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About WilliamArcher

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    Movin' Up in the World

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  1. Thanks. I'll try to update as I go, but I might just end up doing the write-up after. Thanks. You should be able to see it pretty well from there with a pinhole projector or some eclipse glasses.
  2. I'm starting to get excited for the trip. I have a rough route sketched out: google maps link. Looks like it's going to be about 3,000 miles, so I'll average about 300 miles per day. I bought a 12v outlet and some saddlebags for the Versys (no need for racks since the exhaust is under the bike), and I'm welding up some brackets for highway pegs. I'm going to change the final drive this weekend since the original chain and sprockets have 15k+ miles on them, and the front sprocket is visibly hooked. Aside from that and an oil change, it should be ready to roll.
  3. I also have a WR250R and there's a sticky light on my way to work. After missing some cycles and doing the right turn-U turn maneuver a couple of times, I found that bouncing my full weight on the footpegs when I'm right over the detector circle can trip it. I think compressing the suspension helps by geting the engine and frame closer to the sensor. I could be way off base on that though.
  4. I like it. I want one. Who did the graphic design? Can we have a walking homo sapiens instead of a kid on a tricycle? Can the guy on the DRZ be doing a wheelie?
  5. I'm getting tired of riding Baja. It's time to head north. The original plan was a road trip by car to see the eclipse, but my buddy ended up having to go to a wedding at the same time. I don't want to drive up there alone, so I'm going to ride up alone instead. I would love to do this trip on my WR250R and take as much dirt as possible, but there just isn't time. Due to my work schedule, I'll only have two days to get to Jackson. Rather than flog the 250 on the highway, I went to Craigslist and picked up a decent Versys 650. I'll have five days to get back, so I want to take a more scenic route, heading south to visit friends in Denver and then across southern Utah. I'm looking for route suggestions. Does anyone know some good roads to take on the way back?
  6. I haven't ridden my XL250 since I bought my WR250R, and I guess that means it's time for it to move on. It has a California license plate, and all the paperwork is up to date and in good order. It's in good running condition with no leaks, no shorts, and no smoking. The odometer reading is around 8,000 miles. It has a high compression Wiseco piston with about 1,500 miles on it and also got a new timing chain and rocker arms and valve lapping during that process. Since the rebuild, it has faithfully started on the first kick hot or cold (with choke). I bought the bike as a project, and you can read all the gory details of things I fixed in my rebuild thread. Craigslist trawling suggests these bikes command a market price between $1,000 and $1,500. I would definitely sell it for the higher figure and will certainly consider good faith offers.
  7. Left side of Baja. The middle is okay too if you bring plenty of water and don't stop very much.
  8. I'd go with you, but I'm already committed to sailboat races both days this weekend. Difficulty is relative, but getting to Rancho Coyote Meling from the east involves a bit of somewhat technical riding. I believe there are less-direct routes that may be easier, but you would need a very early start to get there from Tecate in one day. Edit: Just looked at your post history, and it looks like you are probably well familiar with the route, so never mind.
  9. Yeah. It turned out to be a good route. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had found someone to go with me though. I rode very conservatively and chickened out of a few tracks that I would have tried with backup along. There are advantages to solo riding, too: you can get much earlier starts, cover more ground, are half as likely to have a breakdown, and you meet more people when going alone.
