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  2. Hi there Eric, I was never a big fan of Panamint Springs other than a place to fuel. It has seen so many changes over the years it's hard to keep up. The resort itself has been in rundown condition and debilitated since the mid 80's. The Cassell's have not done much to improve it. Mostly just bandaid repairs from one year to the next to keep it operating. I know there is a big following to the resort but I just don't see it myself. My only worry is the fuel station not being there anymore. Panamint Springs is really close to all the major trailheads in the North end of DV and a good place to fuel when coming off the Southern trails. Stovepipe Wells is my main go to for fuel, lodging, and supplies in DV.
  3. I’d like to talk more about batteries! I recall when I needed my first battery replaced on my GSA people seemed to recommend Yuasa over and over. I did what they call in market research speak an “unaided awareness” study on our IG story feed for what brand of batteries come to mind and sure enough the #1 is Yuasa. I had one on the 990 but it was a 2011 bike I bought in 2015 with just 3k miles and had sat for years without being ridden and I replaced it with a lithium ion one. Lithium ion batteries are light, last a long time and can sit for long periods but weight isn’t really an issue on a 500lb bike and they don’t like to start in the cold, not to mention reports of fires. For this long term trip I’m going to get a Yuasa because I really don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere needing a new battery.
  4. Kyle did a short review on this Trails End tank bag I’m using now
  5. So this sucks!!! Due to so many covid lockdowns, Panamint Springs Resort May have to close permanently. This means the bank may bull doze it forever. This is my favorite spot in Death Valley. Period. And I don’t want to see it go. Raw link here to raise funds: https://gf.me/u/za565w?fbclid=IwAR32YGzuuY84rcbrURiZeiTfMbdJCujGeXQ1aGK93mSDZIYVjo4UTmcYZx8 They’re at about $5k now.
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  8. My friend Michael Jones does a better job than I at telling what it’s like riding in Peru. We rode with him for a few days then they had to go back... “I have in the last two weeks had basically two trips…One from Pisac to Macha Picchu returning to Pisac on 21 and then a trip all around and back to Macha Picchu region and beyond with Tom Palmer and Eric Hall which just showed up from Colombia to retrieve their bikes trapped in Cusco back to Lima… .I should have looked at the map 1700 miles of beautiful , awe inspiring roads into the high Andes and Lower river valleys that were hot (extremely) 111 degrees one day…600 KM of very rough dirt roads…Dusty and hot….I did not realize until the 2 day these two were on a impossible mission to get back to Lima to catch a plane back to Bogota and the realization they had no time to stop, but blast right through to their destination….Two and half day with them and I was shot….no more energy….We departed each other they went north and that is when I realized their was no easy way back except backtrack or go another route the only other one available….Instead of two days 3 ½ days with a final 12 hour marathon day to get back to Pisac…..Most of the back areas have limited or no cell service….Two nights in dumps and two night in ok hotels…You pull in and you have one priority….Get in and shower and go get some food and to bed…Lost sleep two nights, because of heat of the room with no air , fan, etc… The other issue I fought the entire two weeks….BUG Bites….My ankles were hit to the point of both legs swelling up and numerous bite sites….all of this with bug repellant applied and still these bugs bite…fleas, flys, mosquitoes… All a part of adventure riding… If you could have all been alone with me outside of the sheer physical output you would have traveled in some of the most remote places in the Peruvian Andes…The people go from the Remote high altitude Indian tribes that live above 12000 ft, most without electricity, in literally dirt houses, dirt floors, walls and thacked roof to the lucky ones with a tin roof….These people have virtually no money, live off of a complete agricultural base and live the life most have had for 100’sd of years…These people for the most part want to be left alone in their lives….They are not very friendly and are scared of you for the most part. At about 11 to 10000 ft you will you will have the converted intermixed people that still live in the dirt houses, but these have some electricity, maybe a small three wheel hack, or small motorcycle for family transportation…They might have schools in some of their towns, but none of them are open because of the covid…These people have a little money from their crafts, farming activities, but are also extremely poor…they are more friendly….This is also the country of the cocoa leaves farming…Since it is extremely high and dry it must be a perfect environment to grown and You could pick up huge bags of the stuff right on the road….I make cocoa tea and it does help with the high altitude….fresh milk and cheese can be found….Alpaca meat, lamb and pork are the meat of choice alone with fresh fish from the highland lakes…I am extremely lucky to be there in