Going South On A Stupid Budget And a Broken Bike

Discussion in 'Americas' started by kalachakra, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    Hey guys,

    The names Nat and a few moths ago I woke up feeling like I was missing something in my life so I decided to buy a motorcycle and head due south for as far as I could go on my own money. Taking into account that I am 18 just graduated high school and have pretty much nothing but this trip available for me (ie. I didn't apply for university or college). I'm just posting this because I need help, both in motivation and in technical things. Ive amassed a rough $7 000 since I came up with the idea but I've run into infuriating and expensive struggles the only functioning bike I could find for $2 000 which I decided was the lowest I could go was a Kawasaki KZ750LTD which ran perfectly when I picked it up but is now dead (battery is out (the neutral lights are dim) and I tried to jumpstart it and even then it wouldn't start) I had to pay an extra $360 for tax and plates but luckily my dad covered the insurance (not even gonna say what that was). If anyone could help me with something aside from what every other adult has told me: you're crazy, be careful, you know what they call motorcycle riders in hospitals, you need to buy a KLR etc I would be forever in your debt. Also if I can't realistically leave on the motorcycle in the end of july I'm selling it and trainhopping south.
    #1
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  2. Weldman

    Weldman Long timer

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    Tramp izzat you?
    #2
  3. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    Well, since you are not interested in other bike recommendations, this one's your ride. Buy a battery, get new tires, verify brakes have life left, change the oil. Ride it around some. If it's dependable, it's dependable. Buying these things at home with no rush will be cheaper that doing on the road. Pack some simple tools, a clutch cable, tire repair kit (if tubeless) etc...

    Then get on the bike and ride. Trips never happen on their own. Enjoy and take pics for when you are an old man. Stay of off the interstates as much as possible. Pack chain lube if applicable. Enjoy and take pics. Lecture over. Enjoy. Take pics.
    #3
  4. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Sounds like you aren't determined to go by bike if you are willing to give up by the end of July.

    But it sounds like you have the recipe for a real adventure. So you want some advice? Fix the bike, get on the road and head south. That's how this thing works.

    If you have specific problems there are always folks willing to help here. But it sounds like you know what the issues are for now, you need a battery. Go get it. If you want to be gone by then end of July why wait that long? Fix the bike and go.
    #4
  5. Zencyl

    Zencyl Been here awhile Supporter

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    if you are looking for motivation then why are you going on this trip?
    #5
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  6. Dr. Breedlove

    Dr. Breedlove Been here awhile

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    When I was 19 I bought an old BSA and toured most of the USA east of the Mississippi. Your KZ750 is a LOT more reliable than my bike at that time. Have you even bought a new battery?


    As far as this goes -
    Are you out of your mind? Hopping trains is MUCH more dangerous than riding a motorcycle. Life ain't no Bugs Bunny cartoon, my friend. An 18 year old with a few thousand in cash riding the rails?? If you're lucky you'll end up in jail. If not, you'll be some hobo's girlfriend before you get a few hundred miles.
    #6
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  7. Super Sneaky Steve

    Super Sneaky Steve B@nned Club :D

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    If you were my kid I'd send you to your room with no supper.
    #7
  8. rat

    rat Dirty Hippie

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    Alright... just my $0.02, and only worth what you paid me for it...

    If you aren't 100% fucking JACKED to do this, and out busting knuckles every damn night to make it happen, and spending too many hours every night staring at maps and planning your route, and driving your friends insane with your ceaseless, endless rambling about this trip... and are instead playing the violin and setting a deadline for it "not to happen"...

    … then I'm inclined to think this is nothing more than a typical teen fantasy to help wile away the boredom of summer. Here today, replaced tomorrow with something else.

    You want it? Make it happen. You want to be 45 telling stories about the shit you always wanted to do? Or you want to be 45 telling stories of the shit you did.

    Because... 45 is closer than you think it is. It's gonna be here way fucking faster than you every though it would, and you're going to trying to figure out how to spend your two to three weeks of vacation every year, knowing most of it will be taken up visiting family, and going to weddings and funerals , only to wind up with about three days to call your own... which will be spent in such frantic expenditure of energy, trying to cram as much fucking life into them as possible, that you end up back at work twice as exhausted as you were before you left.

    You don't get a lot of chances, man. Grab it and go. Keep enough money in the back to get home by bus if you have to, and start making it happen.
    #8
  9. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Looking for motivation huh? You either got it or you don't....can't download it. If you got it, you'll get it done.
    Adult world outside dad's house is expensive ain't it?
    Do you even have any real world experience on a bike, have a motorcycle license? Screw the end of July pipe dream. Plan for 2019. Spend your time/money fixing your bike to get it as reliable as you can. MUCH cheaper fixing it at home than relying on expense hourly shop time on the road. You need to learn your bike and basic maint anyway(takes more than 30 days). Holding up in a $100/night motel waiting days for a $75/hr shop to fix your bike can be a serious budget buster.
    You got the dream...now ya gotta do the work.
    #9
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  10. YJake

    YJake Social Distancing Before It Was Cool

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    The truth.

