Newbie needs advice on what bike to buy in Chile

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Pman1, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Pman1

    Pman1 n00b

    Dec 18, 2012
    X-posting this from HUBB for some more feedback.


    I'm a 27 years old guy from the Netherlands.
    I've been travelling/living on and off in various countries in Central and South America since about 5-6 years, currently I'm in Brazil.

    After reading a lot of blogs and thinking about it, I have decided I really want to do this.
    My plan is to go to Chile early next year (January-February) buy a small motorcycle there and travel north to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and possibly farther.
    The problem is, apart from some 50cc automatic scooters, I have never driven a motorcycle in my life. On the way to CHile I'm going to pick up my driver's license in Paraguay where I have a residency visa there (long story) so that won't be a problem. Since you don't have to take a practical exam and motoescuelas are practically non-exist I will take lessons in Chile.

    The next part will be buying a bike, this is where I could really need some advice. I don't want to spend too much money and like I said I'm a totally newbie when it comes to this I think it's a good idea to get a <200cc. I will be mostly doing tarmac but also would like to do a fair bit of dirt and gravel tracks (maybe 60-40 tarmac/other), but I won't be going really offroad. Ideally the bike would be <$2000 but definately has to be <$3000.
    So far just from going on information of the internet I've come with following selection:

    -Honda CGL 125 Pro for about $1900 (that's the list price, from what I've read the real price is a bit lower than that after negotiating)
    It's the classic CGL with a bigger luggage rack and cute knobby tires.

    -Very reliable.
    -Parts everywhere
    -Luggage racks.
    -Long guarantee period and free technical check ups in Chile.

    -Ugly as hell (not that important but still)
    -Not really suitable for non-tarmac use but not as bad as the "normal CGL".

    -Suzuki GN-125H, ~$1800 list price.

    -Seems to have very low fuel consumption.
    -From what I've read is also quite reliable.
    -Not that ugly.
    -Tiny bit more HP than the CGL (9,7 vs 10,3)

    -Not very suitable for non-tarmac, altough I saw on the blog of those Belgium guys that they did the Carretera Austral and besides the front fender (or whatever you call those things) coming of they did fine.
    -Seems a bit smaller than the other ones.
    -Parts might be a bit harder to find than for the CGL but this houldn't be a problem.
    -Smaller tank (10l vs 13,2l CGL), but it has supposed to have better fuel consumption.

    -Euromot 200 GTX, ~$2100 list price. Hubb topic on this bike.

    -"Best Chinese bike out there"
    -Can handle dirt/gravel/sand better than the previous ones.
    -Has more CC's than the other ones, HP not listed on website though.

    -It is still Chinese and is notorious for having low quality spokes.
    -10l tank (not sure about consumption)
    -Over $2000, but just by a little.

    Honda 125XR, is listed with a discount on the website, now ~$2500:

    -Can also handle non-tarmac better.
    -A little bit more HP (11,4) than the other 125cc


    The Yamaha YBR (G) might also be a good option, list price normal version ~$1900 and list price G, wich is the "enduro version" of this bike altough the suspention is exactely the same ~$2300. Some Argentinian guy took the "normal"version around the world on a 5 year trip.

    I'm about 1.78m so I guess I should be decently comfortable on most small bikes. My criteria from most important to less important are:
    1. Price.
    2. Reliability.
    3. Consumption (MPG)
    4. Riding on other surfaces than tarmac.
    5. Looks.

    Thanks for reading hope you guys can help me!
  2. fevasquez

    fevasquez n00b

    Jul 28, 2012
    Concepción, Chle
    Have you seen the Yamaha YBA? its 125cc, reliable, can ride 90 and 100km/h continuosly with a fuel consumption of 30-33km/l, if you make some changes in the secondary transmision (wheel sproket with less teeth, and front sproket with more). On gravel you may have some problems though...

    And the Honda XL200??, second hand, year 2002-2006 like this :
    Its also very reliable..

    Have you consider old motorcycles?? for example

    - Honda AX-1 (its 250cc, water cooled, good for tarmac and gravel), year 88'-90', about 2000-2200 usd

    enduros, like, kawasaki klr 250, suzuki DR200, Dr250, Honda XR200, XR 250??

    About the motorcycles you list i can tell you:
    - GXT200, as you say, 'the best chinesse'. Although the fuel consumption at 90-100km/h is about 20-23km/h, and with the fuel tank of about 10L, you get only 200km...

    - GN125: I read about a family (guy-wife-son) that traveled from Venuezuela to Chile, and still on the road, in 2 of this..

    - CG125, reliable as hell. Very very cheap parts... carburetors ~4usd, CDI~3usd, piston~10-15usd and so. I think its small for your size i´m also 1.78m, and my knees and legs would get very tired on looong trips. The solution although is to put an horizontal bar of about 70-80cm in front of the frame of the engine, to rest your legs..

    - About the YBR, its the same engine of the YBA, so it should be good.

    I don´t know how you travel, if you have a schedule, or just go to the roads... but i think that in a 125cc, with time you are going to get bored, because of the luck of speed and acceleration. You will have to travel behind the trucks, that will be borng and some times it may get dangeorous... I sugest >=200cc

    Hope its usefull

  3. Pman1

    Pman1 n00b

    Dec 18, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. Interesting website, it keeps amazing me what people are willing to pay for 2nd hand cars and bikes in South America.

    I'm a bit wary of buying a 2nd hand bike (I bought a 2nd hand car and in hindsight I got ripped off pretty bad), because like I said I'm a complete newbie and for me it's hard to tell if the bike is maintained well.

    I'm not going to have a set schedule and prefer to take smaller roads if possbile.

    It's going to be hard to decide, luckily I will have some classes and get some experience driving a 125cc, so I have some reference when I'm going to buy the bike.
  4. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Jan 18, 2010
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    Also consider buying from another traveler. This can be done, especially in Chile. This way you can get a real travel bike set up for serious miles and one able to carry your stuff easily. Tiny 125's/250's are a pain to carry gear on.

    A good used bike may even have spare parts. Most travelers take pretty good care of their bikes, so most will do the miles day after day.

    If buying local in Chile you will ... pay a lot for very little. Even as a beginner I would go for at least a 250cc bike. Once in the high Andes you'll need the extra power. Being constantly passed by big trucks on rough, narrow roads is unsafe and scary.

    There are many travelers out there ... dozens at any given time from Colombia to Argentina .... and many want to sell off their bike rather than pay the $2000 USD to ship it home.

    Most common bikes you may find: Kawasaki KLR650, Suzuki DR650, Honda XR650L, Suzuki DRZ400S, BMW F650, Yamaha XT600/660. All are good, all will last ... most all will be a bit more than your $2K budget.

    Bigger bikes (twins) will cost too much. BMW's will also cost too much. So go with the Japanese bikes. Chances are good you will be able to re-sell your bike at trip's end. Probably get back half your money if you don't destroy the bike during your trip.
    Suerte ...