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Tiffani’s Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: The Return to Mexico

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 20

Who’d've thunk it, but our return to Mexico feels like a homecoming celebration, complete with a bucket-list achievement!
A relatively short hop takes us across the country, from the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico to the Gulf side. What kind of protagonist would I be if I didn’t have a sword? If you can ignore the fact that machetes are basically Central American lawn mowers, I might even appear intimidating one day! I had never even heard of Chiapas before I started this trip south, and now it’s the first place I think of every time someone asks me what my favorite place in Mexico is. My second impression of this country is starting strong. You may have been bored at various times, but have you ever been “stuck at the side of the road, studying the mannerisms of goats” bored? Your chariot, sir. I’m pretty sure Hollywood was just faking the whole broken-down thing because he was tired and wanted some air-conditioning. This is literally the fourth time on this trip a police officer has stopped us because he just wanted to check out our bikes. I think cool motorbikes might be the universal language that transcends all differences. My luck with getting off of speeding tickets has gotten much better in Mexico! Is it weird that the second I stuck my face underwater, all I could think about was that these fish would make great paint schemes for my racebikes? And now I’m officially open-water certified! I think I may have found something I can obsess over almost as hard as I do motorcycles!


Media Files:
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Tiffani’s Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: Homeward Bound Doesn’t Mean the End of the Adventure

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:30:00 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 19

With our quest now complete, it’s time to turn around and ride north once more. But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s an end to our adventures.
Mexico map, part 19 of our trip People ran back and forth with wheelbarrows full of yucca roots on the rickety hanging bridge in Yaviza, making an already janky-looking structure feel borderline death-defying as the chain-link fences and diamond-plate patchwork floor swayed and wobbled. Safety standards are maybe a little different here. The waters of Panama were as warm as bathwater, and the waves were shallow and gentle even without a reef to slow down the swells. Las Lajas might be my favorite beach of the whole trip, and I’ve swum at a lot of beaches! The police had an impressive amount of patience as they stood across from protesters and simply listened to their cries. I’m just glad it all stayed safe and sane while we passed by. Couldn’t resist one last stop in Costa Rica. The river was overflowing with American alligators, some of which looked big enough to eat me whole! Turns out, some of the reasons the police and military kept stopping us so much was just because they thought our bikes were cool and they wanted to check them out. The FZ1 gets so much attention down here, I’m almost a little jealous! Goodbye El Salvador and hello Guatemala! The pain of border crossings is a little easier to swallow when they look like this. My dirt bike skills still need a lot of work, which is one of the bigger reasons I didn’t continue to Colombia. But once you get off the road the scenery is unmatched. I really want to take more time to learn proper technique and get more confidence off road, so I can do South America right. Did I mention we literally got stopped at every. Single. Checkpoint? Every now and again, they would be so confused by my passport photo that they made me remove my helmet to make sure I was really a girl. Le sigh, Latin America. It turns out “enchiladas” in El Salvador are completely different from enchiladas where I come from! There’s some food that I definitely will miss. Back in Mexico with 15 states still left to explore! Lock and load!


Media Files:
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Tiffani’s Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: At Long Last, Darién Gap!

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 22:57:31 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 18

After leaving Costa Rica and entering Panama, at long last we make it to the Darién Gap, the southernmost spot in North America.
The outline of Panama looks a bit like a winding snake, one that marks the divide between North America and South America. Officially crossing into Panama! A river separates Costa Rica and Panama, but the footbridge seemed to get our motorbikes through just fine. Riding through the clouds has become a fairly regular part of navigating Central American mountains, occasionally with fog so thick I can’t even see Hollywood a few feet in front of me. Or a snake or bird crossing the road until it’s too late—sorry, guys! The barber may have been a little on the sketchy side, but it was worth it to rep the Kentucky Kid on this journey. Race in paradise, Nicky Hayden! Welcome to Darién, indeed! There was something a little exciting about seeing the Darién Gap in person. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to cross it the old-fashioned way! How heavy is the rain in Panama, you ask? Well, let me direct your attention to this bus on a flat and otherwise puddle-less road…. And I thought riding by that Georgia tornado was bad. Military personnel seemed to make up a majority of the population south of Panama City. It was kind of funny because every time they stopped us (which was every time), we’d catch at least one or two soldiers snapping photos of our bikes with their cell phones. I guess even with all this Latin American mud, the FZ is still a looker! I think this picture speaks for itself. From Alaska to Panama with a million zigzagged side trips in between came out to a lot more than 12,580 kilometers, but it’s the thought that counts.


Media Files:
https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/sites/motorcyclistonline.com/files/images/2017/11/tiffani-mexico-arrive-at-end.jpg




Torres Del Paine Offers A View To A Thrill For Motorcyclists

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:00:13 +0000

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Striking panoramas are the calling card for this remote area of the world.

This national park in Chilean Patagonia welcomes only the heartiest of two-wheel travelers.
Torres Del Paine


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Tiffani's Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: Passport Trouble at the Panama Border

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 18:53:50 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 16.

A giant stop sign in Panama pays off with a two-week holiday in Costa Rica.
Pulling a giant U-turn at the border crossing in Panama leads to some unexpected, care-free tourist time. We were told we were renting a cabin, but I’m still really not sure this counts as a cabin. Despite my protests, the FZ still handles dirt better than I can. I think all that time I spent getting through Honduras while dodging the rocks and pits and getting through the puddles somehow made Costa Rica just a little bit easier. The scenery in the mountains of Costa Rica may have been the first time I’ve ever wished a road was a little less twisty so I could take more time to look around. The rain forests are everything I had hoped, plus so much more. I really can’t imagine a worse torture than getting stuck in a breathtaking tropical paradise full of exotic wildlife. If I can’t be tall, can I at least be flexible? The reason I picked the FZ as my adventure bike was because it was a bike that was both incredibly lightweight, and I could comfortably touch the ground on it. I really appreciate these things when navigating the rocky and uneven parking areas in third-world America, but my luggage still does me no favors, haha! Two weeks in La Fortuna starts NOW!


