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The Wrong Tool for the Job? Mexico by Sportbike

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by crackerguy, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    It started as an annual Austin to Big Bend spring ride, but over the past few years Kelly, Charlie and I have been progressively venturing a little further South into Mexico.

    Hey when you don't ride dirt there is only so much to do out there (one year we rode River Road seven times) so we had to branch out.:wink:

    In 2006, with pretty much no preparation or clue what we were doing, we went to Creel and back in one day. Which is crazy. That year was fraught all around with incidents that included mechanical issues, multiple tickets, late night desert riding in Mexico, one bike hitting a mule deer (back in the states, not in Mexico) another taking out a buzzard, etc...

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    more pics https://crackerguy.smugmug.com/gallery/1354666_jEV8z#63998891_cNvmd

    We survived though, and once we had a taste of riding in Mexico we had to get some more...

    Last year, we rode down to Divisadero then South towards Parral and back up. We suspected the roads South of Creel would be good for sportbikes, man where they. No major problems to speak of this time, just fun :clap

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    more pics https://crackerguy.smugmug.com/gallery/2722782_redWu#144439676_jjDH8

    During the trip, at a Pemex between Parral and Creel, we met a German dude on an R1100S. He was on the way to Mazatlan, and he said that road put the one from Creel to shame. We knew where we where headed in 2008...
    #1
  2. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Our annual trip was generally a long weekend, but for this ride we decided 6 or 7 days was the minimum. Not much messing around to do Mazatlan and back in that amount of time :evil . I know I know you should take it slower in Mexico and soak up the culture etc- and some day I will return and do more of that.

    But this trip we were on a mission to ride that road, that was the focus. Everything else was gravy

    We decided we should allot a whole day from Durango to Mazatlan and were leaving what we did from that point on a bit open- either head further south then cut back up or ride back through Durango. Our actual route ended up something like this:

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    I apologize in advance for some of the trip not being very well represented in photos...this report can't even begin to relate the things we saw, but I'll try to pass a little of the sabor along...
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,860
    Wrong tool, but the fun factor's the same!! Thanks for the link to your other pics :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Day one found us getting a bit of a late start (9:30ish or so) due to illness of a spouse- in the end she was a trooper, thanks Courtney :clap

    The three bikes and Kelly with his pants down :puke1 :

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    Once on the road we made good time- the roads from Austin to Big Bend are great if you go through the Hill Country and take the backroads the whole way. We stopped at the apple pie/touristy place in Medina for a burger. It was OK but they drowned mine in some sort of super sweet mustard that pretty much ruined it for me. The pie was better.

    Some of these guys were headed to Copper Canyon I believe (that's Charlie on the resurrected Blackbird on the phone)

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    Kelly at lunch

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    Me waiting for the guys after lunch. I did alot of this it seems. Next year, I'm bringing an Ipod too so I'll have something to listen to while the other guys are f'ng around with their Ipods :lol3

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    At a stop for road construction outside of Leakey, we hooked up with a couple in a 911 turbo that where headed out to Marathon to stay at the Gage. They followed us up 55 to Rocksprings, that was a highlight, hitting the four lane twistys at an...ahem...elevated rate of speed. Dude was a good driver.

    Between Rocksprings and Sanderson we saw 4 DPS troopers running radar :huh I was in front due to having a V1 on the bike, and it saved my butt a few times. We saw Porsche guy at a gas station to the west of Del Rio and he had gotten popped, but for no front license plate, not speeding. Not that they weren't trying, but he had a V1 as well...

    On the road into Study Butte from Alpine we saw an overturned truck, with sheriffs directing traffic, etc. A little ways down the road (almost to Study Butte) we got popped by instant on by a sheriff's SUV. I have a feeling the first sherrif told him to look for us. But I'm paranoid like that- I always feel like they are out to get me (for good reason I guess).

    Luckily we were only going 5 or MAYBE 10 over at the time (earlier we had been going a BIT...hehe... over this- there really is nothing on this road and it makes me go fast, honest :D ). Also lucky was that this particular sherrif used to race Aprilias :1drink so we got off with a warning. We headed on in and gassed up in Study Butte.

    The plan was to get pizza first and then maybe a room in Terlingua for the night, but with the pizza place being closed on Monday night we pushed on to Lajitas, I had heard they were a bit more reasonable in their prices lately... With the sun directly in our eyes and tired from a long day we had no real choice.

