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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 14 Mar 2007
Stagbeetle's Avatar
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Do it now!

Ok so what's the difference in crashing out in down town USA to down town Peru? Yeah if you break something it's gonna be harder to fix - wheels, lights, legs and stuff, but can you really say you will do it in a year or two years time? You could be married with kids FGS.

Just check out that you like motorcycling first!! If you do then get as much riding in as possible before you leave, but go.

My twin bro thought he would like to accompany me on my AWT later this year after not riding for nearly 40 years. Booked a weeks intensive training, fell off within the first couple of hours and vowed never to sit a bike again!! You see he didn't have the passion for riding a bike. If you've got it and it's hooked up with the desire to experience new places and people then you will live with regrets the rest of your days if life gets in the way and you never went. Just treat every other person on the road as an idiot, try and project forward a few seconds to the worst thing they can do and act accordingly. You're on a bike right, you've got nothing to prove, you know you can go faster, overtake easier and jump queues better than the cars and lorries, so do they, just don't get sucked into showing off to them.

The motorcycle community is the best circle of brothers and sister in existence bar none, you need help, shout, someone will hear you.

There must be some great rides around you too, check them out, I'm sure the guys here can come up with some suggestions.

Good luck, but in the end it's your choice, only you know what's in your head and heart.
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Old 20 Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by jabon2076 View Post
Hello all - just a quick question regarding what may be an insane trip idea. My friend and I are planning on riding from the US to South America, but have little riding experience. I actually have never ridden and he has a few times. We want to leave in two months and plan to take lessons, buy bikes, and ride as much as we can before we go. Question - can it be done, or should we have a lot more riding experience to try such a trip?

Well I did something similar 13 years ago. [www.TokyotoLondon.com] Probably a lot more insane, but then again we had 9 months to learn to ride.

It worked out OK. You learn quickly on the road. Just take it easy for the first month or so on the road ... ;-) After that, you will be at one with your machine.

The guys who also did something far more insane at a similar time, Austin Vince and his madcap slapstik Mondo Enduro team also had very very limited riding experience when they took off to ride around the world in 1995.

You might want to try and get the Mondo Enduro DVD ... its pretty raw and honest, and what its actually like on the road.
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Old 20 Mar 2007
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I say - go for it.

I got my drivinglicense 3weeks before driving from Finland to Tunisia (sahara). I was never drive a motorcycle.
Ofcourse it´s really different trip than yours, but hey - it´s only driving

It was couple years ago. now I´m starting my 13 months lasting trip to southern africa - see ya guys there

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Old 20 Mar 2007
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I'd say go for it. I did a 1000 mile trip in 2 days, a few weeks after getting my first bike. I had no problems. Could have kept going. Having done NA to SA, there are so many other factors beyond the riding that can make or break your trip. Aside from the money management, camping/hotel/eating, and health stuff, are you prepared for maintenance on your chosen bike? Get Grant's DVD and study it well. Stick to daylight riding on hard top and you should be fine. Of all my trips, the most dangerous part is the first and last 10 miles to my house. Since this is your first trip, add about 30-40 % more time (and money) than you have planned to allow for the learning curve. Most of my problems have occurred when I knew I should have stopped or waited, but felt I had to stick to that damn schedule. Never works out in the long run. Best of luck, we'll be cheering for you.
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Old 23 Jun 2007
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Ive been riding motorcycles my whole life and have made some silly roadtrip decisions in my day (including driving through the Canadian rockies in late October when it started snowing heavily), so this is just my motorcycle loving opionion but:

I would not rush a trip before you are prepared. Go buy a bike, take a summer and ride it around feel comfortable with it, practice some basic maintainance.

Last summer i convinced a friend to buy a dual sport so we cound do a trip, our second day out riding, while behind me, he cut accross traffic going around a corner (to inexperienced), we werent going fast at all, he missed on comming car by feet at hit the opposite ditch. It was a mountain ditch filled with stumps, boulders and trees. He was hurt really bad, and although he recovered, it took all the joy of riding out of him.

Im now trying to get him started the right way, by getting familiar with motorcycles and riding BEFORE jumping on a bike and heading out. Riding is an art, which takes practice and conditioning. As passonate about riding as i am, i still think you need to think about it, dont be careless, and for god sake, do the trip when you are ready
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Old 23 Jun 2007
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There is a mainly off the main road route across the US. I suggest you and your friend buy a couple of cheap enfields, ride them around a field until it all comes natural, then do an on road msf course. After that Cross the US by the route I suggested. After that you will be up for anything. Take your mobile phone, but assume you in some desolate SA place and can't use it unless its a real emergency. Once you have learned to be self reliant and to overcome difficulties you will be different people
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Old 24 Jun 2007
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Just Go!

I was in a similar predictament, before I decided to do a big overland trip I had never been on a bike. I probably clocked up about 200 miles getting my license, bought a bike and went. My route started off by going across Western Europe, good roads, reasonable traffic etc, then getting progressively harder as I went East. This proved to be a great way to learn, as you are on the bike all the time you learn much faster.

Your average biker clocks up 3000 miles per year, clock the same distance up in 3 weeks and I reckon that's equivalent to a few years 'average' use......

As we are doing quotes now "necessity is the mother of invention", and being on the road creates a lot of necessity so new skills come thick and fast. As Old BMW said it will transform you, my first overland trip blew me away - and I think that having no experience when I left made it all the more daunting beforehand and therefore more rewarding afterwards
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Old 25 Jun 2007
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It's technique, not technical.

Free Advice from Kalifornia

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 04:42.
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