rtwPaul

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rtwPaul last won the day on January 9

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    The new kid on the block – MotoZ Tractionator GPS – above and below This might be a company and a tire you haven’t heard of, but you will. They are from Australia and are giving Heidenau and Mitas a run for their money. On and off the road they just feel better than the other two…especially on the road it feels like a 100% street tire. In light dirt and graded stuff, they hook up. The biggest difference is in the wet, the Heidenau and Mitas let you know that they aren’t there for you 100%, but the MotoZ does. These are the tires we are running right now on our two DR650’s and we have ridden on pavement, graded dirt, dirt, rocks, sand, bulldust, light snow/ ice and torrential rain and not once have I had to think about the tires…they just do what you want them to do. To date we have 4000 miles on the set, the rear still has more tread left than a Heidenau or Mitas comes with, and the front shows virtually zero wear! Personal Opinion – I would buy 100% the MotoZ Tractionator GPS, for long distance national or international travel where I was going to ride 50/50 or less I have done a review on lots of the most common tires after riding over 400,000km on various bikes, different terrains and numerous countries, it here -https://rtwpaul.com/2018/01/21/tires/
  1. We asked around to see if we could go out of town heading west, the answer was a solid no, multiple bridges out and rivers at around chest height so with no alternative we headed back out the way we came in.Coming out of Batopilas after a night of heavy rain you kind of expect new landslides, and there were a few but luckily no new big ones like we had passed on the way down. so the ride up was free and clear of new obstaclesAs the Copper Canyon was mostly washed out we did a couple of solid days riding to get a little more south hoping for better weather, via Parral and then onto Parras de la Fuente.What we found on the way was bad gas, the possibility of not making it as my bike was intermittently cutting out every 20-50 miles. Initially, I thought water in the fuel from all the heavy rain but as it wasn't consistent it could only be dirty gas occasionally blocking the jets for a fraction of second...but enough to make you go "oh shit!" as the bike dies then kicks back in.Finally making it and reuniting with Thomas and Sandra in Parras who had gone ahead to find the four of us a hotel with heating, what they found instead was unseasonably cold weather and all but one hotel did not have heating (or cooling) and as they are telling us this, this white stuff came from the sky...As a rare treat, we booked into a suite, now before you go thinking we suddenly came into money, no! A single room with one heater was 800 pesos, but a suite with two bedrooms and a common living room and two wall heaters and four gas heaters was $1000 pesos.Almost got Thoams to celebrate with some cheese puffs The following day things were back to normal and we discovered Gus Fring might have come back to lifeOnce the weather had warmed up we went our separate ways again, San Luis Potosi was our destination for a few days surround by the amazing architecture from the 17th century and the occasional statues, scary and then not so much As we cook for ourselves most meals we tend to go shopping in local markets and look for bargains and unusual food but we're always amazed at the selection of various goods that are for sale but no one seems to be buying, at least when we're around Once we had our selection we headed back to our hotel and along the way went by a washing machine store, now for those of you that have read Egle's ride report you'll know good things happen in washing machine stores, so we thought we'd ask a question - 200cc, 4 stroke, 5 speed, kick and electric for $1125, another $80 for registration and a plate and you are free to travel Mexico or further, and as an added bonus they throw in a helmet! If you haven't, you need to read her ride report HERE and think about what an adventure could be for a small amount of coin. (sadly Photobucket 'stole' the photos of the first 12 pages)then you could just blend in with the crowdWe got a message from T & S to meet up, I had suggested Real de Catorce and they agreed so we took a few back roads, (the surreal new years eve picture) and arranged a meet at the bottom of the cobbled road leading to the town.***note: I have a few new photo programs so will be throwing the occasional curveball in, once in a while...like now. The reason being, there are good photos and lots that hit the cutting room floor so to speak, but occasionally a really bad one, can be made a little unique if its looked at in an alternate manner - so how about a watercolor?or a full blown tone mapped HDR while we waited for T & SR14 never disappoints, so here are a few as we wandered you can google translate this one...All those hills and walking make you hungry?We must have had the stink of good food on us 'cause every dog on a rooftop new we were coming
