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Old 12-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
Plasterman OP
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Trip cost to SA?

Can someone give me an estimate of what it might cost to travel through Mexico to Argentina one up on a bike for say one year? I have a KLR and don't need the best accommodations.


What are the attitudes of the non-professional women in the countries traveling south towards Americans. I am a gentleman and treat women with respect, but do enjoy company once in a while.


Is it recommended to take anti-malarial meds with you. What are the top causes of health concerns when traveling through these areas?


What countries will let you stay the longest?


I am a veteran nurse of 25 years, any chances for employment in any of these countries?

Thanks

Tom
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
ArcticRider
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Tom,
Have spent a few years in Costa Rica over the past decade. Have followed numerous ride reports and spoken with guys riding down. It seems an average cost is about $100/day for actual days logging miles. These are guys who mostly live on the "cheap" (average included border crossings, gas, lodging and food).

Guys who ride down with another rider w/bike usually have fewer hassles and more fun than the guys who are solo.

Emergency services are few and far between.

Latin American 'ladies' are very friendly to gringos, and they really love gringos on motorcycles.

For latest links on transporting bike from Panama to Columbia, it seems like the HUBB often has the most current information (air cargo offices & boats).

Anti-malarials are usually discouraged atleast as far as south as Panama. The side effects of the drugs usually are pretty bad and outweigh the chances of actually contracting malaria. Ofcourse, your Hep A&B vaccinations from being a health care provider will be advantageous.

As for paid employment...I usually just hear of volunteer opportunities but there are guys on here that know alot more than me.
Good luck if you do it and read up on the latest ride reports for current border crossing hassles, tricks like having several copies of your passport, having a spare drivers license, etc..

Cheers
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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Hi Plasterman,

Costs for a South America trip are all over the map. People like me start out with great intentions of spending very little. But by the time you ship your bike and self across the Darien, buy tires, oil, filters, and miscellaneous trips to the welder to fix your busted subframe the costs add up. Not to mention if you need steering head bearings, fork seals, rear shock, chain and sprockets. It can add up.

I think rock bottom is daily expenses of 30 bucks or so plus 20 bucks a day for the border crossing fees, tires, mandatory insurance, shipping costs etc. Most people spend way more than this.

I think if you stay in cheap hotels, camp alot and eat out of grocery stores and roadside stands you can keep your costs down to 15-18,000 bucks for a year trip. I have been out two and a half months and have spent roughly 3 grand. And I have a fuel efficient bike and camp alot.

As far as meeting women on the road, it totally depends on you. They are out there, but a year isn't long and you will be moving fairly quickly before you can get to know too many non-professional women.

Nobody I have met down here is getting rich working in a third world country. I find it makes more sense to make money at home where the wages are better and travel in the cheap countries when I've saved up.

The longest you can leave a bike is one year in Uruguay.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
...
The longest you can leave a bike is one year in Uruguay.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
Good info.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
AdventuresAbound
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Gear costs too please

Man, what an awesome forum. I'm trying to plan a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia so I sign up for AdvRider and the first topic I find is estimating costs. That's perfect!

I'm going to follow this thread and hope a bunch of other people post since right now we have anywhere from 15k-35k for a "cheap" trip, but I'm also wondering about gear costs. I've been riding a while but never on a bike or with gear for an adventure like this, so I'd pretty much be starting from scratch. Could anyone give estimated gear costs, as well as monthly or yearly trips costs. I'm planning on 18 months so I can hit the summer in both hemispheres, and want to spend a lot of time on dirt roads. Cheers!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticRider View Post
Guys who ride down with another rider w/bike usually have fewer hassles and more fun than the guys who are solo.
?

I would say this is not true.
It all depends on the personality of the person.
Some need a companion from the get go. Some find one along the way but can split when they want.
And some fly by them-self and meet people all along the way. I was living in Mexico for a year and meet both types.

Can't say that one type has more fun than the other. RTW riders like Jay and Fletch are riding solo yet meeting tons of people along the way having and having a blast.

I've found I meet ALOT more people and have many more chance experiences riding solo vrs sticking to my group (on group rides) and not reaching out socially.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventuresAbound View Post
Man, what an awesome forum. I'm trying to plan a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia so I sign up for AdvRider and the first topic I find is estimating costs. That's perfect!

