The Pan American Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stoltzfii, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    85' Honda XR 350R. Bike of the year back in 85'
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  2. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    XR350, I had one, just make sure jetting has been corrected. I 'm thinking the carb has a brass cover over the mixture screw, which can be popped off and adjusted. It may work for desert racing, but not the best for trail.
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  3. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

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    + 3 on all your plans! That is, great plans all three of you have! Do it while you're young and you can! Fabulous, just fabulous.
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  4. Stravoxylo

    Stravoxylo Been here awhile

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    Stumbled on to this ride report earlier this week when I stayed home sick, and it was just the thing for a rainy sick day (and the next 2 days at work)! What an adventure! You guys accomplished allot! The photos are amazing, but your attitude at tackling all your obstacles was even more inspiring.You had the adventure of a lifetime. You (and Jeremy & James) will be successful at what ever you chose to do in life. Just make sure its of your choosing. Something tells me that after a stint in the "real" world, you may get restless.... so I'll be checking back now then for any new ride reports from you!
  5. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Good luck finding work in CO. From a fellow Mechanical Engineer who couldn't find work in CO, and is now working in industrial maintenance in Nashville, TN.
    I've had to resolve myself to just taking a couple of good vacations a year, rather than living somewhere cool, but having a good job makes small doses of awesomeness attainable, and somehow more meaningful when
    opportunities do arrive. :D
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  6. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl Can't shoot straight Supporter

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    Holy crap! Just stumbled onto this report and will have few questions as I get through it....but as a mother of a young son.....how did your parents support and help guide you down your adventureous lifestyle? I want my kid to have the opportunity to "fly".... Amazing journey.....just inspiring.
  7. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile Supporter

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    Haha, thanks. I definitely want to include my trip in my resume and job interviews to some capacity. There is a fine line between referring to it without making that the main focus, but I think I'll find a way to bring it in as relevant information.

    Thanks for the kind words.
    I agree. Whenever I think about interview questions, and tough problems in life in general, I often go back to situations and things I learned while on this trip. Like you said, it covers everything from team work, to leadership skills, to technical high-stress problem solving. I feel that after doing this trip I can better handle tough situations and almost nothing is too challenging if you really stick to it. After completing college, I had such a better grasp on tackling technical issues, and this trip has only added to what I feel I am able to do in a job and in life.

    It looks like such an awesome bike and from what James has told me so far he absolutely loves it!

    One guy I know who is a hardcore Honda guy said that he loves the bike and the dual carb setup and as long as everything is tuned right it's awesome. It seems like some people get scared off by the dual carb setup but I think you just have to understand it. I'll be waiting to see how it handles James' race.

    Thanks! I'm planning to work full time for the next while and see where my career goes, but I always want to leave the time and opportunity for adventure in varying capacities. I'll definitely be doing motorcycle trips in the future. One trip I have my eyes on is the TCAT. I'm thinking a small more dirt-oriented bike and probably a custom build. Who can say what will happen, but I'm fairly certain it will include motorcycles and adventure :)

    Hmmm, good question. I will say that the first time I told my mom about the idea for this trip, she reacted so strongly and negatively, that I told her that I was just kidding and never brought it up again for probably a year. As the idea for the trip became more serious, I obviously told her what I was thinking, and she slowly warmed to the idea. By the end she was not necessarily excited about the trip, but she was behind me 100%. My dad was never against it as strongly and was a lot less worried than my mom. They have had my back the whole trip and are very supportive of me not only though this time but in all of life. They are great. Also they read thread this so I have to be nice... :) But I am being genuine.

    I think the word "adventure" is thrown around a lot and what I have learned is that it can look very different for different people. Ultimately, it's not really about what you are doing but how you are doing it. If someone is pushing and challenging themselves, going out of their comfort zone, and working to become a better person through it, then that can be adventure and look very different than what I did. For a mother, or anyone acting as a leader or mentor to others, I think an important aspect is to support and encourage someone to be confident in themselves, be willing to take on risk and the possibility of failure, and to help them build a strong identity and positive self image.

