Hey guys! This is supposed to be an introduction and questions thread for my 2012 July-Sept trip through South America. I'll mark my questions/issues orange. About me: 23 years old male from Switzerland English: Fluent Spanish: Enough to get by, been to Cuba and Spain for a few months learning the language. Portuguese: Not really, but with my Spanish and some months of self studies that should be okay too. Motorcycling: 3 years of street riding experience on a Kawa Z750, done a few hours of offroad dirtbiking, never really went on big tours though Motorcycle Maintenance: I understand the basics of how everything works and I think I could fix simple things. I've got a 76 Honda CB250, which I'm working on at the moment, so I'm still learning. Survival: Never really went camping or hunting, so no real skills here. I'm quite good at improvising and keeping my calm though :) The situation: I'm a student and I'll get my BA this June and I'll leave it at that. So before I start working and everything, I want to do a big trip around South America, which should take about 3 months give and take. I don't want to do too much small trails, just mainly see the countries, meet people, experience the cities and the cultures. The plan: Basically I wanted to buy an affordable bike somewhere in South America, I don't really have any other choice. I was planning to start off in Buenos Aires and go clockwise from there, with the main checkpoints being: Santiago, Chile (Buy bike) Valparaiso, Chile Paso San Francisco into Argentina Cafayete, Argentina Salta, Argentina San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina Paso Jama back to Chile San Pedro de Atacama, Chile Ollagüe, Chile -> Avaroa, Bolivia Uyuni, Bolivia (Salt lakes, Train cemetery) La Paz, Bolivia Cross the Strait of Tiquina by boat Copacabana, Bolivia (Lake Titicaca) Bolivia -> Yunguyo, Peru Lima, Peru (to: 3 days) Cuzco, Peru (Machu Picchu) Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia Asuncion, Paraguay Foz do Iguazu, Brazil (Iguazu Falls) Posadas, Argentina Colon, Argentina -> Paysandu, Uruguay Montevideo, Uruguay Puente Libertador San Martin to Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina The bike: I'll be buying a bike in Santiago, since it's the easiest as far as I know. (Following this guide on HU) I'll probably buy a used bike off chileautos.cl; Here the question is, what kind of bike? I was thinking of buying an older bike with minimal electronics and a kick-starter, like a small Honda twin from around 1975-1985, because I'm in love with those bikes (Like this one), is that a good idea? Or should I go for a newer kind of dirtbike like a Honda XR250? Equipment: Here's the list of equipment I'm planning to bring, this list is incomplete as of 2/4/12, I'll update it with whatever equipment I can find from other threads, but I'm still happy about any input on what I really shouldn't forget GPS Nav (Try to keep it below 300$) Compass & Maps Tools (Standard Motorcycle Toolset?) Compressor (Too heavy?) Knife Solar Charger Camelbag Backpack Sidebags for bike Bike lock Spanish Dictionary (Portuguese one too if going to Brazil) GOOD Sleeping bag & Tent (Remember, it's winter down there) Questions: Will the Andes border crossings between Chile-Argentina and Chile-Bolivia be a problem for it being winter down there, or is it too far north for snow storms? Will 3 months be enough to do this trip comfortably? What bike should I get? As I asked above, is it recommended to buy a bike older than a 90s?