Another Schmuck Goes South

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by micahbf, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Hello everybody!

    I’ve been lurking around here for a long time, and have been inspired by all the epic ride reports here. It’s finally time for me to get my own ride report.

    Leaving from my (now former) home of Oakland, CA, I’m heading south through Central America, hitching a ride on the Stahlratte, and then probably tootling around Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. I have no designs on going all the way to Ushuaia, but anything can happen. I’m riding on my ‘18 Africa Twin Adv Sports.

    I have about 6 months set aside for this trip, and I started last week.

    I made my way to the border via three national parks

    Yosemite
    [​IMG]

    Death Valley
    [​IMG]

    Grand Canyon
    [​IMG]

    Now, for my first unfortunate bump in the road: I came down with something nasty, most likely strep. I’m in Nogales, AZ, about to start a course of antibiotics. (Of course I fuck up my GI tract with antibiotics right before entering Mexico...) I was planning on crossing the border tomorrow and making my pilgrimage to @Turkeycreek, but that will depend on whether I’m recovered enough for the ride.

    Fingers crossed!
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Come on down! We (wife and I) are in Peru at the moment (see my ride report if interested). You are on a great bike, and it will be a great ride. I will be following!
    #2
  3. sstracke

    sstracke Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Hope you have a quick recovery. I’m in!
    #3
  4. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,049
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    We'll be here when you get here.
    #4
  5. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks everyone! Unfortunately I’m still holed up in Nogales feeling pretty terrible. I don’t think I’m even good enough to hoof it back up to Tucson where there’s better services. I talked to the doctor on the phone, he was worried about mono. God I hope not!
    #5
  6. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Health has to be priority one. Take care.
    #6
  7. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Mexico will be here to embrace you when you are ready
    #7
  8. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,280
    Location:
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    IN! :lurk
    #8
  9. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Scottsbluff, NE
    Ill follow along.... Get better soon!!
    #9
  10. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Oakland, CA
    Alright, I’m finally vertical again and back on the road. Yesterday I crossed the border without much issue, just followed Tom’s instructions to find the spot to get the passport and TVIP taken care of.

    And then onwards to Hotel Los Arcos. The ride was mostly great, except a new issue has presented itself - major issues seem to have conveniently frontloaded themselves for this trip. Once I got off the highway, I started experiencing fuel issues - weird surging where I would lose power for a split second and then it would come back. It kept happening the entire rest of the way to Banámichi. Unfortunately, I have a good guess at what’s going on - the 2018 ATAS had a defect where some bikes had some paint overspray inside the tank, which eventually manifests itself as a clogged fuel filter and pump. Several other riders on the forums here have had this issue and gotten it fixed as a warranty issue. I figured with 8,000 miles on the clock before I started this trip and never any issues that I was out of the woods, but no, it was just waiting until I left the country. Right now I can limp along fine, but I have no idea if and when it’s going to get worse and strand me.

    So, now I’m strategizing with Tom about how I can track down a new fuel pump assembly for the bike and get it installed. With the help of his staff we’re going to call the Honda dealer down in Hermosillo to see if they can help. If anyone else is heading down this way soon, or has any other bright ideas, I’m all ears too.

    Anyways, enjoying Hotel Los Arcos and the fine company of Tom in the mean time!

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    #10
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  11. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    1,046
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Nice! Battery connections solid?
    #11
  12. BobMirror

    BobMirror Desert rider

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    It is very easy to take the bus from there to Phoenix or Tucson to get motorcycle parts. Sooner is better than later, it is best to learn how to ride the bus in Mexico. The bus and take you all the way to the tip of South America if necessary (minus the Darwin Gap).
    #12
  13. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I talked with the Honda motorcycle dealer here in Hermosillo a couple days ago, and they said they could look at it tomorrow morning. This was great news, as after being trapped sick in a motel in Arizona, I really wasn’t keen on the idea of heading back to Arizona and being trapped in a motel there again waiting for something beyond my control.

    So, I very much enjoyed the rest of my stay at Hotel Los Arcos. I totally get now why it is a destination for ADV riders heading south. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but let me add my own testimony - Tom (@Turkeycreek) is a fantastic guy. I really enjoyed chatting with him about everything, and he really helped me feel good about setting off on this trip. He and his wife have a wonderful place there in Banámichi, and it deserves a visit if you are anywhere nearby!

    So, back to the trip. After some last minute help bending my pannier rack back into shape after one too many times getting dropped on, I set off towards Hermosillo. For more than half of the 2.5 hour ride down, my bike behaved flawlessly, not a single burp. I began to think about what the hell I would do after limping in to Banámichi if all of a sudden the gremlin went away. But sure enough, the power started dropping out here and there, sometimes to the point of killing the engine, and right around when I got into the city, it really started struggling, surging a lot and being really temperamental.

    So, I’m in an Airbnb now, which by complete accident is just three blocks from the Honda moto dealer here. Tomorrow morning I’ll bring the bike over and see what I’m in for.

    Tonight I tracked down a craft beer brewery in town, Buqui Bichi, that was quite decent. Then around the corner there was a big hipster food truck park called Parque La Ruina, so that sorted dinner.

    If the moto is going to be out of commission for a day or two, I’ll look into busing around to some nearby destination. Tom pointed me to Guaymas and San Carlos, so that’s on the list.
    #13
    Turkeycreek likes this.
  14. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,049
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Thanks for the kind words Micah. We enjoyed having you here. Good luck tomorrow at the Honda shop and your travels south.
    Andale
    #14
  15. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Oakland, CA
    Great news on the bike front!
    The folks at the Honda shop were really great. I was a bit concerned they wouldn’t know what to do with my bike, but that concern was allayed when I saw another 2018 ATAS on the show room floor! They got the tank off, cleaned out the fuel filter and tank, and back on and ready to go inside of three hours from when I dropped it off. A couple people spoke English and were super helpful. 1000 pesos for their trouble. I took it on a 200 km shakedown ride, Hermosillo to Bahía de Kino and back, with no issues. If anyone with a Honda runs into trouble in Sonora, I can heartily recommend them.

    Huge relief to get this taken care of quickly, tomorrow towards Creel!
    #15
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  16. HeadShrinker

    HeadShrinker Long timer Supporter

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    SW Colorado
    Honda shop in Hermosillo? They learned it all from my AT a couple years ago! Have a great trip!
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    #16
  17. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

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    Hilarious! Glad they got to cut their teeth on yours :D
    #17
  18. micahbf

    micahbf Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Beautiful ride today from Yécora to Creel. Completely smooth sailing from Yécora to Basaseachi, and then from Basaseachi to San Juanita the road got a bit more exciting. Lots of fun potholes to dodge, and some rocks and livestock on the road to mix things up as well.
    Fantastic riding anyways, and hardly anyone else on the road.
    Tonight I’m shacked up at an Old West themed cabin place called Pueblo Viejo on the outskirts of Creel, a solid recommendation from @Tricepilot.

    Tomorrow I’ve gotta decide whether to snag a rimside hotel on the Copper Canyon, or head all the way to Batopilas. Real tough choices.

    I know this is a well-worn route among people on this site, and I can see why, what an awesome area. Weather’s been about perfect as well.

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    Attached Files:

    #18
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  19. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,049
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Great shot of la cascada. It looks like it is really flowing.
    #19
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  20. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
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    Location:
    CARLSBAD, CA, USA
    Awesome adventure, so far!
    #20
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