bwhip's phototastic two-wheeled adventures thread

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by bwhip62, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    For the last couple of months I've been excited about doing the final trackday of the year at Miller Motorsports Park, which was on Saturday, October 17. Over the last week I got the Tuono all ready - swapping out coolant for water wetter, putting my track tires on, pulling mirrors, taping lights, etc. All the while I was watching the weather forecast, which looked dicey, with anywhere from a 20-80% chance of rain showers. I kept hoping it would change to almost no chance of rain, but it only got worse. So, rather than drive six hours each way, spend a bunch of money, only to watch it raing, I decided to abandon that plan, and go for a dirt bike ride closer to home instead.

    I'd been wanting to do a loop over a nearby mountain, which has our local ski resort in the winter (Bogus Basin). It was just under 100 miles. I hoped I'd have enough fuel (I did). Weather was pretty good, fairly warm even at the top of the mountain. Views along the way were spectacular - check these out:

    This is the road from Horseshoe Bend toward Centerville:
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    There was a fair bit of smoke in the area from an active nearby forest fire, but still beautiful views:
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    A few hunters along the way, but for the most part, the dirt roads and trails were all mine.

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    You can see the ski runs in the background

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    All in all, a really fun ride! So glad to have so many great alternatives around here for riding. :)
    #61
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  2. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    :thumb Nice relaxing alternate ride to your track day!
    #62
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  3. Jerryn206

    Jerryn206 Jet City Hooligan

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    Beautiful machines and scenery to match! One of my favorite threads I've come across so far! Are you using a dslr for these great photos or just a really great point and shoot? I've been looking for something compact yet powerful to document my adventures with.
    #63
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  4. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Thanks very much! I've used a variety in the above photos in the thread, including a few with the iPhone, some with the Canon 5D Mark III DSLR. Most were with my Fuji X100T, which is fairly compact but completely awesome.
    #64
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  5. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Here in Idaho, the days are getting shorter, cooler and wetter, and the leaves are abandoning the trees. For those of us who love to ride motorcycles, this means the end of the riding season is drawing near. Always a bummer! Yesterday I had a few hours where I could get away for a ride, and the weather was okay, so I decided to take a ride. I did a nice 250 mile loop from my home near Boise, to the northwest through Cambridge, Council, the beautiful mountain resort town of McCall, and then south back to home.

    Weather in the mountains was cool (high 40's), and the skies were dark and threatening, but just a drizzle here and there. Very wet roads, as though I was constantly arriving just after a heavy shower. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, I find that as the season winds down, I appreciate every mile just that much more, knowing that soon the bikes will be (mostly) stored for the cold winter ahead.

    Here are a few photos from the Halloween ride:

    Still some fall colors, though the leaves are falling fast
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    Had a brief stop for road construction, and liked the rock backdrop behind my baby
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    Rainbow Bridge
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    Always fun riding along the Payette River between Boise and McCall
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    Smiths Ferry, ID
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    Hopefully I'll get a few more decent rides in before the snow starts falling!
    #65
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  6. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    I loved the 2012 Tuono V4 APRC that I bought last summer so much, that I decided to upgrade to the stunning 2016 Tuono Factory. I'm completely in love! The new bike features an 1100cc motor (former was a 1000) with much-improved midrange, Ohlins suspension, slightly different geometry, improved styling, even more highly advanced electronics, and cool race-rep graphics. I was able to find a pretty good price on one from the closest dealer (Harrison Eurosports in Utah), so I decided to go for it.

    Since it's winter here in Idaho, and riding time is a rarity at best, what else does one do? Yep, time for some mods. I added a full Akrapovic exhaust system, and swapped out the flashy red wheels for some even flashier forged gold ones. Looks pretty hot, don't you think?

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    I owned her for a month or so before we actually got to take a proper ride. This one was about 60 miles, and it was completely fantastic. Dry roads, temps in the mid-40's. Wrapped myself up in the heated gear and off I went.

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    The bike is even better than I hoped, absolutely sublime. Not easy keeping it below 7K during the break-in period, but I'm trying to be a good boy.

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    First thing I noticed (well, after the incomparable sound of that thunderous V4 through that Akrapovic exhaust), was the suspension. Wow! Unbelievably smooth and compliant. Steering did seem more effortless than on the previous one, though I'd have to ride back-to-back to really compare.

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    In case you were wondering, 6th gear at 7000 RPM is right around 98 MPH. At least that's what I've heard, anyway.

