Prairies To Penguins Alberta to Argentina

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DRRambler, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Pretty sure I'll make my way to Durango, thanks Johnny.
    #81
  2. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Day 14 Cabo San Lucas No mileage, no sore butt

    There has been a tropical storm warning for southern Baja that I have been watching closely. Since these things are unpredictable and I’m riding a motorbike, I decided to stay at least 1 more night at Los Milagros in Cabo. It’s a nice place actually and would recommend it but too expensive for me on this trip. Despite that I’m staying here.

    [​IMG]>

    [​IMG]>

    [​IMG]>

    [​IMG]>

    [​IMG]>

    Today I walked around quite a bit, checking out the marina and some of the tourist zone. I can’t count how many $20 dollar massages I’ve been offered. Not to mention Cuban cigars and jewelry for my wife. Note I have not taken any one of them up on their offers.

    It’s pretty windy but the rain is light down by the water. It must be raining harder up in the city because the roads down here are full of water flowing into the ocean.
    Dark and windy tourista zone

    [​IMG]>

    [​IMG]>

    My friend Cindi has been to Cabo a few times so I sent her a message gloating that I was here. She responded by checking with her network of Caboholics to find a cheap place for me if I need it tomorrow. The end result of many messages and a short walk to check a place out is wonderful. A member of the Caboholics Facebook page has offered to cover the cost of a hotel a few blocks from here. So tomorrow regardless of the weather I’m staying another night in Cabo. Generous people are everywhere! Thanks Cindi, John & Maddie.
    My new windshield sticker, not so professionally installed.

    [​IMG]>

    Tomorrow another day in Cabo


    #82
  3. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hey Dave they told us not to put the sticker on the windshield because they steal them, just keep it on you if they ask, just thought you would want to know.

    Jeff
    #83
  4. pne

    pne Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,040
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    won't catch me in one of those... but one of those ktm exc's or the super tenere on the showroom has got me drooling!

    Are you finding you can get by reasonably without speaking much mexican? I'm hitting the books to try to learn spanglish in preparation for a costa rica ride next year. :deal
    #84
  5. kalahari-k

    kalahari-k Kalahari-K

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I am following with great interest, concerned about your well-being, appreciative of the great pictures, but most interested in the hard working Suzy.....we need more pictures of her, and a description of how she is performing. :D. Great report - keep it coming!
    #85
  6. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Oh, that's a good point. I hope it will come off without difficulty
    #86
  7. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Thanks for that, I have been feeling like there hasn't been enough about the machine. I'll get right on it :deal
    #87
  8. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    841
    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    When I was in Mexico, the customs lady told me to carry it
    and just show it when asked. I stuck the decal on my windshield
    anyhow, as I felt I didn't want a reason for the policia to stop me
    and ask where was my decal.

    They do come of easy, but the square, sticky "frame" part is hard to remove.
    #88
  9. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I'm getting by fine with my limited Spanish. I took 3 Spanish courses from the Edmonton Hispanic Society before I left. I know how to form a sentence in the present tense and my numbers are good. It's my vocabulary that sucks.
    #89
  10. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Day 15 Cabo 0km

    I feel guilty.

    I am really enjoying my time here and all I’m doing is hanging out.

    I took my time getting out of Los Milagros Hotel after getting an omelette at The Crazy Lobster, a close by restaurant. At exactly 11:00am I jumped on my bike for the 2 minute ride to the Siesta Suites. Juan, the manager had received the message about my arrival and set me up in a room. After unloading Skelly I walked her up three steps into the courtyard and parked her in a nice safe spot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I asked the housekeeper if she could wash some clothes for me and she obliged.
    Sitting in the new room I got caught up on my banking then decided to go for a walk to the beach. The Siesta Suites is two blocks north of the Wyndham Hotel on the west end of the Marina. It’s a pretty good walk to the beach but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Walking in the warm ocean surf was fantastic. I regret that I did not wear my swim suit and didn’t go for a swim but there will be other beaches.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the way back I stopped for a couple of cold ones. Sitting in the bar with a stupid grin on my face, I had to pinch myself. I actually rode a motorcycle to Cabo San Lucas and am sitting in a bar enjoying drinks. Wish you were here!

