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-   -   Expert Input Needed (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/expert-input-needed-5022)

Jared 28 Mar 2005 23:01

Expert Input Needed
 
Hi all, I'm in the market for a dual sport that I want to ride from Ohio to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I don't intend on doing any extreme adventure riding along the way, just want to get there, be able to go anywhere I need to go, and most of all have fun. I'm only a novice rider and think that anything to big/fast might be asking for trouble. So after doing some research, I was inevitably persuaded into thinking that the Suzuki DRZ-400S is the greatest motorcycle in the world, as it receives an unbelievable amount of fanatical praise. Do you think this bike would be good for such a trip? Is a 650 really reccomened for a trip this long? Speaking of which, anybody done a trip of similar distance? How long do you think this trip will take? I estimated roughly 3 weeks. I know the comfort of this bike could be an issue, but I would be willing to purchase a custom seat and I'm young, light (150 lbs.) and in good shape, so should I still be concerned? Can this bike carry enough luggage/equipment to get me there (I'll be travelling as light as possible)? Please let me know if you reccomend this bike or not, and if not, please reccomend another bike(s) that you think might be better and why. Thanks for the help. You'll be hearing plenty more from me as I continue planning this trip over the next several months.

-Jared

JamesCo 29 Mar 2005 03:14

Three weeks is extremely fast. One rule of thumb is to spend as long planning for your trip as you are going to spend doing it - I'd suggest vice versa, in your case http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif Plenty of people have gone far, far longer than Ohio-BA. Happy Trails, among others, make accessories for the DRZ, so it can definitely carry the gear. Then again, for only three weeks, you should be carrying sod-all, anyway! To go that far in 21 days means you will be doing some big, boring highway miles, and the DRZ won't be as good for them as, say, a KLR, and you won't have time for exploring, anyway. If you're still keen on going in this timeframe, think about a road-oriented bike, like the v-strom 650, 'cos road is all your gonna see...

Good luck,
James

Jared 29 Mar 2005 04:35

Quote:

Originally posted by JamesCo:
Three weeks is extremely fast. One rule of thumb is to spend as long planning for your trip as you are going to spend doing it - I'd suggest vice versa, in your case http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif Plenty of people have gone far, far longer than Ohio-BA. Happy Trails, among others, make accessories for the DRZ, so it can definitely carry the gear. Then again, for only three weeks, you should be carrying sod-all, anyway! To go that far in 21 days means you will be doing some big, boring highway miles, and the DRZ won't be as good for them as, say, a KLR, and you won't have time for exploring, anyway. If you're still keen on going in this timeframe, think about a road-oriented bike, like the v-strom 650, 'cos road is all your gonna see...

Good luck,
James

The reason I'm taking this trip is because I've recently graduated college and I am relocating to Buenos Aires. My friend, who's going with me, and I both decided that we didn't want to fly there and miss everything along the way. So we originally were going to drive there in some sort of car or SUV. But that turned out to be too expensive and not really much fun. So we decided we'd bike it. We wanted to make a long trip out of it, but we decided we wanted to arrive in B.A. as soon as possible with as much dough as possible, well that's changed and we've decided that we'd rather show up later with less cash and more adventures. We will be trying to leave sometime in late Sept./early Oct. So over the next 6 months I will be working out all of the details, I'm going to need a lot of help. I've never done anything like this and I realize its a little crazy, but I'm completely confindent in my ability to do it, especially because I intend to work out as many details as humanly possible in advance. I'll probably start a thread soon in the Central/South America forum as I get more details worked out. Anyway, I'm still open to bike suggestions, my obvious considerations are the DRZ-400S, KLR 650, or possibly maybe but doubtfully a mid to late-nineties F 650. I really can't rationalize spending a whole lot more than $4000, which pretty much cuts out the Beemer. But if the deal were right, it'd be a good investment, and I might be willing. Anything I should be considering that I might not be?

Grant Johnson 29 Mar 2005 06:06

Jared, a good primer for this would be reading "Ryan Wagner and Dan Koengeter" story in the Travellers Stories section (link on left) - couple USA guys just out of uni did exactly what you're thinking, only they took a lot longer.

