South America by Geezer

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. GaryWild

    GaryWild Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Vernon, BC, Canada
    Hey Steve,
    Looking forward to following along. Would love to see pics from all angles of your fully loaded bike, with a breakdown of what you've got on board and mods you've made since the last trip .I noticed your fire extinguisher...a good idea. What inspired you to add it?
    Gary W.
    #21
  2. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Looking forward to following along. Would love to see pics from all angles of your fully loaded bike, with a breakdown of what you've got on board and mods you've made since the last trip .I noticed your fire extinguisher...a good idea. What inspired you to add it?
    Gary W.[/QUOTE]

    Hey Gary, thanks for tagging along. As I open up the thread, ready to post my next installment, you start asking questions. :clap What a great lead in. Oh, and not a fire extinguisher . . . see the last item on the list.
    #22
  3. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> I had a couple of requests last year for a list of stuff on my bike. So, for those who are interested, here are some of the gadgets added to the bike before this trip and then some more I have added in preparation for this trip:

    Stuff I added before this trip – front to back:

    BMW headlight guard – does a good job of collecting bugs . . .

    Madstad windshield – great system. Have it set very low with it tilted slightly back. Because it routes air underneath, virtually no buffeting.

    Barkbusters hand guards – protects hands and handlebars. One of the three points sliding down the gravel road and other than scrapes on the plastic protector, held up well and protected the handlebars.

    Kaoko throttle lock – a bit awkward to get used to but really handy when you want to give your hand a rest on a straight road

    Garmin Zumo 660 GPS – tells me where to go (usually correct) and stores my music

    SPOT 2 – Tells the world where I am and can call in the marines if I get into trouble

    Touratech GPS Mount – supposed to provide shock absorber for the GPS. So far so good.

    Beemer Buddies grips – Man, Germans must have really tiny hands – those grips are designed for kids hands. My big ol mitts just don’t work on them. These neoprene covers give a comfortable diameter

    SW Motech crash guard – Does its job – Second of the three point gravel road landing. No bends, just scrapes.

    MFW Highway pegs – Stretch my legs out every once in awhile

    Touratech radiator guard – a necessity. Take a rock in the radiator and that would be a major headache.

    BMW skid plate – so far it’s held up. Lots of rocks banging off it.

    Booster Plug snatchy throttle fixer – helps get rid of most of that irritating habit of this bike . . . apparently designed that way to make the EPA types happy

    Custom seat by Rich’s (Kingston, WA) . . . probably the best thing I have added to my bike. Went from max 2 hours to all day.

    15 tooth front sprocket (switch back and forth) – really helps reduce the very tall first gear, makes slower riding a lot easier

    Pivot Pegz – Wider and rotate with the boot when standing. Helps reduce sore feet

    Caribou Bags and Hepco Becker racks – Been very impressed with this setup. It is ugly but very functional. My bike seems to like to take lots of naps and these hold up without losing their waterproof seal. Third of the three point landing. That slide down the gravel road on the right side just left some scrapes but maintained waterproof integrity. Had some concerns about the side opening bags but I like this style – easy to get at stuff. Bags pop off easy but lock on.

    MOD (Motooverland) top rack. Made in BC, two positions, has lots of holes to tie stuff to, has pre-drilled holes for the Rotopax clamp

    Rotopax 1 gal gas container – piece of mind knowing I have an extra70 km which is usually enough to get to the next gas. A fairly flat can that is easy to pack stuff on top of when laid on the top rack.

    GS 911 interface – Cool gadget that allows me to hook up with the bike’s computer and see fault codes, reset service dates and make some other internal adjustments (probably more than I should).

    Luggage:

    Wolfman Medium dry bag – the yellow bag. Holds all my clothes, computer, gadget accessories.

    OR small dry bag – Grey bag. Holds sleeping bag, tent and extra riding jacket.

    Wolfman tank bag – All the stuff I need close by. Can be easily unclipped and carried with me if I am not near the bike.