    That was very long-winded and maybe I veered a little of topic, but that's a few things I have learned over the last while.
  8. AdvTraveler

    AdvTraveler Live to Ride

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    I don't usually chime in on ride reports, but I have followed from the beginning and must say what an epic journey - thank you for letting me follow along and taking the time to post.

    One day I hope my two sons have a dream such as yours and make it come to life.

    I heard that Charlie and Ewan might be planning a trip like yours, but in reverse.

    If they see your ride report it might make them think twice about it since there is no way they can come close to what you have done.

    Thanks again!
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  9. TreasureState

    TreasureState A murse posing as a freelance dirt rider

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    Went from the minor groove to the lagging strand

    I can just imagine James directing the film crew on their documentary.

    "Charlie and Ewan doing a back flip at Machu Picchu, take 7"
  10. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Credit where credit is due:
    Remember, Charlie and Ewan's ride was a copy of "MONDO ENDURO". Austin and the guys did not have a caravan with support vehicles following them nor a load of spare parts. Also, they did their own filming.

    Mondo Enduro
    was a round-the-world adventure motorcycle expedition in 1995-1996. Team members Austin Vince, Gerald Vince, Chas Penty, Bill Penty, Clive Greenhough, Nick Stubley and Mark Friend set off to go round the world by the longest route possible in the shortest time on used Suzuki DR350 Dual Sport bikes.

    http://www.mondoenduro.com/mondoenduro.html
  11. wesleystubbssandel

    wesleystubbssandel Adventurer

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    I drove a BMW to Guatemala in '97 and had no problems at all. Couple of tips: Don't tell the Mexican border guards that you're "passing through Mexico." Just tell them you're a tourist. DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT - livestock love to stand in the road at night. There is no summer and winter in Central America and Mexico - there is the wet season (summer) and the dry season (winter). The interstates in Mexico are better than the interstates in the US but they're all toll roads - I paid $45 to drive from Acapulco to Mexico City. If you drive the interstates you won't experience Mexico except when you get to the cities. You'll drive through Guatemala in two days with a stop in or near Guatemala City, a place best avoided. Same with El Salvador - avoid San Salvador and head south. If you're really into adventure drive from Guatemala City to Tikal in the Yucatan, from there to Belize and from there through Honduras. Don't change money at the Honduran border - every Honduran is hoarding US dollars and you'll go further with your dollars. Don't drive behind the buses (which you will discover are much faster than you are) because some of them don't even use holding tanks but just flush the toilet out onto the road. If it's cooked it's safe to eat - even sidewalk vendors. If it's not cooked it's questionable. If you get sick stop in a pension or hotel for a week or two. If you don't have a fever it'll pass (literally) but if you have a fever go to a pharmacy and tell them your symptoms. If you park your bike on the street overnight be ready to be missing pieces in the morning - like your front fender. Mexicans are great mechanics and can usually fabricate any part that they don't have.
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  12. Lobster?Canada!

    Lobster?Canada! n00b

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    Great Story Guys! You probably will never stop talking about your adventure as it exceeds what most people will ever understand let alone attempt.
    My Wife and I rode the same trip (2 up) 3 years ago at the age of 62 and 60. I lost 45 lbs. on the trip if that tells you anything other I than was before we started I was a fat bastard. Calgary to Inuvik to Ushuaia ( wheeliebigtime.wordpress.com)
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  13. Iraj

    Iraj Geezer

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    Just remember to clear your bikes as you leave each country. I was in a hurry getting back from Mexico several years ago and didn't stop at their exit port to register I was taking the bike with me. When I next tried to enter (intending to do the trip down to Ushuaia) they told me I still had a bike there and couldn't get in until I paid big bucks and cleared up massive paperwork. Also: I'm wondering what's the weight difference between soft and hard bags. I appreciate the cost differences, particularly how you've done it, but did you check out the weight of (what appears to be) serious leather vs aluminum? Ride on gents and good luck.
  14. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

