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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 14 Jun 2007
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Unexperienced motorcycle traveller-please help

Hey I'm new to this but I travel a lot and I always hear many stories regarding long distant motorcycle trips and their indescribable nature. I am a American living and studying tropical medicine in Peru for the nest few months and in December my cousin and I want to do a Pan America (South America) trip begining in Argentina and ending before the Darien Gap and maybe taking another route to Columbia. What would be a good rugged bike, that seats two, and can fit two 17 yr old's budgets.

Any other advice would be grand...
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Old 14 Jun 2007
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2 Choices

The way I see it, perhaps the two best choices you have are getting a cheap dual-sport bike, especially like something like KLR650 Kawasaki or DR650 Suzuki, or getting a small bike each. Personally, I would go the small bike way with a Honda 125 Cargo (Motocicleta Honda Cargo 125 cc en Mexico - Venta de Sistemas GPS en Mexico Garmin Magellan Mexico GPS Mexico Tienda de GPS en Mexico venta gps)
being probably the top of the short list. This is based on the venerable CG125 Honda which has been made for 30 years all over the world, with good reason. Don't write off a small bike! Read Simon Gandolfi's blog. Parts and things like tyres, chain and sprockets are everywhere. With two bikes you are safer than wth one and you both get to experience the pure joy of riding. The two bikes will probably use less fuel then one big bike too. They will be much much easy to find in good condition than a bigger bike as well, being more common.
Anyway, that's my thought and I'm known for being a fan of little bikes. I'm sure others won't agree.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ
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Old 14 Jun 2007
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Nigel Mollydog,

Thanks for the advice. Yeah Ché was sort of in the back of my mind when I became infatuated with taking this trip. I'm no prodigy, just a working boy with dreams and ideas I can´t even understand. My dad is a Dr. in New Jersey, originally from Peru, and my mother is a nurse in Jersey as well, I am one of seven kids but I'm living alone in Lima trying to see the world before I change it. Now I'm at Cayetano Heredia University studying Leishmaniasis, travelling by pick up with Docs and researchers to small villages in the highlands such as Yumpe in Ancashe, San Lorenzo, and Cajamarca...

...way better than spending my summer at the Jersey shore waiting for the clouds to change.

I can see why two bikes would be great, I surf a lot and I love the solitude, but the only problem is we want to take 1hr 45 min shifts and rest for half an hour after every two shifts, riding for twelve hours a day. I can do two bikes eight years from now when I finish my med school and residency...but for now I have limited time.

I'm definatly going to get a bike and take some minor trips when I'm back in Jersey, any other advice on getting physically fit for a trip such as this or any information on snot-nosed punks such as us trying to keep up with the big boys?
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Old 14 Jun 2007
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That is an inspiring story. Good luck and follow those dreams!
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Old 15 Jun 2007
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In Awe

I can't believe people are actually praising my goals and such. This world of travelling motorcyclists is wayyy different from the academic world I'm more accustomed to. Young guys like me usually have a real tough time getting their voices heard let alone getting advice or dare I say--acceptance.

You guys have been great, but seriously I need more feedback on issues such as packing, finances, the whole bit.

I don't know, maybe its the scientist in me, but I tend to plan A LOT. Does it hurt to, shall I say "over-plan?"
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Old 16 Jun 2007
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First trips

Hi there, this time last year I was just about to fly my bike to ecuador to travel down to patagonia on my own. I'm a 5ft 1" female - I couldn't ride a bike, new nothing about maintenance and couldn't speak spanish. I was absolutely terrified but had talked about doing a motorbike trip for a few years and had basically talked myself into a corner. I did the bike test inthe Uk but was too afraid to ride the bike even on the quiet streets of a small welsh village. So with about a week of riding experience I flew my 16yr old 225 serow out to Ecuador - convinced I would be abducted / killed on the bike etc. Anyway, I rode slowly at first, fell off a couple of times but basically had the time of my life. I broke down a couple of times but someone always rescued me - even when I ran out of petrol in the Peruvian desert. I met many other bikers on the road who went out of their way to help me.
So the upshot of this is - it's far easier than you can ever imagine it to be - as long as you have a bit of common sense and take it slowly you should be fine.
Good luck
Christine
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Old 16 Jun 2007
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PS planning

I took a few maps, some spare bike parts, tent, sleeping bag, medical kit, torch, clothes but not much else. Don't worry about the technical stuff too much. My bike didn't even have a fuel gauge (although that's why I ran out of petrol in the desert) you can get most of what you need on the road especially if you have a bike that is common in the countries you go to. If you look at Lois pryce's website loisontheloose.com she has a packing list which I basically followed.
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