Ride South! ⬇️– In Colombia! San Francisco to Patagonia on an R NineT & HP2 Enduro

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by caliform, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Stahlratte

    Stahlratte Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about all that!
    If you need to reach Ludwig, try info.steelrat@les-raisting.de or kapitaen_hoffmann@hotmail.com
    As far as I know he is in Cartagena until Nov. 30th and should have internet.
    With the info address you even can reach him at sea via satellite.
    He has another tour in your direction on Dec. 8th by the way...
    Good luck!
    Stefan
  2. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I'm definitely a man of waiting and perseverance, particularly human-HUCA (Hang Up and Call Again) by going to various customs agents and trying to find a way around... including by using the key words like 'is there a fee I can pay you' / 'can I pay the taxes here' in the hopes that perhaps cash would grease the wheels without outright offering bribery and no dice. Everybody agrees its impossible. So now we wait for the assessment of taxes, which apparently despite being simply a database lookup takes an agent over a day to do. It's been 24 hours, and we still have no idea what the cost would be.
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  3. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Well, shit.

    Hindsight, but next time sounds like it's best to leave your bike in more corrupt country, of which you had plenty to choose. But no, y'all had to go and leave it in the most advanced, civilized spot in all of Central America! ;)

    Still hoping someone caves or compromises or you find someone knows a lawyer who...I don't know, has compromising photos of the import officer or sumpin...etc. etc. Good luck!
    caliform likes this.
  4. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Hey, would be great if someone had some kompromat on ol' Jefe of the adana here :D

    Still no progress. If anything, the slow realization that it's just not going to happen.
  5. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Shite, no $ figure addressed?

    (What else could you have done considering you were in jail) :doh
  6. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    We've had some really, really lovely people come through with lots of help. From Fabian at the local BMW shop and his customs broker, to Costa Rica Cargo, to the folks at Elephant Moto and a bunch of others — we're really not short on help. But we're not getting anywhere. It's looking very unlikely that I'll be able to get this thing jammed loose without a lot of coin and a lot of time. I'm not super flush on either.

    So, I've booked a flight to LA on Dec 5 to fly and meet another inmate with a bike. I'll put it together, get it titled, and send it down to resume the trip. I hope I can get someone power of attorney in the meantime to get the bike (if it's semi-affordable) out and titled, plated, inspected, verified, etc. — or if it's way too much cash, hope the BMW shop will buy it for find a buyer for it so it won't sit unused. I really, really love this HP2, and the last thing that should happen to it is sitting IDLE. :boid:boid:boid Unbelievable how awful the bureaucracy in Costa Rica is.

    In the meantime, the aforementioned folks from Elephant got me a very nice tricked out 2017 1200GS, and we're doing a miniature adventure before my return. I'll do a full write-up on that, but have a few photos in the meantime. I know you're all just as annoyed as I am, because there's no good story to be told with bitchin' and whinin' updates :D



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  7. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Well, bummed you're still getting the shaft but impressed and glad you aren't letting the bastids grind you down and will make the adventure happen one way or another!
    caliform likes this.
  8. blackSP

    blackSP 46 59 59 46 46 21

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    Man, I do miss my HP2. Great trip & story, Thanks for sharing!
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  9. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Absolutely, we'll make it work one way or another! Stu's almost done figuring out how to ship his bike down. We're just days away from him hitting Colombia, and that'll leave me as a newly minted California straggler working hurriedly to get my bike in order to ship it down as well. The adventure must go on!

    As do I :(
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  10. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Well, time for our Christmas update. First of all, Merry Christmas!

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    Stu has made it to Colombia! This is the good news part of this post. He's down there and awaiting a good window to ship down his HP2 Enduro to Bogota or anywhere that's cheapest from the LA area. He's been having a lot of fun riding small bikes with our friends who had a little honeymoon down there! He is currently in Medellin, with no bike of his own. It's a sad Christmas.

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    I've been building this beauty I found in LA at Piston and Chain in SF (member or curious? Come by!) — I just need a few more parts (suspension and luggage) which come in this week so I can finish this build and ship it down and resume the ride. I'll detail the specifics in another post, but this is what I call the 'RTW9T': an adventurized R9T with 3+ inches of extra suspension clearance and height, luggage, and other mods to make it a bit on par with ye olde HP2E. I'll have it done soon and then I will reunite with Stu, who should have a bike by then.

    Feliz navidad!
  11. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    First, I completed the HP2-ified NineT build...

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    A 3 inch suspension raise, HP2 wheels (21/90/90 front, 150/70/17 rear), hard panniers, crash protection, lower footpegs, higher bars, hand guards, etc etc etc...

    And then we started a ride up. Stuart never managed to ship his bike to Colombia from LA. It was a bit of an odd situation — I will let him write that up. I figured out a good and cheap-ish way to ship my bike from Canada to Colombia. We'd bypass Costa Rica and Panama, but... I feel OK about that. We'll have to see if I ever get my HP2 back. Super shitty situation.

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    I left SF thinking riding to Vancouver, Canada wouldn't be too bad in the wintertime. Plus, it's a gorgeous ride!

    I ran into some trees. Big trees.

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    But... things got cold around Eureka. Really cold. Freezing cold. I stuck to the coast, but eventually had to go in to Portland (to visit the One Moto show!). Between icy roads and actual snowfall, I got a bit stuck.

    I was one of the only people to ride to the show on some days — and it wasn't even that cold those days, perhaps just a few degrees below freezing in the morning.

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    Had a great time at the show — 1800cc boxers anyone?

