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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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First trip HELP

Hi everyone, bear with me as first time..
I'm planning a trip round south america in the near future and have obviously been looking for a good bike to take, the only problem is with the stupid uk laws I'm potentially stuck at 33bhp. This does pose a problem especially with the altitudes and power of just 33bhp, so I was wondering if anybody had done a similar trip on a small capacity bike or any suggestions
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Lois

Hey mate,

I'd advise reading 'Lois on the Loose' by Lois Pryce. She did N --> S Americas on a Yamaha Serow 225cc not so long back.
Good book, easy read and will tell you about a low powered bike in the Americas.

Have fun
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  #3  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Don't forget Simon Gandolfi did Central/South America on a CG 125, The book, 'Old man on a bike'
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  #4  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosha13 View Post
Hi everyone, bear with me as first time..
I'm planning a trip round south america in the near future and have obviously been looking for a good bike to take, the only problem is with the stupid uk laws I'm potentially stuck at 33bhp. This does pose a problem especially with the altitudes and power of just 33bhp, so I was wondering if anybody had done a similar trip on a small capacity bike or any suggestions
Thanks
I don't know the rules in the UK, but is it possible to BUY a bike, but never ride it in the UK? Prep and ship to S. America? Once out of the UK no one cares about tiered licensing .... as long as you have some sort of license and a title in your name for the machine. Your main ID will always be your Passport. Best bet regards costs would be to buy in S. America. Either another travelers bike (check Bikes For Sale forum here) or one of the many good bikes available locally. Several good 250's and 400's available.

If you have money to burn then buy your bike in the UK and spend another 1000 UKP shipping it over. Then what? Ship it back again? Makes no sense. You could re-sell in S. America ... maybe, if you have time. As noted above, many great rides have been done on smallish bikes. If well set up they are fun to ride and MUCH easier to ride in any sort of mud, deep sand or rough, rocky, steep, and slippery roads. You will encounter these conditions if you get off the Pan AM highway and explore inland.

That Honda 400 sold in Brazil and Mexico looks good to me. There are some other Japanese bikes and lots of pretty good Chinese made and Indian bikes for sale too. Most dealers can arrange the legalities of buying in their country. If you want a near-new 650cc class bike for cheap then the best option is to fly into the USA, buy a bike and ride south. Dozens from the UK riders have done this in the last year alone.
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  #5  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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Hello Rosha13,

Like you, I am planning a trip around South America. After doing the research on bike costs for shipping versus buying in South America, I have determined that buying a small bike in Chile next winter makes the most sense for me. I recently rode a 250 Kawasaki Super Sherpa 11,000 miles from the U.S. to Panama and back (a whopping 26 bhp) and it was a hoot. It can cruise at 70 mph if you need to. Although I usually tootle along at 55-60. Which is plenty for third world travel. But shipping it to South America is 1500 bucks. Too rich for my paltry budget. So, no go for the Sherpa. For the same money you can buy a little thumper in South America and ride the wheels off it. I am following the travels of folks who have bought bikes in Santiago Chile:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...santiago-45637

and checking out sites like:

Busqueda Avanzada

to see what I can afford. Looks like I'll be buying a new Euromot GXT200 or Honda CG125 since they are both around 1500$ U.S. which is my budget.

You will have fun no matter what bike you bring or buy. Best luck on your adventures. Hope to see you down the road.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Panama and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure:
Panama and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure - ADVrider
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

Last edited by John Downs; 11 Jun 2010 at 10:17.
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  #6  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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Cheers for all the advice guys, definitely food for thought.

