Wherever I May Roam - One Woman Livin' on a DR650

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Feyala, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    One of the things I do to 'see' a country is go to a super market. Most countries have one row for chocolates / sweets. The Swiss have 3 rows. The French have one row for wine. Of course you have to 'adjust' the total size of the super markets to a 'standard' size. And they can change across the country. Ozie 'outback' stores have the bread in the freezer (supplies take longer than the expiry dates) and kangaroo tails are in the meat freezer... you don't find that in the Ozie city stores.

    Another common thing around the world is McDonald's... unfortunately. However even there, there are variations... and some use then as a cost comparison around the world - e.g. how much money/ or how much labour time does a big mac cost?

    On the wild/free camping .. yep, if they don't know you are there then you don't have a problem. I find where a road crosses a creek good due to the increased vegetation. Another place is on the inside of a road bend - the headlights don't go there as much. The alternative is camping where you are known, e.g. at the back of the Police station. Done that once. Noisy but safe? Bicycle riders camp more frequently than us, limited speed and energy, so this should help http://www.worldbiking.info/resources/free_accommodation_bike_touring_resources.html



    Finances. Look at your costs. You'll find the bike takes a good bit of it. Slowing down to say 50mph will substantially reduce that (both fuel and tyre). The next one may be food. And slowing down will increase that for the same distance (more stops). Don't starve but try to eat what the local 'peasants' eat... should be cheap and filling. While I'd not advise only eating this, I'd try to make it a regular part of the menu? Costs will also change from location to location, non touristy places can be cheaper, cities are cheap for food and tyres. The country is cheaper for camping...



    For Mexico try http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bike-friendly-central-america-mexico/ for ideas of places. Depending on your level of spanish, doing a language course while doing a home stay in Mexico might be a good idea?
  2. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    Glad the netbook arrived safely! It's traveled many, many miles with me. I carried it in a padded case I got off CL for a few bucks, would've sent it along but it houses my "new" [to me] netbook.

    WOW. Thank you for that huge write up on your expenses! Wasn't expecting that. My girlfriend Karla (rides her own bike) and I are experienced, thrifty travelers and we don't care much for motels. The only time we pay to camp is if we want to check out a really sweet park (the redwoods in northern California this summer, worth every penny. Holy hot showers batman!). We hardly eat out even at home (maybe once or twice a month) and the closest thing we get to fast food is a splurge on Subway on a hot ride day. Tip: Subways are almost always super air conditioned! While it's definitely more pricey than cooking for myself, $5 footlong gets me a lunch and a dinner. Great when crossing the middle of the country in July.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write all that up, I'll share it with Karla. Looking forward to more posts, VERY glad you're healing up well!
  3. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Thanks!

    The front tire looks fine, but the rear tire's getting pretty bald. I plan on replacing it while I'm here in Phoenix. What is the best way to check for 'plumb and square' on these bikes? I've read a couple things involving string and the wheels and it seemed pretty confusing. I don't think the fender is at fault, as like I said, I've gone pretty damn fast unloaded. The only thing that really changed was the steering head bearings and the luggage, so that's what I'm investigating first.

    For the most part I go pretty slow, unless I've got a reason to go faster. I go fast when chasing somebody, when passing vehicles (it was a two-lane highway with hills, I needed to pass the semi before the next hill, with cars oncoming but far off), or, very rarely, to see what the bike/I am capable of in a situation that seems safe. On a normal occasion you'll find me going 10 over at worst, usually doing at the speed limit or just above it. I think that this fits within normal behavior - I did no worse when I was driving cars, and it's certainly not bombing through canyons doing 80 like a squid or whatever. I just don't talk about the times that I go slow because they are unremarkable to me and not worth mentioning, unless I'm creeping along going 20.

    Thanks for the tips on Mexico! I am slowly filing things away if/when I do go there. :)

    I leave them as thumbnails that people can click on to get to the larger size for a couple reasons.

    1) That's how it appears on my blog and I am lazy when I crosspost things elsewhere. I could generate slightly larger thumbnails, but that would require fiddling with things.

