Vamos pa'l Sur: Mexico, Belize & Guatemala

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by bingo43, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  2. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
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    Location:
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  3. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
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    Location:
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  4. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  5. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  6. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  7. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  8. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    After the prior day's ride of nearly 700 miles, I wasn't sure how much I'd feel like riding, but I got an early start, on the road by 7:30, and soon entered Utah. Just north of Monticello on 191, heading towards Moab...

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    Then came across Wilson's Arch with a span of 91 feet and height of 46 feet, according to Wikipedia...
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    As I rode past Moab, I felt as if I were walking by the Louvre but with no time to visit. Lots of bikers in the area, and I made mental note to be sure to return!
  9. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    You got that nice camera and this dorky shot is what you come up with?
  10. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Oh...Ok, that's better.
  11. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Jeff and I were amazed at how many times in Mexico the clouds threatening to dump buckets of rain on us would part and we'd ride through, or the clouds would build on the left and the hiway would break right. The same thing as I punched through Salt Lake area on the way to Idaho. Strong headwind made the going tough, but by 5:00pm I had made the border...

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    By 6:30, I had covered 525 miles for the day, and that was within the 500 mile range I'd hoped for, so time to start looking for a hotel...I'm always looking for some sort of sign that tells you this area of a city is good, or that hotel is bad...in this case I literally found a sign. New rule: if you're looking for hotel and you find a city named after you, you must stay in that city...it just seems right.

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    I still had some daylight to go for run, and I was kind of sad, knowing that I had put myself in position to finish out the trip the following day (today). This morning, got up bright and early and was on the road by 7:00.

    This morning was #22 of the past 24 mornings that I packed my bags and readied the moto for a day of traveling...
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  12. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Well, I got home last night about 6:00pm after another 550 some miles. Cool morning felt great at 7:00am, Boise by 9:45, state line a bit later. Note to Oregon Dept. of Transportation: cut down the scrub trees that block the "Welcome to Oregon" sign, or simply move the sign if you're so concerned about saving trees! I was going to do a handstand in front of the sign but zoomed right by it...

    Got soaked (Oregon, of course) coming down the mountains before Pendleton, but dried on off quickly enough where 84 meets up with the Columbia River. The goal line was in sight. Had the camera in hand as I was riding along...

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    A little blurry, but so was I...
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    Made it to Hood River by 4:30, and the heat was doing it's thing...couldn't resist jumping in the Columbia for a quick dip...
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    The whole while in Mexico, the KLR650 was an attention grabber, either by people when you pass them by, or when parked at places like Chichén Itzá. Poeople wanted to know about the bikes and what you were doing, how far you had come, how fast the bike. Riding along 84, I was just another insignificant guy on an undersized bike. Next time, I need a billboard attached to my back that says "Just been to Mexico, Belice and
    Guatemala!! Honk...or blow a kiss...something!" Alas...nothing.

    Except...I didn't go straight home...stopped by a little bar and had a celebratory slurp and met two guys KC and Rocky who were both lit up a little, but funny. Both bikers, one on a Harley the other goes to Baja to watch the motocross guys each year. They were interested in my trip, where I had been, how fast the bike, what the people were like, and offered their congratulations on a heck of a trip...there, that's better.

    I guess sometimes you have to seek out what you're looking for.

    Since Idaho, the rpm was fluctuating a bit, falling to 700, and so I had been fiddling with it on the way home. After my last stop, the bike kept dying at stops the last 5 miles home. Pulled into the garage and let it die one more time. I think the poor gal is a bit tired...
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Wanted to mention a few things about packing for the trip...

    Jeff had aluminum panniers for his 09 KLR. Very nice and roomy. He could leave them on for the most part, had easy access, was able to pack quickly...but for some reason all the military and drug police wanted to search them and not my soft saddlebags! My saddlebags came with the bike when I bought it used two years ago. They don't hold enough but do the job ok. When I took a low speed spill, no damage to them. So while I like the price, and they worked for me, I envied Jeff's locking system, ease of access and room.

    A few more...
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    The locking hard case mounted easy on my rack. It worked superb! No water got in at all.

    We didn't have GPS, just used the Guía Roji, made photocopies of the pages for the day, and asked people. Worked 99% of the time just fine. Ok, the one day in Guatemala, it would have been nice to see the topo layout of a 50 mile as the crow flies section that took 5 hours, but other than that...great map.

