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Journey through Latin America - Swede conquering one country at a time - Gustaf N

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HiPERnx, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Half related to the trip itself, i worked on a channel trailer for the YouTube channel that you might enjoy.
    Learning video editing has been an entire journey in itself!



    Ride safe out there!
    #21
    rudy4pl likes this.
  2. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Episode 7
    Nicaragua & Costa Rica - Storing a bike in Costa Rica

    I drive through Nicaragua, stopping in Esteli, Granada and San Juan del Sur. A way to short visit to such an amazing country. Should have planned for more time in Nicaragua over all. From Nicaragua i continued in to Costa Rica, going through the worst border crossing of the trip so far. The thermometer on the bike measured 44°C.
    Didn't do any exploring of Costa Rica this time as the plan was to park the bike long term. I was sick for the first week in Costa Rica and the only exploring i did was when i went back and forth from the hospital. I needed to make sure i didn't have Zika or tome other disease that i would carry with me back home.



    912BC569-F5E0-49C0-A455-675815529846.jpeg
    The nicest hotel lobby I've seen if i say so myself.
    40655D70-7231-4BA0-BF91-1FF3BAF065B6.jpeg

    Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua
    IMG_4542.jpeg

    Police stop in Costa Rica.
    IMG_4618.jpeg

    At the border with Costa Rica, the temperature was awful!

    IMG_4615.jpeg


    My bike in storage (left) and some random persons bike also in storage. Maybe the person is also here on the forum?
    IMG_4629.jpeg

    Hospitals are always a fun!
    IMG_4665.jpeg
    #22
  3. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Suspension

    Have gotten questions about the suspension, figured i can do a deep dive into the suspension setup. Will make a video later about it.
    I went to Ted Porter's BeemerShop for everything, great guys that really helped me out getting what i need.

    The problem:
    Let's start of by saying that the V-Strom OEM suspension is not bad. But it's made to suite riders all around the world, everyone from 50KG to 150KG.
    Me (145KG, ~300LBS & 206cm, 6'9") + luggage is way to heavy for the original suspension, it would bottom out easily and overheat on corrugated roads.

    Front:
    WILBERS Fork Springs for 2012+ V-Strom 650. A progressive spring that is just slightly harder than the original initially, but the max resistance is a lot harder.
    MAXIMA Fork Fluid 7W
    135mm Air Gap (Air gap helps with preventing bottom outs), manufacturer recommends 150mm.
    ~23mm preload (Just a piece of piping that i cut to length)

    Installing it all seemed daunting at first, but i could do it with the tools that i later brought on the trip. Remember that i do not live in USA where i prepared the bike, i had no access to a well equipped garage.

    Started with 55-60mm sag in the front with the OEM setup. After i had 40mm, a good improvement.

    IMG_2844.JPG

    Rear:

    TFX 141 With spring for my weight, don't remember the spring constant for it. I went with the manual preload, now afterwards i wish i went with the hydraulic preload as the ABS unit on the V-Strom is in the way of the adjuster for preload.
    The rear shock made a huge difference, it's barely ridable without luggage (to stiff, hence i should have opted for hydraulic preload adjustment). But with luggage it handles perfectly!
    The rear shock also increased droop by 15mm. So 15mm extra suspension movement!

    IMG_2833.JPG

    The original one has hydraulic preload, not a remote reservoir.
    IMG_2832.JPG

    IMG_2676.JPG

    #23
  4. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Crashes

    Was digging through the images from the trip and found some fails. Dropping and falling is a bit embarrassing, bit i don't think it should be.
    The bike has survived quiet a few falls, never given me any problems. This is not all the times I've fallen or dropped the bike. Just the times I've got a photo of it!

    Snapshot 19-02-2020 17:06.png IMG_3634.JPEG IMG_4523.JPEG BEE85C54-830B-4FE2-B8C1-99954FC4A368.png IMG_2652.JPG
    #24
    DavidM1, roadcapDen, Drybones and 2 others like this.
  5. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
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    1,434
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    44C, frack it only gets up to 41C here in El Salvador.:lol3
    Ride safe!
    #25
  6. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
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    That's insanely hot also!
    I'm not sure how accurate the thermometer is on the bike at slow speeds/stand-still. But anything over 30°C is too hot for my Swedish genes!
    #26
  7. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Taking a break from travels over the summer

    For you who has followed my travels know that in episode 7 i left the bike in Costa Rica to spend the summer back in my home country of Sweden.
    Outside my family and friends, what i missed the most was my Jeep and camping/overlanding with my Jeep.
    The trip set of from Stockholm and i erected my camp at the shore of Vättern, Sweden's second largest lake. Vättern is unique in that it's very deep, the water is always freezing cold in the lake. even in the middle of summer. The next day i continued south in Sweden until i reached the family summer house on the west coast of Sweden.

