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Financial Suicide: A new life behind bars

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stuntheavy, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    You should be able to find a tire in La Paz, maybe not the brand and type you want, but you should be able to find something that will work. A 120X18 shouldn't be too hard to find in most larger cities on the mainland as well. If a larger shop doesn't have one on hand, they can usually get one from DF on an overnight or 2 day bus trip.

    +2 on the central highlands of Mexico to get out of some heat. Copper Canyon, Durango, Real de Catorce, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, then toward Morelia/Patzcuaro, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, all the way into Guatemala at La Mesilla, where you climb up into the highlands once again. San Miguel can tend to be pretty expensive since its a big gringo retirement community, but a beautiful town nonetheless.

    The coast will be absolutely brutal hot this time of year, but there are some sections of Mex 200 worth running like from about 60 miles south of Manzanillo to Rio Nexpa/ Lazaro Cardenas. If you go down that way, be sure to stop at Rio Nexpa, nice little chill surf community with a couple cheap accommodations, surfing and fishing. But man, its gonna be hot!
  2. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,206
    Location:
    central komifornia
    If you need oil for your bikes I have found that the straight 40w diesel truck oil works good -the pemex stations have it.
  3. swifter78261

    swifter78261 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Ill have my half of the update soon too dudes and dudettes. In the meantime, I've been posting short 1 minute videos of each days progress along with a bunch of pictures on the trip blog at www.thetransamerican.com . Check the ride out there too if you're curious!
  4. adventurebound9517

    adventurebound9517 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,021
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, AZ.

    :D Tell us how you really feel. :lol3
  5. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Maine
    MX4: Bay of LA-Loreto

    So after a great night of :freaky back Pacifico's and fresh limon while watching the sun go down on the beach, we were back at it, ready to get on the road.

    I love how in Baja, Motos can park wherever they choose and noone says a thing.
    [​IMG]

    Race stickers rule Baja. They are everywhere. [​IMG]

    Back on the road, clicking off kilometers, there isn't a whole lot to see out here. We bounced over to Guerrero Negro, where it actually got cold enough that we needed to stop and put our jackets on. It's funny how much cooler the Pacific makes everything.

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    [​IMG]

    Anyway, there is a mountain pass that we ran through. The very next left hand corner after this picture, a dodge ram came sliding around the corner, literally. It was so far over our lane that the ram's head emblem in the grill was well over the yellow line. Even as it was happening, I couldn't help but laugh. We bearly had enough room to squeak by. All this happened at probably a combined speed of close to 200km/h, but it still made me laugh. Driving down here is something else. Speed limits, traffic patterns, lights, stopsigns, and painted lines are simple suggestions and nothing more.

    [​IMG]

    We keep on pushing, and come across the best looking bay I've ever seen. Bay of Concepcion. It's amazing. This is the sort of thing you see in movies. Right about now I'm kicking myself for not having my camping gear. I will definitely come back here and spend some time one day.

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    We pull into Loreto well after dark. The first few hotels on the Malecon are nice, but Americanized, and the price reflects that. We wander onward and find more reasonable hotels in the center. We also have a street-hamburguesa which tastes many times better than a Big Mac.

    The trucks in Baja are odd. The USA didn't get 4 door trucks til much later.
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    MX5: Loreto to La Paz

    As always, the bikes come into the courtyard for safe keeping. When is the last time the Marriott in New York let you do this?

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    "sure just bring them inside!"
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    This guy comes off the road just to talk to me. He loves my bike, and swears that the XRR he is riding is one of Johnny Campbells old bikes. Either way, it was cool to see another XRR out here in their element!
    [​IMG]

    Pressing on, we made it to La Paz just in time for a beautiful sunset. We started searching around for hotels, but this being the tourist destination that it is, prices are high. We found a hostel, which seemed to be more like a jail cell. No A/C, and did I mention it's freaking hot here? But the price was right, and we survived the night.

    Of course, the bikes come inside.
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    Don't upset your neighbors here by partying all night... the locks are master-lock style on the outside of the door. If someone realllyyyy wanted to, they could lock you in your room. :rofl

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    After a day of dust, it was nice to jump in the Sea of Cortez and swim around as the sun burned down. The night ended with some Baja style chicken-wings, and of course, more cervesa.
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    MX6: La Paz to ferry

    Up early, we headed to the ferry. I had looked for the Honda dealer on the north end of the Malecon, but must've missed it. Either way, I was in a hurry to get to the ferry, and get underway today.

    We had some mixups at the ferry, and most people there did not speak any english at all, so we struggled our way through, looking a bit foolish I'm sure.