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    HURRY UP, SPRING!! :)
    #66
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  7. ZiaThunder

    ZiaThunder Go big or go home

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    Love the photos!!!
    #67
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  8. JCarp90

    JCarp90 Adventurer

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    My god. I need a video with sound.
    #68
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  9. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    :D Sounds kind of like this (my former RSV4 track bike):
    #69
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  10. JCarp90

    JCarp90 Adventurer

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    Niiiiice. I was curious if they still maintained the same sound with the new engine. :D
    #70
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  11. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah, as good or better. Maybe my favorite aspect of the bike. So intoxicating...
    #71
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  12. motocopter

    motocopter ˙˙˙ƃuᴉɥɔɹɐǝS

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    Still have the Multi? I wonder if you might be considering to switch over to the Multi-Enduro.
    #72
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  13. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    I do still have it, yes. The new Enduro version looks intriguing, but no plans to switch just yet. I love the long touring trips I take on that bike so much, and they tend to be 98% on asphalt. As fun as it might be to open up my travels to more extended trips that had a higher percentage of dirt, I'd hate giving up the grip and comfort level I get from the current bike when aggressively riding asphalt twisties. I wish Aprilia made a big street-oriented sport-touring bike with a version of this V4 motor. It'd be awesome to have that for the street, and the Multi-Enduro for exploring all of the Idaho/NW dirt terrain. My KTM 350 is awesome and fun, but doesn't have the range for longer trips off-road.
    #73
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  14. motocopter

    motocopter ˙˙˙ƃuᴉɥɔɹɐǝS

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    Tee-totally understand! My Concours gets me to a lot of places, but sure wish I could zero-in on a bike that does off-pavement better. Sold my 2K8Z1K in 2014 while I lived in CO. It really wasn't useful there. Now, back in TN I wish I still had my Z1K.

    The Multi Enduro might be a good choice later. I've got two road trips with the Concours in the planning stages for this year.
    #74
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  15. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday it was in the mid-40's here. In other words, warm enough (barely). Of course, the most fun and scenic roads near here are at higher elevations, so it'd be even colder there. I swapped the heated gear setup from my Multistrada to the Tuono, so I could go have some fun on the new bike, and make a little more progress with the break-in miles.

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    Definitely not ideal conditions for Pirelli Diablo Supercorsas! :) 95% of the roads were dry and reasonably clean, but I sure wasn't crazy about riding through the various spots with melting snow or sand, knowing my baby was getting dirty (sorry, baby!), not to mention that grip was questionable to say the least.

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    It was a little cold, but still lots of fun. I could listen to that V4/Akrapovic soundtrack all day, every day. So awesome.

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    #75
  16. OldRnger

    OldRnger Adventurer

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    You sure can shoot!!! I expect to see some of your shots in the next KTM add. Thanks for the post. J.
    #76
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  17. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    Thanks very much! :D
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  18. bwhip62

    bwhip62 Been here awhile

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    A Dream Come True - Costa Rica Trip with My Sons

    For quite a few years my sons and I have talked about how much fun it would be to do some sort of overseas motorcycle adventure. A couple of years back we settled on Costa Rica as a destination that would be really fun - and doable. We almost made it happen last year, but just weren't able to make it work. Finally, this winter we made it happen - and it was all we hoped for, and so much more!

    We got in touch with the good people at Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours, who had some great packages which included bike rental, route planning, and all of the accommodations. We wanted to see all we could in a week, flying in late on a Sunday, and departing early on the next Saturday. Five days, six nights. We put together a route that would start and end in San Jose, and traverse around 1000 km (around 600 miles), take in beaches, multiple volcanoes, and all the cool and interesting stuff in between. Here's an overview of the route:

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    My brother, who has limited riding experience, came along as well. Both of my sons are experienced riders, but don't currently own bikes or ride on a regular basis. So, this required extra cautious riding on my part (not like my usual aggressive self), which was fine, since we would be touring and stopping to explore and hike and take photos and so on.

    We arrived Sunday and spent the night at the Hotel Presidente (nice!) in downtown San Jose. Upon arrival we were given a packet with instructions, maps, and vouchers for our hotel visits, bike rentals, etc. It also had a notice inside which told us to be very careful while riding, because apparently they have really severe penalties for breaking traffic laws. Check this out:

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    If I had planned to ride cautiously with my brother and sons before, this gave me even more incentive!

    Early Monday AM, we were driven to the local BMW dealership, where we got our bikes. We had made arrangements for me to ride an F800, and for the boys to be on F700's, but when we got there, they didn't have enough 700's, so they put the boys on 800's, and gave me a free upgrade to a 1200 GS! Yes, please! Here was my ride:

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    I'd never ridden one before, but always heard great things, so I was pretty excited to have the opportunity. It seemed to be the perfect steed for this adventure.

    My sons and brother getting the briefing on their rides:

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    Ready to rock and roll - from left to right: my brother David, son Travis (31), me, and Taylor (33).

