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Old 09-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #16
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Trollhattan, Sweden
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South America

Hello. Nice to read all your preperations for the trip.
I was planing to start my travell end of this month from Toronto, but due to my jobb has asked me stay on until the end of this year I have to change my route.
Planing to ship my bike from Toronto, where it´s stored whit some friends,to Nathal in northern Brasil and start the
trip from there,beginning of januari -13, going down to Ushia and then upp to Chile, Peru, Colombia. Havn´t decided yet.
For how long time will you be travelling. From where and how will you ship your bike ? Estimated cost of shipping ?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #17
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hey thanks man.

i think starting in natal, brazil is a great idea. but i've heard many times brazilian customs is a nightmare and that the import taxes can be up to as much as 200% your bikes value! (i haven't confirmed this), so you'll probably want a brazilian on the ground to help out if you go that route and research the truth of those claims first before you set that plan. but the brazilian officials love to torture americans as the US state dept. has made it annoying for brazilians, so perhaps it would be different for a swede coming from canada.

natal is small. i travelled the brazlian coast north to south 10 years ago starting there. you'll have to come into a bigger city, then arrange another transport to natal in northern brazil.

i am flying my bike into buenos aires to avoid brazilian customs, likely using shumacher cargo, then using javier, the owner of dakar motos in BA to help me get it through argentinian customs. then i'll pop up into southern brazil for a bit before i head to ushuaia. (already have seen the brazilian coast). the current estimate from schumacher (LAX to BUE) is about $2,700. i hear it's slightly easier and less expensive shipping back home. i'm also considering using air canada in vancouver, BC to avoid USA air regulations that don't let commercial airlines ship motos. planning on just calling up and seeing if that will work for an american. you should do the same.

i have another forum thread regarding the bike freighting topic over at horizonsunlimited, so feel free to pop over there and join that discussion.

the brazilian coast is AMAZING. the north is paradise beach after paradise beach. in january in brazil is HOTTTTT... so be prepared for 100+ F temperatures and high humidity. i strongly recommend catching a charter flight from natal or recife, brazil to fernando de naronha (a federal park island about 200 miles off the coast.) it is absolutely beautiful. is speak portuguese, and know brazil and the brazilian coast well, so feel free to PM me if you have more questions about brazil.

i'm starting mid january in BA, will be in ushuai around mid to late february before it gets too cold, then heading north to chile, argentina, peru, bolivia, ecuador, and columbia with a finish date of mid may. i'll use mike at in columbia to help me arrange shipping back out. stay in touch! great minds think alike!

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Old 09-10-2012, 10:59 PM   #18
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In-Progress South American Destinations List

this list will change wildly in the next couple of months. trying to collect info from as many riders as i can, then document who told me what so i can PM them later or on my trip for more detail. a bit disorganized... will clean up as i go. i also have this list on iCloud on my apple devices so i can edit it from anywhere when i have an idea or heard some advice. great way to keep on top of your planning.

some of this was culled from another thread i have going here at ADVrider, South America, January-June 2013: Route Suggestions??

Porto Alegre

Punta del este, beach town (a local told me)

See Gotan Project concert!
Buenos Aires
Road J to Ushuaia (bush pilot - adv)
Back Route into Chile (bush pilot - adv)
Ruta 40, 68, 9
Chalten (bush pilot - adv)
Patagonia W. of Bariloche
Valle de la Luna
Paso los Libertadores (Chile)
Puerto Bertrand - Jonathan Leidich/Patagonia Adventure Expeditions
(56-67-411 330),
Rotten Cops: 25-50 miles N of Buenos Aires (jeff smith) *ask Javier/DakarMotos
Dakar motos, Buenos Aires are good people (clemens)
Ruta 9 north of salta is great road (clemens)
Ruta 68 south of Belen, like sw USA canyons (clemens)
Rio Gallegos, sw moto, nice people (clemens)
Patagonia hotel, rio grande (clemens)
Paso san francisco, ok to chile mid to late february (hubb-duval)
boat trip through sounds (radioman)