    $180 for the night, still too high IMO. We split a room 3 ways and Kelly gamely took the floor. The food was reasonably priced and OK, but nothing special (I had a pretty good CFS but it didn't come with anything but fries, no salad, nada. WTF?). This place will be a ghost town again in 3-5 years max, I just don't see how it will ever not lose tons of money...

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    more to come with more interesting pics, honest!
    #4
  5. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    We woke up ready to hit The River Road, the best road in Texas. Afterwards straight on to Mexico- our goal for the day being Durango.

    Charlie and Kelly ready to saddle up for a long day

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    I was out of sorts that morning, I blame the “Five Hour Energy” I drank the previous evening, NOT the beers I had with dinner :D . I couldn’t get a groove going on river road and took it easy. I enjoyed the ride regardless…

    Charlie at the highest point on the River Road
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    We hit the convenience store in Presidio to grab a quick bite to eat and fill up with our last American gas for a few days- we were anxious to hit the border. While we were there 5 or 6 brand new homeland security SUVs with border patrol guys pulled in as well- your tax $$ at work!

    We stopped at the OJ border station to get our tourist cards- we had gotten our vehicle permits ahead of time at the consulate in Austin. So no sweat, right? Well there was a little. I have found in the past that the border guys like to bust your balls initially just a bit before they start being nice and let you into Mexico. This time was no exception, they hassled us about having the vehicle tags BEFORE the tourist cards (which is a crock). But during the process, we also discovered Charlie’s passport had expired two days previous :cry . Uh oh, it actually got a little serious for a minute or two there. In the end they were nice and we got in no problem. Charlie could sweat the expired passport on reentry…

    The road (libre) to Chihuahua has some nice corners and scenery- especially just after leaving OJ and heading up into the mountains. The customs guy in the mountains waved us right through, we were making good time, especially on the flat desert parts…

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    We made it into Chihuahua right around lunch time, and even though we were hungry we skipped the good restaurant we had eaten at the previous year in Aldana, opting for a quick bite and fill up at the Pemex at the main intersection just outside of Chihuahua proper. This was a great decision :clap

    While we were filling up, a voice asked “Where are you dudes headed?” in perfect English. Turns out one of the attendants grew up in Georgia and was just down in Chihuahua visiting for a while. When we asked about food, he pointed to the little stand on the edge of the parking lot: “ They've got some badass burritos right there!”

    He was right. Those burritos were truly badass, with the verde version edging out the rojo by just a hair. Probably the best thing we ate on the whole trip, and that's saying something.

    Unfortunately we did see evidence of cult activity at the burrito stand. A strange collie worshipping cult from Texas seems to be establishing a foothold there :eek1 …Either that or this chair was on clearance at the Walmart in Chihuahua

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    After we took one bite of the burritos, we immediately turned around for 3 more- $1 each. Ate them on the curb of the Oxxo in the Pemex parking lot.

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    After lunch it was back on the road. This time we barely even got lost in Chihuahua :D ..The only thing that threw us a bit was the new flyover/overpass deal they have erected since last year that you now must use to get on the big canal road.
    In Mexico, for me at least, the big cities are always the worst part- the bike is hot and unhappy, its trafficky (and they are usually pretty aggressive), and it is always confusing finding the right road. But you get the hang of it, and it’s really no worse than being in any big city anywhere on a bike.

    Back on the road to Durango we made good time, stopping ocassionally (and usually early, just in case!) for gas

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    Charlie made some friends on the road

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    At one stop Kelly pulled the pin on a Bomba (just like Red Bull without those restrictive FDA regulations! Although it looks and tastes suspiciously like burro urine :huh )

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    We even hit a few miles of dirt south of Parral- its all part of the Mexico experience!

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    Riding made us hungry and thirsty after a few hours so we stopped for lunch #2 at a little roadside stand run by two friendly abuelas. The special was chile colorado, we split a plate three ways and man was it good- especially the frijoles with big hunks of queso on top. I’m a pretty good texmex cook but I can’t make beans like they can down there, not sure how they do it…
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    Very nice ladies.
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    While we were wolfing down second lunch, a dude on a Honda CBR pulled in. He was on his way to Chihuahua from Mazatlan, I believe (my Spanish isn’t great). He offered to call some friends to ride with us to Mazatlan from Durango, but we said no thinks. Nice guy though.
    Back on the road...

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    Eventually we came across this sign, yeah baby!

