravel but still a great road. Just don't ask me the number!!
    #10
  11. rous44

    rous44 Long timer

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    Gary,
    You should have told me you were coming to the States. Would have loved to have hosted you and Yvonne for a few days in Kansas City. I'm sure Kenny would have wanted to see you also. He only lives a few miles from Deals Gap.





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    #11
  12. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Dick,

    I thought about including Kansas in our route but it was a little too far out of the way maybe next time.
    I didn't know about Kenny living near Deals Gap that would have been neat. We camped at The Gap and had a good time hanging out with all the old farts there.
    The real adventure started after The Gap.
    If I can get my act together I will finish all the report by the end of next week.
    I think we need a get together somewhere near Mex City year. What do all you guys out there think?
    #12
  13. Jack4245

    Jack4245 Lost Hoosier

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    Well hell Garry this seems like a great trip so far :lol3 :lol3 .

    I am subscribed for the rest :clap
    #13
  14. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We set of not as early as the other days. I had told Ivonne that the first 3 days would be the longest.
    I oil the chain which takes forever as I don't have a centre stand but do have a stand that fixes to the swingarm spools. I have to assemble it every time I wnt to oil the chain. This is probably good as I normally wake up an hour before Ivonne so it gives me something to do.
    Getting to the Barber Museum doesn't take long but the bike plays up a little. To say the Barber Museum is great, very good or excellent just doesn't do it credit. It is by far the most stunning museum I have ever been in. The building is incredible the layout of the museum breath taking. We spent 3.5 hours there and only left because we were exhausted and hungry.
    Here are some of my favourite pics.

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    Ivonne loves sculptures and these were pretty neat. Anyone that comes to visit us, and anyone on a bike is welcome, gets to see the sculptures she has made.

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    How can you not be impressed by this bike. I had seen one before in a musuem in New Zealand and would love to hear and see one running. It doesn't seem right that cancer can take the life of someone with so much talent.

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    I thought this one was very unusual.

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    One of the world's sexiest bikes. I still think a Norton Comando is sexier.

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    I had a red K0 about 10 years ago. I sold it and shipped it to a guy in Japan. I still miss it.

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    I had to do a double take on this one. It is so well done it looks like a standard 900.

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    I had one of these in the seventies. This is a T500J and mine was a T500L. We thought that the J was the Holy Grail of 500 Suzukis as
    they were the fastest model. I had a run in with the police with mine which got me banned for a year and a 300 pound fine.
    Ivonne just said it was a horrible colour.

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    Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Fantastic.

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    2 Indians one restored and one not. Like a before and after photo only with really bikes.

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    In 1992 Steve Hayhoe, my very good friend, got one of these for us to go around Europe on. We did a little over 5000 miles in 5 weeks, camping evey night and eating a lot of ham sandwiches. We were a little poor in those days and had 2 small children that needed feeding and educating.

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    Weird but stunning

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    My type of library.

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    My son is not realy into bikes but thinks a Vincent Black Shadow is the bike to own. When I was 17 I meet a guy on the road one day with one. I was blown away by it's mechanical beauty and it's 150 mph speedo. I was riding a little Honda 125 twin which had a top speed of about 70 mph. 150 was unbelievably fast in my mind. 37 years it still is.

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    Honda's first engine. To me it looks very much like a Honda.

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    Out side the museum ready to get some food. The bike acted up a little but ran better once we put more gas in it. I couldn't believe the fuel was so bad and that we had to run on plus.

    We left at about 5:30 and went next door to the Bass Pro Sports store to eat something.
    We asked someone there where we could camp and they told us that Horse Pens 40 was a good place. It was fairly easy to find with the directions we got and the signs posted on the roads.
    The owner was a typical Harley looking guy with a long beard and a ponytail. He had a hunting knife and a night scope on one side of his belt and a gun on the other. He was quite a character with lots of stories. It turned out he was a gunsmith and had owned a security firm. He told us a great story about rescueing someone from a Mexican prison, freeing all the inmates and then swimming across the Rio Grande, where he had to throw away the best AK47 he has ever owned.
    Ivonne decided we should call him Pancho Villa. I don't really know why but it seemed like a good name.
    He told us several times that nothing would happen to us while we where in his campsite as he would be patrolling all night. I was not sure if this made me feel safer or not.
    We had a late dinner of chicken fingers which were about the size of my hand and went to sleep in the tent.