    2) In theory, my hosting plan contains unlimited bandwidth and storage. However, having worked for a competing company in the same field, if my website starts creating undue server load, I suspect that my services will be suspended and I'll be kindly asked to fix it or get a virtual private server, with non-unlimited bandwidth and storage, because I am being a nuisance. I prefer not to find out if this is a correct assumption, and err on the side of decreased server load, optimizing things where I can. Every time the page loads, for each person, the photos have to be served from my server, and it's a lot easier to serve small images than larger ones.

    3) Speaking of which, the full size for most of these images is 500-800k. My posts tend to have 10-20 images each. Some of the pages of this RR have multiple posts. On the conservative side, that means that a page of this thread with three posts of mine and full sized images will be 15 megs. Not everybody is on broadband, and I try to respect that. I know how annoying it can be when I'm reading other people's reports on a McDonalds connection and they have tons of 1mb+ photos. Plus, the full sizes are pretty big, like, off the page big. I like them that way, you can see all the detail, and browsers generally resize them to the size of your screen if you view them individually, but embedded they aren't as nice.

    I managed to make it to Phoenix, where my parents live, and I've been recovering there. Not much has been done on the bike, and won't until I get a rough ETA on when I should start putting load on the wrist again (probably tomorrow). I'll probably hit up the regional forum and see if anybody around here can help me untweak the rack, or knows somebody who can.

    I think I'll try weight redistribution before a fork brace, mostly because that solution is free. I'll do some testing out in the desert and we'll see if that fixes it, along with the other minor checks (steering head nut, wheel true/balance).

    Thanks! I have not. I could probably just use a bathroom scale and tally things up, but I'd like to get a weigh in of the bike and me and all my crap in total. Any suggestions? At a rough guess I'd say around 100 lbs of stuff, the cans feel like they're about 40 lb apiece, I have no difficulty carrying them.
  4. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    I am familiar with the starter motor relay, however I am leery of breaking fuses or other fiddly connected bits as this is not an intended "jump point". Is this a valid concern?

    I do stop for more than a day, quite regularly, so that's why I bother having a solar charger. (It's a bit like the water filter in that regard. If I wanted to be around towns with running tapwater and electrical outlets I wouldn't bother, but I like nature.) I do intend to add a USB charger using the bike's electricals, and at some point I will also figure out a system of elastic rope and carabiners that will allow me to affix the solar charger on top of the boxes, so I can charge on the move. Redundancy is my friend in this case.

    Those are some good ideas! I guess I'm just afraid of losing parts if they're in various places, you don't have any issues with things vibrating loose?

    This bike consumes a small amount of oil (I need to fix gaskets at some point), and I had a spare liter, so bring it or lose it...

    Thanks for the links! I will give these a read. Air filter oil is another one of those "use it or lose it" items, when it runs out I'll have to find something new. I thought the stickiness of the air filter oil helped significantly with keeping it working correctly, you've had no problems using engine oil?

    I will keep an eye out, but they seem kind of few and far between... They seem like my kind of people, anyways!

    That's a good rule of thumb, but I usually don't have the money for replacement purchases. If I had some spare cash, one of the first things I'd do is get some of those awesome ratchet wrench things I see in so many other ride reports, with different sizes on each side, and reduce the tools I carry.

    Without my ratchet, I couldn't get off my rear lugnut regardless of how much I screamed at it. I can't even imagine...

    Hmm. Interesting. I don't have a battery tender (yet). I don't have a SAE plug for my compressor (it came with two alligator-clips for attaching to a battery), but I could probably find one for it. Thanks for the idea!

    I worry (perhaps unnecessarily) about anything happening to puncture the defenseless tube, so I wrap it in a bunch of bags and keep it towards the top of my luggage where nothing will get at it. I'd be nervous if it was down and out of sight, especially in a warm place like that. You have had no problems?

    Did you buy or make that nut and bolt kit?

