Round the world on a DR-z400

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by peteFoulkes, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    Freakin EXCELLENT!
  2. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    In the mountains?
    :huh

    Holy fook dude! How are you alright? One of those Colombian Angels must have been looking out for you!

    Please post more pics of the fix if you have them. Great RR. :deal
  3. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I'm OK. I was a bit battered and bruised at the time but I'm back on form now. I was so thankful to have had all my riding gear on at the time. It took me a while to feel comfortable back on the bike again but a couple of hundred miles later it was business as usual.

    The first thing to take the hit was the sump guard. It was ripped straight off the bike and we found it quite a few meters back. He cut the damaged side off and managed to bash the rest of it in to a suitable shape for it to be wedged back.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the damage to the frame here:

    [​IMG]

    There was a gaping hole in the crank case here and you can see where he cut the damaged part of the frame out:

    [​IMG]

    This photo shows the repair job to this. You can also see the new piece of frame welded up. The maestro even fabricated an engine mount on the new part of the frame.

    [​IMG]

    The housing was also damaged and incredibly botched up. Unfortunately I can't find a good picture of the damage to this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bike has since done thousands of miles since the fix and other than a minor oil leak it feels completely fine. Loads more pics here.

    The Maestro... An absolute legend at work. Everything is possible.
  4. mtbbker

    mtbbker MtbBiker

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    Centurion, South Africa
    Epic Ride:thumb:thumb:thumb

    Thanks for sharing !!!
  5. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    awesome update! glad you made it through that off! well done.

    +1 to the maestro!
  6. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    In the mountains?
    Thanks for the pics Pete. Its amazing the work some people can do.
  7. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Great story, and awesome you're still here to tell it. If you were a cat, you'd have spent a few lives there and then.
  8. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    haha, I guess I should start taking it easy as I left most of those lives on the BAM road in Siberia.
  9. Pedrogomezrios

    Pedrogomezrios Quiet

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    Medellín, Colombia
    Hi, what a journey, i have a question... There is no way to ship the bikes from vladivostok directly to Anchorade or at least Seatle?


    And how much did it cost to send the Bikes from Corea?


    I am so interested becouse next year o am going to travél from Medellín to vladivostok throuhg África And europe
  10. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    East of the seas of Kattegat
    Hi I'm a 6 8" Swede who's going to go to Buenos Aires from Arizona or there abouts on a DRZ 400, will my knees die?
    Good luck with the trip and may the force be with you.
    Awesome repair by the way.
  11. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    I ride with a guy who is 6'8". He rides an XR600R. (old bike) He's ridden my DRZ400E ... not too bad for shorter rides but I'm sure painful riding all day.

    You may be able to do a few things to raise the bike up some:
    rear link
    lowering tubes in triples
    build up seat at least 2 inches
    Foot peg lowering kit

    All that said the LESS reliable KTM 640 (either dual sport or Adventurer) is the better BIG MAN bike. But bring tools, parts and expert knowledge to make to B.A.

    My 6'8" buddy looked like a Clown riding my DR650, but not so bad on the DRZ.

    [​IMG]
    Here is 6'8" Bob on my stock DRZ400E, just doing a Day Ride in Mitomi wash, Baja, Mexico. A heavier shock spring, rising link
    and heavier fork springs certainly would have helped. Custom seat too!
    [​IMG]
    He fits better on his raised XR600R. The KTM's are even taller!
  12. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    yeah, I would agree! I am barely 6' and my bike sits just about stock. 200 mile days are kinda hard on my knees, but then again, I'm gettin' old! :rofl
  13. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Hi Pedro!

    Firstly, you live in one of the greatest cities this planet has to offer! Why are you leaving? :-)
    Your trip sounds excellent and I hope the planning stage isn't too stressful for you. We massively underestimated the cost of shipping on this trip. You may say this was down to a lack of forward planning but in all honesty, we found it hard to get accurate information until we actually arrived at the place.

    Is it possible to ship from Vlad to Anchorage? Yes, it is possible however it was very expensive and very slow. We were told it would take around 1 month to arrive before any customs procedures on the Anchorage side. In addition to that it was necessary that we hired an entire container which was thousands and thousands of dollars. It's difficult to find any English speakers around that area so we ended up using an agent recommended by numerous other riders on here and the HUBB. His name is Yuri. He is a friendly guy, fluent English speaking and seems to be making a genuine living. Drop him a mail to see if he has any more up to date advice for you:

    Melnikov Yuri
    Links, Ltd.
    89 Svetlanskaya str., office 312,
    690078, Vladivostok, Russia.
    Tel/fax: (4232) 22-15-78
    Tel: (4232) 22-08-87
    mail to: ymelnik <[AT]> links-ltd [<DDOOTT>] com


    Shipping the bikes from Korea ended up being an exciting part of the trip for us. Neither of us expected to be riding through Korea but it ended up being a real highlight. This was still very expensive and ended up costing $1350 USD per bike. We then needed to buy our own flights from Seoul to Seattle.

    Again, we relied on the help of a well known agent called Wendy Chow. I can also dig her details out if you need them.


    Feel free to fire any other questions over. I'm more than happy to help.

    Pete
  14. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    I think I'm with Grifter and Woodly on this one. I'm around 6ft and the bike feels about right for me. If possible, try to get out and do a few hours on a DRZ to see how it feels but I think you may well have to apply some of the mods listed by Grifter to make it a more comfortable ride.