an extreme drought..Last year was the opposite and rained and flooded apparently…I am in their rainy season, but only caught by a few rain showers….The temperature goes from a high of 111 f to 49 degrees f during the day…At night over 10,000 ft it can go to freezing…… Riding these back roads is really the experience of any adventure riders lifetime…In the USA in Europe yes you can get into the mountains and go around them and sometimes over their lowest passes…In Peru there are high flat glacier planes for 25 miles high planes at above 12000 ft because it is the only possible level areas..These are where heavy glacier graded the areas…then you go down to about 9000 feet and back up again….unending sweeper curves, double switchbacks, many places no guard rails where you would never survive the fall. There are constant grim reminders of the 1000 that have gone off into another world…They build little shrines, some with pictures in them of their loved ones….In Peru there is no traffic control…You can ride as fast as you like , you can pass on any blind curve and I have seen police drive even worst than most of their crazy drivers….They are insane and they do die for it…I try to be safe, only overtake when I can see clear, blow horns on the severe turns and still you face a decision to hit the ditch or be hit…Many of these places I do not think you would be found for quite some time…If every…Track your phone I guess might work… The last wild frontier…All of central America is much more developed….Colombia and Ecuador are also very developed compared to Peru….Peru is a land that a large majority of the people just have a basic education or no education….This contrasts Lima where the masses are gathering, but all in a large city environment…Peru will stay this way, because of vast Amazon forests in the west and the vast high altitude mountain regions…The eastern flakes are some of the poorest, barren desert like areas in the world…I know why the Sarced valley was so treasured by the Incas….It is the only place with water, good soil and cool environment….That is where I am now in the valley , the sacred valley of the Inca… Citizen ship I could get very easy here and I might to be able to have a better ID…They take in all major nationalities…Lot of German, Russian, European people here for that reason The economy make no sense however…I would starve here as you must find a way to make it with people with no money to spend for anything… No doubt it has changed my life …as I fully respect the USA for everything we enjoy in life….Anyone would be in total awe of the USA…It seem impossible for them to realize just some of the basic things we have… Still hoping soon the countries will start opening up their borders to land travel…..I MUST continue my pursuit of the southern reaches of this continent….Patogonia and beyond… I have thousands of High resolution photos which eventually I will share with you…Not easy down here Everyone have a wonderful Christmas season and if you have your health you have everything…I have it all, good health and love for life…I miss the most being with my grandkids…my grown up kids, and at my home and business….Miss everyone…Lauren has been holding my fort down with courage, wisdom and hard work… My son has been very impressive with all the balls he has to keep in the air for his personal life and business life ….All of you are my support link back to Home and I will come home… Sincerely Michael Jones”
  9. Wow! We did quite a few miles of amazing tracks both dirt and pavement. Started out in Cusco and didn’t know if the bikes would start after 9 months but they did! (Thanks Yuasa). I rode a 2013 GSA just like my old one and loved it for the most part. Suspension sucks and the tank bag was too big but I made it work. Got new tires in Cusco (Mitas e07 front, Motoz Desert HT rear) and hit the trail and met up with two other riders in Pisac, Michael Jones and Julia Goloskokova. Super high passes and set a new record of 15,837’. Saw some cliff hanging hotel rooms too!
  10. Earlier
  11. I will get some posted soon. My BMW is down at the moment due to a slight shifter issue.
  12. Welcome, Michael! Id love to see some pics of your bikes!
  13. Hello from Houston Texas. I am new to the adventure touring world. Currently I have 2 bikes, a BMW 1200K (1999) and a HD 1200 Custom (1999). Been looking at adventure bike as they ride in areas that mine cannot go. At same time looking for some areas in the South Texas region that would make for a great ride.
  14. Tom and I made it to Lima and spent a few days getting Dennis’s bike sorted and today we flew to Cusco to finally start some riding. Hope we can get the bikes sorted tomorrow and go but worried about the batteries. Did an interview with Eduardo in Honduras yesterday about the two hurricanes they got slammed by. Huge need there now so we got a fundraiser going on FB.
  15. Made it to Medellin and have done a bit of riding here on a ‘13 GSA just like my old one. Went to see some waterfalls. Encountered a single mom (Venezuelan) on the street selling candy and we talked to her a bit then gave her 100,000 pesos which is about $30. She cried. [emoji26] Have my own riding partner here too [emoji6][emoji106] Leaving for Peru tomorrow to get two bikes back and do more water projects.