    Eventually, all was good and we were in line to get on.
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    Ever vigilante, I keep a close tabs on things. The XRR picks up my slack, from afar.
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    Finally it was time to get on board.
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    We get directed into the belly of the beast...
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    At first they want me to tie my bike sideways to a staircase. Eventually they give up and give me a real spot with real tie down points. I was glad we brought our own tie downs (make sure they are LONG) because they were attempting to hand me rope that was about what you'd use for a clothes line.

    Thousands of miles from home, in the bowels of a cargo ship, in a foreign country with a language I don't know... If a picture is worth a thousand words, the shirt says it all!
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    We make our way to the galley, and indulge in some of the finest canned beer Mexico has to offer. The truckers put us to shame though, and have a Beeramid-pyramid on their table long before the bowlines even come off.

    [​IMG]

    In the night, we've made a friend with an ex-pat that is truly living the dream. He's come to Baja to retire, and is now going to San Cristobal to live for the year with his 23 yr old girlfriend, and take some Spanish classes. His sense of humor is incredibly akin to George Carlin, and he makes the boat ride that much better.

    We spend most of the day and night on the top deck, until it's getting chilly, and too uncomfortable to sleep on the steel deck, so we head into the movie theater to crash out for the rest of the trip.

    MX7: Ferry to Tepic

    Up in the morning, feeling like I've slept in a contorted box of sorts, it's time for our free breakfast. They sure do know how to wrap everything in tortilla down here.

    In Mexico you don't need life rafts that float. Just stick some new paint to them and call it good!:clap
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, getting to port is pretty uneventful. We can't figure out what they are saying over the intercom, and everyone has said that bikes are first off the ship, so we are confused. That's not the case today. Lots of 18 wheelers and a bunch of cars are ordered off before we are.

    Soon we are on land. We also had made a friend with a kid from Europe. He was bicycling from Canada to Panama, and we are both looking for a wifi spot, so he grabs onto Austin's pannier, and off we go through town. It was hilarious to see the locals. I'm sure they've seen and one it all, and to see a bunch of Gringo's hauling around, towing another gringo on a bicycle at warp speed, even they were shaking their heads. :lol3:clap

    We part ways, and we head to the bikeshop to have a link taken out of austin's chain. 3 guys working on the bike to remove a link, purchase and install a clip style masterlink, a cotter pin, and to adjust and lube the chain costed exactly 10$. Not bad!

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    FZ1? Nope..FZ6? nope... FZ .5? maybe... The starter was about as big o' round as a redbull can, and half the length.
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    Leaving Mazatlan, soon we are on the 15, and it starts to rain, and fog up pretty heavily. It's a warm rain, and welcome to cool off the temps a bit. Soon, it gets downright chilly, and feels like a rainforest!

    Eventually we make it to Tepic and call it a night. Communication is something I wish I were better at, but it seems to work in our favor tonight. The board on the wall says rooms are 850$. We ask how much and she says 650$. We try to barter but she is not interested. After being on the boat, and sleeping like crap I just wanted a real bed, and agreed to 650$. Upon handing her 700$ (no change for 650$), she hands me back 150$ peso, our key, and waves us off. Interesting, but that'll work!:D

    We stumble over to the Happy Go gasstation and have one of the best gas station salads I've ever had. A grilled chicken cesar salad cost 18 peso!

    We are headed toward Guadalajara tomorrow and going to see how far past that we can get. The goal is to be at Teotihuacan by Sunday night. From there the decision will be made as to if this is the end of the trip, or not.

    I have heard alot of bad about Michoacan with La Familia and the Knights Templar. Seeing as they are pretty active, as of just a few days ago when they lit up the Admiral, I think we are going to head a little north, through Leon, and then over. Just seems safer.

    Anyway, that's where we are at, at this time. Until next time, :freaky:freaky
  6. TheBlurr

    TheBlurr Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,588
    Location:
    Montana
    Four door pickups have been around for decades but did not catch on in the US until much later, the first I am aware of were the 61 Dodge, which were built by a separate company, Dodge took over building their own in 63 I think it was.
    There may have been more earlier in other brands but that is all I am aware of :D

    keep up the good thread loving it :clap
  7. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,858
    Location:
    Fulltiming in an RV! Currently Arizona
    That Yamaha looks like it might be one of the new FZ09's for 2013(14?)... it's an 850cc triple if I remember correctly.

    Rob
  8. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Maine
    Definitely not an 850 or a triple. It was maybe a 125 or 250. Drum brake rear, cheap suspension. Good around town bike, light and nimble.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  9. push

    push Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Singapore
  10. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Maine
    I think youve got something there. Looks spot on.

