For my first long-distance trip I have two options, but haven't decided yet which one, so I thought I'd get opinions on both.
Here are the factors that apply to both options:
-I'll be a newish rider (1.5yrs) by departure
-I'm female and pretty small, and would want a bike I can lift on my own (170kgs including gear if possible)
-Happy with a 250-400cc, don't really want anything bigger than that. I have a VTR250 right now and would love something similar.
-Want a reliable Japanese bike. Naked. I want to get an older bike so it's less conspicuous so i'll be depending on good quality second hand.
-Something that I can attach lockable panniers and strap a backpack to.
-Something that isn't particularly desirable to steal (I plan on being in smaller and more rural places, not big cities)
Start in Canadian Rockies (or nearby, wherever bikes can be obtained cheaper) and head south through the USA West Coast, Central and South America.
Will be predominantly on tarmac though I don't know the road conditions in South America, however I DON'T plan on taking the Pan American and I also want to stay out of big cities.
Start in Europe (wherever bikes can be optioned cheapest, I have an EU passport as well).
Obtain bike, tour around Europe using HelpX and WOOFF-type things, spending a few weeks here and there in more remote parts of Europe, especially interested in Eastern Europe (Croatia, Czech Rep, Turkey).
-Is there any reason I should be considering a dirt bike instead?
-Recommended bike makes & models that are obtainable in Northern America (OPTION 1) or Europe (OPTION 2)?
-Tried Googling but am not sure where to start, this is possibly because I am too vague on the location still, but eg. Used Motorcycle For Sale - Buy and Sell Motorcycles Australia - bikesales.com.au
is the biggest Aus-wide for private sellers to get a good idea of prices.
-I hear bikes under 500cc are pretty hard to come by in the USA. I don't want to buy in British Columbia because they have some pretty hardcore vehicle regulations there and it's hell expensive. Not sure what my options are for buying if I choose OPTION 1?
-I will need some address to register the bike no matter which continent I'm buying in. Are any countries more or less painful to register bikes in if you aren't a resident and plan to take it out of the country of registration? To narrow it down a tad lets say comparison between USA, Canada, UK, Germany or France as they are the places I would most likely go to to buy. Unless there is some country in Europe where good bikes come cheaper...
Okay that's a tonne of questions for now, please forgive my naivety, I'm learning!
If you need me to narrow things down a bit then just ask, don't have a go for being vague, I'll do what I can to be more specific!
Cheers in advance