South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola Juanito,

    A 990 is a fine bike for Latin America. Especially out on the long lonely road. I would get in trouble with that much throttle. I stick to riding slow bikes fast. It's almost as much fun. Well okay, until a 990 flies by and I twist my right wrist like Pavlov's dog and there's nothing there.

    I know what you mean about getting bogged down in details before you leave. I'm there now. Thankfully I started this report early and have Crashmaster around to remind me to get out of Dodge NOW!

    Thanks Vince by the way.

    Anyway I look forward to seeing you down the road. I'm sure we'll run into each other coming and going somewhere.

    Best,
    John Downs
    #61
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    One of the few benefits of being a bachelor is that you can bring your compressor and tires in from the butt freezing garage and warm them up by the wood stove:

    [​IMG]

    It's going to get down in the teens tonight. I get a feeling I'm going to freeze my nads off for the first few hundred miles. Might have to adjust my route and head straight south through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

    I always forget how winter hits like a hammer up here.

    Cheers,
    John Downs
    #62
  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Yup,you watch Charlie and Ewan pick those monsters up over and over and over again,gotta wonder how many less times they woulda been on the ground if the bikes didnt weigh 700 lbs or more all loaded up. And most of their trip wasnt a hiway cruising sorta trip,a 650 single would have done fine. But wouldnt have had the panache of riding a giganto euro bike.
    As a long time trail rider,since I was about 13 back in 1971 or so,the lighter,the better. Simpler is just as important when things go all wonky.

    Kinda funny when the Long Way Round video guy gets on the 1000.00 russian POS bike and rides circles around Charlie and Ewan,light bike,no problem.
    #63
  4. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    JD,
    Take more socks man. Buen Viaje y mucho suerte.
    Saludos, Jim
    #64
  5. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Same deal here,,just me and the dog and a 80 year old house,Ive got a 1968 Greeves 360 in the front room,its comfortable there. Back room is a shipping room for my online bike parts biz. I can punch 2 buttons and shut the whole thing down to go riding.Simple IS good.
    #65
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I take about 4 pair,wash em in the occasional sink,then dry em hanging off the bike the next day.
    #66
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola Jim,

    Wear one pair, wash the other pair. Two pairs the limit. You have to draw the line when you're riding a pequeña motocicleta.

    Great to have you along for the ride!

    Best,
    John Downs
    #67
  8. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    JD,

    Absolutely awesome you are taking your 250 Sherpa on a two-continent adventure, and even more so starting from home! You are blessed to have the time and health to do the trip, as well as the sensibility to realize that you don't need a 1200cc adventure bike to have a real adventure.

    During my rides in the Peruvian Andes last year and Costa Rica this year I did the Fly & Ride approach. I had a blast, no regrets, but I sure missed my little XT225 when the big rented bikes got into some of the heavy stuff (especially when they were horizontal).

    Have a fantastic trip; I will certainly be following from home.


    All the Best,
    #68
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Poolman,

    Nice to have you along! You are lucky to have hit the Andes and CR on a fly and ride. It's a great way to go if you have limited time.

    It's my job to entertain you this winter while you plan your next ride. Just as you and a host of other folks have entertained me with your ride reports.

    I'm having a blast already and I haven't even got out of the freakin' driveway.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
    #69
  10. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    John

    I really enjoyed your last Ride Report. Outstanding!

    It was one of the great ones that have motivated me to plan my own trip to South America. I'll send you a PM with more detail but I am just about ready to hit the road from Shediac NB, Canada on my trusty KLR 650

    RTW Paul was kind enough to give me some tips based on his experience. I plan to be on the December 8 Steel Rat

    I'm a 55 year old retired Air Traffic Controller that's not getting any younger and I decided if I'm ever going to ride to SA this is the time to do it.

    Last year I did the Trans Labrador, twice, once in each direction and earlier this year I shipped my bike to Miami and then did a Key West to Shediac, avoiding the slab (both ride reports can be found on this forum)

    Looking forward to following along on this ride and hope I may even meet you on the road.

    Kedgi (Dwight)
    #70
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Dwight,

    You must be my younger brother from a different mother. Glad to have you along!

    Just missed Shediac when I cut over on 1 to PEI a few years ago on a tour of the maritimes. Beautiful country in the coastal Maritimes up there. Friendly people. Its a beautiful place you live in. Well, it was in August. But hey, it's starting to get down towards 10C daytime I imagine now that the leaves are falling. Better head south before too long!

    All your Canuk geese are flying over the Sandhills here in Nebraska. I think they know something we don't. Those Vees of geese were pointing the way when I looked up from work outside yesterday afternoon. Their faint cries from way up seemed to be saying" "Go now!, Go now!"

    Hope to see you down the road!

