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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Throttlemeister, Aug 11, 2009.
hey. when you are in santa marta, colombia, give me a shout. 3176486786
I know, my saltwater boat days are nearly over for a time. I´m looking forward to it too. You helped me with that bike too along with that Bruiser project, thanks dude- I was able to leave at least a couple weeks sooner
Will do C5, I should have the bike in country and heading your way around the 21nd/22nd of Feb
I look forward to talking with your more about the LC...
Satellite internet is not so nice here in Providencia but still better than in the special place and a hell of a lot cheaper. Looking forward to nice wifi again once more. Good day riding around the island, looks like I will rent the bike for another day before I leave this placeScooter single tracking is kinda fun plus the big trunk is nice too.
hey. I've got 50 pesos columbia in my pocket if you need it?
You put ``MIL`` after the 50 and I can make something happen however I am picking up a new woman tonight for 2000pesos but she is a little bit special and this is with me on a scooter even
You been getting to do your Rat Work down in super chica land or something?
I can´t wait to start riding again down South, if it wasn´t for beer I would have gone nuts long ago
yeah, the beer has been good to me the last couple of days in New York on my way home from Tokyo on a job with Cirque du Soleil
Classic Throttlemeister commentary about military checkpoints "I say, 'you can sit on my bike... I want your gun!'"
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I'm loving the sailing err... ride report. Keep up the good work!
John, all I can say is wow. I saw this thread a few months back and subscribed. Then got sidetracked and have not checked on it until tonight.
I had no idea this thing was going to be this awesome. Good luck dude, when you get back to Oklahoma maybe we can ride up or meet at Oark and I will buy your lunch. (pie!)
Now, I got to get back to reading everything I have missed.
I didn't want to pussy footing around on this ride, I'm going all out
Glad you are liking. I was talking to some of the crew just the other day about Buttermilk pie from Oark, it hard to tell them how good it really is!
I will take you up on that offer if I can every make it back
More coming from my little nearly deserted Kuna Isla Elefante here in the San Blas, Panama with a nice Sat internet connection, I'm working today if this connection will work with the photos I have...
I wonder whatever happened to that John fella who entered Columbia and then was never heard from again
I heard he quit riding motorcycles and just hangs out on the beach all day now.
Hey John! You got off that boat and back on the bike yet? We are all waiting patiently to hear your bike adventures. Where ever you may be hope your warm! You missed out on the 3 feet of snow in the last 8 days here at home! Crazy shit!!! Im sure you are having a great time where ever you maybe be! Take care and hurry and get your ass back on the bike! Take care my friend and be safe!
he'll resurface once the awesome cigars/excellent rum/hotties start runnin low.
Why did he bring his bike????
That's an easy one to answer.
Throttlemeister has an insatiable desire to fix flat tires and stop in unknown areas to fix his bike.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o>
The bike gets a lot of attention from undesirable women.<o></o>
It looks really cool tied to the gunwales of a sailing ship.<o></o>
Throttlemeister knows that his bike will get him a fair distance from some irate women who fallen for his manly charms.<o></o>
Im sure there are a few more reasons for bringing his bike, but Ill let you write about them.<o></o>
Hell I could only get about 14 miles to Colombia overland and then had to turn back becuase of the military who said it was too dangerous to continue on. I´ve been sans bike since the first of Feb but that is all about to change in a few more days once the bike and I hit Colombia once more.
I do have the most awesomest tan of my life and it´s still not that great compared to the locals Just you wait until I get back to SA
I had to take a hiatus in San Blas on Isla Elefante and then went stir crazy after three days and hopped a fast launcha to Panama isthmus and tried to get down to Colombia the hard way before having to settle down with some half naked Indians for a few days. Got a good flight back to some islands in the West and then onto Panama City yesterday and then got run through the ringer by immigration:huh
I heard my dad flipped the Land Crusier a time or two in some of that snow but he came out smelling like a rose:eek1
I´m ready to get back on the bike and will be having a guest for a few days when I get back to Colombia and moving again
Some of my best work is coming up and I have the right tools for this job
Its not so bad...besides all the little biting bastards.
