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Eric Hall

XLADV Rides Central and South America

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It's time I went on a real adventure motorcycle trip!  I've been wanting to do one for years but with kids <18 I didn't want to leave home just yet but my boy is 18 and finishing high school soon.  And the the Wuhan virus has destroyed 10mm jobs so far so unless something comes up soon I'd rather be on the road than sitting among 4 walls burning a few grand/month doing nothing.

What do I ride?  Don't think I'm going to bring the 990.  It's still in great shape but it's a 2011 with 35k miles and perhaps not as easy to service in those countries.  Oil changes are a pain and it tends to go through fuel filters and pumps.  I think it's easier to just sell it and get a new one.  I sent an email out to some mfg contacts hoping I can score some kind of sponsorship.  I don't know that anyone can get them more reach and impressions over 12-18 months than I can.  The deals of a free bike are rare but more common are media discounts (25%) or discounted purchase of a used press bike or just a loaner bike I return when done.  If I have to buy my own bike, fine but it will have a wrap on it so plain you won't even recognize the brand, lol.  Tolga did that with his 1090.

I know the new 790R and T700 look pretty cool but maybe I should stick to truly XLADV than medium sized ADV?  BMW 1250 and 850 GS's are nice.  KTM 1290 and 1090 are great too.  Honda Africa Twin is a spectacular choice too.  Triumph 900 Tiger or even 1200.

Timing: I'm taking my son to Hawaii in late July so I was thinking August but may as well stick around for High Sierra and leave right after that in early Sept.

Gear:  Great question!  I already have a bunch I can re-purpose but will need a lot of hard parts specific to the new bike like crash bars, pannier rack, luggage rack, pegs, etc...  I would hope to get suspension tuned once again by Konflict if Alex is up for that and maybe even Woody's Wheels (a dream).  Seat Concepts has been really good to me as well as Fasstco (pegs, bars).  I can use my Wolfman Rocky Mountain bags as they are still in great condition or something else.  Rigg Gear is a sponsor now and they make good stuff too (Tracy Charles using those now on her trip).  Motoz tires (GPS) for sure.  Sena I'm all set already.  I have a nice gopro style camera from Akaso too that's perfect.  SPOTX and Spot Trace and their Global Phone.  My Klim Carlsbad suit is almost 4 years old I think but still in great shape.  I'm sure they'd help me out if I ask nicely.

In terms of what I want to do along the way?  Well obviously see a lot of really cool new places and meet interesting people.  I'd also like to string a series of water projects along the way with Motorrad Angels as they have a network of volunteers along the way from Mexico all the way down.

At this point the logistics planning starts in terms of planning what travel docs I'll need, insurance, crossing the Darien gap, etc...  The options there are either crating your bike and flying it from Panama City to a city in Colombia or via boat.  That's like $1,000 each way I'm told.  The dollar is much strong now so that will be wind in my sails.  In Colombia it was 3,200 pesos/dollar not too long ago and is now 4,000 so my money will go much further.

Route: At this point I really have no idea.  I was thinking Baja peninsula down then ferry over to mainland but truth is I've been to Baja more times than I can count so maybe do that on the way back.  Lots of cool places in Mexico I'd like to see.  Not keen on Nicaragua right now but you gotta do it to get between Honduras and Costa Rica.  I have lots of friends in Colombia so I'm sure I'll spend more time there but really want to see Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.  Not excited on Guyana, Suriname or French Guiana.  I did Bolivia before and didn't do Uyuuni salt flats but honestly don't want to put a bike in that type of destructive environment (salt water).  I've heard from a lot of travelers that crossing back and forth between Chile and Argentina is fun and lots of great wineries.  I honestly have no interest in Ushuaia either.  Too far, too cold, too windy.  Not really worth it from what I've heard.

What do you think?

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I did it 2 years ago- any bike works. Go for it! Take your time I rushed it in 4 months- so much to see. Enjoy and go for it. Believe it or not a Dr650 or 650gs are the most popular bikes that I saw but I took my 1200gsaW . Has some issues in Peru with front shock but it’s all part of the adventure! 

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Great that you are going, it can only be good. The new 700 Tenere should be out by the time you leave maybe you can massage them into giving you one, to prove the new model. So many good choices of bikes out there. Wishing you the very best on your planning and promotion to get a good bike & equipment. 

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On 4/4/2020 at 6:07 PM, Eric Hall said:

And the the Wuhan virus has destroyed 10mm jobs so far so unless something comes up soon I'd rather be on the road than sitting among 4 walls burning a few grand/month doing nothing.

