Belly of the Beast... 3 MN amigos to ride KLR's through Central America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ringobus, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Ringobus

    Ringobus Been here awhile

    Apr 30, 2008
    NW Minnesota
    Wake up, get ready for work, go to work, go home, eat dinner, go to bed and repeat. Are you tired of this kind of life and watching reruns of cops each day? We are to so here we go again. This time it will be much different than the last 14 epic trips in the past 12 years of riding together.
    This time we are off to Mexico and all of the countries in Central America. Why you ask? Because we can and those countries are there and they need to be experienced and we need adventure. This is not a Shackleton or Columbus type expeditions but over the top travel for the average leg draggers like us. Will the locals be happy to see us? Of course they will and who wouldn't be.

    Most people would never dare to step outside of their comfort zone of their own mind, living room or their own state of residency but we do and we will. These poor short sided people think we are crazy. Well crazy is as crazy does and we am not rubber room or straight jacket material but we do like a challenge and this is a big one for some everyday guys. Check your fears and apprehension at the door inmates and get ready for some fun or as Andy Dufresne says "get busy living or get busy dying," which we fully intend on doing Starting Nov. 1st.

    Our other trips have been mainly 6-8 riders and much shorter in distance and time (a week or less). This time we are a lean unit of 3 riders largely due to our regular riders having time constraints, fear of the unknown and guys still vacuumed up in the vortex of kids and their jobs.
    Our crew has done Alaska, 14 Summits in Colorado, The Pacific NW tour, Key West - Miami to Washington DC, the Bourbon Trail (Tail of the Dragon) tour and Minnesota to Cabo on $1,000 bikes down the Baja in 8 days. Check out our story on ADV Rider where we donated the bikes to an orphanage 2 years ago. None of these past tours come even close to what we are about to embark on so kick back and tune in often.

    3 riders…. Ringo, Sweet Johnny A and Norm (Berg is support staff back home). We depart from Northwestern MN and trailer the bikes down to our good buddy Gath’s house in Houston, TX around the 1st of Nov. and start the ride from there. 1 day of riding in SE Texas along the coast as much as possible and cross into Mexico to kick start this epic run. We anticipate 18-19 days out of the US and drive to the end of the road south of Panama City to the Darien Provence and return. I know, I know…. It isn’t long enough to experience these countries correctly but this should give each of us a good taste of life south of the boarder.

    We are NOT retired yet so there is some level of excuse. For Sweet Johnny A and I we have both been riding together for several years and roll pretty well together. As far as Norm goes you couldn’t ask for a better dude with an easy going disposition but we haven’t spent days together riding and he will undoubtedly get sick of my flap about 6-7 days in. Ha.
    After all Norm is the FNG (Farging New Guy) and he will just have to put up with me and my ongoing freak show.

    Sweet Johnny A with his green sparkle Barbie

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    3 Kawasaki KLR 650 (the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles) 2 are 2011’s and John’s is a 2016.
    Why KLR’s you ask? Lets dissect a bit.

    Fewer moving parts
    One lung and long lasting
    Carburetor for fuel not a fancy injection systems
    Most shade tree mechanics can work on them
    Parts are available almost everywhere or things can be jimmied.
    Very dirt and road capable
    Light and nimble through traffic and for dodging the random chicken or donkey
    Inconspicuous to the natives. Too flashy means you get pulled over or possibly robbed
    Comfortable enough to put 10 hours in the saddle and still walk without a cane at the end of the day
    Ability to haul gear? Yep!!! If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t ship.
    Lastly price. Expensive and new enough to make the trip and cheap enough to leave behind in case of a catastrophe

    Gear? We will be lean and mean. We will haul only 1 set total of spare tubes, tube repair kits, compressor, misc tools, chain lube, spare sprockets, a spare front tire, a quart of oil each, bike covers (theft deterrent) bike cable & lock and tow-tie down equipment in case we need to hitch a ride on a chicken truck into town for repair.
    I will be bringing a computer to keep you all posted along with some micro cameras for filming portions of the ride. Giddy up.

    The basic route it try cross on south Texas either in Brownsville or McAllen into Mexico and follow as much of the Gulf of Mexico as possible to Belize and into Guatemala then Honduras, Nicaragua into Costa Rica and finally to Panama.

    Scan 1.jpg

    It was our understanding we need to load up on pills and immunizations. Well we completed the shots last week at the travel clinic in Fargo. We received shots for Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Measles, Mumps and Rubella, Tetanus and Typhoid Fever.
    We will also take malaria pills a few day prior to entering into Guatemala and through the entire trip. As much as we don’t want to take these meds in fear of sprouting a third eye, going into convulsion or dragging a leg, we knew if we didn’t we stand the risk to not get in or out of these countries.
    There has been conflicting reports of riders not getting out of Panama without proof of the Yellow Fever vaccine or being held up for days waiting to get their passport stamped. I guess having to be admitted to a hospital in a third world country because of a mosquito bite is reason enough to get the immunizations let alone getting sick or dropping dead from a bite. Probably most important is the anti diarrhea drugs. Our great friend and mentor of this trip Dave B. (who took this trip in reverse last year) gave us some great insight on diarrhea on how to get your pants and underwear laundered on the road when you crap yourself. Mud butt is a hell of thing when you get food poisoning which is most likely inevitable. I can't wait... when it happens to John and Norm.

    Anyway we will continue putting together the final plan on route and approximate locations to stay per night. This will be a fluid trip since we will NOT preplan cities or towns to stay in and having to hold a certain schedule. We want this trip to remain spontaneous and as stress free as possible.
    We will go with the flow!!!

    Stay tuned for more and thanks for following along.

    Attached Files:

  2. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

    Oct 3, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Hokay, following!! I have a street-bikes baja trip planned for next spring, so I'll be watching you guys and waiting my turn.

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Sep 17, 2006
    Green Valley, AZ
    Looking forward to this! I enjoyed the Baja run you did, this should be good!
  4. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Mar 11, 2008
    Sounds like a great trip you have planned. Having worked in Guatemala a few times and ridden in all the CA countries numerous times I would say you are being a little paranoid with all the meds! Are you mostly camping in the jungle in open hammocks or hotels? Malaria in Guatemala? Better start taking the pills up in Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche and Chiapas as the climate and area is similar to Guate.

    Following along have a great trip
  5. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

    Jan 25, 2012
    Central Mexico
    Sounds like a great trip. I lived and worked in Mexico for about 40 years but just moved to Corpus Christi Tx. If I can help or you want to chat about Mexico on you way through send me a pm and we’ll meet somewhere. Have a great time. I’ll be following your report.
  6. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

    May 21, 2006
    Scottsbluff, NE
    Ah shit, you girls are gonna have fun. Im in.