Howdy Guys and Girls. This is my first post here and first time for this sort of adventure. I've done several week-long trips usually around the USA and some in Ukraine. But nothing this epic. Little background: The bike i will be using is an 81 yamaha xv920RH (chain drive) it will receive dual sport tires and some improvement in the suspension department. Also, custom skid plates around the engine and the enclosed chain case. I will be carrying components that commonly fail with me. And maintenance doesn't scare me. But i still have plenty of fabrication to do before my baby is ready. As for time frame, I’m a full time mechanical engineering student, so I can only do this during early June and should be back to Reno NV by mid-August. Which also brings up the subject... What kind of budget should i have if I’m trying to do this on the cheaper end of things? AirBNB and Hostels being my main source for lodging. Furthermore, Darien Gap seems to be a major problem to go around. Since the fairy is dead and it doesn’t appear like they will be brining anything like that back. What are my options that won’t brake my bank and doesn’t take 10 days? I’ve read some horror stories from other riders. The 920 doesn’t float all that well, and I don’t have 10 days to be stuck on a boat each way. While a good chunk of my riding will be done through heat and rain of north and central Americas, I have no idea what to expect when I get to Colombia and possibly further south? Would you recommend brining heat liners for my gear? What kind of equipment would you guys recommend? Brand and models? What should I stay away from? This also brings up another question. Personal protection. I know guns are not allowed. But what about things like pepper-spray, or knifes? I’m not planning on getting into trouble, but I glow in the dark, so blending in is not an option for me. Also, my Spanish is very limited... so will be working on that a little.