  2. It's time for that money talk again and all things RTW cost-related...and to help you guys that want to get out here the real cost of world travel Let's call this - Money/ RTW costs 2.0 We get asked a lot how we afford this lifestyle, so, due to that question for the last two years, I have tried to keep more detailed daily records. I know from all my travels as a solo rider worldwide that I spent, average per day - 2011 $552012 $652013 $442014 $462015 $42...but that's about all I can tell you, hence this! If you go back to page 81 I did a detailed breakdown of costs and this is a follow-on to that to show you it wasn't a fluke.A month or so ago Egle wrote an article for advpulse 'search finances' if you want to go find it. To do research she asked in a few various groups what they were or had budgeted for their time on the road, the question was very simple - total cost divided by the number of days on the road, that is what YOUR budget was/ is regardless of where you ride.It caused a basic shit storm as riders argued about it all depends on where you ride, what you ride, what you eat, how long you go...adnauseam. Well, that wasn't her question, she's the journalist and will do the deeper involved thinking and interviewing once she had a range of people to talk to, but it was hilarious to read as each successive person tried to be better than the last.One couple stated they'd ridden RTW for around 3 years on two bikes and only spent about $50k, impressive!Until directly asked for details when they came up with a second figure close to $120K! Why the big difference, they hadn't included things like shipping, visas, unique visits to places, clothes and lots of other random things...they didn't feel these were costs of the trip so weren't included in the budget.This is no help to anyone because if people tried to follow the tracks they would be done in 18 months. Basically, they tried to look good to the masses but when asked their $50 +/- a day was actually more like $115 +/-, not sure what their point was, why even bother or lie to yourself, they weren't included in the article.The reason I bring that up is to let you know this is real costs, everything is included, bar one item. That one thing is the new(ish) bikes we switched to. I could have sold my Super Tenere and bought and set up the DR's but instead and not been out of pocket, but, I decided to help a friend who had lost a lot of possessions due to excessive medical bills, one of which was his motorcycle, I gave him my bike for the remaining duration of our trip and 'found money' for the DR's - so in my mind the bike swap is a wash!For the riding year 2016 I stated this - GRAND TOTAL ONE YEAR ON THE ROAD = $24,034.74 or $65.85 per day avg. If you want to know where we rode in 2016 go back to page one, but it was 26 countries, mostly in Europe and some of them a couple of timesSo what's changed?In 2017 we have ridden in the following countries - Greece Italy Spain Andorra (for about 10 minutes) France England USA Canada Mexico We have also shipped (air freight) the S10 from England to ArizonaAs in 2016, I keep a track of all expenses in four simple categories for 2017 - Fuel/ Food/ Accommodation/ Miscellaneous or everything else. I guesstimated the budget for Europe to be $82 per day and North America at $75, this is for two peopleyes I could be more accurate and take note of how many liters of fuel or oil we used per bike, MPG, how much for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner, haircuts, new socks etc. but for me I don't find that information necessary, I just want a solid yearly figure and a little detail. YMMV1.Fuel - this is just fuel nothing else at allFuel Cost for the year was - $3596.30 or $9.85 a dayFrom April onwards we were on two bikes, ironically switching from one bike to two our fuel costs decreased by $33.62 year on year2. Food - just food nothing else, from restaurants, bars, street food or supermarket food cooking for ourselvesFood costs for the year were - $8212.49 or $22.50 per day. Our year on year food costs increased by $750.91 year on year3. Accommodation - this is hotels, hostels, Airbnb, camping in a campground or wild camping, staying with friends or other invites from riders worldwide. (huge thanks for that all of you that we met throughout the year)Accommodation costs for the year were - $4732.86 or $12.97 a day. Our year on year accommodation costs decreased by $88.904. Miscellaneous - this is everything else, oil changes, tires, new boots, ferries, shipping, air freight, mail, visas, museums etc. I just make a note daily so I can see where the money went but don't break the details down more than thatMisc. costs for the year were - $7279.23 or $19.94 a day. Our year on year misc. costs decreased by $450.35 year on yearOur biggest expense of 2017 not surprisingly was getting the S10 back from Europe, a one time hit of $1668.65, for the bike and us to be back in the USOverall grand total costs for the 2017 year are - $23,820.88 or $65.26 per day for two people on two bikes for most of the year - or $3290 under the budgeted amount for the yearAs you can see RTW costs have changed very little it was 59¢ a day more expensive last year and we were on the most expensive continent, Europe. Hopefully by me being transparent and telling you all this information you have a better feeling of freedom (if so inclined and able) to get out into the world and see a little more than you thought your money would stretch to.2018 onwards will be interesting for costs/ expenses as it is probably the most traveled route/ direction - North America to South America**** EDIT: As an afterthought, if we had switched from one motorcycle to a van/ truck/ mini RV our costs would most likely be less than riding two motorcycles!The only expense that would be greater would be shipping, so yearly costs might even out due to that.There would have been more sleeping in our vehicle, fuel would be around the same as it is for two bikes IF we had a fuel-efficient vehicle...makes you think?
