Portland to Panama to ??? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Member Rides Show off your Versys...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Spiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon native.
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Portland to Panama to ???

Its finally here. Posted an invite about 6 months ago and had no takers so I am heading off solo 12-27-10 from Portland Oregon to Panama.

I may have read one to many motorcycle books. I decided the only difference between the adventure authors and me was that they went somewhere.

WHY PANAMA?
You can drive out of your driveway in Oregon city and end up in Panama. No oceans, no unfriendly nations, nothing but road.

WHY NOW?
I am not getting any younger. Andy and Chris, my boys, are doing a great job of running the store and this is the slow time of the year for business.

WHY SOLO?
Because you are not going with me.

HOW FAR HOW LONG?
5500/6000 one way? About 4 weeks each way. Be back in March.

HOW LONG IN PLANNING?
Thinking about it for a year. Talking about it for 9 months. Gathering gear and prepping bike for 3 months. Finished bike this morning and have bags packed except for clothes.

Departure 12/27/10 9am

2009 Kawasaki Versys.

Add ons.
Garmin GPS, Spot tracker, handlebar risers, Lever gaurds, electric accessory plug, oversized windshield, Skid plate, Engine crash gaurd, Front fender extender, Metzler Tourance tires, Forward footpegs, lowered main pegs, Oversized kickstand pad, raised front fender, raised front fender, new lengthened front brake line, 43 tooth sprocket replaces 46 tooth, Rebuilt saddle. A really loud motion alarm.

Found the pelican cases on Craigs list and ebay. Welded my own racks. Installed LED lights on the back of the cases. Upholster made removeable bag liners for me and hard cases are on wingnuts for easy removal.

I am so ready.

I will be posting up here and also on my business facebook page. Friend Spicer Brothers Produce if you are interested.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0838.jpg
Views:	398
Size:	979.0 KB
ID:	9659   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0825.jpg
Views:	367
Size:	965.6 KB
ID:	9660   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0823.JPG
Views:	501
Size:	905.1 KB
ID:	9661   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0828.jpg
Views:	481
Size:	920.7 KB
ID:	9662   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0829.jpg
Views:	476
Size:	681.1 KB
ID:	9663  

Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0832.jpg
Views:	465
Size:	774.2 KB
ID:	9664   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0834.jpg
Views:	438
Size:	774.0 KB
ID:	9665   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0835.jpg
Views:	287
Size:	508.8 KB
ID:	9666  
Spiceman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 02:58 AM
Member
 
kimel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Good luck! Wish I was going with you. Be careful in Mexico and be sure to keep us all posted.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
kimel is offline  
post #3 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 03:08 AM
Member
 
Ivan V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Balkan
Posts: 859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Did you read this?

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566414

It's a guy that did a similar journey on shoe-string budget. It's well written with nice pictures so you'll be entertained and maybe get some tips.

Very nicely set up bike.
May I recommend you put on a loud horn? Stebel Nautilus is popular around here but there are alternatives and it will set you back a well worth 30$.

Looking forward to the ride report.
Best of luck.
Ivan V is offline  
 
post #4 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 03:26 AM
Super Moderator
 
kiwi 41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: 44.24'S 171.15'E Timaru, NewZealand
Posts: 8,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Skype™ to kiwi 41
All the best spiceman with your adventure
kiwi 41 is offline  
post #5 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:04 AM
Super Moderator
 
Fastoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ipoh.Perak.Malaysia
Posts: 7,040
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
May the good forces be with you and looking forward on your reports.

Wish you all the best and we are with you all the way.

&
Fastoman is offline  
post #6 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:32 AM
Super Moderator
 
Bear on a bicycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Converse, Tx
Posts: 4,695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Good luck!!!



Bear on a bicycle is offline  
post #7 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:55 AM
Member
 
moflow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Kingston, ON, Canada
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I did a similar trip in 2004 on a KLR 650 and had a fantastic with time with no major problems. I rode through Mexico, Baja and the rest of Central America up to Panama city. You should have no problems if you follow some simple rules: Watch the speed limits as anything over the limit will give the local police a reason to stop you and possibly shake you down for more money or worse. There are few fences along the smaller roads and all kinds of live stock, dogs and wildlife will and do wander out onto the roads. You are also the smallest on the road and all other vehicles will assume the right of way. Trucks, buses, pickups, minivans and cars will all assume that YOU will move out of the way regardless of the situation. Never if at all possible ride at night. Try to get to border crossings early in the day and be patient, it can take a long time to get through. Personally, I would hire a "guide" at border who would help to show you the proper lines and windows to go through to pass customs. It would often save a lot of time and confusion. Generally they were honest and offered a good service, just fix the price right away ( usually 5-10USD) and never give them any of your papers, just the officials. I always picked some kid to watch my bike and stuff while I was processing the paperwork and would pay them the small change from the country I was leaving and never had so much as a pen taken from my bike.

As most others will tell you, the smaller rural roads are the best for scenery and meeting friendly people, the big cities are the place to keep your guard up.

Wish you all the best and keep up posted when you can.

Maurice
moflow is offline  
post #8 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 11:27 AM
Member
 
DrTizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to DrTizz Send a message via Skype™ to DrTizz
Good luck and be safe! Sounds like the trip of a lifetime

<><><><><><><><>
2010 Versys ("Black Bengal")
2013 Triumph Trophy SE

"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science, it is an opinion...that means you, CNN!"


