My New Girlfriend…
… and no, I am not cheating. There’s this 300Km rules… 🙂 beside, my baby in Canada is safe and sound, hibernating until I get back… right Miro? Ok, ok, lame joke (and BTW, I was talking about my 600RR). But the big news is:
I BOUGHT MY BIKE!!
A beautiful 2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL650. Oye, Tio & Taj, I am joining your Suzuki club 🙂
It’s a dual purpose bike (on/off road), in very good condition, with only 11,000Km. Expensive (they have 80% tax on imports, so you figure out the math…), but hey, might as well enjoy my trip to the full. I bought the bike through Mario Gomez’s shop, who was Latin America Motorcycle Champion back in 1986.
You probably know that there’s a sort of a rider’s fraternity and here in Ecuador it’s no exception. Having been to every single bike shop in Quito for the past 3 weeks, I met so many riders. Funny, I am known all over as the “viajero”. They are helping me, from paperwork to tuning up the bike which is great since you really have to be careful with crooks here.
Speaking of which, it’s been 6 days and I still do not have my bike ownership/license paper done! I have been drowning in paperwork to buy it. It’s amazing the bureaucracy here: Notary, Lawyer, Police, Ministry of Transportation, Insurance, Plates, Mechanic tests,… and all this must be done manually, go to every agency’s office, which are a free-for-all, “a la Libanaise”, then back to the notary to certify some of the documents,… I even needed to give my fingerprints when signing! There’s no way I could manage this bureaucracy alone so I finally did the sensible thing and hired someone to help me (they are called “facilitadores”). Besides, being a foreigner, they all try to snatch some money out of me (actually, usually a chicken will get you out of police hands, but that’s another story 🙂 )
AnywayZ, while waiting for my paperwork, Diego (probably the best mechanic in Quito) and I are tuning up the bike, replacing everything with new parts: Tires, brakes, air filter, oil & filter change, suspension oil change, brakes, spark plugs,… as well as a full clean up of the engine’s injection and verifying the hydraulics… bref, a full ABC check, expected to be done by Monday. I need to leave Quito with everything at 100%. On this note, all is going pretty well and I was greatly helped by Juanca, Alisson’s co-worker and a good friend, lending me his car for a few days to finalize my stuff.
But that’s not all; I need to protect my bike from the road conditions down here and any eventual crash. We have a saying back in TO: “There are the riders who have fallen and the one who will fall”. And I was lucky; Diego and Daniel are pretty handy on this front too. So I headed to Daniel’s shop where we actually designed from scratch a protection crash cage for the engine and fairing as well as a skid plate to protect the bottom of the bike (engine, oil radiator,…). Everything will be manufactured, cut/bend/soldered from pieces, even manufacturing new longer screws to replace the original ones. Hopefully everything should be done by Tuesday and I’ll send you pics of the final results next week.
If all goes well I should be leaving Wednesday morning, heading south: few days crossing Ecuador then Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile up to Santiago and crossing to Mendoza in Argentina for a special challenge I want to accomplish (more on that later). Anyone who’s planning a vacation down here, drop me a line. I really do not have a schedule but somehow we will definitely meet.
or click on “page 2” below to see the photo album.