The Pan American Trail

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

  1. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    May 6, 2015
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    251
    Location:
    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania

    I’ve been dreaming of doing a long-distance motorcycle trip for at least the last 4 years. My cousin is always up for an adventure, so about two years ago we began to seriously consider this trip. We decided that our goal was to ride from Pennsylvania (where we live), to Alaska, and then down to Patagonia. We initially thought it would take 6 months, which grew to a year, which grew to who knows how long… So beginning on May 6th we are leaving Pennsylvania on DR650’s and heading up to Alaska. We are planning on climbing as many mountains as possible and riding the best roads we can find along the way. There are three of us doing this trip so first things first:


    Allen (myself)

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    I’ve been in college the last four years studying mechanical engineering. I am graduating May 6th and immediately hitting the road. I’ve read some sick trip reports on advrider that definitely inspired me to go on this trip. After being tied down for the last four years with college I figured now is as good a time as any to quit everything for a while and hit the road.


    Jeremy

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    He’s my cousin and we’ve been rompin’ together ever since we were kids. He is always up for an adventure and together we decided on this trip for the adventure of choice. He travels a ton and loves bikes. He rode over 7000 miles last summer to the west coast and back. He also has a huge beard.



    James

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    Jeremy and I have known James since we were kids. He grew up in Pennsylvania but he currently lives out of his VW van in Oregon. He decided to join the trip about a year ago and has been working hard to help plan and organize everything trip related. He loves adventure and is an absolutely killer photographer.



    Back to the trip:

    Jeremy and I are leaving from Pennsylvania, and James is leaving from Oregon. We are meeting up somewhere in BC and continuing up to Anchorage. We have a bit of a time crunch as I am graduating college May 6th and we are flying to Mount Denali basecamp for a summit attempt on May 20th. We are hoping to arrive in Anchorage the 16th in order to get everything together for our Denali climb, so we’ll have 9 straight days of 500 or so miles each… on a stock seat.


    That’s the quick run-down of our trip. I’ll throw some posts up of our bike and gear setup as well as what we have roughly planned for the trip, but after that it will be a live-updated thread whenever one of us has time to write a post and an internet connection.


    Stay tuned!
    #1
  2. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania
    Here's a little info on my bike and what I've done to it so far:

    I bought a 98 dr650 6 months ago and it looked like this.


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    I took most of the bike apart, cleaned it up and painted the frame.

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    I didn't know it when I purchased the bike, but it had on upgraded rear shock from progressive suspension which was a nice bonus. I added a bigger tank and a skid plate. After cleaning the carb and changing the spark plugs, the bike ran great.

    One of the main focuses on our bike was what luggage to use. We were originally working with Wolfman but it would have been too expensive even with a discount, so we decided to build our own bags. We measured and cut a bunch of cloth and, with the help of my mom and her sewing machine, made a prototype bag. I loved the mounting system Mosko Moto uses for their bags, so I contacted them about purchases only their mounting system. They hooked us up with 3 sets of mounting systems at-cost. They are total champs! Here is the mock-up bag with part the mounting system attached. It is a simple roll-top design.


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    My friend James works with a guy who is starting a leather bag company, and he offered to make the bags out of leather free of charge! The goal is to give him good publicity and brand awareness by using his product and hopefully it helps his brand out. He made a prototype bag which we test fit, and he is currently wrapping up the final bags.

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    This weekend Jeremy and I are headed up to NY on our bikes. We are hoping the bags are done by then and we can use them. It's about 4 hours one way, so it's a great chance for a shakedown test before we leave for good...
    #2
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  3. Cafeducati

    Cafeducati Riding Cafe' style

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    LOOKING GREAT!!!! I am excited.
    #3
  4. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

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    Jan 8, 2013
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    Maine
    I did a trip a while back on a serious budget. An older gentleman once told me "You two guys at your age with a fistful of cash will have more fun and more memories than I will with a loaded bank account and a brand new bike"

    Enjoy it guys, it'll change you! I'd leave again tomorrow if I could.
    #4
  5. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania
    That's so true haha. The cash will definitely be a bit tight and the bikes are nothing new or snazzy, but we're stoked for the memories!
    #5
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  6. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Jul 17, 2016
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    805
    Good to see fellow PA guys having fun!
    #6
  7. KLRalph

    KLRalph Because KTMalph sounds funny

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
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    California, USA
    I'm IN! :lurk
    #7
  8. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    oh yeah man
    #8
  9. Asphalt Assault

    Asphalt Assault Been here awhile

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    Tustin, CA
    Definitely a ride report that I'll be following. Congrats on the upcoming graduation and excellent call on the timing. I did a similar trip between the college and career transition. I doubt you'll be passing through SoCal, but I have plenty of resources here in the OC in any of you pass through. Enjoy!
    #9
  10. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    Location:
    southern tip of ILL
    IN ! ! ! !

