San Francisco to South America, eventually

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by evermore, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    I'm presently getting my bike (and myself) ready for a ride from San Francisco down to South America. My initial goal is to hit Santiago de Chile but leaving myself the option of making it all the way down to Tierra del Fuego. While I am planning on flying out of Buenos Aires (and shipping the bike back from there), there is the additional option of entering Brazil. So many decisions... but I figure I'll leave those to the point when I actually reach Santiago and I see how I feel about these endeavors at that time.

    So the bike... a 2002 Suzuki DR650SE
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4791835244/" title="IMG_0774 by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4791835244_2aed68648b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0774" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4791203391/" title="IMG_0775 by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4075/4791203391_4189cb0630.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0775" /></a>

    Obviously, the rear wheel is missing right now as I'm having the rear spokes replaced and considering having the wheels sealed so I can run tubeless.

    The blue IMS tank is courtesy of Dan Hershberger who is letting me borrow it for the trip. It's giving the bike a nice ratty look though I like the overall color scheme. At the very least, I'll be popular with
    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:La_12_(Boca).jpg">Boca Junior</a> fans.

    Other upgrades include a center stand (also courtesy of Dan), Dirt Bagz, new front and rear brake pads, new air filter, oil change and new oil filter, valve clearance check (thanks Rick!), a new gold DID chain (got bling?), a huge Parabellum windshield, and a Sargent seat that should save my butt.

    Route wise.. the plan for now is to go down Baja and catch the Tuesday August 3rd ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan, then bump along the Pacific coast until splitting inland towards Oaxaca. Swinging by places such as Palenque, I should ultimately arrive in Panama where I have to decide whether to take a sailboat to Cartagena, Colombia or fly to Bogota. I don't like the idea of giving myself a deadline for reaching the sailboat (which would be the 24th of August) but a 4-5 day island cruise along the San Blas islands does seem pretty nice. We shall see..

    Oh right, unless issues with my rear wheel rebuild force a delay, I am planning on leaving San Francisco on July 29th.
    #1
  2. Rangerrat

    Rangerrat Adventurer Rat

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    Uhmm, an awesome trip on a Suzuka DR650. Can't wait for the feedback. :freaky
    #2
  3. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Nice!

    Seal the rear, its very nice to be running tubeless when you pic up nails, 5 minute flat repair. Run a little higher pressure to keep from dinging the rim. I still carry a rear tube just in case I slice a sidewall or ding the rim. So far so good. I did slice a sidewall in Mexico but it was slow leaker.

    No sense in sealing the front since you will probably ding the rim on the topes or rocks in short order and start running tube anyway. My front rim looks like someone took a hammer to it.:lol3 UHD tubes for the front are great. :thumb

    Buen viaje!
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Safe journey :thumb Update us along the way,

    :lurk
    #4
  5. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    Hey. Are you close to the sunset district?
    #5
  6. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    Russian Hill actually :)
    #6
  7. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    We should have a beer or 10 before you leave.
    #7
  8. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    Count me in for the beers. I suggest a nuetech tubliss for the front. I have a dr650 as well.
    #8
  9. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    beer sounds good... are you guys free monday evening? Any favorite bars? :beer
    #9
  10. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    How are you planning to get around the Darien Gap?
    #10
  11. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    still not decided but either take the stahlratte on august 24th or fly..
    #11
  12. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    Monday may be possible 4042930606
    Pm sent to evermore.


    #12
  13. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    turns out I can't do Monday... Tuesday or Wednesday? maybe Ace Cafe on 14th and Mission?
    #13
  14. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    Hmmm, let me think........................thinking....................OK.

    How about the Homestead, 19 and folsom. More character and some interesting Frenchmen to give good advice.
    Ace is for motorcyclists, Homestead is for travellers.
    Tuesday is good. 7pm?
    #14
  15. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    You may be flying. 1 month to get to Panama. Doable but not much fun.
    #15
  16. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    homestead Tuesday 7pm it is. I'll see you there.

    Srileo, I hope you can make it too!


    Arriving in Mazatlan on August 2nd and loading the bike onto the Stahlratte by 10am on August 23rd gives me 20 full days. I've sort of gamed out what I want to see (Oaxaca, Palenque, Tikal, etc) and it is sufficient time for the riding and the sightseeing I want to do, if nothing goes wrong... and that's the hitch.

    I figure I'll just go and try to make it and see if my pace is fine and if not, I'll just miss the boat I guess.
    #16
  17. evermore

    evermore Been here awhile

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    I finally got my rear wheel back from having it re-laced so I was able to complete the work on the bike. Here it is:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4819663457/" title="2002 Suzuki DR650SE by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4077/4819663457_659295557a_b.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="photo-1" /></a>
    The little sticker under the windshield if of my hometown of Bern.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4819663689/" title="p2002 Suzuki DR650SE by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4099/4819663689_a078e60bcb_b.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="photo-2" /></a>
    The blue and gold (ok yellow) theme happens match my alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley. Go Bears!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4819663899/" title="2002 Suzuki DR650SE by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4096/4819663899_c661cf2665_b.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="photo-3" /></a>
    Add the red of the toolkit canister and I'll be very popular in Colombia <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Flag_of_Colombia.svg/22px-Flag_of_Colombia.svg.png" />, Ecuador <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Flag_of_Ecuador.svg/22px-Flag_of_Ecuador.svg.png" />, and Venezuela <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/06/Flag_of_Venezuela.svg/22px-Flag_of_Venezuela.svg.png" />.

    Ok, the next section will go into more details as to the upgrades to the bike as well as well as budgeting so feel free to tune out.

    I bought this 2002 Suzuki DR650SE with 2500 miles on it for $2700 in September 2009. These bikes are an absolute steal.

    Here is a list of all the costs assuming 4 months on the road:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/evermore/4820840305/" title="trip costs by evermore, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4820840305_c42603c2d6_b.jpg" width="598" height="1024" alt="0001uu" /></a>

    $14k... yipes!
    #17
  18. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    Nice and simple set up! I will follow your travels closely! Thanks for the budgeting info. You will have an awesome time. Think about it - for the 4 odd months that you will be gone, it costs easily $9k to just EXIST in sf paying rent and groceries. You are getting a life changing experience for next to nothing.
    Sentimental value apart, you might just consider selling your DR in argentina for 2k instead of flying it back ;-)
    #18
  19. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    For a little more $, you might consider putting on a magneto cover and oil filter cover. cheap insurance for not a lot of trouble.
    #19
  20. Robson Jaborá/SC

    Robson Jaborá/SC Brazilian Adventurer...

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    Jaborá, SC - Brazil
    :lurk
    Good trip guy!
    #20