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    Don't mean to jump ahead of the Fab 3. Wait and see what they have to say, but after traveling around the world and crashing on pavement and gravel, and traveling with others using aluminum and waterproof fabric bags, I highly recommend Givi (plastic for lack of a better description). Everybody crashed in the harsh conditions. Those with aluminum bags were the worst off with broken bags and luggage racks. Metal bags don't absorb shock. One person with waterproof fabric bags had his stolen with a quick knife slash and run. The Givi bags are lockable, easy to detach with the same key and carry into hotel, and weigh less than some fabric bags. They don't look strong, but they absorb an incredible amount of shock by flexing and not breaking. Mine have served to protect my bikes. Been using them over 30 years and still use the original set, beat up but not broken. Locally I run with them empty to protect my bikes. Those heavy leather bags, though . . . came out looking pretty good.
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  15. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile Supporter

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    All good points. The tolls in Mexico are very expensive. We bypassed them which was a little slower but way cheaper and more scenic.

    That must have been a mess. Of all the countries I passed through, Mexico was the pickiest about properly canceling the bike TIP. It was also the only county that checked our vins.
    I just weighed my side bag and it was a little over 9 lbs with the plastic Mosko Moto mount attached. So they are heavy for soft bags and probably not much lighter than aluminum, although they hold a lot more stuff.

    I really want to try the Givi bags, from everything I read and what you're saying, they sound great. I loved my leather bags. They were crazy tough, packed well, and were original. If I did another moto trip I would likely use leather bags again but make them a good bit smaller and make some other minor changes. They wouldn't need to be near as big if it was a moto only trip. However, if I was traveling solo I would probably use hard bags, it's a lot easier to always keep an eye on things when there are three people, but if I was alone it would be much harder. I think it would have been interesting if each of us would have used different bags and compared how they worked. For example, if James used the leather bags, I used Mosko Moto, and Jeremy used Givi bags. It would have been great to see how each bag handled everything, especially wrecking. However, we really needed a lot of space and our side bags, when maxed out, held a ton of stuff and I think they were a good bit bigger than other bags on the market.
  16. Redfish Hunter

    Redfish Hunter Long timer Supporter

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    Speaking from a completely selfish point of view, what you NEED to do is to get another motorcycle.

    Because as long as you have no motorcycle you are not writing motorcycle Ride Reports here for us to enjoy.

    Part of me wants you to be financially successful so you can afford the best bikes and equipment available but on the other hand I loved seeing pics of those poor overloaded DRs, those BigAss Leather Bags, and watching you overcome obstacle after obstacle with that worn out DR.
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  17. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

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    ^ Agreed. There has been something incredibly romantic about seeing these particular bikes complete what has been a massive journey, well beyond what they were intended for when sold new. It was kinda refreshing to see, and makes this seem attainable for the average, young Joe Schmo on an inexpensive bike.

    It would just be wrong to replace these steeds with a shiny KTM LC8, or Boxer-engined GS, wouldn't it? :thumb

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  18. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    Yes. Yes, it would. :lol3
  19. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    I have to admit something here.....I cried a little when I saw the pic of your three bikes in front of the sign. I had to get up and walk it off. I hadn’t realized how emotionally invested I had become in your story. And what a story!

    Thank you is the best I can do, for taking the colossal effort to post as you go along. RRs take a lot of patience and a enormous investment of time so,again, I say thank you.

    I would be interested to hearing about what you brought that worked for you or didn’t. Gear and clothes.

    Doing that flat lay was awesome, thank you for taking the time to do that, just looking at the pics,it obviously take a huge amount of time and effort.

    Cheers, Allen.
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  20. Road Barnacle

    Road Barnacle Been here awhile

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    I agree, one of the most compelling aspects of this trip was that they completed their route on real "working man's" dual sport motorcycles. First, because it runs contrary to the notion that one needs a mega-gillion dollar gorilla sized rolling touratech catalog to do this kind of work. Second, because they did things with those motorcycles that no person in their right mind would do to an expensive motorcycle, such as practically drowning them in salt water. Which, by the way, the photos were completely worth it. The bikes were sacrificial. They never got in the way of the journey.
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