    Ive seen a couple full size motards down here but they aren't any brand I've seen before. It's cool to see other things we don't get Back home.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  11. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Its an FZed that competes with the Pulsar IIRC, so 150cc sounds about right.

    You going into the highlands or are you going to hit the central colonial towns on your way back up?
  12. FlyGuy

    FlyGuy MachineHead

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Middle of Highway 1 California
    Hay Stunt
    I wondered what happened to you after your posting on the XR650 thread.
    I stumbled upon this thread to find you up and at em.
    This internet Shit is so cool.
    Ill check in to watch your progress, Thanks for you time to to do the photos and stories.
    Keep the Dream alive, Ride on.
  13. 2WheelieADV

    2WheelieADV Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Love your writing style with some sense of humor.
    Do you use tracks or routes on Montana? Does it tell you turn by turn instructions or you just following the track?
  14. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Maine
    We are not sure what towns are best north of Mexico City. Just going to kinda wing it I suppose. Honestly, mainland was just kind of a bonus. We didn't do as much research as we should have. I'll certainly be back on another trip, better prepared.

    Thanks FlyGuy. After messing with it long enough everything seemed to sit in ok. I'm still not 100% sure what was hanging up, causing the left exhaust valve to have incorrect clearances.

    Thanks for the kind words!:clap

    I use mainly tracks. Sometimes there are interesting things I see when riding, and hate to have the GPS constantly re-routing.
  15. IDWPUNK

    IDWPUNK ¡IDAbogado!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Idaho
    I have lived in the State of Mexico, Hidalgo and Queretaro. Queretaro (Santiago de Queretaro) is a great town, I loved it there. It is clean, safe, colonial and is about 2.5 hours N. of Mexico City, Maybe 3 from Teotihuacan. So you could spend the night there, and then easily make it to the pyramids by lunch. San Juan del Rio is about 45 minutes closer to Mexico City on the highway. It is also clean, safe and a fair bit smaller and quieter than Queretaro, Queretaro. I love both cities.

    While you are in the area, you could also visit Bernal, where there is a cool ummm rock to hike: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peña_de_Bernal Don't let me put you off...it is pretty cool if you are into hiking.

    Tequisiquiapan is also a chill colonial town...lots of hot springs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequisquiapan

    Some other places you may consider visiting that aren't big tourist attractions, but are quiet, clean and safe are:
    San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato; Irapuato, Guanajuato; and Leon Guanajuato.

    :deal :freakyNo matter where you go, you MUST eat tacos al pastor. Here is a picture of what I am talking about: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tacos-al-Pastor.jpg

    Most taco shops and street vendors should have them.

    Mexico City is awesome, but I would encourage you to find a place with secure parking and then use public transportation. The traffic can be brutal, and if nothing else, you will waste a lot of time either being lost or in a traffic jam.

    I know you are on a budget, but if you can, you should try to be in Mexico for their independence day on 9/16...the whole country comes unhinged...it is great.

    Have fun, guys. I have been following since you started the TAT from my climate controlled, safe, well lit office...you definitely got the better end of that deal. If you ever swing through Boise, shoot me a PM and I'll buy you lunch.
  16. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Maine
    MX8:

    Alright, after getting up, I noticed something odd about this hotel. The rooms have painted over windows into the bathroom (possibly the hallway at one time before renovations), the parking is kind of secluded, and the rooms are in seperate building from the main office. Is this a converted whore house?! :rofl

    Anyway, moving on, we head on over to Leon for the night. It was a nice day...[​IMG]

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    But then it got not so nice...
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    Our buddy, Rich, from the ferry had mentioned it and said it was worth seeing. It was on the way, and a good stopping point. Upon pulling into town it was certain we were not in Baja anymore. There were many tall buildings, narrow streets, and even though it was raining there were people everywhere. The roads here are incredibly slippery when wet. While searching for a hotel, a car tried to pull a fast one on me, and zip around. This was all well and good, except he was going to 'shut the door on me', between him and a parked car. Not having that, I clicked down one gear and gassed it hard. The rear end came out almost instantly, and ended up sliding around the parked car in one big unintentional, but probably impressive looking drift.

    It was about this time that I looked back at the car that nearly cut me off to notice the paint job.... it was a Federali. Even though the XR breathes through a Pro-Circuit exhaust, and I had just pulled that funny business, he didn't seem to have the slightest interest at all in the stupid gringo on the bike. Guess I wasn't worth getting out and getting wet for.