    1st pic Clingmans Dome
    #10
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  11. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Thanks, it feels good to be graduating! That's awesome that you did a similar trip. We'll be heading down the west coast for sure, but it'll be about 6 months from now or something like that. Message me when we're going through there!
    #11
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  12. DooSki

    DooSki Adventurer

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    Jun 8, 2016
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    Location:
    New Brunswick, CAN
    You had me at DR! Then it's a 98' just like my own. Sweet! Although I'm still rocking the Barney paint job. You picked the right bike for the job. It will no doubt take you to the ends of the earth, and it's going to have to. Looking forward to your RR and hopefully some madness. Don't leave out any details. Good luck men!
    #12
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  13. SoggyDonkey

    SoggyDonkey Adventurer

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    Nyack, NY
    Totally in, as a former 814er. Who's the leather fabricator? I'd love to see pics of those bags, when they're all sewn up. Good luck, man!
    #13
  14. Durkbeef

    Durkbeef Adventurer

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    35
    You forgot to plug the name of the company that is hooking you up with the bags! Will be following this RR. Good luck!
    #14
  15. wanderlusting

    wanderlusting Adventurer

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    Dec 21, 2016
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    New Mexico
    I'm in.

    Save travels.
    #15
  16. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Honey Brook, Pennsylvania
    Jeremy and I got back today from the Finger Lakes area in New York. It was a great test run for our bikes before heading out this Saturday for Alaska. It was about 500 miles round trip, which was enough to inspire at least some confidence in our bikes :-)
    We picked up the completed leather saddle bags early Friday afternoon, and they were better than we could have anticipated! This is Daniel finishing a few rivets before we hit the road.
    daniel.jpg
    H
    e recently started a leather bag company called Welsh Mtn Co. He's a total boss with all things leather, and he did an amazing job with our bags. They are putting up a website soon and I'll post a link to it as soon as it's up. He works a lot with James who is a part owner of the company.

    Here's a few close-ups of the bags.
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    The bottom part of the bags are made out of a very stiff leather to help the bag keep form and protect the contents, while the top part is a softer leather which makes the roll-top closure possible. Daniel added velcro stripe to the top to help keep the roll-top together while rolling. He also made awesome water bottle holders on one of the side bags.

    Here are the bags installed on the bikes. This is at a DMV in Potter County PA where we stopped to take our motorcycle license test.
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    Yes, we waited until one week before we left to get our motorcycle licenses. Oops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We had both been riding on permits for the last few years, and since it is always booked way in advance locally, we had to drive a little out around to take the test. Anyway we both passed so now we're completely legal... After the test we drove 2.5 hours to Penn Yan NY. It rained just about the whole time. :( But thanks to our Rev'it! suits we stayed completely dry. (more on gear later) We had a great weekend in NY, ran the wildly popular Seneca 7 relay race around Seneca lake, and headed home Monday morning.

    The rest of the week will be spent finishing up all our packing and wrapping up everything at home. Daniel is planning on having our tank bags done Wednesday so I'll be sure to post pictures of all the bags installed as soon as they're done.
    #16
  17. johnloucks

    johnloucks Adventurer

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    Jun 28, 2015
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    Houston
    How are you managing the 'paperwork' to bring your bikes into/out of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile. I believe most will require paying a 'bond' and insurance or something to assure that you are not 'importing' the motorcycle (leaving it with a buyer). Also, and this is probably discussed on this forum ad nauseum, but how do you get from Panama to Colombia? Are there roads?
    #17
  18. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    Jan 24, 2008
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    East TN Mountains
    Best of luck from a fellow Pennsylvanian by birth! I'll definitely be following along!

    My wife and I rode to Alaska from Tennessee back in '13. If you are into Hot Springs, check out Liard Hot Springs near Watson's Lake and Manley HS which is west of the start of the Dalton Highway. Manley HS has killer tubs with very hot water in an old green house that costs like $5 for an hour soak and we had the whole place to ourselves!
    #18
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  19. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Central Illinois
    Let's see, bikes packed, plans made, route picked, should we get our moto license? This looks great guys. I'm in!
    #19
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  20. stoltzfii

    stoltzfii Been here awhile

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    I believe that as long as you have the paperwork to make your bike legal you are fine to cross borders, ie. license, registration, insurance. A carnet is not needed in central and South America. It is only needed in Africa and parts of Asia.
    #20
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