North to South America on a Honda 250

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer Supporter

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune Joris, hopefully you can get it sorted and continue on with your journey soon.
    #81
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  2. RolyKBiker

    RolyKBiker Road Worrier

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    Commiserations; hope you get going soon, this has been great so far.
    #82
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  3. GoDoMore

    GoDoMore life in the fast lane...full speed ahead

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    Sorry bout the bike...best of luck, all part of the adventure
    #83
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  4. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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  5. Old Codger

    Old Codger Been here awhile Supporter

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    Wow sorry about the bad luck, wish I was close enough to help. be positive hopefully there is a way to finish your trip. different bike, new motor, is there anybody out there that can help him complete his trip...:doh
    #85
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  6. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I met Joris in Northern BC a couple weeks ago and he is a very competent young man, I have no doubt he will find a way.
    #86
  7. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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  8. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the help and advice guys! Appreciate it!

    A solution is on it's way. The spare motor I have at home is now in the hands of UPS and is estimated to arrive next Tuesday (if customs don't make a fuss). Going to order new seals and gaskets at the dealership in PG today to prevent it happening again.

    I found out that it is quite common for these engines to have the crankshaft seal work its way out. Especially when the oil level is to high or the crankcase ventilation is blocked. Which in my rush to get the bike done in Dawson City happened both. I replaced the oil there and when filling up the bike was on a little lean, and I might have filled it up to much. Then I wanted to clean the air filter from all the Dempster dust and in the process of removing it broke of the connector to the hose. I JB welded that back on but some JB weld got inside the connector and blocked it.

    So it was bound to happen. Would I have stopped along the way I might have discovered the oil leaking out and could have saved the engine but no.. I wanted to get to PG so I rode 200km without stopping and by that time all the oil was gone and I was kindly notified of the issue by a rattling engine.

    I drained the remainder of the oil and could see the metal flakes. Lifting the valve cover showed the same problem, small metal particles. I could push the seal back in, fill it up with oil and it will probably ride but I don't trust it to make it all the way south. So better get a replacement motor and (hopefully) be done with it for now.

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    #88
  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I'm staying at GISdood's place in Prince George now for a couple days. Waiting for the replacement to arrive.

    I was incredibly lucky when I got stranded on the Cassiar Highway. After I figured out that I wasn't able to fix it on the side of the road I started looking for a way to get me and the bike to Prince George. Because just the night before I had send a message to a tent space location in PG, so that was the only place I knew where I maybe could get it fixed. A couple of cars went by but no one stopped or had space for me. Then from the other direction a pickup truck was coming, I didn't want to flag them down cause it was not the direction I wanted to go. But they stopped anyway and asked if I was alright. Rob and his wife where just touring around the area looking for lakes to kayak on and lived near Smithers, which eas the right direction. They turned the truck around and together we lifted my disabled bike in the back. They trucked me all the way to Smithers and we even stopped along the way to check out some cool sights, like Old Hazelton and the Witset Canyon.

    Even more amazing was that Rob worked as a mechanic for a transportation company. And chances where there was a trailer leaving for Prince George at noon which could take me and the bike. We just missed that one by an hour but searched around for another trucker heading that way. No luck as it was the long weekend for Canada Day, the next truck would go on Monday morning. They said I was welcome to stay with them for two nights and Rob would help me get the bike loaded on a trailer on Monday.
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    The next day together with a couple of friends they went offroading in the Skeena mountains and they invited me to go with them. I had such a good day, getting all muddy and dusty and bashed around on the back of their friend Pierre's quad. The scenery was beautiful and except for the bugs the day couldn't be better.
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    Monday came and we were at the transport company at 7am to strap the bike down on a pallet. At 8am John (the driver) arrived and Rob loaded the bike in the trailer. I thanked Rob for all his help and after fixing a sticking brake we were on our way.
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    The drive to PG was nice, John and I talked about a lot of things. His parents were Dutch (like a lot of people in Canada) and that lead to a conversation about the war. He had so many interesting stories about his family and the war. Close to PG I contacted GISdood and he met us at the Petro Canada station where we loaded the bike from the big trailer onto a small trailer and then drove the one mile home.
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    Braking down was a definite low on this trip. For a moment I didn't know what to do. But then I realized that there's always a solution, just stay positive and think about a possible way out. And that way out presented itself and was the coolest thing ever. I'm happy and grateful to meet so many nice people that helped me out. Every time I'm amazed what people will do for a stranger in need of help. Thank you Rob, John and all the people that made it into this great experience.
    #89
  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Amazing! My faith in humanity is often restored on this site. Continued good luck with this setback.
    #90
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  11. squiffynimrod

    squiffynimrod maximum shrinkage Supporter

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    Well shit! I expected the 250 would run forever!
    Good on ya for having the spare motor!
    Git 'er buttoned back up and on the road again!

    Miss ya, buddy.

