Tax FREE - Canada to Panama on a KLR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by IslandSpark, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. IslandSpark

    IslandSpark Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Van Island, BC
    My name is Patrick, I'm 25 and have been wanting to get out and do some adventure touring since I found this site 3 or 4 years ago. Unfortunately I always managed to find a reason not to go; be it work, school, women or money there was always an issue.

    Well, it seems my time has come! Fresh out of trade school with no job to go back to, no steady girlfriend to speak of and a windfall of a tax return there is nothing to keep me from committing to some serious adventure touring!

    Tax time; love it or hate it, this year, it's set me free!

    Last weekend I bought a 2004 KLR650, she's been pre-loved by another inmate and had just returned from a trip through the US/Mexico/Belize and Guatemala. When I got home and unloaded the bike I immediately started tearing her apart. A few things needed to be changed before I set out on what I hope will be a 20,000+ KM ride.

    Chain and sprockets, bearings, brake pads, valves, oil/filter, fork springs and oil and of course a few electrical demons (I HATE HATE HATE accessories like heated grips installed on constant power, forgetting about them and coming back to a flat battery)... No expense spared when it comes down to reliability and not having to fix things on the side of the road

    My Trusty Steed when I bought her:

    [​IMG]

    As she sits tonight:

    [​IMG]

    I will leave home (Vancouver Island. BC, Canada) and head south near the end of April, probably keeping to the coastal route. I will ride Baja (hopefully seeing and experiencing all the great stuff I've seen in Mr. Gaspipe & others' ride reports) to la paz and cross to mainland Mexico (Mazatlan?) via the Baja ferries.

    I plan to NOT PLAN... as much as humanly possible anyways. Who knows when and where you'll find a place to relax for a few days or when local knowledge might lead you on to something great you never would have seen otherwise...

    As of now I'm riding solo but I've been talking to another adventurer from San Diego who has a similar idea and may end up meeting up with him for some of the ride. If anyone has recommendations on what to see or where to stay (cheaper the better) please chime in!

    Pat
    Pat_horsfield@hotmail.com

    Ps. If there are any inmates in the Port Angeles, WA area who could receive a package for me shoot me an e-mail or PM, thanks! :D
    #1
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Way to go Patrick!

    You're going to have an absolute blast! I just got back from Panama and I am still on cloud 9. My best travel advice is to always try to keep a positive mental attitude. Some of the most fun I had was when I took a wrong turn somewhere. So no plan is the best plan. Just go where you want. If the coast is too hot, head for the mountains. The hardest part is getting out of town. After that, everything gets easier.

    I'll be checking back to see your progress. Post lots of pics.

    Best luck,
    John Downs
    #2
  3. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Ontario, CANADA
    Patrick,
    Everything of the best for your upcoming ride. We will be a few months behind you, so will keep an eye on your feedback. Ride safe.:norton
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,694
    Sounds great! Best wishes for a safe journey :thumb

    :lurk
    #4
  5. Meatn'taters

    Meatn'taters Not any more

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Good for you Patrick! Hey, I'm on your way south, just off 101 about an hour north of San Francisco. If you could use a free warm bed, meal or two, beverage or two, perhaps a ride around back roads of Sonoma County, and it works out for your sked and my work sked, you're welcome here with my wife and two of my boys your age or close to it. If not, no biggie, just offering it up.

    What have I learned from reading several Ride Reports - pack light.
    #5
  6. 00Buck

    00Buck dirt rules

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    South Vancouver Island, BC
    Way to go Pat! Now's the time to do it, before all the responsibilities kick in!
    #6
  7. rob1313

    rob1313 Still learning

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,482
    Location:
    Canada
    Get on that bike and get outta town already. Good for you
    #7
  8. IslandSpark

    IslandSpark Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Nanaimo, Van Island, BC
    Day 1 - Sunday April 24th
    450KM - 1 Border

    I was awake at 3:45 this morning knowing that I had to leave the house by 4:15 at the latest in order to catch the first (5:15am) ferry off the island. I load up all the gear that I had only packed the night before all the while wondering what I had forgotten. A quick goodbye to the parents (no idea why they'd get up that early to see me off...) and I was on my way! The air is cool but not so much so that it bothers you once you are comfortably numb. At least it's dry out, though it hasnt been for long as evidenced by the muddy road and wet pavment leading to the highway.