  3. @Thomas B. and Sandra left a little while before us from Ciudad Cuauhtemoc so they could get a feel for the motor rebuild, we arranged to meet them in CreelOur plan collectively was Batopilas, T & S told us they had help from @Tury also known as Mister Copper Canyon as he'd been riding here since '72 and still riding at 75 and his riding group Chihuahua Motorrad, they had planned to be in Batopilas the same day, but we had no idea when, so we rode kind of not to know when to expect themStopping for a break before the canyon the first rider showed up, telling us he was shooting photos of the group so to watch for 8 more riders behind usAs we rode down to one of the main viewpoints they all arrived, I think we picked a better place to stopheavy rains from the previous weeks had left a trail of destruction the whole way down, from here we rode together to Juanita'sIf you haven't ridden down to Batopilas, it is a bucket list ride for sure, yeah it used to be unpaved and those of us that rode it back then will tell you it was more fun, but its still pretty great now as well - but the canyon is trying to take it back and doing its best to destroy the blacktopthis is @Tury on his DR650All of us get into town and Juanita and Antonio are waiting for us and we do the Hotel entry thing...if you've never ridden in Latin America and heard about parking inside...this is what everyone is talking aboutNeedless to say, we fill the placeNow let me tell you a little about Chihuahua Motoradd, they are one of many motorcycle groups all over Mexico predominantly made up of richer riders and career professionals, doctor, lawyers, and businessmen etc. and love nothing more than to be generous....and some of the most fun guys you'd ever want to meetIn Batopilas they were headed to here...It's a boarding school for indigenous girls from the surrounding 50-60 villages; they come for up to 3 months at a time because where they live there are no schools, or their parents can't afford education. Some of which are Rarámuri people (interesting read) and the guys bring mostly shoes for the girls and footballs (its Mexico its a football, NOT a soccer ball) for them and some of the local boys who live in town. Now don't think this is a one time deal, these guys have donated something in the region of 20,000 pairs of shoes all over Mexico (IIRC) via all the various riding groups!Once the gifts were given to the girls we went out to see the boys, they were really happy to see the guys...once all the fun was finished it was time for a walk thru town, grab a few beers and then a BBQ
  4. Just a quick update, lots more detail in a few daysAlso the annual how much does it cost for a year on the road riding RTW and why aren't you out here, it'll be posted after the 1st of the year so the statements in the basement will be covered.Our quick tour of BCN done we headed to the mainland, I took care of the chore across the border solo in AZ, it was weird to be back in the US albeit for only 90 minutesNot wanting to ride too far in a day after the AZ excursion we headed to one of most northern Pueblo Magicos, Magdalena de Kino a nice little place, we were the only tourists in town which is always fun, because if the locals see you twice they wave and say hello to you, like a long lost friendThe center of the town is dominated by a large domed building that holds the Grave of Father Kino, who died in the year 1711 and is interred in a crypt near the mission he founded. The monument was constructed in 1966 after the discovery of Father Kino's remains, a little weird looking down thru the windows to see thisAfter the post from @Thomas B. we exchanged a few messages and headed his way, and here's a guy who most of you won't know or have even have any idea where he and his wife have ridden - an easy way to explain - EVERYWHERE! They are obviously now in MX but last year rode the BAM and the Road of Bones back to back and he has some killer video in his RR. As I see a few of you like Colebatch's recent videos I know you'll like Thomas' stuff....start at the beginning HERE, he deserves more views for sure on his RR To get to them it was more than a few hours of mountain roads, a stopover in a nowhere town of Yecora, then to their location, CuauhtémocOnly a few hours before we arrived he had put Sandra's bike back in one piece (read his report to understand that), so we decided to ride together for a few days...
  5. thought I'd do a quick check in with you guys...As we live on the road as opposed to taking a trip for a few months or a year or so, once in a while we need to catch up on real life and 'get things done' - some in Arizona and some in Mexico but we are again finally moving.We spent our last night in AZ sitting around the fire talking bullshit, telling lies, drinking beer and eating fruit that wouldn't travelA few hours later we were crossing at Tecate, which has to be one of the most chilled crossings there isSo how do we let you know we really did cross that border and what would be specific to Mexico, perhaps?In the first restaurant, we go in "the Donald" is in a painting wearing a sombrero, looking like he's pinching one off, the last supper is eating tacos and empanadas and drinking coke and our bikes are parked securely inside our apartment!We had a couple of weeks in Rosarito on a cliff top with a friend dealing with an amazing sunset every dayRunning back and forth to TJ on a regular basis for two weeks, I could show bad photos of TJ but, how about this instead, TJ is looking better and better, money is coming in and it has cleaned up a lot since my last visit...and meeting local bikers who show some real uniqueness!parking in the city by day, keeping us secure undergroundOnce all the 'real life' stuff was completed we ran down the coast a little staying at MamasThen went looking for whales who'd been spotted way off the coast of Rosarito, so we went to the #1 spot further south Guerrero Negro, the problem was we travelled south obviously too quick and the best we could do was this!This was our southern point, we'd never planned to hit Cabo, I'd spent a bunch of time down there in 80's and 90's and wanted to keep it like that in my memory and Egle didn't really care to go. After just crossing into Baja Sur by a few k's then we turn back north, and our Mexican adventure will begin to happen.We headed north, made the turn, stopped in to say hi to Coco and drop him some chicken and grab a quick beer before continuing further northThen a little sandJust one more chore, we arranged a delivery in Yuma to make our lives easy, so I make a quick dash across the border for 90 minutes, and now our travels are back on track and can continue at the leisurely pace we like. Mainland here we come...
