Wow, I can't even begin to describe how incredible this website and all of you experienced riders have been for planning my trip. I honestly can say that while we still would have done it, planning and logistics would have been a nightmare. So far, my favorite part of motorcycling is the community (I just got on a bike for the first time this month.) The plan is this, leave next week for a 10 month ride leaving from Chico, CA and finding our way down to Tierra Del Fuego, maybe Antartica, then up into Brazil. Maybe sell the bikes there or ride back if we have enough time. I'm turning 25 soon, my fiancee is 31, and this is sort of our big, let's risk our lives before having kids blow-out trip. Originally, we wanted to travel across China into Europe. However, I JUST learned how to ride, neither of us have any mechanical experience, and the culture gap was too wide and too scary to attempt that. I figured if I punk out, better to do it closer to home. In the past month (we just moved back from Israel to start planning) I took a MSF course, bought three BMW F650GS Dakars on Craigslist (long story) sold one of the bikes (and made 1k off of it) bought oodles of shit for our bikes and our selves, and now are in the last week of changing parts, getting to know our bikes and making sure I can pull a U-turn. Which I'm having a really hard time with right now. I'm 5' 8" and even with a lowered seat I can only get a few toes on the ground. Maybe some other ladies or vertically challenged folk can give me some hints? I have dropped my bike (shasta) like 8 times now, and while she doesn't show any scratches yet, my nerves are getting shot. Things we need to accomplish before we leave on Aug. 21st: change tires (Metzeler Tourances), change oil, change brake pads, change batteries (Scorpion AGM). Organize the gear strewn all over the house and try to pack it into side panniers. Come up with rain proofing system. Buy maps. Get AAA int' driver's license. Oh, and learn Spanish. and a million other things. Of course, everyday I am practicing. My big weak spots are u-turns and stopping. If I stop too jerkily, my knee buckles and I go down. I'm also terrified of stopping in off-road conditions. Any kind of slant or dip, and I'm down. The logistics right now are so over-whelming that I can't even think about what it will be like once we cross the border. We are trying to cross on August 30th, then head down Baja so Yaniv can get some dental work done. After that, our only definite plans are to get me SCUBA certified in Honduras, go backpacking in Patagonia, and go to Carnival in Brazil. Let the adventures begin!