    Filter skins would definitely cut down on the annoyance of swapping filters in parking lots. Where do you get the small bottle of 90 wt? I can only ever find it in large bottles. I used to keep a mayo squeeze bottle that I filled with 90wt, but it seems like a waste to throw half the bottle away! Same with kerosene, the smallest I've found is that 1l at Walmart. I'd be open to diesel if I could find it in small quantities, but shy of carrying around a gascan everywhere, I don't know how to make that work. Suggestions?

    PS your sidestand is awesome.
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Hey Ric! I feel bad that I had to look this up, but it was made up for by that youtube commercial I found. My nickname is actually just a randomly-generated internet handle that I've had for yeaaaars.

    I did the swingarm myself (and all the linkages) with a torque wrench, so they're all proper, but I haven't checked spokes for a while, so I'll add that to the list when I start messing with the front end.

    Make sure to remind her that I'm technically a bum with slightly more resources! :rofl

    I didn't hear any bears, but I might have slept through it! :eek1

    Hey, good to see you here! Yeah, I wasn't going quite as fast as you guys, especially around those sharp corners, but that was a pretty peppy ride, haha!

    It will be interesting, if I am able to make it to Hells Canyon next year, to see how I handle Dug Bar differently...

    Thanks for the compliments! Alex is in Baja last I heard, and I'm in Phoenix AZ.

    Using the clutch is a good tip, I didn't think about it at the time. I tend to use both arms and hip when supporting the bike, I'm more worried about the bars twisting out of my hands and the bike falling as a result, it seems more stable when supported that way.

    Thanks, and no problem. That's what I'm here for! :lol3

    Hey Jeff! I've thought about doing this, but in some cases, the replies are part and parcel of the story. I wouldn't have gone to Death Valley if it weren't for Ratman, for example. I think it will be OK as long as we can keep it mostly on topic and not branch out into politics and religion again, but sometimes such things happen.

    Hi Bob! Yeah, the wide open spaces are definitely something I missed when I was in Denmark. I've heard Italy and Germany have some lovely wilderness though! Someday I will see for myself.
  6. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    No problem. The connections to the starter motor relay are very hi current (think in the 100 amp range:eek1) - no fuses! And they are big and reasonably robust. And under the right side cover ... (left on a KLR)

    Use nylock nuts, You won't be using them frequently so a little extra time here is not too much of a worry. I use longer bolts - that way the thing will be very loose and noisy before the nut (and parts) ever leave. If you have the space longer bolts work well. Don't over look these as sacrificial bit to use as nuts/bolts for other stuff that may have fallen off.

    My DR manual specifies engine oil for the air filter... and I use that for the filter skin too.

    A ratchet wrench has a clicking thingy that allows the handle to turn in one direction while the nut/bolt stays still. That clicking thingy is a weak point. For something requiring a lot of pressure you are better off with a plain ring spanner or a socket (6 point will be better than 12 point - number of star points inside the socket) and plain Tee bar. They are also cheaper than a ratchet.

    Tubes .. I've had one go off - stored too long in one of those front fender bags out in the hot OZie sun. It cracked where the sharp bends were.

    The 'spare nuts and blots' are something you make up yourself. You want the essentials - those that hold on the leavers, handle bars, may be the ones that hold on the engine, rear shock, ... you want one or two of each type... with experience you'll find out what bolts tend to get loose on the bike ... having found them you'll be able to check them every so often on your bike.

    You can get diesel in small quantities at a gas station .. same as you can get gas in small quantities. Need a large entry container.

    We all have different things ... because our experience, time and place of purchase and budgets are all different. Different does not mean wrong.

    Getting things in small quantities is a problem. Solutions can be simple. Small quantities of flour might be had from an RVer. Solvents for cleaning the chain, local garage mechanic. People like to help, give them the opportunity.
  7. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Hey, thanks! Glad to have you along for the ride!

    It's definitely fun on occasion, but, I dunno. I have difficulty sometimes accepting hospitality.

    Besides, if I stayed with other people all the time, I'd forget what it feels like to sleep on the ground! :lol3

    I had no idea people didn't realize that these photos were all thumbnails! Is there something I can do to make this more obvious? Maybe like, outline them in white or something?

