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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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  #1  
Old 20 Apr 2010
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DRZ400S - tyre choice for S. America?

I'm in the middle of prepping my partners bike for a trp she'll be starting in early September 2010. Route will be BA - Arica - Santiago - Ushuaia - BA.

I'm wondering what tyres will be best suited for the trip? I think there'll be a lot of hard packed dirt & gravel but hopefully not too much mud? I'm thinking that Pirelli MT21's might be a good all-round choice unless anyone has another option that's available in the UK? Looking for decent mileage without sacrificing too much grip on the un-paved sections.

Trips due to be completed mid-December in BA where the bike may well be for sale. I'll advertise it nearer the time if that's the case. It's a 2004 DRZ400S on 2,700 miles, expected mileage at journeys end will be nearer 9-10,000 miles. It will be fitted with steel tube pannier frames & rear rack for soft luggage, Clarke 14.8 litre tank + 5 litre reserve fuel canister incorporated in to the pannier frames, Tooltube, bashplate, DEP silencer, Talon lowering link, headlight guard, slightly lowered seat foam, H/D tubes, hex headed brake pad retaining pins rather than the crap stock part. There may also be some spares available.
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Old 20 Apr 2010
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Off-topic: we've heard that you're not allowed to take animal products in to Chile? This apparently includes sheepskin seat covers - any know if this true?
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Old 20 Apr 2010
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Ignore the sheepskin story !! Thousands of bikers have ridden in and out with them (including me) with no problems.

Maybe at the airport it's different but I doubt it..

As for tyres, anything will do really. Metzeler Sahara 3's are about in South America and I found were great.

Where are you starting and finishing ?? Dakar Motos in Bsas has all sorts of rubber available and could be a wise stop half way through !
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Old 20 Apr 2010
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Thanks for the info.

It's my partner who's going, not me, my job is to prep the bike, stay here & pay the mortgage....

I'll pass on all relevant info.
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Old 21 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
Thanks for the info.

It's my partner who's going, not me, my job is to prep the bike, stay here & pay the mortgage....

I'll pass on all relevant info.
I need a partner like you !!
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Old 21 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I need a partner like you !!
this is getting wierd gentlemen ... i suggest you take that elsewhere!

so Back to the tyres.... I assume she doesnt want to have to faff around finding tyres down there

usual suspects ... if its dirt, hardpack, gravel, not much mud, needing good mileage (about 7000 - 8000 miles she will do?) ... K60s will do the whole tour on one set of tyres.

MT21s or T63s will probably not be able to do the whole lot on one set of tyres ...
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Old 21 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
this is getting wierd gentlemen ... i suggest you take that elsewhere!

so Back to the tyres.... I assume she doesnt want to have to faff around finding tyres down there

usual suspects ... if its dirt, hardpack, gravel, not much mud, needing good mileage (about 7000 - 8000 miles she will do?) ... K60s will do the whole tour on one set of tyres.

MT21s or T63s will probably not be able to do the whole lot on one set of tyres ...
hahah ! Don't let my missis read this !!

K60's would work great yeah but I think a decent South America trip is 10,000-15,000 miles.
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Old 21 Apr 2010
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I need a partner like you !!
Thanks for the offer Ted but I don't bat for the other team.....
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Old 23 Apr 2010
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Steve, , you have the gift of what the French call " La Repartie"!!
For tyres thast last , consider the Mitas E07 - I love those and they are fitted to my dakar- I do not know your rim size though, so check if available!
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Old 24 Apr 2010
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Already incorporated the 5 litre fuel can in to the racks although we now have to order another fuel can due to a mishap today....

I'll pass on the info re: MT21's. I think my partner's just registered on HU, I know she reads this thread.
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Old 25 Apr 2010
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I would get what's cheap and available in the UK and then get a tire in either Arica or Santiago if needed. The 400 should be easy on tires. Running fast highway speeds will EAT MT-21's (ask me how I know) so keep tarmac speeds moderate and they well last MUCH longer.

There are bike rental places in Arica and shops in Santiago/Valpo, so should be a tire somewhere for the DRZ along your route. Call around once in the area.

Are you riding with her or is she doing a "Solo Lois"? Don't forget the fake wedding ring.

!bien viaje!
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Old 26 Apr 2010
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Hi Everybody, it's Ela here, Steve's partner.

I have finally registered myself and would like to thank you for all your advice on suitable tyres - much appreciated.

@ Ted, Colebatch & Waterfox -

Steve will be on his own for 3 1/2 months - so please don't give him any ideas...

@ Mickey D -

What is a "Solo Lois" and why should I take a fake wedding ring? Even if we were married I would rather take no jewellery at all to be on the safe side.
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Old 26 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Pumpy View Post
Hi Everybody, it's Ela here, Steve's partner.

I have finally registered myself and would like to thank you for all your advice on suitable tyres - much appreciated.

@ Ted, Colebatch & Waterfox -

Steve will be on his own for 3 1/2 months - so please don't give him any ideas...

@ Mickey D -

What is a "Solo Lois" and why should I take a fake wedding ring? Even if we were married I would rather take no jewellery at all to be on the safe side.

It's a trick many solo woman travellers use to put off any romantic ideas by police, customs officials or other cheeky chappies !

South America is a very macho (but friendly) continent so learning "My husband is following a few miles behind" in Spanish could be pretty useful for many occasions.

A £10 Argos gold band isnt going to get you mugged !


P.S. Fear not !! I'm not a active member of the Y.M.C.A ! lol
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Old 26 Apr 2010
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Thanks for the explanation, Ted.

If this trick is used by many female travellers, don't all the police, customs officials or other cheeky chappies know it by now?

Well, I will take a photo of Steve, too, to make it absolutely clear that I can't be tempted by any other man on the planet...
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Old 26 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Pumpy View Post
Thanks for the explanation, Ted.

If this trick is used by many female travellers, don't all the police, customs officials or other cheeky chappies know it by now?

Well, I will take a photo of Steve, too, to make it absolutely clear that I can't be tempted by any other man on the planet...
I don't think there are all that many solo female travellers in South America at one time really !!

For the sake of a cheapo ring, it's worth the story as backup I reckon.
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