More time is always better. And a great bike is not critical, as Ryan and Dan's story shows. They bought a pair of CB550 Honda four's for like a thousand each, and ended up selling them for a profit - after almost totally destroying them!

Do a LOT of reading in the travellers stories and ezine, and you'll learn a lot.

Have fun planning!

amcwillie 29 Mar 2005 07:49

Howdy, Curtis here. Check out the Suzuki 650 Vstrom. A much more modern 650 than the KLR. Don't believe the stories that the KLR is the bike the world rides. BS. It is the bike the world travelers ride, thinking they can get parts and service easy in foreign countries. Hell you can't hardly get parts for them at US Dealers. For goodness sakes don't try to sit on the DR all that way. I use a BMW F650 Dakar now and have been in sveral coutries with it with no problems.But I am considering the Suzuki for a replacement when Hidalgo gives it up. Listen to everyone, but if they haven't done it themselves, bear that in mind. Whatever you do have fun doing it.

------------------

JamesCo 29 Mar 2005 18:58

Quote:

Originally posted by amcwillie:
Don't believe the stories that the KLR is the bike the world rides. BS.
Well, I do feel chastened, but the KLR is the most popular bike for travellers, according to the AMC site. Anyway, Jared, if four grand is your budget for the bike, including prep, you can get an F650 for that, if you want. If you're planning on keeping the bike when you get here, well, looking around BA, the most popular big bike seems to be the Africa Twin, but there are lots of KLR's from the 80's, too. Parts are hard to get here due to a change in regulations; basically, imported parts must pass a compliance test, which is expensive. Locally made shite doesn't... Your plans are not crazy. Grant's suggestion to read this - http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/ryananddan/ - is good.

Good luck,
JC

DougieB 29 Mar 2005 20:41

you'll get as many opinions as to 'best bikes' as there are bikes. go and ride a few, and then scratch off the ones that don't fit you. No point speculating on the 400 if you don't enjoy riding it. You are in danger of convincing yourself that it's the best bike, even if you don't think so once you ride it. It's a long way to go on a bike you don't really enjoy.

If you want to arrive with less cash and more adventures then biking is a fantastic way to achieve that. Take more time if you can though.

good luck,
Doug

Jared 29 Mar 2005 22:49

Quote:

Originally posted by JamesCo:
If you're planning on keeping the bike when you get here...
Thanks for all the great input everybody. I'll probably take Dougie's advice and go ride a couple soon. But James, you asked me if I was planning on keeping it once I got to B.A., and I was planning, but if I got there and my funds became a problem I wouldn't hesitate to sell it. How would that work? Would I be legally allowed to sell it? I don't plan on leaving B.A. for sometime, I'm relocating indefinitely. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. If selling it once I get there is an option, that frees up my ability to spend a little more.

JamesCo 30 Mar 2005 00:55

You can't legally sell it without registering the bike, which means paying import duties. So, you could sell it, but would likely get a relatively low price. Javier from Dakar Motos mentioned that if a bike is over 10 years old, then the owner can get new paperwork for it just by declaring that it's been 'lost', and therefore doesn't need to pay a fine or duty. So, you might want to keep that in mind - buy an older bike and sell it. Low price for you buying, high price for you selling... Get in touch with Javier - he can tell you what the best bike for selling would be. Maybe it'll be a KLR http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/wink.gif

Good luck,
James

Jared 3 May 2005 23:24

I made the purchase this weekend. I bought a '92 KLR 650, 5000 miles, for $2500. Thankfully the previous owner did away with that awful pink and blue color scheme, it now has the black/green 2003 tank, black rear fender, a black Sargent seat, and the rest of the plastic has been removed. He also installed a Big Gun Quiet exhaust, hydraulic clutch, progressive springs, Avon Gripsters, steel braided brake lines, larger front brake, K&N air filter, one-tooth less rear sprocket, one tooth extra in the front, and it's been rejetted. The bike looks brand new and unlike any other KLR I've seen, I'm really happy with the purchase. Check out the pics at my ThumperTalk garage.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/gar...hicle&vid=1532


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