My big ride - A Kiwified Dutchman heading South from LA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Normlas, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. C.J.

    C.J. Sierra Nevada Rider

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    Thank you
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  2. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Been here awhile

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    Arjan, what a great report. Will definitely miss this one for sure. This is one of the reports that one would always be excited to see updates on. I know it is tremendous work to star a report no less to continue it. Thank you my friend for doing it. I wish you the best of luck back home. Thank you so much for sharing this epic journey with us.
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  3. Tijuana_Taxi

    Tijuana_Taxi Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank you so much for this ride report! Safe travels and I hope you continue to update a few more times on the adjustment to being back home. Thanks again, my favorite ride report by far!!
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  4. etboy

    etboy n00b

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    Thanks indeed for that Kiwi! A POM here in San Diego. I plan on following in your footsteps - Tire tracks? - on my 2003 KLR. Great to hear your endorsement of our beast of choice. Great ride report. A lot of VERY useful information, told in that inimical Kiwi manner. Long may you run Brother! Cheers Mate!
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  5. Vrode

    Vrode Testing...1..2...

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    Thanks for the ride, Arjan. It was great following you and getting a real taste of the different locales.
    As one journey ends, another begins. Ride safe, have fun, be cool.



    And quit the cigs. Them things are bad for ya!
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  6. Kiwi Mo

    Kiwi Mo Long timer

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    Te Ika-a-Māui Aotearoa New Zealand

    ...told in that inimical Kiwi manner.
    I had to look up inimical. Wow.


    inimical
    /ɪˈnɪmɪk(ə)l/
    adjective
    adjective: inimical
    tending to obstruct or harm.
    "the policy was inimical to Britain's real interests"
    synonyms: harmful, injurious, detrimental, deleterious, pernicious, damaging, hurtful, dangerous, destructive, ruinous, calamitous;
    antagonistic, contrary, antipathetic, unfavourable, adverse, opposed, hostile, at odds, not conducive, prejudicial;
    literarymalefic, maleficent
    "party politics are inimical to genuine democracy"
    antonyms: helpful, advantageous
    unfriendly; hostile.
    "an inimical alien power"
    synonyms: hostile, unfriendly, antagonistic, ill-disposed, unkind, unsympathetic, malevolent, malign;
    inhospitable, unwelcoming, cold, icy, frosty, glacial
    "he fixed her with an inimical gaze"



    Wow.
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  7. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    I think he meant inimitable.
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  8. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    Great finish Arjan. Just wondering if you got that job you interviewed for while on the road...or what are you going to do now. John
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  9. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hey thanks guys. I had to look up both of those and do prefer inimitable ! No I didn't get that job, and for the best really, it was science but 90% was of the bit I don't like - bureaucracy and bean counting....
    Still not sure what I'm going to do, something different....

    I also just realised that I left a couple of people off that list above of the people I had traveled with, I forgot to give thanks to Rolf, with whom I rode heaps of Chile and Argentina and rode to the end of the world with! He's still heading North and is in Central Mexico right now. And although I only rode with them for a couple of days I did do a fair bit of hanging around and partying with RTWPaul (@rtwpaul ) and Egle ( @EvergreenE ) in Mexico City and Taxco - fun times!!!

    And now onto the re-integration......


    [​IMG]

    This is me packed and ready to leave Vicente and Gonzalo's apartment.

    The flight was unusually comfortable for a cattle class seat, mostly due to my very well timed and well dosed Bolivian pharmacy, they had to wake me for breakfast - as good as it can be really!

    Arriving in a grey and cool Auckland, in the middle of Autumn at 5:30 AM was a little trippy to say the least. But great to catch up with Lisa and of course my little ginger friend Mousey whom quickly resumed his old favourite spot.

    [​IMG]

    First priority was to get mobile, my bike here is also a well farkled 2008 KLR, has been parked up for two years. I had the battery out so I charged that and re-installed it, drained all the gas and added fresh gas, gave her a quick clean and oil/grease and put the South American top box on, then I gave her a crank.