    :wave Hope life is treating you well! :freaky

    They don't look cupped? :dunno The ones I had on at the Hells Canyon rally wore to sharp wedges, these ones look fine? I don't remember what mileage I was at when I swapped tires, but it's been at least 4k miles. I know nearly-bald is not good, but I'm very... frugal, and I knew I was heading to Phoenix soon. They'll get changed before I leave again.

    I am not sure how to describe it, but I've seen at least one flat from some sort of friction or heat. The tube material got thin enough that it caused a small tear. The only thing we could figure at the time was low pressure + over 60mph for a while. I'll be replacing my rear tube with the tire, and the spare I got is for the front, so hopefully I am set.

    Thanks! I still have a LOT to learn.

    I used to be nearly fluent when I took Spanish in high school. Years later, I held my own in a religious discussion with a hispanic coworker in spanish. It included a lot of hand gestures, and I've forgotten the tenses other than present, but it worked. I'd like to re-learn the other tenses and get a wider vocabulary. I learn quickly, so this shouldn't be too hard.

    Sounds like you've had some fun experiences! I'd love to be as widely-traveled. Yeah, one of my concerns is inadvertently camping somewhere that people use for illicit activity, or being found by drunks and harassed, etc. I believe that most people are basically good (or at the very least, don't care enough to bother), and unless I pose a threat, nuisance, or opportunity, they are unlikely to be unnecessarily cruel. I try to avoid putting myself in those kinds of situations, but I can see how camping in some areas would do so.

    Do you think that the locals would give useful advice if I asked them where a good spot to camp would be? I plan on asking around to get a sense of the various areas, I've heard that they do warn gringos to stay out of certain towns after dark, etc.

    :rofl Thank you for that! Was it a caterpillar migration? I've seen some of those before (though thankfully not in a vehicle)...

    Aww, thanks for the compliments. Camping alone isn't that bad, I actually feel safer camping away from people than I do in campgrounds, but maybe that's just me...

    Thanks for the tips! Those hotel prices aren't too bad. Even the shitty dives I've been able to find in the states are $30-50 and that frequently doesn't include the $10 "luxury tax". And you have to SEARCH for the dives. I've tried to haggle those down, showing up late, I figure they'd rather have a cheaper rate than an empty room, but most of the overnight managers don't seem to care.

    Do you have any tips for finding a track off the road where you are unlikely to be discovered, or is it similar to the states (rural area, no houses, go off the main road, go on dirt for a while)?

    Yeah, I figure I'll be seeing mercados pretty often, given I cook most of my own food. I've got a slight idea what it'll be like from the hispanic stores here, but I'm sure I'll find something to amaze or terrify me!

    Thanks for the tips! I will definitely keep those in mind... I hadn't thought about the inside of road bends, but it makes sense!

    Yeah I am good with rice and beans. I'm still not sure how the vegetarian thing is going to mesh with Mexican culture, but we'll see how it goes! I love trying new cuisines. The only part that sucks is that you end up missing things you can't get... like fresh Danish pastries or mangosteens.

    I think I might be able to get back to a workable level of spanish with some electronic resources and seeking out a group of people who are learning/teaching spanish to practice before I go. When I am in major cities I love the hell out of free skools, but it's a bit hit and miss. I'll see what I can find.

    Sounds like you're already doing well in the frugality department! :thumb It's no problem for the writeup. I figured that even if you didn't find it useful, somebody else might. I don't see too many people doing motorcycle trips on the cheap (other than the infamous Jamie and Alex, of course).

    Motels, frankly, are really gross. I've worked at a housekeeper, and even at a four-diamond resort, we changed the comforters twice a year, with cold/warm seasons. Some of my coworkers were cleaning coffeepots with bathroom sponges. The remote and doorknob, the foulest parts of the room, are never cleaned. Why do hotel/motel pillows smell weird? Because they are never changed.. only the pillowcases, so all the face grease and hair chemicals from a thousand people before you are just hanging out in there. And don't even get me started on the possibilities of parasite transmission. Yeah. I'll take the woods, thanks.

