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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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Nearly ready for my first "big ride", but wouldn't mind some help :-)

I think that I have found the right person to help me so I will put this thread on hold for now. Thank you very much for your interest.

Most of the stuff you need is ordered.
You wonder if it will be enough? or maybe too much?
Are you ready? or not?

I guess you have all been there and I'm there right now. BUT as I have spend hours reading on this brilliant forum and also done a small "Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia on a Minsk" tour I feel kind of ready.

I have booked a plane ticket for the 13. of December (I don't belive in bad numbers) from Denmark (Scandinavia/Europe) to San Francisco (you have to start somewhere).

There I plan to buy a used/new bike (probably a KLR, but in lack of a decent one I will go for V Strom or F650). When I am ready I plan to do the somewhat "standart" US-Mexico-CA-SA.

Anyways I could really do with a good contact in the USA.
Maybe someone who has a couch or even a little garage workshop (or knows a mech who can help prep the bike for a decent price), I think I will fit the bike with some alu-panniers and engine protection (doohicky and front brake if it's a KLR)

Someone in the San Francisco area maybe?

It seems that Montana and Oregon have less tax and that it's easier to register the bike there, but how is the weather in December month there? Wouldn't mind going there as it sounds like a nice place, but I don't want to end up like a snowman on a bike if you know what I mean.

I don't really expect anything, but any help given will be appreciated. If you can help me I don't mind paying for the household costs as long as we are fair to each other and agree on things like lenght of stay etc. I would love to meet some "real" americans and I would also like to save some money. I have a tent, so I can even do with a backyard.

Oh and if none of the above is possible then if I could just "borrow" an address for the registration it would be great.

About me:
My name is Peter Kongsbak, I'm 26 and I am from Denmark. I am an easy going, creative guy who also happens to have a great "wanderlust". I am very respectfull and honest, as I want others to treat me, like I treat them. I am old enough to clean up after myself so don't worry about that.

You can email me on pkongsbak(at)hotmail(.)com or reply to this post, whatever is easier for you.

Looking foreward to hearing from you! Thanks for reading.
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Peter Kongsbak
South East Asia, USA, Central and South America and Scandinavia.

Last edited by peter-denmark; 1 Oct 2007 at 21:39.
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  #2  
Old 23 Sep 2007
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Hello, hello

Come on over there has to be someone who would like to meet you and help you on your journey. A little cold and snowy here in montana in december. My choice would be a KLR650.
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  #3  
Old 23 Sep 2007
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Hi Bill

I think you are right about the KLR. The more hours I spend thinking and reading about it the more it seems like the "right" bike for the job.

But really, I have no difficulties taking a flight or a bus to somewhere else than San Francisco, I just needed to start out somewhere.

Does Oregon have the same "easy" rules for obtaining the registration papers as Montana does, anyone know?
For me the main argument for buying outside California would be less paperwork and less waiting (in whatever order).
7% tax doesnt scare me that much as I pay 45% income tax, 25% VAT, 180% Vehicle Registration fee and a gallon of gas sets me back 7 dollars here in Denmark (and the weather sucks too)

Oh well, but that is besides the point.

So I take it from your post Bill that Montana is pretty much a No-Go due to risk of freezing my genetalia off? Or is just that all the sunday riders stay in doors?

Does anyone know of larger or smaller dealers (or even private persons) who could find and prep a KLR for a tour? A used one with low miles would be preferrable, but you don't always get what you wish for, so a new one is also an option.
Standart upgrades like doohicky, nerfbars and highway pegs, pannier racks etc.

Or maybe someone of you know someone who has a tour ready bike with, say a maximum of 15000 miles? And whould would be villing to part with it of course (-:

Thank You

Peter
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  #4  
Old 23 Sep 2007
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too cold

Montana December snow and lots of it. Not as much as you have but still. Im a fair weather biker to cold or nasty I go south.

Oregon on the cost is free of snow (most of the time) lotts rain thow no tax, dont know about register the bike there cant be that hard. The USA is lax on most of its laws anyway. May have stay some place to get the registration (P.O. Box will do or the bike shop may know a way around it). Geting the title plate and registration may take a week or 2. ||| New and Used Motorcycles For Sale - Cycle Trader ||| - CycleTrader.com has all you need for a bike used or new. Im not too trusting on people setting up my bike for a ride like that so Id do all that my self. http://www.whitehorsepress.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=KLR&search_in_ description=1&x=0&y=0 has most of the gear your looking for.

As far as KLR Vs. DL well I like the DL smother better road handiling for what I use my bike for it beat out the KLR not by much but it did.

