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  #1  
Old 29 Oct 2008
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Exclamation My wife and I on a KLR 650

My wife and I want to make a trip thru Mexico, into Central America and on to Cost Rica with her flying home from there and either selling the bike or riding home on my own. As I get closer to leaving the states, (Jan 15th) I'm having misgivings about taking a slight, vulnerable woman on the road. A lot could happen or nothing at all. Even my moto mechanic had a few warnings for me. I may scrap the trip and head over to Hawaii instead, doing something everyone else does. But, that's just not me. I really want to make this trip to CA but don't know if I want to put my wife in some kind of awkward situation. I can defend myself but....well, you get the pic. What's the safety factor of such a trip and should I listen to the naysayers of the community and not do this? Has anyone been into C. America and want to pipe in on this matter, givning my brain cells some rest? It's a huge world out there and I have a huge bucket list that needs tending to...Any advise...any situations that you out there want to share? We may go regardless.....Anyone???? DWright
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  #2  
Old 29 Oct 2008
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Go for it!!!

Hi mate,
I'm in the Uk so have not been to CA myself, although by what i've read on here theres not much to worry about. I'm sure you will get lots of replies confirming this, but it seems to me that most of the world can be navigated safely, as long as your not stupid, which i'm sure you're not!!
Keep an eye out here, but I've not read any horror stories about CA, so i would go for it!!
Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 29 Oct 2008
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Mexico

DWright,

I take my kids to Mexico (Nayarit) albeit not on a bike. One is 7, the other 14. No problems. I've taken my bike to Mexico (Tamaulipas). No problems. A guy on a GS was recently robbed at gunpoint in Guatemala (see ADVRider forum), but he was told about hold ups and chose to ride that route anyway...but, that's one guy in hundreds who ride south. Hell, a sheriff's deputy was shot at at Disneyland a year back...no place it absolutely safe. As leevtr writes, "if you're not stupid." Or, perhaps better put is if you pay attention to your surroundings.

If you have plenty of time and have done a few long "practice" trips two up on the KLR and know your wife can take the "torture," I say go for it. If you want some two up advice perhaps you should contact GSRider, or at least read about his and his wife's two up trip from Canada to Argentina: Brian and Conchita's Adventures

Also, mi amigo Andy Tiegs has done two Texas to South America trips on the same KLR with no problems. Read about it here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/tiegs/

Hell, I'd ride with y'all if I had time to go!

Good luck. Send pictures.

walks in Texas
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  #4  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Hi, I woul dnot worry about the horror stories you hear from Americans. My wife and I are on our way South through Central and South America. We plan to enter Mexico December, and Guatemala in Jan. We are two up on a 1150GS and has been through Africa and the Middle East without any problem, and we do not foresee any problems in Central America either. Just follow the advise from the locals, not the locals in the neighboring country.

Go, and we might see you in Guatemala?
Johan
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  #5  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Thumbs up My wife and I on a KLR

Thanks for the input guys....Im salivating once again. She still has concerns but I'm working on that.....dwright
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  #6  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Dwright, a couple suggestions on top of all the excellent posts above that may ease her fears:

See Lois on the Loose for Lois' trip from Alaska to Ushuaia on her own.

Read the Travellers Stories for peoples experiences through CA
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories

Also, see our DVD, "The Achievable Dream, How to ride around the world - or to the next country" for some solid advice that will make her a LOT more comfortable.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/sto...wtortw-dvd.php

Have a great trip!
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  #7  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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KLR 650 2-up????

DWight......The biggest issue I see, as a rider of a mightly KLR, might be the back seat.....probably not the best bike for 2 up.....However, very short lower milage days might work....although you may need extra planning to ensure appropriately frequent and comfortable stopping spots and allow you to avoid the night rides....

Also depends on your passenger's approach.... if it's mostly your idea and she's reluctant, you may end up with a lot of extra worries about her comfort etc. ..that may impact your experience of the trip....if she's keen then that may help overcome some degree of inconvenience discomfort etc.

You will likely have to pay a little attention to your route as a Jan 15 departure date may make some higher altitude roads less desirable due to weather...

It has seemed to me that the actual experience is always better than the imagined experience - sometimes different but most always better.

Another way of looking at it is to ask whether will you have a chance to do it again if you don't do it and then later regret it.....yolo...

Stephen
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by STG06 View Post
Also depends on your passenger's approach.... if it's mostly your idea and she's reluctant, you may end up with a lot of extra worries about her comfort etc. ..that may impact your experience of the trip....if she's keen then that may help overcome some degree of inconvenience discomfort etc. Stephen
So far, Stephen's post is the most relevant post so far. If you're wife hates riding on a bike .... better to find that out now rather than later. If she is constantly in fear (like my girlfriend) or is uncomfortable on any bike (also like my girl friend) then reconsider your plan.

