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View Full Version : Motorcycle trip of Central/S America. Tips?



H60DoorGunner
01-19-2015, 12:56 PM
As the title states, myself and my soon to be wife are planning a motorcycle trip from the US, through Central America, into and around South America, and back. It's a year or two down the road, barring any catastrophic life shifting events, but I thought I'd ask some of the more knowledgable members here in the tribe about the area.

I can already hear some guys saying "Eff that!", but being scared of life is for the birds. I spent ten years In the Army being told where I couldn't go. So now that I can go where I want, and how I want, I'd like any tips or tricks for navigating what those in the know might consider particularly troubled areas. For that matter, what are the hot spots that I just gotta check out?

How should I deal with police/military when/if we encounter them. I won't be packing legit heat, cause my fiancÚ won't allow me to risk jail time (we're working on that), but I will carry a flare pistol. Seems innocuous enough, but I've always wanted to roast a BG's face with one.

I speak pretty good Spanish for a gabacho, and my fiancÚ speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently.

So aside from carrying plenty of cash, but not too much, avoiding dark alleys and mobs with molotovs, what have y'all got?

morghill
01-19-2015, 02:09 PM
Dude, that's my dream ride!!! Tagged for info.... What kind of bikes are you taking? Dual sport?

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tweek
01-19-2015, 05:52 PM
Contact the owner of Motopia (http://www.motopiacafe.com)
It's actually a motorcycle club and they frequently plan trips through Central and South America. Good people.

coastalcop
01-19-2015, 05:59 PM
Advrider.com

You will get more help there than anywhere I know of . Probably make some friends that are ex-pats and will welcome you with open arms. And a tire spoon of appropriate size makes a hell of a club .

Depending. On the bike(s) you choose try to find a model with tubeless wheels, patching tubes is a pain in the butt, pushing a plug in and airing up is a 5 minute job.

Oh and standard overseas stuff, copies of docs in a few places, knowing where amemb are, shots and a water purifier ( riding with the runs sucks more than patching a tube)

One warning though, the trips wherever you go become addictive

bpatterson
01-19-2015, 06:16 PM
+1 for ADVRIDER.COM. Great site, like minded adventure people. I've stayed in the US on my adventure touring bike, but have done plenty of long trips and lots of off road exploring. I'd recommend choosing between 2 bikes, and between the 2, alot depends on you. They are the Suzuki Vstrom 650, and the BMW GS 1200. The rational behind the 'strom is it's cost effective, extremely capable, uses regular octane gas, has an engine that has been around since the late 90's in the SV-650 and mexican/south american dealers will stock parts/it's easy to work on. The advantage of the GSA is more power, also very capable, and get BMW's adventure plan or whatever its called, if you break down, anywhere in the world, they will get the parts to you quickly.

Hasher
01-19-2015, 07:19 PM
Checkout www.ultimatejourney.com (http://www.ultimatejourney.com). This guy holds the Guinness world record for riding his bike around the world and continues to ride all,over the world a couple of months each year. He recently did the perimeter of,South America and has done Central America 2-3 times as well.

He Happens to to be a guy i referee with as well.

H60DoorGunner
01-19-2015, 07:38 PM
Dude, that's my dream ride!!! Tagged for info.... What kind of bikes are you taking? Dual sport?

Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk


Thanks everyone for the tips and good links.

Morghill, yes, dual sports. I was riding a Triumph Tiger, till it was wrecked (stupid college kids in my neighborhood). I really like it, but I'm seriously considering the new BMW GS series of bikes. They seem pretty awesome, at least on paper.

coastalcop
01-19-2015, 07:59 PM
Thanks everyone for the tips and good links.

Morghill, yes, dual sports. I was riding a Triumph Tiger, till it was wrecked (stupid college kids in my neighborhood). I really like it, but I'm seriously considering the new BMW GS series of bikes. They seem pretty awesome, at least on paper.


Try the super T too if you can get a test drive, most components sourced from preexisting Yamaha bikes

Or hell if you are down by the coast I will let you take a spin on mine if a local dealer won't ;)

coastalcop
01-20-2015, 11:24 AM
Also look at the VERSYS 650 from Kawasaki. Fuel injection, non tube tires, can fit pretty big dual sport rubber, chain drive, and practically all parts were sourced from existing Kawasaki rides also used around the world. If you are over 5'10" and 175 lbs its a single rider bike though.

Tons of fun took a quick trip from Brownsville Texas to Cloudcroft NM and never felt strained. It was light enough to pick up easily, and had plenty of power. Went to the Super T cause the XO decided she didn't want to ride her own anymore. You can find used versys around 3500-4000. Add a real skidplate and bars and you are GTG. Luggage is available but for that bike now the wolfman soft luggage or great loop has real application. Had a buddy go down in Big Bend and crush a leg under an aluminum pannier, tough SOB gutted it out to the road (we were on black gap for those familiar) for the 2 1/2 hours of deep pea gravel it took to reach pavement

coastalcop
01-20-2015, 11:32 AM
Oh and if you are going to be camping at all, Try the Hennessey hammock before you leave. I have never slept as comfortably in a tent (regardless of mat type) as I have in that hammock. There are a few out there that advertise big enough for two but Ive never found one I would be comfortable two up in. Besides, side by side you can still hold hands if you want to, and it keeps you up away from the creepy crawlies

morghill
01-20-2015, 12:06 PM
Oh and if you are going to be camping at all, Try the Hennessey hammock before you leave. I have never slept as comfortably in a tent (regardless of mat type) as I have in that hammock. There are a few out there that advertise big enough for two but Ive never found one I would be comfortable two up in. Besides, side by side you can still hold hands if you want to, and it keeps you up away from the creepy crawlies

Also check out Warbonnet Blackbird Hammocks, he makes a sweet setup! I use his stuff.

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coastalcop
01-20-2015, 02:56 PM
Also check out Warbonnet Blackbird Hammocks, he makes a sweet setup! I use his stuff.

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Yes Warbonnet is top kit!! something of a wait time though. The Hennessey you can find at REI or instantly online usually. But if you have a place to order RTS warbonnets then that would be a top pick too!


When I am camping for my hunts that leave from the site I use my MINIBAGO (Xterra set up for sleeping, uses 4" memory foam over inflatable) , if I have to pack in and find a site then the hennessey

morghill
01-20-2015, 02:58 PM
Yes Warbonnet is top kit!! something of a wait time though. The Hennessey you can find at REI or instantly online usually. But if you have a place to order RTS warbonnets then that would be a top pick too!

Yep! Everything is three weeks out.... Can't rush perfection I guess.

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62-10
01-20-2015, 04:46 PM
Advrider.com...Depending. On the bike(s) you choose try to find a model with tubeless wheels, patching tubes is a pain in the butt, pushing a plug in and airing up is a 5 minute job...

True, however if that tubeless wheel is cast alloy, then a wheel failure is game-over. I'll take a tube fix over that any day if far from a reliable parts source replacement. A tweaked spoke wheel rim can be "rocked" back in shape, if necessary, enough to continue. An ADV spoke wheel also has a bit more give. The ultimate for ADV would be a tubeless spoke wheel...

coastalcop
01-20-2015, 06:04 PM
True, however if that tubeless wheel is cast alloy, then a wheel failure is game-over. I'll take a tube fix over that any day if far from a reliable parts source replacement. A tweaked spoke wheel rim can be "rocked" back in shape, if necessary, enough to continue. An ADV spoke wheel also has a bit more give. The ultimate for ADV would be a tubeless spoke wheel...


True dat but only the super t and gs have one, though the newest tiger seems to have them as well