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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 6 Mar 2008
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What kind of Bike for Vancouver to Lima, Peru?

Hi there all. My roommate and I are both world travellers and we decided last night that we would take it up a notch, and travel by bike in October. Neither of us have any riding experience but, from now until october we will be taking courses and practicing here in Canada. We are curious as to what kind of bikes to get. We will be bringing as little as possible for a light ride. I am thinking a KRL 650 would be a good route to go, but we are also thinking even maybe a smaller bike. But would smaller be ok for riding through the states, myself being 6'3, 200 pds with gear as well. We arent looking to spend to much money at all, because we will probably get rid of our bikes when we get down there, because we have plans to move into the jungle for a few months. Any help we will be grateful for. Things like type of bike, size and anything else you think. Thanks alot.

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Old 7 Mar 2008
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Travel light ... think back pack on wheels.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 08:36.
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Old 7 Mar 2008
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Moto rider and Jungle resident.


I have lived many many years in the jungles of Peru. Where are you planning on heading and what would you like to do/see/experience there?

On the moto choice, I am the same height and weight and just did a 42 day / 10,000 km on a 250cc, so Yes, it can be done. Around the Block 2007 | The secret is as mollydog says: GO LIGHT !!

My preference is the Honda XR650R, but that is me. I have a '96 Honda XR650L in Peru and that is smoother than the R, but not as nimble as the R. The KLR is solid (that's a good thing), but then again it is SOLID (chunky handling). The Yamaha's are good too, but tend to get top-end noise the same as the older Honda XLR's, and it is nerve-wracking when you've a long ride ahead and you are not sure what is going to come apart!

Chat me back your questions and plans, here or at aroundtheblock07@gmail.com

Toby (charapa)
Around the Block 2007 |
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Old 8 Mar 2008
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New riders get hung up on CC for some reason. A 650 will go a little slower and cant hold as much a 1000 most of the time but not all the time. I have a DL650 and buddy had DL1000. The 1000 was able to to take off a little faster and hit a top speed of around 120mph my 650 maxed at 105mph or so I had a 250cc riva scooter it maxed at 70mph. Dont fret the cc the tank size will matter more.

As long as you dont take I5 down you will be fine with a 150cc. Even with that its only a a few days down if you need to push it.
As far as bikes KL650, DR650, DRZ400, XR650 are good solid bikes. A used KLR650 is something you may want to look at there tons in the USA and cheap. But tossing out your bikes looks to be a bad idea unless your going to fly back. Get a bike as soon as you can and try some camping on the bike. It will help you find out what works for you. Going light is a grate idea I tend to drag more stuff than I need and toss out the stuff I dont use.

Get in some off roading in being new and taking a trip of kind is going to stress your skills. Being able to drive off road seems to help with peoples confidence.
October will be fine but look out for snow in the pass if you go that way. Go slow riding a bike is a much difrent way to travel. More to see smell and feel. Keep an eye out for speed bumps in the road, dont ride at night, dont take guns or drugs, fly across the Derian gap

Read lots of the ride reports on this web sight, use the search, take what any one on this sight or any other with a grain of salt. Have fun on your ride!
look at this sight as well more off road less travel. Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum

Last edited by DLbiten; 8 Mar 2008 at 02:49. Reason: adding a link
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Old 16 Mar 2008
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Smile Vancouver - Peru which bike?

There are a lot of good options and as many arguments for and against each. How much motorbike experience do you and your friend have? If you are both new riders, then smaller bikes could be a benefit. However, better to get some experience before the trip and then choose the right bike for the long haul rather then the right bike for your learning days.

As you don't want to spend much money, a used bike of some description is likely your best option, or a new smaller 250 cc or similar. In Vancouver, KLR's are in good supply - many at good prices and with low mileage. The older version is a bit more klunky then the new, but has a large tank stock, and tons of after market support for bags, racks, and gear. The Suzuki SE650 is another excellent choice available locally used - I don't see as many around, but those I have talked to really like them.

Fuel economy is another big factor as gas will be one of your largest fixed costs. Your can camp for free in the bush and eat day old tacos for months on end, but your bike will require a certain amount of fuel to make the trip.

I'd strongly consider a 250cc dirt bike, particularly if you can be disciplined enough to pack very light. These might be easier to sell or ditch in South America, although you need to look into this ahead of time - many countries require a bond 'Carnet' be posted specifically so you don't do this!

Be aware that any bike you buy will need some work and likely some modifications if you expect it to carry you the distance trouble free - make sure your budget allows for this. Buying a used bike with the right modifications already done is a good way to economize.

Do lots of research, attend a Horizon's Meeting, and read this site thoroughly.

good luck!
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