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  #61  
Old 14 Jul 2011
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Hey Alex
If you guys are in or near San Jose, just about ten minutes from the airport is a hotel called the Orchideas. The owners are from Ohio and are great people and the hotel is cool with a great bar

Steve
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  #62  
Old 16 Jul 2011
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Thumbs up The Hamilton Inn & Suites, J.R. Ribs, motorcycles and more

One, Mr. Andrew Dalton, did not receive an efficient enough description when first introduced. Therefore let me please start from the beginning.

As we crossed into Costa Rica, we had no idea where to find Charlie, or his friend who we’d had yet to have met; a so called Andy Dalton.

Well, we sat down for some milkshakes at Denny’s near the San Jose International Airport, whipped out our wireless devices, and in no time at all, Tom was chatting with our previously facebook befriended friend, Andy Dalton.
The conversation went kind of like this,

Tom, “Hey man, where are you?”……. Andy, “Hey, we’re in the center of Alujuela, Hotel Los Vocanos” ….. Tom, “Ok.” …… Andy, “Lets meet at the McDonalds near the town center at 1pm.” ….. Tom, “Ok.”

So Tom and I left our air conditioned Denny’s dinning booths with plenty of time to spare, and headed to the McDonalds previous mentioned. Well, we were an hour early so we again pulled out our wifi toys, and surfed the wifi offered by McD’s.

Charlie and Andy never showed up and were 20 minutes late. Or as they would have you know, we never made it to the appropriate McDonalds and thus left them waiting for 20 minutes.

So, we wifi’ed them again, found there location, and we took off to meet them. And meet them we did, with one bike between them, which had a disassembled rear end, staying at a nice hotel with their shit spread everywhere. Turns out it was a lot of Charlie’s shit, though Andy did bring a Baby Taylor guitar.

And now for the good stuff. Charlie and Andy were headed to the Hamilton Inn & Suites near the airport where we just were. Andy was footing the bill do to some bankrolled credits at different companies. Andy offered to book us a room at the Hotel, an easy 900% over our budget, offer. We couldn’t refuse, as he didn’t let us, and that afternoon we were booked into the nicest room/bed I had slept on since I spent the night with Kristi at the Tulalip Inn for my friends’ wedding.

Mr. Andy Dalton was just getting started. Over s and popcorn Andy informed us that we would all be going to Jr. Ribs, a Texan bar and grill style restaurant located somewhere close in San Jose, and that his previously mentioned credits pile up was paying for it. And no matter what we saw on the menu, we were to order it if we wanted it. Whaaaaa???

And so the four of us went, and the four of us ate, and ate, and ate. And we ate 3 full racks of ribs, which each came complete with three side dishes, along with a 2 huge steaks, which also had 3 side dishes each, a platter of cheesy fries, and $50 dollars worth of scotch, lemonade and coke.

And the bill totaled $217, and Andy paid it! (His piled up credits did)

And then we went to bed and passed out in rapid succession, only to awake to; Complimentary breakfast!!! With sausage and eggs, and bagels, and fruit, and fresh juice, and waffles, and rice with beans, and coffee, and tea, and cereal, and yogurt, and more! Tom and I gorged in the morning, and again before it closed at 10am.

Mr. Andrew Dalton is a stand up son-of-a-bitch (a polite affectionate term in Aussie speak) and we're glad to have him around!

That morning Andy and I took off to locate, and acquire his motorcycle from the Freight Agent comspany that he was dealing with. I went along for the adventure, as well, being as being able to speak Spanish I thought I’d get out for the day. Well, instead we met with Jose (speaks GREAT English) and Jaime (who speaks little) and we had nothing to do but wait as they took care of business. Jose hung out with us as we shot the shit about motorcycles, travel, women, and everything else (is there much else?) while Jaime (Hi-May) aced the import process and drove us between buildings, offices, warehouses etc until after 7-8 hours of moving around, breakfast and lunch paid for by Jose/Jaime, we had a bike! Success!!!

First step, re-attach the handlebars, windscreen, front fender, hand guards, and attach the panniers and bags.
Second step, throw four hundred pounds of man on the bike and head for the gas station. Fill it to the top and spend nearly $30 at $6/gallon. Fix the tire pressure to 32psi in the front and rear, up from 18 and 20. :/
Third step, ride 2 up back to the Hotel and smoke a celebratory cigar with Andy. SUCCESS.

Well that was the beginning of Charlie’s demise however, as he got some sort of stomach bug that rendered him useless for about 36 hours. All night, and the next day he was out of commission, a trip to the pharmacy, antibiotics purchased, and back to the hotel room where Charlie’s room smells like sickness. Give him the antibiotics, and go to Andy’s room where the air is still clean.

We spent 3 nights at the Hampton Inn & Suites, and every morning we stuffed face with the free continental breakfasts. Damn they were good.

Tom and I also cleaned our entire motorcycles in that time. Our bikes haven’t had a good wash since we left Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico when we took a cruise on the beach. It was time.

We cleaned the chains in Kerosene and Commercial grade degreaser. Then we lubed them with chain lubrication and chain wax. The chains were slacking a bit (regrettably more then I should have allowed, as they weren’t given much thought) and we rightfully adjusted them to a better position. We lubed our rear axles, cleaned the sprockets, (I replaced my brake pads) and I replaced my rear main bearing seal as the little tiny spring in it had fallen out and been munched for some reason.

After 3 days of lazing around, picking up Andy’s bike, and doing the minor maintenances on our bikes, we were ready to hit the road (after the continental breakfast face stuffing) and so we did, and it nearly instantly turned from a humid stuffy day into a pissing downpour, and so we put in our waterproof liners and hit the road. And soon we were in the mountains, and for the first time this trip Tom and I crossed above 10,000ft elevation, the temperature dropped to 53* F, and we were all soaked and pretty cold.

A quick stop for a coffee/hot chocolate and we tossed our thermal liners in our coats, pulled out our “waterproof insulated” gloves, and hit the road again, up and over the mountains, and down to the coast. The road was the most treacherous that we’ve seen yet. The clouds, extremely dense fog, extremely wet conditions necessitated 25mph riding, and extreme concentration.