    New stuff added – front to back:

    Touratech fender riser – raises the front fender about 1/2” – apparently keeps rocks from getting lodged under there and helps keep things going in mud. (Like I’m going to be looking for mud . . .)

    Twisted Throttle Denali 2 LED lights – Pretty bright LED lights. I chose these because they can be mounted inside my crash bars. Most others seemed vulnerable in the event the bike takes a snooze.

    Yacugar Shock and Fork springs Have not been off road yet noticing a better ride, particularly with all the crap I am carrying

    Mud guard to keep the new shock pretty (and functioning)

    Anti-Gravity 16 cell lithium battery – One of those “If it ain’t broke then fix it” items. Perfectly good OEM battery sitting on my workbench. This is supposed to be better in all sorts of conditions . . . I guess we will never know, will we.

    Fuzeblock – A great gadget to hook all the crap that needs power from the battery and by-passes the CanBus. Each thing hooked up can be switched (turns on when the bike starts) or un-switched (always on).

    Clearwater voltage sensor – Kind of a voltage gauge for the lithium battery but is just a blinking light. Didn’t like it at first but takes no real estate on the dash and it no longer distracts me.

    Sena SM10 Bluetooth receiver – use solely to connect to GPS. Get turn instructions and listen to music.

    Wunderlich bike lifter handle – the only thing I have been able to liberate from my wife’s new bike

    DID chain – Old chain wore out so went for the Cadilac

    Touratech bottle holder and MSR 1 qt bottle – Holds my oil supply. Why I need this, I don’t know. I have always carried a bottle of oil in my bag to top up the bike. I don’t know if I have ever had to top this bike up, maybe once. But anyhow, this setup gets the bottle out of the bag and hangs it on the bikes . . . rear end.
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    #23
  4. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> The first four days riding from home to Sacramento was fairly enjoyable for the most part. Blue sky and mild temps made for pretty relaxing days. Stopped in Yakima, WA and then on to Springfield, OR so I could have dinner at the Hop Valley Brewing brewpub. They have an excellent IPA . . . Alpha Centauri, hmmm.


    I usually try to avoid freeways but south of Springfield it is really tedious getting around I-5 to Calif so, I-5 it was. I did take one short piece of the old Hwy 99 from Ashland, OR over the summit – delightful old road. Had to pick up a little of the great Northern Calif riding so headed off at Yreka on Hwy 3 to Weaverville for the night. After I-5, some of the stretches of Hwy 3 had me smiling again.


    Spent 6 nights in Sacramento and San Francisco visiting my Dad, my Son and his new wife, getting some work done on the bike and getting reorganized.


    I’m going to give a huge plug here for Ted Porter’s BeemerShop in Scotts Valley, CA. I had ordered a new Yacugar shock (made in Holland) that Ted had expected to be in hand at the end of Sept. Factory suddenly slowed and the shock probably wouldn’t be in hand until a few days after I had hoped to be crossing into Mexico.



    I was prepared to switch to an off the shelf shock but Ted thought this was going to be the most suitable shock for me and persisted. He wound up getting the build date moved up, expedited the shipping and had a bunch of employees staying well after closing on a Saturday to get me in and get my stuff installed. This whole thing obviously cost Ted a lot more than he expected when he made his quote but he stuck to the original price. I really appreciated his commitment. Very impressive.


    Lastly, I have to apologize for my lack of photos. It seems I fall into old habits pretty quickly and just forget to take the camera out. I’ll get better.
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    #24
  5. Redhed

    Redhed Lost on the Island

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    NorthWest Vancouver Island
    San Juan De Laguna is top notch, and you can find a language school there too. Check out Mike' Internet tienda near the bank and ask Juan Carlos or his wife Rosa about the school. They are linked with excellent Spanish Language school in Antigua as well. See you on the road..