    [​IMG]

    Lands End as seen from the public beach

    [​IMG]

    After my walk I decided to take a water taxi out to Lands End to see the famous Arch. I found a boat and was the only passenger. It is really spectacular and I shot dozens of photos. Alas....my camera had no memory card in it! What a silly gringo I am. Rather than get upset about it I just decided I’ll have to come back for a vacation sometime.

    Dinner was delicious at Wicked Pizza (Sorry Food Photo haters)

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow La Paz and the Ferry
    #90
  11. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,340
    Location:
    Calgary
    What a great feeling!,there will be many more I'm sure!!:freaky
    #91
  12. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Here is an overdue update on the machine.

    [​IMG]
    Skelly (as I have named her) is a 2009 Suzuki DR650SE. She currently has about 20,000km on the odometer, 5,000km of that in the last two weeks. I would say that so far the machine has performed above expectations. There are a few minor negatives and a bunch of positives.
    First thing I’ll mention is the kickstand. I installed a short side stand to compensate for the extra load. This was a mistake. Every time I stop on level ground and deploy the stand it’s perfect as long as I’m on the bike. When I dismount the springs relax and the short stand slides out until the right angle is reached. This means a very steep position and a lot of weight being supported by the stand. At times I’m worried it will fall over but it hasn’t yet. The result of this is the stand mounting bolt is under tremendous stress and there is now excessive play. I think the bolt hole is rounding out. I am being very careful to find parking on a slope that allows a better lean angle. Since I discovered what was happening and am taking measures to reduce it and the situation has not worsened.

    [​IMG]

    Secondly the tires. I’m running Mitas E-07 and love the way they feel. I was hoping for 15000km wear but I am skeptical about that at the moment. The first 5000km have been fast straight and hot so this may contribute to the wear I’m experiencing. There are also some cracks forming on some of the lugs. I’ll be watching carefully and perhaps buy a new rear tire in Guadalajara just in case. The front tire is perfect.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Chain is a DID VX X-ring. A real purdy gold one. Adjusted it once so far but only because I had it somewhat loose to begin with.

    [​IMG]

    Oil consumption: Skelly occasionally puffs oil on start up. Likely valve seals. I was concerned before the trip about this but now it’s a non issue for me. The head gasket is leaking slightly. It’s a new leak but really minor. Today after almost 5,300km I added about 200ml of oil.

    [​IMG]

    Fuel consumption: I have burned 237.5 liters of fuel in 5295.6km. In Canadian terms this is 4.49 liters per 100km or using U.S. gallons it’s 52.39mpg. I budgeted for 6 liters/100km
    I have the stock 15/42 gearing and on the highway in 5th gear the bike is not working very hard at all. My cruising speed in Mexico has been between 85 and 95km/h. The speed limit is 80kmh maximum all the way through Baja until south of La Paz where the highway is 4 lanes and speed is increased to 90-100.
    I have added a number of accessories to the bike for this ride. In due time I’ll review each one of them.
    #92
  13. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Love it sofar, It's great to see someone break out and make a run for it :clap
    #93
  14. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hey Dave I have the same tires and did almost 22.000 km's on them and sent them back home when I put the new ones on because I think I will be able to get another 4.000 out of them, the edges will get hit by rocks and show some wear but they will last.

    Jeff
    #94
  15. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Day 16 Cabo San Lucas to the Mazatlan Star Ferry 240km

    Sunday September 8th started as many of the others so far, hot and humid. The 3 hour ride north to La Paz was beautiful with the sun over my right shoulder for a change. Livestock was everywhere along the road so my pace was unhurried and I arrived in La Paz at noon.

    [​IMG]

    I searched for and found Bandidos but was disappointed to find it was only open for dinner. I found an alternate for lunch on the marine drive.
    While waiting for my food I saw a VStrom ride by and the two on board glanced back at my bike as they passed. In a few minutes they returned and sat down with me. It was Paul and Asli with whom I had exchanged emails about sharing a cabin on the ferry. They had not purchased their ticket yet so we agreed to share a room while on board.

