The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
Any tips for protecting the bike overnight from the cold on the Salar de Uyuni? Not sure how real a danger having the coolant freeze is? If I just throw a blanket over it will that be enough? How low is antifreeze supposed to work anyway?
I see that the Salar will be in the mid 30s F or at or around 2C at night for the next few days. That is hardly cold. Your bike will be fine. The oil may be a bit thick and cold in the morning, but hardly enough to have to light the MSR stove and warm up the oil pan in the morning.
I will be leaving my truck parked outside in the northern plains of the U.S. over the winter while I'm in South America. It will likely be subject to horizontal snow and 20 below O temps like it was last year. Covered in ice and snow and will likely start up to my amazement just like it did this year when I got back from my travels.
You may freeze your ass off though. I would save your blankies for inside your tent. Your bike will be fine even with marginal coolant. Not to worry.
I checked out your blog and see you are from the southeast. It's important to remember that 20 below in Bolivian centigrade is just below 0 in fahrenheit numbers. Not cold enough to hurt antifreeze. It may get that cold in the dead of winter in the higher elevations, but it looks like you will be fine with pleasant daytime temps in the 50s F. Should be fun. It will only be getting warmer as Spring approaches in the altiplano.
The Salar (and the rest of the altiplano) gets cold at night, no doubt about it. It's now winter, and if it doesn't get below freezing as John suggests, you're a lucky man. I'd suggest not being too blasé about it if you're planning to be out there.
I'd not get too relaxed about your coolant either. Recommended percentage is 50/50 for most engines, but people cheat one way or the other for a variety of reasons--especially in places where it never really gets too cold--better cooling, for example, at the expense of freeze protection. If yours is 30% antifreeze, that'll protect to just 5 degrees F. Below that, your coolant will freeze. Freezing coolant can blow out hoses, burst radiators or crack your block. If you bought the bike used or have diluted the coolant at some point, think about this.
Other considerations also apply. If you run your battery dead, it'll freeze and be ruined. As long as it's charged, you're ok. Bikes don't like being started at zero degree temps, although they'll usually do so if everything's working right. Etc.
My antifreeze hasn't been diluted and I put in the recomended Silkolene before the trip. Also my battery is a Lithium which doesn't suffer from freezing issues. I am slighlty dubious about those temperature forecasts mind you. The measuring station is probably in the town of Uyuni or even Potosi which wouldnt reflect the temp out on the Salar.
Yes, that weather station is in Potosi which is slightly higher and presumably colder than Uyuni and the Salar. I won't get there for a few months and Mark has actually been there so heed his advice. Mid 30s in the morning before the sun comes up with the wind howling is a nice day in Nebraska in winter. So my view is somewhat warped.
Reading your other thread I would worry more about your fuel pump than your cooling system.
Sounds like you've got it covered, then. I'd be more than "slightly" dubious about the temps quoted, but who knows? Altitude will also make a difference, of course--it's going to be a lot colder on routes which top out around 5000 meters (16,500 ft.) than in Uyuni (3700 meters) or Potosi (4000 meters).
Edit to add: crossposting with John. I've been there, but in mid-summer. It got below freezing at night when not clouded over.
I haven't camped on the Salar so can't comment on the conditions but I have tried to start and ridden my 800GS (basically same engine as yours) at various temps down to -25C. As long as you take the precautions suggested, your bike should start up to -10C with only a little bit of cranking, up to -15C with a lot of cranking and after that only with a boost from a big car battery and a long duration of cranking.
If you do go, and it does happen to get cold, just keep in mind that if you try your bike in teh morning and it doesn't start immediately, don't keep trying as you risk draining the battery. Just park it in the sun, go back to bed and come back in a couple of hours after the day has had time to warm up and your bike (and you) will be happier. Happy travels.
Nope, covering your bike doesn't make much difference, after a few hours outside it will be all be nicely chilled by the time you wake up.
Having said that, as others have mentioned, be cautious about the actual weather temps as you get close. At altitude it can get mighty cold and while you and the bike can get by at the outer limits of your/its operating range, it's usually not recommended for too long as things can break down and you and the bike will tend to get cranky
Not meaning to be argumentative, but I'm currently trying to avoid buckling down and tending to job responsibilities.
Under a clear night sky--that's most nights in the desert altiplano--stuff which is left uncovered will actually get colder than the ambient air temperature. The process by which this happens is radiational cooling. Loosely speaking, that's why frost forms on car windshields and lawns even at temps well above freezing on a clear night--and why it doesn't form in a carport or in the woods, even right next to that lawn or open parking space. It's also why you don't get frost on a cloudy night above freezing. For Mountain Man's benefit, it's why mountain snow refreezes on a clear night even in air temps of 5 or 10 degrees C.
What this means is that covering your bike might make a difference. I'd welcome anyone who really knows about this to chime in more authoritatively.
Wow, a radiational cooling reference, on a Friday no less
My understanding of the precise equations governing such things is murky at best but most folks in the mountains around here cover living things (people, plants) to minimize the cooling effect and don't seem to bother with non-living things (bikes, snowmobiles) as it doesn't seem to make much difference, or at least for the purposes of starting or operating said non-living things.
I suppose if close to the operational limits already, a couple of degrees might be important, but based on nothing more than random guesswork (and a few cold pulls on frozen snowmobiles) leads me to want to think that a pretty cold bike starts poorly and a very cold bike starts not at all and just needs to be left in the sun a little longer while a person sleeps in their warm sleeping bag.
(As a side note, I'll have to google some articles on the effect with snow. I always assumed that it was mostly due to the charactertics of snow (less heat absorption, quicker heat dissipation, therefore lower base temps) that led to the effect being so strong and the temperature difference with the ambient air so great but who knows, that may just an oversimplification of the many variables on my part. I only really paid attention in the snow science commentary when they mentioned what makes good powder).
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).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
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
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
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!
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.