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    And then I just kind of got stuck for a few days. I-5 was utterly snowed in - parts of Seattle got up to a foot of snow. I had to go to a wedding in Florida before shipping the bike down, so I actually ended up parking the bike in Portland for a bit and flying out of Vancouver to go to Florida.

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    Vancouver was pretty snowy. Downtown had areas where I was walking through up to a foot of snow on the sidewalks! Not great riding weather. As I was leaving Florida, Stu grabbed his HP2 in LA and started the ride up.

    To be continued in Portland...
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  12. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    You know what feels even better than Christmas? Picking up your bike at the airport. It even comes in a gift box!

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    I will update the report properly later (still have to detail our extremely cold ride to Vancouver [spoiler: there was ice]) but I just wanted to let everyone know we're in Bogotá, Colombia and the bikes are (mostly) great. We'll be here for a very short while before heading North.
    Saso, 95Monster, roadcapDen and 3 others like this.
  13. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Good luck guys.
  14. amboss87

    amboss87 Been here awhile

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    What a Beautiful bike this r-nine t can be. Great Photos. I think in the last years the Options increased to do Adventure riding in style. Ducati scrambler, Triumph, BMW, you name it. Basically all capable and stylish machines for Crossing the world with minor adjustments
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  15. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Certainly. The Triumph Scrambler has me interested in that brand for the first time. That being said, the R Nine T in this RR was extensively modified with all new suspension (3 inch+ raise), 21" front wheel, a narrower HP2 Enduro rear, handlebar risers, peg lowering kits with even lower foot pegs, etc etc etc. — in its stock state it's a god-awful machine for this kind of a ride. I'd take my old Ducati Sportclassic over it any day.
  16. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    I waited in Portland for a bit for my pal Stuart to come up. He arrived a few days after I got in, having had a fun ride from California:

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    He first went by the gorgeous redwoods much like me:
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    But then went inland to viit family along the I-5 corridor in Oregon.
    And it got… a bit snowy.

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    Really quite snowy.

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    I tried to contact him to see if he was OK, but it appears the snowstorm had knocked out power and cellphone towers in his area. After about a day and a half of radio silence, he was on the road again, having pushed his bike through half a foot of snow to get back on I-5.

    What a guy.
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    We reunited in Oregon and had a few celebratory whiskeys in the North end of Portland before setting out for a nice ride up!

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    First off, Astoria. The ride from Oregon to Astoria is a pretty nice one, showing some of Oregon’s industrial character. I visited some old friends in town and they hooked me up with a nice room in the hotel downtown:

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    Which is a beautiful downtown, by the way:

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    Astoria was founded upon great plans to become a beacon of the west coast. Sadly, another city had already risen further down the river, and it really never became the bucolic metropolis that its founders had imagined. Today, you can see infrastructure and buildings in a tiny downtown that truly aren’t befitting such a small town, but it’s gorgeous nevertheless. Its hills, bridge, and quirkiness reminds me of San Francisco.

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    What a wonderful place.

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    It was time to get going, though — Latin America was waiting and here we were still in Oregon.

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    On the other side of Astoria’s incredibly long bridge spanning the Columbia river lies Washington, and we headed there post-haste after some good breakfast at Street 14 Café. It’s a real gem, that spot.
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    The day riding was a beautiful one. I have a soft spot for Washington’s coast, with its dramatic stretches of trees and varying scenery.
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    It was, as usual, absolutely cold as hell. We made a stop in Aberdeen for some gas and food and realized we probably wouldn’t make it super far today.

    Might as well see the last light at the coast:
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    (Where I would lose my Inreach GPS after slipping on some logs. Damn it!*)

    After seeing the sun set we blasted out for Forks. We’d hoped to see Hoh Rainforest that day but what little light we had was better used to get a place to sleep and head out early in the AM.
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  17. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Man, what happened to the editor? I used to be able to copy paste into it and now it screws up all my text - making it grey or keeping the white background. :(
  18. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Your post looks normal on my computer.

    Had the best fish and chips of my RV trip down the west coast in Astoria, made with salmon. Amazingly good Damned if I can remember what the place was called, but it was right downtown.

    That bridge is the first place I ever broke 100 mph one spring break many, many moons ago.

    Glad you're back on the road!
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  19. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    That's awesome ScotsFire. It's a good place to go fast, that's for sure. Great town.
  20. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Forks isn’t a particularly fantastic town to be in, so after some quick eggs we rode to Hoh, being a bit mindful of frost on the road. Super pretty ride, right up to the turnoff for the park at which point we got a bunch of (older) snow and ice on the road.

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    Undeterred we still made it to the visitor center where we got some funny looks.
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    It was a unique experience hiking around the park with the ground cover completely covered in thick snow. I’d been previously and it really looks like a foggy, wet rain forest most of the time.

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    Love this scenery!
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    The ride from Forks to Port Angeles had some stunning views, and was (again)
    freezing. Tons of thick snowbanks on the side of the road, few people out, and thankfully clear and clean roads.

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    This place is so stunning.

    We were happy to arrive in Port Angeles to warm up with some tea and BBQ. We figured we could make the ferry easily, so we didn’t waste time and rode out to Bainbridge Island.

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    Motorcycles board first and get off first in Washington on the ferry — it’s a real perk, especially in a place that lacks lane splitting. We had timed the ferry perfectly, being treated to stunning sunset views of the Olympic Range behind us and Seattle and Mt. Rainier ahead of us.

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    Tonight, beers with friends in Seattle. The last ones in the US for a while. Tomorrow: Vancouver, Canada — and the crating of our bikes to get ’em to Colombia!
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