I'm going to follow this thread and hope a bunch of other people post since right now we have anywhere from 15k-35k for a "cheap" trip, but I'm also wondering about gear costs. I've been riding a while but never on a bike or with gear for an adventure like this, so I'd pretty much be starting from scratch. Could anyone give estimated gear costs, as well as monthly or yearly trips costs. I'm planning on 18 months so I can hit the summer in both hemispheres, and want to spend a lot of time on dirt roads. Cheers!
gear cost is different for everyone.

add up what your bike costs, plus completely going over it with items like chains, brakes, control cables, bearings, tires then add bring some of those items (oil filters, bearings, brake pads) with and new tires (or 2) along the way and that's your bike cost.

riding gear cost is no different than what you own now, unless you are saying you don't ride and need all the gear.
that's then free-expensive $.

i assume you own clothes currently and are bringing those.
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Alaska
AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps website:
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
The longest you can leave a bike is one year in Uruguay.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
is that for person too or just the bike?
if less, how long is a visa good for in Uruguay?

...Uruguay has some awesome beer.
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Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
Alaska
AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps website:
http://www.butlermaps.com
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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bring this book
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Guide

and read this book before you leave. it's focused on mexico but provides lesson for traveling in any country in the world.
The People's Guide to Mexico

finally read this guy's story and lessons from the road
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/

ask your nurse organizations about international work.
unless you are 100% fluent in Spanish, I wonder if they'll hire you because there is no room for communication errors.
on the other hand there are plenty of small town Saluds (low cost health care offices) that would love to have your volunteer help.
you might find your best technique is to leave your bike in places like Uruguay, fly back to the US and work your butt off for a few months and then take back off again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasterman View Post
Can someone give me an estimate of what it might cost to travel through Mexico to Argentina one up on a bike for say one year? I have a KLR and don't need the best accommodations.


What are the attitudes of the non-professional women in the countries traveling south towards Americans. I am a gentleman and treat women with respect, but do enjoy company once in a while.


Is it recommended to take anti-malarial meds with you. What are the top causes of health concerns when traveling through these areas?


What countries will let you stay the longest?


I am a veteran nurse of 25 years, any chances for employment in any of these countries?

Thanks

Tom
__________________
Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
Alaska
AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps website:
http://www.butlermaps.com
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #10
ArcticRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventuresAbound View Post
Man, what an awesome forum. I'm trying to plan a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia so I sign up for AdvRider and the first topic I find is estimating costs. That's perfect!

I'm going to follow this thread and hope a bunch of other people post since right now we have anywhere from 15k-35k for a "cheap" trip. Cheers!
Whoa, hold on Cowboy. I said $100/day for the days actually spent "logging miles". I did not mean for days hanging at the beach or the jungle. I was talking about days "on the move" paying for gas (the guy above is on a 250 Sherpa, most guys are on 450cc or more at half the fuel economy), bike repairs/maintenance, border crossings, etc....

OP, you might want to consider a subscription to: MedJetAssist with the motorcycle policy added. Ofcourse, I have found that young guys usually blow this off and older guys usually think its a good idea. I am just throwing the info out there.

Cheers

ArcticRider screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 11:20 PM
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:58 PM   #11
ArcticRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
?

I would say this is not true.
It all depends on the personality of the person.
Some need a companion from the get go. Some find one along the way but can split when they want.
And some fly by them-self and meet people all along the way. I was living in Mexico for a year and meet both types.

Can't say that one type has more fun than the other. RTW riders like Jay and Fletch are riding solo yet meeting tons of people along the way having and having a blast.

I've found I meet ALOT more people and have many more chance experiences riding solo vrs sticking to my group (on group rides) and not reaching out socially.
Hey, dude, chill. I am just relaying what guys have said that I have met in CR on their way south. Disagree with them if you like but they said having a second person meant someone could watch the gear at border crossings, someone could ride to town for replacement parts, etc...versus the guys riding solo getting to CR more worn out and road weary from having to be more vigilant (which just makes sense, right?). Basically, what you yourself just said about solo riders finding riding companions.

Besides that, read a couple of ride reports where everything didn't go as expected and guys got in accidents. Ask any one of those guys if it was nice to have a fellow rider there to pick up the pieces. But feel free to disagree

CR is small and I do little else but ride all over and it is pretty easy to spot the guys loaded with gear and I often stop to chat or ask if they need any local support. I would say 3/4's of them have a riding companion so its safe to say a "majority" of the guys (and gals) I have met choose not to ride solo.

Cheers

ArcticRider screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 11:38 PM
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:19 PM   #12
AdventuresAbound
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ArcticRider - I'm not sure how to calculate a total cost only based on "riding days." Is that based on an average milage or anything else that would let me expand it to a total trip? Thanks for the info on MedJetAssist - I don't know that I'll get it but it's nice to know that it's out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
gear cost is different for everyone.

add up what your bike costs, plus completely going over it with items like chains, brakes, control cables, bearings, tires then add bring some of those items (oil filters, bearings, brake pads) with and new tires (or 2) along the way and that's your bike cost.

riding gear cost is no different than what you own now, unless you are saying you don't ride and need all the gear.
that's then free-expensive $.

i assume you own clothes currently and are bringing those.
I don't understand if this was supposed to be helpful or not. Yes I own cloths, and I get that the total will be the bike cost plus the parts I wear through. If someone has actual numbers that'd be nice.

