Oregon to Ushuaia on an XR650L

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Ulyses, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork I wish I was cool

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    Lets see some dirt. You are on a dirtbike after all.
    #21
  2. jub jub

    jub jub frumiousbandersnatch

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    I'm in! Great RR so far!
    #22
  3. 0theories

    0theories Enthusiastically Skeptical

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    Nice report! I passed through Grants Pass earlier today (not on a bike yet though). It's sunny and warm!! Will be heading south in a few weeks on the KLR :) Only going as far as Panama though. So, I'm a USMC veteran, tell me more about this free stay on the SD recruit base please.
    #23
  4. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Ugh....a dreaded KLR rider...haha! If you are retired from the Marines or still in the IRR, you can stay at the BOQ down there for about 30 dollars. They have rooms in the barracks too for like 10 dollars. You really just need a military ID. Here's their phone number: (619) 524-4401. I just got out in August, so I'm still in the IRR and I showed them my ID, no problemo. It's really close to downtown too, right next to the airport.
    #24
  5. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Great report. :freaky

    I am just a little ahead of you in Guatemala. It gets even better the further south you go, IMHO.
    #25
  6. Ed Zachtamundo

    Ed Zachtamundo Adventurer

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    In their defense, we may have taken some excessive...uh...liberties with regards to traffic laws. But, in our defense, it was AWESOME.
    #26
  7. auldublinr

    auldublinr Adventurer

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    Hey Man love your report and sense of humor.Can never go wrong with the Honda .The ktm boys might beat you to the first Bar , but you'll make all the bars:freaky
    #27
  8. Mossy-Back

    Mossy-Back Brown Falcon

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    Great report so far!

    When did you switch to the Avon Distenzia's? I've got them on my XRL right now because they came on it, but I'm wanting some more aggressive tires for it.

    Weather looks great down there! I've been having fun commuting to OSU 5 days a week in the rain.
    #28
  9. EmilianoXR650L

    EmilianoXR650L Been here awhile

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    :clap
    #29
  10. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Thanks! I'll rember that. I think we are going to Oaxaca, but I appreciate it!
    #30
  11. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I got them the day before I left. They've been great so far. Everyone is telling me they will last for like 10,000 miles. I guess we'll find out. So glad I'm not in the Valley right now......
    #31
  12. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    When we arrived in Tequilla, it was after dark, the first few hotels we went to didn’t have secure parking, and we were all a little tired and ready to just stop. So we found a place that was rather upscale, (600 Pesos) with a secure parking and decided to just bite the bullet and do it.
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    The next morning, two of the remaining riders were up and off before me and Ed Zachtamundo were even coherent. &#8220;See you in Patzcuaro!&#8221; Was the last thing we heard as their KLR&#8217;s clunked away&#8230;haha! But honestly, we rode a little faster than them, so they figured a two hour lead on us would be sufficient for a link up later that evening. More on that later.
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    Ed Zachtamundo and I took our time loading the bikes, then ambled down to the central plaza to break our fast. Being in Tequilla, I decided to have the Tequilla Crepes, which were fantastic, and only cost 35 pesos.
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    While we were eating, I was stairing at the church and had a brilliant idea: we should get the local priest to bless our bikes! I hailed the waiter and asked him if he knew where the padre was and if he thought he might be willing to give a &#8220;benadacion&#8221; to us and our &#8220;motos&#8221;. He said yes, and immediately went and contacted the padre for us! Awesome! A short time later, the padre came up, talked to us for a minute, then went across the street, grabbed his holy water and book of blessings, and came back and blessed us and the bikes. It was really cool!
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    We left Tequilla a little late and road like demons trying to get to Patzcuaro. As I&#8217;ve said before, on a motorcycle, you can pretty much do whatever you want down here, so we were passing on the right, white lining, lane sharing, jumping &#8220;topes&#8221;, and otherwise riding like hooligans. And most of this was right in front of the cops too. Go figure.
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    Stopped for gas in a small town on the edge of the State of Jalisco and did one of my regular oil checks. So far over the past 1,700 miles, I&#8217;ve added about 300 ml of oil to my bike. I&#8217;ve been running it pretty hard, so I guess that&#8217;s about normal for a big 650cc thumper.

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    A cop near the Pemex were we filled up told us that Michoacan, (where we were going) was &#8220;muy peligroso&#8221; and that there was lots of &#8220;narco trafficantes&#8221; up there. Which was funny, because when we got into Michoacan a few hours later, another cop told us that Jalisco (where we had just come from) was really dangerous but that Michoacan was safe.
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    As we neared Patzcuaro, we began to gain a significant amount of elevation. It started getting really cold, a big change from being down in 90 degree weather near Puerto Vallarta the day before.

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    We eventually caught up to a bunch of Mexican&#8217;s on Goldwings who were also riding like hooligans and we followed them into Patzcuaro.
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    Arrived in Patcuaro to find that all of the Hotels were full due to the Dia De Los Muertes Celebration going on that evening. Eventually we found an RV park were they let us camp for 90 pesos. So glad I didn&#8217;t ditch the tent and sleeping bag yet! We got some pasta and beer at the local &#8220;super&#8221; and made our dinner. We wanted to go see the big Procession for Dia De Los Muertes, but we were afraid to leave our stuff unguarded and ended up just crashing. Never heard back from the other two riders on KLR&#8217;s that were supposed to meet up with us either.

