A V-Strom is no KTM 9X0, thats for sure. Two completely different tools for two completely different jobs. Also, there is plenty of proper off road riding in Central and South America and more dirt roads and two track than you could explore in a lifetime. In Peru and Bolivia alone I rode over 4000 miles of dirt. If you ride pavement 90 percent of the way, you are missing the best South America has to offer IMO. I would shoot for something in the 50/50 range, pavement/dirt. Then you will see some great stuff and really get "out there." But if your goal is just to ride a motorcycle to Ushuaia, then stay on the pavement, its easier than having to explore, ride more challenging terrain and actually get to see things. You have 8 months. Get off the tar and explore South America. That's where the epic stuff is to be found. In fact, I would skip North and Central America entirely and ship the bikes right to Colombia. Once you get to South America you will see why. This is right on. I dont understand the affinity for the KLR either as there are better bikes for nearly the same price, the DR 650 being one. Also, you can get a used, well kitted KTM 950 for around 7 to 8 grand. Thats a shit load of performance and capability for that price. Not an expensive bike if you buy used as they dont hold their value very well.