Chalk it up to Andy’s first day on his bike in over 80 days, his first real adventure riding, and his gusto, and he did well! We all stayed together, and found ourselves in Playa Dominical that night. It was quite the ride!
Playa Dominical had its moments but the next day we were on the road again. Headed for the Panamanian border, it took no more than 15 minutes before Andy and I were riding together, and Tom and Charlie were a bit ahead. Then, we lost them. It should be noted that I misheard Charlie when he said he was stopping at the first gas station that he saw. I heard, “I’m stopping at a gas station ahead,” ergo, Andy and I blew right by Tom and Charlie where they had stopped at the first gas station.

It happened that Andy’s sunglasses fell off his bike while on the road and I stopped to pick them up for him. That gave Tom and Charlie just enough time to get out of site, and for us to blow right by them as they watched. Well then.
Andy and I stuck to the plan, and hit the same border crossing that Charlie and Tom were meant to go to. We though, having not seen them along the way that they were ahead of us. Obviously we were mistaken. Charlie had the Map, and he also had the GPS. We just knew we were headed South, wanted to cross a certain border crossing into

Panama, and we new “San Vito” was somewhere in the mix of it all.

These are normal conditions for Tom and I, no worries on my part.

Well, Andy is only 2 days in and now found himself, map-less, GPS-less, and with basically no Spanish, and understandably a bit antsy. I reaffirm that this is absolutely no problem, and we can stop and ask for directions. Tom and Charlie will be on the same path, or doing something else. No need to worry about them, and they are most definitely not worrying about us.

Well, an hour and a bit or so later we found Tom and Charlie at the same border crossing we arrived at. So problem solved, and we’re all still soaking wet. Our exit of Costa Rica and entry into Panama costs us a whopping $16. $15 for a month of insurance, and $1 for quarantining our bikes, (they sprayed our wheels with a tank of fluid….)

About 5 minutes later, we were stopped, facing a road of nothing but mud and the terrible feeling that if we continued much further we were all going to crash, or as the Aussies call it “Stack It”

Well none of us stacked the bikes, but we turned around, asked for directions again, and took off down a different road. 45 minutes later we arrived in Volcan where we are now. Hanging out, looking for a Lavanderia to wash and dry our completely soaked riding gear, and just relaxing from the crappy cold riding weather that has beaten us down for the past 2 days.

Panama at first glance is a hand and fist above Costa Rica in regards to scenery, price tags, standard of living, and the overall “feeling in the air”.

The roads are nicer, the food is better, the hostels cheaper, and the nicer. We’re happy to be out of Costa Rica and in Panama. It’s been a good day doing nothing, though, of course we’re always on the move regardless of where we are.

The next step is to head to Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean, and in no time at all we’ll be on the Stahlratte crossing over to Colombia through the San Blas Islands.

Onward!

--Alex
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  #63  
Old 17 Jul 2011
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Question of a sort.

Today, through the constant rain, we bought front and rear wheel bearings for our bikes. We replaced Tom's rear bearings and my front bearings. We replaced Tom's front sprocket, and re-lubed his chain as it was squeaking a bit. It's due for replacement soon. I'll change mine soon as well.

We weren't able to find new seals for our bearings, but the old ones will be serviceable until we can locate replacements for them. Until then, we're doing well with them.

My front tire has been giving me quite the wobble/shimmy type of bullshit in slow speed corners, at/or under 30mph. Any speed above 30mph and no problems exist.

I have experienced this problem off and on since about the 4000th mile of the trip, and having ridden nearly 5k more miles since, it never really presented a problem. Now, entering more mountainous terrain, with wet conditions, slow speed corners, and a progressively worse tire condition, it has begun to bother me. The handle bar visibly shakes in both left and right hand corners at speeds under 30mph. If I release one hand, the problem exasperates itself and is uncomfortably annoying.

Since having replaced my front wheel bearings, I have yet to test ride the bike as it has grown dark and the incessant rain has yet to let up. Tomorrow will be the first test.

Furthermore I have noticed an uneven wear pattern on my front tire, inconsistent with any other front tire on the 4-5 motorcycles that I have been traveling with. Charlie, Tom, Patrick, Andy, and the motorcycle mechanic that facilitated the removal and insertion of my wheel bearings have noticed the same uneven pattern that exists.

It was the motorcycle mechanics agreement with my suspicion that leads me to believe that my wobble exists due to the weird wear pattern.

I will know tomorrow if the wheel bearings were the issue or not.

Provided the problem isn't solved by the new wheel bearings, I am soon to have a new tire put on within the next few hundred miles. If that is the solution, the question still remains why the uneven tire wear has happened.

I am running a Mefo Explorer front tire as of right now, and am thinking about changing to a MT90 front, or keep the same Mefo as the lifespan is incredible, and it has lasted at least 9,000 miles plus an addition 2-4k miles that it had on it before I left.

OR. My tire is out of alignment. Keep in mind that the wheels and spokes are not the originals as on Tom's bike, and are second hand wheels and spokes that were put on in Baja, Mexico following my crash. Should the spokes be out of tune, or the wheel unbalanced, that could be the cause of my issue as well.

It remains to be seen.

Any suggestions otherwise?

--Alex
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  #64  
Old 20 Jul 2011
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Smile

What can I say guys, what a fantastic journey your having and I have enjoyed every minute of reading this thread. Feels like I have done the journey with you. I am planning on doing my trip in 2014 with a friend of mine. Coming from England. Canada to Buenos Aires. I hope it is as good as yours is going.

Keep the updates coming. look forward to reading the next update.

I'm not a mechanic but sounds like something isn't alligned properly.

Or the person that owned that wheel and tyre before you just liked going round roundabouts

Could you ask Charlie and Andy how they have got on with there bikes as we're doing it on xt660z tenere's too.

Safe riding all,

Pete
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  #65  
Old 21 Jul 2011
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Xt660's and How the Aussies like them.

Pete,

Charlie has had a good time on his Tenere XT660z, and has not had a single mechanical issue on the way down. His only mods prior to leaving AUS were to lower the bike (via lowering link and dropping front forks) to fit his inseam a bit better, bar risers, heated grips, hand guards, and that was pretty much it. Standard stuff really.

Now, Charlies bike (he modified it in the States after a minor accident) has a KTM front end, single massive disc brake on the front, 2 into 1 exhaust pipe, and Excel rims.

Andy's bike is still pretty much stock. Other then heated grips and hand guards, it doesn't have much else on it.

