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Riders Logo.jpg

Thats right we have joined up with Riders for Health chairty!

We are super pumped to help raise money for such a great cause!

If your not familiar with them, Riders for Health  was founded by Randy Mamola , Ex Grand Prix motorcycle racer.  Riders for Heath provide medical services to remote village's in Africa, And they do it by motorcycle!! So check out thier website and you'll see they do great things.

To contribute click here

The First Giving site is approved by Riders for Heath.

All money raised goes to Riders for Health.


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Hey All!P1000358

Well we made it through the first day! We had an uneventful day riding down I-5. It was clear and cold most of the way. With some very thick fog thrown in here and there. Not much to tell you about except we did bank some bike Karma. We were coming into Eugene and a guy was on the side of the road with his BMW. We stopped and he was out of gas. We have a little hand crank pump we use to fill our camp stove from the gas tank of our bikes. Well we busted it out and to the dude’s amazement we instantly pump about a pint a gas in his rig and we were off to the gas station. We then stopped for some BBQ lunch at the Lone Coyote in Eugene. Man was it good. Other than that not much to say. We are now in Grants Pass ready to hit the CA coast tomorrow.

We have a page on the blog that shows our path and where we are – (Click here to see it). This page is delayed by a day or so but we also have a realtime map of where we are at any given moment – (Map Link) if you want to see our GPS track.

Grants Pass to Fort Bragg

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An epic day to ride yesterday – got a late start which inadvertently turned out in our favor. The roads in the mountains were wet by the time we were on them, but with temps in the 30’s they would have been frozen and slick had we been there much earlier.

Just as we came out of the tunnel on 199 and crossed into California the sun came out. Imagine that, Cold and wet in Oregon. Sunny in California. Were talking the distance of 1/2 mile. Both the mood and temp came up instantly. With the road bathed in sunshine we decended some “twisties” to the coast. After stopping for some gas and shedding some of the heavy clothes we rolled down the coastline on 101 to HWY 1. The North end of HWY 1 was made for bikes and we had a blast – probably good the thing was wet and sandy in spots so we kept the speed down a bit. We also played with the the on board camera’s a bit.

Pulled into Fort Bragg just as it started getting dark – filled up with gas and grabbed a crappy hotel room. We were sitting in the bar thinking about dinner and overheard a couple guys talking about how you better not leave the heat on in your room while you’re not there. John said to them “I just turned the heat up and we left, what’s wrong with that?” – One of the guys said “if you didn’t turn it up all the way you’re fine” – and the other said “don’t worry, it’s a dead heat”.  A dead Heat?

My buddy Bert (Jim Bratsanos) also played a little trick on us – he’s been watching our SPOT GPS realtime track (if you don’t know about this – check it out here) – when he saw we stopped for the night he started looking around. Found the gas station where we filled up and then he started calling hotels to see if he  could find us – he left a message on our room phone and sounded like a little kid who just stole his siblings Christmas present – he said he limited himself to 5 phone calls to see if he could find us – I think Bert may have some “issues” but it was fun!

We’re going to head down 101 today and probably end up a ways south of Monterey – down the Big Sir.



Fort Bragg to Pescadero Ca

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PICT0629Another day of sunshine!! We rode down the coastline about 50 miles south of Ft Bragg and turned inland on a small one lane road that went through a grove of redwoods. Then curved its way up and over the hills to highway 101.  This road was amazing, with more turns, dips and switchbacks than you can ask for. The landscape went from windswept slopes by the coast to dark redwood groves. Then it opened up to high ranch land followed by lovely road along the banks of the Russian river. We stopped in the small town of Monte Rio and had a sweet lunch. You know how those lunch stops can be hit or miss. This one was awesome. Great lunch served by a beautiful waitress. With full bellies and scrubbed tires we headed towards the Golden Gate bridge. Pretty uneventful from there. We stopped just south of Half Moon Bay at the Pigeon Point Light House Hostel. We were greeted by a super friendly host and booked in for 25 bucks eack. If your ever this way this is a great place to stay with a hot tub right on the Ocean… I mean its on the clif overlooking the rocks and waves. Today its more Hwy 1 on the  way south. The Sun is shinning and its all going on!







Pescadero to Santa Barbra CA

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PICT0221What can you say about Hwy 1 down the coast that hasn’t been said? It was amazing! Not a cloud in the sky and traffic was very light. The only thing bigger than the view was the grin on our faces. Right after we got south of Big Sur we were stopped in a construction zone with a BIG line of cars, The dude said it would be 15 or more minutes. He then said we should bybass all the cars

and wait at the front. Nice! When they let us go we had Hwy1 all to ourselves. Thanks Mike! If you have ever ridden your motorbike in CA it is legal for a motorbike to share a lane with cars. Nice when the cars are stopped or traffic is heavy.




We quicklly upped the pace and found that the Racetech springs we put in the front forks were the right thing to do. The forks work sooo much better than stock. on one tight bend I heard that tell tale SCRAPE that is telling you thats enough lean angle…. After an inspection I found it was the bag that touched. We are using Jesse bags and they slide forward and back.






so I slid em back a bit and now I have more lean angle!



