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  #1  
Old 18 Jul 2015
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Santiago, Chile -> San Diego, Ca

***EDITED****EDITED AGAIN lol**
I am a 19 year old male from Virginia, about to study abroad in Vina del Mar, Chile from July 30 - November 28th.
I plan on buying a motorcycle in Chile during that time period, and come the end of my study in Chile, take off to Cabo san Lucas where I have a timeshare the second week of March.
Also noted I don't speak Spanish.. **Which is quickly changing as I've now been in Chile a month**

I know the process for buying a motorcycle in Chile, but not 100% on traveling north.

Here is what I need to know:

Can I do it in 13 weeks (**arriving in Cabo** March 5th) and still enjoy myself?

What are the best stops along the way?

Can I bring my motorcycle through the countries?

What is the best motorcycle? **Bought a Honda Falcon 400**

Should I sell it before the Darian Gap and take a boat across / around, then take buses the rest of the way? **Already booked the Stahlratte with my bike from Colombia -> Jamaica -> Cuba -> Mexico**

How much should I budget for the trip (after I finish school there)? **Too late for that haha I'm already here**

What questions am I not asking?

Thank you! This is my first post and I've been a member for like an hour, so I apologize if I didn't do enough research in advance.

Last edited by Hohnjarmon; 6 Sep 2015 at 00:30.
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  #2  
Old 18 Jul 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
I am a 19 year old male from Virginia, about to study abroad in Vina del Mar, Chile from July 30 - November 28th.
I plan on buying a motorcycle in Chile during that time period, and come the end of my study in Chile, take off to San Diego.
Also noted I don't speak Spanish..

I know the process for buying a motorcycle in Chile, but not 100% on traveling north.

Here is what I need to know:

Can I do it in 6-8 weeks (returning mid January) and still enjoy myself?
I suppose it is possible (anything is), but would you enjoy yourself ? How large a motorbike will you be riding ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post

What are the best stops along the way?
That depends on many things, like what you like and what you want to see, part of the journey is stopping at places that take your fancy but would not interest others.

It is a long route, you will get many ideas of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
Can I bring my motorcycle through the countries?

What is the best motorcycle?
The one you can afford, and it is Chile so that may limit you on the cost factor.

Try and get a 400-650cc single (IMO), an old BMW or KLR would probably do the job, and treat it as a throw away item.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post

Should I sell it before the Darian Gap and take a boat across / around, then take buses the rest of the way?
Up to you, crossing the gap with a bike costs money (and time), it depends on your budget, your time seems short. So maybe use the majority of it getting to Colombia and then try alternatives for the last leg home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post

How much should I budget for the trip (after I finish school there)?
That is the $64,000 question :-)
First research the bike prices, and then start from there.
Are you camping or hosteling ?

Chile is cheap to wild camp, but not for any other sort of accom (IMO)

Peru is cheap for small town hostels.

FWI, my wife and I mixing and matching accommodation can still manage Chile/Arg/Bol on less than $100/day for two people and two bikes. So start with a $50/day budget.

Gas prices vary, and that along with food is where you will find a lot of cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
What questions am I not asking?

Thank you! This is my first post and I've been a member for like an hour, so I apologize if I didn't do enough research in advance.
You have started the research that is a good start. Now go and have a good read of the South America section :-) Just about all the questions you have asked, and the ones you haven't , will be listed there.

Have fun

Oh, and while in Chile, give Lorraine Chittock a shout, she is 2 hours north of Vina Del Mar and is always glad to see travellers and help out.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/members/lorraine
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  #3  
Old 18 Jul 2015
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You are probably better off getting a US registered bike from someone here who rode down to Chile. The reason for this is that as an American, you can not bring a foreign registered bike into the US. There's lots of info about how to go about this on here and some other forums. Good luck.
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Old 18 Jul 2015
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So I can save up roughly $7,000 (not including motorcycle) for the trip. I am open to taking off my Spring semester of college as I'm already a year ahead anyways.

What kind of motorcycle can / should I get for around $2,500?

