Same as it ever was...…chasing the horizon south

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Misery Goat, May 23, 2010.

  1. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    In their 80s pop hit “Once in a lifetime”, The Talking Heads compelled us to ask ourselves, “Well, how did I get here?” While I often enjoyed the song as a kid it was not until now I realized I can’t provide a sufficient explanation to the question. One minute I was jumping out of helicopters in the marines and next thing I know I’m here asking this paradigm challenging question.

    And since I can’t remove the water from the bottom of the ocean I’m temporarily hopping off the career treadmill and on to my motorbike bound for Latin America. I have no idea where this trip will lead, both in the literal and metaphysical sense. I may get tired in a month and call it quits or my wife may need to send out a recon team to bring me home, who knows. This trip isn’t about bragging rights or another notch in my belt, it’s about knowing how I got here.

    The general idea is to spend the next year or so on the bike riding throughout Mexico and Central/South Americas making my way to Tierra del Fuego. My itinerary will be very free form and I will ride when I feel like riding and hang out when I don’t feel like riding. It hasn’t escaped my attention that I’ll be making my way through Central America at the height of summer so we’ll see how that shakes out.

    I do have a few specific goals on this trip, most notable among them, gaining some fluency in the Spanish language. Baja is one of my favorite places to ride in the world and it’s always bothered me I can’t converse with the locals when I visit. I’ll be enrolling in various language schools and possibly immersion as I make my way south. I expect to take a lot of pics and will try to ratchet up my writing skills as well. I’m taking a recently acquired Go Pro HD video camera so I’ll have another arrow in my quiver of storytelling. I’m new to the video format and hope to tap into its potential. A trip of this magnitude comes with some risk so it goes without saying I’d like to return in one piece.

    I fully understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m thankful for my friends and family who in spite of my quitting a well paying job in the worst economy of our lifetimes have been very supportive and encouraging. And a special thanks goes out to my lovely wife whose understanding and support make this trip possible.

    Those of you who know me know how much I love music so I’ll leave you with this as I get my ducks in a row.



    Next up: Bike Prep
    #1
    canadius_maximus likes this.
  2. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    in

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Rangerrat

    Rangerrat Adventurer Rat

    Joined:
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    Tampa
    Yyyyyhhhhhaaa. Another epic journey down south. Got my Couch and Cervesa (beer) ready. :freaky I'm in......
    #3
  4. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    Have fun ..... stay safe!
    #4
  5. ZONKR

    ZONKR Been here awhile

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    Valley of the Sun
    Looks like a good one! Have a great ride MG.:clap
    #5
  6. 4play

    4play Next?

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    Avondale, AZ
    Good luck, stay safe. I look forward to the reports.
    #6
  7. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Should I take a thumper or a big twin? As I pour over the round-the-world (RTW) reports I can’t help but notice the abundance of F650s making the trek. It makes sense, a bulletproof engine, chain drive, not too big, and it’s a BMW. I went so far as to go to the dealer and sit on a number of F650s including the new twin and X-Challenge. I’ve been on the KTM 950 for 5 years now, 20K miles on the Adventure and 10K miles on the Superenduro, most of the miles offroad. In the end I chose to go with what I know. I feel confident tearing the 950 down in the field, the engine is bullet proof, and the ergos are perfect imo. While I realize there will be times where a smaller bike is ideal the SE handles very well in tight places so I’m willing to accept its shortcoming in this instance.

    The SE only had 1200 miles on it when I bought it and aside from trying to get its over-sprung suspension right for my riding style I’ve had no issues with the bike that weren’t self inflicted. Since the bike is set up for high-speed desert riding it’ll need some modifications for the trip and of course I’ll need to renew all the wear items. KTMSER (Spencer) was key in helping me (ie he did most of it :lol3) take care of all the maintenance and upgrades.

    Anyone who owns a SE knows the pains of the bike's limited fuel range. So first up on the list of mods is a Safari tank. The 7.9 gallon capacity will come in handy in remote areas especially since I have a knack for getting lost.

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    (Spencer's mumbling something about the poor lighting in my garage.)