Charlie uses Andy Strap's soft bags on the sides, and a pelican 1600 case on the Top. As well as a duffel on the passenger seat for extra shit.

Andy uses Steel Pony soft bags on the sides, and a large duffel across the top, along with Steel Pony tank panniers.

Both of their bikes have the nice advantage of being fuel injected with a good tank size of 22(?) liters. There bikes range outlasts our Dr650's. They also achieve better fuel economy and get about 45-50 miles per US gallon. Our DR's are lucky to get 42-43 on a good day.

Their bikes are heavier, but you don't plan to drop your bikes often. They don't have any complaints on their bikes, and from the sounds of it, they really are happy with them.

However, there is always a general consensus amongst the traveling bikers. Bring less SHIT, a lighter bike, a comfier seat, and a bigger gas tank.

If you bring less shit, you'll be right in the middle of the pack.

I think you'll like your Xt660z's

--Alex
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  #66  
Old 22 Jul 2011
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Out of Costa Rica and into Panama. First we were 4, and now we’re 5.

July 14th-21st. Days 104-111.



It took us a little while but we finally left the air conditioned comfort of the nicest hotel that we’ve stayed at thus far.



And by the end of that day, having ridden through the rain, we were where we were going to stay that night. All of our things ended up sprawled around the room, in a vain attempt to dry them out. Useless really, but we tried.



The next day was the same story, rain followed rain, and soon thereafter we landed ourselves on the Panamanian border. $16 dollars and about 2.5 hours later we landed in Volcan, Panama.



Arriving around 6pm we tried to find a lavanderia to dry our soaking wet clothes. They were all closed, and without much ado we found a cheap place to eat, and hit the sack.


The next day, awake and somber with the dreary overcast skies clouding over our enthusiasm, we hung around. Apparently Patrick was right behind us. You haven’t heard much about Patrick, but he’s a cool dude. We first met him at the Zephyr Lodge in Lanquin, Guatemala when he arrived with Charlie having traveled with him for a few weeks already. Patrick has ridden from San Francisco and is cruising on a Dr400. Please meet Patrick, who will be joining us on our way south to Panama City!



We all stayed a second night in Volcan, but not before Tom and I performed quite a bit of maintenance on our bikes. We replaced his rear wheel bearings, and my front. All under the pleasant overhang of the hostel parking area.



For all of you guys/gals who are about to take a trip, or are planning a trip, or are in the middle of a trip and don’t have a centerstand, I can HIGHLY recommend the Trail Stand offered for sale in the Vendors section of ADVrider. We’ve used it many times without fault and consider it a very useful, if not essential to our tool kit. Especially when removing wheels.



Here we are at a local motorcycle shop. Having never removed/replaced bearing, we let a “pro” show us how it was done. We paid him $8 for the removal and replacement of 5 bearings in 2 wheels. Tom wasn’t too stoked to be working on the bearings of his bike wheel. His chain had been squeaking lately, and his sprocket was pretty f’ed. It was replaced, and so was his rear bearings, and soon after we were set to go.



The five of us put up with each other and had 2 rooms to ourselves with 7 beds to split between the five of us.



The next morning, in our latent rush to get on the road, we lined up our bikes, and loaded them. AND believe it or not, the sun was shining (more or less) and we were motivated to see some of the Panamanian countryside.



Of course, before we could leave we had a chat with this guy, who liked motorcycles, and knew a guy with one, who he called, to lead us out of town. I had been carrying a Semana de Los Motos hat ever since Mazatlan and this guy was the lucky recipient. Not only was he wearing a similar style hat (the clue that he’d wear it), I didn’t want to carry it around anymore, and can’t afford to send it to my Grandpa. This guy will enjoy it for sure. He was pleased to accept it at least!



In no time at all, his friend arrived on a Yamaha XT250 and we headed out of town. At the edge of town, we found two new friends, riding a 2009 Dr650 and a 2005(?) BMW F650 Dakar. They offered to take us the rest of the way, and soon enough we ended up at the home and shop of Paul along with his friend George.



We had a look around and checked out his shop. He had a cool place.



Anyone see one of these before? A easily tuned jet for altitude compensation. Intelajet. Paul swears by them and has had one on each of his bikes since he encountered them a few years ago. I’d be interested to hear any opinions on them.



After looking around, we jumped at the chance to utilized Paul’s self offered shop and do some more general maintenance on our bikes. Tom and I installed fuel filters that Paul had on hand, I found the cause of my failed running lights (the dimmer unit failed) I re-wired my heated grips, and tuned up my rear suspension. All the while we admired his shop which housed his other bike (Dr400) and a couple of his other toys, his two Ultra lights.



Patrick also dealt with his suspension which had been a bit spongy lately. All was well afterward.



Charlie and George shot the shit for a while after Charlie installed some Rox Risers on his Tenere. His bars had had a nasty vibration at certain revs for quite some time, and it just so happened, that Paul had some in his shop and with slight modification, Charlie’s bike became the new recipient.



Somewhere in the middle of the shop day, Tom and Andy took off towards Boquette, our destination for that night. It wasn’t far, but it was far enough. While they were riding, Charlie, Patrick, Paul, George, and I went off for some lunch. The five of us ate Chicken, Rice, and Potato salad for the generous sum of $12. Excellent.



After lunch, we finished out preparations, and took off to find Andy and Tom. We found them pretty quickly and had an easy night in Boquette, a touristy town full of Retired expats from the USA and other countries.
That night we had a look around, but not much else happened. In the morning, we had another guy lined up to show us out of town who Andy and Tom had met before we arrived; an English guy tearing up the streets of Boquette on a Yamaha WR450F that had been supermoto’ed.


We also happened to find a local Panamanian post office that was able to ship some of our things home. Andy needed to offload some things to Australia, and I intended to send some things back to my parents house north of Seattle.


In the end, Andy send 5.8 kilos home, and I shipped off 9.8 (21.5lbs). I sent my tent, my stove, my pan, a couple of trinkets, a pair of pants that were too big, a backpack, and other small miscellaneous things. All of which I had not used more than twice in over 100 days. Their departure was welcomed. It cost me $79, and I never looked back. I now have a free passenger seat for when Kristi arrives, AND provided she doesn’t bring too many things, we’ll easily be able to accommodate her small backpack and travel together. That in itself was my main concern, and has been worrying me slightly for the past month or so.