    :clap
    #25
  6. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    The past week has been quite hectic finishing final preparations and trying to maximize family time. Getting the bike pointed south again felt good.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Took me until 11 AM to finish everything up and get on the road. However, once out of the city, and onto the twisty parts of the roads through the California foothills and I was one happy camper.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Stopped in Jackson for lunch at this place <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    Good sandwich and very fast service.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I really enjoy Hwy 49 and the area – I took a detour on Pool Station Road – a lot of fun.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Pic of some of the views on Hwy 49<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    Notice the “lake” in the distance – it’s only a river now. Have noticed this throughout California, most of the lakes are fully drawn down. They had better have a pretty wet winter to fill those up again.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I particularly enjoyed the series of roads from Bass Lake down to Pine Flat Reservoir – endless turns and no traffic. Had to cut the plans for the day a bit short though as I was running out of daylight and I really didn’t want to be dodging long legged road rats in the dark. Headed down towards Fresno and stopped in Sanger, a small farm town nearby. You know it’s small when Denny’s comes out as the top recommendation for dinner.<o:p></o:p>
    #26
  7. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Rather than ride through some more of those great roads in the mountains, I decided to ride down to the BMW dealership in Bakersfield and get an oil filter and look for a Ram Mount gizmo I need.

    Big mistake. Hour and a half of grueling freeway. Got to this fairly large multi-line dealership to find this stunned kid with a stupid hat masquerading as a parts guy. First off, he didn’t know what an 800GS was . . . ok, maybe he is new. Asked for an oil filter, he tediously looked through the parts fiche for the part number. Found it and a couple of minutes later, proudly produced said filter.

    Anything else? Well, yah, also need a crush washer – most parts guys almost produce it automatically with an oil filter. Back to the fiche, searching and searching. Finally comes up with a number and notifies me they have none in stock. WTF? What if I had dropped in for an oil change, how would your shop do that without a crush washer . . . use the old one? I didn’t want to hear the answer. After a bit of encouragement that there must be one somewhere and him steadfast in his insistence none were in the building, I left. :becca I guess I’ll take a detour to Phoenix and get one there.

    Of course, I am the ultimate idiot in this situation as it would have been really swell if I had just remembered to grab one off the shelf at home and through it in the bag but that would be too easy. :asshat

    Then had a really nice ride up the Kern River canyon – that’s dead ahead.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is Lake Isabella, also really drawn down. Notice the remainders of the old trees poking out of the water?
    [​IMG]

    Then the rest of the day in the desert riding fast and straight. I think the desert has its own beauty and while I wouldn’t want to have been a pioneer wandering around on horseback or in a wagon I quite enjoy riding through it – particularly when it’s only the high 80’s.
    [​IMG]

    Stop in a little town in the middle of nowhere for gas – glad I don’t need much. Kind like being back home . . .
    [​IMG]

    Across the street from the gas station I notice a casino. Think they are really poor here . . .
    [​IMG]

    Upon closer inspection of the sign . . . just a good sense of humor
    [​IMG]

    Wound up in Indio for the night at an ok hotel along old Hwy 99 that had long ago passed its prime.
    Ask the guy at the desk for restaurant recommendations within walking distance and it was a choice of 4 Mexican restaurants. Went to the best one and had a meal of taquitos – good. My waitress was a young girl recently moved from Mexico who was really struggling with her English and since I struggle with my Spanish we got a real Spanglish conversation going. One of my frustrations in trying to communicate in Spanish is that my brain doesn’t work as fast as they speak here. So getting people to have a bit of patience and speak like they would to a little kid, I can eventually figure most of it out.
    #27
  8. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    [FONT=&quot]Start early to get everything done today. Off to Phoenix to the BMW dealer and to try to find a Ram Mount camera mount.

