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Old 10-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
ytrider OP
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Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 10
Yukon to the equator.

Short time lurker on here and loving all the threads. My friend, my son and I want to do a ride to the equator in 2015.(if the world's still around lol) the reason( excuse) for this journey is so we can watch a sunset and sunrise and look up at night and see the milky way galaxy in all its splendour at the place where the earth is at its closest to the above mentioned spectacles and toss a salute to whatever god we happen to believe in at the time for giving us this opportunity.
we are trying to sort out what are the best bikes for this. I currently ride a ST1100. my friend a 'wing, and my son a zx1200. Would these do the trip? I see that the majority of rides are of the adventure and enduro persuasion, but still, the above question stands.
About twenty years ago I rode to Monterey and saltillo, and I know the situation has drastically changed down there, but still want to go.
We're looking for advice and will be scouring the archives for info.
thanks for your time. D
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:28 AM   #2
Parcero
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Location: Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
Oddometer: 520
I saw this post yesterday and I'm surprised that you haven't received about 100 opinions by now. Here's my two cents:

I have ridden in north BC, but not in the Yukon, and have covered the USA and Mexico, Central America, and as far south as Cuenca, Ecuador, where my bike is now, so I know the road conditions. The bikes you plan to ride are street-oriented, which might not be optimal for that ride, but will work. You will find pavement all the way down. Good roads, especially the cuotas (toll roads) in Mexico are plentiful. The PanAm through Central America is good in some countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) and dicier in others (Honduras--pot hole nation). Colombia's good and Ecuador's main highways are pretty close to USA/Canada quality.

I did Canada on a Road King, Mexico twice on a Softail Classic--which on Baja included lots of dirt and sand roads, and the USA on various bikes from old Kawasakis to Harleys to BMWs. I'm on a GS now which is great especially since I like to get off the beaten path occasionally and more importantly, the bike is really comfortable for me to ride long distances. But you don't need a GS, or KLR, or KTM, or any other "adventure bike" to do the trip. If your goal is to get to the equator and back on paved roads, you will be fine. Bottom line is if you are comfortable on those bikes over that kind of distance, you will be fine.

Enjoy the trip, it's a great one! Looking forward to the RR.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
Sjoerd Bakker
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Welcome ytrider.
Mostly +1 on what Parcero said about the type of bikes you choose for the trip.
But I would add that you might still be a bit happier overall if you go with a set of KLRs all around.
Your current bikes are a bit on the , how shall I put it, "intense and porcine " side , and have far more motor and speed potential than you will ever need on the ride if you are going to be tourists. Also they each weigh a lot more than a KLR and that is going to play on the freight rates for the crossing from Panama to Colombia no matter what carrier method you choose there. Also you face the prospect of three sets of specialty tools ,3X different tire choices required ,3Xdifferent spare this and thats ,3X different rates of feul consumption needing to stop each time the thirstiest bike says so and 3X fairly expensive bikes to keep shiny and rapidly depreciating at different rates.
If you went with three new KLRs , for example, and got really familiar with the maintenance , the three of you would spare yourselves a bunch of headaches of trying to find potentially greatly different spares and tire replacements.Heck, you might qualify for volume discounts if you buy new tires at the same time. If you each have the same bike you need only carry a limited number of spare bits i.e.consumables and if one bike breaks that you will still be laughing and working from the single common shop manual..
If you visited Mexico 20 years ago you will not really notice such a great difference , but roads have improved and there are more roads. It is still just as friendly
I would suggest you avoid the Cuotas unless you really want to inspect the scenery of some certain segment or are in some unexplainable mad rush., Cuotas are expensive and they avoid much of the best bits of small town Mexico.
With a slower dualsport bike you will be more inclined to take a matching relaxed pace and you will never NEVER worry about the topes or the enevitable road washouts and construction zone detours.And the smaller bikes are a lot easier to manhandle into tight parking spots at hotels ,as in INSIDE the room
If you get back to the Yukon with the dualsport bikes you might be inclined to keep them to explore the home country .If not I am sure you will have no trouble selling them quickly to some Europeans who are looking to buy a bike to explore Canada .
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:59 PM   #4
Parcero
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Location: Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
Oddometer: 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Welcome ytrider.
Mostly +1 on what Parcero said about the type of bikes you choose for the trip.
But I would add that you might still be a bit happier overall if you go with a set of KLRs all around.
Your current bikes are a bit on the , how shall I put it, "intense and porcine " side , and have far more motor and speed potential than you will ever need on the ride if you are going to be tourists. Also they each weigh a lot more than a KLR and that is going to play on the freight rates for the crossing from Panama to Colombia no matter what carrier method you choose there. Also you face the prospect of three sets of specialty tools ,3X different tire choices required ,3Xdifferent spare this and thats ,3X different rates of feul consumption needing to stop each time the thirstiest bike says so and 3X fairly expensive bikes to keep shiny and rapidly depreciating at different rates.
If you went with three new KLRs , for example, and got really familiar with the maintenance , the three of you would spare yourselves a bunch of headaches of trying to find potentially greatly different spares and tire replacements.Heck, you might qualify for volume discounts if you buy new tires at the same time. If you each have the same bike you need only carry a limited number of spare bits i.e.consumables and if one bike breaks that you will still be laughing and working from the single common shop manual..
If you visited Mexico 20 years ago you will not really notice such a great difference , but roads have improved and there are more roads. It is still just as friendly
I would suggest you avoid the Cuotas unless you really want to inspect the scenery of some certain segment or are in some unexplainable mad rush., Cuotas are expensive and they avoid much of the best bits of small town Mexico.
With a slower dualsport bike you will be more inclined to take a matching relaxed pace and you will never NEVER worry about the topes or the enevitable road washouts and construction zone detours.And the smaller bikes are a lot easier to manhandle into tight parking spots at hotels ,as in INSIDE the room
If you get back to the Yukon with the dualsport bikes you might be inclined to keep them to explore the home country .If not I am sure you will have no trouble selling them quickly to some Europeans who are looking to buy a bike to explore Canada .
Sjoerd Bakker makes an excellent point, especially on the common parts/spares/tools theme.
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Chicago to Panamá y Más Allá

Light Dual Sport Fun in Michigan

R1200GS / KLR650 / XR400 / XR250 / 1950 Panhead
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