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    I love camping and luckily Ivonne likes it to. We now have Thermorests which for me is like sleeping in my own bed.

    There was only another couple camping but I'm not sure they knew about Pancho Villa's night patrols.

    Next stop Deals Gap
    #14
  15. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    As usual I was up before Ivonne and had oiled the chain and taken a shower when she got up. We had leftover chicken fingers for breakfast.
    Panco Villa's place had the oldest rocks in America, according to him. We walked around and had a look at them, pretty interesting. We were then on or way to Deals Gap.

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    We stopped at the Tennessee welcome centre. I was imterested in going to Look Out Montain but it was way too expensive.

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    We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch. It may not be a big deal to most of you but Roast Beef and veggies was great for us.

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    Paul ad told us we needed to take the Cherohola Skyway which turned out to be a fantastic road with new fast sweepers and great views.

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    We got a little lost but eventually found Deals Gap. Ivonne got bitten by a wasp type insect when we stopped for the photo. It still itches 3 weeks later.

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    A rider had told us that there was a Semi blocking the road. The tow truck wasn't going to do much luckily they unhooked it and we were on our way quickly.

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    We arrived at Deals Gap and set up camp. I was surprised at how many riders were there on a Tuesday. We discovered that it was an hour later there so went to the restaurant to something to eat before it closed.
    We then spent some time looking at the bikes and chatting to people. Mike had a very nice Suzuki Gladius which he had painted black.
    We listened to stories about the Gap. I was lead to believe that the likes of Nicky Hayden, Eddie Lawson etc came to the gap to practice. I thought that I might bump into "The Doctor" when we rode it tomorrow.
    It was nowhere near as hot here and we went to sleep in our little tent.
    #15
  16. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    We were in no hurry today. We got up and shared an enormous breakfast.

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    We took some photos and were ready to ride the famous "Gap"

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    We finished the gap quickly and stopped to put on our dragon stickers, We had been told that you couldn't stick them on before as it was bad luck and something terrible would happen.

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    Harvey a Canadian Harley rider had told us we should take 25 instead of the internet. It was a very nice road through hilly countryside. The weather was perfect. Then disaster struck. We rode into a Cracker Barrel for lunch and the bike died. The battery was dead. I remembered we had passed a Suzuki dealer so we bump started the bike and set off back to the dealer. When we got there it had gone out of business. Fortunately there was an ATV shop across the road. We coasted and pushed the bike across the road. They recieved the bike right away and soon told me what I already suspected. The stator had gone. It had been replaced by Suzuki under warranty about 10,000 miles ago.
    Chris the service manager got to work looking for a stator but had no luck. He ran out of time as it was 5 0'clock. I came up with a plan that we would leave the bike there and rent a car for the weekend and return on Monday afternoon and start the return journey to Mex City on Tuesday morning. Chris assured me the bike would be ready.
    I called the local Enterprise Rentals and was told that they couldn't rent me a car because I didn't have a US license!! After calling back and pleading I was told they could rent me a car for $185 but I would have to pay $200 for insurance buit they wouldn't have any cars until the next day, Things were looking very expnsive $300 for the stator or maybe more as we would have to pay next day shipping, $150 labor.
    We relectantly went to a Motel 8 to spend the night.
    The guys at Corbin Motorsports were really helpful and Chris gave us a ride to the motel.
    We had something to eat as it had been a very long time since breakfast.
    We did some washing as we were out of clothes.
    I slept very badly that night,
    What would the next day bring?
    It didn't look good. 2,000 miles from home in a foreign country with a broken bike.

    I had a very bad night's sleep.
    #16
  17. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

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    :lurk I heard of some of your plight in the MotoGP thread. Keep going, you're doing great.:ricky
    #17
  18. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    More coming soon but not tomorrow as it is Mexican Independence and we will have a party at home.
    #18
  19. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    Hi there Garry. Glad you guys made it home safely. Looking forward to the rest of your story.
    #19
  20. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Thanks Paul. Hope to see you in Mex City soon.
    #20