    Redwoods in California, I camped alongside the river, as the park was closed. Beautiful area. I agree on Subways. I just wish more of them had wifi!

    Cheers!

    Alright, good to know! I still think I'll do the battery tender thing, but knowledge is power...

    Good tips, thanks!

    Yeah, I wouldn't use a ratchet wrench for the rear lugnut, but it'd be useful for 8/10/12/14 type sizes. I currently carry both sockets and wrenches for those, because sometimes things are in an awkward small space that even adding an extension will not help with.

    I am lucky that I haven't had many bolts get loose yet. Maybe I should solicit opinions on the dr650 thread and make myself up a kit...

    Most gas stations I've seen won't let you put gas in unapproved containers, and I don't carry a gas can with me.

    Yeah, I just hate feeling like I am "mooching". It's bad enough when I legitimately need help. Something I guess I need to get over eventually...
  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    This is my 3rd DR650. I've only ever used the numbered notches on the snail adjusters. Still on original bearings and get around 25K miles on a chain.

    100 lbs. is quite a bit. Not too bad on road, but can be tough Off road. Also, if most weight is rearward ... it can lighten front end ... and cause a wobble or tank slapper. Steering head bearings should be set at PERFECT tension ... not too tight, not too loose.

    I went from hard bags to soft bags and knocked off 35 lbs. of weight. I'm now down to 65 lbs. including camping equipment ... but not much cooking equip.

    Most compressors have an SAE type plug included, among other plugs for powering them. I like SAE because it's multi-purpose.

    If you're on the road ... you don't need a battery tender, just don't run down run your battery with too many accessories. But as I said earlier ... my SAE plug powers my Gerbing elec jacket, compressor and can jump start another bike.

    Most Cycle Gear stores sell accessory plugs ... so you can adapt to most any other plug or device.

    This is good practice! Protect your tube! I keep one (a 21") on front fender, the other somewhere in luggage ... wrapped in plastic!

    [​IMG]
    front fender bag for tube is handy. Rear tube lives in tail bag.

    Most are things I've collected over 3 DR650's .... and about 20 other bikes in the last 10 years or so. There are nut/bolt kits for sale too.

    Filter Skins are good ... but if you're not in a hurry, its not too hard to clean your filter. Use motor oil to re-oil filter ... if it's all you got. Don't use too much oil. I only use Filter Skins riding in groups where dust is SUPER thick. Solo riding, even off road, I can go for a week without cleaning filter.

    I start off with a 12 oz squeeze bottle (Asian Hot sauce), filled from home. That lasts about a month on the road, oiling and cleaning everyday. In the USA I don't carry Kerosene ... but start with a can of WD40. In Mexico, after WD40 runs out ... I take run off from Diesel pump hose ...it stinks but good for chain cleaning.
  9. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Could it be sand/dirt got into the tire while running low pressure? This would abrade tube over time. Also, a heavily loaded bike, low pressures in very hot weather can be hard on tubes.

    Sounds like you've got this in hand. Some Gringos camp on beautiful beaches ... thinking it's totally safe. It's not. Any tourist areas can attract
    some opportunists. You have good awareness. In some places there are JUST SO MANY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ... you cannot camp.

    unfortunately many will advise against. Especially the women. But in the same breath ... will invite you to their house to stay and for dinner! :clap

    Most medium to large sized towns in Mexico have a Mercado Central (big public market) Not only can you buy fruits, veg, meat ... YES the meat dept. will indeed terrify you! :eek1
    ... but Mercados have lots of little restaurants side by side inside the Mercado. My favorite place to eat ... with the locals. Really small towns?
    (Aldea) You're out of luck, but usually a Comedor or two will be around somewhere. Usually somebody will take in strangers to feed them and make a few extra Pesos. Ask: "?Hay Comida?"

    Once you discover Mexican panaderia's
    you will be hooked. Lots of Veg food too ... but even beans have Manteca in the broth.