    Best,
    John Downs
    #71
  12. VooDooDaddy

    VooDooDaddy Been here awhile

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    I was thinking the exact same thing while I was reading your post above. They buy that Chinese two-stroke bike for like $1200, and their camera-man gets on it, and you can see the look on his face; he's probably thinking "phuck this big-bike bull$hit, this little bike is where its at".

    But while watching the LONG WAY Down/Round videos, I get to thinking that their trips were meant to be commercial ventures (making $$$) as much or more than about the ride. Good for them. They found a way to get all of or most of their stuff for free, i.e. bikes/tools/clothes/gear; then telecast and sold the experience on DVD's and whatnot and made a lot of money.

    But as you can see, there are plenty of peeps like us who want to know about how the 'little guy' can do an adventure ride on an extremely limited budget. Hell, JD hasn't even left home yet and there are 5 pages of responses. Everyone is watching this ride report like a bunch of hungry dogs and JD isn't even close to Mexico yet. Why you ask? Because he is doing what all of us 'watchers' are wishing we could do, especially ME!

    What is crazy for me is, I am self-employed; which means I can come and go as I please, and I have more than enough $$$ to make a trip like this happen. What is keeping me at home is my kids. I have a 12 and 10 year-old boys that would be just fine with Mom for 3-4 months without me, but I also have an 18 month-old son who needs constant attention. It would be really $hitty of me to leave the wife.com at home with three kids to look after for 4 months while I'm on some adventure.

    Until then, for the next 5-6 years, I'll have to just sit and read these damned ride reports and live vicariously through peeps like J.D.

    Go JD, go JD, go JD...............
    #72
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    You're an honorble man Voodoo. You have my utmost respect. Your kids will be grown before you know it and your time will come. And in the meantime you can tear it up on the backroads with your buddies. Maybe take in the Colorado Rockies high passes and Utah backcountry on shorter adventures near home. I can see your DR up on top of Tincup Pass taking in the views in the sunshine next summer.

    There are plenty of great places to ride in this beautiful wide country. ADVriding is a state of mind. Heck, I enjoy riding out in the middle of the Sandhills far from civilization and stopping to listen to the wind blowing across the rolling prairie grass with dark thunderstorms off on the horizon.

    Best,
    John Downs
    #73
  14. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    Best wishes and 'Happy Trails' Will follow along as many others... Be safe
    #74
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Thanks g&a! Nice to have you along. I'm having fun already. Waiting for it to get above freezing so I can go to work. As Mick Jagger would say, "I gotta get outa this place". Look forward to sending back postcards from the edge to all my fellow ADVriders.

    Cheers,
    John Downs
    #75
  16. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Sweet even better if you are carrying spare shims:lol3

    Thanks for the kinds words man:freaky

    Venezuela is worth the stop even if nothing more than to travel around for free:deal Damn fine people I met there too:freaky I'm already looking forward to getting back down after I heal up and get some more travel funds built up.


    Pm me if you want a warm place to sleep and shop to use in NE OK on your way South. Would be my pleasure to host a fine traveler:freaky
    #76
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Thanks for the kind offer TM,

    I think I may take you up on it. It's fooking cold today. Straight south to Oklahoma is sounding good this morning. I'll PM you for directions before I leave.

    Muchas gracias,
    Frio Juan
    #77
  18. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    If you make it before a Tuesday evening I'll take you over to meet a fine bunch of NE OK Advers:freaky It just got cold around here yesterday, you better hurry riding sans heated gear:evil
    #78
  19. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Good enough! Maybe make it down by Tuesday after next.

    Heated gear? My heated gear consists of stopping at gas stations and crouching under the hot air hand dryers. Hypothermia builds character.

    Look forward to seeing you.

    Best,
    John
    #79
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I know from my younger years that adventurous travel is something that starts with an idea. You hear of people riding to far off places and you wonder to yourself, "hmmmm, I wonder if that is something I could do? "And then you look down at the stoplight at your beater Honda that you bought for 500 bucks and you go, "Nah, no way."

    But the idea stays with you. And pretty soon you buy a better beater Honda and finally pack up your stuff and take off for a weekend camping. Wow! This isn't so hard. Freedom of the open road. Go anywhere I want. Sweet!

    At least that's how it was with me.

    And then you think to yourself, "I wonder what it would be like to ride to Mexico?" And everyone pours water on the idea. Too dangerous. You'll get killed. Blah, blah, blah.

    Don't believe it. Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I tell people how much fun it is to ride south of the border. All the nice people I've met and great back country riding there is. Most people write me off as nuts. But some people get a far off look in their eye. You can see the gears turning. They are like me 40 years ago thinking to themselves, "hmmm, I wonder if that is something I could do?"

    So just like Johnny Appleseed I will continue to plant the seeds of adventure for those who read these stories long from now.

    Dream up an adventure and have fun!

    Best regards,
    Johnny Adventureseed
    #80
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