Friday, 11 January 2013

Phoenix To Ramona

Phoenix ... Where To Start

Friends of friends helped us when we needed help... not sure what we would have done without them to be fair. 

They have become a very large part of our trip and have seen the highs and lows of changing out bikes and equipment to bike and equipment....the very stressful part of RTWing to be honest.

Also seen first hand some jealous people hacking on us about the DRs and blatantly lying as well as using a lot of elastic to better their story without facts then laughing about getting the KTM, thank you to those people and one of these days you will find out the truth if you chose too but don't let the truth stand in the way of a good fabricated story!!. 

The lows became very heavy to the point I was ready to pack it in due to being ripped by the seller of Maya which was very low to say the least, nothing that money and time cannot fix.

On a positive note we now have new friends for life, their generosity and warmth when we were down was something they provided us and I know they weren’t prepared for what was to happen with Maya etc.

Post Maya the shitty drama that followed it was 3 steps forward and 10 back daily, one by one we clobbered the problems and issues and finally we are prepared with some minor adjustments to do.

While in Phoenix and wanting to do a shakedown test run on Maya we did a local loop recommended by Dillon at Zen Motorcycle using local knowledge, this was great for shaking the shit out of the bike and testing my two up riding ability on ice .... in Phoenix!! 


Clocked over 2000 miles


The purpose was to do about 180 to 200 miles, combo of shingle and offroad with a blast on the tar as well to check on fuel milage too see indicatively where she is at.

To our surprise Maya did 37 mpg on the small amount offroad and shingle road and 48.75 mpg on the open road, on the motorway we specifically sat around the 60 mphr on the speedo which is our open road cruising speed given we want to look out the window, 60 mphr on Maya is 56-57 mphr corrected on the GPS and this is what we have done all the way down on the rest of the trip on the DRs.

On our return to home base in Phoenix we took the tank off Maya and pulled all the filters and screens to check her heath.

Apart from a few dregs leftover from the sump cleanout they all came up ok, hoping now the new waterpump fitted at Zens has seen the last of issues at least for a good while, period maintenance would be cool now.

Oil filter

Dry sump screen

Sump screen

Next mission was to luggage up, initially we set out to go Wolfman complete however this would mean leaving hiking gear behind and a few big other compromises, one up it would have been fine but two up was leaving too much behind and taking away the hiking aspect of our trip which is a big part of it for us to take the place in and look around. 

Given the SE’s are known to have weak subframes this was going to add a lot of extra work to it, enter Al Jesse of engineer extraordinaire.

We presented our wish to Al, after some sitting around in his workshop sitting on panniers and chewing the fat for a coupla hours Al said no worries .... we can do it, build a separate subframe to transfer the weight to the main frame .... simple.

Al set to and created a bolt on subframe taking up two main frame mounts and connecting to the passenger footpeg mount all within a beautifully fabricated triangle mount, the rest is cantilevered off that thus taking the load totally off the original subframe. 

The top case has load dividers transferring the weight again back to the new subframe as well as a wingframe which does the same.

It passed the fat bastid test  in this photo there are no top mounts or anything in place, just the front!!

Finished ... looking very poofy

The man himself

The secret location

All in all it worked out very well and we are very happy, so now we have a combo of Jesses with two small Wolfman tank panniers on the top of each pannier.

This has enabled us to retain our hiking gear, we have sent our Hilliberg Keron 4 GT home and bought a smaller Hilliberg Nammatj 3 without the big vestibule but we still have full camping gear complete.

Yesterday 9th January 2013 we finally set off to Ramona, a 350 mile day which was nearly twice what we normally do but we needed to cut the milage, during the day I started feeling crook with sore throat and stuffed nose ... I think the stress and long hours working on the bike(s) finally caught me up and took it out on me.

We took in this Rock garden which was cool!

We did a fuel milage check to see where Maya is at as well, she did 222 miles and used 4.69 US gallons so 47 mpg, or 5L / 100 km for us metricheads we had a combo of flat, hills, rolling, traffic lights and a variable cross and head winds so a reasonable cross section of a slightly easier than average day but we are in the right ballpark of running correctly, HUGE thanks to Spencer for setting her up very well indeed. 

On the way to Ramona we climbed to 4000 feet, the temperature dropping down to 3 degs C .... it was just cold enough especially while I was feeling off shade.

Arriving at Ramona we were greeted by fello ADVers Arnie and Christie, originally we were only staying the one night but with me being crook they insisted we stay another night and my arm was easily twisted, for me feeling like shit this was very welcoming, the weather also turned, the road we came over through Julian had 8 inches of snow over night!! 

Today 11th January we are heading back to Mexico .... that is for next round.

Just to finish, there are so many people that helped us in Phoenix in one way or another, support when needed was absolutely fantastic and proved although there are some who will blatantly rip you there are also plenty more who will help and go the extra mile to makes things right. 

You guys have accidentally become a huge part of trip now and to be honest I am not sure where to start and given my non thinking head cold .... well you guys know who you are, specific mention given to Bevan and Clare who hosted us and helped us get sorted out, Craig and Sharon who constantly gave us shit and some good KTM advice and lifted our spirits, Spencer for first class mechanical work and advice, Dillon at Zens for the repairs to Maya and Mark for map and travel info on a 950 SE.

Thanks to all, onwards and downwards  .

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