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. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

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    Thanks so much for the reminder.
  2. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    Amazing man! absolutley amazing adventure. I put a little more $ into the viva Columbia fund. Congrats on making it the long way around th Darian
  3. ex_MGB

    ex_MGB Been here awhile

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    Yeah, nice to read a great adventure while looking out on the marsh. Brrr.... Got Maryland-Duke game on country cable (rabbit ears) at 1pm and PGA Torrey Pines at 3pm in high definition. Bought my groceries, stopped at the butcher shop for meats (can you smell the bacon) and filled a couple of growlers at 3rd Wave craft brewery.

    [​IMG]
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    H'mmmmm...bacon :lol3
  5. ex_MGB

    ex_MGB Been here awhile

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    Hello John,

    I loved the Christmas layover spot, have you made plans for Carnival?

    The Paria Peninsula of Venezuela is off the beaten track and internet rumor is that there's a ferry from Chaguaramas in Trinidad to Guiria in Venezuela costing around US$100 each way. Carnival in Port of Spain is awesome. Maybe get there a few days early to take in the Calypso tents set up on Queens Park Savannah. Pick you favorite band, then start out J'Ouvert Morning. After that maybe the ferry to Tobago aka Crusoe's Island. I can hear the steel pan now...

    ex_MGB
  6. KLRmonkey

    KLRmonkey Adventurer

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    Even without the images for the past few days, we know you're in challenge mode with Darien now - I love this
    ride report and you have done such a fantastic job of keeping it up. It's not only entertaining but inspiring all of us
    to find a way to get out there and RIDE.

    I have yet to post an RR of my own but one of these days I will get my *ss in gear and get moving - hopefully I can share whatever happens along the way as you have. For now, it's enough to live thru you my friend. So thanks for taking us all with you and for your knowledge about stone work - just dropped a day of expenses to paypal to assist.

    Have fun and stay safe, and by all means please continue to write and share. I know you will. If I can make but one request, it would be to keep adding hostess pics on occasion - the beaches are nice, but.....you know.:wink:
  7. buggsy458

    buggsy458 Bad Lieutenant

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    Great RR! Gives us young newbs something to dream about and add to the bucket list. Good luck, enjoy the ride and keep reporting!
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Currently in Capurgana, Colombia. The Sherpa made it to South America!!!!!!

    There is a slight hitch of course. While unloading the Sherpa from the Lya del Mar yesterday in La Miel in high seas, the boat parted from the dock just as the bike was going across. Almost lost it in the ocean. Pulling it back with the front wheel hanging down off the boat, the next swell smashed the Lya del Mar into the dock. Unfortunatly the front forks of the Sherpa were in between and took the hit. Yikes!!!! Finally got it on the dock and it should buff right out. Ha ha!! Both front lowers are broken and the hub is cracked. The captain pointed to the sky and shrugged his shoulders.

    So I caught the launcha in La Miel with the rasta boys and the damaged Sherpa aboard and motored over to Capurgana. The boys helped me unload the Sherpa and drag it up the stairs and up onto the pier by lifting the handlebars with me pushing the still functioning rear wheel. The Sherpa is still sitting out on the dock. Quite a tourist attraction with people stopping to look at the front end and shake their head.

    Capurgana is kind of a remote Carribean local touristy town with no internet yesterday. I finally got on line to post this up. It is slower than dial up so no pics of the damaged Sherpa.

    Since you can't put the Sherpa on a launcha, it has to go on a cargo boat to Turbo. It might come tomorrow or next week according to who you talk to. I am currently in the Hostal Capurgana and have gotten stamped into Colombia at immigration.

    Coming off the dock you walk right one block to the main commercial street and turn left down one block on the right. It is easy to find. The immigration official is kicked back in shorts, tee shirt and flip flops. He took my passport inside and stamped it in and I was official in 5 minutes. No forms to fill out, no nothing. Easiest border crossing yet. Me gusta South America!

    My current thinking is to get the bike to Turbo and see about grafting some different forks on the front. Or maybe throw the bike in a pickup and head to Medellin where there might be a place to work on it and hunt for a set of forks and front wheel off another bike. Have to change the title of the ride report if I sell the bike and find another cheap bike to continue but that's always an option.

    But you know me. Never say die is my motto. This is just another interesting twist in the ride report. ADVwrenching in a foreign country and meeting nice people is always fun. I look forward to seeing how this all works out. I hope to meet friendly locals and have a good time getting the Sherpa back in shape if at all possible. FrankenSherpa will rise from the ashes. As Evita would say, "Don't cry for me Argentina. I will take a fast launcha over to Turbo as soon as I have found a boat to take the Sherpa over.

    In the mean time if anyone knows what front forks would work on a Sherpa please let me know. And if anyone has space in Medellin to take the bike apart or knows of a better city to find used forks please let me know.

    My current plan is to not go to Aduana until I get the bike fixed in case I have to sell it. Don't want it in my passport until I get it running.

    I went out this morning and zip tied the broken lowers to the bent axle so I can now roll the bike on it's wheels which will make transport much easier.

    Will send pics when I can upload.

    Can't wait to see how this all works out. Should be interesting. In the mean time I have been reading all your comments and really appreciate all the support and the way you keep this thing going while I'm out breaking my bike off the grid. You guys are the best.

