Day 138 – Medellin, CO

Day 138 – Medellin, CO      01/06/11      Mileage: 0

At 7am there was a knock on the door to my room. I opened it to find the Shamrock’s cleaning lady with a notice she found taped to the door of the pub about my package. Score! So after some jawing with Albert over a coffee, I hopped a taxi to the central post office to retrieve the Ricor goodies! The form said I owed $45 for import duties…a real bargain compared to some of the horror stores I’ve heard, like $300 for an umbrella! After about 45 minutes of the usual photo copies, paper shuffle and bureaucratic bumbling, I had the Ricor box in my cabbage claspers! I was giddy like a 5 year old on Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza morning and promptly opened the box to inspect the goods. The shock is a beefy hunk of well machined aluminum and the spring looks to be double the diameter of the whimpy stock shock.  I hurried back at the Shamrock, loaded the new bits on the bike and went to the Kawasaki dealer a few blocks away. I was told that service was closed until Tuesday…it was only Thursday. Crap! Indeed, all of the shops seemed to be closed…apparently they all close at the same time for the holidays. Luckily for me, there was one shop still open…MSM.

 Inside I was greeted by Daniel and I told him my story. It turns out that my luck would continue as Daniel totally hooked me up! He brought the KLR right in and had the mechanic, Edwim, start right in on it.

Daniel is on the right, Edwim on the left.

First he dropped the forks and disassembled them to install the Intiminator’s.

It’s actually pretty simple, as they just drop in between the push rod and the spring, top it up with 5 weight oil and re-install the forks. Edwim made it look even easier as he knows all the little tricks of the trade.

What took him 40 minutes would have taken me 2 hours I’m sure! Next up was of course the Ricor shock. That just bolts directly in place of the old unit.

Comparing them side by side was almost laughable…the stock shock looks every bit as whimpy as it is next to the beefy Ricor unit, and the Ricor is noticeably lighter to boot! Edwim had the new shock in place in a few minutes and that was it….done!

The clean looking blue thing in the midst of the all the dried mud is my beautiful new Ricor shock!

I was also looking for a set of tires, which MSM didn’t have in stock, but Daniel made some calls and tracked down a set for me at another shop a few miles away. Awesome! So, if you guys find yourselves in Medellin and need anything for your moto, MSM is your shop and Daniel is your man! Oh, and he also speaks very good english also!

So, I thanked Daniel and Edwim for their excellent and prompt service and headed off to Africa Motos to pick up the tires Daniel had tracked down for me.

I was greeted by Andres who also took great care of me. I noticed some shops guys cleaning up some bikes in the back, so I asked Andres if he could squeeze the old war horse in for a cleaning, seeing as the last time it was washed was in Los Angeles! He said no problem at all and cued up the KLR next for a bath. While that was being done, I walked out for some lunch and found an ATM for more fun tickets.

When I returned the KLR was just coming out of the wash area and they did an outstanding job cleaning her up, considering the mud bath I had given her 3 days earlier.

So, with a fresh set of tires strapped to the back, Ricor suspension upgrades installed and a fresh cleaning, I was ready to get back on the road south! Tomorrow, I set off for Cali and hopefully I will be in Ecuador in 3 days time.

Day 137 – Cerca Valparaiso, CO to Medellin, CO

Day 137 – Cerca Valparaiso, CO to Medellin, CO      01/05/11      Mileage: 58

After breakfast I packed up the bike to head back to Medellin. The bike had another plan and stalled every time I put it in gear. Bollix! Well, there were two likely candidates…the clucth safety switch and the side-stand safety switch. On my 2005 KLR, I had bypassed both of these because all they do is cause you trouble for the small amount of safety they provide, in my opinion anyway. So, after some trouble shooting it ended up being the side-stand safety switch, but not the switch itself but the wire that runs to it. It seems over the last two days of rough roads, when I had bottomed out the bike a few times, the center-stand mount had bent just enough to pinch the wires going to the side-stansd switch causing a short. The fix was easy, cut the wires and twist them together, tape them up and zip tie them to the frame. Done.

So, that problem solved I hit the road back to Medellin hoping to collect the Ricor parts …which I really wish I had for the last 2 riding days!

I goofed around with the helmet cam also by mounting it on the left side engine guard, so your seeing what my left foot is seeing! lol.

Back at the Shamrock I met up with Albert who was back from Scotland so it was nice to finally meet him. unfortunately, there were no Ricor parts yet and I was beginning to formulate a plan B. As good as Medellin is to visit, I need to keep rolling south as the clock is now ticking in Ushuaia to arrive and get out of there before winter arrives. That night I returned to my favorite cafe in the Zona Rosa and wrote a bit more for the blog as I’m still several days behind.