    YES! come on over to the DR thread. In general, very little comes loose on DR650's. Done thousands of miles on rough dirt roads ... very few probs in 50K. Loc Tite (Blue) is your friend!
  10. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Filter skins

    I carry enough filter skins to keep the air filter clean until the next engine oil change. Then you do a bike service that changes the engine oil and cleans the filters. Simple, keeps the messy bits all at one time. If you only on a 1 week trip then sure, but on a longer trip take enough stuff. One key here is not traveling in other dust, keep your distance.

    Weights.

    While weighting the bike with luggage gives you the total weight if does not identify where you could save weight. For that you need the weight of individual items. Some bicycle riders weigh all the items yep every thing, tyres, tubes, nuts, bolts, chains ... they call them 'weight weenies' <cite>http://weightweenies.starbike.com/ .</cite> Suggest you do the similar - use the kitchen scales (should have a resolution of 1 gram .. what ever that is in ozs... about the weight of one grain of rice ) They add up all the bits to get the total. More applicable to motorcycle camping are the light weigh backpackers. http://www.lightweightbackpacking101.com/ Be careful, the lighter the weigh the less stress most things can withstand. Going from cotton clothing to synthetics means lighter weight, faster drying and longer lasting so that goes against what I just said. They do cost more, and you'll find that with most lighter weigh gear.
  11. Voidrider

    Voidrider Been here awhile

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    Feyala -

    Just ran across your rr last night, and I finished catching up a short time ago. Top notch reading. Greatly enjoy your nearly "stream of consciousness" writing style. I like the comments Joseph Campbell used to make about "The outward journey mirrors an inward journey". Its obvious you are having that beautiful yin yang of external/internal reflection, your writing makes that clear, otherwise it would just be "travel".

    My life situation is significantly different than yours, but are some points that really resonate. The doing more with less stuff... currently I ride a Ninja 250 and it works for this little guy. "Use what you got". Not too bad having bought a bike basically from a yard sale for $1500.

    Over the following years I learned to wrench on the bike and slowly built up a fairly comprehensive "home base" tool collection. It is really wonderful to know your bike, its systems, how things work, and when they don't, what is likely the culprit. I've sort of become a local guru for the Ninja 250 guys, and enjoy helping them learn to do their own wrenching. Love to read of your trials and travails while "learning your bike".

    Over time I have done a lot of research and have built up camping gear I am comfortable with, always looking at small packing size vs. cost vs. features. Weight isn't as important on a bike compared to pure hiking but it still adds up. Some of my gear is decidedly spendy, but spreading the cost over the years of use helps me swallow the expense. Riding gear is something I have not scrimped on at all. The money I have spent on gear over the years has definitely exceeded the cost of the bike...but I consider it cheap compared to even a simple hospital visit. So far, mercifully un-needed (save for riding comfort), but its like insurance...you don't need it until you need it.

    There have been times when my wife and I have been decidedly "poor", but we have found that mindset and perspective is everything. Its a subtle mind-flip to go from "impoverished" to "frugal". Poor or impoverished may be a condition, but frugal is a choice, and even if nothing else practically changes, having a sense of choice is very empowering.

    You may want to read JDowns ride report - http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076 he has been riding VERY frugally and doing a lot of camping. I could easily see someone as resourceful as yourself easily doing a similar trip.

    So very glad you seem to be healing up well!

    ...and, I bet another gal rider I know who lives in Seattle was at the Furry Gathering.
  12. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG

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    Good info on prepping your DR and a tool kit.. This guy rounded most of the world on his DR. He tells you about things that worked as well as those that didn't.

    http://shortwayround.co.uk/suzuki/

    Also check the http://drriders.com/ site. Good info and helpful folks. Much easier than digging around the adv dr thread.
  13. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Not sure if we're still talking costs of travel and camping, but I camped throughout Baja, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, and Copper canyon without a single issue. Never was I interrupted at night except once I had a nice visitor in the morning. He was just curious what I was doing because I was way the hell off the beaten path where travelers are pretty much non-existant. This was just north of Guatemala in the mountains with the coffee farmers. Because my Spanish sucks I simply waved, wished him a good morning, and smiled. He looked at my me, my tent, and my bike and then left with a smile.