Attached is my planned route to Colombia with 49 stops. I'm totally open to bypassing any of the stops if you guys can recommend a better route. Keep in mind I still need to make it from Panama to Cabo san Lucas, my new destination.

I plan on taking a yacht from Cartagena, Colombia to Panama for roughly $1,040 USD with my motorcycle.

Will I have trouble getting across the borders with a U.S. registered bike? I would assume the title won't be in my name. Also I'm not going to the U.S. with it anymore, does that help?
**Title is in my name - I hope to go all the way to D.C. now, but I can also leave my bike in Cabo**

Should I bring a tent to sleep in for a good portion of the trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceP View Post

Oh, and while in Chile, give Lorraine Chittock a shout, she is 2 hours north of Vina Del Mar and is always glad to see travellers and help out.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/members/lorraine
I will definitely try and get in touch!

Last edited by Hohnjarmon; 6 Sep 2015 at 00:31.
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  #5  
Old 18 Jul 2015
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Not sure if my attachment worked, so here is the route on google maps:

https://goo.gl/maps/s5XLu

https://goo.gl/maps/vc4zf

https://goo.gl/maps/54CmH

https://goo.gl/maps/lijVh

https://goo.gl/maps/FS585
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  #6  
Old 19 Jul 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
So I can save up roughly $7,000 (not including motorcycle) for the trip. I am open to taking off my Spring semester of college as I'm already a year ahead anyways.

What kind of motorcycle can / should I get for around $2,500?
Have you checked the sales sites ?
Motociclistas.cl - �ndice (forum, look for sales section)
Motos - MercadoLibre Chile
Chileautos: miles de autos y veh�culos nuevos y usados

This will give you an idea. For myself a 1999 F650 (in 2012) was around $4500.

I guess you will be getting a small 150cc new for $2500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post


Should I bring a tent to sleep in for a good portion of the trip?
Yes, you are on a tight budget. It will save costs in Chile.
We never used the tent to the north of Chile, rooms were cheap.
But you may still want to camp.
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  #7  
Old 19 Jul 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
Not sure if my attachment worked, so here is the route on google maps:

https://goo.gl/maps/s5XLu
No fuel from Pozo Almonte (Iquique) to Arica, approx 250kms. You may want a gas can.

You don't really mean a detour to Calama do you ? San Pedro maybe, or are you going to the geysers ?

Ruta 5 is long, has a lot of tolls, as far as just north of Copiapo (in 2013).

Antofagasta is a very industrial town, and can get expensive (but I know a mechanic there :-) ). Take the coast road to Iquique and wild camp on the beach, more enjoyable road north.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohnjarmon View Post
Your route leaps to Copacabana, after Arica the road goes up up up to 4500metres, make sure you have a bike capable of altitude or have the carb adjustments available.

On a fuel injected 660, we had no problems. On an F650 it wasn't happy. We have met a KLR650 rider or two who have struggled.

For the rest, I'll just point you at my blog, starting from Jan 2011 (we were going north->south on that one), should cover info for most stuff

HU Traveller Two Pegs to Patagonia's Ride Tale

And anothe trip we did, covering Bolivia, HU Traveller Two Pegs to Patagonia's Ride Tale
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  #8  
Old 4 Sep 2015
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Update*

Well I have been in Chile for the past month now and have answered many of my own questions....

I found a Honda Falcon 400 for sale in Santiago (thanks to HU) and bought it.

Departing on November 28th, my route is Vina del Mar -> meeting a friend in Cusco (Macchu Pichu) - > riding two up to Lima (friend departs) -> Ecuador -> and arriving in Cartagena, Colombia by the 14th of January.

From there I will take the Stahlratte to Jamaica then to Santiago, Cuba where I will stay for a month and ride across the country eventually leaving on the Stahlratte from Cienfuegos, Cuba to near Cancun, Mexico on February 28th. Then I'm going to cross Mexico to Mazatlan and take a ferry to Cabo arriving around the 5th of March.