    -Jake
    #10
  11. PNWRR

    PNWRR A study in Mopishness

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    FWIW, impulsive undertakings like this still require a degree of safety. Is the bike safe? Tires, brakes, lights. Can you remain in the saddle for hours at a time? (Japanese=crappy seat). Will you be able to realize when you must stop and rest? Get a Clymer manual, about $40.00 and a cheap(ish) voltmeter. Check out your electrical system first, power is everything on a motorcycle. Early 80s Japanese bikes are notorious for weak(er) electrical systems. For example, they don't take kindly to deep cycle charging of dead batteries, too taxing on the stator. This, for me, is based on past experience. Bike maintenance will allow you to get to know YOUR bike so the more you do, the better you will know YOUR bike. Try not to dismiss the advice of some of the older folks around here. Chance are very good that they may have been in the exact same position as you are now at some point in their life and may try to keep you from some misfortune later on. Hoping this helps. Get that manual !!!

    https://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-Motorcycle-Repair-Manual-1980-1985/dp/B01N8SMKKB
    #11
  12. kaput13

    kaput13 gasoholic

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    Don't listen to these old farts and don't listen to me either. We're just jealous.

    Go do it. The mechanical problem is likely just the battery. You're only eighteen once and then soon you get married and its all over.

    Sounds to me like you are asking for permission.

    Permission granted and provide details of your adventure here.
    #12
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  13. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    It could be a typical teen fantasy you're right but I'm not giving up on the trip and as for the payment I've been saving up money because I knew I wanted to do a trip like this for 2 years I worked two jobs while also juggling school so its not a question of giving up on doing a trip in total I just dont want to sink half my budget into a bike that will take me nowhere. As for the motivational component I just wanted to know if it was possible or if I was just wasting my time and money this trip is litterally the only thing I have been talking about since it's inception, I've just gotten alot of mixed messages one friend tells me there is no way the bike I have will make it to Chile and another who is telling me that it can like I said I just don't want to waste the little time I have.
    #13
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  14. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    HAHAHA this actually killed me and thank you
    #14
  15. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    I want to learn the basics of bike maintenence and I've read my manual front to back I just wished I had someone who can show me how to do each thing and I do see your point about getting it fixed at home.
    #15
  16. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    Trust me even just saying I was gonna do this cost me an ass whooping but you can only slap your kid with a sandle so many times untill you cave.
    #16
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  17. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    Thats actually the exact manual I have I've read it back to front but some of it still doesnt make sense to me (I'll be asking about clairification for that stuff on here later on)
    #17
  18. kalachakra

    kalachakra Adventurer

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    Because it's hard to be motivated and forcing myself into a fuckit I'm here deal with it situation will teach me what being motivated and sticking to something is like.
    #18
  19. rat

    rat Dirty Hippie

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    Ok. After reading more of what you've had to say...

    Take the shitty old bike, and ride the piss out of it this summer... close to home. Take day trips, commute on it, use it as your vehicle. and fix it as things come up. Use it a learning bike. Take it apart, put it together. Change the oil and the tires, learn to tighten spokes, pull your hair out chasing gremlins. LEARN.

    Because, with your budget, this trip is impossible if you're going to rely on shops to do your work for you. Learn the way many of us did... read that manual, try things, fuck it up once in a while. But now, you have the added glory of the internet and instant help.

    But… a ride of that calibre with NO mechanical experience... means a ride of constant doubt and fear. And that's no way to enjoy yourself. Long trips mean being a long way from help sometimes, and knowing your bike intimately means you're able to deal when shit goes south.

    Keep the dream... but save it for maybe next summer. Spend this year learning.
    #19
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  20. Dr. Breedlove

    Dr. Breedlove Been here awhile

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    CHILE!!??

    You want to ride deep into South America, by yourself, on an old motorcycle you don't know how to repair or maintain?? That is an incredibly ambitious - and risky - trip. Are you planning to ride back?? If so, that doubles the risk.

    Have you looked at a map? Can you speak Spanish?? Do you know what the roads are like? Do you read the news? Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia - these places are rife with police and military corruption, political instability and banditry. Have you told your parents about your intentions?? A trip like this by a teenager is nuts. If you want to go south, head to New Orleans or SoCal. At least that way you'll live to take another trip.

    Chile.... good grief!!
    #20
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