    Steve
    #91
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  12. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    why not trade straight across for the v strom?:lol3
    #92
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  13. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Umm... no? :jack But I will be lending it to him so he can get out and do some day trips or overnighters around the area while he awaits the arrival of his spare motor early next week! Can't have him getting soft on everyone just sitting on the couch for a week, right? :ricky
    #93
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  14. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    we talked about bigger bikes at the campsite in Ft. Nelson, he knows the Strom and we talked Transalp as he and I both owned one in the past.
    #94
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  15. landyguy

    landyguy Adventurer

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    This has been quite an adventure so far Joris. All part of the rich tapestry of motorcycle travel. Maybe see you in Oregon or California!
    #95
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  16. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I arrived at GISdood's place on the first of July, Canada Day! Lots of cultural activities going on that day. So together with Lauri and Decky (also staying for a couple of days) we went to the park in Prince George to look at all the performers and dancers and stroll along all the food stands. After devouring a Greek chicken Souvlaki we were on the hunt for icecream. We looked everywhere but couldn't find it so decided that two boxes of donuts would suffice. Of course when we sit down at a bench we spot the icecream truck. Got icecream after stuffing our faces with donuts for maximum sugar rush.
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    In the evening we drove up a hill near the university to watch the fireworks, pictures didn't work out but is was a great end of the day.
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    The next morning Lauri and Decky planned to leave early and head south, as they're also on their way to South America. It toom them a while to get going, and just before they left Decky spotted a flat rear tire. The plug he had put in earlier was leaking, so out came the tools to plug the tire again. After this delay they got on the road, only to return after half an hour to grab the toilet bag Lauri forgot. Haha, what a great couple! I really hope to meet them somewhere on the road again.
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    In the evening two other bikers (Boris and jeez, sorry I forgot your name) arrived to spend the night at GISdood's place (see unless you're coming from the east you're bound to ride through PG at some point on a trip North). They were returning from a trip to Alaska with their, F800GS and WR250X. Nicely kitted out bikes, hope you guys had better weather the rest of the ride home.
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    That evening Darren arrived. Darren and I had met each other before in Dawson City and in Eagle Plains while riding the Dempster. He had a bit of and off there so had to spend some time in Anchorage to get the bike fixed up and ready for the ride down. He lives in Sacramento so our paths might cross again in the near future.
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    GISdood had offered me to take his V-strom for a ride as there wasn't much I could do while waiting for the replacement motor and parts to arrive. To get used to it I took it for a ride around PG, visiting the Exploration Place museum and get some groceries.
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    The following morning I loaded my tent and sleeping gear in the topcase, strapped the backpack on the seat and left for a three day trip. I followed the Blackwater road to Quesnel and proceeded to Barkerville, an old historic village. There were lots of actors dressed in period correct costumes doing daily chores, fun little town to walk around for a couple of hours.
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    Rode back to Quesnel and found a cheap Legion run campground just south of the city. The owner invited me for a beer and as a veteran he had some interesting stories. I had another brew while cooking dinner, there's much craft beer to try.
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    While looking for a replacement motor I had been in contact with New Life Cycles in Williams Lake. The route I was following ran through Williams Lake so it was logical to stop and say hi. The owner Dave had done a trip to Chili on a bike as well so he gave me a couple of good pointers. He showed me the storage area where he has around 1800 bikes parted out. So if you're looking for something chances are he has it (well except for a replacement motor that is).
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    GISdood recommended me to check out the falls in Wells Grey provincial park near Clearwater. And damn, those waterfalls are impressive. I first went to the Spahats Falls, where I met a bunch of guys from South-Korea. They gave me a patch, so I'm a member of the Gangnam Chapter now.
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    The other waterfall that is definitely worth stopping at is Helmcken Falls. Even higher and more spectacular. Pictures don't do it justice but it's high!
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    Because it was raining all day I decided to just keep riding and hopefully reach a place where it wouldn't be raining. That turned out to be a futile exercise as I pitched my tent on a campground in Blue River in the rain. They had really hot showers and a gazebo to shelter from the rain so not all was bad. One guy there had rent motorcycles all over the world for short-term trips so talking to him was a good inspiration for future plans. And there was one other V-strommer heading to the Horizons Unlimited gathering in Nakusp.
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    The next day was 400km back to PG, where of course the sun was shining. I rode a total of 1300km of which almost all was in pouring rain. Still, beats sitting at home or in the office. The Suzuki was faultless and a joy to ride, such a smooth motor. A fair bit heavier than what I'm used to but it makes up for it in comfort. And being able to cruise at the speed limit without revving to the moon is also really nice. Oh and the wind protection, brilliant! Yep, sure made me doubt my choice for the 250.
    #96
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  17. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Gangham member? Good on ya!
    Na, the 250 is better!
    Just picked up a '84 Honda Elite 125 with the auto pop up headlight.
    #97
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  18. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Ha, well that's something different! Looks cool, 2 stroke? You sold the other Honda's?
    #98
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  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    excellent report update!
    #99
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  20. landyguy

    landyguy Adventurer

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    Oh wow Joris so glad you did a bit of exploring. Are you sure you don't want a VStrom! Lawrence likes his.
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