Media Files:
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Tiffani's Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: Onwards to Costa Rica!

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 21:33:33 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 15.

A four-country hop south through Central America brings us into Costa Rica.
Starting in El Salvador, a short but rough run through Honduras, and down the western section of Nicaragua brings our traveling pair into Costa Rica. This is about all the celebration I could muster with the remaining fluids left in my body after 2 hours of playing “find the copy machine.” How rough are the roads in Honduras, you ask? Son, let me tell you a story. In case anyone somehow struggles to find the volcanoes in Nicaragua, you can count on my inner 5-year-old to point at everything exciting for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome. Even the lakes in Nicaragua are full of Volcanoes! Ometepe Island is home to two different volcanoes, but only one is still considered active. Even as someone who grew up in earthquake country, I can barely begin to grasp what it must be like living in places where the threat of a catastrophic volcanic eruption is a normal part of life. If there is one, single thing I love about all of these Central American countries, it’s their collective understanding of the magic that is hammocks. A rare glimpse of my “Okay, how many copies of the paper you just printed for me do you need this time?” face, and my “Is that REALLY the exchange rate?” face in its natural habitat. Costa Rica left a strong first impression. If it’s this amazing up here, I can’t wait to see what the Amazon is going to be like.


Media Files:
https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/sites/motorcyclistonline.com/files/images/2017/08/tiffani-mexico-strong-first-impression.jpg




Ups and Downs of Minimalist Motorcyclist Touring in Arizona

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:06:04 +0000

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Touring the Grand Canyon State on Harley-Davidson's Softail Slim and CVO Pro Street Breakout.

A road trip with two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two friends, and only what they can carry on their backs.
Slide Rock State Park, just outside of Sedona, offers icy water and early promise of spectacular winding tarmac on Highway 89A. Tonto Natural Bridge leaves us in awe. It's the largest travertine bridge in the world — waterfalls cascade off its sides while a stream runs straight through its middle. Rainwater filters through the limestone and falls as jellybean-sized drops, splashing into pools or off rocks. (Top Left) Parched, Cantle doesn’t wait to remove his helmet before guzzling a cream soda in the desert. (Right) Despite the heat, Abhi is a traditionalist when it comes to curing straight-road boredom. (Bottom Left) Cool Springs Cabin The warmth and cinematic scenery of Cool Springs, on Route 66, is welcome after the damp and low clouds of Arizona’s pine forests. Regardless of weather, both boast brilliant riding. Route planning at the (very) moto-friendly Grand Canyon Caverns Inn. The roadside motel sprung up around spectacular dry caves and was once one of Arizona’s most popular attractions. The view over the edge changes dramatically around every bend. Mining debris. Old tunnels. Cars that have plunged off the edge and been left to decay. The wild burros of Oatman, Arizona make the most of Abhi's generosity—then attempt to rob him of his snacks and fingers. The road into Oatman is as daunting as it is spectacular. It climbs a thorny hillside, pitches over a pass, then descends in cambered hairpins toward the valley floor.


Media Files:
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Tiffani's Yamaha FZ-07 Tour: Central American Border Crossing

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:43:58 +0000

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Chapter 3, Part 14.

Border-hopping in Central America takes us through Belize and Guatemala, and into El Salvador.
Within the compact confines of Central America, it’s easy to nail down rapid border crossings as we continue southward from Belize through Guatemala and deep into El Salvador. If I had to sum up my feelings on Belize in a single picture, this would be it. Nerd life has taught me that proper warrior training requires you sit under a waterfall, anyways. A road warrior is basically the same as a regular warrior, right? The Rio Frio Cave was a very rewarding detour, made that much better since we had the whole place to ourselves. Just Indiana Jones things. Think this could tow my race bike to the track? While stopped for lunch at a small roadside eatery, we were joined by a rider from New Zealand who had spent the last many months exploring South America before riding up to Honduras where he decided to put his trip on hiatus for a while to work as a Dive Master. We were lucky enough to meet him as he was passing through Guatemala so he could renew his visa. Crazy how plans change on the road! Sometimes I wonder what I’ll end up doing down the line. While it’s really hard to pick a favorite with all the twisty, crazy roads we’ve come across up to this point, the CA-3 in El Salvador made a strong and lasting impression with its flawless pavement, mild mountain temperatures, majestic scenery, and the perfect rhythm of fast sweepers and tight technical turns. I was having so much fun, I didn’t even realize we had already almost crossed the entire little country. Cattle drive! Just another day in the life in Central America. What El Salvador lacked in pot holes, it made up for with obstacles!


Media Files:
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TransAmerica Trail Ride: Obstacles In Tennessee

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:21:46 +0000

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Videos

Not all dirt is the same.

The off-road TransAmerica Trail rider will test both bike and skills on a variety of surfaces including plain dirt, gravel, mud, rocks, and sand.
Two Hondas, two puddles, and a Tennessee cornfield. Dave's least favorite road surface: mud! The TAT has critters so pay attention when riding!


Media Files:
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6 Must-Have Motorcycle Travel Accessories

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 14:25:49 +0000

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Ride smart with this collapsible flask, titanium knife, portable powerpack, LED flashlight, and more.

When you pack for your next motorcycle road trip, leave space in your saddlebags for this survival kit.
The basic Sturgis survival kit.


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