North to South America on a Honda 250

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

  1. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    Fantastic pictures @Joris van O

    What kind of camera are you using?






    PS you may want to clean the lens, it looks like butter flies are following you around.:lol2
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  2. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    From Bryce on we weren't really sure about our route. I wanted to follow the Burr Trail route but parts of it are dirt and my brother wasn't fond of riding the GS500 on dirt. Google said that only a small portion of the trail is still unpaved and that most of it is chipseal. So Burr Trail it was! We camped in Escalante so we got to ride the Million Dollar Highway to Boulder.
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    From Boulder it's an easy ride on pavement for the first 25 or so miles on the trail. Most of that is down in the canyon!
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    Then it turns to dirt, but it's smooth so not to bad.
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    The Burr Trail switchbacks, provides a nice overview of the area.
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    Some more dirt, which had some soft spots which made it fun. Overall super nice road, didn't see another vehicle and you can probably make it on any other bike.
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    We arrived at the ferry in Bullfrog half an hour before the ferry would depart. Just enough time for a quick dip in the lake. Half an hour later, all dressed up and sweaty again.. no ferry. After 30 minutes, still no ferry.. I walked up the hill to see if it was coming, but there was no ferry in sight. We went to the visitor centre in town and no.. 'There's no ferry during summer months'. Well, you could've at least put a sign up saying there's no ferry. 'There is a sign at the turnoff on 95'. That's 50 miles from here and we took another road in... Great, thanks and have a pleasant day!
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    So to get to the Moki Dugway and Mexican Hat we rode back to the 95, and through Hite and Fry Canyon. No to bad, but we could've done without the extra distance. Luckily there's a gas station in Hite.
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    Arriving at the Moki Dugway, you don't realize you're at altitude until you look over the edge. What an amazing place! I had a lot of fun racing down. Looking back in your mirrors and seeing this cloud of dust behind you
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    There are no campgrounds around Mexican Hat. So after we took the obligatory pictures and my brother deciding he and his bike needed a nap (sorry, no pictures) we pitched our tents down by the river.
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    The place was marked on IOverlander, and when we arrived there was a couple from New Zealand in their converted van. They bought it a couple months ago and are slowely making their way down to South America to. We asked if they wouldn't mind us pitching our tents at the river, and it was fine.
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  3. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Ah yeah.. those two black dots are annoying aren’t they..

    I started out with a Huawei P smart phone and my trusty old Canon 550D, the phone is dead so I’m using my backup phone now. Which is an IPhone 5S. But is has dirt in the lens, hence the black dots. So nothing to special actually.
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  4. landyguy

    landyguy Adventurer

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    This looks amazing Joris. Enjoying your adventure:-)
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  5. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    What hit me, over-and-above the superhuman discipline of being in the company of beautiful blonde females, and nothing happening...what hit me is the trials, and tribulations, and failures, of the Nighthawk 250. I always thought that was the best-looking of that generation of small-displacement metric bikes, and that it was underrated and neglected by Honda.

    I also thought that Hondas were bulletproof. Perhaps the failure was from long age, coupled to accidental overfill. But, dealing as I am with several-at-once problems with a ten-year-old NT700...perhaps Honda's reputation exceeds Honda's reality.