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


DrTizz is offline  
post #9 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 12:06 PM
Member
 
Baron650's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
The bike looks great spiceman!
Have a terrific trip!
Baron650 is offline  
post #10 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 04:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Ride safe and enjoy the trip!! Make sure to take pics for us and keep us posted.

s/f

Keith



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
BPGreen is offline  
post #11 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 06:28 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I'm jealous, man. My dream is to ride to Ushuaia (and back) someday. Just waiting until my daughter is a bit older (and maybe until I have enough cohones). Wishing you all the very best on your journey and I hope you keep us updated. BTW, how is the slack on your chain? It looks a little tight in the picture. Well prepped bike. It doesn't take much, eh?
Mt. Versuvius is offline  
post #12 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Spiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon native.
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Just adjusted the chain when I put the new 43 tooth sprocket on, but I haven't even ridden it around the driveway to recheck it. Chain check, pack my clothes and I am out the door. (In 8 days)

It is supposed to be a balmy 35 degrees and raining on the morning of the 27th. I have Olympic gear, (jacket and pants), Shark helmet, AXO waterproof lined boots, Hippo hands, and feet warmers for in my boots. I can't wait to get out of this grey and cold.

I have done over 80,000 miles around the western US, Canada, Alaska, and Baja in the last 6 years. It has always been my preference to find the road less traveled. With that in mind I plan to head straight out to the coast and go south to San Diego on 101 and 1. From there it will be over to Phoenix to say hey to some relatives, then south. Probably cross the border at Sonoyta. Quiet place with not much traffic. Plan to hug the Pacific on the way down and the Caribbean on the way back.

I have packed a collection of guidebooks that cover all of Central America. Hope to let them lead me to some must see, ultra cool, out of this world stuff. I have friends here in Oregon City with family in Panama City. Plan to stay there a few days and let them show me their country. That is as far as I have gone with my planning. Don't know where I will spend the first night but I need to be home by the middle of March.

(I have left open the option of going beyond Panama. Got the shots, got the Ok from the wife, got that option in place. Won't make that call till I hit Panama. But, and it is a big butt, if all the stars line up I will go on to Tierra del Fuego. But let's just keep that between you and me.)
Spiceman is offline  
post #13 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:31 PM
Member
 
objectuser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Very exciting. Looking forward to your reports.
objectuser is offline  
post #14 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:53 PM
Member
 
bigaussie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 842
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Garage
Wow! What a trip

keep us posted

Are you going to make your spot publicly available so we can follow you?

Cheers

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


"The happiest people donít have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bigaussie is offline  
post #15 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Spiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon native.
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I will see what I can do about the spot. Would not mind having more eyes on me.
Spiceman is offline  
post #16 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 10:50 PM
Member
 
siyeh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Evansville Wisconsin
Posts: 501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
In. Wish I was trailing along behind you!
siyeh is offline  
post #17 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 11:34 PM
Member
 
seattlekiwi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to seattlekiwi
Keep the Black side down. Ride easy and come home safe.. what a fantastic trip to take.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
All who wander are not lost
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
seattlekiwi is offline  
post #18 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 10:49 AM
Member
 
panamafrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pacific NorthWet
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Spicerman... Have a great trip. When you initially posted it, I jokingly told my wife I wanted to join you and she said okay. After a while she said how will you get the m/c home. Spoil sport! She knew we weren't up for me to take the time off for a ride down and back and the 10 day vacation to Bocas del Toro (Atlantic/Caribbean side of Panama at CR border) she had planned in Feb 2010.

Places of interest: After crossing the border from CR; the city of David, El Volcan, the road out to Bocas, Boquette. Further down the road, the beaches at Santa Clara, the town market on Sunday at El Valle (75 mi from P City).

P City: Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo, Church of the Golden Altar, the causeway, Isle Taboga, and much more.

Caution: In P city, the lanes of traffic seem to be fluent. As in, they will change with no relation to the stripes on the road.

As has been mentioned, caution on the road. You are the smallest vehicle out there and YOU need to be the one to watch out for others.

Have a great and safe trip. Look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Frog


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
(Chiriqui, Veraguas, Herrera, Los Santos, Cocle, Colon, and Panama provinces of Panama)
panamafrog is offline  
post #19 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Spiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon native.
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Panamafrog thanks for the places of interest. I have friends here in Oregon with family in Panama City. They have invited me to stay and be my tour guides around Panama.
Spiceman is offline  
post #20 of 266 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Spiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon native.
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
What to pack?

Thought I would share a couple of pics to show and tell what I have packed.

Left side pannier is tools and such.
Tubeless tire repair, electric pump, Co2, tire irons (do not want to use), chain breaker, master link, tow strap, duct tape, nut and bolt selection, zip ties, vice grips, cresent wrench, multi tool, flashlight, chain lube (teflon), wd40, latex gloves, oil filters and remover, air filter, bungee nets, and guide books. In small cases: fuses, JB weld, super glue, spare keys, wire connectors.

Right side pannier is Meds and such:
Atihistimine, cold tablets, advil, sunscreen, aloe, sunscreen, water tablets, eyedrops, toiletries, earplugs, scissors, electric cords (phone, camera, webbook, gps), water bottle, laundry sheets, guidebooks, 5 copies of every piece of paperwork, gel energy packs.

Dry pack has tent, sleeping bag, mosquito net, camp chair, and sleeping bag. Still have a lot of room in this bag.

Total weight in all three bags is 46 lbs.

Third Pannier is for clothes and I will be packing that on Sunday to leave on Monday.

I am sure that I have missed something but with any luck it will show itself before I need it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0870.jpg
Views:	238
Size:	567.6 KB
ID:	9697   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0871.jpg
Views:	198
Size:	642.2 KB
ID:	9698   Click image for larger version

Name:	CIMG0874.jpg
Views:	214
Size:	451.6 KB
ID:	9699  
Spiceman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome