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South AmericaTopics specific to South America only.
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Hi we are not complete newbies as my wife and I have biked all 48 mainland states on a Goldwing in a 2 man tent thats 45000 miles. We are now looking at South America and though I'm aware of the risks mentioned in previous links, I'm more interested, will my bike get there as it is notorious on sand and anything loose, are there the roads for a wing down there or do I have to trade in and get an offroad bmw1100 etc.PS not 'done' offroading before and my wife is only pillion not rider.
If you do a search of this site or on google you'll find people have done this trip on just about any kind of bike you can think of. From my experience (in South America) the Goldwing will limit where you are able to go.Some of the best sites will be at best hard to get to if not impossible with your bike.
I agree with the previous post. You can travel all over South America on pavement. You will find some rough patches here and there, but you can do it on a GW. You will be tied to the blacktop, and miss a few things that would be accesible only on a dual sport.
We took a heavily loaded Sportster through CA and SA with 2 aboard. It was much too big. To me light weight is the key. Lots of people take bmw Dakars. I personally think that is overkill. I would look for a midsize Jap bike maybe with shaft drive. A lot of it depends on your size. I am 5'7" and therefore did not like the KLR 650 I once had. I like both feet on the ground. With two up you will never do serious off road so a mid size can be made tall enough with good shocks. A GW sure would be expensive to crate and ship. However, someone did drive one 500,000 miles around the world.
realstically, on a goldwing you are gonna miss out on a lot of cool stuff to see. you certainly wont be able to go to ushuaia. and you FOR SURE cant set foot in Bolivia, which for me is as good as it gets in south america. however, i imagine that you could do the panamericana from puerto montt in chile as far north as it goes ( columbia??) If I were you, I would bite the bullet and get a dualsport. On a Goldwing, you will have very few choices of where to ride, but with a dualsport, the world is your oyster. I was on a Yamaha XT600..... anyway, best of luck, PM or email me if you have any question, i was there just a few months ago doing a 16,000 miles trip. cheers
Well I have ridden 6,000 miles in Argentina and Chile of which 3,000 was gravel. I have also ridden a GW to Alaska and to the Copper Canyon. I have a friend that rode his GW to the Copper Canyon with his wife on the back. She rode a truck out but it can be done. I have ridden a GW on 150 mile stretches of gravel and if you take it slower it is ok. I am having the same problem with bikes now and have purchased a GS1200 adventure and it is no picnic on gravel either. The problem is taking the wife alone. No easy way if you can not teach her to ride. If you can get her to ride a couple 250 cc bikes would be awesome way to go. Getting the bike there is another problem you will run into. That is the one I am working on now. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I have been looking for a couple months and have not seen much come across as far as air shipping to South America from the USA. I would sure like to find someone that has information about shipping by air. I got a price from Lan Air cargo today that did not make me very happy. I have gotten the forms from customs but am still looking for a good shipper. It seems with 9-11 everyone has gotten out of it. Help Help Help
Pavement all the way to Ushuaia, you can ride a GW there. Again, it is not ideal, but it is doable. You can do the haul road to Prudhoe Bay on a Lincoln Town car, but you´d be better off on an SUV. Same applies here. You can ride SA in a Goldwing, you´d be better off on a GS or KLR.
I shipped a 1200 GSA from LA to Santiago in March on LAN for about $2400. It aint cheap. A bike, because it has or has had fuel, pays the "dangerous good" rate, which is 3 times the regular shipping rate. There is no way around it. I even did the math of how much I would save by chucking my tank, and replacing it with a new one which had never held gas. No go. A used bike, with old tank with 1/2 gl of gas, or with a new "gas-virgin" tank, pays the dangerous good rate. Shipping by sea does not justify the savings, if you factor in time, hassle of port customs, hidden fees, etc.
You can air ship your bike on a pallet, no need to crate. I crated mine and saved on shipping volume, but what I saved on shipping I spent on crating. Not worth it if you have to dissasemble and re-assemble the bike. When getting your air shipment quote, be sure to give as close to the shipping dimensions as possible, for an accurate quote, as you will be charged by volume and weight. I´m sure you know all this already, but just thought I´d mention it.
You can get to ushuia with minimal gravel roads, they are trying to pavve all the way there. half way completed when i was there last year. And there is a paved good condition road that leads all the way through Bolivia, hitting half the places that are worth seeing, the other half if hard to ride to what ever you are on!!!
Will certainly get you attention done here and should win you many friends. most countries love bikes and the bigger , and more unusual the better. As many routed a golwingh may close it will open up more doors to you!
go for it and good luck.
onee point though , you will never get parts for it done here though. but there againits a honda so you won´t need any ;o)
Hi, I rode down last year to Ushuaia from Veracruz, Mexico on a Honda 125. Most costs and road conditions, hotels , etc are on my BLOG at home
I am on my way north now, though have been held up Rio Grande the past month with a fractured ankle. A truck ran me down from the rear.
A few thoughts: various times riding black top, I've rounded a corner onto powdery sand drifting across the road. I have a feeling this would be unpleasant and possibly dangerous on a Goldwing.
Same goes with potholes.
I had to cross various rivers on railway bridges - not fun, especially when the planks either side of the rails are wet. Thedre is photograph on the BLOG of a bridge riding into Panama that scared the hell out of me.
The other problem with a big bike, you are waving a flag of personal afluence in countries where extreme poverty is the norm. The bike will get lots of interest, yes - however a smaller bike will be a better entry into local communities, less likely to arouse jealousy, antagonism, shakedowns.
Finally, as other posters have warned, you will be severely limited as to where you can ride.
What ever you decide, take care and have fun,
Argentina will allow you to leave your bike for only 9 months. Uruguay will allow a full year AND they are trustworthy folks. From BA, it's a 45 min. boat ride to Colonia and you could find someone there to leave your bike with.
As far as a good connection in BA, look up Xavier at Dakarmotos@hotmail.com
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