Mano del Desierto, Near Antofagasta off pan-american (hubb-duval)
Paso los Libertadores (Argentina)
Atacama desert
Paso de San Francisco
Carretera Austral - 770 miles (Routa 7 Chile)
El Calafate (glacier perito moreno)
Lago Buenos Aires
Porta del Paine national park (bush pilot - adv)
Punta Arenas (bush pilot - adv)

Atico to Camana, Peru, 150 miles of beautiful coast road like NorCal (clemens)
Lake Titicaca
Machu Picchu, little town before to stay, a day for machu picchu
Nasca lines
Huacachina desert oasis
Sillustani, watch towers moat (Miriam)
Puno to Pucara to Cuzco: piquillacta (house of gold), templo de viracocha, ollantiltambo, moray (miriam)
Pisco to Trujillo, + Chiclaya! (beautiful beaches) (miriam)
Cape north of chiclayo boring (miriam)

Bolivia:, la Paz (clemens)
La Paz to Potosi, beautiful paved roads (clemens)
Salar Uyuni
Santa Cruz (Sylvia)
Do not enter Bolivia via San Pedro de Aticama to Uyuni!, very difficult sand riding (brian dublin/HUBB)

Puerto Lopez, hostel, gladis, (clemens)
Ecuator-Peru border crossing easy, no fees, exchange $ for Soles at the border (clemens)
Cuenca, US expat town, nice (clemens)
National parque cajas, 14,000 ft nice roads (clemens) - ecuador, advhandle: (CourtRand - adv)
Galapagos costs -
insurance required at border (dan clemens)

Carlos, fixer?
Girag cargo?(clemens)
ship out of bogata (radioman)
Mike, motolumbia adv tours in cali, nice guy (clemens) (radioman)
insurance required at border

porkandcorn screwed with this post 09-11-2012 at 09:54 PM
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #19
Joined: Sep 2008
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Thanks for posting this, porkandcorn. I hope you'll provide details after the ride as well. This is on my bucket list of rides as well but will likely not happen for me until 2014-15 at the earliest. So, really looking forward to your report.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #20
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Also going to Buenos Aires

I am a little intimidated by your writing and your sense of organization so I will be quick. I am leaving for Ushuaia for Christmas or New Year on October 1st and will be driving north afterward to meet my father in Buenos Aires in January 15.

Your dates seems to coincide with mine at this point so maybe we could meet for a beer.

I will be shipping my bike back to Miami from Rio afterward, somewhere around Feb 15th, 2013.

Best regards,

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Old 09-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #21
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Check out

speed devil: no need to be intimidated. i'll be the first to admit that i've spent WAY too much time on this, but i do it because i like to, not because one HAS too. would love to meet up for a beer. subscribe and follow along, and one of us can PM the other closer to january.

kdowell: thanks for dropping by. you should also check out moto-treks website (starting with this ADV POI page). jeff (moto-treks) did his central and south america trip a couple of years, and as a fellow data geek, he put together a really impressive website that has waypoints, routes and other extremely useful info for south america organized in a full-blown web database. i'm going to be inputting my travel info and waypoints into his system to help him grow it, because it's way more advanced than anything i could conjure up and better than anything i've found yet. he's a GPS guru too, and his website helped me get my head around all that stuff - which can be very overwhelming.

in particular his GPS Maps of South America page and his links page


moto-treks bar by porkandcorn, on Flickr
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:44 PM   #22
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Danny Walker's American Supercamp

i was lucky that danny walker, a former professional dirt tracker and AMA road racer, brought his motorcycle technique school to vancouver, wa - about a 20 minute drive from my condo in downtown portland. i couldn't refuse the opportunity to sit atop a yamaha tr125 (think "bear on a football") and see how terrible a rider i actually am. so i spent all day this past saturday and sunday learning some really interesting techniques that have made me think a lot about my riding, my experience, and what i would do when put into a less than perfect situation on the road.

