Brief Intro and History

My riding story started back in 1980, when I was 19, when I took my high school graduation gift money and bought my first motorcycle. I don't think my mother was very happy, nor my father... lot of money wasted! Of course my father couldn't complain too hard, because back in Croatia he got a BMW90 (were they around back in the 50's?) as a dowry for marrying my mother!

My first bike was a used 1975 Yamaha SX650. My cousin had to ride it home for me because I didn't know how to ride. My total riding experience had been on the back of a Honda CX500 as a passenger and one ride on a friends British 125 with a reverse shifting pattern, in a dirt field.. which I promptly had to ditch in a bush because the cops came by and we weren't suppose to be there. But, it was enough for me to say... I need one of these...

The first time on that SX650 I was ready to jump on, but my cousin says, why don't we take it out to the end of the driveway... good idea. We probably should have taken it out in the street, cause at the end of the driveway was some gravel... my first fall. Busted turn signal and a nice raspberry on my arm... jacket? What jacket, it was July. Of course my mother got suspicious why I was wearing a long sleeve sweatshirt in July. She's like... Did you fall on your bike! (Jesi opal na motoru!.. in Croatian)... Wow, good guess! How do mothers do that?!

Can't tell you how many times I fell on that bike. Did they have MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) back then?... I should have taken the course.

But here I am, 38 years later, having ridden around most of this country, a few of my pieces screwed together, the L4-L5 fused together January 2018 (successfully I might add), but still riding. So, it appears the time has come. All roads have lead here...

I love Colorado. Beautiful scenery and roads and I've got my older daughter and two grand kids here. I spent four weeks of my vacation here in 2018 and just loved it.
Somewhere before that, this idea of traveling the globe started bouncing around in my head and I had started investigating what would be a suitable motorcycle to do that, so I had sold my street bike back in IL in late spring and was on the hunt for something that could take me to horizons unknown. I had narrowed it down to the Kawasaki KLR and the Suzuki DR650; light, affordable, dirt capable. But the DR won the contest; lighter, air cooled, carburetor, basically unchanged design since the 90's, and more dirt orientated.  While on vacation in CO I bought this thing:

First time I'd thrown a leg over something dirt orientated since that British 125 in the dirt field.  A 2015 DR650S.  Bought it from a guy who lived 15 minutes from my daughter.  What are the odds!?  Already had an LED headlight, bash plate, bark busters, Tusk rack and panniers, and the guy was the same size as me so got an adventure riding jacket, helmet, and pants in on the deal.  He was planning to do some serious adventuring but decided against it.

The next question was, do I take it back to IL with me, or do I leave it at my daughters... decided to leave it, as incentive for going back to IL and getting myself retired (I had already given my boss notice months back that I would be retiring in a year or less and ended up being less).  I bought it in July, came to CO again in August, and by September 28th I left most of the stuff I still had to my younger daughter back in IL, hitched up a half full 8x12 U-Haul trailer to the Highlander, and here I am, in Colorado, retired, planning to head south come late spring early summer. Start with Mexico, Central America, and hopefully make it to the tip of South America about Jan of 2020. By then I figure I'll be tired of riding or I'll be hooked and continue.

Plan at this point is to do it alone. I was hoping to share the journey with a better half and thinking it would be awesome to go after that 1999-2003 Team Ride Guinness world record; two bikes, 50 countries, 4 years, 100k+ miles. I had a female riding partner for a few years but it didn't really work out with her. Not sure I can break any single rider records, cause there's a lot of riding animals out there! But I'm definitely going to break my record and that's what it's all about.  And I'm going to take my time and enjoy the journey.  I have a general plan, but who knows where it will take me or where I'll end up.

So, planning, prepping, modifying, vaccinating, contemplating... We're not guaranteed tomorrow, but let's see what happens.

Written 1/10/2019