Today we enter Mexico. the blog updates may not be everyday depending on internet access.. So we’ll keep you updated when we can.


Santa Barbara to Santa Barbara

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Yep, We didn’t make it to Mexico Today.

IMG_0148We still had lots of paperwork to do. Mexican bike Insurance, Copies of documents and so forth.  Dan also had some business to tend to. So we decided we had a reasonable hotel room with good internet and ts alot easier and cheaper to use cel phones here in the states. So while I took a nap and watched TV, Dan spent a couple hours on the computer and phone taking care of last minute stuff for us. Thanks Dan! We should be good to go tomorrow. It really is surprising how much paperwork and docs you need when you are taking a vehicle deep into Mexico and we still have to stop in Mexico and get more paperwork!

Catch you soon.




Santa Barbara to Tijuana

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Here we sit at David and Eva Rodriguez’s place overlooking the ocean in Tijuana. We just had an awesome home cooked meal of Carne Asada, beans, and lots of Tecate beer…Thanks to them and their family for the beds and hospitality.

The ride down was uneventful and very fast. People in CA rip on the freeways. We were doing 75 plus and people were ripping by us. Made me wonder what you have to do to get a ticket….

The border was really no big deal. We cruised right through and got our paperwork. It really is just a sticker for the bike and a slip of paper you hand in when you leave the country. 20 bucks for the tourist visa and 30 bucks for the bike sticker. Not too bad…

On a side note we have been asked a few times for lists of what we’re carrying, Lists of the spare parts, lists of cities were visiting and lists of paperwork needed to visit the countries were going to. We really love the fact that people are checking out our blog and want more info, but I’m sorry we have very few lists. While we are not completely winging it – we took a much different approach on this trip. We prepared and setup the bikes for a long trip – packed the tools and spares we thought we would need – but we didn’t plan a specific route or detailed plans for where we would stop. A great deal of the pleasure of a trip like this is the journey and the discovery that comes along with following the front wheel where it leads.

We’ve done a lot of travel around the world and have found that all the research you do about border crossings is usually wrong. Inevitably there is one more stamp you need, one more person to talk to, or one more long wait to get the bribe amount to go down a little more. So we haven’t done much research on borders and crossings.

The prep work we were talking about in our blog entry from yesterday is mostly things we should have done before leaving but we just flat out ran out of time. We tracked down all the details on notifying our credit cards about being out of the country, details about insurance, purchasing Mexican moto insurance, working through the details of search and rescue insurance – cell phone stuff – on and on and on… and each phone call takes 20 minutes because you have to wade through voice menus and eventually the call is dropped for some reason.

Long story short – our lists and details/notes won’t do you much good – maybe after we get through a particular area we can share details with you!

Barra to Barra

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Our second day off the bikes hangin’ in Barra. This place is cool. pretty low key with lots of gringos. We’ve met people from Black Duck MN, WA, OR and lots of Canadians. Yesterday we did much of nothing.  Had a massage. Walked around town, had a few beers and just kinda hung out with Rob, Chris and Leann. My sides still hurt from laughing with Rob….Good times hangin with you guys. Thanks!! They left today for home and we are relaxing at the hotel doing a bit of bike maintance. Cleaning and lubing the chains. Checking nuts and bolts stuff like that. That gravel road to Batapilis really shook up the rigs, so were checking em out for our departure tomorrow.

IMG_0342Dan Has had this squeek for the last week and a half. He has been struggling to find it and its driving us both nuts. “The only good thing is that its loud enough for the mic to pick it up and bug John too” He said…  He has the fairing apart and parts all over the lobby. Not sure if you can see it in the picture but that is the front desk just behind me in the back ground. Our bikes are right in the middle of the Lobby. You got to love Mexico!!





I’m sitting here around the pool with WiFi typing this blog. Its about 75 with a nice on shore breeze to keep the humidity down. Trying to decide if I should take a nap, Have a cold beer, go read my book or get some lunch… I think I’ll do them all!


Sorry for the delay...

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Hey Everyone –

We’re back in the states now – along with the bikes. Sorry we’ve been swamped and haven’t kept up with the blogs.

I’m going to try to push the final 4 or so out in the next couple days – and a couple follow ups as well.

Thanks for your patience and for reading!


We arrived into BA on a Monday – April 13th, 2009. We enjoyed the day Monday just catching up with folks back home, talking to other travelers at Dakar Motos, and casually unpacking, repacking, and going through our gear.

Tuesday was all business – Sandra from Dakar Motos came over in the morning to discuss the various options for shipping our bikes back home. By plane or by boat. Lots of questions to answer and figure out.