danny's american supercamp is a riding skills and balance improvement course for ALL motorcycle riders using aggressive and innovative riding drills composed by the best riders in motorcycling. everything is done on dirt tracks - or basically, less than optimal traction. the camp is designed to force students to critically think about their actions and the effects on the handling of the motorcycle. the camp focuses on improving your techniques of cornering for safety and speed; improving your abilities going into a corner, getting out of a corner, and if need be, past those in front of you.

it was a fantastic experience, and if you want to become a safer, more efficient rider, i highly recommend you look into his course - he holds them all over the country. it was a ton of fun too - as i've never really been on a dirt bike slinging around mud and sliding corners. you just show up - they provide all the bikes and riding gear. i'll be back next year, and it will definitely impact how i ride in the future.

i'm next planning on taking some of the off-road riding courses that are offered by the PSSOR up in neighboring washington state.

i've been riding since i was very young, but you can never have too much education in an attempt to stay safe or have more fun.

porkandcorn with danny walker by porkandcorn, on Flickr

a pile of yamaha tr 125s by porkandcorn, on Flickr

danny walker and the moto-horse by porkandcorn, on Flickr

and a link of some young kids (very talented) riding the training course).

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Old 09-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #23
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Katia & Rafael - Ushuaia to Fairbanks - Done!

for those of you who were following my canada ride report, you'll know that i met an italian couple who were riding their bicycles from ushuaia, argentina (end of the world) to fairbanks, alaska (the other end of the world). i put them up in my hostel on a miserable night in prince rupert, bc and we became friends. here's part of an email i got from them last night:

Hi Fritz! we are in Fairbanks now! we arrived the 13th of september, too early to finish our trip now! But we were lucky because of wheather is getting colder now but we don't want to come back home... During the last days we were froozen but fourtunatly we found always a warm place where we can sleep, also in the tent! We join our sleeping bags to stay warmer. Now we are in home of a friend with a big bed, but we remember with so much pleasure the one you givent us for gift. Fairbanks is a twined town with Fanano,a village near ours. Fairbanks was built by Felix Pedroni, an italian man coming from fanano during the gold rush.

We have read your beautifull blog and we always follow you and your pictures, that are so nice. Good luck for your next adventure, be safe and ...SUERTE! If you decide to go in Italy please call us we will be honoured to have you in our home. --- Katia & Rafael


what an incredible accomplishment! and certainly a humbling experience for all of us with engines over our wheels. here are a couple shots they sent showing them at their destination:

rafael and katia cold in fairbanks by porkandcorn, on Flickr

action photo at the end of the BIG trip by porkandcorn, on Flickr

rafael and katia finish their journey by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:01 PM   #24
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Logistics Day - Freighting, Search & Rescue, Insurance, etc

i'm playing hooky from work today, and trying to get some research done and questions answered on bike freighting, insurance, and other fun stuff (not).

bike freighting:

i got in touch with steve haratani at schumacher cargo (based out of LAX). i told him i have a triumph tiger 800xc, 600 lbs with bike + luggage, 89" x 35" x 55". i asked him to quote me picking the bike up on a flatbed in portland, shipping it to their warehouse at LAX, and air freighting the bike to BUE airport in buenos aires. steve is a super nice guy, very used to shipping bikes to weird places, and made it all sound very stress-free. here's his quote for my circumstances. i'm going to still shop around a bit, especially with air canada, as i here that can be a good option for people located in the northern US, as you don't have to deal with TSA and the hassle they put motorcycle shippers through.