No comment other than: I love my bike
I'm glad you finally got to Yaviza. Sorry our schedules didn't synchronize. Next time!
Hey Amigo! How are the adventures going down south? Miss reading your post. Hope all is good for you my friend. Need some pics to see what crazy shit your up to now! The snow is all melted and damn near 70 degrees! Crazy weather, but thats Oklahoma for you!
Is your typin' finger broke?? Cough up some adventure, we're waiting and not so damn paitiently.
Its been a long trip coming back from the last ride in the Special Place and I've had lots of adventures off the bike as well since I put it back onboard right around the first of January. When I got back to Cartagena the second time around it was on a Saturday and no chance of importing the bikes until Monday 21st Feb so off to my little hideout in the Old City where I've been staying for the last week with a good friend from the SteelRat.
Some of the good crew from the last bit of trip from Panama the second time around:
From L to R: Daniel from Brazi (DL1K); Johan (The Swede backpacker who made the roundtrip back to Cartagena); Saburo from Japan (1200 GS); Jos from Luxembourg (made the roundtrip with me); Yours Truely; Christian from Germany (backpacker); Danny from California (DR650); Big Oly from Germany (Big tanked 990R)
It was a nice trip coming back to Colombia once again.
My good girl survived the long boat trip alright, she deserves some needed attention when back on land:
I hadn't shaved yet this year and was tired of letting myself go, but on the other hand nobody hassels you in the streets
First thing to do after getting off the boat was to get cleaned up a bit and settle back into life on land. We where to collect the passports that night in town at a little bar. I got a nice trim and shave before meeting up with the crew again:
Feels fresher now
Jos got his good cut too:
We went for the good pizza above Havana Club and had a nice meal and drinks on the balcony watching the world go by:
After dinner we met up with most of the crew and collected are passports and shared some drinks and stories and planned some rides and such:
Goodtimes where hadby most
On Sunday I caught the first movie in a theater since I'd left home, "The Rite" some crazy assed movie, at least it was in English with Spanish subtitles. Got my McDonalds fix once more and just took it easy getting used to life on land once more. I found they had opened a new bar in the Caribe Plaza Mall, it was nice stop but too high for beer, Ron Zacappa was $200 US a bottle:eek1 The home brew was nice mixed up to make special flavors:
Mostly makes sense here:
and the rest
On Monday the bikes where unload and it was the first time I'd ridden in nearly 1 1/2 months:eek1
Most of the riders from the SteelRat rode the short trip over to the DIAN once we found the correct building and then found out there was some type of computer problem and that they where only processing 8 bikes per day (this possibly due to the large shipment back in Nov 2010) and that most of us where in the 2nd days processing anyway. Turned out all bikes there on Monday would be locked up inside and have to wait until the following day to get cleared from customs. There was even some Italian dude heavily sponsered my Ducati driving around the world like his ass was on fire with a stickered up Multistrada, I even saw Ducati tatooed on him:huh
Finally on Tuesday it was worth the wait when the hot little customs woman came to inspect the bikes and everyone got cleared.
She was easy on the eyes to say the least
Everyone still had to get SOAT insurance and it was too late in the day so yet another night for my bike locked up at the DIAN again while some opted to take their bikes to their hostels and park them there.
That night Jos, the two German bikers Oly and Alex, and myself went to a German resturant and had a really nice steak, the most tender of the trip so far. Little exotic display of food, masuculine approach I would say
Listened to great guitar player and enjoyed the evening before retiring for the night.
Wed the 23rd Feb
Got up bright and ealrly in the morning and went down to the German's hostel and got them up and going looking for some short-term insurance called SOAT for the bikes. We must have walked to 7 different insurance companies and none sold 3 months policies to motorbikes or any insurance for bikes from what we found. Finally we went to one place and a guy from that place led us to another place that was no longer in business at that location but had an address over in Manga outside the Old City and we took a taxi to some vechicle inspection station before getting redirected to an insurance agency that supplied us with short-term insurance policy. I ended up getting 6 months since I will be coming back through this way on my way home and it would hopefully save me some time tracking down paperwork the next go around.