    On mornings like this I thank the heavens above for heated grips and electric vests.

    [​IMG]

    I make it to the ferry terminal in record time but feel bad for pushing the KLR so hard, I'm sure this feeling will pass. The early morning boats are usualy deserted aside from a few truckers trying to earn a buck. I roll into the ticket booth, pay the man, collect my ticket and ride past all the other traffic to the front of the line. One benifit of moto travel, first on, first off on every ferry I've been on.

    [​IMG]

    The 2 hour trip passes to quickly, it seems just as i've had some breakfast and managed to doze off to sleep momentarly the announcement comes over the speakers to return to our vehicles and prepare to offload.

    Unfortunatly the weather has turned for the worse during our crossing, the rain's coming down hard and sideways now. The USA Border was only a 25 minute ride away and towards what looked like lighter sky's.

    [​IMG]

    The rain followed me as I sat in the boarder line up for nearly an hour, when I pulled up to US Customs the agent asked the usual "where are you headed and why" questions. He got a little snippy when I answered "South" and got suspicous when I elaborated that I was hoping to get to Panama. When asked "why Panama?" he wasnt overly satisfied with the answer "Well, thats where the road ends..." a full search of my bags and I was free to continue on my way.

    I straightlined it south on I5 so that I could make it to The Dual-Star.com shop where I would install some new fork springs and an oversized rotor kit that was supposed to have been deliverd to my house a week ago so that I have had everything installed before I left, unfortunatly the package was returned to sender. Chris, one of the employee's made himself and the shop available to me when they would normaly be closed, THANKS CHRIS!

    [​IMG]

    Fresh farkles installed I headed west to catch a ferry across Puget Sound and made my way towards Port Angeles where I would stop to refule and pickup a New jacket and pants at the UPS Store courtessy of Motorcycle Superstore. Heading west along the 101 rewarded me with a great section of road around Crescent Lake followed by alot of long boring road and into Forks, WA.

    [​IMG]

    Now, Forks it seems (and maybe Im just out of the loop), is banking on its small roll in the (really bad) teen movie "Twilight". Every shop in town is flaunting the Twilight books, poseable actionfigures and anything else they can pawn to the crazy fans. There are literaly four dedicated "Twilight Stores" on the same block, even the chineese food place (excellent!) I ate at after finding (an overpriced) motel had life size cardbord cutouts...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its all just a little too much.

    Thats all for now, Im going to head down to the "Twilight Lounge" (yes, the bar is named after the movie too) and entertain myself by watching some people try to kareokee.

    Hasta luego!

    -Pat
    #8
  9. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,929
    Location:
    Sydney
    Travel Safe.
    #9
  10. TrappedAtWork

    TrappedAtWork No Longer Trapped!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Pan American
    :lurk

    I always like reading a live RR from day one!
    #10
  11. PIMPTRIX

    PIMPTRIX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Hey man, sending you the best luck from Calgary! You beat me by a few months.... I'll be heading down that way sometime in August or September. Cheers and keep us posted! :clap

    Stefan
    #11
  12. Stevequest2000

    Stevequest2000 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I gotta felling I'm going to want to tag-a-long! :super
    #12
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,541
    A KLR, heading south, no real plan...:norton
    #13
  14. stromsavard

    stromsavard Serge

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Lorrainville, Québec Canada
    GREAT Introduction!!! I'M here writing you from Québec Province!! Bon Voyage mon ami!! Ride safe and hard!!!
    #14
  15. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,929
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hmmm corrected.
    #15
  16. fastredbike

    fastredbike out riding

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    543
    Location:
    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    I really like a good "KLR heading south" RR - subscribed!
    :lurk :lurk
    #16
  17. Xequence

    Xequence Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Subscribed... Sounds like an awesome journey, I am green with envy! :D
    #17
  18. Koof

    Koof Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm in! Sounds like you've got the right mindset for travelling in Central America...

    Best of luck, I'm sure you'll have a great time!

    Rollin' - Rollin' - Rollin'...
    #18
  19. gbowes

    gbowes Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island, BC
    Have a great adventure!!!!!:clap Post when you can to keep us informed of your Adventures.
    From a fellow Islander.:1drink
    Cheers
    Greg
    #19
  20. beeper

    beeper Badger tickler

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    805
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Subscribed! :lurk
    #20