2012 Triumph Tiger 800 xc, 600 lbs, 89" x 35" x 55", crated by schumacher at their warehouse:

A/F $2301.20
Fuel $581.70
Sec $83.10
A/L UN $100.00
DG Dec $75.00
Crating $150.00
Apt $75.00
PU $425.00 Pu Portland OR – Schumacher warehouse

Total $3791.00 Door to Airport --- ouch!!! that hurts.

*Schumacher can also handle the import, customs, and logistics on the way back into the US - you just need to have the foreign freight handlers consign the master air bill over to schumacher.

SPOT Connect GPS / GEOS search & rescue:

i have a SPOT connect, which has received mixed reviews online for it's ability to reliably send out messages via your smartphone to a list of pre-entered contacts located in the SPOT device. however, as a stand alone tracking device to allow friends and family to follow your tracks, and having an SOS - Oh Shit! button, it works fine. i purchased the GEOS SAR package through SPOT, which gives you a one-year international SAR membership with GEOS alliance, a global leader in SAR. that $12.95/year membership covers your for up to $100,000 in SAR costs per year ($50,000 per occurrence), whereby when you hit the SOS button on the SPOT (provided you have clear signal, good batteries, etc), they will come scrap you off the road and deliver you to the *nearest local hospital or treatment facility*. that is where their coverage ends. i asked them what their most expensive rescue bill was, and they said it was about $12,000.

medivac coverage:

medivac (repatriation) coverage begins where the GEOS coverage ends - at the weird little shack of a hospital in a foreign country, where they use vodka instead of oxycodone. if you want to live it up in a classy, modern hospital, you will need a MEDIVAC agreement or insurance policy. they will, at your request, relocate you from the vodka shack hospital to the oxycodone palace hospital of your choosing back in your home country. (some companies require a local doctor to verify that it's medically necessary to move you to another hospital - check your policy!!). i'm considering 2 options for this policy - GEOS Medivac (through GEOS Alliance), and Medjet Assist. GEOS Medivac seems to be much less expensive, but i'm going to make sure i'm comparing apples to apples -

GEOS Medivac: international coverage, 365 days - $120.95
Medjet Assist: international coverage, 0-90 days: $260.00, 91-180 days: $430.00, 181-270 days: $530.00, 271-365 days: $665.00, *can upgrade from one level to the next by paying difference.

travel medical insurance:

in addition to the SAR coverage and Medivac coverage listed above, i'm also making sure that my medical insurance covers me out of country. if not, i'll need to buy an additional policy to pay for all the vodka and staple costs that i might incur out of country. and i'm shocked, but my Blue Cross/Blue Shield major medical policy says that i do in fact have worldwide coverage, which includes any foreign medical bills w/ receipts, and any "medically necessary transportation" to a local care facility or required facility... so i may not end up needing a medivac policy or travel medical policy. i asked for all this info in writing, so... more to come. the one question that remains is: would i have to choice to be sent home to a modern hospital, or would my policy force me to stay out of country.

travel insurance:

the distinction here is that you can buy insurance that would reimburse any sunk trip costs should something catastrophic occur and i could not finish my trip. it would pay for items that have already been paid for, but have not been used - travel tickets, hotel reservations, cruises, etc.) given that i'll basically be winging this trip from start to finish, i'm not seeing a lot of pre-paid expenses, and therefore, not much of a need for travel insurance.

motorcycle insurance:

a quick call to my insurance company verified my assumption that there is no way in hell they are going to insure my triumph out of country. not sure if there is even a company out there that will cover the bike against damage or theft through a variety of south american countries. if anyone knows of one, post it to the ride report.

porkandcorn screwed with this post 09-20-2012 at 02:31 PM
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:09 PM   #25
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Hello Ponkandcorn!. I`m From Córdoba, Argentina. I rode from Ushuaia to Bogota 5 times in the last years, so I know pretty well the way, feel free to ask what you need to. You can also stay and overnight at my house. Just a little idea, you could send the bike straight to Ushuaia and start from there. The customs officers are really cool and I know the guys who does all the paper work. good luck wathever you decide to do!!.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #26
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subscribed for a fellow northwest rider... interested in hearing how the Triumph does. After selling my speed triple am now considering one of these or a KTM 990.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #27
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Triumph Tiger 800xc vs. the Competition

erik350: i will PM you to get your contact info. i will definitely have some questions, and i will take you up on the offer to stay at your place. thank you so much!