Meanwhile my sister had planned to come down to Cartagena on the Saturday 26 Feb to travel with me for a while and leave out at Caracas on the 20th of March. I planned to have here carry some spare parts and a set of tires down with her as carry on items. She would to be carrying another spring for my shock so I could respring the bike a little heavier because I was already running lower than I wished. Also during this time I'd also found out from Adam Lewis, a RTW traveler (The Shortway Round), who I'd met on the SteelRat that the BMW 650 ohlins rear shock had some known issues that I should address; mainly a sperical bearing in the top shock mount to replace a poor design invloving a rubber bushing that is not up to the task. This day I just needed to get the bike washed and cleaned up from all the salt spray and get ready to respring the shock and change the oil and the front tire before heading out with my sister later in the week.
Later that day after my friend John Pierre after he got finished with his morning stuff we headed over to get the bike from the DIAN lockup and was the next to last foreign bike to leave the compound.
My Cubano special old school:
One of the guys named Josh from Gerogia turned out had left his key on his DR and drained his battery down. We then went looking for some non-synthetic 10W-40 motoroil that was harder to find than I thought but eventually found some at the Suzuki shop while looking for a spring compressor to change the rear spring out on the ohlins shock. I never did find a good press to change the spring, only some possiblities with a shop press but I did pick up another good rear tube.
Also saw another overlander in a kickass Mog who I think was from the UK:
The suzuki shop has got a whole pile of police bikes lined up like soilders ready to go into battle on the street of Cartagena, mostly DRs but there was a WeeStrom in the mix as well as another I'm not familar with:
Then got the first real bike wash of the whole trip so far, they wanted 10,000 pesos and did a fine job getting the grime off the ole girl. I think I am now the last big bike to ever get cleaned here The reason being that the owner of the place dosen't get commision from the washers when they clean bikes, the washers only pay for cars so he'd already got screwed over by two other travelers on big bikes today and I would be the third and final big bike to get a good cleaning at this place
While I was waiting for the wash job I spent time speaking to a nice Colombian Naval officer in his whites. We had a nice visit and he enjoyed practicing his english while we talked about places we had visisted traveling. Nice guy named Juan:
I'm pretty sure this place will no longer wash big bikes anymore after the three they ran through here that day:
The washer did a nice job, the owner just wants a cut.
After getting the bike cleaned up and finding out that the manager of the hostel I'm at would NOT be letting me keep the bike in the back and work on it I the found a parking lot along a side street nearby my place that had guard dogs and an owner who has a gun I would just have to pay 6000 pesos per 24hrs to keep it there and would be able to do the mechanic work there as well. I put her down for the night:
That night more pizzas on the patio above Havana Club where in order and then Hard Rock Cafe was having little concert of some sort.
I think the music would be referred to as Acid Metal in my book, the crazy bastards used masks for most of there set and it was head banging wild in Spanish that made no sense to me and the high dollar beer didn't help things out any, just killing time:
I did have the first Corona I'd since mexico and it was also the most expensive one:
After the show we where a little slow leaving:
Jos cracks me up, the headband keeps me thinking Dennis Hopper from the Easy Riders
The next morning I met up with Adam, Danny, and another rider from Japan who was looking over maps for his trip North. The Japanese guy was going to be on the SteelRat and was riding a 250ish cc bike a long ways. I ended up doing little else the rest of the day Thrusday and it would come back to bite me and upset my loose plans Later that night I got Adam to come take a look at the bike and check over that problem prone rear shock linkage. We discovered a sheared off front bolt in the triangle linkage along with quite a bit of play in the shock travel that was not related to normal shock travel, the whole SOB was moving:eek1 Tomorrow during the teardown would be interesting...
Friday the 26th the day before my sister arrives I'd planned to get into mechanic mode and strip the bike in order to pull the rear shock and go over everything along with a oil change and a change of the front tire before I'd be good to go. I started somewhat early in the morning and dismantled the rear end of the bike and the closer I got the more trouble I found from the initial discovery last night.
