Oregon to Ushuaia on an XR650L

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

  1. 96ssportsp

    96ssportsp Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Hermiston, Or

    Bryce,

    Glad to hear you are ok, I think you may have a dozen guardian angels riding with you. :D I am happy to hear you are a atgatt guy now. I expect to see that on the hardly too.:rofl

    Ride safe, Scott.
  2. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Jul 9, 2005
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    Central Coast, Cal
    :yikes Hopefully, once you get up and going this morning your self assessment and careful go over of the bike are uneventful.

    :lurk
  3. aviatorbdm

    aviatorbdm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    108
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    Oregon
    Dang man you have nine lives! Run over by clueless boat captains and hit by errant drivers. Thank God you came out OK.
  4. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :stfu-- Jesus H. Cristo.:eek1 Glad to hear you are OK.
  5. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,309
    Location:
    Alaska
    Glad you came out of that one unhurt. I think Peru was where I had the most close calls for sure, generally with trucks and busses.

    I was lucky during my travels. I only got hit by one pickup which did a fair amount of damage to the bike, but I was unhurt in that 70 mph get off, lucky. The rest of my crashes over the 45,000 miles were self induced. :lol3
  6. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    I'm very glad to hear you were not injured, Bryce. I will remember you in my prayers.

    Spud :beer
  7. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork I wish I was cool

    Joined:
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    Just a little update for everyone. In case you didn't know I am Ulyses's younger better looking brother and have been in contact with him since the crash. He was able to make it to a restaurant and proceeded to eat 2 to 3 meals and approximately 4 beers. I know that the prescription for an event like this for my brother is 3 to 4 meals in one setting but I believe the 1 one extra beer will make up for the lost portion of food and everything should be okay.

    I also would like to add that he has a fairly gnarly beard which probably saved his life.
  8. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Day 86 (January 9, 2013)
    Huanchaco, Peru to Huaraz, Peru
    Day's Ride: 236 Miles
    [​IMG]

    As I was talking with Jdowns back in El Salvador one night, he commented on the ironic choice of my user name for advrider: ulyses. It should be spelled Ulysses, but that was already taken when I registered. In any event, Ulysses is the Latin name for Odysseus, the central figure of Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus was plagued by misfortune for nearly ten years on his journeys, and sometimes I wonder if a little bit of his bad luck has worn off on me.

    Leaving Huanchaco, the ride south continued to be desert. The only interesting thing before taking the turn off into the mountains ended up being the fuel selection:

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    97 percent octane gasohol, NITRO Version! Even though it cost over six dollars a gallon, I figured I would give it a try and see if my bike suddenly developed the ability to fly. I was sorely disappointed.

    Just north of Chimbote, we stopped to consult the map and decide which route we wanted to take to get up into the Cordillera Blanca. Al and a few other people had recommended it, as well as Canon del Pato (Canyon of the Duck) as being excellent rides. There were several options, all of them containing un-paved sections, so we chose the route with the lowest elevation as the gasohol made our already elevation weary machines run even worse.

    Little did we know that we had accidental (and fortuitously) chosen the Canon del Pato route! After turning of the Panamerican Highway, we rode for a ways before the blacktop ended and the fun began.

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    The landscape was severe, sun blasted desert with magnificent scorched mountains towering on either side of the canyon. The scenery was incredible!

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    There were several small villages along the route; most were composed of two or three run down mud brick houses, but one contained a picturesque little church.

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    The road was beautiful! Well graded, smooth gravel with numerous small bridges and tunnels.

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    The canyon became so narrow and steep that there was hardly any room for the road; at some points there was no room for the road and crudely blasted tunnels were bored straight through the bones of the mountain.

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    Often the towering stone was simply undercut to allow room for the roadbed.

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    Eventually the tunnels began to come at a dizzying rate as the road climbed further into the canyon.

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    The rapid transition between glaring desert sunlight and the inky blackness of subterranean shadow often left us blinded and I nearly ate it a few times while charging madly through the tunnels at high speed. As ever, "faster and more dangerous" was the motto of the day.

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    Eventually the canyon broadened out for a while. We stopped to take some pictures at one of the more picturesque tunnels.

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    Massive three thousand foot high scree fields soon became the order of the day.

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    I really wanted to be dropped off at the top and then go "screeing" all the way to the bottom. Soon the road begin climbing the face of the canyon through innumerable switchbacks.

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    Interspersed throughout the switchbacks were several lengthy, narrow tunnels. A sign preceding each tunnel entrance ordered that you honk your horn to warn traffic traveling in the opposite direction that you were entering. Despite the warnings, we still almost got pinched by a few massive trucks.

