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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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  #1  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Red face harley or bmw?

we are going to ride across the states, through mexico, central america, and then on into south america, and cannot get a straight answer to our boggle.....can this be done on a touring harley, I have riddden Harleys all my life, but am wondering if a GS may be a better option for this one, and we are going 2Up.................words of wisdom please!
Dan
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  #2  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Those are very valid reasons for taking it along. Learning a new bike (BMW) on the road is not the best time for that.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:44.
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  #3  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Straight answer

I rode an Ultra Classic down Baja, across the Sea of Cortez by ferry, across the Devils Backbone and out at McAllen, Tex. Took a Softail all over the Yucatan and had a ball. No prob, just be careful of your kickstand on the topes(speedbumps).

Not on a Harley, but on my ride to Panama, I did not run across anything I would be afraid of with a Harley ---- careful of the potholes and sugar cane.

SA dunno - yet.

All the normal south of the border precautions apply.

Take the Harley.
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  #4  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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A Harley is the wrong bike for the job. There are many unmarked speedbumps that you will hit at high speed. It is likely that you will come upon washed out roads that you can not do on a Harley. Buy a lighter dual sport and you will have a lot more fun on the trip, trust me.
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Take your Harley. It's your bike, you know its quirks and you like it (Keep in mind it may look totally different when you return... bye bye to smooth chrome if that matters to you.)

In any case ,I agree with the first response. Knowing your bike is important on the road and adds a layer of confidence. Just keep your speed down (even perhaps painfully slow at times) on dirt / gravel roads and look out for oil on the roads.

Another aspect is that there is something great in my opinion about having a high mileage bike that has been places with you... like a great pair of boots or any equipment you have had for a long time. It's an odd but wonderfull bond.

Have a great trip.
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  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Hi,

Water melon or banana? Which one has more vitamin?

A Guatalaman man will choose banana, a middle eastern will water melon...

Go for the one you know and use well.... IMHO.



Enjoy your ride...
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Having done trips on a Triumph Bonneville that "people" tell me are only possible on an dual purpose type bike I'd say take the Harley. Only thing I'd suggest is look for tyres that won't block up with anything loose, so a block/catspaw tread rather than semi-slicks. Far better to have a bike you are comfortable with mechanically and on 90% of surfaces than start planning for the what if's.

Enjoy your trip,

Andy
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Having done trips on a Triumph Bonneville that "people" tell me are only possible on an dual purpose type bike I'd say take the
... Bonneville.

Lovely bike.

--Mike
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatogato View Post
A Harley is the wrong bike for the job. There are many unmarked speedbumps that you will hit at high speed. It is likely that you will come upon washed out roads that you can not do on a Harley. Buy a lighter dual sport and you will have a lot more fun on the trip, trust me.
A harley is not the WRONG bike for the job
I rode with a dutch guy on a HD pulling a trailer down to The Gambia in 2006 and he had no problems, he had also 'done' Mongolia on the same machine, I now ride R80gs but would have no worries on riding a HD or any other bike for that matter on a trip,ride what you know,I can't understand why you either have to be a Charley Ewan or David Knight clone to do a trip.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by harleydan View Post
.....words of wisdom please!
Devil dog spelled backwards is god lived....

Other then that most of the above summed it up.. ride the bike you know/love.. you will spend way too much time with something that you dont love.. so your harley is the right tool for the job...

Sure a deep river fording will mean you have to turn around and find a different route.. but this could be an adventure in on itself.
have fun!
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  #11  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Take the Hog. Myself and Gato would not because we ride different. There are Harleys all over CA and SA. (Not allot, but they are here.) There are paved roads almost everywhere. If you decide not to take paved roads, put a different set of rubber on it and ride a little slower.

Your bike is probably allready set up too. You should leave tomorrow.

Jeff
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  #12  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Hi There,
i rode a couple of BMW years ago while my former wife forced me to sell my
harley instead of a more confortable Boxer. we went in morocco north europe and middle east. nothing to say, were excellent bikes expecially the gs 1100r.
but i felt in love with harley once again and loose her. i owned an old '93 electra sport, wich allowed me to ride through iran for 12.500km, no problems. then i buyed a new Dyna fxd in 2002. with this one i rode through
caucasus, middle east, west sahara 'till dakar and back. and last year leaving from Italy i went to touch the sky on khardung la, himalaya, just 3 months after Peter & kay forwood. now it have 90,000km just common maintenance
tyres, brake pads & battery. it still work so i'm plan to ride south america on 2009. everyone makes the choice he's feel, everyone ride the bike he's like.
u can ride the world with your mind, but still on two wheels...
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  #13  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Talking harley or BMW

to all of you who replied to my post, thank you!! I will venture forth with much more confidence now with your support, but ifmy bike sinks into a bog in Ecuador, I will come find you!!!!
but seriously, thanks to all for your wisdom, I have never taken my baby out of europe, and the pictures of the Off Road possee going through rivers and down gravel mountains scares the $@*t out of me!
Happy riding all of you
look out for some short guy pushing a HOG round SA , it could be me!!
Dan
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  #14  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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The bottom line is: Ride what you love.

That said, you will face certain constraints when riding a Harley instead of a large dualsport-ish bike like the BMW GS:

* You will avoid the dirt and malpaved roads more than you would otherwise. Ground clearance makes a huge difference.

* Topes will be significantly more irritating. On a GS with a well-behaved passenger (who stands up when you do) you should be able to hit topes barely slowing down.

* You should be more concerned about locking the bike up. There's a huge aftermarket for Harley parts so they're easy to strip and sell. Not so much for KTMs or BMWs.

Don't accept anyone's anecdotal reports of the reliability of the bikes; Harleys and BMWs both fail with enough frequency to provide plenty of fun stories on advrider. You will have problems, it's just part of the experience. If you're in a hurry take an airplane!

Personally I would not go south without a dualsport because the backroads are WAY MORE FUN. I can't comment on South America, but if you stick to major highways you miss out on 90% of the experience of Central America.

Jeff
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  #15  
Old 1 Nov 2008
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Asado(grill) in BA is on me!!!!

Hey great choice!
Do the trip,modern HD are great bikes.Far better then crap chinese....fu%&$ing bikes.
Remember when you enter BA i will make your first asado here.
Why donĀ“t you share a few pictures(or link to them)of your travelling HD?
Maybe we all can advice you a bit more.
Have seen 1200 sporster on TKC 80!
Karl
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