    We find a hotel, and talk them down a bit on the price. Next thing I know we are walking down a dark alley with the bellhop. Are his amigos waiting to shake us down? No, surely not. Turns out they have 'secured' parking down the block, and we tuck the bikes into bed.

    MX9: It's only a short ride to Teotihuacan, our destination, so we are lazy about the day. We get up, and Austin had seen a cathedral from the hotel window that he wanted to check out. We go down to the city center, and find parking for the bikes. There are chains welded to a steel plate, that you lock the bikes to. For the sum of less than 2$ USD we get premium parking with the parking attendant keeping a watchful eye from a dozen paces away.
    [​IMG]

    It's funny to see the giant gringo bikes next to all the small displacement rides that are so commonplace here.

    Finally, nearly 100 days into the ride, it feels like vacation! Walking around down town, we find the ever so common stores that sell washing machines right along side the chinese motorcycles. 20,000$ pesos seemed to be the going price for a bike.

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    The cathedrals/churches/temples/house o' jeebus are truly impressive. The stone work is amazing, as is the stained glass. For me, for some reason, the doors are the most fascinating. Maybe because its a moving, working piece. I'm just in awe of the sheer size.

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    As always, sampling the local cuisine is one of my favorite parts. Also, with my lack of Spanish, it's one of the more difficult parts of my day.

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    And then we find this guy, doing spraypaint art. He's quite good. And think about it. He's got his entire life right there! His hobby, his job, and his drug addiction all in one simple form![​IMG]

    Anyway, after bumming around town and putting miles on the ol flip flops, it's time to throttle down for a while.

    We find some find upstanding communities.
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    Our 4hr ride turns into about 6 or 8 due to some heavy rain, and then at a toll booth austin noticed his bike was steaming off the radiator more than normal. Sure enough, theres a hole in it. I can't see where it's coming from, but it's dead center in the middle of the tubes.... and nothing visible on the front side. Only one thing can cause that.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at our options, we decide to fill it up, and press on the next 40 km to Teotihuacan. Literally, 4km down the road, I look back and Austin is nowhere to be seen. Turning around, there he is, standing on the side of the road. Remember the shop that shortened his chain? Well, turns out in the last 200 miles or so it has stretched again. This time, it derailed itself over a nasty tope and kinked pretty badly. After getting it back on the bike, it's clear that this chain is going to break anytime now. He will have to find a new one soon.

    Back on the road, it's well past sunset now. Unfortunately, there are no hotels in this area. It's very dingy, and doesn't particularly make me feel warm and fuzzy to be breaking rule #1 of riding in Mexico. Especially in this area.

    Soon we find traffic coming the wrong was at us, through an intersection. It's gridlocked, and we weave our way through. GPS shows a crossroad up ahead to get us going in the right direction. It's dark, and unlit, but it looks like there is dirt across the road. No problem, we jump the sidewalk. Then realize that this section of the highway is closed. No problem, we jump the median, dirt banking, and construction fencing to the correct side, and are on our way. Who's idea was it to ride at night again?:puke1

    Anyway, we finally pull into Teotihuacan nearing 11. The town center is still pretty busy, but the only hotel we can find is 1000 peso. Frustrated, we have some street tacos, where the kid tells of us another hotel down the road, that we negotiate down to a fair price for two nights.

    MX10:

    We discover the pyramids are only 2km away, and have already overslept. We make the quick jaunt to the pyramids. Coming around the corner, its incredibly how enormous these are. I believe my exact, well-educated, professional response to my first view of them was "Holyyyyyy shit!". Imagine what it must have looked like back in it's prime.

    [​IMG]

    We wander around the grounds for hours. It's an amazing place. Standing on the top, looking down on what would have been the town, it's a powerful feeling. It's nearly surreal to imagine what it must have been like to be someone of power, standing in this very same spot, looking upon the town and it's people.

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    There are some places where the paintings are still in good shape. It's quite impressive to be among all these structures and see how much they accomplished. The manpower it must have taken! Even today, with modern technology, to place all those stones would still be a manual effort. I can't fathom the time, and bodies it must have taken.

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    Repro..
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    We decide this is the place to buy souvenirs for those at home, and get our bartering on. I love barter. I haven't had the chance to do it much for hotels, since I seriously lack the Spanish skills. But now, it's game on. Essentially, whatever you want here at the pyramids, 10 other vendors are selling the same thing. Hemming and hawing about the item will bring the price down. Standing up and taking a step back will bring the price down. So now you're probably 10-20% below the original price and haven't even begin to talk! Make an offer, they'll counter. Walk away, they'll chase after and counter again. Stick to your guns, and 50/50 you will walk away with the item. If not, there are 10 more other vendors you can play the same game with. For example, I got a small Onyx (or some other fancy looking stone) chess set with hand carved pieces for about 8$. Obsedian pieces are the most expensive items on the block, but also some of the most beautiful, in my opinion.