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    Off we went, through the craziness of San Jose traffic, to try to find our way to the Panamerican Highway "Hill of Death" ride to our first night's destination - the beautiful and sleepy surfer hangout of Dominical Beach. We quickly found out how challenging it is to navigate in Costa Rica. I'd hoped to bring my TomTom GPS unit I normally use on my Ducati, but they don't yet have maps for Costa Rica. Instead, it was the old-fashioned way of using maps, along with occasional stops to check Google Maps on my iPhone (with a very expensive international data plan). However, the streets rarely have signs indicating what street or highway you're on, what town you're in, or where you're going! This made things really challenging, to say the least.

    We climbed and climbed the hill, which ultimately brought us to an elevation of over 10,500 feet! Temperatures were cool toward the top, but not at all cold, surprisingly. The road was twisty and fun. We stopped at one clearing in the jungle, where we could see that we were high above the clouds, which was really cool.

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    A couple of big surprises we quickly learned about riding/driving in Costa Rica - First, the size of trucks/buses etc. that are allowed on various narrow/twisty mountain roads compared to the USA, which made for some interesting surprises coming around blind corners! Also, for a country that prides itself on being green and eco-friendly, the amount of smoke that belches out of cars and trucks there is nuts! Even late model vehicles, some almost new, just poured smoke out of their exhaust pipes.

    Oh, and those high fines for traffic violations? Ha! What a joke. We regularly saw people crossing on double yellows, riding on the shoulder while passing on the right, riding/driving way over the speed limits, and so on. We saw police regularly, but never once - never once saw anyone pulled over for a traffic violation. So hey, when in Rome... :)

    The ride over the hill was really fun, and as we descended in elevation toward the beach, it got hotter and hotter. We stopped for a delicious mango smoothie at a very typical roadside stand. The fruit there was fantastic, really fresh with great flavor, as you'd expect.

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    We made it to Dominical late Monday afternoon, where it was really hot and humid. Like 90 degrees and 95% is what it felt like! The hotel was really nice, up a dirt and gravel road along a river less than a mile from the beach.

    This was in the hotel lobby area. Made us wonder if they gathered these samples from the guestrooms?

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    The little village of Dominical was really cool. Very laid-back vibe, with a handful of little restaurants and bars, and a really beautiful beach next to the jungle. It was so great just to be able to ride our bikes right up to the beach, and take in the spectacular sunset.

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    One of our favorite places of the trip, for sure. The water was super warm and clear. We had a great dinner at a little vegetarian place in the village, and got some rest for the long ride coming up on day two. Little did we know how long it would turn out to be...

    Tuesday morning we headed north along the coast, and stopped at Manuel Antonio National Park, known for having an abundance of monkeys, sloths, iguanas, birds and more. It was super hot and humid, even that early in the day. We waited in line, paid the admission, hiked all over the place in our hot riding clothes, and didn't see much of anything except vegetation. Saw some cool iguanas roaming around in the parking lot, and caught a glimpse of a monkey or two and a sloth, but that was about it. Apparently we needed to get there an hour or two earlier, according to some locals we spoke to. Oh well.

    The beach next to the park was really beautiful:

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    Travis got this picture of a sloth, which was pretty cool:

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    We got back on the bikes and headed north and then east, trying to get to our evening destination at the Hotel Altura, next to the Poas Volcano.

    Throughout Costa Rica there are zillions of these little roadside cafes, called "Sodas," where you can get the typical Costa Rica cuisine. Lots of rice, beans, and chicken. Or Arroz con Pollo, which is another variation of chicken and rice. Generally pretty tasty, but there's just not a lot of variety. The cuisine is pretty basic here. Here's a sample of one of the places where we stopped, and what we ate:

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    I'd read that just north of the town of Jaco, you cross over a bridge at the Tarcoles River, which usually has a bunch of crocodiles in it. When we got there, we were blown away by how many there were. Amazing!

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    The navigation was going okay until we got into the more complicated urban areas north of San Jose. What a mess! We got very lost. I mean VERY. Google Maps seemed really confused, and kept saying we were where we clearly weren't, sending us in wrong directions, and making a bad situation worse. The sun was falling fast, and it was getting pretty frustrating. We finally got back on track, and made it to the hotel in the dark.

    The hotel was great. It was like a little European farm on a hillside right next to the volcano, with absolutely spectacular views. Charming accommodations, a friendly and beautiful young Costa Rican lady to greet and help us, a nice breakfast, sheeps and donkeys - what more could you want?

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    There was this cool and quirky little "tiny house" on the property where some other people were staying.

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    The next morning we went to visit the volcano. A really short walk from the parking lot led us to this spectacular scene - an unbelievably awesome view of the crater. Wow. Breathtaking, to say the least. Most recently active just five years ago.

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    Next to the volcano was a beautiful lagoon:

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    And just in case, they had this sign that told us what to do in case of eruption:

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    Heading back down the hill from the volcano, we just had to stop to take in this amazing view:

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    We had a pretty short ride from this volcano area to our Wednesday evening destination near another volcano, in La Fortuna next to the Arenal volcano. Much of the route included an absolutely beautiful, fun, twisty road through hills and canyons, with some gorgeous views. We came around one bend and found this huge, incredibly powerful waterfall right along the road. SO COOL!!