    To be fair I had given her a few cranks to fill the carburetor before this..... but great all the same. Then I shoot down to the garage for a warrant of fitness (WOF), required here yearly for any vehicle on the road. Had three small temptation to ride on the right and scared my self on one of those, must pay more attention to the arrow on my windscreen!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I fail the WOF on my rear tyre and get a new Mitas E-07 installed right next door - this was the tyre I was most impressed with on my ride, it went almost 20,000 kms!! whilst some only did about 8000 kms - like the Pirelli's

    [​IMG]

    New shoes and a shiny new WOF sticker.

    Then the car needed a new alternator, rear brake pads and a tyre for it's WOF. Got both vehicles registered (also required here and costs over $600 per year for a bike, about $140 for a car !!) .
    Got both insured and I am mobile, but still sufferer from a head cold and crazy jetlag. Needless to say i am hemorrhaging money at the mo.

    So it's been a weird but also really nice week, catching up with my family and we had a wee welcome home drinkies - night with the boys on Saturday and huge fun was had!

    My to-do list is ridiculous and I am just getting through it one day at a time right now, plenty to keep me out of trouble for a good while.

    It's still very strange to be home.......
  10. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    Awesome! Just awesome! Thanks for the ride.
    Best of luck with your inbound trajectory back to reality. Hope it’s as smooth (or more so) than your little...ahem...Bolivian experiment.
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  11. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hey guys, here is a quick update. Johan was one of the Frenchies that I rode with from Honduras to Colombia last year, along with Victor the three of us had an absolute blast. He left his bike in Columbia to go home and earn some money and he has returned to South America yesterday to pick up where he left off.

    He's just started a blog on this leg of his trip that can be found here.
  12. etboy

    etboy n00b

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    "A lot of VERY useful information, told in that inimical Kiwi manner."
    LOL My humble apologies, I did mean inimitable! Have to put the old brain cell into first gear before posting in future.
    Good to hear you're 'recovering' well. ATB. E.T.
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  13. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    May 21, 2006
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    Scottsbluff, NE
    Good, Now stay home Kiwi!!
    I am happy/surprised you made it all that way/time mostly unscathed. Job well done!!
    Home life will come back to you, and you'll forget what a pain packing and unpacking every day is.
    Thanks for keeping up the report, the adventures were fun to watch unfold!!
    Phill
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  14. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hi Everyone, sorry it's been so long, it seems to be harder to find the time to update my RR here than it is on the road.... Thanks again for all your kind comments.

    So it's been about a month back home and the to-do list has finally shrunk below the line of critical to-do's. At the 2 week stage I had definite feelings of 'it's time to swing the leg over and get moving', as I have been doing for ages, but I'm pretty settled back into NZ now. Had a chance to spend some time with a mate on his family's island holiday house and been for a few gravel rides around Auckland which has been lovely. The bike is running great but gas here is expensive at around NZ 2.20/liter ! ($1.45 USD / liter). More expensive than anywhere in the America's! Haven't really started looking for a job yet but that is coming up pretty fast on the to-do list, problem being that there are lots of less obnoxious tasks on the the to-do list than find a job so it keeps getting pushed further out...... unfortunately needs must. Still have quite a few things to sort out on my bike here including that the heated grips have died, new USB ports and spotlights to fit, my on-bike tools and spares still need finding, sorting and packing, the GPS power supply has died again at the socket on the back of the unit - seriously this time, might be time to replace the GPS all together, nothing that money won't fix :) a higher windscreen would be nice too and I need to soften the suspension somehow as I was fair tasting my kidneys when we hit some steep washboard roads out the back of Puhoi last week.

    The other good news is that I haven't had a cigarette in over a week and am quietly comfortable that I've beaten that nasty habit.

    It was sad to hear about Johan's bit of bad luck in Colombia, where after just a few days back on the road his KLR seized up and he's now having to rebuild his entire engine there ! link
    At least he is in Cali - City of Cats - that's gotta help :clap

    Sorry no pics in this post, but I will get organised and still intend to do a couple of round-up posts about all the gear that worked well or didn't and a bit of a country overview with some highlights.