The start in my makeshift workshop, still mucho better than in the middle of nowhere:
Racks coming off:
More bits coming of:
Touratech crossbar had enough and gave up, it survive a lot of hard falls, a new one is in the parts coming:
The breakage found the night before, both halves of the bolt where somehow staying in and last night I'd pulled this half out. No telling how long it had been like this:eek1 Like I say, I can tear up just about anything
Can you say shear force:
Next I got where I could get a look at the top of the shock and there I noticed a good bit of oil around the spring that confirmed the worst just as Adam had mentioned earlier. The remote oil resevior's line to the shock body had come into contact with the frame due to the rubber bushing that decided to crap out alowing for the entire shock to move up into the upper shock mount and start the damages from there.
Here you can see where the banjo bolt for the oil line came into contact with the frame and loosened up the fitting and puked the oil, some was still left in the shock because this was the first I'd noticed.
I got the tank out of the way and then the real inspection could begin and the damages where simple to see all because of that little rubber bastard
The upper shock mount went to beating in on the head of the shock and would make the installation of the spherical bearing a little more tough:
Did I mention it was a hot SOB working on the bike in my little dirty makeshift shop:
It was a sad finding and I knew at this point it was not worth throwing back together and making this next part of the trip with my sister at this point
She had just received parts from Ohlins USA; a heavier spring and a spherical bearing to hopefully fix my current shock but this was going to need more help than just that. Come to find out after pulling my shock that I already had the heaviest spring they use on that particular shock model:eek1
The new plan was getting ohlins USA to put together a new shock with the spherical bearing installed already along with the heavy spring for my extra heavy weights but with more factory preload to compensate for ride height instead of maxing out the hydralic preload all the time. Problem is they had just sent their last 200 spring rate to my sister along with the last spherical bearing so all that stuff just shipped would have to be sent right back to North Carolina to build the other new improved shock.
My sister's trip would need to be cancelled because of the price of changing the ticket at the last minute was nearly a thousand dollars and she still lost out on ~200 bucks for cancelling. She will come down somewhere along the way in 5 weeks or so once the bike is back up to par once again. She overnighted the parts back to NC yesterday and Ohlins should have the shock turned back out on Monday to Houston and then the all expensive DHL and some nice import duties should get me back to near 100% again along with a few other little pieces I am needing.
Those other bits are a new side stand that got one of the spring tits ground off and some nice friends from the special place decided to rip off the boot hoop.
I will give the bike a good going over and change out some rusty bolts and gather a few more spares, change the oil, and throw on a new front tire during my down time here in Cartagena. In the meantime my current greatest love of my life sits in pieces in a parking lot in the Old City waiting for my loving hands and a small boatload of money to come to her rescue. I will get her ready once more for another round of fun and I can barely wait to get going again
I must have had the shakes as I left her be, she's still a good one and never left me stranded in the boonies
One the bright side I have loads of time now to get caught up with the pictures and internet time here in Cartagena while I wait, so its not so bad
I will start up again editting on my last proper ride report post and bring this back up to date although slightly out of order now. There is so much story from the special place I might have to wait to tell the whole bit Been a wild and unexpected ride and there is still loads more I'm looking forward to.
They have got one of the hottest girl soilders I've ever seen down there Also we where treated extra special although we couldn't leave the way we wanted to. Good stories coming...
Its totally off the hook and almsot tiring. The weather back at home has just been amazing and can't beleive I've missed it. I've got tons of pictures coming up now that I have plenty of time to get after it again.
Hola Chris and Barb
I'm getting ready to hit high gear once again. I just about let myself go not having my bike to ride these past weeks nearly makes me go crazy, I'm a sucky backpacker and don't see what the fun it that is, motorbikes are the only way to go. At least I get to do some quality mechanic work on it again now that I'm back in the land of milk and honey once more
Nice to see you're in one piece and cheerful despite the minor mechanical setbacks. Giv 'er!