aviatorbdm: welcome aboard. i've been looking for an excuse to rave about the Triumph Tiger 800xc! i nearly purchased a used BMW f800gs after test-riding it and the KTM 990 (which are both good bikes), until i test rode the Tiger. it was love at first ride, so don't test one out unless you intend to buy it.

here are the advantages i see to the Tiger:

smooth: the street triple engine is rediculously smooth on the road. even pushing 8000rpm passing cars, you barely feel the engine vibration. great for those long, iron-butt sessions. the transmission is also ridiculously smooth - you don't feel it when you shift, no jerkiness. very, very clean.

powerful: the 800cc engine is very responsive all the way through the power band. on the freeway, you don't even need to drop into 5th to tear around cars. and if you do, it will take all of 1 second to see them in the rear view mirror. anytime you roll the throttle, it produces very big smiles... even loaded up with 125 lbs of adventure gear. caveat: the 1st gear is very tall and can feel a bit 'whimpy', but it is set up that way to produce a good idle speed for off-road work.

comfortable: the stock seat is actually pretty good, as compared to the f800 and the ktm 990. and the height of the bike is very good. i'm 6' 4", and it fits me great. there is a seat adjustment for shorter riders. i don't know why, but i didn't like the fit of the f800gs. and the ktm 990 was like riding around on a 2x4 with an engine... i know it's very capable off-road, but i would be hesitant to take it on long trips for fear my ass would fall off. i made 2 additional comfort alterations: airhawk R seat pad (amazing for any bike), and ROX 2" pivot risers.

suspension: the stock suspension out of the box is very, very good. i'm 225 lbs, and it doesn't mind me, nor my 125 lbs of luggage at all. it eats up pot-holes, big bumps, rocks like they are not there. but it's also very firm on tight corners at speed. i honestly don't know how they did it. there is a pre-load adjustment for passengers or heavy luggage, and even a dampener adjustment for the rebound. very well desinged. IMO the f800gs suspension is garbage out of the box and requires replacement. the ktm is probably on par or better than the triumph.

accessories: i wasn't expecting it after the farkel-fest i went through on my last bike, spending way too much time hunting down the best accessories, but triumph offers a very well-though out package of adventure touring accessories for the tiger 800xc - everything you need, and nothing you don't. part of it could be that the aftermarket companies haven't had time to R&D stuff yet, as the tiger is only 2-3 years out in the market. or it could be that they realized they got beat out by triumph. i ended up with the sump guard, engine protector bars, center stand, radiator guard, fog lights, heated grips, adjustable windshield, and a few other goodies. i'm very happy with all of them, and it saved me a ton of time shopping around for other variations.

sexy: the tiger 800xc is a good looking bike. it's got a je ne sais quoi advantage over the f800gs, and IMO the ktm is 'fugly'. temper this opinion with the fact that i already own it and am in love with it.

porkandcorn screwed with this post 09-20-2012 at 06:13 PM
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #28
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Are you sure you did enough research for this trip??

Have fun! If you have time to...
Originally posted by burgerking So?
Holland is about the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to bikes and fuel..Stop whining and go riding It's just money and you only live once...
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:09 PM   #29
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3 Months and Counting...

D.T. - i have to do something to make the days pass, otherwise i will lose what is left of my mind waiting to leave. i'm sure you will forgive me for my obsessive compulsiveness now that you are aware of it's cause.

can i leave yet?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #30
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No! You can't leave. You have to stay until your departure date
Moto Trek'n to New York via the Trans Labrador Hwy, South America

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