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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 27 Jul 2014
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A lady, the wild west, and a motorcycle

Hi! My name is Terra and I'm just starting to do this research so thought I would start a thread and see what you all have to say.

I'm considering a motorcycle trip from Northern California down into Central America. I plan to buy a moto in CA (my brother lives there so hopefully I can do that with his address, etc). I'm 5'5" and looking for advise on what type of touring bike to get (use to have a Ducati Monster 696 and it fit great - not touring obviously). I plan to have panniers for camping gear and can't get crazy with a budget. Buying used is already on my radar. It will also have to be an easier bike to work on and/or find help for issues both in the US and Central America.

My second question is how people feel about the safety of a signal female going through Mexico and south of that. I'll probably drive through Baja and take a ferry back to the mainland.

The plan is to end up in Guatemala, Costa Rica, or somewhere I plan to do some Spanish schooling. I'll be checking around to look at routes, etc.

Yes, I know this all sounds crazy, but I'm serious about it. This is coming from a girl who's writing from France as a cycling tour guide. Originally from Minnesota.

Cheers riding friends!!
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Old 27 Jul 2014
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Hi Terra and welcome,
I would suggest you look for a small/medium size trail bike such as a Honda XR250/400 or Yamaha XT225 Serrow all of which will be perfectly capable of the trip you plan and easy to handle in difficult conditions.
For advice and inspiration take a look at Sheonagh and Pat and Tiffany Coates' trip reports.

HU Traveller Sheonagh Ravensdale and Pat Thomson's Ride Tale

HU Traveller Tiffany Coates's Ride Tale

Home | Tiffany Coates Travels the World

If you drop Tiffany a line or PM I am sure she will be happy to give advice as a solo woman traveller and no it doesn't sound crazy, it all makes perfect sense.
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
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Old 28 Jul 2014
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Go For It

Welcome Terra,

You will find plenty of companions on the road also within these pages.

A good place to start looking for a suitable steed :-)

Searchcraigslist.net - Search Craigslist, Search All Of Craigslist - Every want to search all of Craigslist links in one place? Now you can with Craigslist search

Cheers Dave
I spent all my money on Bikes n Beer. The rest I just wasted.
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Old 28 Jul 2014
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Mark, thank you for the information. I'll be sure to check those links out and once my plans become more clear I'll reach out to Tiffany.

Drwnite, I'm not looking for a companion or date, just want to know if anyone has run into serious issues with safety in Mexico.
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Old 31 Jul 2014
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Are you asking which bike you should take? Depends, I think a 250 is great for central America, but then some feel more secure on a bigger bike. In my opinion, a simple Japanese 250, like a Serow or a XR, would be a good bet. Otherwise, solid budget overland favourites would be bikes like the DRZ400, 650, or the KLR 650. Though that sort of trip is possible on anything, from a C90 to a GS1200. All you need is determination.

I do not believe Mexico is more dangerous than anywhere else, so long as you take precautions and pay attention to local advice, don´t drive at night, use common sense, etc. Most of the violence in Mexico is related to the cartels and you would have to be very unlucky to get caught in that. Do some research before and try to get some advice from expats or locals who are active on the HUBB or on ADVrider, and take that into account when you plan your route.

Other than that, your plan is not crazy! And Xela in Gautemala is an excellent place to learn Spanish.

Good luck!
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Old 2 Aug 2014
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Serious Issues?

Originally Posted by tbjames View Post
I'm not looking for a companion or date, just want to know if anyone has run into serious issues with safety in Mexico.
I wasnt suggesting you look for a date Simply people that have experience that are out there doing it and or have done it.

Serious Issues?

I spent all my money on Bikes n Beer. The rest I just wasted.
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