  6. Egle actually wrote and article about this a while back, so i copied it, deleted enclosed links so hopefully it won't upset the mods, it's pretty informative and as you see we eat well and not too expensively, we probably cook about 80%+ of our meals - Tired of stuffing your face with gas station snacks, fast food meals, and deli sandwiches on the go? Here’s a simple, cheap, and easy guide to going Paleo on the road!Riding round the world (however slowly!) means doing without quite a few comforts – including a kitchen and a fridge. When all your cooking equipment and food needs to fit into one 25-liter pannier, you need a healthy amount of imagination to keep the menu interesting and, most importantly, healthy.I’m an omnivore with an appetite, and my three requirements for food on the road are these:–Food must be Paleo, or as close to Paleo as possible: that is, it should mainly consist of meats, fish, eggs, fresh veggies and fruit. I avoid carbs like plague because I don’t tolerate sugar very well. Plus, if I eat breads, pasta, cookies and fries, that very soon reflects in my diminished ability to do my pants’ zipper up. Very, very soon.–Food must be real, raw, and unprocessed: no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, no weird chemicals, and no MSG. I prefer my food as raw and organic as it’s possible to find in a particular country or region.–Food must be affordable. What do I mean by ‘affordable’? I’m happy to pay a little more for stuff like organic beef jerky or grass-fed ghee butter, but simple foods like dried apples, sugar snap peas or fresh broccoli can be found on the cheap.Needless to say, food also needs to keep for a few days and not be squishy or bruise easily. Because we’re riding as much off-road as we can find, lots of vibration and bumps – including a few spills – are inevitable. Finally, food needs to be prepared relatively quickly. Setting up camp at the end of the day is tiring enough; usually, all we want to do is have dinner, watch a movie or get work done, and go to sleep.These conditions didn’t leave me with much choice in North America – or so I thought at first. For the first month of our ride across the States, I drove my boyfriend nuts poring over labels and religiously studying ingredients of every single food item we considered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It took me a while to figure out what’s what; in Canada, I had to go through the entire process all over again. However, I finally got it all tuned just right – or at least, as best as I could.Paleo on the Road: The Rule of One Fresh IngredientBecause we ride a lot of back country roads and tracks, we often wild camp and avoid going into towns for days. So I have to make sure we have enough food for 2-3 days on end. But even then, I try to stick to my One Fresh Ingredient Rule: whatever I’m making for dinner, it has to include at least one item that is raw. Why? Because we often have to rely on canned food like chicken breast chunks, tuna, or pulled beef, accompanied by instant mashed potatoes or wild rice, it’s important to keep the menu interesting. While spices matter, it’s incredible what difference one yellow bell pepper can make to the same old chicken stew! Another reason is health: raw veggies are a great source of vitamins and fiber.–Bell peppers are usually my go-to: they keep for at least two days even when you’re in hot climates; easy to prepare; easy to carry; can be eaten raw, fried, or added to stews.–Broccoli florets: keep well for 3 days and over; can be eaten raw, boiled, or fried; makes a great side salad or ingredient.–Radish: not everyone’s favorite, but keeps well and is a great addition to lunch snacks and/or side salad.–Avocados: I have a little strategy: I’ll buy a ripe avocado for that day’s lunch, a firmer one for tomorrow and a very green one for the next few days. That way, they all ripen just about in time! Avocadoes are a healthy source of fats and make an excellent breakfast and lunch addition.–Fresh garlic and purple onion: fried or stewed, livens up any meal.–Carrots are cheap and keep well. I don’t like the taste, but for those who do, they can be eaten raw, fried, or boiled, and are very easy to carry.Eat Your FruitNo, seriously: eat your fruit. Grabbing a Snickers bar or a sandwich for lunch is a quick and easy option – but it’s not good for your health or your energy levels, and it’s often out of reach if you’re riding a remote region.Fruit is still sugar, true, but a banana and a Milky Way were not created equal.Here’s a list of my favorite fruit snacks on the road:–Pears. They are usually a little more expensive than apples, but they don’t cause your stomach to bloat and are delicious! Raw pears keep well, although they do bruise quite easily, so I’ll usually keep them in the top of my pantry pannier.–Plums. Rich in antioxidants and packed with Vitamin C, they are also full of fiber which is great for digestion. The keep relatively well and usually are cheap.