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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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  #1  
Old 9 Aug 2005
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NX4 Falcon Honda

hey there,
I was looking for buying a bike in the americas (whereever it is the easiest and cheapest). something like a small secondhand or new endurobike, around 400 cc.
somebody told me they make this bike in brazil?
somebody knows if this is a relaible bike?
greetz
Niels

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  #2  
Old 9 Aug 2005
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you are right,the bike is produced in Brasil.Never rode one myself,but reliability should no be a problem being a Honda.Here in Argentina there not much of them because they where expensive when it was released in year 2000, don´t know if still is imported. engine is the ultra proven XR 400 with it´s well known RFVC 4 valves chamber.power is 35 hp if I remember correctly.

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  #3  
Old 10 Aug 2005
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thanks for the reply eric
i found out that they cost like 4600 euros for the new 2500 model. to expensive for me, as i am trying to find out a cheaper way to make my way across the americas. How is the situation in argentina? what bikes are there for sale? Is there a good secondhand maket?
and is it possible to register a bike over there as a non-resident?
greetz
niels
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  #4  
Old 12 Aug 2005
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The second hand market in Argentina is not as extensive as you'd like. This means, IMHO:

1) To state the obvious first, if you have lots of cash you can buy almost anything you want. Although due to import tariffs, new(ish) bikes will be more expensive than elsewhere. Eg: A new F650GS costs 12k+ USD in Arg, against 8k+ in the US. Similar figures for a Transalp. And they hold their value very well. Even an early nineties Transalp will not sell for less than 3,000 U$ unless damaged.

2) There are some 350s, 400s, 600 and 650s around, sometimes at reasonable prices, although for some reason I do not understand the availability tends to be of bikes which are at least 10 yrs old. A few of them in good condition, most with high mileage or sth looking suspicious. If you are hunting for a specific model such as an Africa Twin or Dominator you will just find bikes from the few years in which they were imported, if any owner is willing to sell. Don't expect to find much outside the Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki & Yamaha quartet plus the odd BMW. Only official dealers are Honda, Yamaha and BMW, the rest being sold by independent importers. Ok, there might be HD and Ducati dealers too, but those are too focused and outside what you are looking for, right?

3) There is a wider choice on XR models, specially 250Rs and 600Rs (without e-start) and some 200Ls and 400Rs, as they have been "fashionable" in Argentina for some time, even for road use which doesn't make much sense.

3) The NX400 Falcon is much cheaper than older imports, because it's imported from Brazil which has reduced tariffs due to Mercosur. Price new: 16,000 AR$, about 5,300 U$. Used bikes tend to show up more often and are only a few years old, as the model was introduced not so long ago. Still, expect to pay at least 3.5 - 4k USD for a good one, watch out for couriers. A much cheaper option is the brazilian made XL2xx (although much slower). Again watch out for couriers.

4) If you want to scan typical options try:

www.deremate.com
www.mercadolibre.com

Which are e-bay style auction sites. You'll need to be able to read Spanish, though, or just browse the pictures.

5) I have no idea if you can register the bike in your name being a non-resident. Sorry. I recall, however, from some other thread or search that there's at least one dealer who will offer either rentals, or sell you bikes with buy-back options for these trips.

PS: just to clarify, my signature shows Lagos, Nigeria, which is my current residence place but I'm an Argentine and go back there at least twice a year.

Hope it helps and g'luck


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  #5  
Old 12 Aug 2005
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Hello Niels

*Great* bike!!

I bought a Falcon for a 16,000km trip in late 2001. Paid $1,700 for a secondhand bike from a Honda dealer and sold it at the end of the trip for $1,400 to another dealer. I haven't worked out the cost per km, but it seemed like a good deal to me!

I bought and sold in Brazil: arrived in Rio, but a friend there advised that I head to the south.. after 15 years in the city, he trusts nobody!

So I found myself in Curitiba, visited all the bike shops expecting to buy a secondhand Africa Twin or similar (there were a couple to be had) but was distracted by the Falcon: light, popular (good for parts, servicing) and decent price.

My bike was 18 months old... but remember, this was 2001 prices.

Buying a bike in Brazil:
Speaking a bit of the language helps, but not essential. One of the staff spoke some English. I learned portuguese pretty quick!