After a week in Cabo with my family, I hope to ride north to Las Angeles, or if my brother lands a job, San Francisco. From there I will start the final leg of my trip through the Grand Canyon and more heading home to Washington D.C. in hopefully a month, all in all totaling approximately 30,000 Km traveled. **Don't need to arrive in D.C. until August**

The majority of this trip is solo, I'm hoping my next 3 months studying in Chile gets me conversational in Spanish, living with a host family certainly helps.
I'm budgeting for around $50/Day which I think will be plenty...

Any tips on the new route?
How not to get shot in Mexico?
Places to see in Cuba?

Thanks for the advice Bruce! I'll have to figure out my carb situation.... Got rid of going to Calama as well, flying through there next weekend actually for a few days in San Pedro / exploring the Atacoma.

Last edited by Hohnjarmon; 6 Sep 2015 at 00:33.
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  #9  
Old 5 Sep 2015
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The 5 straight up will be kinda boring but the NX400 will handle it fairly well and the stock seat is quite okay. If you're in a rush at least take the coastal route between Antofagasta and Iquique. I took it as far as Tocopilla from Iquique. It twists and turns and rises and falls, it's slower but it was pretty awesome.

Quote:
Can I do it in 13 weeks (returning March 7th) and still enjoy myself?
You know, people do endurance rides and that's fine by me but since you asked I'd personally say no unless it is an endurance ride you're after. You're missing out some spectacular sights (Salar de Uyuni!) You can do 312k per day easily enough in Argentina and in Chile but I'm not so sure about Peru, Ecuador, Colombia. With one day off 384k per day, that will be hard going in those countries. Landslides, protests, fuel shortages, passes, and poor roads and weather will hamper you. If you start to fall behind on your targets you'll probably get stressed, ride harder, get more tired, get more stressed. Just my 2 cents.

Quote:
Should I bring a tent to sleep in for a good portion of the trip?
By all means, but sensibly that means a decent air mat and sleeping bag too, and a pillow. I mostly stayed in my tent and loved it - I also found that going to sleep after a hard day and sleeping badly exhausts you and does not put you in a good physical or mental state the next day to handle a motorcycle across unknown roads and unpredictable, erratic traffic. What will do you for water? Factor in having at least 4lt when you set up camp. Maybe I'm even just over-cautious these days

Will you be cooking?

Quote:
What are the best stops along the way?
My advice would be not to think of it in 'stops'. It's more the things, the people, the landscapes, the mindsets that you'll experience on the way through and over coming the challenges that you will meet on a day to day basis. These will be your most memorable moments, not tourist traps like San Pedro de Atacama, Cusco, etc. Again, just my experiences.

Have you not considered storing the bike in Colombia, and braking the journey up? People may disagree, but I've been to central America and Mexico, and I'll tell you straight up, South America is where the best riding is at. All those lonely dirt roads that wind through the Andes, you just get lost in them, literally and spiritually, in a good way! I'm not sure slogging it up the highway would be all that enjoyable. You'll have a pretty good idea after six days on the Ruta 5.

I hope you don't take my post as being negative. Like I say, in the past people have given others crap on this forum because they do things like 5,000 miles in five days or whatever, I think that's great if you're into challenging yourself physically and mentally as a rider. Maybe it would be sensible to at least make a plan B that will account for having such a bad ass time in South America you'll decide to ride Central And North America another time.

Best wishes!
Ross
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  #10  
Old 5 Sep 2015
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Quote:
Will I have trouble getting across the borders with a U.S. registered bike? I would assume the title won't be in my name.
Yes, you will, because unless you have other legal documents establishing your legal right to have control of a vehicle owned by someone not in the vehicle, any border official who is even slightly awake will not let you pass. That isn't specific to S America either.
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  #11  
Old 6 Sep 2015
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@ridetheworld

You've definitely given me some food for thought..
To clarify on my timeline, it goes something like this:

Depart Vina Del Mar on Nov. 28th (maybe up to a week sooner if I can take my exams early)
Stay in Cusco from December 10th-16th
Arrive in Lima Dec 21st / 22nd
Arrive in Cartagena, Colombia January 13th
6 week cruise
Arrive near Cancun, Mexico Feb 28th
Arrive in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico March 5th (Not D.C.)