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    Travis said it was this big:

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    We hiked down to check it out. Look how small the guys look down there!

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    Travis just had to strip down to his skivvies and take a dip:

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    The road just got better and better, with incredible views like this (note the waterfalls in the background). I wish my little camera could do the views justice.

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    We stopped at another little soda for lunch, where a nice great-grandma made us lunch. I was glad to have Taylor and David along, since their skills at speaking Spanish are much better than mine! In the larger resort areas lots of people spoke English, but not in the smaller little villages we passed through.

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    Before long, we made it to La Fortuna and the Lomas del Volcan resort. Another beautiful spot, as you can see, in the shadow of the volcano. However, the clouds had rolled in, so you couldn't quite see it. Hopefully Thursday morning the weather would be clear, so we could see the volcano, and the beautiful, huge lake next to it.

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    We had a great night, which included finding a pretty good pizza joint in La Fortuna, and looked forward to a fun and scenic ride to the beach on Thursday morning. However, when we woke up, it was even more gray and gloomy, with an 80% chance of rain in the forecast. We set off in our pretty light gear, including ventilated jackets and jeans, and it wasn't long before the rain was POURING down on us, soaking us to the bone. All part of the adventure, I guess. When a place is this green and lush, I guess it must rain once in a while. Unfortunately, it meant that the views of the volcano and lake were going to be pretty much impossible. Before long, the sun was trying to pop out, and we managed to grab a few photos of the lake before we turned west and into much hotter, drier country.

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    We even managed to find this awesome disco in the middle of the jungle. Who knew?

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    Amazing how much hotter it got as we traveled toward the beach. Dried our wet gear out quickly! Speaking of the big traffic ticket fines, there was a stretch of brand new highway we rode on, where construction was still going on, and the posted speed limit was just 30 kph. The "flow of traffic" was actually up to 130 kph. I'll admit to exceeding the speed limit before, but I can't say I'd ever done 130 in a 30. This trip was full of new experiences! :)

    As we approached Tamarindo, we saw some pretty big iguanas scurrying across the hot road. We pulled into town, and could see that although a beach resort town, this one had a much different vibe than Dominical. This one was bigger, more lively, touristy, swanky. We stopped for lunch at a nice little restaurant where I got some really good shrimp tacos.

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    We stayed at a nice resort that was right on the beach, with five pools, and really nice rooms. The beach was beautiful, and it was very warm and windy.

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    Taylor decided to try some paddle boarding, which was really tough in the wind and choppy surf.

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    The hotel restaurant/bar had some big trees over it, which were filled with monkeys! Even baby ones, which were really cute. When I think of how hard we searched for them at Manuel Antonio National Park, it was funny to see so many of them here, right at our hotel.

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    We enjoyed another beautiful sunset, and had sushi for dinner.

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    Friday we rode back to San Jose, and prepared for our early morning flight back to home and work and reality. Total mileage (kilometerage?) wound up being just under 1100. The BMW was fantastic. Just the perfect bike for this sort of adventure. Comfortable, effortless, remarkably great on the dirt and gravel roads we rode too. I could see myself owning one someday (someday when I don't need to go so fast around asphalt corners, and I don't have such a need to look so pretty). :)

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    I can't even express how grateful I am for the whole experience. Seeing this beautiful, exotic place, riding motorcycles on really fun and scenic roads was awesome. But the best part was being with my boys, on a dream trip in a dream location. I knew it would be great, but it wound up exceeding my lofty expectations by a mile.

    I highly recommend Costa Rica as a destination for this sort of trip. Lorena from Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours and the other folks we worked with at the BMW dealership were really great to work with. Pricing was really reasonable for what we received in return. Can't wait to go back!
    #78
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  19. JCarp90

    JCarp90 Adventurer

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    Man that looks killer. Bucket list material for sure.
    #79
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Wow - I just read through all four pages of your various ride reports and will definitely continue to follow. Reading about all the adventures on your Multi seriously makes me want to go out and buy another street bike. You hit on a bunch of the fun stuff I've ridden over the years in Oregon - all the roads out around Fossil, great stuff on the North Coast, amazing stuff up around Mt. St. Helens, and others.

    Amazing photos and seriously incredible job documenting all the spots you've experienced. If you ever get a wild hair to load that orange 350 in a truck and want to explore incredible single track in the OR coast range, let me know.

    Your trek to Costa Rica with your boys is truly inspirational, my two boys are at the opposite end of the spectrum right now (4 & 6), but one of my greatest hopes is that they'll want to go off and ride like that with the old man. Super cool; looking forward to seeing additional reports as you get out and about.
    #80
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