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    But first to Durango…
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    When we got to Durango, we were very tired, the traffic was heavy, and it was getting dark. Kelly thought we were headed to the Hotel he had picked out for us, but we weren’t sure. We passed by the Gobernador, which I knew was one of the nicer places in town. We ended up pulling in there out of convenience. It was OK, a little pricey, but OK. And at the time it was worth it to get off the road and have a shower.

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    The view out the front gate of the Hotel Gobernador
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    For dinner the desk clerk directed us to a steak house a few blocks down the street. It was the steaks and queso w/ chorizo where great, although the chichirrones weren’t really to our tastes- we southern boys like our pork rinds fried! :1drink
    #5
  6. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Austin, Texas
    We woke up raring to go for the BIG DAY, time to see if the Espinoza Del Diablo lives up to the hype. ..
    We opted for breakfast at the hotel, just so we could eat and then get on the road.
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    At breakfast we met a geologist from Montana that had been over the road the previous day, and he said it was in good shape and said we should have no problems getting over to Mazatlan in 5 hours or so on bikes. We loaded up and got rolling
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    We got a bit lost trying to get out of town (of course!) But eventually escaped Durango
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    Soon we were right in the middle of this:
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    and this
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    Which meant lots of this
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    The riding was amazing- trucks and all. In fact the trucks just make it more fun- give you a bit of a breather before you get around them and tear up some more corners for a while…
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    The riding was amazing, but the scenery was so awe inspiring you just had to stop occasionally.
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    Oh yes, it definitely was living up to the hype…
    #6
  7. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Salt Lake
    With the twistys we found in Mexico you brought
    some perfect rides. You just miss the off road stuff.
    No biggy for how much street fun there is.
    #7
  8. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Austin, Texas
    Now would be a good time to discuss potential road hazards in the mountains of Mexico. Hazards you would do well to ALWAYS remember, even when you and your buddies are having a blast hauling ass over a beautiful road bewteen Mazatlan and Durango. Because if you forget for just a second- bad things can happen very quickly (as I was reminded that day) :nono

    Luckily it wasn't a major mistake as there are reminders all along the road about those...

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    Number 1 of course is the trucks. They are all over the place. Your lane is their lane. (I hope to insert a video here that Kelly has of one crazy trucker to drive this point home). The only good thing is they go so slow that if you are decisive and see an opening you can get around them easily usually. But they will get your attention. The center line can equal death so its a good idea to stay as far over as possible...

    and then there is the wildlife...liable to appear anywhere

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    But of particular interest to us sportbike riders is the shoulder, or lack of. You see you always have to be careful when you pull over to check out the scenery because the road may have a bit of a drop off, as our friend Charlie is pointing out here:

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    You should be especially careful of something like this if you happen to be riding a bike where the oil tank is the lowest part. I wasn't :baldy

    I had been trapped behind two slow trucks, Charlie had gotten away. FINALLY, I see open road and get going again, when I pass Charlie sunning himself on a rock by the road. I was in GO GO GO mode and didn't want to pull over and dick around so was mildly irratated- that little distraction was all it took.

    Unknown to me, Charlie had pulled off the road PAST the dropoff and then doubled back up the shoulder. I had assumed he was parked at a safe place to pull off- bad assumption on my part.

    A loud WHUMP greetd my ears as I dropped off the ledge, and I knew that the bike was damaged without even looking. I just wasn't sure how bad...

    The Sierra Madres reverberate with the sound of a Gringo dropping repeated loud F-bombs...
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    Nothing to do but climb under the bike and see how bad it is (man look at that CRAZY hair :lol3 )....
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    I couldn't find the leak exactly. I THOUGHT it was the tank, not the crankcase. I KNEW it was a little more than a drip, but less than a gush. We were about 100 miles or so from Mazatlan at this point. I decided F IT, I have an oil pressure warning light,it's not lit, and I can still see oil in the sight tube on the tank. I'm gonna try to make it to Mazatlan.

    I prayed I wasn't about to blow up my bike, told Kelly and Charlie to follow me, and took off.
    #8
  9. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

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    The road is so good that the fact my bike is leaking oil pretty badly doesn't ruin it too much for me. the sun is still out and there are still trucks to pass.

    But I keep glancing down at that sight tube, and always have an eye on the oil pressure light. I vow to kill the bike INSTANTLY if the oil pressure light comes on.

    Of course behind me, Charlie and Kelly were horribly worried about the whole thing, they were having a ball :lol3

    Charlie sporting a family heirloom...I made him change out of it for lunch :lol3
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    Eventually I stopped at a roadside stand in a little town to get a bite to eat and reasses the damage
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    The specialty of the house was gorditas, and they were good but I was a little too worried to enjoy them....
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    There was a cute girl there having lunch with her Dad
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    The whole time we were eating, oil continued to leak from my bike. And I didn't have any on me because my bike usually doesn't burn oil. From now on I'll bring a quart with me on long trips just in case.