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    Mulie giving a hand as always.

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    Next up chain, sprockets, brake pads/fluid, clutch fluid, and radiator flush.

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    I carry tools as a practice for trail riding so I’ll expand my kit and remove redundancy to include items that will allow me to maintain the bike short of a major break down. I ended up with this (more or less) for the final pack up. No, I didn’t take the big roll of duct tape. :)

    [​IMG]

    I decided to go with PIAA aux lighting at the last minute. They are brighter than any lighting I’ve had and after getting caught riding at night in Kashmir on an old Enfield with poor lighting I’ll be happy to have them. Hopefully they won’t fail on me this trip. Also pictured is a new TT and Enduro Engineering GPS mount. I could never get the Ram mount to sit still with the Zumo when offroading so I’m happy to have this set up.

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    I prefer soft luggage as it holds up better for me offroad. I’m good for the occasional biff and soft bags just give more imo. The racks for the rear panniers stuck out too much for my tastes so we had our welder bring them in and he added a cross brace for reinforcement, much improved. There will be times where I’ll miss not having lockable bags but I’ll just have to deal. The waterproofing will be key and I’m anxious to document how these bags hold up to the rigors of a long trip.

    [​IMG]

    The bike is wired for the usual USB powered stuff and I’ll have my Macbook so I'll be able to stay connected for the most part. That’s about it sans some incidentals and a final oil/tire renewal so here’s the bike packed down. I’m starting with too much shit, camping gear makes it tough to stay light, but I’d rather have too much with the option of lightening my load than not having something I need.

    [​IMG]

    Next up, Leaving
    #7
  8. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    #8
  9. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    Fuck yeah! :lurk
    #9
  10. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Hard to improve on that! Suerte!
    #10
  11. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    San Antonio, Tx
    ¡Orale!

    :wave

    :lurk
    #11
  12. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    I've been looking forward to this one. See you around down South maybe. Goodluck with your trip.
    #12
  13. enceladus

    enceladus I want off this rock

    Joined:
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    I felt the same way about a month ago. Litterally packed up and left in no time. I´m stuck in a little town called Pitalito in the south of Colombia right now waiting for the roads to be cleared. There has been so much rain down here lately that the road was blocked in 15 places. Besides that I had a run in with some bandits in Honduras who tried to take everything I had. Bike and all. Luckily, I was very suspicious of a car with blacked out windows following me as soon as I left the border. When they tried to block my way I was able to turn around fast enough to get away. The bastards tried four times but after the first attempt when I saw them I turned and headed back the way I came as fast as I could. Almost went into a manhole without a cover in Bogota. And had two cops stop me in Panamá for a document check. One had a shot gun pointed at my chest the whole time. The sound of a safety being released is not very assuring when its pointed at your chest.They were not very impressed by my Sinaloa liscense plate. If you get down any time soon let me know and maybe we can tag along together because one thing I have learned about making a trip like this is one person is a target. Im on my way all the way down. If you need any tips about the border crossings in Central let me know. I just did them all last week.
    One thing to remember is dont leave that crossing from Mexico into Guatamala without that offical sticker. There are a lot of shisters who have offical looking fakes. You will have trouble at the other end of Guatamala without it and you will have to go all the way back to Mexico to get it.
    Ron
    #13
  14. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    :lurk
    #14
  15. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Nice start Goat! :thumb

    I know a secret..... :lol3 :lurk
    #15
  16. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    I forgot about those. I almost went into one in Panama. They are often missing- one more reason to not ride at night.
    #16
  17. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Gracias Amigo!

    Thank you all for the well wishes. :D
    #17
  18. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    And I have it on video too. :rofl
    #18
  19. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Wow, that sucks. I'm hanging in Maz now and will be making my way to Durango then Zac in the coming days. Thanks for the tips and I'm glad to hear you escaped any serious damage, either from the bandidos, cops, or manholes. :D
    #19
  20. Crashed Bad

    Crashed Bad Big man, little bike

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    Set the controls for the heart of the sun
    Congratulations man! I'll be cheering you on from the salt mines.
    #20