No worries about traveling through Mexico or Central America. Stay off the road at night when possible, do your research about the best border crossings (biggest headache of the trip) and make SURE you get a Corbin or other custom seat for your KLR. This will be key to her comfort/confidence.

The Highlands will be cool over 5000 ft. But the beaches will be perfect!

A good option would be to have her fly in and meet you at some point. And remember, really nice, new Mercedes Buses go everywhere in Mexico so she could go
ahead on the bus and meet you down the road. Very inexpensive. YES! this can work!

Have fun,

Patrick
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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2 up issues

Ted Simon addresses the 'semi reluctant, need some comfort passenger matters' in his Dreaming of Jupiter book....quite interesting.

Stephen
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  #10  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Red face My wife and I on a KLR

With out Grant Johnson and his wife, we would all be strangers. Thanks Grant. My wife really wants to do this so we're off. We did compromise. She will fly into Alcapulco and fly home from Costa Rica. I think that alot of the riding can be done without her. The biggest goal would be going thru C.A. I got her on board without the begging...I left it totally up to her. Thanks and there you have it.....DWright
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  #11  
Old 1 Nov 2008
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Thumbs up No problems

I rode through the Americas (Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego) on my bike; in San Francisco on the spur of the moment (for her and me) I picked up my friend's Mum and she rode on the back all the way to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. Now, she is a typical San Fran matron of a certain age(early sixties - she's going to kill me for saying that) and had NEVER been on a motorbike in her life but loved it. She had never even camped before but coped fine with a more outdoor lifestyle and even slept rough on the beach one night - don't worry there are plenty of motels etc, the beach was just a mis-calculation!
we had a lot of fun and she had complete faith in me- which was halpful as some of the Baja roads were dubious quality.

we were two women travelling without any hassles. her only problem was my spare bike helmet was too small and trying to track down a helmet in Las Vegas in August was no fun!

I would definitely say that comfort for the pillion passenger is important, we were lucky because I ride a BMW R80GS which is great two-up. Having an intercom is also good so that you can actually communicate while you ride. Though I have to say, a lot of the married couples on the road disagree on that one.
We did encounter a lot of people on the way south towards the Maxican border who were telling us not to go- but that is an attitude you come across quite a lot when you travel and you realise that actually, the people saying it is too dangerous are usualy the ones who have never been- so take their advice with a big pinch of salt and go anyway.

So go ahead and have fun, you will soooo enjoy it. Have fun travelling.
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  #12  
Old 2 Nov 2008
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This is too cool Tiffany! Very impressive!
How did the remainder of the trip go after delivery your cargo to
Vallarta?

And what is on the calendar for the future?

Best,

Patrick
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  #13  
Old 2 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWright View Post
I may scrap the trip and head over to Hawaii instead, doing something everyone else does. DWright
Definitely the safest choice. You CAN drink the water in Hawaii.
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  #14  
Old 16 Jan 2009
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Go For It

Last Jan I rode from Phoenix to the Panama Canal with my son and my brother-in-law and my wife and my sister flew to Costa Rica and then bussed down to Panama to meet us when we arrived. My son and I sold our bikes there and flew home with my wife, but my sister and her husband proceeded to spend the next six weeks riding all over Costa Rica and Panama two-up. Bastards!
Anyway, we had no safety concerns on the way down, nor did they report anything except excellent weather, friendly people and good food and wine.....but.......they both said NEVER again on a KLR. They're both more than petit and it just didn't have the comfort or power they were looking for. You can probably spend some money on a good after market seat but I'd consider a different bike. I'm leaving for Mexico next Friday two-up with my wife on my DL650 - something I think is much better.
One other note - this time of year it can be VERY cold at higher elevations. We were OK with mesh gear but we sometimes had to wear long johns underneith and use our rain gear as a wind break. In Guatemala one morning it was minus 1C when we left the city we stayed in but hit 30C by noon!
Enjoy!
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  #15  
Old 17 Jan 2009
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Smile One up for now

My wife could not make the whole trip as was originally planned due to the economy and not being able to get away from work. Be that as it may, I'll be heading down to Costa Rica on my own where she will fly into San Jose and meet me there. She will also fly out of San Jose and I will be heading north on my own. Or, is it possible to sell the bike in Costa Rica? Ill be leaving this Monday, heading to the border and crossing on tues morning. If anyone will be in the neighborhood, let me know....Or, I'll see you on the road. She's given me three weeks to get to CR. Again, is it possible to sell the bike in Costa Rica? Input would be great. David
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