    All is well in Auckland, albeit a little cold and rainy as winter sets in.
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  15. bmermoto

    bmermoto stus52 Supporter

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    Wa. St., Baja Sur
    congrats matey on completing an epic journey from your pal from Mulege Baja Sur! Home in Wash. for the summer. cheers...
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  16. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

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    Feb 16, 2004
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    Congrats on the WHOLE TRIP! What a life changing accomplishment! Just curious. After living out of the bike for so long, now that your home, do you look around and say, "why do I have all of this stuff?" Or do you say, "Ah, there's my (fill in the blank)! How I have missed you!" Being gone surely must have given you new insight into all of our collections of every day stuff that we don't really need. Also, are you now an ushakeable KLR'ista for life, or would you consider other bikes for future ventures? Good luck job hunting! How about a NZ travel writer job!
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  17. kvango

    kvango Been here awhile

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    Jun 28, 2014
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    USA
    Hey Arman, thank you for the effort with this ride report! Entertaining, enlightening, some great photography, great philosophy - and your dedication to your report is stellar. The interview and exposure from RTWpaul is well deserved.

    I ended up here from Goodcat, who mentioned Steve . . . Although the start was painful reminder bungees are evil, seems overall people are (mostly) pretty decent wherever you go.

    I have noticed ‘kiwi’ reports rock — If you haven’t checked these out - good stuff for your ‘trip decompression’
    Andi and Ellen - two moto kiwis (of course the 2 DR’s that they started on ended up with Paul and Eglė)
    Aaron.S - RTW on a 500 EXC - https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-zealand-rtw-and-back-on-a-ktm500exc.1181912/
    And the Groms on the TAT - https://advrider.com/f/threads/tat-2018-honda-grom-edition.1324638/

    Also love the Dutch RTW’s (YouTube) Pedro Mota and Itchy Boots! (Pedro spent a lot of time in NZ before heading to South America). Noraly is riding a RE Himalayan, always smiling.

    And the fact your KLR started - well you can’t kill them . . .


    :super
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  18. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hi Stu, good to hear from you mate!

    Yes and no, we have just been having a big clean out and gotten rid of lots of surplus stuff, especially clothes, and I do feel less attached to my 'stuff', on the other hand it is great to have the right tools and parts immediately at hand whilst I've been getting through my to-do list which has included lots of gardening (including some chainsawing, grunt) and building as well as computer and electronic repair. As for the KLR, I've never been particularly bike-focused, the KLR just fits my budget and needs nicely at the mo. I do love my bike but I can also see myself owning other bikes in the future. One more cylinder and some fuel injection might be nice at some stage ??

    Thanks of the nice comments, glad you liked my ramblings, I'm still considering perhaps turning this RR into a book - and who knows, I might include the bits that were unsuitable for ADVRider..... :evil :D


    BTW - I haven't had a cigarette in 15 days !!:clap
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  19. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hi all,
    a quick update to share that Johan got his KLR engine miraculously rebuilt (new piston/bore/flywheel etc) in Cali after it ceased up completely and is back on the road, he's been pretty useless with his blog unfortunately..... currently "stuck" in Medellin where he has met some enchanting local lass apparently..... he's also hooked up with Duvan, Torroloco and the guys whom I had so much fun and music with there.

    My bike is back on the road in South America! Hayden the Ozzy buyer got to Santiago this week and Vicente was happy to let him stay a few days in the apartment and sort the old girl to his liking, all seems good there and she burst straight into life. He's started his own blog here; linky so be sure to pop in if you want to see the old girl on the home straight.

    For the rest I am doing just fine and enjoying being home. Although the back has been a bit worse than it was on the road, on a positive note, haven't had a cigarette in about 6 weeks, reckon I got that one licked !
    Best wishes to all and I do still plan to do some gear/country summaries if there's still anybody out there reading :) ?? Been a bit slack on that one sorry....

    All is good in Auckland, NZ.
  20. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

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    I’m sure there are many still watching this thread.....
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