From there I have two options:

Leave the motorcycle at my house in Cabo, or carry on to D.C.
If I choose the latter, I have until August to return home. I figure I won't have another chance to do a trip like this for years because of work and school, so I'm definitely edging towards doing the long stretch home.... Plus, what a story eh?

In between these dates, I can travel to anywhere so long as I reach my destinations on time. I do feel badly about not spending more time between Lima and Cartagena but at this point there isn't much I can do :/

I would consider storing my bike in Colombia but, in an impulsive moment of anticipation, I already paid the down payment for the Stahlratte.

I don't care for biking through Mexico, I figure it's more the cheapest means of getting to Cabo with my bike though.

As for the tenting, I'm only worried it won't be safe in Peru, Ecuador, and Colmbia? I'm really thinking of whats most cost effective here haha so maybe it's best I stay in hostels? I'll get my fill of camping when I go (fly) to Patagonia in November!

I'm not taking your reply as negative, I appreciate realism so I know what I am getting into.

@Tony LEE

I actually have the papers signed over into my name now, forgot to edit that Will I still get a lot of trouble at the border? I know I'll have to pay an import tax, though not sure how much it will be or how to go about it.

After a little research the process seems impossible... What if I destroyed it when I arrived in D.C. ? There's no way I can sell it in Chile when I'm done. Can I even leave it in Mexico legally?? Idk what to do with it.... I only paid $2,200 (Valued at $4,000), and while I would like that money back I could live with losing it I suppose.
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  #12  
Old 6 Sep 2015
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Budget rooms in Peru, Ecuador are quite cheap, no idea about Colombia. Tenting it is only cost effective if you camp most of the time and already own a decent setup. The downside is that it is extra weight. I hope to be going through Peru, Ecaudor and Colombia, arriving in Bogota around Xmas. If you have any need of information about the road ahead don't hesitate to PM me.
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Old 6 Sep 2015
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Have a look at iOverlander site. If you do a search just for established campgrounds, most of the ones that come up permit tenting and there will be more than enough in all countries to suit.

If you leave the bike in Mexico you will lose the deposit you paid at the southern border and may have slight problems if you ever go back into Mexico.
If you can just ride it into the US then nothing to stop you scrapping it unless the border people take particular notice of it when you cross.

You said the papers are signed over and are in your name. What papers? Chile or US registered? Photoshopped or genuine? PODER? I'm guessing it is Chile registered so if all done properly you should be able to cross all borders without problems until at least the US border depending on what their policy is. BTW after 6 months you may have hassles if you reenter Chile since I think they only allow 6 months away
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Old 6 Sep 2015
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As Tony says, you should have the title of the bike in your name. This happens when you go to the registration office, (registro de civil?) with old owner and new buyer.

It would be best if you had the new document they issue with your name on it. This means you would have almost no problems crossing boarders. That's all they really care about. If it is a PODER, that's a different story.

Tony - as far as bringing a Chilean plated bike into the USA - I know Elisa from TravelBugBlues rode a Honda CGL125 back to her home state, so it is possible. She rode it home through the States too.

Hohnjarmon, Tony is correct - when you leave Chile you are issued with a six month exit permit on the vehicle. If you returned late for example, as Lachy did, you must pay a several hundred dollar fine, though according to Lachy it is easily reduced with a good excuse (and proof). I've no idea what happens if you turned up without the vehicle.

Quite a lot of gringos drive Chilean bikes outside of Chile and never drive them back, but no one has ever gone back to Chile without their vehicle and talked about it here. I wonder what could they do if you just said it was stolen, it fell into the sea, or you drove it to Colombia and had no money to drive it home, etc.
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Old 6 Sep 2015
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If the bike you bought is a chilean registered bike you might have a problem crossing the border into Peru.
If it is a foreign registered bike and you have a "poder" from a notaria in Santiago you will be ok.
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