LoneStar's Adventure to South America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    And the butterfly?
  2. Scotty707

    Scotty707 Been here awhile

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    Can't wait. I always enjoy your photos and words.
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  3. Marbleminer

    Marbleminer Been here awhile

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    Lonestar, not exactly following in your footsteps but I am leaving in a few weeks for a 6 to 8 week solo trek in a northwesterly direction. Got to start a little more tame for the first extended trip! :D Hope things are going well for you!
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  4. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    That's great! Six to eight weeks traveling is fantastic and if you drop a report here send me the linikie por favor
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  5. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Howdy doo anyone to anyone left subscribed to this report :lol3

    You probably won't remember or care, but in the 2016 portion of the trip to Alaska I picked up a new FirstGear Kilimanjaro 37.5 jacket to replace a Kathmandu which I wasn't crazy about. The Kili 37.5 was 100% waterproof and fit really well. Loved the jacket and never leaked a drop in the hours of rain in Alaska...

    [​IMG]

    ... That is until I hit the rainy season in Central America several months later. The arms suddenly leaked extensively and puddled water in the elbows and forearms, draining into my gloves. I was pissed that the jacket failed suddenly and I contacted FirstGear but since I was out of the country they couldn't do much other than suggest washing it in a waterproofing solution. Of course that was unavailable in South America, so I grumbled and bitched, tossing a rain jacket over in the bad stuff. Really disappointed as I'd felt secure I'd picked the right jacket for South America. The 37.5 fabric was touted as being a Goretex type PTFE fabric so the excuse of the waterproofing coating wearing off didn't sit well and frankly the girl I'd communicated with didn't seem to give a crap.

    [​IMG]


    My replacement jacket upon the return to Texas was a 1st Gen Klim Traverse with armor - which I like due to the simplicity and extra roominess
    [​IMG]


    But recently I ran across a report where Firstgear acknowledged a problem with the arms of the Kili 37.5 leaking and had extended the warranty on the jackets. The writer had gotten an updated replacement under warranty. I found a similar story by a female advrider so I decided to contact Firstgear again. The jacket was resigned to the back of the closet, never to be used for serious travel again, but I hated to toss it.

    I sent an email to Firstgear describing the problem and this time they were very responsive about resolving the issue, even though the jacket is approaching 3 years of age. Incredibly, I found the receipt from Sep 2016 so they will honor the warranty. The current version supposedly has been updated to correct the leaking arm issue. White is no longer available and gray 2XLT is out of stock until August, but I'm quite surprised and happy they are warrantying and sending me a replacement.

    Wanted to give Firstgear a public thumbs up for dealing with the issue so easily and am looking forward to the replacement! I hope it arrives before I leave for Newfoundland in August :D

    [​IMG]
  6. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    KLIM ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    You have gone to the dark side!
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  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Pdr, I'm a "2XL gear" slut. I'm also a "bargain" slut. I was on the Flea Market gear forum, it was late, and I probably had too many sips of vodka. It just "happened".
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  8. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

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    You can’t blame a guy for trying to stay dry!
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  9. jimjim

    jimjim Just another FF!

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    Didn't think there was such a thing as waterproof until I switched to Klim.
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  10. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Ha! Who hasn't 'been there'. Appreciate the update and look forward to your New Newfoundland trip. I did Long Island to Nova Scotia last year in May and it was absolutely fantastic. Next time, I'm going all the way...to Newfoundland.
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  11. LookingHard

    LookingHard Been here awhile

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    LoneStar,

    Are you kidding? I wake up every day and look to see if you are back and on the road....

    OK, that may be a bit of BS, but it is good to know you are headed out again and I really hope you are up to taking a few pictures and sharing your thoughts.

    It may be more BS, but I have read that the Cape Spear Lighthouse is the easternmost point in North America, and if you are there before dawn, you can be the first person in North America to see the sun rise.

    Of course, if it is cloudy you are probably just cold and pissed.

    If you decide to do a thread I hope you will share it here somewhere.