  10. What do you do if the valve stem tears?
  11. It was too cool for swimming, but I sat beside the pool and read my book while dinner was cooking.
  12. Monday morning I got an early start and did the route through San Pedro Martir National Park from south to north. It starts off in a broad valley just east of El Rosario and then climbs into the canyonland where I saw my first big Baja cactus. The next stretch into the national park was probably my favorite part of the trip. It was a nice double track that was rocky enough to be interesting but not difficult enough to be worrisome. Lots of cactus and whatever those funny trees are called. It felt like riding through the cactus collection of a botanical garden. It had some nice canyons and some good views of the ocean. I stopped for a seafood lunch in Camalu and took the coastal road north to Ejido Erendira. I had considered staying in Erendira, but I arrived at 16:30 and figured I might as well press on to Santo Tomas, so I did. Not much to say about Santo Tomas except the only other guests at the hotel turned out to live two blocks from my house in San Diego. I was pretty tired after three full days of dirt riding, so I got another early start to bug out to the border. I took the trail through Rancho La Lagrima up to Ojos Negros, refueled, re-watered and then pounded out the Compadre trail to the 2. I had been watching some wildfire smoke to the north in Ojos Negros wondering if the fire would turn into an obstacle, but fortunately it had already burned past the Compadre trail, so I was able to stay upwind of the fire the whole way up. Some parts of the trail were pretty toasty though. This had all been green on my way down. At one point I passed fairly close to where some pine trees were going up, but I was still upwind, so it was not very concerning. I was a bit worried about oncoming fire trucks, but I only passed one group of them, and they were parked. I spent the last of my Mexican money down to the peso on tacos in Tecate, and then it was just a short run up the slab back to San Diego. A nice, four day trip wrapped up in time to grill some steaks and watch the fireworks.
  13. I just rode the bike to the border to keep things simple. Arriving at the border in Tecate at 7:00, I gassed up, got my visa, bought some pesos and was on my way by 7:30. Out of Tecate, I headed southeast on the trail that goes by the granite dome. It had been very recently graded, but it was so sandy that all the grading did was distribute loose sand across the width of the road. Eventually I overtook the bulldozer and made better time on the part he hadn't gotten to yet. I turned due south when I ran into the Compadre trail and headed to Ojos Negros to resupply on water gas and food. It was market day with lots of food stalls set up in the market. I took the trail that leaves from near the Pemex heading south out of Ojos Negros, then turned southeast after the turnoff toward Rancho La Lagrima. The trail took me across the 3, and I saw a lot more grading activity and lots of racecourse signs. Many trail sections that featured sand whoops the last time I passed through in April now just feature sand. I passed by the site of Kurt Caselli's fatal livestock encounter, and eventually took the goat trail down into Valle de la Trinidad. After refueling and re-watering, I took the dirt road due south toward Mike's Sky Rancho. I passed Mike's at 16:30 or so, and I decided to press on to Rancho Coyote Meling since I had plenty of daylight left. The trail over the hill from Mike's was rougher than I remembered it being. So much so, that in retrospect I probably shouldn't have done it on a solo trip. I only dropped the bike once, when I lost traction trying to get up a rock shelf, but it was technical enough that I should have avoided it altogether rather than risk an injury while riding alone. In any case, I made it to Rancho Coyote Meling around 18:00 with plenty of daylight to spare. I was the only guest, so I had a cabin to myself. The food there is really good. They put out quite a spread. Later that night two Mexican couples rocked up in buggies, so I had company for breakfast at least. One of the ladies couldn't place my accent and asked me if I was from Argentina, which made me feel very good about my rusty old Spanish. I got a late start on Sunday due to the giant breakfast they laid out and took the easy road south to the paved observatory road. I rode the observatory road down out of the mountains and then turned off on a dirt track that dumped me out in San Quintin. The first part of the track was fairly technical, I probably shouldn't have done it on a solo trip, but then it opened up into nice high plains with good views all around. One of the Mexican dune buggy riders recommended I check out the Old Mill Restaurant in San Quintin, so I did, and they served up a creditable Yellowtail. I also ran into another SDAR member there (can't remember his name... Ed or something like that). He was riding with three other guys all on big Kawasakis and they were getting ready to take the slab all the way back to the border. From the Old Mill I took a sand trail to the beach and then opened up the throttle on the beach heading south toward El Socorrito. After fighting my way through the dunes for a while, I turned inland onto a dirt track that loops through San Pedro Martir National Park then down to El Rosario. I quickly realized that I did not have enough time to make it before dark, so I turned off on a different track that dumped me back on the highway. That turned out to be a good decision because even slabbing it, I only arrive in El Rosario just before dark. I did take a few side excursions on the way down though.