    As I'm writing this I'm currently in Mexico preparing for the next stage and getting the bike out of storage in Costa Rica. In a week or two I'll have a new video and in 3 weeks I'll be back on the bike!
    I know it's not two wheels, but it's still adventure. Here's a video from the first camping trip i did this summer!



    Some specs of the 4x4 for those interested:
    Jeep Grand Cherokee -99 with the 4.7L v8, Euro spec version (WG)
    BDS 2" Lift springs
    Bilstein 5125
    Rough Contry 0.75" spacer in the front
    10mm OME Spacers
    IRO Heavy Duty control-arms
    32" Cooper AT3
    1.25" Wheel spacers
    Vision X Light Cannon CG2 6.7" multi-led
    Metalpasja rear bumper with tire carrier and winch mount
    Optima Blue Top, Marine deep cycle battery
    IBS Dual battery system
    Griffin Radiator, full aluminium radiator
    4x4 sPod SE for the aux battery
    Switch-Pros 9100 for the main battery
    JKS Mfg. Heavy Duty drag link and tie-rod

    Overland gear:
    2x Pelican 1600 cases. One is the kitchen, the other is the pantry.
    1x Pelican Air 1615 case. Tool box with spares.
    1x Pelican 1510 case. Mobile office.
    Patagonia 45L black hole duffel, personal stuff.
    Primus stove.
    Dometic fridge.
    Maxtrax
    Hi-Lift
    #27
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  8. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Gear I'm adding as i continue my journey

    IMG_7477.JPEG
    There's some things I'm adding to the next stage of the trip when is comes to gear (non-clothing, shoes are borderline).
    • 2x X-Small Sea to Summit Compression sacks. Fits in the panniers (i hope, if my maths adds up), and i will bring less clothing this time, hoping to save a lot of space for bulky items like my sweater.
    • Laundry line or general strap. Costa Rica and Panama is going to be wet during rainy season, don't want to rely on laundry lines in hostels/hotels/*BnBs.
    • Thread locker in stick form. Everyone that has had a bottle of thread locker on their bike knows, they leak and creates a mess! Testing glue-stick this time.
    • Jump Starter/Battery bank. A modern bike can but shouldn't be roll started, the jump starter is as small as a set of jumper cables and i needed a new battery bank anyway. And can in an emergency power my air compressor for the tires.
    • Real hiking shoes (Keen Targhee Vent). I can't fine shoes just like that (EU 50-52, US 16-17, depending on brand), i need to plan ahead. And if i need new one's i have to order online.
    • More tape, use it for everything. It's great, not pictured is also zip-ties.
    • Small Mora knife. A very very useful for small work, stripping cables, fixing clothing, DIY things (fixed my tripod with it) etc... already gotten tons of use out of it.
    • Large Mora knife. Because why not. Can be used for cooking. Thick blade and full-tang makes it useful as a pry tool.
    • Fällkniven sharpening stone, because even the best knife gets dull. Packs inside the sheath of the larger knife.
    #28
    Davidprej and Drybones like this.
  9. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
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    36
    Costa Rica - Rescuing the bike in Costa Rica - Ep8

    We all know what's going on in the world now, and it's affecting my trip. Just finished the anew video. Rescued the bike from the hands of the Costa Rica government. And from now and until the situation in the world calms down the trip is on hold and I'm waiting it out in Mexico City, Mexico.



    I will make some more content while waiting. I've also made the decision to move over to soft panniers, more on that later!
    #29
    Davidprej likes this.
  10. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

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    Costa Rica – One week of Pura Vida - Ep9

    The plan was to spend 2 weeks in Costa Rica, we had Zuzu the V-Storm 650 packed and ready. But the situation deteriorated in Costa Rica and the outbound flights started having problems. We decided to only stay for one week in Costa Rica. This drastically reduced where we could travel. We decided to head for the coast.

    After the week in Costa Rica had passed we had a chock when the flight to Mexico City by Interjet was cancelled, no communication by the airline at all. We were told the flight was cancelled with bags in hand at the airport by the security guards.

