**EDIT** - I've started a blog to keep friends/family up to speed on my trip planning thus far. Feel free to check it out here: www.somedaynevermaybe.com Fellow inmates, I've been reading, lurking, and contributing to other's trips on here for years and can't believe that I'm finally starting to plan my own trip after all this time. After riding and racing motos for some time, I've decided to finally check off the 'ADV travel' box on the bucket list. For the longest time I wanted to race motorcycles. Then having checked that off, it was to 'win'. Well, I did just that this year/season winning a class championship in the MRA (Motorcycle Roadracing Association) here in Colorado. Check out some pics and season race videos here if interested: http://www.mobster78.com/ I would love to continue racing, but being the responsible, frugal, and loving husband that I am, I know I need to pick one or the other. Who am I kidding, I have to pick my battles and I can only sell her on one thing at a time. Anyway, I've hung up the race leathers and gear, sold both my R6 race bike and CRF450R supermoto trainer and have picked up a new (to me) BMW F800GS. I've been working to kit it out and have LOVED riding it thus far. That brings us to the trip and a few questions that I would be indebted to you all for any answers/help provided. I'll spare you the details around work and all that jazz. Just know that I've secured 'permission' from the wifey to take off for three months sometime next year (2013). I can probably stretch it to four, so that is the timeframe, 3 - 4mos. I can leave whenever, but the two realistic windows are around summer (July'ish) and then again at the end of the year (November'ish). Originally I got cocky and thought hell, I'll just flog it down to the tip of South America and back in three months! Unless I want to stick to asphalt and ride 400 miles per day via the Panamericana, that doesn't seem feasible. That being said, I'm thinking of sticking to NW S.A. to enjoy the trip more (i.e. Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia). My wife is from Medellin, so I have connections and family/friends in Colombia. I also have a friend that runs a sailboat around San Blas, so she will be assisting me in booking a boat from Panama to Cartagena (and back). That is how I plan to get across the Darien. I also have contacts/friends in Venezuela and Bolivia, but not necessary to visit them. Questions here (sorry, I'm sure these have all been asked a thousand times): + When riding similar routes (US > S.A.) w/ similar timeframes (3 - 4mos), do people typically ride down, through and back or do they ride to and ship/fly back? The reason I ask is b/c these guys (http://www.houseofmotorrad.com/Riding_south.html) seem to be riding all the way down to the tip in four months and I can't tell if they plan to ride back or ship bikes and fly back. Seems like a metric $hit ton of riding if they are planning out/back (25k - 30k miles right?). + Regarding departure date, I'm leaning more towards June - Aug/Sep timeframe as that is the dry season correct? I'd rather be riding hot and dry through Peru and Bolivia than cold and wet. Thoughts? + Does anyone have a recommended route and/or know a link to pull a few? I've found several ride reports, but nothing that seems to match up with my goals. Again, sorry... I know these types of things are asked very frequently. Other than that, any additional advice, tips, pointers, questions, comments, and/or concerns are MUCH appreciated! Thanks in advance, ~ David PS... One other thing. I'll probably have a mate ride out with me from Denver and through Mexico and some of Central America, but for no more than one month. After that, I'll be solo. Not sure if that changes things with regards to the recommendations/pointers.