    By the time I started riding again after lunch, I could barely see any oil in the sight glass. Still no oil pressure warning light though. I wasn't sure but it didn't seem to be leaking more than it did at first. But we dropped down to the Tropic of Cancer and it got much warmer, and I got stuck behind a huge line of trucks. The bike got pretty hot.

    Once I couldn't see oil in the sight glass I vowed to stop at the next gas station and top it off, and finally we passed a Pemex where we stopped. It took almost a whole quart of straight 40w (all they had) to get the level up past the midmark of the sight glass. My exhaust midpipe (which I just had ceramic coated before the trip- DOH!) and rear tire :eek1 where also coated in oil by now and the bike was smoking from the oil cooking on the exhaust...

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    When we finally hit Mazatlan, it's hot its trafficky and I am smoking and the bike is getting pretty hot. We eventually get stuck in a massive traffic jam trying to reach the hotel. I am looking for places to leave the bike when I have to shut it down and ride bitch with one of the other guys, when a local rides by on a dirtbike, motions to us to follow him to the playa, and he leads us away from the traffic jam. Thanks man! We finally reach the hotel right when my bike starts puking up some coolant from the line on the overflow tank- the line was old (should have replaced it before I left) and the heat of the traffic jam caused it to split.

    But F it, we made it to Mazatlan!
    #9
  10. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

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    voy a continuar manana, tengo sueno...
    #10
  11. Saeed

    Saeed Life-long learner

    Joined:
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    285
    Location:
    UAE Dubai
    very beautiful place & Beautiful bike
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>
    Looks like a fun event<o:p></o:p>
    </o:p>
    #11
  12. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

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    Once we reached the beach, we found the Hotel Siesta in no time. It turned out to be the perfect place for us to stay- great job picking the hotel Kelly! :clap

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    They welcomed our loud, smelly bikes into the courtyard, even with mine spewing oil and coolant all over the place.

    Here we met Roger the Real Estate Guy (seated here to my left), an expat from California who has an office off the courtyard of the Siesta. He turned out to be a great guy and a lifesaver…more on this later.
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    The maintenance man Marcos was very helpful and brought me a big oil pan so I could get to work
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    In no time I had the oil tank off, aided by a couple of ice cold Pacifico Claras from the Shrimp Bucket next door :slurp

    The Rotax 990 on the Aprilias is a dry sump design, with a rubber mounted oil tank that hangs below the crankcase. What happened when I went off the ledge was that one of the mounts sheared, and the tank was driven up into the bottom of the motor. The crankcase put a small tear in the top of the aluminum tank and then the oil started coming out.

    I was actually pretty lucky, because the tear was in the top of the tank, so it would leak down to a slightly low oil level and then not leak much more. If I would have opened the tank up lower down we would have been flagging down a truck for a ride to town….

    The source of the leak:
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    So now all I needed was un soldador de aluminio, some hoseclamps (to replace the nonreusable factory ones I had to cut off) and hopefully some decent oil to fill her back up. Roger said it would be no problem, he even offered to help us get it fixed. But by the time we had the tank off it was too late to really do much about it that day. He promised to come in early to his office the next morning and help us out.

    So with nothing more to be done we explored Mazatlan by foot. On Roger’s advice we had beers and ceviche at Puerto Viejo- it was great ceviche and they actually have draft beer (Pacifico- what else)which doesn’t seem real common in Mexico. We then hit the renovated historic part of town, asking anyone we met about aluminum welders in town…

    Views from my room
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    The renovated “gringo” plaza, where there are nicer tourist restaurants and shops. Many older historic homes around this area are being bought and fixed up by Canadians and Americans. Roger’s main business is selling to these folks. Not many locals hanging out in this part of town- according to Roger the wealthy Mexicans aren’t as interested in the colonial stuff as they grew up surrounded by it, they are generally more interested in newer high rises and suburban style houses.

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    Near the plaza above, we met a friendly Canadian expat. We asked him about a welder, he whipped out his cell phone and called his “go to” guy, a local who helps him out with whatever he needs to get done. He relayed to us that we should look for a place called “Santana,” as he “can weld freaking anything.” He even wrote down the location for us- we kept it handy just in case Roger couldn’t hook us up in the morning.

    The Canadian guy also said if we want some good, cheap food we should check out the restaurants above the Mercado, they sell big plates of shrimp for $30 pesos. So we headed that way to check it out…

    This took us into the less touristy, more Mexican part of town. We kept an eye out for motorcycle shops or welders…no luck. The market was mostly cheap crap you find in any Mexican tourist town. We headed upstairs to this place

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    And ordered some sodas and a couple of different shrimp plates to get a taste
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    It was OK for $3 but nothing spectacular. The ceviche at Puerto Viejo blew it away. Going there had been a good reason to explore around town though.

    Eventually we headed back to the Siesta, I was tired and went to bed early

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    Kelly and Charlie hopped in one of those mini cab jobs and had the guy take them down to the mega touristy Zona Dorado so they could buy some cigars.

    The guy was convinced they needed some female companionship and kept trying to get them interested, all while he was blasting crappy American pop music through his speakers.
    I was not real sorry I missed it, although they said they had some pretty good late night fried shrimp at the Shrimp Bucket

    You guys wanna buy some p***y?
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    I woke up early the next morning, anxious to get the bike fixed. We headed down to the Shrimp Bucket when they opened. Roger had said they had good breakfast and he was right. True to his word, he showed up at the office at 9:00, ready to help us out.

    We piled into his Futura (he is a classic car guy, he also has a cool old station wagon) and headed for the machine shop

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    Sure enough, the place we ended up was Taller Santana, just like the other guy had recommended….
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    The aluminum rims being worked on gave me a warm fuzzy- when I showed my oil tank to the man and he said “no problema, una hora”... I think it moved. :thumbup

    I was very relieved to say the least…I know really it was not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things, but having a broken motorcycle thousands of miles from home in a foreign country is just not a good feeling.

    Roger asked if we wanted to hang around while the work was being done, but I told him I also needed some oil. Roger took us straight to a Yamaha shop, where they had many options that would work. The type R semi- synthetic 5-50 Yamalube looked closest to the Motul 10 50 I usually run, so I asked for 5 quarts of that (4 to fill and one extra just in case). I nearly choked on my tongue when the guy told me that would be $700 pesos…:huh...Damn… I hope that leak is fixed or this is going to some expensive smoke I make on the way home.
    The bike shop didn’t have hose clamps so we picked up some nice stainless ones at a nearby hardware store, and then Roger showed us around Mazatlan. It was a definite highlight of the trip, thanks Roger! :beer

    We even saw an Aprilia dealership in town
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    The tank was ready (early)when we retuned the machine shop, a beautiful little spot weld over the crack. Better than new. Cien pesos senor. Ten bucks. Sweeeeet.:D

    The bike was back together, filled with oil and a new coolant hose in place, right around noon.

    See Graham smiling? Graham is very happy to be pulling out of the Hotel Siesta on a fixed bike
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    Back on the road in Mazatlan
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    We had decided instead of going back towards Durango, we would head South down the coast towards Puerto Vallarta, making for a cool little surf town Kelly had visited called Sayulita. We could save some miles coming back by crossing over in Acuna instead of OJ, avoiding the Big Bend area.

    I liked the plan- new roads to ride and things to see lay ahead...
    #12
  13. taranaki

    taranaki Jumped up Country Boy

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    :clap

    Great thread. Keep it comin'!
    #13
  14. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Nice report guys! I never get tired of Mexico ride stories. And having bike issues totally add to the report. I fixed a cracked and leaky oil pan on a Vega wagon once using JB weld. I wonder if that would have worked for you while on the road. At least you got it fixed and for $10 you can’t beat it. Plus the experience of getting help in Mexico is priceless. Wrong tool? I think not.
    #14
  15. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

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    yeah we had JBweld just in case. Would have been interesting getting it ot stick but we probably could have fixed it in a pinch.

    Great thing about the repair I got is I didn't have to worry anymore after Senor Santana fixed it- its fixed for good.

    more to come soon...thanks everyone for the kind words.
    #15
  16. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA.
    Nice Ride.

    I'm getting interested in possibly visiting Mexico as a result of your story.
    Please continue...

    Q~
    #16
  17. z_clark

    z_clark pro lurker

    Joined:
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    DFW, TX
    Great pics and great story. I think you had the perfect tool for the job.

    Can't wait to see what happens next. I hope to do a similar trip this December.