    #30
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  11. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Quarantine content
    As many others, I'm in quarantine (although not legally forced here in Mexico). That gives me time to do some small content.
    The Garmin InReach is a popular device to use for overland travel, and me included use one. I also happened to be a loyal GNU/Linux user. Officially there's no documentation form Garmin about how to sync a InReach device using a Linux computer.
    I made a quick video showing that it is in fact possible.

    Wish i could continue on the trip soon, but it seems like I'll have to wait until late this year at the best.

    #31
    9w6vx likes this.
  12. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    BKI Sabah
    Good luck and I'll be reading your RR.

    Stay safe!
    #32
  13. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
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    Thank you!
    #33
    9w6vx likes this.
  14. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
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    Location:
    BKI Sabah
    Subscribed to your youtube channel.

    Cheers
    #34
    HiPERnx likes this.
  15. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Quarantine content
    Camping vs Hotels/Hostels for round the world motorcycle travel


    While traveling on a motorcycle you have many different options for accommodations. One of the most common questions i get asked is how i do with accommodation while on the road with with the motorcycle and traveling. There are pros and cons of all types of accommodation, and safety is a big concern for a lot of people. In this video i go over the types of accommodation i use. What is not covered is Couch surfing which is also a popular option.

    The accommodation methods gone over in this video is motorcycle camping, hostels, hotels and AirBnB style accommodation.



    I've read before on some forums and groups that "if you stay in a hotel it's not an adventure", i do not agree with that. Everyone makes their own adventure, and it's up to adventurer to define their own adventure.
    #35
  16. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    36
    Quarantine content
    As I'm in quarantine (not legally forced) here in Mexico i have time to make some small pieces of content with old material. Here's a short video from a trip a few years ago with my Jeep WJ/WG through the bankans. A amazing place! Would recommend anyone to visit the area.

    #36
  17. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
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    Quarantine content
    As i cant continue on the trip currently i have time to work on my video editing. Trying to get two videos a week to work up my video editing skills. Still have a long way to go before I'm good at video editing. Here's a new piece of quarantine content about my favorite modifications to my V-Strom 650.

    #37
    GNPskier, 9w6vx and Davidprej like this.
  18. HiPERnx

    HiPERnx Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Quarantine content

    Why i choose the Suzuki V-Strom 650 for my trip is a question i get asked a lot, in this video I'll clear up why i think the V-Strom 650 is the best adventure bike for international motorcycle travel right now.

    The Suzuki V-Strom 650XT is according to me the best new adventure bike of 2020 for international and round the world motorcycle travel. The reasons being:

    × Reliable, the V-Twin in the V-Strom 650 has been around for a long time and is very reliable. Overall the bike is well built with a sturdy frame that can take a beating.
    × Sold everywhere. It makes it really easy to find spares. It's near impossible to find spares for a bike that is not sold in the local market. Usually ending up being very expensive and having to ship the spares from somewhere else.
    × Price! The Suzuki V-Strom 650 cost less than half compared to a new BMW 1250 GS Adventure, even the upper model V-Strom 650XT is less than half! This combined with a better reliability and availability of spares makes the V-Strom 650 a very attractive bike for international travel.
    × Doesn't stand out. Attracts less unwanted attention.
    × Fuel economy. The V-Strom 650 gets over 450km on one tank of gas. In Episode 2 of my travels i had to travel over 1000km without gas available. I just needed to get some Jerry-cans and i was set!
    × Aftermarket support. Without a doubt one of the best things with the V-Strom 650 is how it can be modified. Being a solid platform and a popular bike, there's a lot of aftermarket support. You can make the bike truly yours and adapt it to you. I'm over 2 meters tall and the V-Strom 650 could be modified to fit me perfectly.

    #38
  19. I have the same bike. I agree with you. I got Suzuki crash bars, centre stand. Then heated grips (Suzuki), great. Barkbusters and Kreiga fork seals. Kriega OS panniers though you are right you don't really need them. I was thinking about Wilbers or Ohlins, but not now. I can have a very nice trip for the price of them. Good luck and thank you.
    #39
    HiPERnx likes this.
  20. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    BKI Sabah
    I have a soft spot for the Vstrom 650 XT.
    I bought my Tiger 800 in 2019 but actually wanted the V-strom XT 650.
    Unfortunately the local dealer (there's only 1) at my city quoted me a price that was way higher that the other dealers from other cities.
    Tried negotiating with him but he would not budge.

    I thus paid a little bit more and got the Tiger 800 instead.
    #40