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    Finally the road topped out at the head of the valley that parallels the Cordillera Blanca, and the pavement resumed.

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    Before long the massive glacier capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca began to appear on our left.

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    After stopping to take few pictures of the mountains I was turning around to get back on the road when disaster struck. Or, to be more accurate, a small white station wagon.

    I had looked behind me to make sure that the road was clear, then looked forward and began to cross the road. As I eased out the clutch and begin moving, a small white car came flying over the rise in the road to my left. The driver saw me and slammed on his breaks just as I saw him and slammed on the throttle. As the hood of his car slammed into the back of my bike, I had another very lucid thought, similar to the "El Pescador" incident, in which I knew that I was about to die.

    Luckily, I had sped up en ought that I was mostly in the other lane and his car smashed into the rear right Pelican case on my bike. The impact flipped me and the bike around in a 180 degree arc and sent us both sliding down the pavement. As I was sliding on my elbow and my back down the pavement, I thanked god that I was wearing the hard plastic armor that I had bough in Medellin.

    As soon as I came to a halt, I sprang up and jumped out of the road. Once again I did a frantic pat down to assess the damage to my body. Nothing. I had a small scratch on my back from the metal clasp of the suspenders that I use to hold up my riding pants, but that was it.

    I immediately ran over to my bike, and, with the help of bubbletron, got it upright and moved onto the side of the road. At first glance there seemed to be no damage to the bike other than a scuffed up Pelican case and a twisted luggage rack. I started the bike up for a minute and it ran fine.

    Shutting the bike off, I went to investigate the car and driver that had hit me. Luckily, the driver had been able to slow down enough that only the hood of the car was a little dented in; but there was no damage to the radiator or bumper. You can see the two lines on each side of the dent where my Pelican case slid up his hood:

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    Not having bought the mandatory insurance at the Peruvian border, I was anxious to get everything sorted out and make myself scarce before the Police showed up. Figuring that I would be held at fault regardless of my culpability, I decided to pay the guy off an make a run for it. We talked it over and I ended up giving him $100.

    Before I left, I asked him if he would sign my gas tank, something that I had wanted to the Captiain of "El Pescador" to do but had never been able to achieve.

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    After some warning from the locals that the cops would be here soon and that we should vanish, I jumped back on my bike and rode hard for about 30 miles until we got to a gas station outside of Huaraz. Jumping off the bike, I did a more thorough self assessment and realized that I was totally fine and that the bike was looking/running okay as well.

    We got into town and I got a room for 20 Soles at a hiking/mountaineering hostel called "Jo's Place". Then, we immediately went out into town, and, as per tradition when tragedy strikes, I ate a few dinners and downed about four beers.

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    Luckily, there is an American expat in town who runs a micro brewery and I was able to enjoy the best Pale Ale of the entire trip. The restaurant even gave me a beer "para llevar", or "to go". In essence, a road beer. Salud!
  9. turnenem

    turnenem TBD

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,055
    Location:
    Montana
    "The rapid transition between glaring desert sunlight and the inky blackness of subterranean shadow often left us blinded and I nearly ate it a few times while charging madly through the tunnels at high speed."

    A freakin poet!

    Been following all along and your writing just keeps getting better! Keep up the good work and "Bueno suerte!"
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Glad you still got some of your nine lives left:clap:clap:clap This stuff can be dangerous business sometimes and change in a heartbeat, attention is the most important part, I know it well and because my lack of it I ended up with twelve screws out of one of my stupid offs:puke1

    It's great you got to go up in the mountains and not just hammer the PanAm.
  11. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    Holy Crap! Your ride report is the only decent one going right now and if you lose a couple more of your nine lives I'll have nothing to read when I'm suppose to be working. Take care...ride safe!

    Johnnydarock
  12. Paebr332

    Paebr332 Good news everyone!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
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    Hit by boat.

    Hit by car.

    Hit by car (again).

    If I were you I would keep a weather eye on low flying aircraft. :eek1
  13. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Jun 14, 2005
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    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, CO.
    Sure glad you are ok , bumper cars with that bike is gonna test your body parts but according to that brother of yours, the saving grace is that beard.

    The R2R team in the Dakar had a bad accident today, several injured but none too serious.

    You be safe, ride smart!