    Anyway. Looks like a good trip. You're hitting the high points...
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  6. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I had those dust particles in my camera and used a strong vacuum to suck them from the lens, also used a little compressed air
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  7. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    I don't think it is a company specific issue. My Suzi DR 650 gave up the ghost at 37000 miles. And they last forever per the internet.
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  8. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    We admired Valley of the Gods from a distance, because Maarten didn't fancy the dirt road. We did want to ride through Monument Valley but once we arrived at the entrance the lady in the booth told us we could only ride to the visitor centre as bikes are not allowed. And it was still 10 bucks per bike. Well thank you, but we'll turn around then.
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    From Monument Valley it was a bit of a boring ride to the Grand Canyons South Rim. We stopped at the Cameron trading post for lunch. The food was alright and hit the spot. We sat there for a while, enjoying the air conditioning.
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    After all the things we had seen, we didn't expect that the Grand Canyon could be that special. It can't be more beautiful or amazing than what we have already seen right? We were wrong.
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    We stopped at the first viewpoint coming from the east, called Desert Viewpoint. Looking down into the canyon one realizes how incredibly vast it is. It's mind-boggling. As comparison, the Netherlands is just over 300 kilometers in length, the Grand Canyon is almost 450 kilometers in length.
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    More viewpoints, more stops, more pictures!
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    Posing for a picture..
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    See, I was not the only one there posing..
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    We found a campground in Tusayan, and while making dinner an Elk family casually walked past.
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    From the Grand Canyon to our next destination Los Angeles there aren't a lot of interesting stops, except for some parts of the Historic Route 66. We did come across an interesting museum though. The Planes of Fame Air museum in Valle. We were the only ones there, and they had some cool stuff on display.
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    From Crookton to Kingman we followed the Historic Route 66. A lot of dilapidated buildings along the route.
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    In the afternoon we arrived in Laughlin. I was thinking about camping somewhere, but it was well over 110f (44c) and camping in this heat again didn't appeal to us. So we searched for the cheapest hotel in town and found the -not so- New Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall. Most importantly they had cold air conditioning, and they also had a pool. Lovely! To offset the cost we cooked a chili in the hotel room. Not keen on staying in the room the whole evening we went to the cinema, the new Hobbs & Gibbs movie. Mediocre story but entertaining to watch.
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  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Long haul along the I40 to Barstow and then down to Victorville.
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    Reaching Cajon Junction it finally gets a bit cooler, from there we head into the mountains on the Angeles Crest Highway. A famous road and riding it was brilliant. You have to watch for fallen rocks on the road but the rest is in great shape. There was a car show in Wrightwood so a stop was mandatory.
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    Via the Bunk-a-Biker facebook group I contacted Gerry who lives near LA and asked if we could camp in his yard for the night. That was no problem and we even ended up staying two nights. I also changed my oil at Gerry's place.
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    Having a base in LA was nice, this way we could ride into the city without worrying about our luggage. First stop, the Observatory. Interesting expositions inside, and much quieter once you walk down the stairs. On the hills behind the observatory the famous Hollywood sign.
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    Walk of Fame! They whole street was closed for a bicycle ride/event. We sat down at a pizza place and watched all the bicyclist riding past. Some had dressed up, some just had music, some were just in their normal clothes but everyone seemed to have fun.
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    I definitely wanted to see the Peterson Automotive Museum. There's also a 'Vault' tour, which looked really good too. But it was a it to expensive so we only did the museum.
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    There's a lot of people on Santa Monica Pier. On the beach, it wasn't that bad. So we went for a dip in the ocean.
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    Dinner and beer on Venice beach before we headed back to Gerry's place.
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  10. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    The day that Maarten had to fly home was looming in the distance, so we had to get ourselfs back to San Francisco. What better way than via the '1'. First night we camped at Jalama Beach, perfect spot to hang out for a couple of days.
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    Cup of thee in the morning to warm up, it gets chilly at night along the coast.
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    Vistas along the '1' do not disappoint.
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    More sunsets
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    When we stopped to watch the Sea Elephants we also spotted Dutch Formule One driver Max Verstappen.
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    There were roadworks every now and then, but nothing to bad.
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    We stayed near Santa Cruz and zipped into town in the evening. Later returned for a late night reading session.
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    In the morning we rode the last part of the 1 from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay. First thing in the morning was breakfast at Emily's. Later it got cold and misty, I cranked up the heated grips but after a while we stopped to let my brother warm up a bit.
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    See, my hair is a mess.
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    And just like that, our round trip was done. We rode across the San Mateo Bridge and arrived in Berkely to drop off the Suzuki. The guy wasn't at home so his roommate received the key and we both sighed with relief that the bike had made it back without big problems. We had to adjust the chain every day, and fill up the oil every two days but it made it. Maarten jumped on the Metro and I rode back to the hotel we had reserved for the last two nights.

    Because we had been in San Francisco at the beginning of our trip we had seen most of the things. So we rented some bikes and spend a day riding across the Golden Gate to Sausolito, ferry back to SF and cycle some more through the city.
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    It had been such a great four weeks! I enjoyed being, riding and sharing these experiences with my brother immensely, hopefully he did too haha . We saw so many incredible things, met a lot of great people and even learned some things on the way. But eventually it was time for him to fly home, to new adventures. So at 5 in the morning he left for the airport. He made it back home safely.
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  11. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Hahah :) It has to work both ways right?

    This bike I’ve bought in september 2017 and I have put on almost 60.000km without any problems. The only problem was the engine running without oil (which was the end of that one) which was entirely my fault. You can’t blame Honda for that.

    I had another one that rode for 12.000km and never gave me issues. That one supplied the donor engine for this one.


    Oh btw.. Mexico is wonderful! Crossing at Tecate was easy, only took one hour. I’m now at Rancho la Bellota near Ensenada. No service or anything at the ranch so updates will follow!
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  12. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Great updates, thanks!
    Fellow countryman F1 driver Max V on the coast, wow!!!
    enjoy Mexico
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  13. Hogges

    Hogges Been here awhile

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    Did the Burr trail 19 years ago on a bicycle. Thank you for the pictures, they bring back memories. The ferry didn’t even charge me anything.
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  14. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Did you do the TIP for mexico, if not ,you will need to get it done sometime before you continue on the main land, others can advise you?
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  15. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    FMM is what is needed at the border(tourist visa) he can then get the TVIP(for the bike) at the ferry office in La Paz ,although it is easier to get the TVIP at the border also. If you did not get the FMM you will not be able to cross to the mainland because they will not give you the TVIP with out it. He would then have to go back to the border.
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  16. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    All should be in order, got both the FMM and the TIP in Tecate.

    Currently in Bahia de los Angeles

    Trying to upload pictures on Flickr but this Iphone is not cooperating. I’ll look for something decent when I get to a bigger city.