    Thanks!!! :clap
    #17
  18. crackerguy

    crackerguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Riding out through the gray ugly industrial outskirts of Mazatlan, we smelled the same things we had coming in- at one point a rotting seafood stench (cannery or processing plant?) at another the warm smell of roasting coffee. Quite a juxtaposition of odors…

    We took the road towards Tepic- cutting inland then heading south
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    Initially we were on the Libre, but it was taking too long and wasn’t scenic or curvy, with lots of small towns, nasty topes, and construction with traffic jams. So we abandoned the libre.

    We hopped on the Cuota, and it was faster but was a total screw job- we each paid $16 to ride around 70 miles on a normal undivided highway- flat and straight with only the occasional stagnant tidal pool or sickly looking palm tree for scenery. Since we paid so much we figured we ought to get our money’s worth and put the hammer down a little bit.

    At one point we were cruising along pretty good when a red VW Jetta passed us like we were standing still- he had to be doing 125 at least. We weren't really in the mood to go that fast so we let him go. Sure enough, a few miles down the road a Federale in a Black Dodge Charger had him pulled over talking to him. Whatever he said to him must not have worked as he passed us again a few minutes later going even faster :lol3 ….I must admit I was curious what would happen to 3 gringos on bikes in such a situation but I am glad we didn’t find out.

    We cut back over towards the coast, heading down to San Blas. We stopped in a little town called Navarrete for a drink and to take a break.
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    This part of the coast was very lush and tropical, and not developed or touristy in any way. It felt like were riding in a jungle at times, with a few elevation changes and good corners thrown in…

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    San Blas is a quaint little fishing village where we stopped for gas. On the side of the main road entering town there are many thatched stands with grills loaded with fish and split lobsters cooking. I wish we would have stopped to eat- we didn’t because we thought we were closer to Sayulita than we actually were and we would just eat there. One of my main regrets of the trip (other than not taking near enough pictures) is not sampling that lobster- next time we will stop!

    At the gas station in San Blas we filled up and bought a bag of the fried round chip deals with salsa on top they sell down there- we ate a few and then gave them to the older woman who was asking for money while we filled up. She was the only person who asked me for a handout the entire trip…

    We passed much undeveloped beachfront, with a few palapas and beautiful blue water, and I was hoping we were near Sayulita , but soon we were back in more traffic and off the coast a bit.

    We ran into some vaqueros moving their herd down the road.
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    A big white Escalade paced us for a while through a curvy section of road before waving us past. Later, when we stopped in the town of Zacualpan to look at our map, he caught up with us. The big Mexican guy driving the Escalade was also a rider; he showed us pictures of himself in a very large suit of leathers riding a GSXR in anger on the track. He confirmed we were on the right course for Sayulita, so after eating some small tart peaches we bought from a guy walking around selling them out of a bucket, we got back on the road.

    As we got closer to Puerto Vallarta the traffic kept getting worse- most of it thankfully going the other way- away from Puerto Vallarta. Eventually after a few wrong turns we hit the exit for Sayulita.

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    We had a bit of trouble finding lodging in Sayulita, places were either full or no one was there to rent us a room. Eventually we settled on Tia Adrianas Bed and Breakfast, where we got a room for 3 with breakfast for $80. It was way nicer than the other hotel we looked at that had a 60 yard uphill hike to a seedy looking, funky smelling little room.

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    View from the terrace of our room
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    The beach at Sayulita
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    Sayulita is a pretty cool little town, even though it is too touristy already and feels like it is getting more that way every day. There is a strong American presence here, plenty of “trustifarian” college kid types and wealthy older American tourists looking for the latest hot “undiscovered” spot. Looking down their noses at the McDonalds and Starbucks in Puerto Vallarta while enjoying the organic juice bar and $5 a cup Espresso Bar in Sayulita.

    Nothing against California, but it feels like California. By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed my latte the next morning, thank you very much…

    We ate dinner at a restaurant on the beach and the food was utterly mediocre but the view was good and the beer was cold.

    Kelly and Charlie awoke predawn and rented surfboards. It is a good motorcycle trip if the only rash you come home with is from a reef…
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    We bought gifts for wives and kids, had a meatless, cruelty free breakfast with the other hip, enlightened gringos staying at Tia Adriana’s, and got the hell out of there.
    We had a long way to go to get home, and we had to go through Mexico to get there.

    more later...
    #18
  19. erichthered

    erichthered Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    cleveland oh
    :clap Nice to see a report from someone going south of the border without knobbies for a change.:freaky
    #19
  20. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,166
    Location:
    Forest Grove, OR
    :thumb
    #20