ducati 750ss Andreas W. Matthes photography ©

Prior Bikes

Zuendap 50 cc Mofa in 1978. Ugly, noisy, slow but freedom !!

andreas w matthes moped

Hercules M5 Mofa 50 cc by Sachs - My second set of 50 cc wheels I highly customized by double length fork, chromed gasoline tank, chromed tank and head light protectors, wide solo seat, chromed seat rail, longer rear shocks, fat tire and shortened rear mud guard. The internal customizing allowed me to more then double the original vehicle speed. Stage one custom is showing me with red jacket, stage two custom my brother Robert with jeans jacket. Germany around 1979.

hercules sachs1

Malagutti Mofa 50 cc - The Yellow Malagutti 50 cc Mofa was my last set of small wheels, ran like hell, and allowed me to explore the off road roads within the forrests we were living in. Germany around 1981.


Ducati SS 750 - My first big bike I bought in 1982 was a Ferrari red beauty SS 750 one out of 20 imported into Germany. I went on a few trips in the central German country side, as well as to the south of Germany. On a trip back from southern Germany the bike developed a serious electric problem and needed to be towed on a flat bed truck back to my home town in northern Germany. There the bike was stolen from the lot of the Ducati dealership. She was a dream with desmodromic valve control. Germany in 1982.

ducati 750 ss

BMW R 90/6 - I did not have the black R 90/6 Gummi Kuh (Rubber Cow) for a long time but was content to travel in comfort after my red Ducati was stolen. She was sold after less then a year of easy and pleasant county road riding and cruising. Germany around 1983.

matthes bike bmw

Maico MC 490 - A bright red two stroke monster with loads of juice for my first self esteem testing in the fields around my home town. Way to strong and intimidating. Germany 1984.

maico 490

Ducati GT 860 - My second Ducati was bought as a metallic blue GT 860 in 1985 that was then customized by me into a flat black cafe racer bike in 1986. After years of roaming the rural and city streets she developed a terminal cardiac arrest. Race control in uniform did not like the enhancements I made to it, so she went out of comission in 1992.

ducati cafe racer

Yamaha XT 600 - My first bike I owned in Mexico. She was made in 1990 and at the end of her life time. It was the desicion point for me to see if I wanted to pick up riding bikes here in Mexico. She did a good job convincing me that I needed more and better. Mexico 2002.

 yamaha xt 600

Harley Davidson Sportster XL 1200 C - I bought the Harley Davidson Sportster in 2004 second hand in Cancun at a used motorcycle dealer. I found the Harley while looking around for a used bike I wanted to buy, and there in the corner she sat and called me by my name. The Harley was built in 1996 and has been sold through Harley Davidson Mexico, with an Mexican title and registration plate.

The Sportster was a bit customized by me with the installation of an oil cooler, the elimination of all gauges such as tach and odometer, the elimination of the registration plate holder on top of fender and a solo seat being the most note worthy changes.

I use the Harley to cruise locally on nice days but have done a three day tour through the Central Yucatan and a three day tour through the Costa Mayawhich includes the villages of Majahual and Xcalac.

harley davidson yucatan

I sold the Sportster in April of 2010 in order to get a bigger Harley better suited for long distance travel.

Kawasaki  ZRX 1100 - I found and bid on E-Bay for the 1999 ZRX were I bought the bike in February of 2006 in Saint Augustine, Florida from a private individual. The bike was bought to explore the Florida Peninsula and finally drive it into Mexico to be converted into a Streetfighter style custom bike.

The bike was stolen from me in November 2006 in Gilchrist County, Florida while parked on the side of the road 11:00 am with a flat tire. The bike was recovered by the Police around Gainesville, Florida in March of 2007 while someone was riding it at 02:00 am without a license plate. The bike was then fixed with the help of a friend.

