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Old 09-08-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
porkandcorn OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 296
Obsessive-Compulsive South American Trip Preparation

in early-january, 2013, myself and my 2012 triumph tiger 800xc will be arriving to Valparaiso, Chile to start a trip i've been dreaming about for a long time. my current plan is to ride to buenos aires, argentina to florianopolis, brazil to visit some old friends, then back-track down to the end of the world - ushuaia, argentina, and then make my way up the south american west coast to bogota, columbia where i'll fly myself and the dirty bike back to portland. i've not yet hammered out many of the waypoints. rather, i'm wanting to collect suggestions from other riders, and in general, go where the bike takes me.

i've been riding street motorcycles since i was 10 or so, but am relatively new to adventure riding and off-road riding. i've travelled the world a good amount, but never on two wheels. in december 2011, after a lot of research, i purchased a 2006 suzuki dl-1000 v-strom, assuming that would be my bike for this trip. with the stroms, you get a lot of bike for your money. however, after spending several months farkling her out, i finally took her off-road in the steens mountain wilderness in southeastern oregon. verdict: too porky! so after a week or two of fighting the inevitable, i spent the next month or so stripping her back down, selling off all the farkles to delighted discount buyers, and then sold the dl-1000.

i knew the roads of south america would be challenging from the research - you can find anything from perfect pavement, to washed out gravel, to potholes the size of a truck. i'm 6' 4" and 225 lbs, and have a bit of a messed up neck with 4 blown cervical discs. i wanted a lighter bike to make it easier on myself, but still wanted enough power to pass authoritatively, and enough comfort to ride 10,000 - 15,000 miles in several months. after test rides at a local dealer, i was about to purchase a used 2009 bmw f800gs - then i was encouraged to test out a triumph tiger 800xc. not sure what happened that, day, but i feel in love with the tiger instantly and within a couple of weeks decided to throw down for a new one at oregon's oldest triumph dealer, cascade moto classics. (great bunch of people!)

so i then repeated the farkling process all over again - *sigh* - made much easier for the fact that triumph has some really well thought-out accessories for the 800xc - and about a month ago, my bike and my gear were all assembled. (see my gear list and gear photos in subsequent posts.) in late august of 2012, i rode a 2,500 mile loop from portland, oregon to british columbia and alberta, canada to test out the bike, my gear, and myself for the "big trip". everything went really well, and i feel prepared. (check out that ride report here, as it is the prequel to this one.)

having spent about 9 months googling, vetting, buying, returning, googling, buying, mounting, un-mounting, returning, buying, googling, etc, etc, etc ad naseum - i feel like an expert in adventure motorcycling gear. (UPS and Fedex are my biggest fans). i used this and many other forums, as well as the thoughtful input of other inmates here at and the good people over at to get where i'm at now, and hope to give back some of that knowledge to riders that follow me. so in that spirit, i'll subsequently post my gear list, photos of my riding setup, useful links, and any reviews or tips on products that i think would be helpful for others.

now that i've got the bike and gear finally all sorted out, i've switched modes into preparation for my actual south american trip. although i speak portuguese fluently, i'm learning spanish to discern the differences. i've been meeting with anyone and their dog locally that will talk to me about their experiences adventure riding (the motobrothers, radioman (fellow portlander), and many more. i've been learning a lot about motorcycle repair and maintenance under the wing of my new friend and and former trials bike rider, damon - we spent a lot of time pulling parts off the v-strom to farkle and un-farkle her.

and so here i am, starting my reporting, although i have 4 months to wait. by starting the ride report early, i'm hoping to document the excitement that comes along with the preparation and the wait. perhaps that can be useful, interesting, or otherwise entertaining for anyone who wants to follow along. i'm also hoping that those who have done this ride, or want to do this ride, will chime in and become part of the conversation. i could use suggestions for places and motorcycling roads not to miss, great spots to stay or restaurants to eat at, people to meet along the way, and more.

i'll take whoever is interested along on the journey, and share as much as i can good and bad, as well as devoting myself to posting great photos and videos along the way. viva la moto!


portland, oregon usa

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porkandcorn by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn on the icefields parkway, jasper, ab, canada by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 01-06-2013 at 09:46 AM
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