A ride with the Central America Wild Bunch.
Taz and Joel here. We are in Xela, Guatemala, taking a break from the long journey. We are on a pair of Kawi Super Sherpa 250s. So far, so good after six months and 26,000 km. We went in search of tires when we met Roberto Ascoli, owner of the local BMW repair shop. Turns out he is also the president of Pericos Motoclub here in Xela and they were sponsoring a ride the following Saturday. Naturally we signed on for a chance to ride with the locals.
Saturday dawned foggy and cold. We met the group in a hotel parking lot. We found ourselves amidst 50 big BMWs from Guate, Mexico and El Salvador. Wonderful bunch and we Canadians were warmly welcomed. As I eyed all that shiny BMW paint and chrome alongside our filthy little Kawis, several moments of "what have we gotten ourselves into?" cluttered my brain. No time to dwell on that, however, as we hit the road just after breakfast. We had us a CONVOY!
Xela is at 2333 meters and we headed to the coast about 100 km away. The ride down the mountains was lovely with nothing but twisties and very little traffic. Near the coast we stopped for a visit to a minor Mayan archeaological site and then on to a hotel resort for a swm and lunch. We hung out in the tropical heat for a couple of hours swapping motorcycle stories and getting to know our hosts. We do speak passable Spanish and met many fine people.
The ride back up the mountain, however, was a whole other subject. Our new brethren decided to cut loose and have some fun. It was nothing but twisties and heavy traffic all the back up the mountains. The little 250s were pegged to the limit and beyond to keep up with all that shiny German muscle. We recieved a lesson in the finer points of riding, Central American style----80 km of lane splitting, passing at any and every opportunity, getting sandwiched between trucks with nowhere to go, and general high speed mayhem. We broke every law on the books (that is if they exist here) as well as pushing the limits of the laws of physics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and the coefficient of friction keeping the rubber on the road. Even as I write this, I shudder at the things we did. There was, after all, national pride and machismo at stake here. We are lucky to be alive only begins to describe the ride. Would not have missed it for anything, though, and now we have a whole bunch of new friends in Central America. Some pics below. Wish I had some pics of the riding itself, but I was WAY TOO BUSY holding on to survive.