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Old 5 Aug 2010
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Transamazonica August 2010?

I'm looking to ride the Transamazonica (BR 230 and possibly BR 319) from East to West in mid August (2010) and would be keen to avoid doing this solo. Anyone interested in joining?

I'm 34, riding a KLR650 and have tackled the US - Ushuaia route already so have a little experience behind me, but have very little Portuguese!!
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Old 5 Aug 2010
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I'm sorry to say - but the USA to Ushuaia route is nothing like the route BR319 - Manaus to Humaita. if this is the road you are talking about.
note: the BR319 runs north to south - the TransAmazonica runs West to East.

I have completed both USA to Ushuaia and the BR319 - riding a heavily adapted F650GS - I have 30 years of riding experince behind me and consider myself to be a farily advanced rider. My husband and I completed the BR319 Manaus to Humaita a few years back - I would strongly advise you not to take this route - even with a fellow rider. unless it has changed dramatically over the last couple of years - which I hear it hasnt.
if you wish to read of our 'adventure' there go here:
2ridetheworld.com : diary

I do not mean to put you off your adventures but this is one of the hardest routes I have ridden so far on our trip of over 7 years on the road.
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Old 6 Aug 2010
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hey guys Im from brazil and me and my wife will cross there in august ,we r 2us in africa twin750,now we r in peru.
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Old 6 Aug 2010
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Thanks guys. Yup, from the research I've done it definitely looks like one of the toughest routes out there, but the condition does seem to change fairly radically from year to year depending on rains and the repairs undertaken.

Ultimately, I need to get to Manaus. The ideal would be to ride BR230 east to west and then BR319 south to north (although BR319 looks nearly impossible). So another option would be to break off from BR319, head up to Santarem and then take a boat to Manaus.

I would imagine that if you're coming from Peru, you're going to be heading to Porto Vehlo and then either up BR319 or east along BR230, so it looks like we wouldn't be able to meet up.
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Old 25 Aug 2010
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Just an update for anyone who might be reading this thread: I completed the route (BR230 East to West - Maraba to Humaita, and BR319 South to North - Humaita to Manaus) over 9 days, from 16 to 25 August 2010, solo, on a standard KLR650, with two rest/repair days. I didn't camp at all.

So, a run down, the BR230 is a good surface (there was very little rain, otherwise there would have been quite a bit of mud to negotiate), but it's long, and the dust thrown up by the numerous trucks is hazardous and uncomfortable. I wiped out overtaking one of these trucks through a dust cloud and didn't see an oncoming truck until it was about 5 meters in front of me. Ducked to the right, but couldn't stay on the bike.

You can generally ride at around 80-100 km/h and I managed one 700km stretch (from Apui to Humaita) in one day. There's only one bit where the sand is deep and loose in patches (between Itaituba and Jacareacanga (after the Amazon National Park), but that lasts for only about 30kms. There are quite a few spots with roadworks underway. No broken bridges, no washboard stretches and about 5 or 6 balsas (barge/ferry affairs to take you across rivers). It's all dirt except for a few 10km stretches before/after one or two towns.

The road between Maraba and Itaituba is much more developed than what comes after it, and there are more petrol stations, places to stay and restaurants. From what I could see, the deforestation and development in this stretch must have happened quite some time ago, so the "urbanisation"/populating process is quite far along. Not that any of the towns (other than Altamira - which has an HSBC! - and Itaituba) are very big.

After Itaituba comes the remote and forested National Park, and after that there are large gaps between populated areas - probably around 200kms of nothingness on average. The deforestation process is continuing at a tremendous pace - the smoke from the burning forest was overwhelming for a good 800kms!

While the BR230 is a good challenge, it's not the lush green Amazon experience that you might expect it to be.

The BR319 is very different. First of all, I did check with a good number of locals before I tackled it, and I would strongly suggest that anyone else who wants to ride this route do the same as it seems as if conditions can change radically from year to year. It does, however, looks like they're gearing up for a redevelopment of the road, so conditions may continue to improve, but I would still advise obtaining local advice.

The road surface is shocking. Not too bad for the first 150kms or so from Humaita (the first 60 or so are perfectly paved and then for another 100kms the road is fairly even). It then gets very very bad for about 350kms. It seems as if the whole road was paved at some point, but it hasn't been tended to for decades so there is crumbled paving all along, making it very bumpy indeed. Depending on how much you want to bruise your bike, you're probably looking at an average of 30-40km/h for this stretch.

ALL THE BRIDGES HAVE BEEN REPAIRED (FOR THE MOMENT). It looks like they can pretty easily be broken/warn down with heavy traffic though so, again, check before you go. Some of them are a little shaky and require balancing on some narrow planks, but nothing too hectic.

The last 200kms into Manaus are fine. The final 100kms or so is a good paved road and before that the paving is a bit patchy, but you can generally do around 60-80km/h.

Gas - still nothing for around 550/600kms from Humaita (pardon me for not having the kms exact, but I broke my front hub in the accident and couldn't reconnect the odometer when I replaced it) until you get to Careiro. There are at least two big petrol stations in Careiro.

The difficult access means that there is very little deforestation along the BR319, so on this bit you get more of a lush Amazon landscape, which is refreshing after all the smoke on the BR230. It also means that there is very little habitation. Especially in the middle part, there must be around 300kms where there is no sign of human settlement at all. So if you get stuck, you'll have some difficulty, BUT, there was quite a bit of traffic. I passed about 5 trucks and one bike coming the other way (I did the BR319 over two days), and I passed two trucks going in my direction.

There are 3 spots on the BR319 where you need to catch a balsa. All three are in the final 300 or so kms of the road.

As I mentioned before, it looks like they're gearing up to improve the road: there are two concrete bridges under construction, and there is a camp for a road crews set up. So, signs are good for an easier ride in years to come, but bad for deforestation, I would imagine.
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Old 28 Feb 2012
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I don't understand when people say "check with locals" about road conditions. I have been looking into this road all day, asking locals in Manaus, and honestly don't feel like I am better informed about the road than I was yesterday. One guy said it's fine, another guy said it's impossible and to take the ferry and a few in between wished me luck. Has anyone done this road this time of year - rainy season? If so, how was it and how long did it take? What kind of supplies did you take (gas range and food)? Thanks in advance:-)
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Old 13 Apr 2012
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Please let us know how it was, what direction you were heading and any recommendations.... Yours seems to be the first post in about two years on this thread....
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Old 13 Apr 2012
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I was going north to south (Manuas to Porto Vehlo) but I ended up not doing it for a few reasons.

1) I looked for a set of knobby tires in Manaus and just a rear was 450 Real - the ferry from Manuas to Porto Velho, including the bike and room/board for five days was 300 real. (This was the main reason.)

2) Some said it was fine but many said it was very difficult and recommended not doing it alone... (remembered all the times I've been stuck in mud and how hard it is to get the bike unstuck alone.)

3) I was meeting a friend in Rio de Janeiro on te 19th of March, about three weeks from the time I posted, so I didn't have the luxury of time - i.e. giving it a go and if it was too hard turning back and taking the ferry.

But yeah, I wish there was more information on people who have actually done this route - and less information from people that are so skilled and only they can do it but everyone else shouldn't even try.

Anyway, if you do do it good luck and post some good posts for the rest to read and give it a go :-)
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