–Apples. Probably the cheapest and easiest snack option out there!–Pineapples. Great for balanced gut health and tastes fantastic! I usually buy canned pineapple (just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar) for easier transportation. Perfect for after-dinner desserts and treats!Breakfast and lunch: quick roadside recipesAs much as I’d love to have eggs and bacon for breakfast every day, it just isn’t possible on the road. So here’s a list of what works instead:–Oatmeal and avocado. I know, I know: oats aren’t exactly Paleo, but with the steel cut variety instead of instant oatmeal, it’s a slower carb intake so your sugar levels won’t spike as much. Add avocado and a little salt, and you’ve got a healthy five-minute breakfast!–Pear, banana and peanut butter. If we need to pack camp and leave quickly, I’ll make a cup of coffee and wolf down a pear and a banana – or chop the pear into slices and dip into peanut butter if I know a demanding ride is ahead.–Buckwheat, avocado and cucumber. Boil a cup of buckwheat, the only gluten-free grain out there, and add a little salt, chopped up avocado and cucumber. Don’t like buckwheat? Improvise with quinoa instead.–Tuna, avocado, and cucumber. This is my lunch staple: a can or packet of plain tuna (or tuna with olive oil/sundried tomatoes) plus one avocado and some cucumber, broccoli florets, or raw kale ‘slaw. Mix and match to find what tastes best!–Raw sugar snap peas make a great snack, or addition to either breakfast or lunch. They keep quite well and are easy to carry.Fine dining on the roadDinners are a bit of a headache for me. My boyfriend loves “meat ‘n ’taters”, whereas I try to eat as much raw and non-carb as possible. Sometimes I’ll compromise… sometimes, and make two different meals. Here’s a resulting combination:–Chicken and mashed potatoes: add boiling water to instant mashed potato mix and fry the (usually canned) chicken with bell pepper slices in ghee butter (or coconut or olive oil). Preparation time: less than 10 minutes; not strictly paleo, but a happy meal for the “meat ’n ’taters” part of the coalition. Opt for wild rice or quinoa for healthier carbs.–Befriend zucchini. Zucchini is usually very cheap, keeps very well, and is quite filling. Plus, it only takes 3-5 minutes to prepare. I’ll usually add fried zucchini to…well, pretty much anything I’m cooking for dinner. Eggplant or squash also works, but zucchini just tastes best and is easiest for me.–A little fried garlic goes a long way! Add it to your meats and/or your veggies to perk up the taste.–Kale ‘slaw (or beet or broccoli ‘slaw) makes a fantastic addition to a stew or a side salad.–Split peas taste a little weird (for me, anyways), but it’s a healthy choice of carbs, very cheap, and keeps forever. Add avocado and broccoli florets to make a green energy bomb, or add to a pan with pulled beef and bell pepper for a hearty stew or stir fry.
  7. As a RTW rider, there are always questions that come up - This is a question that comes up a lot....how do you pack for RTW trip?...so here we go***Packing is an objective thing, whats good for me may not be good for you - that's the disclaimer done ...but saying that maybe a few ideas may pop into your head if you read this. Regardless of what luggage you take, be it hard or soft whatever the volume you WILL FILL IT - fact!!!If you do take 'that' larger luggage at some point you will hate the additional unnecessary weight you are carrying aroundAs I have been doing this for years I constantly try and reevaluate and reduce the volume I'm carrying but still be comfortable in every situation. Having been fortunate enough to be able to stop back where I store my gear (in AZ) has let me do yet another revision and this is what I will be carrying for at least the next five years - this is to cover both hemisphere's four seasons and on and offroad riding. We may spend a little more at the outset but it pays off if you are on the road for a long time, good gear simply last, cheap gear eventually fails and then you need to rebuy and most likely have now spent more that if you'd just bought the good stuff in the first place. A few months back one of our bikes was attacked by a bear, the luggage was basically destroyed on the exterior so we had options - keep the same or change. We decided to change. We changed up to Mosko backcountry 35-liter panniers and a 25-liter duffle which is 95 liters but we are now carrying less and the weight is lower...i'll explain.We went thru our kit and found we can fit everything we need in the panniers if we want to, and have zero weight on the seat.When we got to AZ we went thru our gear that we'd ridden with for 20,000 miles in the US and Canada, which was similar to what we'd ridden with for the previous year in Europe and looked to see what we could change, it wasn't much but it made a big difference with where we carried the weight, this is huge for us as we ride offroad a lot.So our final packing looked like this - Egle on the left, Me on the rightSo whats in there, let's start with Egle - Hydration pack clothes clothes clothes some toiletries first aid goggles 10-liter bladder 2-liter bladder kitchen helmet Klim gloves Big Agnes sleeping pad Bear safety alarm Lacrosse mining boots Sunglasses and waterproof/ shockproof camera 1/2 of tent Big Agnes sleeping bag More toiletries and vitamins Computer Mosko Moto 25 liter duffle - empty ***not shown - bike cover, heated jacket, tank bag, 2x Pacsafe, bike lock, Sena communicationLadies, if you need to get more detail she'll be doing a detailed breakdown on her WomenADVriders page soonAs for me - Tools - more detail later Dirty laundry bag Tent Poles Charger/ battery pack (not taken) - Anti-Gravity, failed the following day, third failure from this company...I'm done with them! Towel Big Agnes Q-Core SLX sleeping pad that packs to the size of a can of coke and Round Mountain Pillow that packs to the size of lemon warm weather clothes - 3x t-shirt, 2x pants, 3x socks, 3x underwear cold weather clothes - Klim gloves, Klim Socks, under armor 4.0 leggings and shirt hydration pack waterproof socks - Klim COVERT GTX LINER...just in case, I hate wet feet USB cables Big Agnes tent - Copper Hotel HV UL2, packs very small and has a huge vestibule Big Agnes sleeping bag - Lost Ranger 15 degree Cooking pots - in here is an $8 Walmart pan that we found is better more durable most of the camping cookware Padded jacket (brand?) Klim Krios Helmet Klim suspenders Klim Badlands pants Klim Carlsbad jacket Mosko Moto 25-liter duffle, empty - doubles as a backpack Klim goggles Power/ charging cables/ extra batteries 3x camera - DSLR and extra lens, high-end P&S and waterproof/ shockproof P&S Computer Paperwork Toiletries Lacrosse mining boots, too many failures from 'adventure boots', these have equal protection, Goretex and taller than most adventure boots for a fraction of the cost Klim DAKAR GLOVE Bike cover ***not shown - another 2-liter bladder, 3 piece cooking knife, chain lube, sunglasses, 2x Pacsafe, tank bag, Sena communication, bike lock, cam buckle straps for holding the bag on the back seat and they double as tie downs for ferries and tow straps...from Moskohow much space does all that take up?140 liters, 70 liters per bike not packed tightly with two empty duffles for an extra 50 liters of space for food...tools are packed separately in a tool tubeTools, as a first-time owner of a DR, tools were a little unknown EXACTLY what I'd need, so for the 20,000-mile test ride, I packed a little too much! I now had the time to reevaluate what I was carrying. Laid out in its entirety it looks like this, we have doubles of a few items, just in case we get separated and need to fix a flat or a simple mechanical fix. The doubled up stuff is on Egles bike and will rarely be touched or is for service work or preventative maintenanceThe main tools I carry that I find useful are these below, with these and repair kit I can fix or take apart 95% of the bike and remove wheels for flats. I keep a second pump in my tool tube, spare inner tubes are in the luggage. This is a kit I have pieced together using mostly RRR Tools and Motion Pro for compactness and lightness.I usually end up working on other peoples bikes on the road so I may have a little more than needed for a DRFully packed it is just this big and fits perfectly in a 4" ABS tube with a locking cap on my bike*******This post is also on my website to make it easier to find, but on there I have included A LOT MORE DETAIL*******
  8. We continue to be tourists for the short time we have left in the US. On the ride across the country to drop the S10 off we are filling up at a gas station chatting with a cowboy on the pump next to us when this rolls inhe comments that it looks like the real deal from the movie, I agree, but then he said: "I kinda know, I was in the movie!" He was the cowboy who jumped over the car in Back to the Future 3...talk about a small worldWe carried on thru Roswell because Egle is writing a group of articles about unique people and places for the National Newspaper of Lithuania as we've ridden around the countryThe next person interviewed was one of own @Maximus64 former real deal bull rider, we had a great time with him and listening to his stories and then another article will be about New Orleans so we stopped there as well to see a few things and a few characters So not too much happening in the way of an adventure or dirt, just letting you guys know we're still kicking. We'll be back in AZ at the end of the week to do a little service work on the bikes and I'll do a review of what we carry and what works (for us) and what doesn't as I have been asked more than a few times to talk about our gear. We'll cross into Mexico in a few weeks via LA then the real fun will continue.
  9. thanks, lots more to come, just crossed into Baja and heading to Cuba again, this time to find some offroad tracks
  10. sometimes i will preload or design a track for where i REALLY want to go, other times i just ride. I record all the info and keep a track archive or at least I try to, I have most everywhere I've ridden in the last 6+ years on file, a little over 171,000 miles of ridden tracks and there is probably another 25,000 that for whatever reason didn't record Never used a spot or delorme
  11. DR650 PREP AFTER A 20,000 MILE TEST RIDE In a week, we leave the US to ride south on our two DR650’s, we have just ridden across the US and Canada on what we like to call a test ride, of 20,000 miles. Now there is a little service work to do and a few items to change due to failure, fix some areas that failed, make other areas better and some just leave alone. The bikes are now ready to continue onwards and southwards, we travel s.l.o.w.l.y. to take in countries for a long time when and where possible, we are in the mindset of 3-6 months per country as we’ll ride south and then back north trying to complete a loop of South America Cuba is also on the horizon again, this time offroad when and where possible and Central America (maybe) on the way north – so as rough calculation we are talking years until we speak English as a first language again…stayed tuned Next post will be tools and packing, this post is final prep of the bikes We have got emails asking for more details, so here you go. This is the first time owning a DR650 so the ‘test ride’ was good and offered an insight into how capable this bike really is. If you read the original build thread a massive amount of work was done to the bikes to get them ready, its long and very detailed – here The lists – and I will break them down into more detail as too why if it’s unclear Basic service was completed on – oil change clean filter grease neck bearings grease swingarm bearings grease shock pivot check and set the valves new brake pads Everything else vacuum flush brakes and change the fluid recover seats rebuild carbs air filters and socks chain guard cush drive rubbers sprockets and spares chain swap weld rear rack to add structure side stand foot headlights swap turn signal swap make fairing tool tube swap weld exhaust tank rubbers foot peg spring license plate security screws weld on side stand foot valve cover bolt heated jacket make windshield make front tank mount The basic service stuff is simply that – basic, something we all do; but as we will ride from Arizona straight into Mexico it is just a good feeling to have all new consumables in place. Some weren’t necessary but why ride with brake pads that have maybe 2-3,000 miles left on them and then have the hassle of finding replacements? I know now I’m good for another 20,000 miles or more – make sense? Everything else bleed the brakes and change the fluid brake fluid is a consumable and easily forgotten, it breaks down from heat and moisture. All summer long we were in the ria or in the mountains braking hard, a few dollars for fresh fluid is a no brainer…when was the last time you changed yours? recover seats I had a Seat Concepts and Egle has a Sargent, mine was looking a little worse for wear and she simply didn’t like her’s at all, very uncomfortable for long days in the saddle. New seats are both from Seat Concepts, the commuter. it fits our riding style and is good and comfortable rebuild carbs In Newfoundland, we had major carb issues! The float is held in place by two O rings that I had replaced 10,000 miles before. The had dried out, shrunk and become brittle, this allowed the float to move when riding causing an overly rich mixture because the gas constantly flowed. So as we are now at 20,000 miles into this ride it seemed obvious to check 10 + 10, get my thinking? They were good so all I can figure is I got a bad batch of O rings (I now have spares as well). The simple test here is to check as you put the float in place on the carb body it ‘clicks’ into place, then make sure your float height is correct and replace the float bowl. An added way to check everything is good when on the road is add a small length of clear tubing to the float drain. This is a visual aid – if you crack the float bowl drain screw the level in the tube is held against the carb body should be around 1-2mm above the line where the float bowl attaches to the body. This will save time on the road if you have a carb issue. this way you can check float height at a glance and if you have a stuck float. air filters and socks new filters and socks, again to leave with fresh consumables, fresh filter oil, and a clean sock to make a filter cleaning in remote locations a breeze, we also carry extra socks. Remove side cover take off a dirty sock, put a clean sock on – ride! chain guard The stock chain guard is weak and flimsy so a little repair was needed, redneck engineering – siding and rivets! cush drive rubbers As the bikes were used with 20,000+ miles on them when we got the who knows if the cush drive rubbers were original or not. They lasted until about 38,000 miles then they needed to be replaced but replacements couldn’t be found where we were (at least one month wait) so, I did the quick fix – for those of you that aren’t familiar, a 1×1 inch square of inner tube put in next to the stock rubber adds a little width and takes away that jerking feeling that bad rubbers will give you. New ones installed so good again for around 40,000 miles, maybe enough to ride to Ushuaia? sprockets and spares chain swap These two are obviously together, I have changed from the 525 to the 520 after a snapped chain in Vermont and a bike shop not knowing what a 525 was! Central and South America has a limited supply of 525 chains so planning ahead is required or use a 520 and change slightly more often