1/2 way there!
For starters, you made the right choice on leaving your bike at home and buying a DR or similar. I prefer a Honda XR, but that's me. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
- Don't camp. For you it might just be the way to save money, but to the people it means you don't like them. South America is about the people and you can find cheap lodging EVERYWHERE and get to buy your food on the street.. mix with the people... that's where your best memories will come from....
- Stay away from the Panamericana in Ecuador, Peru and Chile. BOOOORING pavement thru mostly desert. Go inland. Don't be afraid to throw the bike in a canoe to connect your desired routes....
- Avoid big cities. That's where the crime and corrupt police are. Provincial folk are much friendlier and will give you their last scrap of food....
- Cross borders at the less popular places. MUCH EASIER!!
- Take your time and enjoy! 400km is a good day in SA. Plan on 1/2 that if you have to cross a border. Don't push day after day after day. Rest. See South America.
- That is the beginning of the rainy season in the Amazon. That means no dirt roads for you anywhere in eastern Ecuador and Peru, or anywhere in northern Brazil.
- Write me. I have 25+ years on motos in South America. Double up on the language! It will save your life and your wallet.