    Adios amigos,
    Juanito
  9. adventurebound9517

    adventurebound9517 Been here awhile

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    Regarding your broken Sherpa and what to do about it, If you could bottle your easy going personality and sell it .......you could just buy a new one with money left over. Here's to you JDowns. :freaky
  10. Dracula

    Dracula Deus ex machina

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    Hi John,

    So sorry about the Sherpa damage... but glad you are OK and in good spirit, that's most important. I sent a little help for the Sherpa recovery fund. I'll inquire with a Colombian colleague if he has some advice on moto repair shops and will PM you if I get any useful information by tomorrow. But likely you will find something to get going again, given enough patience.

    I am following this thread few times a day, wishing your epic travel to continue safe and well.

    Edit:

    Medellin looks like most likely the place you will find a place and parts/assistance.
    There are quite few motorcycle shops coming up on Google "Search nearby" Medellin, including a Kawasaki dealer.

    Macrocentro

    Calle 38, No 52 - 34 Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
    macrocentro.net‎
    PBX 262-3481 (you need to find area code)

    Good luck!
  11. sonnypump

    sonnypump n00b

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    Being a "John Thomas" myself, I want to see that steed back on the road.

    :freaky
  12. mario33

    mario33 Howling around...

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    Pity the Sherpa is now out... :huh Let us know how it goes. As soon as you decide what to do next, I'll add something to the 'Sherpa recovery pot'.

    EDIT:
    Those are 36 mm tubes. Nowadays, 'junior' Kawasaki machines use them (like KX85) but with longer travel... Would help if you tell us exact model of your bike and year,John...

    I found those on ebay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-Sherp...Parts_Accessories&hash=item589a788b03&vxp=mtr

    Will do ? If they're OK and you dont get any replacement - I'll get it sorted (including payment; any help from fellow ADVriders would be apprreciated sure thing). Just need a person that collect them in US and send them somewhere to Colombia (address will be needed).

    As for the hub, which of those parts got damaged ?

    http://www.partzilla.com/images/diagrams/kawasaki/C19/C1910/F2230.png
  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Very sorry to hear the Sherpa got pinched. Better than getting dumped into the drink, I guess.
    :2cry + :dutch = :rilla
    Good thing you don't drink, becasue the Sherpa fund would be taking a beating with the latest.

    Can't wait to :earwhat hapends next!
  14. ratbikemike

    ratbikemike Adventurer

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    Sorry to hear about the mishap on the dock. Lotsa parts will fit that thing. I'm sure with your skills and resources and they help of your posse a plan will hatch. I am hanging out in Costa Rica sorting out my travel options. Your ride report is more interesting as time goes on. A better, slower reading, with fotos is in order. Thanks for your help and if I can help make sure you call. ratbikemike
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Mario33,

    Thanks for the 36mm size info. The Sherpa is down but not out by a long shot. I will frankenbike my little mule and continue this ride report. I find that adversity not only builds character, but you meet the nicest people when your bike goes tits up.

    The Sherpa is a 2002, but they all use the same front end. Not likely to find Sherpa parts down here, but I have no problem grafting another front end on this mule. Importing parts is too much hassle. Others have tried and it is a customs nightmare. I will find something down here. I can feel it.

    The bike has taken a beating as have I. But it's all part of the fun on the roads less traveled.

    Saludos,
    Juan Capurgana
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi GRinCR,

    You and me both can't wait to see how this pans out. Already a guy has loaned me his cellular internet USB stick so I can respond to comments like a banshee. The bit rate down here is 4kb/sec so it is like watching paint dry loading pages. But responding to comments uses little bandwidth.

    Glad you are still following along caro sobrino.

    Seimpre,
    Tio Juanito
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi RBM,

    Glad to see you made it to Costa Rica. You move at my kind of pace. I'll get the Sherpa back together somehow. Where there's a will there's a way. I'm a stubborn old coot and as my friends know well, I have encountered much worse fubars than this.

    Get down to South America. The living is easy and the women are beautiful.

    Saludos
    Juan Mechanico
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi sonnypump,

    Glad to have you along for the ride. ADVriding is addicting and there is no cure.

    The Sherpa will ride again. With zip ties I have it rolling, and there is nothing that will keep me from those kickass Colombian backroads.

    Saludos,
    Juan de Fuca
  19. mario33

    mario33 Howling around...

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    OK, I'm sure you'll manage to get it repaired :)

    Kawasaki got this contact page in Colombia that also lists repair centres as well as contact numbers. There you may source the parts if needed be.

    http://www.kawasaki.com.co/atencion-al-cliente

    Plenty of service centres in Medellin and they even list two in Apartado (next to Turbo):

    CENTRO DE SERVICIOS - DISMOTOS - Cra. 101 #95-25 Teléfono: 828 21 01

    SU MOTO DE URABÁ - Cl. 99 #99-6 Barrio Los Fundadores Teléfono: 828 00 26

    Anyway, keep us in the loop. And shout when donations are needed more then ever. :deal
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Mario33,

    Thanks so much for the info! Very helpful. This internet connection is so slow that I have a hard time loading pages.

    It's not like Ed Zactamundo's situation where he needed donations to pay for hospital care etc. This is a minor bump in the road. But thanks for the offer of financial support. I still have 3500 bucks left and will continue on until it is all gone. Still should be able to entertain the snowbound crowd for a while longer.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
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