Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back in Antigua, and under the bike

Our mad dash from Flores to Antigua had taken a toll on me, Jill, and the bike. While Jill and I recovered fully during our three weeks in Kansas, we returned to Guatemala to find our bike in the same sorry shape we left it. Bikes are funny like that. Luckily, I got a pretty good grasp on what was needed before we left, and after confirming with Chris via e-mail that the rear shock was leaking and basically blown, I bit the bullet and ordered an Ohlins, the most expensive (and best) shock on the planet. Another thing we learned between Flores and Antigua was that the V-Strom needs a 1/2 gear, as we often needed to go slower than we could go in first. After a little looking around I found a shop in Manhattan that could get me a new chain and sprockets with a different ratio, and without getting all technical, we can now go any speed between 1mph and 100mph, instead of any speed between 5mph and 150mph. (In case anyone technical wonders, technically we went one tooth down on the front sprocket and one tooth up on the rear sprocket) I also picked up a new clutch lever to replace the one I broke in Belize.

Great! We got through airport security with a suitcase full of kit, and got to Antigua via taxi (an hour and a half ride for $20US - we're definitely back in Guatemala!). Chris was in Costa Rica for a frisbee tournament, living the typically rough life of an American expat in Guatemala, so we met up with Dave, who owns MotoCafe. He quickly pointed us to his mechanic, Henry, and even called ahead to make us an appointment.

   Shocks -     Left: Bueno.              Right: NO Bueno.

Me, Henry, and one of the three Guatemalan guys who stood around and watched us work for four hours.

Not what I'm used to, but serviceable in the circumstances...

Now on to Lake Atitlan!