Now, I’m not too bothered, and rather excited to have her join me a month from tomorrow. I just have to decide where to fly her into, and where to fly her home from. It’s up in the air. Into Bogota, out of Cusco? Into Quito, out of Cusco? Or into Lima and out of Cusco. I’m thinking either the first or the third option. But I’m not sure yet!

On the way out of Boquette, the Panamanian roads were again nice to us, and the sun shone as well. We had an easy ride out to Almigrante, the port town that would be our passage to the island of Bocas del Toro. On the way, we had some nice scenery and came across this dammed lake quite unexpectedly.




I stopped to snap a photo, and then waited for Tom to catch up, and catch up he did as he tore through this corner.



Upon arrival in Almigrante, we soon realized that the next ferry that would be able to carry our motorcycles to the island didn’t leave until 8am the next day. A quick decision was made, and we quickly had our motorcycles parked behind a sturdy guard dog protected gate, and all of our unnecessary things locked inside a car. We ditched the bikes, and piled into the next available “lancha” out to the island which run every 30 minutes.



The boat moved at a good clip and within 30 minutes we arrived on the island.



I like being on the water and had a good time. Hey Mom and Dad! Hi Lorraine and Brandon, Ellie and Spencer! Hi Kristi! Hi Debbi and Kevin! Hello everyone else!



Patrick was “chillaxin” and also enjoying the boat ride.


Andy says “Whats up?”



As soon as we landed on the island we were propositioned by as many people as there are hostels and hotels on the island. Ruben, the most relaxed stood out from the rest and inside of 5 minutes we were on our way to his hostel called Cayena Backpackers. $10/pp and we each had a bed in an air conditioned dorm room with a private bath. Excellent.



We passed up the offer for this place, Mondo Taitu, as it was too crazy for us. Happy hour anyone?



The next few days consisted of some swimming at the beaches, hanging out with the locals, meeting up with many previous friends, and going out at night to various bars and hangout spots, namely the Iguana Bar, and Aqua Lounge. Pictures will come in the near future, but suffice it to say, it was a GOOD time.

A local buffet style place, open from 6am-11pm fed me for the handsome sum of $4 a meal, and never disappointed me. If only I could buy protein and carbohydrates like this as often as I desired.



The day after we arrived, Patrick, Charlie and Andy moved out of our hostel and into this hotel. At an unaffordable cost for Tom and I (poor bastards that we are), we placated ourselves by hanging out in the rooms. Charlie had a waterfront view, and thus his balcony served as a hangout. Beers were abundant for those who desired, cigarettes for anyone else, and food was only 3 minutes away. Easy money.



While we have been here, Anna and Kim (Kiwi) have shown up with Roberto in tow. Mara and Chilanka (Dutch) have been showing face, and Andy, Charlie, Patrick, Tom and I have been having a blast. Every spare moment I have (not too many unless we plan them) I remind myself that it’s nice to do absolutely nothing. And better yet, it’s nice to do absolutely nothing in Panama. In the Caribbean. With friends. Riding motorcycles. Meeting people. And living the dream.

--Alex
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  #67  
Old 24 Jul 2011
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Toms bike has a hiccup

Upon arrival to the mainland from Bocas Del Toro, we went to recollect our motorcycles and our gear. Pretty soon thereafter it was found that Tom had a bit of an issue with his motorcycle. Mainly, it wouldn’t start. Not at all. Not only was it just that, but it didn’t even SOUND like it wanted to start. No hesitant ging, no belied belch of smoke from the exhaust, NOTHING.

We checked for fuel. Yes. We checked his air box. Yes. We checked for spark. NO. Not even an ounce of a shock.
Well that sucks. Let’s check your ignition coil. How? Lets attach mine. Ok let’s do that.
And so we did. And his bike didn’t start. Did I mention that it is no raining heavily and we’re all soaked now? Ask that nice women who runs this parking lot for an umbrella. Success. Umbrella activated. Slightly less level of wetness achieved.

Well what now man? You have to be in Colon, Panama by the 26th of this month to catch that big ass Steel Rat boat across the Darien Gap so we can tear it up in Colombia. Oh right. Dammmmnnn…

Truck? Where? Panama City? Eh… David? Better idea. Let’s go there. And so we went.
Within 30 minutes of asking if anyone knew someone that might know a guy that had a truck that somebody else could drive that could carry a motorcycle and make it to David, today, we had our man. The guy with the “thumbs up” got a 5 dollar tip from Tom for helping us fanatically until we departed. He also asked me to get him a Balboa () from the mini super when I went. I didn’t. I gave him 50cents to buy his own.



We had to take the front wheel off the bike to get it into the back of the shorty pickup, and Tom wasn’t able to ride in the truck because “he didn’t have room for him with all his work stuff”. So with a final smile from the Dude that was helping us help the guy who was driving the truck that was carrying Tom’s bike to David; we loaded a bag of Tom’s shit onto my bike.



Tom was decidedly unhappy about having to arrange to get his Motorcycle trucked to David. Dammit. We hope it’s worth it. I’ll be pissed if it’s an easy fix…



Well. We asked Mr. Truck Drive Man if he knew a Suzuki mechanic in David. Oh yea, I know the Suzuki Mechanic. I’ll take your bike directly there. No problems. Ok. Let’s go. And go we did. And Tom and I rode two up on my trusty steed for 110 miles through the mountainous terrain until we reached David. All while following the truck at a gradual speed of 30-50 mph. I achieved a whopping 37mpg. I’ll have to keep that in mind when Kristi arrives. Go slow.

And then, we were there. And do you think we found a Suzuki Mechanic? Haha. No, of course not. We were delivered to Mr. Truck Driver’s friends family mechanic shop in the middle of an urban area. Oh well. We knew we’d end up somewhere like this.



So the guy poked and he prodded, and Tom whipped of his side panels, and his seat, and his gas tank, and the guy pulled out his multi meter and he poked and he prodded some more. He pulled of the connecting plugs to Tom’s bikes computer, and he stabbed at them with his multi meter prongs, until. “EHHHHH…. Si, eso, eso esta la problema. Tu capacitor esta chingada.” (Ehhhhh… Yes, this, this is the problem. Your (stator) is f’ed)



So he pulled out the Stator. But before that, like a prudent mechanic would, he pulled Toms entire computer of his bike, plugged it into mine, and I fired my bike up, proving Tom’s bike computer was in working shape. Then he pulled out his multi meter and stabbed the same contact points on my bike computer plugs. The multi meter read 290. Tom’s? It read 1865. Too much resistance coming out of his Stator. DAMN IT. Stators are NOT cheap.



