Chicago to Panamá y Más Allá - A Staged Journey Through Latin America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Parcero, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    That will be a fun trip! Shipping cost brim Buenos Aires to Chicago was about $1,700. Likely would be much less from Colombia, although I would recommend continuing your ride to Ushuia, in stages. If you need places to store your bike along the way, PM me.
  2. Rubinski

    Rubinski Been here awhile

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    Thank you very much for the information.
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  3. kaspilo

    kaspilo Been here awhile

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    Hola Parcero... Saludos desde Arkansas! I suspect you are back in the USA. When is your next Adv trip.

    Regards!
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  4. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    Hola, Kaspilo!

    Tienes razón! Ya estoy en los EEUU después de mi viaje reciente a Tibet.

    The ride report on that trip is in process, I had some problems completing it while in route.
    You can see the beginnings of it here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/riding-the-roof-of-the-world.1405091/

    My son just started school in Dallas so I’ll be getting down to your neck of the woods now. Hope all is well and that we can ride together sometime!
  5. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Parcero,

    I am still working my way through your fantastic trip log . . .

    Since you are the only real person I know who has ridden "The Death Road" you can perhaps answer a question. How much of the road actually has steep cliffs at least 100' feet high? I say this because while I toured Colorado some years ago on a DR650, the actual shelf roads that had vertical or near vertical drops in excess of 50 feet were pretty rare. Sure there were a lot of roads that sloped down at maybe a 60 or 70 degree angle but sheer drops were not too common. Roads like this tend to get exaggerated so I am curious to get your take.

    My recent research suggests that the Death Road is closed to vehicles but maybe cycles are okay?

    NC


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  6. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    Bolivia's Death Road is about 40-ish miles long. It's narrow and slippery (or at least it was when I was there) due to heavy amounts of rain and moisture. That was probably what made it a little dangerous. There were probably 10-12 points that I remember on the first half coming out of La Paz that had pretty high vertical drop-offs. We weren't exactly flying down the road, so the risk of going off was minimal. The rest of the drop-offs were more gradual, and I'm guessing that a tree or shrub might stop a motorcycle well before they fell too far down. A heavy truck or bus, probably not. The second half is a walk in the park, much drier, straighter, and with nearly no drop-offs.

    I don't know if the Death Road is now officially closed to motorized traffic. It wouldn't surprise me--the amount of bicycle tour groups riding the road when I was there was huge, and even prevented us from taking pictures on some of the more popular photo op turns due to the sheer number of bicyclists.

    All that being said, it was still a fun road to ride, with jungle scenery and waterfalls like something out of a movie.
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  7. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Regarding the shipping of your bike out or Buenos Aires . . .

    You mentioned having to run the fuel tank down. Did you have to have it 100% empty or just really low? It is much simpler to simply run the tank down to a few liters than to have to actually drain the bike dry. I utilized the Air Canada program one year ago and they only required fewer than four liters in the tank and to disconnect the battery. That was pretty easy to do.

    Thanks.

    NC
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  8. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    Javier from DakarMotos told me to make sure the fuel was run down to a quarter of a tank or less, as shown on the bike’s fuel gauge. Any more and draining it down to that level would have been required.

    My bike’s fuel gauge quit many years earlier, in Laredo Texas, just before crossing into Mexico. It always read zero so I didn’t worry about the fuel level for shipping. The shipping agent didn’t even check, other than turning on the ignition and seeing the fuel guage flashing empty.

    I probably had a little more than half a tank.

    How was your experience with Air Canada? I’m considering shipping with them this October to Germany to have a bike staged for a January Rally in Europe.
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  9. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    The formal Air Canada program only runs into summer. At least that is how it worked every year through 2018. Maybe now it is run year 'round.

    The process is very easy. You need to have hazardous cargo certification forms but hey provide you with the proper contact. They will send you forms to fill out which amounts to not much more than agreeing to bring the bike in with fewer than four liters of fuel and that you'll disconnect the battery. Sign them and send them back and they'll send out the appropriate three, or four I don't recall which, full color forms and you are good to go. I rode out to the Air Cargo terminal and they took additional measurements of the bike and away it went. I am pretty certain it gets placed into an enclosed container as opposed to just a wooden pallet. In the photo below you can see the bike is already resting on the bottom section of the aluminum shipping container. I am 99.9% certain they drop a top on and the bike is then loaded onto the plane.
    [​IMG]

    In Germany I went to Air Cargo and they had the bike all ready for pickup. The guy asked me why I disconnected the battery as it isn't required anymore? Well in Vancouver they did ask me to disconnect it so I did. Now the funny thing is that the connector I removed was not the "from the battery" connector but a secondary place where you could attach a power outlet or trickle charger to pull from the battery. The main disconnect was harder to get to but I didn't know this. I only found this out when I was in Italy about to leave and to demonstrate the battery was removed I pressed the ignition switch. Much to my shock the GPS illuminated and the Italian ladies eyes got big (I shipped to Germany but out of Milano). Not knowing the problem I covered my tracks by stating the GPS had it's own power draw and that I would remove it. That was good enough for her but I am pretty certain the battery was still "live."

    I wasn't overly worried as the guy in Germany said it wasn't even required anymore and I think the battery is probably safer still connected to the bike but what do I know. Also, the bike flew on a different plane than me so if the plane went down, I wasn't on it . . . LOL.

    Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll answer them as best I can.

    NC
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  10. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    Thanks for all of the information, NC. I spoke with Air Canada today and you’re right, the program runs only through September 30 each year. The airline will, however, ship motorcycles all year round, but at their full rate and not the promotional rates available through the Summer Fly Your Motorcycle program.

    I asked for a quote to ship an R1250GSA from Toronto to Frankfort. $1100 under the program rates and $2,600 any other time of the year. Ocean freight, by comparison, was quoted at $475 by Schumacher Cargo in a shared container, NYC to Bremmerhaven, Germany, and an additional $390 to truck it to Düsseldorf.

    I like speed, but there’s a huge savings going by water.
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