What????  They stopped making 10mm wrenches and sockets???  World will fall into chaos soon...

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On 4/4/2020 at 6:07 PM, Eric Hall said:

6FA7F469-3FDA-41AE-A494-FAAB6E91D5FA-4684-0000026D0661667D 2.JPEG

It's time I went on a real adventure motorcycle trip!  I've been wanting to do one for years but with kids <18 I didn't want to leave home just yet but my boy is 18 and finishing high school soon.  And the the Wuhan virus has destroyed 10mm jobs so far so unless something comes up soon I'd rather be on the road than sitting among 4 walls burning a few grand/month doing nothing.

What do I ride?  Don't think I'm going to bring the 990.  It's still in great shape but it's a 2011 with 35k miles and perhaps not as easy to service in those countries.  Oil changes are a pain and it tends to go through fuel filters and pumps.  I think it's easier to just sell it and get a new one.  I sent an email out to some mfg contacts hoping I can score some kind of sponsorship.  I don't know that anyone can get them more reach and impressions over 12-18 months than I can.  The deals of a free bike are rare but more common are media discounts (25%) or discounted purchase of a used press bike or just a loaner bike I return when done.  If I have to buy my own bike, fine but it will have a wrap on it so plain you won't even recognize the brand, lol.  Tolga did that with his 1090.

I know the new 790R and T700 look pretty cool but maybe I should stick to truly XLADV than medium sized ADV?  BMW 1250 and 850 GS's are nice.  KTM 1290 and 1090 are great too.  Honda Africa Twin is a spectacular choice too.  Triumph 900 Tiger or even 1200.

Timing: I'm taking my son to Hawaii in late July so I was thinking August but may as well stick around for High Sierra and leave right after that in early Sept.

Gear:  Great question!  I already have a bunch I can re-purpose but will need a lot of hard parts specific to the new bike like crash bars, pannier rack, luggage rack, pegs, etc...  I would hope to get suspension tuned once again by Konflict if Alex is up for that and maybe even Woody's Wheels (a dream).  Seat Concepts has been really good to me as well as Fasstco (pegs, bars).  I can use my Wolfman Rocky Mountain bags as they are still in great condition or something else.  Rigg Gear is a sponsor now and they make good stuff too (Tracy Charles using those now on her trip).  Motoz tires (GPS) for sure.  Sena I'm all set already.  I have a nice gopro style camera from Akaso too that's perfect.  SPOTX and Spot Trace and their Global Phone.  My Klim Carlsbad suit is almost 4 years old I think but still in great shape.  I'm sure they'd help me out if I ask nicely.

In terms of what I want to do along the way?  Well obviously see a lot of really cool new places and meet interesting people.  I'd also like to string a series of water projects along the way with Motorrad Angels as they have a network of volunteers along the way from Mexico all the way down.

At this point the logistics planning starts in terms of planning what travel docs I'll need, insurance, crossing the Darien gap, etc...  The options there are either crating your bike and flying it from Panama City to a city in Colombia or via boat.  That's like $1,000 each way I'm told.  The dollar is much strong now so that will be wind in my sails.  In Colombia it was 3,200 pesos/dollar not too long ago and is now 4,000 so my money will go much further.

Route: At this point I really have no idea.  I was thinking Baja peninsula down then ferry over to mainland but truth is I've been to Baja more times than I can count so maybe do that on the way back.  Lots of cool places in Mexico I'd like to see.  Not keen on Nicaragua right now but you gotta do it to get between Honduras and Costa Rica.  I have lots of friends in Colombia so I'm sure I'll spend more time there but really want to see Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.  Not excited on Guyana, Suriname or French Guiana.  I did Bolivia before and didn't do Uyuuni salt flats but honestly don't want to put a bike in that type of destructive environment (salt water).  I've heard from a lot of travelers that crossing back and forth between Chile and Argentina is fun and lots of great wineries.  I honestly have no interest in Ushuaia either.  Too far, too cold, too windy.  Not really worth it from what I've heard.

What do you think?

Dude! I'm excited for you this trip sounds amazing. I kinda like the Baja then ferry to the mainland idea mostly because the ferry sounds like a cool experience. 

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21 hours ago, WADE-O Potato said:

Dude! I'm excited for you this trip sounds amazing. I kinda like the Baja then ferry to the mainland idea mostly because the ferry sounds like a cool experience. 