    [​IMG]

    I arrived at the ferry and once my paperwork was inspected moved on to the staging area for a hot 90 minute wait to board at 3:00pm A couple of Kawasaki KLR motorbikes pulled up and I met Troy and Martin. Ironically I had passed them a few days earlier as they were moving northbound and I south. I didn'’t think I’'d see them again but here they were.

    We all entered the boat and down a steep ramp to the deepest deck. The belly of the ferry was like a sauna. We tied down the machines and unloaded gear we would need.

    [​IMG]

    Rules dictate no return trips to the vehicle deck so I had to be sure I had everything I needed. In hindsight I brought way too much. Climbing step ladder-like steps up 5 decks to the reception was an exercise in will power. Thoughts of climbing to Crypt Lake in Waterton on a sweltering day came to mind.

    After a quick shower all the gringos quickly found each other on deck. We met Frank (1979 CB700) from Montreal and Katie from Belgium. Soon we were joined by a fellow from Mexico City and Taka (DR200) from Japan. So we sat on the deck drinking beer and telling stories into the dark of the evening. The stars were spectacular and we witnessed a lightning show in the distance.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Paul and Asli

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We slept well on a smoothly rocking sea and awoke to have breakfast at around 8:30. Troy, Martin and Frank are headed to Tecuela as soon as the ferry lands and I decided to tag along for the 3-4 hour ride. Although this is a deviation from my original plan, I like the idea of traveling with others for my first few days of Mainland Mexico.
    #95
  16. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Day 17 Mazatlan to Tequila 450km 7.0 hrs

    I began to wake up as the sunlight made its way through the cabin window. Not knowing the time I made my way to the cafeteria and discovered some of my new found friends having breakfast. I sat down to join them and enjoyed scrambled eggs with sausage mixed in and tortilla chips fixed in a unique and interesting way. We still had three hours before docking in Mazatlan so I spent some time writing and getting ready to disembark. I turned in my room key and took my gear down to load the bike. It was 36 degrees on the lower deck and I was just soaked in perspiration. I didn’t realize it but I was not exactly permitted to go down there until they gave the word so I came back up on to the 5th deck and waited with the rest of the gang. Frank and Taka left first because they were on a different deck than the rest of us. About 45 minutes later we got the call to get down to the bikes and get going. We all un-tethered our machines and rode out into the fresh air.

    [​IMG]

    Martin, Troy and I headed for the toll roads to allow fast travel through the Mexican interior.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Each toll booth required a different amount of Pesos. By the time we finished the day we each had spent 382 pesos for the privilege of riding on the smooth wide expressway. We stopped for lunch in Escuinapa for some fantastic chicken roasted over wood charcoal.

    [​IMG]

    Randomly, we encountered Frank and Taka briefly in the middle of town but lost them as they turned off for fuel. As the kilometers passed the rain began to come down so we geared up for wet weather and braced ourselves for a storm. It rained until we arrived at Tequila and then stopped just for our arrival. 15 minutes before sunset we found a 400 peso hotel which included free parking five blocks away but it was secure. After unloading and parking the bikes the first order of business was food and of course Tequila! The three of us ate dinner and enjoyed a wonderful glass of tequila for about $8US each.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow maybe a Tequila tour and then...I’m not quite sure
    #96
  17. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,340
    Location:
    Calgary
    Be careful riding only the toll roads......by the time you get down to Belize you could easly spend $400.00:huh The way I look at it the 382 pesos is a hotel room.

    Did you bring your own tie down straps?
    #97
  18. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    We're done with toll roads. But the weather is so bad right now we wanted to make miles while we could. The cost of the toll roads does add up. I basically deleted two nights hotels in exchange for one day of tolls, so I'm ahead peso wise. From here on out I'm slowing down. Yes I had my own tie downs.
    #98
  19. fabriktr

    fabriktr Build it if you can.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    DRRambler, hello from New Zealand. Back to Oklahoma soon.
    This is a good thread with great pictures. I'm loving it. Subscribed.:clap
    #99
  20. TEWSTER2

    TEWSTER2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,771
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm In!