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Old 27 Sep 2008
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Location: Denver, Colroado
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Preparation for Argentina and Australia

For more Travel Journal entries and pictures you are invited to visit my website: MikeHappens.com

This weekend I took the new BMW Dakar motorcycle to Bob's place in Phoenix, Arizona for two reasons. First, I needed to pick up the much needed panniers (metal saddle bags), that ended up costing quite a fortune. Second, Bob has been nice enough to allow me to park my bike at his place while I'm away so he can make much needed adjustments to it.

Let's start with the first point. The Jesse Luggage panniers are very light metal cans that will allow much more luggage space. Since the cans increase the width of the bike I will be able to stack up duffle bags across the back seat and lay it across the panniers. Before I left for Arizona I ordered the panniers over the phone so I wouldn't have any problems with availability when I picked them up. Believe it or not, expensive metal cans are high in demand. However, once I arrived at Jesse Luggage I realized I would have to install them on the spot since I had no room on the bike to load ‘em up and install them myself at Bob's. The installation fee wasn't so bad and took over an hour for three of us (yes, I helped) to figure out what goes where. If I had not paid these guys I would have been at it all day as mechanics really isn't my thing even if it does have instructions.

Since my motorcycle is a '03 much has been learned about it by others who have the same model. Many online reviews and tutorials have suggested tinkering with certain aspects of the bike to get better mileage, more torque, and, on the more physical side, add crash bars to better support the frame and engine for my off road madness. As I will be flying back to Argentina next week to finish up my South American Adventure, Bob has kindly allowed me to store my motorcycle in his garage until I return. Bob is currently in Guatemala playing around in Antigua so when he returns mid October he'll kindly ‘tinker' with my bike; adding, removing and adjusting parts. I simply have to order the equipment online and it'll be installed by Bob. It's good to have friends like I have.

When I fly to Argentina next week I have two goals. First, make it to Ushuaia (southernmost city in Argentina and the world) and return. Also to take into account, Buenos Aires is an addicting place and I'll be lucky to escape south on my motorcycle with little more than a hangover. Second, sell the bike. These two conquests must be accomplished within one month.

It may not sound like much, but trust me it is. As you may recall the motorcycle had to be taken completely apart to fix the engine. I have not seen that it is truly fixed (I can only take the word of the mechanic) so if something happens along the way to Ushuaia then I'll surely be held up more than a few days.

The motorcycle is still financed and I only have a copy of the title (that I've been passing to border control police as being original). The financing company has never given me permission to take the motorcycle out of the country, let alone through eleven countries, so I may run into some trouble selling it on those grounds. If I cannot sell the bike then I'll have to store it in Buenos Aires for I'll surely return... some day. Upon success this will be the end to my year long ‘Denver to Ushuaia' odyssey. But, alas, my gallivanting ain't done ‘til Rosie O'Donnell sings.

My flight back from Buenos Aires arrives in Denver on November 5. I'll have literally just a few days until I meet up with Bob and Wayne at Bob's place in Arizona. The day I get there I expect we'll throw ourselves a going away party and head for Los Angeles, whereupon we'll crate up our bikes and load them on a ship bound for Australia. But, for me, there's much that has to be accomplished for that to be possible.

My current financing company, Public Service Credit Union, will not let me take my motorcycle out of the country, which leaves me just the following options: find a different financing company that will allow this (unlikely), pay it of with a credit card (I'm already in credit card debt), forge the title (Australian authorities would figure that out), or contact BMW and have them sponsor me with a free bike (please?).

I also need to apply for a Carnet (pronounced Karnay). A Carnet is a bond that is purchased for a large amount of money, usually around 800-2,000 dollars, that allows me to pass through borders without paying taxes or any other charges that would usually apply making the border process much easier. Obviously a Carnet is not required but it would certainly make life a hell of a lot easier. I can easily recall spending hours upon hours sitting at Central and South American borders arguing with the patrol. Such fond memories those are. I also need to apply for a China visa - a pain in the ass and a different story.

One last thing I need to take care of is my website design business. Programming will be commenced this week so I can launch the new interface before the first of the year which will provide an incredibly greater source of income, or so I believe. Lucky for me I have the best programmer in the world.

Thanks for reading.
For more Travel Journal entries and pictures you are invited to visit my website: MikeHappens.com
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Old 28 Sep 2008
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 657
thanks for the update

Mike, not exactly sure how we can help but there is a motorcycle community in Buenos Aires looking after and learning from a very diverse group of international motorcycle riders.

If you have any specific questions I and others(check Hubb) here will be more than happy to advise you of what we have learned from years of experience in South America.

Elisa and I visited our ranch in Flagstaff earlier this year. We are residents of Argentina now... Have you been living in Phoenix?
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Old 30 Sep 2008
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Location: Denver, Colroado
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Hey there,
I actually live in Denver but I just rode my Dakar motorcycle over to Phoenix so my friend Bob can add on some parts while I'm in South America riding my other motorcycle that I rode down earlier this year. I fly to BA tomorrow and I fly back to Phoenix in early November to get started on shipping our bikes over to Australia.

My motorcycle is currently parked at Dakar Motos in Vicinte Lopez, Buenos Aires.

I might need some help selling my motorcycle in Argentina (although I heard Paraguay was a better option). I need to have it sold by the end of October, because like I said I fly back to the States in early November.
If you know of somebody that's interested in a 2003 BMW F650CS with less than 20K miles let me know.

Where are you guys located in BA? We could meet up for a or something.

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Old 30 Sep 2008
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I just got done reading this:

Wow, great information. Thanks.
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Old 1 Oct 2008
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Location: Buenos Aires - Argentina
Posts: 413
Hi Mike again
Be careful, in Spanish is a phrase than says: “No todo lo que brilla es oro.”
Something like: ”Everything what shines isn’t gold.”
Legally and possible are not the same. And possible means than sometimes is not.
Maybe we should have a chat with a coffee as soon you arrive……
Saludos and see you on Thursday.
Dakar Motos

“El mejor remedio para la Boludez, es la Inteligencia…”
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