  16. Simons Racing bought Clearwater Lights last year which probably explains the drop off in service.
  17. So this story continues to unfold... Some guy named Jaysun(sp?) from WA reached out on our FB page and seemed upset I was “bashing” Clearwater. I explained I wasn’t; I was simply inviting them to explain the situation and was an opportunity to address the riding community. I’ve heard stories like this before with Klim gear and with the parts mfg I helped out a year ago and when you hear both sides it usually sounds a bit more reasonable. I worked for a multi family developer once and read the customer service call logs and was concerned I’d hear a lot of serious problems but was surprised to find most were small issues or deranged people. One woman complained about ants in her apartment but turns out she wouldn’t allow pest control inside. At the parts mfg this guy complained for weeks the part wouldn’t fit his bike but we’d sold thousands of the same part that do fit. So I thought this was dead given I’d not heard from anyone from Clearwater but then this guy Jaysun writes back bellyaching about me “bashing” Clearwater. I said look, we’re a forum and we talk about this stuff there. Feel free to voice your concerns there and it will add to the discussion. That didn’t seem to fit his agenda so he wrote back more pointedly about how I’m bashing Clearwater at which point I told him to F off. Then he posts a screen shot of our conversation on another unrelated FB post that I saw this morning so I banned him. So once again I will freely invite anyone from Clearwater or a friend of Clearwater to come to this thread and tell us their side. I reached out again yesterday and found that both Matias and Izzy chose to move on and buy lights from Baja Designs. I checked into the three main led mfg’s and here’s what I found: Baja Designs Squadron Kit: $525 with 30 day satisfaction guarantee and limited lifetime warranty. Cyclops Adventure products Optima Kit: $299 with lifetime warranty (not crashes). Clearwater Darla Kit (lowest price option): $624 with “guaranteed satisfaction” and 1 year warranty. They add that they’ll work with the customer to make sure they’re satisfied and I think that’s what we’re dealing with here. I suspect Matias’ and Izzy’s lights were out of warranty and Clearwater said they’d fix or replace but for a fee since they’re out of warranty. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me but at the same time I understand how these guys feel. For $624 you expect a light not to leak and fail after normal use.
  18. Spent two days in Puebla doing mostly nothing then rode back to Mexico City in the morning to pick up some laundry. Turns out even though they had it for 5 days they said it wouldn't be read until 6pm! So I waited around until then and visited the local Triumph dealer and said hi. I rolled out of Mexico City to go back to Queretaro (quieter, less expensive, less gritty) and traffic was a total nightmare! Took me 90 min to go 20 miles. I could split maybe 20% of the cars but the trucks were just too wide. Then once I got out of the city it got really cold, down to 41 degrees. My heated grips and seat worked well. The seat at one point was too hot so I turned it to low but then later got so cold I turned it back to high and that really helped. Got to Queretaro in about 3.5 hours for what is normally a bit over two. Saw a nice winery the next day with a riding buddy. Great food and wine! So I finally got a ticket to fly to Miami on Tue then Medellin Wednesday to join Tom Palmer (Motorrad Angels) in his quest to get some bikes back from Peru. I may be in Medellin for about 5 days then a short trip to Bogota then we'll go to Lima to do some paperwork stuff for Dennis's bike and be there for a few days. Cusco we'll fly to and get the two bikes there set up with new tires, oil, battery, etc... then start riding them back. Tom says he wants to go through Bolivia to see the Uyuuni salt flats which would be cool. I was there in 2014 but we skipped Uyuuni because it was the wet season. Tom wants to be able to camp but it's a lot of room in my carry on to bring my tent, bag and pad so I'm going to push back on that one. It may take us 2-3 weeks to get back to Medellin and I'm sure we'll do some water projects along the way. I will most likely stay in Medellin until after Christmas and then fly back to Mexico City in January to resume my trip. Tom wants to ride to Ushuaia at some point but not sure if I'll join him. He was also mentioning Asia which would be amazing. We'll see!
  19. Excellent interview with swiss camera man from LWR, LWD and LWU:
  20. Ride with a club from CDMX called Comunidad Discovery that Dubanok introduced me too. Day ride to Puebla and I ended up staying here. Saw Popocatépetl for the first time. It was smoking a bit too. Will head back to CDMX today to pick up a few things then return to Queretaro. Kind of in a holding pattern until I head down to Peru to help Tom retrieve a bike. Will ride it back to Medellin and stay there a while then fly back here and resume the trip.
  21. KTM costumer service is the worst that ever you can get!!!!! I have so many problems with them, after 3 months of many claims no answer at all!!! never again
  22. Hi fellow two wheelers, Izzy here, wanted to add to my story on BMW MOA. In actuality, when I called Clearwater lights I told them that I was not the original purchaser and I knew that according to their website it's out of warranty. However I did pay extra for it when I got my 2015 GS1200 and even though it was used, still was not cheap. I was told toship the defective one and they will REPAIR it for $150. I thought it was outrage price, when I can buy Baja Design S1 light, comparable in size and illumination for around $200 with a lifetime warranty. Maybe my expectations are too high for a product costing $600-$1200?? I guess I kicked a hornets nest, but found very sympathetic crowd as well
  23. I'm funding my own trip but you're right, Tom is going to pay for my flight. But it's only $188 lol. I'll be here a few more days. Met a friend of [mention=3957]Justin Mackie[/mention], Dubanok, here in CDMX who runs a moto shop for a Chinese brand called Zontes. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CG3RcPepf4P/?igshid=6ekaerjq447o Great drone shots too https://www.facebook.com/eric.hall2/videos/10164472600205215
  24. So I noticed the other day a friend of mine, Izzy, had a problem with his Clearwater lights and wasn’t happy about how it was resolved. He contacted them and they said they’ll replace for $150. I posted that on IG and now our friend Matias of TwoWheelsSouth posted something similar. I don’t know to what extent this is a problem but I’ve always heard good things about these lights. On the customer side the feeling is hey, I spent about $1,000 on lights and expect better. On the vendor side I understand that once a warranty period is up then that’s it. All I know though is I have $300 lights for five years now with no issues.