And so the man checked Tom’s stator, and within a few minutes determined that Tom’s stator pickup was the culprit. “I’m going to cut it off,” He said. Well, no, he didn’t really say that. He said nothing at all. He just chopped the piece off Tom’s $300 stator. Just. Like. This.



Ugh… We’re feeling pretty confident in this guy by now, and we’re hoping he knows what the hell he is doing, and all the while I’m telling Tom everything I know about motorcycles to try to explain to him why that LITTLE part is his problem, and he’s understanding the concepts, but damn it, that mechanic just chopped it off….

Well, in the mean time we had a look around while this guy is working. There was music blasting, and soon we realized that it was coming from the surround sound speakers on the shop owners cousins Honda Goldwing 1500. And that Suzuki Fireblade (CBR1000RR) over there inspires some confidence in bike bikes. Oh, and this Xr650r, over bored to 750cc’s is pretty cool…. Too bad someone hit a car on it.



Well. Obviously our mechanic friend didn’t have a new Dr650 Stator pickup in his pocket, nor did he have access to one. NOR does the Stator Pickup come separate from the Stator itself, and used Stators complete with their pickups run $220 on ebay. SHIT. He ALREADY chopped it off…

Well. We’re in Central America. Who cares. Let’s BUILD ONE.



And so he went about his business, rummaged through some parts (parts that looks obsolete, overused, and damaged) and pulled out what we would soon find out would be either our saving grace, or a definitive slap in the face. AND, it even looked good. Problem was, it didn’t have the same mounting bracket. No problem, he’ll put the OEM bracket on it.
Meanwhile, this other guy is bondo’ing a car, and someone else is changing its oil.



They have a good set up going on.

Soon, Tom’s new stator pickup was taking shape. And it looked good… Well. Let’s be honest. What the hell do we know about good? A Baja mechanic took my bike from totaled to road worthy in 4 days. This guy diagnosed Tom’s problem and built Tom a new stator pickup in less than 2 hours. Our standards are sliding down a scale from, “Please sir, I’ll take the new one,” too “Please sir, give me the cheapest shit that will serve its purpose, and I’ll be on my way.”



In no time at all, he had the newly made used stator pickup soldered, heat shrunk, and zip tied back into the OEM location.



Multi meter at the ready, our friend stabbed some contacts and the reading was as shown.



Have I mentioned that this guy took off half the screws and plugged in connectors with his trusty Swiss army knife?

Well. He did.

Before he remounted the stator pickup definitely, he painted the contact on the pickup,



Notice that ? It’s his 5th one that we’ve seen him drink. He’s becoming more carefree as the s come. Hopefully he’s finished soon! Hahahahah!!!!!

He removed the left case center plug for access to the crank shaft, and within a few moments felt a mild resistance when turning the crank.



Stator pickup is touching the magneto… Well that’s no good. We can’t have that. Where’s my damn drill?!



Meanwhile, the mechanics daughter is tearing up the neighbor’s yard on a beaten down Honda Xr100, and she loves it.



Did I mention that in the middle of this adventure that the shop attendant filled up a crate with empties and returned with 24 more, and that Tom and I were the recipients of no less than 2 s each, and that our mechanic friend had no less than 6 or 8 in 3 hours?

Well, if I didn’t mention that, I should have. WAIT? What is that sound?!?!?!

All of a sudden, the stator fit well, and the left cover was put in place and screwed on, and the oil was replaced with Mobile 20w-50, and the mechanic stepped back, took a look, and VROOOOOOM. Fired up Tom’s BIKE. SUCCESS!!! (You can’t tell… But it’s running…)



FAMILY PHOTO TIME! We’ve been there for 3 hours. And we’re now part of the family. Yessssssss.



The man directly behind me is fist pumping his success. That is our mechanic friend, and he is awesome.

It was just that day that I mentioned to Tom, as a result of our inconveniences, that we’ve noticed that no matter where we have been in Mexico and Central America, no matter what it is you need, you can find someone INSTANTLY that will help you do ANYTHING, IMMEDIATELY.

It was within 30 minutes that Tom found the man that drove the truck that carried his motorcycle to David. And it was the man that drove the truck that found us our mechanic friend. And that mechanic stopped everything he was doing, quit working on other shit for the day, and fixed Tom’s bike all while drinking and fabricating a serviceable stator pickup.

We love Central America. And we LOVE PANAMA.

Tom’s bike now runs like it always did, and we made it to Panama City the next day (yesterday). We found Charlie, Patrick and Andy whom rode ahead of us the day Tom’s bike took a nap. Additionally we found Ty and Jill! They hauled ass south from Guatemala over the past 2 weeks, and they met with Charlie, Patrick and Andy yesterday. Now we’re all at the Panama Passage Hostel. There are 7 of us on 6 motorcycles and we look awesome.

Have I mentioned? WE LOVE PANAMA!!

--Alex
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Old 30 Jul 2011
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Panama City. La fin de la continenta de Norte Americana. (The End of the Continent of

Panama City. La fin de la continenta de Norte Americana. (The End of the Continent of North America)

We have made it! We have ridden our motorcycles from the Northwest corner of the mainland United States to the bottom of North America. And now, we’re sailing across the San Blas Islands to Cartegena, Colombia. We’re onboard the Stahlratte, and it is AWESOME. There are 20 people on this boat, and only 1 of them is over the age of 32, and she’s just as cool as the rest of us, and we’re all pretty damn cool.



Before we got on the boat though, we (Tom, Charlie, Andy, Patrick, Ty, Jill, Anna and I) spent the last three days in Panama City, in a cheap hotel, ramming around town looking for motorcycle parts while trying to make sure we saw enough stuff to satisfy ourselves. Most of what we saw consisted of the Panama Canal, the back of taxi drivers’ heads, and the bottom of cans. But nevertheless we were enjoying ourselves spectacularly.

Our first day in Panama City landed us at the “Panama Passage Hostel” which is meant to be specifically for overland travels in cars or on motorcycles. When we arrived as a group of 6 motorcycles with 7 people, we were the most motorcycles that had been there at one time.