    99% of the Mexican I met were excited and thrilled for me to be visiting and exploring their country. They really are a very good group of people. More then I can say about other countries. . .

    Costs were around 20-45$ a day, 10 or more of that was spent on gas (I get around 50MPG on my XR650R). Copper Canyon and Baja are slightly more expensive then other areas. Still cheaper then the states (especially hotels, etc).

    Tires aren't cheap in Mexico. Put on a fresh tire before you go. I paid 150 for a Pirreli MT21 in Puerto Vallarta. I saw the same tire for around 100$ though in Guatemala (a few days AFTER I finally installed the MT21 I was carrying around in Tikal... grr). I had the border guards and police laughing at my bald Desert IT even. Once again, good group of people.
  14. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Good post ... and good info on tires. You need at least enough tire to make it to Guatemala City ... where a good selection of tires are available for a more reasonable price. I packed a rear tire with me ... bought new tires in Guat. City. Made it all the way home.
  15. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    The MT21 I saw was in Coban, but I think of the 5-6 bike shops we toured, it was the only 120/130/140 - 18" tire. I wouldn't count on it still being there!

    Didn't see (and didn't look for) a bike shop in Antigua or Quetzaltenango.

    Guat City would be by far the best bet.

    I'm starting to imagine South America Fall 2013..... maybe...
  16. Warin

    Warin Retired

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,527
    When you ask to BUY say 5 oz of flour, tell them you cannot carry 1/2 lbs worth with you (truth), you'll usually get the flour free (and a cup of coffee but you'll have to talk for 20 minutes about yourself and trip :D).

    Yep .. the 'certified' gas can thing can be a problem. Here they want to stop kids sniffing it! Try to explain, you may end up with the mechanic giving you somewhere to work.
  17. beemer67

    beemer67 Really Old airhead

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    219
    Location:
    Fish Limb, B.C. Canada
    I think you have it down pat already: rural area, find a track heading off the current road, and go a half mile or more if possible.
    I generally prefer to find somewhere just before dark (definitely earlier than you often seem to do :D ) if only because it makes it easier to see what you have found. Not always fun trying to turn around on a dirt track that peters out into a house, or a swamp, when you only have the headlight to work with.
    One use I do appreciate a GPS for, zoom in and let it tell you of an offshoot coming up (assuming maps). Especially handy if you have left it too late and darkness is upon you, because it is often hard to see a turn-off while zooming along at normal road speed.

    On another topic, I agree with the suggestion about wiring in a SAE plug (two pin) readily available at Autoparts stores. Just attach ring connectors to the end of the wires and bolt to your battery (+/-) preferably with an inline fuse and the protected (female side) of the plug being to the positive, and let the plug hang down a bit ready for easy access. You could then attach the other half of the plug to a battery tender ( set up the positive out of the tender to the male side of the plug) Besides using the plug for a tender, it can be used for an electric vest at some point (one of my most important additions 35 years ago) Or if you buy a small 100 inverter (cheap , cheap) you can now charge computers, phones, cameras etc. either when stopped or when riding.

    Have fun.
  18. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Currently - Canada
    If we're talking Latin America, it's much harder to find uninhabited locations. That being said they don't really care, but just curious.

    I found out no matter how far I was in the back country, I'd always end up finding somebody!

    Highly suggest start looking for a place long before sunset. It sucks trying to find one in the dark.
  19. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    That's some seriously good advice! Been there, done that ... in the dark that is ... I Ended up in someones outdoor toilet.
  20. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    823
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    "Back in the Day", as us old farts like to say......we were in Baja somewhere
    around Colonet after dark and the fog hit us hard. Visibility was around 20
    feet and that was back when Hwy 1 was dirt. We managed to find a track
    heading off and wound up sleeping in some farmers freshly plowed field,
    as we discovered the following morning. Now we camp before it gets dark.

    Keep it coming Fey.