Ive looked at lois pryce and one thing that does concern me is the 25mph on the mountain highways as the andes is something i want to see. Somebody did suggest a royal enfield 500 is within the limit and potentially more powerful, as im not really fussed about overall top speed but would like to travel a bit faster than 25mph on the highways. But equally anything with two wheels is going to be fun
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  #7  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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unfortunately i would have to restrict it to 33bhp but if i was free to pick anything it would have been a yamaha single....
again throwing in another bike, somebody else suggested a drz400s as its under the bhp limit (just) and is more comfy than the more powerful E version. Looking around though some reliability issues have come up and i was wondering if anyone has experienced any of these
thanks
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  #8  
Old 14 Jun 2010
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Hi mate,
I`m in Colombia at the moment on a BMW F650 that I`ve ridden here via Tehran, Bangkok, Sydney and then into Buenos Aires. I`m based in London btw.
I definitely wouldn`t ship a bike to South America if I was just touring here. It`s far cheaper to buy here, a KLR 650 would be easy, there`s loads in the forums, and then you sell it at the end, plenty of buyers about.
And, as mentioned earlier, don`t worry about the 33bhp limit, as soon as you get your international licence from the post office there`s no mention of the restriction and none of the officials can read or understand it anyway.
Also, buying a bike another traveller has used means it`s probably prepped with spares and panniers. May need a service, but there are plenty of places around.

Good luck, you`ll have a great time!

Rick
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  #9  
Old 14 Jun 2010
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Just read your last post, don`t get too hung up on reliability. All bikes will make it, and sometimes a break down or two adds great meetings and experiences to your trip.

Plus, not wishing to open a can of worms here, but BMW has a great reputation for reliabilty, but you may find this isn`t exactly disserved in the real world.

As most people will tell you, once you`re travelling you`ll see every bike under the sun, and they all make it. Near enough. Well, maybe some with a bit more help than others.
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  #10  
Old 17 Jun 2010
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Hi there,

As other replies have said, the 33BHP restriction is meaningless outside of the UK. If you are buying a bike locally to start your ride, just pick the bike that suits you and your budget, don't worry about 33BHP.

However, if you decide to buy and prep a bike in the UK to ship to South America (which may be worthwhile if you are considering a more expensive bike) then you have a few options.

1) Find a 33BHP bike.

2) Find a larger bike, restrict it while you have it in the UK (most can be done cheaply and don't actually require £150 kits) or find one that is already restricted, then remove the restriction when you leave the UK.

3) remove the restriction on your license. You don't say whether the 33BHP limit is because of your age (in which case there's not much you can do!) or because you chose to sit your test on a 125. My fiancee did the latter, because at the time (a year ago), she was totally new to riding and the 500cc bike intimidated her. However, after passing her test she got a 650cc and restricted it, and quickly built her skills and confidence. Then, rather than wait for the two year probation period to finish, she sat her test again on a 500cc bike, and now has an unrestricted license, and an unrestricted bike.

We are planning our own Americas trip starting later this year, and will be shipping our second hand BMW F800GSs out to Buenos Aries. This is what we decided was the right option for us, it would not be right for everyone. We're enjoying being able to prep the bikes now, get used to them, do a few trial trips to work out which gear we don't need to bother with, ride them in all sorts of conditions and terrains, and spend time in the saddle.

There is no absolute 'right' option for bike choice, just what is right for you. Everybody has their own style of riding, and of travelling, the important thing is that the bike suits your style and your budget. Some on here will swear by their 1200 GS Adventures, others by their Honda C90s - they are both right, if it worked for them. If you don't mind pootling up high passes at 25MPH enjoying the scenery, a small bike will suit you fine. If you think it will frustrate you, buy something a little bigger. Whatever you take will most likely break down at some stage, you'll get it fixed, and it will get you to the end of your journey.

And, if you haven't already read Lois on the Loose, do!

Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 17 Jun 2010
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...nobody will test the power of your bike in S-America...
...more power-more fun
but to be honest-everything is possible (or even easier) on a small bike
...but I love my 950

...done 42000km in S-Am recently-find infos on my page:

950 Abenteuer

Cheers from Uyuni
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  #12  
Old 20 Jun 2010
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cheers for all the advice
yeah it is due to my age, who says its fun being young
definitely thinking about buying the bike abroad as saves a packet and nobody is going to ask about the power but thanks for the help guys!
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