In June 2007, days before I was going to drive the bike to Mexico a lady in Lake City, Florida did not yield a stop sign and rammed me square in the side causing me to crash along with the bike. I got busted up a bit, as was the bike, making it impossible to drive it to Mexico two days later. Once again I left it with a good friend one more time, buying the parts needed for the repair on E-Bay and will got it fixed again ... and then drove it to Mexico.

zrx 1100 on the road

In March of 2008 I finally drove the bike down to Playa del Carmen. After visiting bike week in Daytona Florida I went on to Texas and New Mexico to visit Carlsbad Caverns for my 45th birthday. Creel at Copper Canyon in Mexico was on the list for four days with all the twisty roads and awesome scenery. Following the Pacific coast through Puerto Vallarta where I spend four days with friends in Sayulita for Easter I continued down to Acapulco then crossing the country to Veracruz via Mexico City and Puebla to hug the Gulf coast through Ciudad del Carmen and Campeche, on to Merida and through Valadolid finally to Playa del Carmen. Distance covered was 8500 kilometers / 5151 miles in three weeks.

In May and June of 2008 I converted and changed my Rex into a Streetfighter type bike. There is still room for improvement but she will stay like that for a while to be ridden and enjoyed.

kawasaki zrx streetfighter

In May of 2009 I had an almost identical accident with the Rex in Playa del Carmen as I had in June of 2007 in Lake City, Florida. I was in the right of way as a lady taxi driver stopped and I thought she is seeing me but as I was almost in front of her she started to move causing me to crash at a very slow speed twisting me and the bike up a bit.

I gave her away in the end of 2017 to a better home as she was sitting with me for over five years not being used.

Kawasaki KLR 650 - I did buy the KLR 650 in mid 2006 for my brother Robert to have it fixed up and ready to go for our planned trip in February and March 2007 to Costa Rica. I found the bike in Playa del Carmen, she was made in 1998 was looking cosmetically not to good but mechanically sound.

The trip to Costa Rica went well but on the way back the chain broke the second time in Bacalar, without being able to fix it. First time the chain broke in Guatemala in the mountains surrounding Lago Atitlan.

After the bike got back on the back of a pickup truck she sat for a long time untill the new chain and sprocket arrived in August 2007. When my brother decided to sell her end of September 2007 I could not resist and bought her.

kawasaki klr streetfighter b

She was sitting around and never been driven but I kept her. I was dreaming for years about a sidecar rig and when I found one in Merida I decided to use the KLR to get my rig. The KLR is a very unlikely candidate to become attached to a street sidecar, but who cares. The rig is fun to drive and eventually I will place a smaller wheel into the front end of the KLR and put on some street tires .... maybe.

kawasaki klr streetfighter x

The KLR was sitting outside my house for what seemed like years with no cover and not being used. I finally decided to have her resurected and take the sidecar off as I could use her better as a city bike here in Playa without the sidecar. Makes it easier to wiggle through traffic. I am thinking to put the sidecar onto the ZRX 1100 ... will see if that goes or not. Time will tell. Part of the resurrection was a carburetor rebuilt, a new battery, a new rear suspension shock absorber and new fork seals for the front suspension.

I gave her away together with the sidecar in the end of 2017 to a better home as she was sitting with me for over five years not being used.

KTM 640 Adventure - I have bought the KTM 640 Adventure in early 2005 second hand in Chihuahua at a used motorcycle dealer. I did find the bike on a Mexican web page that is specialized in selling used cars and motorbikes online. The KTM was built in 2002 but imported and titled in Mexico as a 2003 model.

I did drive the bike from Chihuaua to Playa del Carmen in a little less then four days. I am using the bike here and around Playa to race dirt tracks, explore the outer regions of the Rivera Maya, visit friends who live in the jungle or go on short trips to the beach of Tulum or Punta Allen.

ktm punta allen

After Hurricane Wilma the bike was of great help to move around town and check on friends while all roads where blocked for days for trucks and cars due to fallen trees and powerlines.

