Ecuador Off-road Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CanuckCharlie, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I think everything worked out nicely for me on this trip. The DR200 was perfect size for the 5'7 170lb me. I nearly lost it many times in the mud and anything large I would have gone down for sure. A KLR650 or V-strom 650 would be the next choice in line if you are a bigger fella or if you are going on one of the on-road trips. I would not recommend 2 up on a off-road trip unless you are highly skilled. Definitely pack some good rain gear regardless of the season as weather is very unpredictable in the mountains. Arrive a day early to get acclimated to the altitude and the the paperwork out of the way.
    It's pretty clean everywhere since it rains a lot there and generally you won't see trash flying around.
    #41
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  2. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    From another perspective...

    We also rented 200cc bikes. A Honda and a Suzuki. No issues with them even in the Andes. Plus, we find them much easier to manage some of the rougher areas (road-wise) we like to seek out. They are still large in comparison to many of the bikes you see the locals traveling on. FI? meh RPMs are your friend. Downshift and just go. Rougher stuff? You'll quickly learn to deliver the power with the clutch if you don't already do that.

    We went at the end of April to give you an idea of the season for discussing rain. Let's face it. It will rain on you. If it doesn't, you'll be pleasantly surprised. (I'll be shocked.)

    Maybe just the time frame we were there but it seemed to me that we could get through most of the day without rain then sometime in the afternoon the rains would come in. 'Start early, get done early' may help you avoid most of it. YMMV. Bring the best rain riding gear you can, though.

    Highly recommend NOT riding at night there.

    Altitude? We didn't seem to have any issues but I did on Mount Evans years ago. It's another 4-5000' higher than Quito, though and maybe by the time we got to other areas we acclimated to it.:dunno

    Water? Unlike Costa Rica, we avoided it in Ecuador. Except once. Long story. No one died, though.:lol3

    Comprende? Assuming you mean language? As mentioned earlier a few words of Spanish go a l o n g way. Make an effort and they will, too. Makes for some fun exchanges.

    Can't beat Ecuador, though, for an affordable adventure. Rent a small bike, $1.48/USGal for gas and $2-3 dinners. Lodging is also very reasonable (cheap) if you aren't afraid every little thing will kill you.:lol3

    Again, great report, CanuckCharlie. Have a feeling we'll be back down there at some point for some unfinished business.:ricky
    #42
  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Thanks for sharing Chuck the Canuck.
    Lots-o-pics! :clap:clap:clap I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and wish you would quit your job and sell everything to motor around the world on a DR200 and report back to us daily. :deal

    Cheers to you and happy new year compadre.

    :beer
    #43
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  4. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Nice work, nice pictures, and lots of familiar sights. Thanks for taking the time.
    #44
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  5. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    The good thing about solo trips is you can stop as many pics as you want :-) Nice job delivering the look and feel of the adventure!

    .
    #45
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  6. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Geezer Coalition

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    Thanks for sharing this most interesting trip with us. One could feel your enjoyment in your report. Good job.
    #46
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  7. OneWheelLess

    OneWheelLess riderer

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    Loved the writeup! Sounds like an awesome adventure. I'd love to do a trip like that with my wife for our 10th anniversary this year :)
    #47
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  8. RageAgainstTheFence

    RageAgainstTheFence Been here awhile

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    Hey Charlie! I'm gonna read through this all tomorrow -
    In the meantime maybe you suggest any good dirt tracks? Or maybe some GPS tracks? I'm really struggling to find good off the pavement tracks here. Currently in Baños now, heading north but not sure how! Any advice would be great!
    #48
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  9. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Super enjoyable RR. :)
    #49
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  10. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    I wish I could be more helpful but the rental included the pre-programmed GPS route. My impression of Ecuador is that it's full of unpaved roads once you are outside of the city. Try make your way up through Salinas de Guaranda --> Quilotoa --> Sigchos --> Mindo --> Otavalo from Banos. Plenty of dirt tracks in between through the Andes.
    #50
  11. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

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    Excellent report CC, you've raised the interest in Ecuador for many of us!
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  12. CourtRand

    CourtRand Been here awhile

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    Charlie - thank you for such a fantastic write-up of your adventure. I loved how you had problems in the beginning with the GPS and timing but by day 3 - the longest day - you made it to Salinas before dark. this is a challenging ride - and you did it very well! It is wonderful to see that you did it on your own and that you were warmly welcomed by the fantastic people of Ecuador.

    I am uploading the track for the self-guided tour if anyone is interested. We are very glad to see another happy customer and a great report on here. Thanks again!

    Attached Files:

    #52
  13. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    Thanks Court!
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  14. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Another "thanks". Really enjoyed the pics and your descriptions/reactions particularly from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Reminds me of how I saw things the first time there myself, which I hadn't thought about for years. I love traveling in Ecuador but we all know it's not for everyone. Lots of freedom, but any mess-ups and no one else to put the blame on. I can't imagine going it alone w/o knowing the language but obviously it can be done being determined enough, it's just that conversations with the people there are a huge part of it for me. Those fuel prices have been in effect for over ten years now. I think it would be easy to spend a year traveling the country on moto carrying camping gear; there's a lot to experience. I'd prefer a bit stronger bike though, but light, like perhaps KTM 350/450 for example (my 300 could be a blast but for the limited carrying capacity and inconvenience of mixing fuel). One fast enough to escape trouble, should it attempt to chase me down. It has happened to people I've met there. Not to mention it's cool to show them how old gringos ride. Thanks again man, you've rekindled memories and awakened inspirations. Stay warm!
    #54
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  15. black top bob

    black top bob gray goat

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    Truly enjoyed the RR, sweaty dirty palms and all.
    #55
  16. sandsman

    sandsman Shut up and ride!!!!

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    I also did an Ecuador ride using Freedom Bike Rental, great guys, unfortunately I broke my knee on the last day of the ride and had to ride back into Quito 5 1/2 hrs. Still was a memorable ride and trip. I would do it all over again just leave out the knee break.
    #56
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  17. black top bob

    black top bob gray goat

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    Is it "expensive" to rent a ride down there?
    #57
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    #58
  19. De Oppresso Liber

    De Oppresso Liber Been here awhile

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    Ignore this guy, he's trouble..... The Ecuadorian dollar is very strong right now, so USD isn't what it used to be ;)

    But, if you can afford it, Freedom Bike is the way to go, top notch guys!
    #59
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  20. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    CJ knows...

    Yeah we just missed out on the times of the Sucre when 'el dólar se multiplica'. :dunno
    #60