For some reason or another, all of us besides Patrick decided to leave the next morning and head into the city to find a hotel where we could easily leave from to find motorcycle parts. Patrick opted to stay as he planned to store his motorcycle there for a month while he visits family in Europe. For Patrick, his motorcycle trip is over, for the rest of us, it has just begun.

In the middle of all of this, my foot has been giving me a bit of a problem and had been giving me a bit of pain. I cut myself in the water in Bocas del Toro and for some reason or another it ended up getting an infection. It looked like this.



Now, three days later, it looks just fine.

During our three days and nights in Panama City we went on the search for motorcycle parts. Specifically, we were looking for a new rear sprocket, front sprocket, chain, front and rear tires. Both of our chains (Tom’s and mine) are shot, and we need new ones. In the long run all that we purchased was a new front tire for me (solved my wobbling issues), some chain lube, and a couple of cheap spare helmets for future passengers.



We’ll be spending a few days in Cartegena when we arrive in Colombia, and it is there that we plan to make certain and find ourselves new chains and rear tires along with sprockets.

Besides that, we did a whole lot of nothing, EXCEPT the last night we all went out. Some of us came back early in preparation for leaving the next morning to meet the boat in Carti (myself included). Some others (Ty, Jill, and Charlie) decided to stay out a bit later and they inevitably had a fantastic time.



Ok. I should mention that I am interpreting all of this, but you can see for yourselves.


I first heard them come back to the hotel at 1:35 in the morning. They were very happy, and all of them were soaking wet. There happened to be a pool at the last bar that we were at, and they all hopped in with their clothes on. No problem. Charlie specifically thought it would be cool to hop in the pool and throw all of his money in the water around him so he could be surrounded by money in a roof top swimming pool. That is exactly what he did. I found him while he was drying the money out…. He was happy with himself.



There was quite a bit of money.



And that is how some of us spent their last night in Panama City. It was quite an effort by Ty, Jill and Charlie, but the best was yet to come. Here, my friends, is the Money Shot. Pun intended.



The next morning started off a bit slower then intended, which was slightly intended in the first place, as we never intend to get on the road as early as initially intended. So maybe it was intended.

Tom bought a spare helmet for his bike for the next 6 months. Anna would be slated for the first use of the helmet.



Anna is getting on the boat and going to Cartegena with all of us bikers at the same time. So, we moved some shit around, tossed her on the back of Tom’s bike and took off. Along with Anna we also encountered the same Dutch girls that we first met in Nicaragua, and then again in Bocas del Toro.



They ended up with helmets and all 10 of us hopped on 6 motorcycles and took off for the Panama Canal. For after all, you can’t NOT go to the Panama Canal when you are in Panama City; that would be a joke!

And so we went to the Panama Canal. These photos are for you Dad!

We first arrived at the Panama Canal and parked the bikes. Here is a shot of the visitor center.



Once inside the visitors center there is a museum to check out, a documentary video to check out, and an observation tower to see the locks from. We were all in a rush, as we left the hotel later than initially planned, and needed to meet our boat at around 1pm.


In our rush, we didn’t have time for the video or the museum, but we made sure to make our way to the observation deck to get a good view of the locks. No boats were passing through while we were there, but you got a good idea of how the system worked.

In the morning, the boats come in from the Pacific and exit out into the Atlantic.



In the afternoon, the reverse happens and boats enter the Canal from the Atlantic and exit into the Pacific. It’s quite the enterprise when viewed in person.



Look Dad, I even took a shower, wore a clean shirt, clean pants, and combed my hair! (I have more than just this one)



Next up was a group shot of all the guys that have ridden their motorcycles all the way here. Only Andy did not ride from the United States.



We snagged a photo of Tom and Anna as well.



Tom and I got the necessary shot of the two of us. Tom didn’t comb his hair…



The Dutch girls got in on the photo shoot as well. Though there is more of that to come.



Another self portrait



Kim and Roberto showed up at the Canal just a short while after the rest of us, and I was able to snag this parting shot. Kim isn’t coming along on the boat ride, and instead opted to stick close to Roberto until his scheduled flight home on Aug 5th.



When we got back out to the parking lot, we met another guy on a motorcycle from Argentina. He rode a Honda Transalp.



A group shot of the Ten of us that rode to the Panama Canal. This also served as our time to say our goodbyes to anyone not heading south from Panama to Colombia, namely Patrick. Damn it. Patrick is a cool dude. I know you’re reading this Patrick. You’re cool.



Then came the obligatory bike and bikini shot. The Dutchie’s (as they have been known) bought helmets at the mall in preparation for a motorcycle ride. I agreed to buy one of them, $30, (I’ve been meaning to buy one for a while now) if they would hop on my motorcycle in their bikinis. For all of you guys at home, not currently on motorcycles traveling, these photos are for you.



The lighting wasn’t that great, and the photo shoot location a bit rushed, but these will have to suffice.



Someone suggested a pose, this was as good as it got.



And there you have it, girls on bikes! You’re welcome guys. (Send me a private message & you’ll receive the other photos…..)



It wasn’t too long before we left the Canal and headed out on the wrong road headed for Carti, the location where we would find the Stahlratte waiting in the harbor to winch our bikes onto the boat. Well we eventually found our way onto the right road and in less time than expected we found our way to the boat dock, and spied this about 100 meters away.



It wasn’t long before a dinghy was dispatched and started taking people out to the boat.



Ludwig the Captain arrived and there began the start of our crazy boat hysterics. We were in for a good time.



In no time at all, we were all on the boat, and headed out to anchor. We don’t even know what to expect.



And there began our Trans Caribbean sailboat ride. What happened DURING is yet to come. Stay tuned. If you’re lucky it’ll be up in a couple days.

--Alex
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  #69  
Old 31 Jul 2011
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Thumb Cartegena Colombia! Adios America Central, Bienvenidos a Suramerica.

So we left Panama, and got on board a 100+ foot steel sailboat, headed for the open seas to cross with our motorcycles to Colombia. Awesome.

Look at me everyone! I’m on a boat!



What’s up Tom? You’re on a boat too? Awesome.



The boat is basically three levels. The bottom deck which serves as the main sleeping quarters, the main deck which serves as a hang out spot, swimming platform, and napping area, and the top deck which held the main table where our meals were served.