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    Woke up this morning and didn&#8217;t really feel much like riding the bikes too hard. Had breakfast in Patzcuaro, then headed for Morelia to look for oil and bike parts. Got to Morelia and saw a bunch of cops on Harleys. Pulled over and started talking with them about their bikes. They were really cool and gave us directions to the nearest Motorcycle store. Here&#8217;s Ed Zachtamundo with &#8220;el jefe&#8221;.
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    On a side note, one of the cops told me that you can buy a used Mexican Police Harley for about $800 american. Nice! Here's what the cops were riding:

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    Stopped at a Starbucks to use the wifi and get a reminder of what real coffee tastes like. Interestingly enough, an Americano in a Mexican Starbucks costs half as much as one in an American Starbucks. Checked our email and found that the two KLR riders that had told us they would meet us in Patzcuaro hadn&#8217;t even made it halfway before they had to stop for the night. Guess we passed them in flight somewhere. Oh well.

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    Decided to take it easy and only do about 20 miles more today. Ended up in a small town called Zinapecuaro. Stopped at the first hotel we came to and got a room. There were two armed Federali's guarding the gate as we pulled in, and about four of five armored Federali trucks in the parking lot. Guess we found our were the Federali's stay in this town.

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    The rooms only cost 250 pesos! Hot showers, secure parking, wifi, and a contingent of heavily armed Federali&#8217;s guarding the gates! We really lucked out tonight. We're alway asking for "estaciamento seguro" (secure parking), but it doesn't get much more secure than two dudes with M4's standing in front of your hotel compound.
    #32
  13. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Oh yeah, and whatever they call the "grilled corn on the cob slathered in mayo, cheese, chilli powder, and lime juice", it's amazing!

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    #33
  14. Mossy-Back

    Mossy-Back Brown Falcon

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    This trip is making me jealous!

    If only I was single and free from responsibilities for a few months...
    #34
  15. luckybum

    luckybum old n tard

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    Tell Ed it's good to see my old KTM being used like it's supposed to! Safe and fun journey to you both.
    #35
  16. mathews42

    mathews42 Been here awhile

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    Great pics Bryce! I've been to that plaza in tequila. There a bunch of really cool churches there. My family is from michoacan too. Had I known I could of sent you the info! Be safe brother. Bring me back one of those corns on a stick!!!!
    #36
  17. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Dude! I totally meant to ask you where your family was from! I thought they were in northern Mexico. I really wish I could have got to see them!
    #37
  18. mathews42

    mathews42 Been here awhile

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    Nah they are in michoacan on a ranch between puradiro and villa Morelos. The Ranch is called La Viga. Maybe on the way back through.
    Funny thing about those agave plants, the tequila isn't made from they green blue aloe stem looking part but from the base where the roots come out. It's pretty impressive stuff. Few years back we stopped and toured the city on the way to PV.
    Side though.... I onow you arent a fisherman but, When you get to TDF if you don't find a guide and go fish for a monster brown trout I will he disappointed. It's not uncommon to catch a 20 pound trout. Some of the biggest trout in the world are caught there. Think about it.

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    #38
  19. Red eyed and Rollin

    Red eyed and Rollin Been here awhile

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    Its called Elote's and its very good. I buy it on the street or in the back of Mexican grocery stores in Chicago for a buck!
    #39
  20. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Got up early this morning and actually worked out a little bit. Jumped some rope, ran down to the town square and back, it felt good! Ed Zachtamundo and I said goodbye to our Federali guards and hit the road for Puebla. We decided to take toll roads and just skip the hassle of trying to circumnavigate Mexico City on free roads. And the toll roads are nice! Even though riding on a toll road all day is more expensive than food and lodging for the day combined! Really though, the toll roads are so nice that sometimes you forget you are in Mexico and think you are back in the states on a freeway.

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    We've moved really far inland and now we are up on the Mexican Alitplano. Today we spend most of our time above 7,000 feet and topped out at almost 9,000! My poor carburated "El Senior" is struggling to breathe up here and I can feel the engine lagging as it tries to get enough oxygen for the fuel. Sometimes when I stopped at toll booths and let the engine idle, it would quietly die and have to be reved and re-started. If I stay up here much longer I'll probably have to adjust the fuel/air mixture screw. Below picture is my GPS telling me how high I am.

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    We stopped for lunch and I ordered what I normally order: the most random thing on the menu. Ed Zachtamundo followed my lead and we ordered what I guessed was some kind of chicken soup. Nine times out of ten this works great and I get to try something new and exciting. Today however, I ended up ordering a soup made out of chicken feet and chicken liver. It actually tasted okay, and the liver was palatable though stringy. But I just couldn't force myself to chew on one of those feet........

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    The ladies that ran the resteraunt were kind though. When I told them that Americans don't normally eat chicken feet, they laughed at me, and then brought out a bowl of normal chicken soup for Ed Zachtamundo, who was looking a little green after his run in with chicken livers. The ladies kept giggling at us, the two silly Americans, so as we left I convinced them to let us take a picture with them.

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    We rode the toll road for another hour then pulled off into a small, rundown town about 30 miles east of Mexico city and found a cheap hotel for the night. Luckily, our quest for secure parking has once again bore fruit as the proprieters have installed animals in the parking area to scare off intruders. I named this savage beast Hampton and gave him some dandilions in hopes that he will keep a weather eye on "El Senior".

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    Tomorrow we ride for Puebla where we plan on spending a day or two working on the bikes and seeing some actually touristy stuff rather than riding our asses off all day every day.
    #40