Tico Tales (w/pix)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Flash412, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Flash412

    Flash412 Elk Biffer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
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    Effin' 'ell
    Saturday, February 4th, I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica, with four friends. We rented brand spankin' new KTM 640LCs and did some GREAT dual sport riding for a week. We did not take a tour. We simply rented bikes from Wilhelm von Breymann, proprietor of www.costaricamotorcycletours.com. He is a first rate guy with a first rate business catering to tourists. Whatever you want in Costa Rica, he can put together. We returned the bikes a seven days later, the following Saturday and flew home Sunday the 12th.

    Day one, five of us picked up brand new 2006 640LC bikes. Some had 600-700 km on them, some had 6-8 km. Went 6 km before one bike overheated... no coolant had been installed. Fixed that. Another 20-30 km later, same bike had major clutch issue, rideable but flat-shifting only. Rental place brought out a KTM 950 Adventure and traded out, to be re-exchanged later. Took a ferry ride and then rode down to Montezuma. Roads in that area range from bad to horrible. Dual-sport heaven.

    Day two, great ride along the coast road. Nothing paved. Several water crossings including some rivers.

    Day three, traded 950 back for an '04 640, MUCH better for the gnarly dirt back roads and donkey trails we did that day. On a downhill in sand and pea gravel covering a smooth rock, I lost the front end without warning and went down hard on my left arm. We bandaged it up and kept riding. Did a VERY gnarly single-track donkey trail. Four hours later at the clinic, I got six stiches and scrip for antibiotics. Bike suffered only a rashed hand guard.

    Day four was to be a LONG road day to transfer to the Osa Penninsula. Up too early, catch the ferry. Mr Toad's Wild Ride at a closed bridge, following an SUV WFO on the back roads, through the river into Quepos where one of our party was robbed of his backpack during lunch. Plan changes as his passport was in the pack. We headed back north to Jaco for the night.

    Day five was again and early riser. Arrived at US Embassy ~8:30AM. Business completed by 10. Headed north up to La Fortuna. Hotel with great view of volcano Arenal.

    Day six was a beautiful dirt ride around Lake Arenal. On a DEEP water crossing (the one river in a day of many streams and puddles), with football size/shaped rocks, one bike took a bath. CPR worked just fine. Got "the money shot" of the five bikes & riders lined up along Lake Arenal with volcano Arenal in the background. Gonna have trip t-shirts made with the photo and under it, simply, GPS coordinates and date.

    The last day, we rode to the cauldera of volcano Poas. The roads were, for the most part, paved twisty heaven. Looked down into an active volcano. Ate lunch and then made our way into San Jose to return the bikes. Four of the five had gone down one way or another. Damage was minimal. Charges were quite reasonable.

    Departed next day.

    Along the coast road of the Nicoya Penninsula (Pacific side).
    [​IMG]

    Tony, Hubert and Alan with dirt-eating grins at the end of a dual-sport day.
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    Deciding which way to go at an intersection of some of the better-surfaced dirt roads.
    [​IMG]

    Post-crash handguard rash on my (formerly brand new) bike.
    [​IMG]

    Volcano Arenal, as seen from the private balcony of our hotel.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Alan, Flash, Arenal volcano, Tony aka Dork Shoei, Todd Unpronounceable, Hubert (cunning linguist and designated victim)
    N10°26.478 W84°47.347 - 10 February 2006

    There is a video HERE. Most of it is just "interview" footage because whenever Todd tried to ride with the camera, it shut itself off. There is some footage of the first of probably three dozen water crossings. The misty/smoky stuff near the end is the cauldera of the volcano Poas.

    HERE is a link to the photo album.

    Summary:
    KTM640LC - PERFECT bike for Costa Rica. Stock seat sucks.
    Costa Rica Adventures - Perfect rental agency, period.
    Costa Rica - GREAT place to dual sport. Speaking Spanish helps greatly. Fuel costs ~US$3.75/gallon there.
    Conclusion - VERY glad I went. Two weeks might have been better. A month probably would have been too much.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
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    Very nice report!! :thumb
    #2
  3. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

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    Location:
    Rockford, Wa
    Sounds like a dream trip to me. Great report :clap
    #3
  4. sdpc2

    sdpc2 Just another Rally Rat

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    That must have been an awesome trip...
    #4
  5. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Great photos!!!! That really looks like a great trip. Just one more place I HAVE to add to my list to ride.

    I need to stay out of these ride reports. I want to ride to so many places now that I don't know if I will every get to them all.

    Kenny
    #5
  6. Wannabeeuro

    Wannabeeuro Tuner chic

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,000
    Location:
    Boulder
    We are heading down to Costa Rica in a few weeks as well and I am planning to rent a bike from Wilhelm as well.

    1, Did you bring your own GPS and was it useful?

    2, We are plannig to ride 2 up, do you think a 950 makes more sense? I ride a 625 (same bike) here and am all too familiar with the 2x4 for a seat.

    3, Did you plan your own route or was it Wilhelms ittinerary?
    #6
  7. L.A.

    L.A. Long timer

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    Well done! I used to live in Costa Rica and it is one beautiful country. :thumb
    #7
  8. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
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    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Nine weeks and I'll be where my heart is.

    We are just stayin in San Jose for two nights, arenal and montezuma. Thats the plan anyways....

    Nice report guys.... I wish my laptop were working so i could watch the vid!
    #8
  9. durtrider

    durtrider adventure sow

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    Land of the Red Man
    Cool!:clap
    #9