The crow’s nest served as the highest point on the boat. I dutifully climbed it to take a look. Capitan Ludwig says it is 20 meters. That sounds about right. So. I jumped. Andy has the video as proof. That comes later.



Our first night on the boat served as a good welcoming to the yachting lifestyle and we all slept well on board the boat.



The second day served as a day to pick up the rest of the passengers that would be sharing the voyage to Colombia. There were quite a few of them. We were 25 in total including 4 crew members, from 10 different countries. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, USA, France, Spain, and Colombia.


After we collected all of the passengers, it was on to the next spot where we hung out for the day, snorkeled, swam, drank , rum, rum+coke, rum+tang, and rumpunch. Lots of rum. Oh, and we smoked some of Andy’s cigars. Thanks Andy!

You guys remember Jill right? You’ll see Ty again later.



I found the Hat and Sunglasses on the boat. I was able to negotiate keeping the hat, but not the sunglasses.



Anna and Tom were relaxing as well.



Anna smokes a mean cigar.



All the while, the pelicans are scoping out the scene, looking for more fish to snag.



It wasn’t long before most of the men were shirtless, and most of the women were in bathing suit tops. It was hot on the top deck. Ty followed suit of Capitan Ludwig and whipped out his man speedo



The Capitan was already ahead of him. Meet his daily attire. No matter where he was, he wore the same bottoms.



We had a barbeque dinner on a small island beach that night, and everyone went to bed mostly drunk, it was a good thing that we didn’t have to move very far the next day. Lots of people were hung over.



It was a hot day the next day as well. Ludwig was in good form.



The rest of that day consisted of a whole lot of hanging around. A party was brewing, and the storm (drunken passengers) was on the horizon. What would happen? Well, s would be drunk, but nothing happened until after our excellent dinner of Lobster!



It started off mildly, and Anna wasn’t full of enough liquid courage to dance yet, though she did get on the table.



Everyone was only slightly off kilter at this point, and Anna was a bit early.



THEN! All of a sudden, we had two men on the table, and the Aussie, and the American led the show!



When Charlie stepped down, Ty took over the reins.



Well Charlie hadn’t had enough yet damn it and he was determined for more. So he stripper danced the table while Ty got caught in the pole.



Have you had a look at Tom in that photo above? He’s LOVING IT!

What next!? Charlie! Charlie! You fiend!



You might ask yourself what is going on. Needless to say, it is confusing. However, I will explain. Charlie is simply the precursor, and is getting the party started. Why aren’t the ladies on the table? Well. Charlie made that happen.

But not until he showed them PERSONALLY what he wanted to see.



That’s right Charissa, work that pole.



HARDER!!!



Can we please, PLEASE have a round of Applause for Charlie, the amazing Australian who effectively pulled not one, nor two, but SEVEN women onto the table? Well done Charlie!



Keep in mind, he’s still showing them what he wants to see.

But he, nor anyone else for that matter, was so lucky.



As time progressed, things became a bit more toned down, and Andy entered the scenes with a new cigar.



But Floyd (shirtless in center) picked up the pace again and a conga line ensued.



The most relaxed of us all took it easy that night. (Good thing too as the next day and a half called for 30 hours of nonstop sailing…) Meet Martin and Line (Lee-Neh)



........ story to be continued.
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story continued...

Every night onboard the boat we witnessed lightning storms in the distance. It only took about 20 minutes, but I finally snagged this shot.



Oh shit! 20 minutes of spazzing out and snagging lightning photos took my eye of the game! What is going on over there?



Charlie!? Did you make that happen? I think you did. I am sure you did. Well done Charlie. Hat’s off.



Well…. Damn… That was a way to end the night. Time for bed. What time is it anyway? 3 am? Shit. We’re sailing tomorrow? Shit. Fast forward 10 hours, and at 1pm you witness Charlie sleeping off his famous night.



The sails were up, and the boat was moving along at about 8 knots. We were sailing ahead of schedule.



We had bright blue skies and fantastic weather.



Donato, the Spanish, non-English speaking crew member liked to hang out wherever he felt comfortable. It was his turn for watch duty, and he dutifully kept watch.



It was soon thereafter that we sighted land. Colombia loomed in the distance. Colombia…. Here. We. Come.



Georgie Boy was still tired from the night before. He had a wild night as well. George is a British guy ridding a 2008 BMW R1200GS. He bought his bike in Mexico and has spent the last 8 months in Central America. Charlie met him on his way down, and henceforth he’s part of the group if he wants to be.



A new culture, country, and continent awaits us.



The skyline is quite a bit different then what we are used to by now.



As a reminder for us, I snagged this photo. Every line marks a purchase, and every rum notation marks a bottle of Rum. I drank Charlie’s Rum, and bought the coke. Thanks Charlie!



Our last breakfast together!



And the first in Colombian territory!!!



Why are you so happy Ludwig? Is it because 21 passengers just paid for themselves along with 6 motorcycles and that bag you have has over $11,000 dollars in it?



OR is it because you are about to see how many ladies you can purchase?



That’s Ludwig saying, “Ya Man,”.

And this is Janina (Ya-Nina) saying she might have a price!!!



Holy Crap. We’ve just had the best 5 days of our journey thus far. Can you believe that we have 6 more months of this Debauchery!!!

--Alex
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  #71  
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Your thread is now the second most viewed ride tale on the hubb!
I cant wait for the next chapter
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  #72  
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Hey guys and gals

Thanks for the post dirtypot, I look forward to posting my next chapter as well, it's going to be a very intense one. Stay tuned!

--Alex
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Hey guys, I've just spent the last few hours reading this entire thread! Keep up the good work, look forward to reading future reports. And most important of all, keep it shiny side up!
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Son of a Bitch, Round Two.

Hello everyone. Here follows an account of my motorcycle accident that occurred yesterday, August 3rd, 2011. Please read, and if available, offer suggestions or advice. Thanks in advance.

Yesterday Tom and I left Cartegena, Colombia, at around 12pm. We made it about 80 miles north to a city called Barranquilla

Right about that the entrance to the city there was a lot of traffic.

We needed food, and we needed gas as well, and I saw an opening in the left oncoming traffic lane, (A big opening)

SO, I looked behind me, looked ahead of me again, and then took the left turn.