    The DRz is not really built for the long, high-speed highway stretches and without a screen on can at times be quite uncomfortable when you encounter strong winds. BUT... it's ability to get you anywhere and everywhere makes it a great choice of bike for Latin America. If you give yourself enough time you can avoid the long straight stretches and really explore South America properly. In hindsight I don't think I would have chosen a different bike.


    Good luck.

    Pete.
  15. Pedrogomezrios

    Pedrogomezrios Quiet

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    Aug 18, 2012
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    Medellín, Colombia
    Not at all, your report has been so helpfull, and we are so exited with this project...
    Actually we are considering buying the bikes at florida (USA) and start traveling from there, can you imaging that an F800GS cost $22.000 dollars at Colombia and at the USA it cost just $12.000

    Ride fun ride safe.
    </ddoott>
  16. macarron

    macarron Adventurer

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    Mar 14, 2009
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    59
    Location:
    Spain
    CRD sump guards are really tough, I've used mine for more than 40,000 kilometres of enduro riding. I could have never imagined someone could break it like that.

    [​IMG]
  17. eightup

    eightup Been here awhile

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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    We need more updates!! I am loving this report so far and I cannot wait to take my DRZ around the world. If you are back in the UK this summer I would love to stop by and buy you guys a beer.
  18. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Haha! Pleased you're enjoying the updates and yeah we are definitely going to be knocking around London in the summer so get in touch and we will take you up on that beer.
  19. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Yeah, bike prices are crazy in Colombia. After my crash just outside of Pasto I thought I was going to have to buy a new bike down there. I was shocked to see the prices of any half decent bikes. Unbelievable. You guys have a tough deal down there but it sounds like your plan is coming together nicely.
  20. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Thanks go to Jon for writing this blog entry:

    Day 216, Friday 23rd November, it felt great to be back on the road. After the miraculous repair job performed by Meastro and his boys in Pasto, Tough Miles set sail towards Ecuador. Petes bike had undergone some serious surgery, so we proceeded with caution and checked oil and water at regular intervals. It was only a short ride to the border, but the crossing itself took hours. As we rode between offices a new noise developed from Petes engine, a loud intermittent clattering sound. Neither of us could imagine what was causing this, but we didn’t have time to investigate. We both knew the odds of us making it down to Ushuaia by the end of the year were extremely slim at this stage. After completing the necessary paperwork we finally made it out of Colombia, and began our ride along the E35 towards Quito.

    [​IMG]

    The last week or so had been extremely tough. I genuinely believed Pete would be stuck in Pasto waiting for his bike to be repaired for many more days, and I began mentally to prepare for riding on solo. Having now made it into Ecuador together, and seemingly got the trip back on track, well, kind of, we decided to quit while we were ahead and stop in Otavalo. Despite only being a small indigenous town, it was Friday, so in true Tough Miles style Pete and I managed to find somewhere to have a quiet drink……

    [​IMG]

    This one goes out to the Maestro!

    For some reason our nights out seem to be all or nothing, and the following morning I felt as rough as a badger’s arse. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, and despite a very late start, around mid-day, we both still felt drunk getting on the bikes. We stopped at an empty cafe for some breakfast and to try and sober up. Not being funny but the coffee tasted like soil and the bread was like filling my mouth with sawdust. We sat for 30mins or so in silence before battling on with the ride to Banos. Tough Miles.

    Banos, also known as the adventure capital of Ecuador seemed like a cracking place to spend a few days, offering all sorts of activities such as hiking, biking, rafting etc. But we were behind schedule, and I guess everyday riding is our adventure activity! So after a quiet night in hostel Plantas Y Blanco we pushed on to Cuenca, a city located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2500m above sea level. It was Sunday when we arrived, so literally everywhere was closed. Once we had checked into a hostel we tried to go for a couple of afternoon beers, but it seemed the local laws prevented anywhere from selling alcohol after 4pm, providing a perfect oppportunity for writing the next blog! The hostel, recommended by Team BMW was far from ideal. The only space left was two top bunks, which were so close to the ceiling that I could barely roll over without brushing my shoulder.

    On Monday the 26th November we left Cuenca and re-joined Team BMW further down the road in Loja. We knew Marj wouldn’t let us down, and as we arrived our luchtime tasty sandwiches were waiting. That day we managed to cross the border into Peru and ride together to a town called Piura. It was a huge ride, and as we dropped out of the mountains the air temperature rocketed. Entering Peru was like riding through an animal farm, with countless goats, stray dogs, chickens, pigs and cows lining the side of the road. It’s difficult to predict when the next animal will decide to bundle across your path, so you really have to be on the edge of your seat! The scenery was fantastic though, and the wildlife and changing conditions are a constant reminder of the epic adventure you are part of.

    [​IMG]

    For the following day we planned another long ride to reach Santa. That morning Pete was up and ready to go at 3.00am! I woke up and said “What the hell are you doing?!” He claimed I had said “It’s time” in my sleep. That must be the only time he’s ever got up before me! The road to Santa was long and straight, cutting through the middle of a desert. It was a nice temperature for riding, but the novelty of the scenery soon wore off and the day became a hard slog. Santa was hardly the seaside resort we had hoped for, and it became apparent that it would be another chicken dinner sat in a small cafe on the side of a dead town square, but that’s biking. At this stage we also noticed that Petes chain was knackered and that the tyres were degrading fast.

    On Wednesday the 28th November we had a long hot ride through the desert to reach Lima, the capital and largest city of Peru.

    [​IMG]