Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > South America

South America Topics specific to South America only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 17 Oct 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 20
Can a cheap road bike make it to costa?

I'm leaving San Diego around 10th December, really don't have the most impressive budget especially since the Australian dollar has been demolished against the US.I was thinking of buying a possibly cosmetically poor but healthy older bike to ride to Panama (rather than the orginal dual purpose plan). If I stick to the main roads i figure it should be ok!! PLease someone tell me if this is crazy talk. Thanks..
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Oct 2008
DaveSmith's Avatar
Slacker supreme
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bouncing between Sacramento and Portland.
Posts: 409
The Oz dollar will probably improve after the US election, but your plan sounds great.
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Norwich,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 788
Not a problem, if you have a bike that runs and is reliable enough to run around on you can get to Costa Rica, and Panama .Roads are good all the way down
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Oct 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: montana usa
Posts: 525
Cheap bike for trip

My favorite would be a rusted faded dented japanese bike with a shaft drive. No worn out chain and sprokets to worry about.
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Oct 2008
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Not crazy at all . But if you don't have good mechanical knowledge ,it might be unwise .
If you know your bikes you will be fine .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Oct 2008
albert crutcher's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: colombia-ecuador
Posts: 224

Get an old Klr650 and you,ll be able to keep going!!!
Al theturtleshead
Reply With Quote
Old 20 Oct 2008
keyskruiser's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: marathon, florida usa
Posts: 17

If you stick to the Pan-American Hwy, it is all paved. Also, the mechanics I encountered in even the small towns of C.A. and S.A. are not one brand specific. They seem to be able to work on anything and many of them are capable of creating parts that are not available. By all means, GO and have a great time.
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Oct 2008
JogiCR's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tamarindo - Costa Rica
Posts: 40

Hi joshsnave,

congratulations, nice idea, this is the real adventure and you will blend in better then any fancy dual sport bike.

For less trouble on the trip and to enjoy the ride, just have the bike checked with a good mechanic and take a few important parts with you.
Keep us posted what bike you bought and updates of your trip if possible.

Saludos Jogi

Reply With Quote
Old 22 Oct 2008
farqhuar's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oztralia
Posts: 566
Josh, in '84 I bought a 6 year old "fully dressed" CX500 in LA and rode it two-up down to Tierra del Fuego.

Eminently doable, and a very easy ride compared to some of the offroading I have done else where in the world.

Garry from Oz.
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2008
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: albury nsw australia
Posts: 329
bikes are cheap

grab a big trailie for $1500 USD no problems in california or oregon ,they are way cheaper than in oz ,my klr was $1700 in alaska and it got me to colombia so far and its still running sweet ,it was only 6 years old, check out fleabay and craigs list also the classified on here and ADVrider ,you can put out a call for what you want
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2008
DaveSmith's Avatar
Slacker supreme
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bouncing between Sacramento and Portland.
Posts: 409
Check out jaxed. It's a neat site that checks out all the US and Canada craigslists and eBay. Craigslist is pretty big in a lot of US areas. The overseas CL isn't always great.

for sale : : combined classified and auction listings
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: On the road
Posts: 122
I havent actually ridden through CA but I imagine its similar, perhaps better than SA conditions. Not bad at all down there.
If you stick to the main roads you can go as far as your hearts desire.

I think anything is capable of such a trip but as mentioned above give the bike a check-up servce before you leave.

Just go and do it.
Round the world on a Postie bike, 2-up
Bilingual Blog (japanese and English)
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 54
You can do it on any bike (hell, plenty of people do it on push-bikes).

Unless you really love long stretches of straight highway, you'll have more fun if you take a dualsport. It will open up many alternate routes, especially through Mexico. The cuotas are immaculately paved but boring boring boring.

An old KLR would be perfect. A DR650 would do just as well. Depending on how much stuff you want to bring and what route you take, a 250cc dualsport like a KLX or one of those Honda Bros might even be more fun and would certainly be the cheapest way given the current price of gas...

Reply With Quote
Old 24 Oct 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: cardigan,wales
Posts: 251
Honda CX500/650,Kwak GT750,earlyish BM...among others these should be cheap as chips and able to get you there ok.I would!
Just going for a short ride on my bike....
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Nov 2008
Contributing Member
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever will have me
Posts: 14
Just do it!!!

Go for it,
I bought a beat up 14 year old KLR last year in Argentina and rode it all the way to Columbia. It was burning oil when i bought it and it was still burning it when i got to Columbia.(Sorry greenies)
I am not telling a word of a lie when i say i didn't have to do a single thing to it apart from routine maintenance. I did my best to bust the beast, (that includes wiping out at 100kms/h) and it just kept going and going!!
Absolutely amazing machine and because they haven't changed it in 20 years you'll have no problems finding parts.
Before this i had no respect for the KLR as a machine, now i just can't say enough good things about them.

Good luck with your trip and if you do take a kwacker, give it some taste of dirt. They love it,
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
make a bike look ugly? globalkoster Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 21 30 Oct 2008 02:52
Off road make you a better rider HendiKaf Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 10 19 Apr 2007 20:29
Cheap road tyres for a Dommie... davidlomax Honda Tech 0 27 Apr 2006 17:35
Make a difference with your bike in Mongolia thanp73 Make a Difference 0 4 Jul 2005 23:33
IRC TR8 Tyres - Cheap & Excellent Off-Road mbishop Yamaha Tech 0 21 Sep 2004 05:22


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:28.