Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Heart Speaks - No3 - USA

Andis Take

Things I have learnt about me, firstly my fear of heights has come to haunt me, I have found with age vertigo has come to get me, assuming then it is bodily preservation with sensibility as a result of older age, I find myself telling Ellen to come back away from the hasn't worked!

She even takes the bloody bike too!!! :eek3:

Secondly, dehydration and hunger are the two quickest ways to entering into a mindless navigational pubscrap on the side of the road, we have both found when it is late in the afternoon you are tired, hot and or dehydrated that a quick stop, food and water goes a l o n g way to having a sensible navigational discussion.

Leaving California today (1 November 2012) had mixed reactions, to say farewell to long term great mate Shann was hard, man hugs and hidden tears from me.

Once we hit the road trying to make it to the border as least as late as we can was the mission and a mission, several points of interest going into the "next time" tin due to the lack of time, the one thing I have come to hate is deadlines as this always seems to bring on more stress.

I cried in my helmet trying to get my head around the shit we have been dealt with the bikes, call me a baby but I struggled to ride properly and I didn’t enjoy it despite being on a great bit of road, I feel let down badly by Suzuki and thus my choice of our bikes for our trip has held up our trip and created difficulty for us, not our fault but our problem. down: 

I have to admit the bike issues pushed me hard, so hard that on Wednesday I went for a walk to clear my head, this was after taking the bike back again for the mystery metal in the oil and having lost the G9 comms unit as Ellen did not put it on properly so it was smashed beyond repair and to get personal I had the shits (from being so wound up I think).

I was ready to chuck it in and go home ..... kinda weak thinking but when you are battle worn you start to think preservation or exit mode, something you have to kick yourself out of and step above, this my friends takes strength when you are down.

So back to the story, I walked into a shop as #2’s was calling and time was short with the crook guts, I was hungry and probably slightly dehydrated, after doing my deed I think I exited out a different door and carried on contemplating life, suddenly I found myself questioning which way I was going .... was the sun behind me or in front ... or beside me? 1:

Long and short of it I got completely lost and ended up in an area less than ideal, no way of knowing which way to go, all square blocks etc.

I could not think straight so I decided to head one way until I reached shops or something were I could use a phone, as luck would have it this worked, I looked across the road and saw T Mobile so made a B line for that.

I walked in and asked if Shann worked there .... yes, she said so that was a complete fluke which turned out ok.1:, he returned from lunch some 10 minutes later and took me to the Clawsons Honda as they had rung about the bike which was sorted. 

People say don’t sweat the small stuff but enough small stuff adds up, if you get 10 x 1 little issue you suddenly have some shit to deal with and when you are relying heavily on your equipment this deepens the issue considerably as it is closer to your heart.

So to finish this section up we are sitting in the tent writing this up two days before hitting the border, today is November 1st, we are meant to be out November 2nd and today to finish it off my headlight blew???.

Not a biggy ... just some more shit to deal before hitting the boarder on an already overtight time table.


The Suzukis, our DR650s cost us 6 weeks off the road in six months, if not for the help through the ADV and HU members it would have been 10 fold harder.

Although Suzuki have repaired our bikes they have cost us dearly both time wise and monetary wise, FYI a Suzuki bought in the USA does not have warrantee in Canada even though we are still in North America, that sucks the big one for an international RTW biker, so my advice to all is weigh up who gives and international warrantee not just a back yard warrantee as this is useless of your bike breaks out of the US as we found out the hard way in Canada.

At least a BMW or Ducati which you expect to have issue with still looks cool when broken down!!! :

The other thing I have found I miss is cats and dogs ... pets, luckily Shann had a crazy cat ... a spider cat that could climb cupboards in a single bound.

Ellen’s point of view

Some friends say we are on vacation, I would say we just changed our life style, because at least I don’t have a job to go back for so technically we are unemployed and homeless :. 

It’s also time to reflect who we are, why have we ended up here and to understand ourselves better. 

We found the reflection ... but nothing changed!!!

The broken down bike hit Andi hard, but I have looked it from a different angle. We all like to take control of some part of our life, for Andi, particularly, he likes to take control of his bikes and buying Japanese and new you would think we would not have been put in the position we were put in.

That is all good if he buys a bike with no factory warranty, if you have a problem, too bad, fix it yourself. However, paying new price and buying new bikes the liability is on the manufacturer. That means you don’t have that control when the ball is in their court.

That creates the conflicts by itself. If the manufacturer didn’t come to the party as Andi would liked, there is another problem. Therefore, being fussy about quality and not having the total control looks like a beginning of the disaster. If that does not work once, and if you can’t control that part, why not change the way we do things. Maybe spend less money, buy a second hand one, test drive before buy it, if anything goes wrong, take full responsibility.

Next time we might buy a beater ... this looks fairly solid


At least you don’t have someone else to piss you off. Andi might not agree with me, it seems I’m on Suzuki side which I am not, just doing the devils advocate for future trip/shit management. 

It’s my fault to lose our Scalar G9, it upset Andi even more when it happened while the bike was not fixed and causing stress, Jamie from Scala Rider kindly offered to replace the unit however we decided to run without helmet comms on this trip, sometimes it is hard to let it go but we had to make that decision, some people are destined not to have comms sets and we are on of them but I have to say we will use them again. 

We had spent so much time repairing our bikes instead of traveling around USA, which was quite upsetting, we were off the road for 25% of our time. What we did was to accept what we have and make the most of it. We took the opportunity to visit places we didn’t go at the first place.

We had our most amazing sleeping experience in a Catamaran hull which was cool. Take the whole experience as part of traveling. We might have missed out some places, but we also experienced things which we would not if we hadn’t the misfortune with the bikes.

We learned always be positive for the situation which didn’t go the way you liked it. The moral of the story is: there is always a silver lining of the cloud although sometimes hard to find.

If you feel really bad just cry ... get it over with and feel better for it!!!

In conclusion

Traveling around the world on two motorcycles sounds glamourous and for 99% of the time it is great but you are more vulnerable to outside influences so you have to find a different sort of strength within to overcome the ripoffs, let downs, bad weather, breakages, crashs etc and realise that if you are still alive and well then the material things can be replaced.

Some people say that a bigger budget will stop a lot of problems, to some degree this is right however your inner strength and ability to cope and see normality and see through it will buy you far more ground than money.... however if we won lotto I would not complain 2: :.


Sascha and Kerstin said...

Dont give up, we all have bad days (except our 21 Years old Africa Twin of cause... ;) go on and all will be fine again!

cheers from Donw Under

Kerstin and Sascha from

Two Moto Kiwis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two Moto Kiwis said...

Thank you Sascha and Kerstin

We have had so many people helped us along the way, it made up our bad days. We are heading to Cooper Canyon today, finally sorted out our chain and sprockets which has been a issue for us. All good by now.

Andi and Ellen