but have more availability. We carry spare front and rears bolted to the bike so all we’ll need to find is a chain for the next swap…should be good for 30-50,000 miles weld rear rack to add structure the racks we got were not the best and failed after about 12,000 miles. At the time a simple welding fix was done but to add some structure I have added an additional brace between the top and side racks and made so it’s removable when needed. I have a friend who is in the process of designing a completely new styled rack that will be much better and structurally stronger but not heavier than whats available right now, but sadly it won’t be completed until next year side stand foot I simply forgot to add a side stand foot on Egles bike, so just making up for my CRS issues, larger washer and also extended her side stand as her suspension has been reworked and the bike is now a little taller Suspension work, Cogent Dynamics did a service on both shocks and increased the spring rate on Egles as it was a little soft. Their shock is perfect for RTW riding they use common components that can be serviced almost anywhere @michnus headlights swap We rode 20,000 miles with an $8 LED headlight that DID NOT fail, in all actuality it was a great help riding offroad because it was simply more visible than stock especially in dusty conditions and if it had failed a replacement was a few days shipping away. Now we are leaving the US getting a replacement is not so easy so I have refitted the stock lens but used a $15 LED instead of an H4, we’ll run these until they fail and then when needed H4’s are easy to obtain as we ride south make fairing $10 trash can, 3-minute you-tube vid and now we have a windshield turn signal swap the turn signals were on the stock fairing so they needed to be moved, the glue holding them tore them apart so I replaced with a screw-in unit instead mounted onto the Barkbusters, these big Safari tanks limit what will work – mounted just outside the crash zone…hopefully tool tube swap I simply got tired of 3D Tetris every time I need a tool from the tool tube, I had reduced the length to about 20″ from 24″…I went back to a 24″ for sanities sake weld exhaust On Egle’s bike, the rear mount had failed, so a quick fix was done tank rubbers somehow, somewhere I had lost one rubber mount from under her tank when I took it off, replacements were ordered and glued in place. ***note to self, check both sides of frame to see they are both there before mounting the tank foot peg spring One had snapped, this was a first for me, 2-minute fix/ replacement license plate security screws Last year when I was in Mexico chatting with the police they were telling me in some cities there is a policy in place to remove the license plate from the vehicle and confiscate it until ‘the fine’ is paid. If the plate cannot be removed an officer may or may not be waiting for you by your vehicle when you return. Also, theft of none local plates in – enter a countries name – is a thing in some Latin countries like collecting trophies, this is a royal PITA if it happens…solution security torx – done valve cover bolt on my bike the intake/ right bolt always felt like it was about to pull the threads out, I guess because this bike has been touched by so many prior to my ownership, so the few times I had taken off the valve cover I just babied the bolt back in – it just failed! Dam, remove head, drill, and tap, buy a new gasket, reset the timing chain etc… NOPE – the bolt is a 6mm x 1.0 – there is a rarely used 7mm x 1.0 bolt, very lightly and carefully drill the hole out and retap, because the threads are the same pitch, not much material is harmed so the tap makes easy work of it…fixed. It leaves one problem, the head of the bolt is an 11mm wrench, I don’t carry one and really don’t want to for one bolt…grid down the head to fit a 10mm instead heated jacket Egle is cold a lot, so her bike now has a connection fitted so she can use her new Firstgear heated jacket make front tank mount The stock original front tank mount was an aluminum piece, Safari does it to save weight obviously and they tell you if it breaks just order a new one, tough to do in Bolivia! I went to my buddies waterjet and made new stainless ones instead!
  12. UT, ID, OR, CA IN HURRY, THE DGR AND A QUICK RUN BY VoG AND ‘THE DITCH’ When everything is starting to seems too familiar we decided to go and see a few people before we leave the US. We are reviewing all our gear and i’ll do a separate post on it but needless to say it involved a few familiar companies and maybe not familiar locations. We headed out to Idaho to see Klim, left with some ‘new gear’ then it was across the state to see Lendon in his brand new Seat Concepts building, did you know SC makes about 2000 seats a month!!! No wonder they needed to expand to ID Then to the smallest building of all, this one where a luggage empire is growing at an alarming rate, Mosko Moto We are glad to call the companies and owners friends but its interesting how they all seem to have a similar story, small beginnings from a small workshop or a little garage to a worldwide name…so from Egle and I a big thank you doing what you do and keeping us safe, dry, comfortable and able to carry what we need with ease. There must be some magic in the air between the 40th and 45th parallels of the northwest, it is surprising how many companies are in that area. Then it was a very quick trip to the left coast for Egle to meet an associate editor and her husband for a short time in the Portland area, where we missed the DGR by about an hour so i only got scraps at least the bike in the wall art seems right! We have a bunch of stuff to do in AZ before we start speaking Spanish so it was a very quick ride south, taking in a few familiar sights, VoG and what referred to as ‘the ditch’ by helicopter pilots fro Vegas