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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Ulyses, Oct 29, 2012.
Donated to the adventure. Keep keeping on.
Day 91 (January 14, 2013)
Day's Ride: 0 Miles
What a day. I got to the moto shop around nine and immediately took my other broken rack piece over to the welder. I hadn't noticed this fracture due to its being on the bottom of the rack. Luckily, all the gussets held it together and it didn't totally snap off.
Once again the welding was not quite as nice as I could of hoped for. Still, it's all stuck together now, so I guess we just have to conduct an experiment and ride the piss out of it to see just how long it lasts.
I returned to the shop and commenced waiting. And waiting. And waiting. This was factory owned Honda shop, so they weren’t too keen on letting me back in the shop to help with the work. So, I sat there all day and waited.
They weren't able to fabricate me a new chain guard; however, they just happened to have an XR650L in the shop. The manager said that he would give me the chain guard off of the their bike and then just order a new one from the states. Now that was cool. Here's my bike receiving a transfusion from the donor:
Unfortunately, the chain guard, which only costs $40 in the states, costs nearly $80 in Peru due to import fees and shipping.
I also told them that I wanted an X-ring chain or just the best chain they could find in Lima. I found out later that this was a mistake. Here's the chain that I got:
This chain ended up costing $153! I'm getting hammered by these expensive motorcycle parts down here.
It took a while for them to get the luggage rack back on the bike. They did a great job bending it back into shape; it's almost as straight as new! Unfortunately, they couldn't balance my front tire, which is a little out of whack after that flat. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and try and avoid the death wobble. They also didn't have 10W-40 synthetic oil, so as soon as they finished I had to make a mad dash around the moto shops of Lima looking for my oil. It turns out that there was a huge shortage of 10W-40 in Lima; it's the new unicorn blood! Eventually I was able to find two liters of it, for about $35!
After the hunt had concluded, I headed back to the Hostel to do some more maintenance. I made a little mess in their parking lot, but no one seemed to mind.
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<o>I took the used oil and threw it in a trash can on the street. About an hour later I was walking down that same street and found that all the oil had leaked out and formed a huge puddle on the side walk.....ooops!</o>
<o>Final event of the night was the air filter. Once again, in order to get it dry fast enough to apply the filter oil and let it have time to get tacky, I was forced to go find a hand drier in a restaurant bathroom.</o>
<o>I finished off the evening by cooking dinner with some of the fellow overlanders at the Hostel and drinking a few local beers. </o>
<o>In conclusion, thanks to everyone who has donated! I'm going to try to get some pictures tonight of the gas tank and send some more personal thank yous!</o>
I don't think you got hit too hard on the chain. A 114 link chain should cost over 100$ to my understanding.
Since I'm at work and don't have acess to my service manual I'll throw this out there. I think your bike takes more than two liters of oil per service. Especially if you changed the filter which you don't mention. You DO NOT want to head out with out a full amount of oil. When I service my XRL I use 2 1/2 quarts to get a full reading.
Make sure the bead is seated on your front tire. Examine the bead around the entire circumference of the tire on both sides of the tire. If the bead is not fully seated your front wheel will noticeably hop as it turns. :eek1 If the bead is not seated, you can support the front wheel and deflate the tire while its mounted on the bike. Then apply Windex, soapy water, or some other lubricant to the bead on both sides of the tire. After the bead is lubricated, re-inflate the tire and watch to ensure the bead seats on both sides of the rim.
Since your luggage rack is fracturing so frequently, I fear your bike's subframe might also be damaged. The photograph below shows the point on the subframe which is most likely to fracture first.
I strongly encourage you to inspect this area often. If you see the paint start to flake, or notice a hairline fracture at the bottom of the gusset, take prompt action to fix the problem. This area is located on the right subframe, just behind the air box.
Bryce, I love everything you're doing on this trip, except this kinda stuff. This isn't the first time you've reported polluting and/or trashing up a place. I hope you realize you are acting as an ambassador for any of us who may follow you. They may appear not to mind and not say anything to you but I assure you nobody takes kindly to anyone disrespecting their environment (and by extension, them). They will be talking about you for a while! And then they will consider the rest of us to be like you. We'll take the heat for your indiscretions. I'm sure others are thinking it also, but someone's got to step up and say it.
I suggest you treat wherever you are with the same respect and consideration as if it were your own place, or your parents' place. Tread lightly; leave it the same or better than you found it. Thanks!
When I went to OSU back in the 80's, I worked at the Beanery, which I think is the same coffee hut this fellow is talking about (there was another, but sorority girls went there...granola types came to the Beanery).