    The Motion Pro bead braker. I had my doubts when I ordered it and it was untried (thankfully, no flats!) until we put on Avon Gripsters (more on that in a moment) at Casa de Tricepilot. Before the trip I struggled to break the bead on the rear particularly when I put on Kenda 270s. But after letting the air out, slipped the bead braker in and with a couple of wacks with rubber mallet and bead broken! Very quick, less than 20 seconds. Nice.

    Combat lite boots...you know the item is good when you don't even think about it the whole trip...just put them on and go. Several river crossings, multiple rain storms, numerous standing water crossings...very comfortable and one sock got a little wet once.

    The Avon Gripsters...Wow!! Like I mentioned, I had the Kenda 270s on for the trip down and liked having them in the mountain non-paved roads of Guatemala. Tested between Dallas and San Antonio and I got 35 MPG. Put the Gripsters on (but also new chain and sprockets, don't know they would significantly affect MPG), and gas mileage improved to 43 over very similar roads. These were perfect for the slab riding home...quiet, roll easy, lower rpm at similar speeds than with Kendas, solid on cornering (the Kendas were a bit squirly there), and not much tread wear on the 2000 mile trip home from Texas. Gracias de nuevo Tricepilot!

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    Finally, my riding buddy Jeff is a road warrior with an awsome sense of direction, making him a great navigator! My favorite mental images of Jeff are when he would be at a taco stand, striking up conversations with the owners and other folk there. He would be totally in the moment, soaking it all up. Thanks again for putting this trip together!

    I've got some video that needs editing, and hope to get that up within a few days...good to be back home.
  14. bingo43

    bingo43 ¡Que Viva!

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    Thanks for the support. You really did hit it on the head. We saw no signs of danger or fighting, but we did not go into any areas where it might be going on. One of the Federales said to me...It's dangerous here...I wanted to remind him that it was dangerous for him...not totally for tourists.

    That being said...there is danger and risk. (see Is Mexico Safe thread) I don't know if Tricepilot posted it over there, but right after he took us to Texas Pride we went to a Kawi dealership. There was a pretty lady there with her man and we struck up a conversation with her. She works aduana on the American side. They said that because the government had captured the #1 Zeta guy that Zetas were killing civilians. She said that the morning we left Laredo and rode to San Antonio that a granade had been thrown into a park had had injured and killed a few people. She characterized the violence as escalating and said that the last two weeks it has gotten worse and worse.

    The risk is real. We did not see any problems. We planned for 18 months and made sure we were mentally prepared for issues that might come up. You have to make the decision yourself. Is it worth the risk. For Paul and I...it was...and it was amazing!
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    She with the knockout, doe-eyes and high cheekbones. :tb

    I don't really remember what she was talking about, I was concentrating on trying to feed anything into the conversation on the premise of keeping it going. Wish I had my camera......I think I'll cross back at Colombia every time now......
  16. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    What was I doing while all this was going on.....???? Oh yes, somebody had to deal with the pleasant parts guy and pay up. Is Mexico dangerous? I don't know, but the local Kawasaki dealership seems to be...
  17. Jimmer

    Jimmer emboldened lurker

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    Moreno Valley, CA
    Great ride report and pics! It's amazing how time flies when one vicariously relives another inmates ride report while daydreaming (on the job) of ones next adventure. My boss would be unimpressed. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Nevertheless, while checking out another one of your ride reports "Zimapan and Xilitla <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region>" thread, I recognize that I've traveled some of the same roads that you traveled. In particular, the one that passes the Zimapan resevoir and dam. My wife and I traveled that same road last year on our way from <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Queretaro</st1:place></st1:State> to Xmiquilpan to visit my father-in-law. Too bad Federalies were guarding the dam that day, while standing next to a sign that said something to the effect of "No tome fotos aqui". And since tengo sin cojones! I have no pics! But thanks to your pics and reports , I can enjoy my own memories of that same local as I continue to dream about my next trip to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Now back to work. Great report! :clap <o:p></o:p>
  18. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Thanks! and super that you were able to see some of the places you had no pics of. That area, Zimapan and Xilitla, is pretty cool and deserves some more exploration. I'm lucky in that every 3 years I spend two months in San Miguel de Allende with students from the college I teach at, and either in spring of '11 or '12 I'll have to chance to do so again with weekends free to rent an mc and get lost!
  19. Wolverine1305

    Wolverine1305 The english is hard

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    Thank you so much. If you come to my home at Mexico centre, you are welcome too.:clap