    [/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Fairly mundane ride across the desert on the freeway – Phoenix isn’t bad riding for a city through – can get across town easily on the ring-road. Nice dealership – parts guys knew their ass from a hole in the ground (as opposed the guys in Bakersfield . . .). Not only got the filter and crush ring but also a couple of tires. Guy phoned all over trying to find the Ram Mount part. Victory BMW – first class outfit.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Headed for Group Mobile who distribute Ram parts . . . big building, no signs, doors all locked. Had written down another address – that one was all locked up also but at least there was a small sign. Knock on the door – nice guy tells me this isn’t a retail outlet but after a little searching, tells me he can get the part tomorrow. Rats, that won’t work Oh well, I have a Macgyver solution in mind. Let's see, I forget the thing, find a supplier a couple of days ago – do you think I’d phone and ask? Too logical. Idiot! :doh
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Was going to stay in Gila Bend and do some bike maintenance. Was 3 when I got there and hotels didn’t look anything better than what I knew in Ajo. So, went to Ajo – closer to the border anyhow. Stayed in one of the La Siesta cabins again. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Nice.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Did oil change and discovered I left my 13mm socket at home or lost it and, my magnetic picker lost its magnet. I’m surprised I remembered anything . . . sheesh! :bash Fortunately, there was a Napa store up the road so, got what I needed.`[/FONT]
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    #28
  9. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> Well, it’s finally started. Crossed into Mexico today – no drama.



    Got my tourist card – don’t think the Migración guy was real busy – at 11 am he had to change the date on his stamp and re-ink it. I guess when I’ve been through here before, it must have been a weekend and I had to pay my fees at the Banjarcito – a bit of a pain. This time there was a little Bank booth open around the corner – pay him, lots of paper stamped lickity split, take back to the Migración guy and he gets to use his newly inked stamp and I’m off.


    Desert here looks a lot like Arizona . . . strange how that happens.


    Ended up in Hermosillo . . . San Martin Hotel – nice . . . and expensive ($600 pesos - $45) but right on the highway so it’s convenient. In an industrial part of town so fortunately the hotel has a restaurant.
    [​IMG]


    Hermosillo is not one of my favorite towns but in all fairness, I have never found the downtown and hung around. What I have seen is just a busy industrial town. Some large factories here, notably Ford and whole whack of parts manufacturers. Lots of traffic. It's a necessary evil as, if you are in this part of the country, there is no other easy way around.

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    #29
  10. EmilianoXR650L

    EmilianoXR650L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Playa Azul & Zihuatanejo
    #30
  11. BullShatter

    BullShatter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    RexBuck...FWIW, Hermosillo has a great downtown area, if your travels have only taken you through the industrial area, I can certainly appreciate your frame of view, I've been that route numerous times...The downtown area offers great food, and great people!
    #31
  12. GaryWild

    GaryWild Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Vernon, BC, Canada
    Loved the pics Steve...looks like some nice riding in SoCal.
    Looking forward to more...
    Gary
    #32
  13. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    [FONT=&quot]Most of the past 3 days has been riding in the desert. I like the beauty of the desert but after awhile, going in a straight line and being hot gets old.

    [/FONT] [FONT=&quot]So, it was delightful to have almost a full day of Mexico Hwy 16. First 100 km or so was the end of the desert, then the road got a bend, then another, then another, faster and faster until I’m in the mountains and loving it. About 6 hours riding time of twisty roads. Here is a short clip I edited. I put a camera mount on my left crash bar to see how it works compared to the helmet mount. I’m going to have to play around with it a bit as I was hoping it would do a better job of picking up some of the scenery.