My friend Carlos back home had done quite a bit of leg work on shipping by boat – he had found several brokers who could crate the bikes for us and the prices were running in the $1000 per bike. In my experience – anytime you ship something by boat, the receiving end of the shipment usually gets a pound of flesh out of you when you try to pick up the goods. There are always some “additional fees” – like: a fee for the receiving broker to get his fat ass out of his chair and walk out to the warehouse – or – a fee for the customs guy to come over and look at the outside of the box before you open it up. Etc… also, we have read quite a bit of info on shipping bikes into various countries by boat. Typically, the ports where the ships dock are not accustomed to dealing with the issues about bikes – licenses, temporary permits, etc. Carlos had indicated that there might be some customs issues because we had not told US Customs that we were taking the bikes out of the country…

So armed with the info that Carlos had found for us – we talked with Sandra mostly about shipping by air freight.

As expected – the cost of shipping the bike is largely by the volume of the shipment. So, the smaller you can make the overall package the less expensive it is. Within some limitations that seemed to be a bit of a mystery.

Sandra gave me the formula and I did a little spreadsheet up to allow us to calculate things quickly – like: if we take these parts off will it save us money – or if we can get it more narrow but taller is it better.

We ended up thinking we could get the bikes compressed down to about 200cm long, 110cm high, and about 75cm wide. – roughly 79” long by 43.5” high by 29.5” wide. This would require us to remove the front wheel, the windshield (and its hardware), take off the handlebar guards (bark busters), take off the side bags, and maybe some footpeg/misc stuff.

The cost would be roughly $1,200 total for each bike and each bike would be on its own pallet. The bikes would ship approximately on Thursday or Friday (April 16 or 17) and would be in Portland in a few days after that having gone through Houston, TX.

So – this was about $200 a bike more expensive than by boat. Boat would have taken about a month to get to Portland – and – I would be willing to bet that we would spend more than $200 per bike in extra fees when the bikes arrived in Portland.

We opted to ship by air and ordered pallets up thru Sandra to be made for the sizes we figured would work. The pallets would be ready on Thursday morning – so we had the rest of the day Tuesday and Wednesday to get things ready.

Wes was fooling around with his bike – and he had the same challenges we did about getting the bike home, making it small, etc…. he decided to completely disassemble his bike at Dakar Motos and make sure it would fit in the size he thought it would –





With all of us helping (sort of, mostly encouraging him to just throw the thing in the trash…) – he managed to get it compressed into a pretty small package –




Wes also was worried about how he would get the thing home after he got to LA… Home is a loose term as Wes would be couch surfing at a friends house in Santa Barbara and was having trouble talking a friend into coming and picking him up at the airport (a full day round trip through LA traffic)… so we talked about getting him a new countershaft sprocket in town. After talking to Javier of Dakar Motos and digging through his used parts bins – we determined there wasn’t a KLR countershaft sprocket in the shop and Javier told us how to get downtown on the trains/subways… I went along with Wes because it was something to do and I could see some of the city.

Well – it turned out to be a long journey – we took a train south to the subway station – 1/2 hour there, then switched to the Red Line and took that to the Blue line and that to a particular station. About 1 hour of travel to get to the station and when we came up to the street it was chaos… tons of shoe stores, pharmacies, jewelry stores, fashion shops, ice cream vendors, people selling watches – but not ONE moto shop to be found. We walked for several blocks dodging cars, busses and taxi cabs looking for moto shops… nothing. At one point I was walking behind Wes weaving through the people on the sidewalk and saw a guy that I thought would know where the shops were – so I slowed down and started to call out to Wes – when someone behind me started banging on my right leg – hard, with some kind of stick or something… I started to turn around and was saying “What is your problem? are you f*cking blind?” – and Wes was turning around to see what I wanted – when I turned around to see what the deal was it was a blind woman who was banging on my leg with her cane… We helped her on her way and had a good laugh about it.

We found a moto shop about 1/2 hour later and they had a sprocket that would fit – although it was a 14 tooth and he had a 15 tooth on there – it would work fine but his bike would have more low speed power (good for wheelies/boosting) and less top speed which was fine with Wes.

So we set about reversing our course home – take the blue line to the red line to the train etc. Well, by now it was rush hour and the trains were full. We got onto the above ground train and it was pretty full – then more people packed on. Wes and I found seats facing each other and mine was against the back wall of the train – right next to the door between cars. A young man ended up standing between the seats right next to me and as the train began moving there were lots of people who were moving from car to car looking for seats. Well, this guy turns to face me – putting his crotch area right next to my head. And he was loving it – Wes was laughing and there was little I could do. I leaned forward and the guy just sort of eased his crotch area towards my shoulder – it was very comical and Wes got great pleasure from it – I laughed too but I think this just egged the guy on.

Of course, while on the train heading northbound, I spotted no less than 4 or 5 large moto shops about 2 miles from Dakar Motos – they surely would have had the sprocket. Wes and I concluded that Javier just wanted us to be out of his hair for a few hours so he sent us as far away as possible.

We managed to make it back to Dakar Motos without being molested by the guy and we set about fixing Wes’ bike – again. I dug through the old parts bins and found Wes a used rear sprocket that was better than what he had on there - so Wes was pretty well setup.

Tomorrow we meet up with John’s wife Lynn and move to a nice hotel!