It is at the corner of NW Monroe and NW 26th...well, it was there in the 80's. (by the way, there was a sister coffee hut by the same name on SW Washington and SW 2nd).
I used to ride my Seca 750 with a few motorcyclists who came to the coffee hut on weekends, but I could never keep up.
One of them, Paul O'Neil, a die hard motorcyclist by morning and night (by day, he was an oceanography engineer at the university) who looked like the leather clad hell angel sterotype who did heroin daily from age 18 to 50, rode a Honda Hurricane among other very fast bikes (didn't have an HD as far as I knew).
From what I heard after I graduated, he ended up going off the road on Mary's Peak at speed one morning and into a tree. A friend of his in the lead got to the bottom, waited, then came back up looking for him. A gruesome scene against a Douglas Fir and RIP Paul.
If you do get to Corvallis, head on out past Philomoth, and when you get the fork in road, don't go to Newport but take the road to Alsea (bear left), follow the road till you get to the Mary's Peak turn off. Nice ride to the top and great view on a good day.
But I digress, back to the story at hand......
Bryce: no need to reply to the donation. I appreciate your past service to our country, and the great RR. At 68 I'm hoping to spend some time in Columbia within the next couple of years after reading your report. I've done service work in Equador with medical community and loved the scenery and the people. However, your descripions of border- crossing perils are a bit much for me. Will be riding the Yellowstone area this July with my wife and hope to meet up with some of the AVriders. Unfortunately, will be too far north to make the Ouray and Silverton rallys. Ride safe!
Fascinating! Thanks Duncan for the tips, and may Paul rest in peace; that could happen to any of us. There by the grace of God... I've had a few friends now depart via motorcycle. I may be next (crazy as I am). Peace!
+1 on this.
I have enjoyed your RR and appreciate all the work you've put into it. But I have cringed several times when reading about these indiscretions. Yes, you are an ambassador, so please tread lightly so others may follow. I'm guessing that if some "mexican" rolled up in front of your house and changed his oil, spilling it everywhere, then drove off- you'd track him down and hang him by the pelotas. Think about it.
Keep on rockin' in the third world, and be safe. Again, thanks for the entertaining RR.
There is still the Beanery there, which is somewhat hippy-ish, but the one they are referring to (I'm 99% sure) is called Interzone, and is down the street a few blocks on campus from the Beanery. Interzone is VERY hippy/alternative.
Mary's Peak is amazing! If you look a few pages back I posted some pictures from a ride I took with a friend of mine on our XR's a few weeks back. I had to remind Bryce of what he's missing back in Oregon. haha
Oops. Thanks for brining that up. I suppose you're right. There is a different attitude towards it down here though; it may not be the same everywhere, but I've seen numerous people draining the oil/radiator fluid/gasoline/etc out of their vehicles into the ground/street/sidewalk/ect. When I started this trip I would ask people what I should do with that kind of stuff and they would tell me not to worry about it, so I stopped really worrying about it. Still, I suppose that's no excuse. I guess it's time to clean up my act.
Hmmm...for some reason mine gets full after about 2 quarts with no filter change and 2.1 quarts (2 liters) with a filter change. I did change the filter last night. I do about three oil checks per day, and today every reading was right at the full mark. What kind of oil cooler do you use? Do you think that could be the difference?
Hmmm....I just took a look at it and I think the bead is okay. Do you think it could be that the front axle wasn't tightend correctly? Is there a method to the madness?
Thanks for putting up that picture. After hearing about the XRL's subframe issues, I've always wondered where it usually breaks. So far the subframe is still sound. I check it everyday at least once or twice and I haven't had any issues.
I am worried though; especially after getting hit by that car. Still, of all the things that could go wrong, that would be one of the easier things to repair. I'll keep an eye on it and tell you how it goes. I'm wishing that I would have had time to do the subframe reinforcement before I left.
The rack is so beat up now, especially after it took the brunt of two seperate crashes, that I think it's just going to keep breaking. The only thing to do is to replace it, which obviously won't happen until I get home. The president of TCI has offered me a new rack at no extra cost as soon as I get back.
Dudes, your giving me flashbacks - OSU Class of '82, riding up Mary's peak on my '81 Seca 750, The Beaver Hut, OSU #1 Rank in basketball, Ralph Miller.............
Sorry Bryce to do a little hijacking, but a fellow Oregonian would understand. Keep On, Keep'n On.........