Everyone in Brazil, local and gringo, relies on a 'despachante' (speeder-upper) to get a vehicle sale through. They do the queuing and hassling of bureaucrats for you. You'll find a despachante office close to any bike dealer. Adds about $100 to the cost. In my experience, good characters too ;-)

One little obstacle: to get the paperwork allowing me to take the bike out of Brazil, I had to prove residency *in* Brazil. Hmmmm.

The dealer took me to the local water company, got my name put on as paying the bill in his own home; then the despachante took the new bill (with my name) to the relevant traffic bureaucrat to get my papers stamped. (Not that I was ever asked for those papers in ten border crossings...)

So there I was, an Englishman riding a Brazilian-plated bike round Argentina. I was a target for every cop and truckdriver with a grudge!

Don't know what yr plans are, but I believe you'd have to sell the bike in Brazil too. Like I said, I had no problem - sold for cash to a Honda dealer in Rio in 24 hours. Which was lucky, because my plane left the next day.

As for the bike: I haven't said much but I am bike-illiterate. It had two wheels, lights, it was a pretty colour. (Sorry, purists. When I set off I didn't know I had to check the oil.) So it's a pretty forgiving ride. Petrol tank big enough for most rides I did except a couple of stretches of Patagonia. On tarmac I was cruising at 80-90 kmph.. quite enough for me. It didn't really like gravel (ripio) with the tyres I had. Got knocked off by the wind on Tierra del Fuego a couple of times. Everyone does! Luggage was *minimal*.

I bought the bike in Curitiba - strongly recommend the dealer, Honda Cabral
http://www.cabralmotor.com.br/novo_site/index.php
(site shows the new model Falcon too) and the English-speaking salesman who helped so much, Andreasa. In fact, here we are:
http://geocities.com/mikesbiketrip/p..._andreasa.html
(that site is 25% done.. but gives more details of the bike and trip.

Any questions, please ask away.

--Mike
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  #6  
Old 8 Nov 2006
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buying bike in rrio

mike-
my friend and i are planning to buy a pair of bikes and tour s.a. starting in rio. you said that the bike you bought was $1700 for an 18 mo. old bike in 2001, was that u.s. dollars and what is the differences in prices now? i looked at shops online and saw a 2005 model of that bike for around us$5,000. i also wanted to know if you had to pay many bribes

thank you,

bryon
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  #7  
Old 10 Nov 2006
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Bryon

Yes, that was US$. I haven't been back to Latin America since 2001 so can't comment on the current situation. No doubt prices have gone up, but I bet yr salary has too ;-)

As for bribes.. I'm rather surprised to see the question. No bribes. No question of bribes. No suggestion of bribes, apart from one official on the Argentina-Paraguay border, who charged me US$2 for a piece of paper. Hopefully you'll have the same positive experiences.

--Mike
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  #8  
Old 30 Nov 2006
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cabral

mike,
i have sent an email to the address listed in the link you provided, but have not had any response. i am getting to crunch time and wanted to know if you could give me as much info about that bike shop, or if i should just look around for myself closer to rio

thanks

bryon
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  #9  
Old 30 Nov 2006
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Hello Bryon

Sorry but I have no more info about that shop.

But just to say.. it took me 2-3 days to find a reliable shop and a reliable bike.. and then it took me another three weeks to organise buying the bike.. the whole bureaucratic process is so complicated you hire a 'despachante' (= dispatcher/ quickener-upper) to do the legwork for you.

In other words, locating the bikes won't be the thing that stops you riding off into the sunset.

Perhaps yr best bet will be to get to Rio and locate some bike shops. See the bikes in person. The only thing I'd add is that I have a good friend in Rio who advised me to buy the bike in Curitiba "because everyone in Rio justs wants to rip you off." (But he lives in Rio and gave me a free bed and fed me for a week -- so there are *some* good deals to be had in Rio!)

Enjoy it all..

--Mike
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  #10  
Old 30 Nov 2006
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wow, 3 weeks! know of any rentals?
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  #11  
Old 21 Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niels
hey there,
I was looking for buying a bike in the americas (whereever it is the easiest and cheapest). something like a small secondhand or new endurobike, around 400 cc.
somebody told me they make this bike in brazil?
somebody knows if this is a relaible bike?
greetz
Niels
You might want to take a look at the Falcon's stablemate, the Tornado. It's a Brazilian XR250 and it retails for a $1,000 less than the 400.
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