    Vaya Con Dios,
    gale
    Semper Fi
  14. purpledrake

    purpledrake No Pretensions

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Seattle-ish
    Hey, Ulyses,

    Like the others have said, you really are one lucky bugger. I am sorry to hear of your troubles, and that you had to pay the other guy (the reckless one, who caused the accident) $100 to get out without police trouble. T'aint fair.

    On the other hand, regarding the above photograph, I can only gasp. Ohhhhhhhhhh. What a mountain.

    Thanks again for the great RR, and be safe (Translation: Slow down in dark tunnels, &c.).
  15. RubberSideUp

    RubberSideUp Adventurer

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    Sep 3, 2008
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    32
  16. Leminkainen

    Leminkainen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    84
    Stay safe!

    Great report so far!

    Lem
  17. Ganjora

    Ganjora class A bollockser

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    loving your RR, i check in everyday for my fix.
    you've still got a long way to go.
    take it easy, and be safe.
    all the best.
    D
  18. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Day 87 (January 10, 2013)
    Huaraz, Peru
    Day's Ride: 0 Miles

    Turns out that I did get injured from that crash yesterday: I think that car gave me a stomach virus when it hit me. It was either that or the chicken curry I had last night. I woke up this morning and made a mad dash to the head, only to find that there was no TP. The Hostel staff was nowhere to be found, so I grabbed a handful of brochures from their office and made a b-line to the john.

    So, that's what I've been doing all day. I planned on tightening up my chain and heading to Lima, but instead I spent most of the day laying in bed with some serious stomach cramps and making about six mad dashes for the bano.

    This afternoon I felt a little bit better, so I got up and wrote yesterday's ride report. It started raining around that time, so doing bike maintenance was out of the question.

    Eventually I decided it had been too long since I visited a latin american metal worker, so I went across the street to the local hardware shop, bought some metal tubing and asked were the nearest welder was.

    Ever since I traded out my ammo cans for Pelican cases, I haven't had a center stand. Brown Falcon recommended that I have someone make me an enduro stand. After looking at some pictures, and stealing the one that bubbletron had for a pattern, I felt confident that I could make one with little trouble.

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    They pointed me up the street a few blocks, so I went for a walk and eventually found what I was looking for.

    The welder was busy making someone a gate, but he told me that if I did all the prep work, cutting, drilling, etc, that he would weld it together when I was ready. Deal!

    I fired up the drill press and started drilling holes through the two tubes that I had bought. I then took a piece of square tubing and bent it to make the top.

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    Then I cut some flat steel for the base....

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    Eventually the welder finished what he was doing and took over the drilling while I cleaned up the pieces on the bench grinder.

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    After all of the pieces were ready, the welder tacked it all together....

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    .....and then we were done! On the bottom is the original American made stand, and on the top is the Ulyses/Peruvian made stand, complete with homemade cotter pin. It works like a charm too! I'll have to get some pictures of it tomorrow when I'm adjusting my chain.

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    That's all for tonight. Tomorrow I ride for Lima!
  19. pdxmotorhead

    pdxmotorhead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    858
    Location:
    Portland OR
    BTW whenever you get back to Portland,, there oughta be a celeb meet at the Widmere or Lucky Lab / Or......

    Dave
  20. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF ┬┐to post or to ride?

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
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    7,300
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
    Man.... You're taking a huge gamble riding that thing to the corner, much less to Lima, with the sprocket in that condition. I'd arrange to store it and get your parts by bus. And I recommend NOT to tighten your chain the way you've been doing it. Keep it loose! Your sprocket / shaft problems and chain stretching are indicating having set the chain too tight.

    Here is a diagram of a chain drive and swing arm - with a line between the sprocket centerlines passing through the centerline of the swingarm pivot.

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    To realize this is the tightest the chain will ever get, over the suspension travel, imagine the rear moving up or down from this aligned position. Since the swingarm pivot is between the sprocets, you can see that the distance between the sprockets (labelled 24" in the above image) will decrease to less and thus the chain will become more slack.

    Hence, if the chain slack is set to a minimum acceptable value, just loose enough to not be under tension, in this case about 1/2" of play in the center of span, at the longest distance between the two sprockets, as above, then the chain will be properly tensioned for full suspension travel. It should be not sloppy but not under any tension in this position of max tightness.

    I know you must feel terrible about pulling out onto the road when a car was coming. The great thing is you got off without getting hurt, not to mention getting off easy paying the guy $100 and not even going to cool your heels in jail. You were super-lucky on so many levels! God is with you, and here he was reminding you - perhaps you are not praying enough :dunno

    Slow down a bit and focus, brother in spirit.