I don't have an oil cooler. I dump in the 2.5 quarts and keep the other .5 qt for the next service or for topping off. The engine doesn't know if the tank has some extra oil in it.
Okay, I just wanted to make sure the bead was seated. Was the rim bent during one of your collisions?
Here is a video which demonstrates the correct method for tightening the front axle. Of course, the XR650L only has pinch bolts on the right fork.
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Day 92 (January 15, 2013)
Lima, Peru to Nazca, Peru
Day's Ride: 279 Miles
Starbucks, what a wonderful place. I took advantage of my last morning in Lima to hit up the old SBUX, drink some real coffee and post up yesterdays' report. I also upgraded my Med Jet Assist account up to the "Expatriate" level so that I have 180 days of medevac coverage. The old one was only good for 90 days. After seeing Justin get smashed and meeting that Australian (Adam) in Cali with two broken arms and no earthly idea of how he got that way, I figured it would be the prudent thing to do.
I swung by the moto shop on my way out of town to get a picture with the managers. Ricardo (on the right), the head manager, is also the sport bike racing champion of Peru. These guys are really cool and they went out of their way to help me out, especially with that chain guard that they cannibalized off of an XRL that they were selling.
As I walked into the shop, I recognized a KLR in the back that was being worked on. Ricardo told me that a Canadian who claimed to know me had dropped it off to have the tires installed and was currently over in the mercado getting coffee.
I rode my bike over to the mercado and look who I found:
Kedgi (on the right, aka Dwight) of "Lobsters to Llamas" fame, whom I had met at new years eve in Cayumbe. He had met up with a couple of Colombian riders that morning and was planning on staying in Lima for a few days.
Saying goodbye to Kedgi and his new Colombian friend, I hit the road. Getting out of Lima was surprisingly easy and before I knew it I was back on the coast.
After a while I stopped at a grocery store to check my oil, grab some batteries, and check my new chain. As I was checking things over, this guy comes walking out of the store:
I was so motivate by his shirt that I gave him an "Errrrr!". He had no idea what that meant. I'm sure that many of you don't either.....
Like Ecuador, Peru has nice roads. Like Colombia, moto's don't have to pay tolls. I suppose this makes it the best of both worlds.
It took me a while to figure this out, but after some angry hand gestures from the Peruvian toll booth workers, I eventually learned that moto's just skip around the right hand side of all toll booths. Interesting.
I stopped for lunch at a roadside stand today and had chicken tamales:
A little different than the Mexican version; these come wrapped in Banana leaves and are a little sweeter. They were delicious and at 5 Soles they were quite cheap as well.
Continuing on along the Panamerican highway, the scenery remained very desolate.
There is a certain beauty and almost a sense of cleanliness to the desert that I enjoy. At times, being in Peru has made me miss living in the Mojave. The coast of Peru has been one of the most desolate and sand swept deserts that I've had the pleasure of traveling through and I think I'll probably miss it. Still, I have the Atacama and the Salar de Uny to look forward too...
Towards the end of the day, I arrived on the outskirts of Nazca.
No one is quite sure who constructed the Nazca lines and they weren't even found until 1939 when someone was flying over the area to research ancient irrigation methods. There are various theories about their purpose: UFO landing sights, giant running tracks, walkways, etc, but I'll spare you the details. Look it up on Wikipedia.
Apparently, the only way to truly appreciate the Nazca Lines is to take a plane and fly over them. I didn't really have the time or the money to do that; however, some of the overlanders in Lima had told me about a little watch tower right off the Panamerican Highway that you can see a few of the lines from for 2 Soles.
I paid my 2 quid and popped up the tower for a quick peak. This is the Frog (or maybe it's a Hand?):
And this is the Tree:
There was supposed to be a third set of lines (a Lizard) visible from the tower, but I couldn't quite make it out. As I was at the tower, numerous small bush planes were buzzing about, ferrying tourists over the massive desert scape of enigmatic figures. Apparently there are a couple hundred different depictions as well as numerous different geometric shapes and lines. It's supposed to be really cool from the air. Maybe next time...
Coming back down I chatted with the vendors at the bottom and bought a Peru sticker from one of the ladies. A young tour guide was also hanging out down there, so I asked him if he would take my picture.
After the leaving the lines I rode the remaining 15 miles into the town of Nazca and found a Hostel, The Nazca Inn.
After some negotiation, a bed in one of the dorms is 25 Soles ($10). They let me park my bike in the lobby, and they have laundry, hot watter, and fast wifi.
Tomorrow I head towards Cuzco.