    I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful. Some of this stuff is quite intricate, and I can appreciate the craftsmanship of it. But just like when I buy a vehicle, haggling on the price is all a part of it.

    Making back to town, it's time to grab some food. We wonder into the marketplace. It seems well off the beaten path of tourism, and the best I can describe it is like this: I'm sure you've seen the shows on TV where they are in a bustling market in asia somewhere, where the food is all sprawled out for the choosing, fish, fruit, beans and rice? Well... it's just like that. And just as much of a sensory overload. This place is an absolute madhouse. I don't think I've ever been around this many strangers, wielding this many sharp knives.

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    Seeing as we are the only gringos around, people are insisting upon giving us samples of this and that. I could have easily filled up on fruit here. I ask Austin if he knows what flavor the Montezuma tastes like, but he is also unsure.

    Anyway, we find an area where they are preparing foods, and go to town. We discovered some milky/coconut/water concoction that was possibly the best drink I have had down here yet. I still don't know what it was though (that seems to be a pattern with most things I've consumed here... it's probably for the best)

    Austin has some tacos, and I have some kind of breaded sandwich with potato hash, spicy beef, and taco fixings. Pozambo. Pizambo? No idea what it was, but it was one of the best meals yet.

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    4 peso donut
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    Yamaha Blaster doin' work!
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    Given the fact that these blasters were notorious for their absolutely god awful brakes...putting a trailer behind it is terrifying.
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    Back at the hotel, we tear the radiator off the KLR.
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    Sure enough, the fan cut a few of the fins. Going back to my stuntriding days, I get creative. In the Stunt scene, radiators are hugely vulnerable due to their large size (on a sportbike), their mounting position, and their terrible mounting tabs. The bike I stunt, a 2004 kawi 636 is one of the most popular models, which makes used radiators very very expensive. New ones are nearly 700$. Anyway, after clearing out some of the fins, and a few jb weld patches later, we let it sit overnight to harden.

    MX11:

    Well folks, it looks like the time has come to call it. We were hoping to make it to Tikal, but that just isn't going to be realistic. We have both decided on moving to differnt locales after the trip, and it would be cutting it too close for me to continue on. The time has come to be realistic and call this the turning point. :cry

    It's definitely a bitter sweet moment to think of all this trip has accomplished. For me, there are so many significant changes that it has brought about. I'll get into that at a later date.

    Anyway, from here, we plan to find Austin a chain in Mexico City, and then begin the trek north, crossing somewhere near McAllen, TX.

    The RR ain't over just yet though, I'll continue it until we are home. I may even have on small more leg of the trip up my sleeve after the fact.
  17. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,155
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Damn glad you guys made Mexico and hate to see this end but it's totally understandable that you eventually have to part ways and go back to the grind...at least for a while!
    viajes seguros!
  18. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    645
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Well done. Great entry. :D
  19. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Nice job amigos. On the way north from Mexico City:

    San Miguel de Allende
    Guanajuato
    Zacatecas
    Durango

    Then of course north of there you can head to Creel and Batopilas at the bottom of Copper Canyon. When you back track out, you can cross either in Arizona or in West Texas.

    Dont forget to cancel your TVIP's and tourist cards when you exit. Its a 2 step process. First Migracion for the tourist card, then aduana/banjercito for the TVIP. You'll have to find the offices right next to the border crossing, stop there, get everything done, then head back out to find the line to cross. You have to do this before you filter up to the front of the line to cross the border. As I'm sure you have already figured out, no need to sit in a line of cars to cross. Just lane split right up to the front. Some borders even have a moto lane.

    Also, when you cancel your TVIP they will give you a receipt. Save that receipt just in case you need it for next time you want to go and they say that you didnt cancel the previous time.

    suerte!
  20. stuntheavy'smomma

    stuntheavy'smomma n00b

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9
    I find myself rushing home from work each day to pull up ADVRIDER and dive into your latest write up and pics to see what you have been up to each day. It's been like reading a great book all summer long, and I can't wait to get to the next chapter as it unfolds. I will hate to see it end on one hand. On the other hand, I can't wait to see you in person again! I am so proud of all you have accomplished and so excited for all you have been able to experience at your young age. I know this is just the first of many more trips for you. You have that adventurous spirit that cannot be tied down. I love you and look forward to the next few chapters!