The "ferry experience" as I've been told is typically kind of bleak.  lol.  I hear it's an overnight deal, a bit choppy, not cheap and the accommodations are not that comfortable.  But I'd do it if I wanted to go that way.  I've been to Baja CA Sur 4 times but never on a bike.  I've been to Baja CA Norte more times than I can count, just not south of Bahia de Los Angeles.  I love Baja though.  We'll see.

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3 minutes ago, Eric Hall said:

The "ferry experience" as I've been told is typically kind of bleak.  lol.  I hear it's an overnight deal, a bit choppy, not cheap and the accommodations are not that comfortable.  But I'd do it if I wanted to go that way.  I've been to Baja CA Sur 4 times but never on a bike.  I've been to Baja CA Norte more times than I can count, just not south of Bahia de Los Angeles.  I love Baja though.  We'll see.

Ah well then I wouldn't do it either hahah. I just think that Baja has enough riding development of GPS tracks it might be easier to have a fun shake down ride. Then if you need something shipping shouldn't be to hard. 

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I sent a letter out asking (begging) a few mfg's to cut me a deal for a new bike somehow.  Not common to get someone to just give you a bike and I do not claim to deserve one, it's just that if I'm doing this trip for 9-18 months then I'm not going to showcase their bike essentially for free like I did the 990.  I heard back from Triumph USA and they say they have a demo bike sales program and I will look into that further to see if it's a good value.  But my thinking if they're selling a $20k bike for $17k, I can get the same value on the used market already.  If they want to sell it to me for $12k then the $5k diff represents the value of me riding their bike and featuring it over the entire trip.

If I can't get a good deal then I'll just buy my own bike, wrap it so you can't tell what it is and refuse to tag them lol!  Hopefully it won't come to that as I can't think of many who will get them more impressions and reach in 9-18 months on Instagram than me.

I have a friend who told me about his used 1200 GS triple black.  Great bike and a great choice for touring but I started to think about being fully loaded up on 50/50 tires (Motoz GPS) riding on a 150 mile segment of deep sand in Bolivia and thinking another bike might work better.  

Thoughts?

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I got a lot of really great support from top notch vendors on the 990 but one in particular I won't name gave me quite a meager discount.  Now for your everyday adv riders that's not a bad deal at all but they make more money off me than their wholesalers and mfg's were already offering me a much better 40% off.  This vendor never shared the photos I sent them (because they weren't particularly internet savvy at the time) and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and I've been reluctant to even attempt to mention their name again.

I'm not being a diva but I've helped put a few mfg's on the map here in the US and beyond and have proven I deliver what I say I will do.  I've also seen riders with good looks maybe but low reach/impressions get free bikes and then quickly flame out.  I'm confident these industry players will get more value than their initial outlay.

That being said though it has been unfortunately all too common for gear makers to sponsor riders and then get nearly nothing in return to show for it.  They give anywhere from $400 to $2,000 in value and then get maybe $100 in value in return in terms of reach/impressions.  I don't blame them for being skeptical.  It's a cost of doing business to put your name out there but if you can prove you'll deliver more value in impressions and reach than their cost then you're going to score more deals than most.

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9 minutes ago, Eric Hall said:

I sent a letter out asking (begging) a few mfg's to cut me a deal for a new bike somehow.  Not common to get someone to just give you a bike and I do not claim to deserve one, it's just that if I'm doing this trip for 9-18 months then I'm not going to showcase their bike essentially for free like I did the 990.  I heard back from Triumph USA and they say they have a demo bike sales program and I will look into that further to see if it's a good value.  But my thinking if they're selling a $20k bike for $17k, I can get the same value on the used market already.  If they want to sell it to me for $12k then the $5k diff represents the value of me riding their bike and featuring it over the entire trip.

If I can't get a good deal then I'll just buy my own bike, wrap it so you can't tell what it is and refuse to tag them lol!  Hopefully it won't come to that as I can't think of many who will get them more impressions and reach in 9-18 months on Instagram than me.

I have a friend who told me about his used 1200 GS triple black.  Great bike and a great choice for touring but I started to think about being fully loaded up on 50/50 tires (Motoz GPS) riding on a 150 mile segment of deep sand in Bolivia and thinking another bike might work better.  

Thoughts?