  25. I vote to fly to Peru, especially if its funded by someone else!
  26. César showed me a great place to mount and balance my tires yesterday. They gave me a deal of $15 but it’s normally just $40! Motoz were great and had a bit more left even at 6k miles but not sure where I can get tires next so I went with these since Motoz are sold out here. I may move on south next week or May fly to Peru to help Tom Palmer get two bikes back to Medellin. I will store the bike here and come back later.
    I ran these at the 2019 Geico Adventure Rally in Julian (Nov 7-10), and on the road and trails after that for over 7,000 miles total - still had plenty of usable tread, I would guess could make it 8k easy with bite left - These are fantastic tires, homerun Dunlop. The Breakdown... Handling, profile, cornering: I have been a sportbikes & track days rider many, many more years than I have been playing at getting my tires dirty. These tires on my adv have excellent street manners, you can chase down crotch rockets on your way to the trails just fine. They don't have as aggressive a fall-in while cornering as some of the other tires I have run, the front seems to have a gentler profile, just took some slight getting used to and they are fantastic on the road. Noise: None How do they work off-road?: I am just an Average Joe+? ADV rider, I will easily call these tires worthy of 50/50 title, all day, take it or leave it. I rode out to Font's Point and back which was relatively sandy the entire way with no "line" to speak of, and as long as I kept giving gas, I didn't fall on my ass, no herky-jerky feedback in the sand from the front, just pushed right through. Did Boulder Creek to the falls or whatever it's called and up to Eagle Peak, and that fap-worthy hard flat high speed dirt after that.... on the fast routes you can just riiiiiiiiiiiip, for the more technical black diamond bits, I never felt like the tires let me down. All the other blue routes we ran that had good-good dirt I think my buddies I was riding with would agree I was having a blast ripping around on these tires, the rear has such a consistent and predictable spin when grabbing throttle that you can probably get too comfortable going faster than you should be on a not knobby tire off-road. That being said I never felt like the rear or front were going to danger-level step out on me. Tire wear: At 700 miles, can't tell if any tread-depth has been used at all... the fuzzys are gone though. The edges of the treads are rounded off slightly from sand, and wheel spin in dirt, but I think after I street these back and forth to work for a few weeks they will be sharpened back up. The tread didn't tear, or chunk out at all during the rally despite being used.Sidewalls: The tread extends down the sidewall I am not an expert dirt or sand rider at all, but the tires did well in the sand I was in at my average level of sand things, I did feel more confident than I have in times past... Not sure if that's just a good day, or maybe these tires are doing something right with the extra grabby thingies on the sides. For you air-down types, these might be a good tire... seems like at least the rear has a much stiffer sidewall than I'm used to. Do they wobble in rain grooves: Nope, NOT ONE BIT... YAAY!... Not while cornering well north of 80 on grooves either. Do they look rad: Yes, I also rode them to the local dealership and you might say they brought all the boys to the yard. Speed test: If I was a betting man, I would bet that if someone had tested them in this manner... these tires are just fine above 3 digits. Balancing: I use a static balancer, these took a lot less time and weight to balance than big blocks, probably just luck but the rear needed zero weight. In summary, they did really well at the Rally, and continue to be great daily commute and weekend trail warrior tires at the same time. We hit easy, medium, and black diamond at the rally and I was never anywhere thinking to myself "F these tires", instead I was continually surprised at what I was getting away with that they were just doing the things that needed doing for being 50/50 - after 7,000+ miles they never lost their bite, and still had plenty of tread depth left. Eric just put them on for the next part of his SA trip... lol they might take him damn close to the end. In summary I will say these are absolutely the best 50:50 tire out there, and every bit deserving of that designation. They are NOT knobbies, they will NOT perform like full knobs, but if you want a tire you can comfortable cruise freeway speeds on all day, and then get away with a lot more than you might think off road all weekend... all while having ridiculous high mileage... then give these a shot. TIREPORN: Fresh set: Mounted on the 800: Rear tire tread shot: The Front tire tread: Balanced easily: End of the 2019 GEICO ADV Rally in Julian: Rear tire with over 7,000 miles on it:
  27. I met Cesar and Sandra last night. They are the lead volunteers for Motorrad Angels Mexico and super nice people. Getting my tires replaced today. Going to explore here some more.
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