I have made a long distance trip on the KTM along with my brother whom I bought a Kawasaki KLR 650 for that occacion. We where starting off in Playa del Carmen and driving through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica to the Volcano Arenal area then back through Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala into Chiapas - Mexico and back to the Mexican Caribbean after this 3 week trip.

ktm guatemala

In mid 2007 the bike was knocked over while parked in front of my dive store. The bike was damaged slightly during that event. Spare parts where bought on E-Bay Germany and carried by friendly folks here to Mexico, with a delivery delay due to Hurricane Dean.

In the beginning and summer of 2008 I went on various trips to Punta Allen and Tulum. In the beginning of 2009 I went for a long weekend to Majahual and Bacalar.

After not using it much in the last years I sold it in January 2019 to be enjoyed by another person. We had a good run. Fare well !

Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 XR - After coming back from my long 15,000 km 2016 Europe trip I decided I need a smaller bike to get around town and found this Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 XR in Cancun. What a hoot to ride. So light (for Harley's) and so much power !!. And it has double break disks up front and does actually stop !!.

HAD 1200 Sportster XR

 After not using it much in the last year I sold it in January 2019 to be enjoyed by another person. We had a good run. Fare well ! 

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic FLHTCU 1340 - I bought the Electra Glide in April of 2010 after having owned a Sportster XL 1200 C for almost 6 years. The Sportster was great in convincing me that I need a bigger Harley.

I found the Electra Glide in Playa del Carmen to be sold by a guy who was to small for the Glide and was looking for a smaller Harley. The exchange deal was struck rather fast and off I went with the Glide.

harley davidson bike trip guatemala h

The Electra Glide Ultra Classic was imported into Mexico by Harley Davidson Mexico in late 1994 and was sold as a 1995 model.

I was really looking for a Road King but the offer was to good to pass up so the Glide will go through some changes to shed her of plastics and weight.

Finally I found some time in May 2010 and got the parts to do some of the changes and maintenance. I have removed the big trunk, leg protectors and large wind screen. A small tinted wind screen was installed instead of the larger one. All original and slightly coroded exhaust heat shields where replaced with shiny new ones, the original slightly coroded slip on mufflers where exchanged for Bassani high flow mufflers. The entire air filter assembly was exchanged for the Arlen Ness Big Sucker high flow air filter system. The carburator was rejetted for the high air and exhaust flow system. The speedo drive assembly was replaced and is working again. A new battery was installed. A JAGG oil cooler with new oil filter was installed along with an oil change on the engine, transmission, primary drive & clutch.

hdr photography rio dulce

I mid April 2011 went on a motorcycle trip with my old travel buddy Julie who was in the area and joined me. We went on the "Glide" and it was a dream to drive. A bit heavy but when rolling sweet. We went from Playa del Carmen by Merida and Campeche to Palenque in one day, then San Cristobal de las Casas and into Guatemala.

Eikka who came a long at the beginning had to turn back early and we went on alone. Lago Atitlan, Panajachel, Antigua, Chichicastenango and on to Rio Dulce, Flores and Tikal in Guatemala. On the way back we went through Belize, Corazol, Bacalar, Akumal and back to Playa. The trip was 11 days and 3341 kilometers long with no problem on the bike. None. My nose peeled a bunch of times but that was it. Great trip.

In April of 2014 I went on a solo tour into Belize to see some Manatees in a small village not knowing that I have to go over 60 kilometers of gravel road with the heavy Glide. What a trip !!.

w belize harley

Mexico 2014 - In May of 2014 I went for a couple of days into the Central Yucatan, to Rio Lagartos and the Las Coloradas Salt Flats. Awesome trip with friend and sail boat owner Herve.

las coloradas harley davidson

Mexico 2013 - In August 2013 we went with a couple of friends to Rio Lagartos and the las Coloradas Salt Flats for a long weekened.

harley davidson rio lagartos

Mexico 2015 - In May of 2015 I went on the Harley to visit my old buddy Luca in Sayulita close to Pto. Vallarta, a 5000 km - 3000 miles round trip. What a beautiful country Mexico is. Whow !! 

harley davidso sayulita

 In March of 2019 I sold the Electra Glide as I did not use it much as of late. This bike needs to be enjoyed and not sitting around.