    LookingHard
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  12. johnnywheels

    johnnywheels Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the update on the 37.5 jacket! I have the same one, purchased a year ago. Have ridden it through cold rain in Portugal and hot rain here in Mississippi. So far it hasn’t leaked a bit, but frankly I have nothing approaching the miles you put on your’s. I’ll be putting it through another test in September in the Spanish Pyrenees and it’s nice to know that FirstGear will stand behind the warranty.
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  13. MaNDan

    MaNDan 'Old Japanese cycles & '26Chevy truck

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    Joseph: I'm very glad to see you post on and reactivate this thread. I will check in on a regular basis. Take care
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  14. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    My son and I rode Kilamanjaro's about 16 or 17 years ago. They were awesome. We both eventually slide tested them at high speeds and were unharmed due to fabric and quality of armor. Good stuff for it's day.
    Good to hear about a manufacturer that stood up and did the right thing instead of the old run-and-hide technique we see so much of.
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  15. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    and By the way,, aint nothing wrong with Klim products. I like them better than BMW.
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  16. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    I actually have a brand new, old 2xl klim overland jacket i believe. Staying new till i go for a long ride. But I will still bring a rain jacket.

    Funnier yet, I won a Klim helmet at the Colorado 500 and have been wearing that for about 3 weeks.
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  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    :lol3

    Looking forward to getting up there and doing the Trans Lab also. A good excuse to visit my French Canadian friends Jules and Christine - they've purchased a property to make into a travel hostel / organic farm somewhere in the countryside outside Quebec.
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  18. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Frankly I was surprised at how much I liked the 37.5. It doesn't vent enough for Texas for dang sure but I found it to be great for long travels. It was roomy enough, but well put together (except for the arm seams :D), beefy where needed but simple enough. I really appreciated the large internal document pouch which made keeping up with all the paperwork at the long crossings easy.

    I've heard the old originals were very good jackets

    How do you like the helmet? I had a chance to get a Klim Badlands outfit at a great price but didn't have the cash with me...


    One thing I found over long term travels was that the simpler the gear, the more I enjoyed it or desired it. In shorter trips, jacket and pant designs aren't usually an issue unless they obviously fail, but over time, pocket designs and placement, extra bulk, zippers and such as well as general fit become noticeable and can become irritating. What I found was that pants that pinch at the knee, a jacket collar that's a little too tall, etc can have a cumulative effect when added to the other discomforts of being on the road daily.

    Long term travel will cause you to refine your gear in every way, from what you carry to what you wear, because you have plenty of time to think about it. Your routine will reveal anything that adds a little time or discomfort to the routine and you naturally want to polish the process. Not only the weight of the bike and luggage will affect you, but the weight of your riding gear will become noticeable.

    The 37.5 was comfortable for me and it became like a security blanket (a smelly one) and I found it to be a good design overall. When I got back to Texas I ran across a YouTube vid of a guy reviewing his gear while he was in Patagonia. He'd had similar thoughts to mine, having worn different gear in his long term travels. He'd chosen the Klim Traverse specifically because of it's lightweight shell design after using heavier versions and though he'd had some reservations about using a "lightweight" design for world travel, he'd been very happy with it. He had the same reasoning as I, that heavy duty and stiff gear, while pretty bulletproof, caused more fatigue and discomfort over the long term. I'm not suggesting that heavy duty gear is an issue, just that when on the road a long time and dealing with a myriad of daily things, lighter and simpler is beneficial.
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  19. Pdrhound

    Pdrhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    Klim helmet is just OK. I have Karbon Krios. It is a size smaller then my shoei 1200. Seems as quiet. Faceshield only has 3 positions which is my biggest gripe. I love the micro adjustment and clarity of the shoei and especially the barely open mode for fog control. Krios does not have this. The build and materials are no where near as good as the shoei.

    But, living in the mountains, the visor is a nice tool. I have felt a little drag from wind but it seems a given for a visor at speed. It does have some vents in visor that allow sun to shine through. So far i just adjust my head position a bit. A little tape could block those holes if one wanted.

    As others have posted, this a rebranded ?Nishua? Helmet that sells for about $250. That's the price range i think it should be at.
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  20. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

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    Gracias for the mini review... I'm still stuck with the Schuberth E-1. Tried the Scorpion EXO AT950 but wrong head shape and couldn't wear it. Shoei has always been the most comfortable fit for me but I'm stuck on the flip-face with visor design