Tom was behind me, and behind him, out of NOWHERE came a BIGASS box van/cargo vehicle. (Think 20 tons)

Apparently he was moving too fast to slow down for Tom and me, and instead, he saw an opening in the left lane (oncoming traffic) to pass us (on a double yellow line). Well instead of passing us, he just straight up clobbered me while I was crossing the left lane heading to the gas station. I only saw him at the last second and had the time enough to punch the throttle wide open. He hit my motorcycle behind my where me body sits, and impacted squarely on my left pannier case, destroying the pannier rack (the pelican case is alive, and fully protected the motorcycle).

My rear end slid out to my right, then the rest of my motorcycle caught up to me, and I went down on my left side and started sliding. While sliding I hit a 17 year old pedestrian who later ended up with 3 stitches in his wrist but nothing more. He walked away from the accident.

I too walked away, straight into an ambulance to the hospital.

Vehicle insurance is compulsory here in Colombia, and Tom and I bought our insurance on Tuesday the 2nd. The insurance took effect at 12:00am on Wednesday. The accident occurred around 3pm. The motorcycle insurance covers my health. I am hoping that the truck drivers insurance will cover my motorcycle. (I know he has insurance as he presented it to the police at the same time)

I was completely fine, EXCEPT

My motorcycle landed very hard on my left leg and pinched/compressed it between the pavement, and fractured my left fibula just above my ankle.

I was taken to the hospital where x-rays were taken, and I was shown the diagnosis describing my fracture.

I had two options.

Option Number 1: Either a cast for 6 weeks, resulting in immobilization of my ankle and foot, resulting in the necessity of physical therapy after my ankle bones and muscles atrophied for a month and a half.

OR

Option Number 2: Receive a small’ish incision under which would be placed a plate with screws to correct the break in my leg and help me heal in 3 weeks. I would maintain mobilization, and it would further reduce the need for physical therapy.

That was yesterday.

This morning (August 4th, 2011) I received a healthy leg swabbing, and an injection into my back between my vertebrae (Similar to an Epidural I believe) which numbed me from just above the waist, all the way to my toes. When I could feel no pain nor move my legs, I had a 5inch or so incision cut into the left side of my left leg just above my ankle.

Soon thereafter, a plate was inserted, and connected via 8 (EIGHT, f’ing) screws to my fibula, securely supporting the break.

I was then stitched back together with 11 stitches, x-rayed again to confirm success, and then dismissed with Tom to go to the hotel room that he secured.


Like I said, Tom and I bought obligatory motorcycle insurance on Tuesday August 3rd , yesterday. The accident happened 32 hours later. Today, I left the hospital not having paid a dime. Also, before my treatment, the police officer told me straight to my face, regardless of my insurance, that Colombia has a common health insurance policy and that no matter what, that I shouldn’t pay a cent. It didn’t come to that however, and gratefully my insurance wasn’t a problem.

The last thing to see is how much I can get from the truck drivers insurance to help me replace side case racks, side cases, and top case.

Currently the police are hashing it out, confirming damage inquiries with the insurance adjuster of the at fault party. The police officers (there are 3 (?) of them, 2 in their late 20’s/early 30’s, and one who’s 40’ish) took Tom’s account of the story, and my account, and stood nodding as I recounted my story, confirming after that what I said must be the truth, and that the truck driver was being less than honest. (The truck driver claimed to be next to Tom when I turned left. Tom HEARTILY denied that)



An account of the accident, please keep in mind the rules of the road are not necessarily the same here in Colombia as they might be where you live. I am not an expert either.

We believe that the truck driver never slowed down when he came up behind Tom and I. (I lead in front of Tom). As there was ample space on our left side (against oncoming traffic, though a double yellow line) we believe that the truck driver saw that as opportunity to maintain velocity and also pass us as well. Unfortunately for me, he never left his lane (the one we three we traveling in) until the precise moment that I made a left hand turn into the available gas station lot. As there was ample free space and no oncoming traffic, I used the opportunity to slow down in the opposing lane of traffic before entering the slightly dipped entrance to the gas station.

Before taking my left turn, I looked ahead against traffic, behind me, and again ahead against traffic. Then I made my move. I first saw the upcoming, fast moving truck when I was nearly perpendicular to the road at a 90* angle. Upon seeing the truck, I accelerated quickly and was able to move my position forward slightly. The truck then impacted me and the rest is history as written above.

I would like to think that there was something that could have happened differently. Of course, I could have waited to turn left, but I saw amply room. I could have not slowed down, but I didn’t want to enter a closed gas station lot at 25mph. I could have looked one last time, but the truck wasn’t coming until I turned.



I asked Tom, who was directly behind me less than 20 ft in the opposite lane position what happened from his point of view. I was leading in dense traffic in the left hand lane position. Tom was behind me in the right hand lane position.

He told me. “I saw you make a turn for the gas station, and just as I went to follow you a truck appeared to my left, moving rapidly. The truck obscured my view, and I only heard the sound of the crash. But, that truck must have been moving very rapidly in comparison to the rest of traffic or it would never have been able to accelerate into you as fast as it did, nor would it have appeared in my field of vision as quickly.”
It was Tom’s observation that the truck must have been moving rapidly in consideration of an attempt to pass us. It was then that I turned and was clobbered.

Having written all of this, please know that I am fine. Yes I have a plate and screws in my leg, but I am alive and well, and have no plans on stopping my journey. My pannier racks are toast, and top case a write off, but my motorcycle is just as it was and is in ride-able condition as proved by the police officer that loved every minute of his ride to the police station on a bike with 450cc’s more than his standard issue DR200. Yes my girlfriend arrives in Bogota in 17 days. I hope to be there then, and continue traveling south with her to Peru. If anything I’ll be able to have her bring me down some new equipment to replace my battered stuff.

So, in hindsight, can anyone offer me legitimate advice when dealing with Colombian insurance agents, police men or other officials? My health has been taken care of, and that is not the issue now.



I would like to see if I can get any sort of settlement to at least help cover some of the cost of replacing my motorcycle luggage as every cent helps, and I believe firmly that the accident was not my fault.


Also, if anyone has some decent suggestions on how to go about it, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Also, I’m thinking about replacement panniers for Kristi to bring

down. What’s on the menu?


Forever onward!








--Alex
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  #75  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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Nice one

nice blog, good photos... noticed a lot of hot girls in there for good measure.. i like.
Seán
Honda Vs The World | Alaska to Argentina
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Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

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Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




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