Dr. Frazier prepares for a new South American adventure. See photos of the planning process here and read his full account of the process in this article.
- My 1983 Honda GL650, number nine, ready for the South American stage of the Rally with new tires, battery and imagined pre-race thirst for the pursuit of adventure.
- The accessorized handlebar-mounted small windscreen is high enough to throw air over the top of the pilot’s helmet and around the arms, but while driving the rider can see down the road over the top, not looking through it, so stickers do not block vision.
- At the start of the South American stage in Bogota, Colombia, the odometer shows the 33 year-old motorcycle has only 38,817 miles on it, which some Honda GL650 aficionados say is “just broken in.”
- Because we will be unsupported by chase vehicles carrying spare parts and mechanics, we must carry everything we believe we will need for 10 - 12,000 miles through countries that never imported the GL650.
- Prior to crating for air cargo shipping the gas tanks had to be drained and the batteries disconnected. Here Livermore is shown siphoning out the last drops of gasoline out of his GL650.
- The cost of the air freight is determined by a formula that measures the weight and the outside dimensions of the crate and charging for which is the greater, so we made the motorcycles small by removing the windscreens and pulling the handlebars downward. Removing the wheels could have made the crates smaller, but then the weight factor would have been used to determine the cost, being more than the dimension cost.
- For wind and water protection, as well as upper body protection, I chose a screaming “Hi-Viz” Darien Jacket.
- A Nolan modular helmet was my choice, but broken in for several months before starting. I did not want to wear a new helmet fresh out of the box to try to break it in and find it did not fit and function well for my needs.
- I have learned not to start a long trip with new boots, so these were broken in over 2000 miles of on and off-pavement driving before I would began wearing them daily for the South American months.
- My preference for riding gear included a Gortex pair of pants, well-zippered, making quick and easy on/off while providing good wind and water protection as well as padding at the knees and hips, this being a pair of Darien pants.
- I tested several back support options, finding the best was a Back-A-Line belt from the Aerostich Company. It by far beat my former choice of a back support from a home supply company.