The book suggestions look interesting and I'll definitely check them out.

AdventuresAbound screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 11:37 PM
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:11 AM   #13
ArcticRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventuresAbound View Post
ArcticRider - I'm not sure how to calculate a total cost only based on "riding days." Is that based on an average milage or anything else that would let me expand it to a total trip? Thanks for the info on MedJetAssist - I don't know that I'll get it but it's nice to know that it's out there.
AA, Hows it going? Do you ever check out the HUBB? If not, its a great resource: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/

For your plans specifically: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ca-and-mexico/
and look for posts from, Sjoerd Bakker.

I have met riders who travel on GS1200s and only stay at mid-range hotels or more. Other guys are hardcore like JDowns (above) and tent it on a 250. The guys who tell me $100/day for "tarmac days" are budget minded (hostel/cheap hotel) and on DRZ's, WeeStroms, KLR650's like the OP. As you know, the most important thing is where your bike spends the night somewhere off the street and locked up in a courtyard or lobby.

When I use the expression "riding day", I mean a day of maybe 200 miles (320 kms). Central America is pretty small, right? So you have alot of border crossings pretty close together so getting through these cuts into your daylight and most collective wisdom discourages riding at night when you are in unknown country. (Ofcourse, night riding is highly enjoyable once you are familiar with local driving habits, drunk driver habits, livestock habits, pedestrian habits, etc. Here in CR, there are a fair number of manhole covers missing.)

Chill Days when you are not riding would be the cost of hostel ($15'ish) and food ($15'ish)? Plus surfboard/snorkel rental or daypass to some ruins? Holy cow, I was just going to suggest you check out the backpacker threads on ThornTree for current costs but I see it has just been shut down.

Eekins seems to be the expert on men's casual wear but when it comes to riding gear, Quality is as important as pockets. I am an old fart now and I can't stress enough the importance of safety since emergency services are limited compared to developed countries. A good quality jacket, helmet and boots can save your life, not to mention make your ride more enjoyable (being drenched sucks and it rains down here like nothing I have ever seen). Plus, be prepared for such items costing ALOT more down south. So, if you cheap out on a jacket and the zipper busts or its not rainproof, if you go to replace it on your route, you will have a limited selection and it will cost serious bank. I bring down gear and parts from the States for friends every time I make the trip.

I know some guys who are planning big adventures like yours and they come down to CR and rent a moto for a week first to get a feel for things, talk to guys who are doing it...doing 'recon' you might say. It has the added advantage of giving them some immediate 'hands on' to stoke their enthusiasm while they are working like crazy to save $10K for the big adventure. Just different ideas.

Different strokes for different folks. Ofcourse, I better run this by Eekins first.

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:11 AM   #14
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I've been planning my CA/SA trip for the past few years and I've come up with $60/day and a total of around $25k for the year long trip after adding in border costs, shipping around the Darien, etc..

To see my full budget break down check out the page I have on my blog about it:
http://moto-mikey.com/the-ride/the-budget/
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto Mikey View Post
I've been planning my CA/SA trip for the past few years and I've come up with $60/day and a total of around $25k for the year long trip after adding in border costs, shipping around the Darien, etc..

To see my full budget break down check out the page I have on my blog about it:
http://moto-mikey.com/the-ride/the-budget/
Mikey, The spreadsheet looks great. Are you a drinkin' man? I notice beer does not have its own category, does it fall under "entertainment"? FYI, beer in CR is expensive and comes with a big tab!

Also, do you think you have planned enough for "maintenance costs" for a 30K mile R/T? I would have thought it would be more but you seem to have really done your research. I guess some of it comes down to the chosen bike, eh? My 690E has alot higher costs for parts than my 250 Tornado. The DRZ400 is about 180% the cost of the Tornado in terms of parts, clutches, cables, brakes, the usual. Availability also comes into play. As great as a KLR650 is and you sure see some of them down here, the downside is its not a popular bike (too big and expensive for the locals) and parts are not always readily available as one would think. The 250 Tornado is actually a great bike for Central America and very economical but I would want a twin for South America.

Some riders would also be planning on making a flight back home during a 1-year trip. For those riders, that might mean an extra $1K.

Two years of planning? I greatly admire your patience. Do you snowmachine in the AK winters or just spend alot of time in the garage polishing the bike for next season?
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