 

Would the Triumph be the new 900 Tiger or are they selling you the old Platform? If it’s the old platform I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze. I also have zero experience with the triple motor or really triumphs in general so I couldn’t make a recommendation either way. I think you’ll just need to sit down and be brutally honest with yourself about what kind of trip you want to have. Personal experience is when I  hadn’t thought about selling my 2012 R1200GSA but when my wife got her R1200R LC and we started doing more road trips I had to sit down and think about my options. I would love to own a dirt focused machine 701, HP2 Enduro, or something in that category. However, I was honest with myself that I needed something to do road trips with the wife and still be able to do off reading/ ADV touring when it was just me. My 2017 R1200GSA ticked all the boxes for me with one being I love the R motor and shaft drive. So to circle back around I think if you are going to do much more technical or harder dirt maybe a smaller “XLADV” like a 790, T7 or 850GS might be better or if you think you’ll be pounding a little more pavement and still need it to be dirt worthy then maybe go with 1200GS/A or find a good used 1290. One thing I will say BMW wise is unless they are giving you a crazy good deal i wouldn’t go for a 1250 over a 1200. Reason being is I don’t think the shiftcam motor is enough of a step up to warrant the extra price. I think the best value would be a 2016 or 2017 right before the refresh and pre TFT so the used price will be a little less be still basically the same. That’s just my long winded .02 cents 

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11 minutes ago, Eric Hall said:

I got a lot of really great support from top notch vendors on the 990 but one in particular I won't name gave me quite a meager discount.  Now for your everyday adv riders that's not a bad deal at all but they make more money off me than their wholesalers and mfg's were already offering me a much better 40% off.  This vendor never shared the photos I sent them (because they weren't particularly internet savvy at the time) and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and I've been reluctant to even attempt to mention their name again.

I'm not being a diva but I've helped put a few mfg's on the map here in the US and beyond and have proven I deliver what I say I will do.  I've also seen riders with good looks maybe but low reach/impressions get free bikes and then quickly flame out.  I'm confident these industry players will get more value than their initial outlay.

That being said though it has been unfortunately all too common for gear makers to sponsor riders and then get nearly nothing in return to show for it.  They give anywhere from $400 to $2,000 in value and then get maybe $100 in value in return in terms of reach/impressions.  I don't blame them for being skeptical.  It's a cost of doing business to put your name out there but if you can prove you'll deliver more value in impressions and reach than their cost then you're going to score more deals than most.

i can for sure see companies being pretty gun shy at the email title - Going on ADV looking for sponsorships - However, I think you have enough credibility being “XLADV” that will help you out a lot. The one thing i like about the ADV aftermarket community is for most of the people I have interacted with they have all been great and it feels almost family like. I’m sure that’s not entirely the case but I think ADV companies are generally more helpful then other riding demographics companies. 

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You may have seen the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro I test rode recently.  It's really a fantastic bike and Triumph had reached out with a very good offer.  They have about 5 press bikes they're selling and three of them are the Rally Pro I'd be interested in.  All have just minor cosmetic damage: a few scratches, some missing or cracked hand guards and mirrors.  No big deal.  It would make a fine choice but my only concerns now are that it's the first generation of this new model, there are limited aftermarket parts available now (more by Sept for sure) and not as many dealers south of the border.  It's a fantastic bike though for sure.

I'm talking to Ducati tomorrow so I hope to have more news then.  I met their CEO at IMS Long Beach and he's a great guy.  We collaborated on a new skid plate for their Desert Sled Scrambler last year when I was the US rep for that hard parts company.  I'd be most interested in the new 1260 Multi Strada Enduro or the 950 Enduro.  My friends Sergio and Ana of Endurolandia down in Colombia all ride Ducati's now too.

I reached out a second time to Honda but didn't get a response.  I know all they've done in the past are sales of press bikes and it's entirely likely they just don't have any right now for sale until August which is an option too.  They've been really good to XLADV; better than anyone really.

Another option as well is just taking advantage of this covid19 fallout which is most likely devastating the market for used bikes.  I'm sure I could get a good deal on a low miles bike of my choice.  But then I really have no idea what that would be yet 🤣

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Tiger 900 Rally Pro

IMG_5141.jpg


Ducati 1260 MS Enduro

04A6EA0F-FA7F-416A-80F5-28C1D849EE9E.jpg
Ducati 950 Enduro

IMG_5168.jpg

 

This is Tolga’s 1090R he’s selling. He got some deal from KTM on it but it was an EU spec bike so he had to buy a US frame to register it here and figured he’d paint it his own choice of color. I think it looks good and think it would be funny to keep people guessing what kind of bike it is. Only 10k miles. KTM gave our ThumperTalk publisher deals twice before but not me for some reason. Someone else pointed out they don’t really need to anymore as they have all their factory riders and RedBull etc now doing all that for them.

IMG_5127.jpg

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