    [/FONT]
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nH_dWyh6BTQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    [FONT=&quot]I remember being frustrated the last time I was in Mexico of not being able to find a place to stop to take pictures. Sometimes you can just hold the camera in the left hand but on a twisty road, that is just stupid – so, I didn’t do it that much. To try to alleviate that problem, I stuck a second Ram ball on my handlebars (The first has my SPOT) and then the plan was stick my Ram mount with threads for a camera on there. Problem is I forgot my Ram mount with threads – the reason I was trying to hunt one down in Phoenix. So, I MacGyvered a mount using my mini- tripod . . . kinda works great. There is still an art to taking pics while moving but here are a couple of some of the scenery.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [FONT=&quot]Was pulled over for a stretch and here comes a couple of obvious moto-travelers. They turn around and stopped for a chat. Really nice couple Ils and Johan from Belgium. Had shipped themselves and their bikes to South America on a freighter and were heading to Alaska. Like I may well be too late to get to Ushuia , it looks like they won’t beat the snow to Alasaka. They will probably just make Vancouver before heading to Miami to ship the bikes back to Belgium. Their Ride Report is here.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Was heading for the little town of Basaseachi with plans that I would likely have to camp so was surprised to find a hotel right on what I thought was the edge of town. Lady running the place seemed a bit put off that I had showed up. Yes they have rooms. Can I see one? Wave of the hand, sure. Are they open? Yes. Doors all locked, looked in the window – looked fine. And, they have a restaurant here so I won’t have to look for dinner.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]I just don’t have my Mexico brain inserted yet. Forgot to ask about hot water . . . in fact, forgot to ask about any water for the shower. Figured that one out when I was about ready to go roust grumpy Mama and ask for some towels. Then decided it was time for dinner and wandered over to the restaurant which was closed up tighter than a drum. Hmmm, well I don’t feel like riding to wherever to find some dinner so lets go explore the Mini-Super at the Pemex across the street. I was able to procure an almost fully balanced meal:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot][​IMG][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Cup O Noodles – Meat, grain and a couple of pieces of onion so, vegetable.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Yogurt – Dairy, fruit[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Potatoe chips – vegetable[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Beer nuts – vegetable[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Cookies – grain, chocolate[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The only food group missing for this meal was beer.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot] At about 6500 feet altitude, it is noticeably cooler but the room (as are many at higher elevations) equipped with a propane heater. However, no propane bottle, but it had a heater. Lots of blankets though.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]TV had one channel so, went to bed early and slept well.[/FONT]

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    #33
  14. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,192
    Location:
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    Right on Geezer, RexBuck... I followed you along on the last one, I am here for this one, looking forward to more great pic's...

    Regards, Jim...
    #34
  15. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Out Standing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Tallahassee. FL. USA
    Like others I followed your last trip and look forward to this one.

    Vaya con Carne
    #35
  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Yah, I expected that. I'll have to get off the By-Pass and see what else is there next time.

    Thanks Gary.

    Thanks for coming along again Jim, it's appreciated.

    Pete, appreciate you following again.
    #36
  17. GaryWild

    GaryWild Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Vernon, BC, Canada
    Hey Rex
    Really enjoyed the video. I actually thought the angle worked out really well, such that you caught the front wheel, the whole road, and even your shadow sometimes. What a beautiful area, and an excellent "dinner" to boot (which adds to the adventure). The passing sequences were excellent.
    Have another great day,
    Gary
    #37
  18. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose...

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    Highway 16 is an amazing trip. I got tired from all the curves and constant shifting. I was going the opposite direction. Stopped for the night in Yecora.

    I also stopped at the PEMEX in Basaseachi. From there, if you are headed to Creel, the the cut off road to San Juanito is just as good. I dont' think I ever saw another car the whole section. Not sure of the highway number...

    Take care out there!
    #38
  19. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Yah, I like it also, just can't see much more than the immediate area around the road. Gives a better sensation of the ride - but, no where near the real thing. :ricky
    Will hopefully get another edited up shortly with the camera on the helmet. Different. Videos take an insane amount of time to put together - I'll likely limit the ride vidieos . . . or not. :D
    #39
  20. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Hey Soos - Yah I did the same as you last winter - East to West and stayed in Yacura. For some reason, I found the West to East less tiring.

    Stay tuned. :deal
    #40