    Attached Files:

  17. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Hey Joris how are you doing? You haven't posted in a while....
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  18. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    Seniorita's and cerveza's is my guess.
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  19. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    The longer you wait with updating your blog, the harder it gets.. Every day there's so much going on. It's like a ever growing mountain. I wasn't able to upload pictures from my IPhone to Flickr (or from my camera for that matter) and the pictures that I took all had those pesky dust particles. And then a lot of days I just couldn't find the time (or will) to sit down and work on it.

    But, I bought a new phone in La Paz, so no more black dots and this one also takes a microSD card so I can get the pictures from my camera online. And, it's rainy season in Mexico which means a lot of hours waiting for rain to pass. The pictures of Baja will still contain butterflies though :)

    Soo.. Where was I.

    San Francisco, seems like a long time ago now (it actually is a long time ago, almost a month now). After Maarten left in the wee hours of the morning I took my time to pack up. I retrieved the bike from the side streets where it was parked for two days and a man told me that five minutes ago there was a guy taking pictures of my bike. So I had to watch out! But the guy taking pictures was wearing a Honda shirt he said, haha should be fine then.

    I had ordered a new chain and sprocket set to @outdoorsman place in Sacramento. So after I checked out of the hostel I again made my way to Darren. I cleaned my bike and together we changed the chain and sprockets. He led me use his laptop to do some updates, we lounged at the pool (this time I, didn't bring my phone) and I finally got a haircut. Oh and we went for a ride in his brand new absolute beautiful Mazda Miata. Now I want to have a Miata too.. Thanks again Darren for allowing me in your house and helping me out! I hope I can come and visit your new place in a couple of years. And thanks @GISdood for sending the stickers, they're really cool!
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    I had to adjust to being on my own again those first couple of days. Not that I was on my own for a very long time though. From Sacramento I made my way down to the Corrizo Plains. Riding through all these massive oil fields. There are so many pumpjacks or 'nodding donkeys', it almost looks like a city. I was glad I finally made it to the plains, as the roads through the valley are long, straight and boring. I found a good place to camp and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
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    @mb300 had offered me a couch to sleep on in Huntington Beach, and how could I resist such an offer. From the plains it was an easy ride to his place. I met some Harleys that were from New Zealand I think but I didn't get the chance to ask. I stopped at Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino to pick up a new front tire. Mb300 even called all the motorcycle shops in the area to find out if there was a new tire nearer to Huntington Beach, so awesome! Together we changed and balanced the tire (he's a real professional when it comes to the details!). I borrowed his laptop to type some updates and gather information for Baja. I spend two days in Huntington Beach but didn't even go to the beach. @mb300 (and his girlfriend) are awesome, he went out of his way to help me and I'm thankful that he let me stay for a couple of nights. And is there anything better than having a trails bike in your living room. Thanks for everything!
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    Also did a sparkplug change, was definitely needed after 30k kilometers..
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    From Huntington Beach it was only a short ride to San Diego. Via the Bunk-a-biker Facebook group I had contacted Craig. He offers his trailer or yard for weary travellers to spend the night. Located in San Diego he has a very convenient place to stay before heading to the border with Mexico. But first I stopped at the USS Midway Museum. Really cool museum, and damn it's huge! Not that hard to get lost, luckily they had a nice route layed out.
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    Arriving at my hosts place I again met such an amazing person! Craig lives alone with his three kids and Hershey, a cute dog on a rampage. Lots of things going on at Craig's place. He powered up his trailer for me and said I could stay as long as I wanted. My plan was to cross into Mexico at Tecate on the 31st of August so that gave me two days. Craig had a big workshop filled with bikes and other projects but there was just enough room for me to weld up a hole in my exhaust. I also noticed that the chain and sprocket set I got is crap. The chain is eating up it's x-rings, something I've not seen before. And the rear sprocket is just a millimeter to thin which in turn causes the bolts to pull out the carrier and hit the swing arm. Angle grinder to the rescue!
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    After a morning of choirs, Craig fixing his daughters car and me fixing the bike, it was ready for the next leg of the trip. The rest of the day I spend exploring San Diego. Balboa Park, the automotive museum and the beach at Coronado. I really liked San Diego, it's like LA but then much smaller and quieter = much better. Oh and I got a Spanish phrases book, together with Duolingo and Google Translate it has proven to be helpful so far.
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    And then.. It was time for Mexico! Thanks Craig for all the help and making me feel right at home. You're a cool dad!
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  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    All is good, thanks for checking in! :) I was a bit busy with Baja. It's a place that has a lot to offer and is hard to leave! But last Tuesday I took the ferry from La Paz to Topolombampo and I'm now in Creel to visit the Barrancas del Cobre (or the Copper Canyon). And Mexico has been stunning so far. Only downside is the rainy season, temperatures are lower but riding in the rain doesn't really appeal to me.

    Hahah, there were definitely cerveza's and maybe even some senorita's.
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