Getting a place to work on the bike may be a bit harder but If you talk to people thay will get you some place dry to put the bits on. If not I have worked on my bike in the parking lot of the bike shop, in a camping ground and in a parking building.
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  #5  
Old 23 Sep 2007
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Thanks for your input DLbiten. Guess it should be Oregon or California then. I just read that in California it can take up to 6-8 weeks to get the final registration papers. I can deal with this, but it would be sooo much easier to get them before I leave the states.

Work space. I had thought about the option of doing it at camp sites and so on. Only problem is that I am not a great mechanic (not a complete tosser either) and that the bike will probably need quite extensive upgrading.

I guess you just have to spend dollars and time on different things if you buy a DL compared to a KLR. Or would I be much cheaper off in upgrades if I compare a stock DL to a stock KLR? I think the new version has bridget the quality gap a bit between the KLR and the DL, but well. I am lost, because I simply don't know. I think I will just go for the best possible deal all in all. With that I mean: as ready a bike as possible for the most fair price (not cheapest, but value for money since I don't want to pay for fancy names and stickers)

I don't know how the roads are in Central and South America, but I would hate to miss out on to to much because my bike wouldn't go there.

Thanks

Peter
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Last edited by peter-denmark; 23 Sep 2007 at 23:19.
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  #6  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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When you buy your used bike in California the plates stay with the bike. So you get your registration at the DMV the day you complete the registration process and new stickers if the old ones expired. If you are buying new, then you get a temporary registration and you wait 3-4 weeks for the plate, stickers and registration.

I'm in San Jose, which is 45-50 miles south of San Francisco. I can help answer any other specific questions and can probably meet up if you are coming through.
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  #7  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Hi Redbull

Thanks for the info, I'll try to think of some good questions to ask you (-:

Regards Peter
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  #8  
Old 28 Sep 2007
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Peter, I would highly recommend that you contact the HU San Francisco Community on the "Community" link, this is the best way to contact HU members in the San Francisco area.

For your trip, I think the KLR should be at the top of your list. A decent used one in the area will run $3000-$4000 and a new one has an MSRP in the low $5000 range. December is a slow month for sales, so you should be able to get a new one from a dealer for approximately the MSRP (low $5000s) out the door including everything, which will still take a bit of bargaining. Used ones will be cheaper than the spring & summer months, but selection may be limited.

You don't need to go crazy outfitting the KLR, its pretty much ready to go...you could pick up a new one for a bit over $5k, throw on some Ortlieb soft dry panniers, a dry bag to go on the rear rack/seat and you would be ready to hit the road. On a lighter bike like the KLR, the soft panniers are a better choice than the aluminum panniers, IMHO. If you will be in the USA for a few weeks after you buy the bike, you would still have time to add accessories as you see fit.

The best place to look for used bikes in the SF Bay Area is craigslist: san francisco bay area classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events. Also check out the flea market on Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum. You might also post a wanted ad on both of these sites. SF is a good place to look for a bike as there are lots of riders here and the public transport is better than most US cities for getting around. Keep in mind that in most US cities, getting around without your own transportation is very difficult. The paperwork for the bike will typically take about 3 weeks or so to get from the DMV in the mail in California.
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  #9  
Old 28 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter-denmark View Post
I don't know how the roads are in Central and South America, but I would hate to miss out on to to much because my bike wouldn't go there.
Peter, one comment about this...just about any bike will be able to handle the trip you are about to take, its just that some bikes will require more effort to ride than others. IMHO, the most important quality on a travel bike is reliability. Both the KLR and DL650, while being very different bikes, have an excellent reputation for being reliable. You are definitely on the right track with your bike choices.
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  #10  
Old 28 Sep 2007
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Hi David

Thank you very much for your posts. I am getting confident that I am on the right track in the trip planning.

Good point about posting an ad.

Regards Peter
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  #11  
Old 29 Sep 2007
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All good advice.

KLR

Craigslist (I just checked and there are tons of KLRs for sale. There will be fewer in December, but they will be dirt cheap because no one buys in December and everyone needs money for Christmas)

Check the flea market both here and ADVrider. You very well may get a bike already fitted with all the stuff you would do.

I have an address you can use for the paperwork.

Contact the HU community and let the ADV riders know you are comming.

Should go off without a hitch (you DO speak Spanish right?)
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  #12  
Old 29 Sep 2007
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Hi Pete

Thank you, I might very well take you up on that address thing. And yes, I will make a post on the community pages one of these days. Seems to be the right thing to do.

I don't have a fixed departure from the americas, so I hope to pick up some spanish in Mexico. Maybe some language school for some weeks.

I know that I need to speak spanish for the countries further south, but it is my understanding that you can make do with english and a spanish phrasebook in mexico. At least in the more turisty areas.

It will just have to work out... I am too busy working in Denmark to follow any spanish courses.
Thanks for your info. Peter
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