Portland, OR to Buenos Aires, Argentina Before Christmas-OOPS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TanukiPDX, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    I used to race bikes, but that lasted for about one race.

    Seriously, I bought a brand new CBR600RR, road it a lot, and got my race license. I was barely making money at the time, but I wanted nothing more than to become the next Valentino Rossi. The first race weekend I high sided during the Friday's practice session. I woke up in the gravel, completely dazed. I was able to get the bike back to the paddock where I looked her over and decided that I had probably taken on more damage than the bike, so I got her ready and got her through qualifying. The first race of the day on Saturday, I had a low side, but the bike tumbled through the gravel. I was really bummed, but with the help of my brother, we got the bike zip tied back together so that I could finish racing that weekend. I still remember Lance Lee (race direction) looking me in the eye after having wrecked twice in the weekend and asking me "Are you mentally stable."

    Here is the bike prior to getting it ready to pass safety and finish out the day:


    At the time I didn't really care what he meant by that, what I did know was that I was determined to finish the day. I had already destroyed my bike, so there was nothing else I could lose at that point. I at least needed to finish, and I did. I took 3rd place in my class and never raced again. I didnt stop racing because I was scared to, I stopped because I had realized that it was just too expensive for me to keep racing at the time.

    I tell that story because it reminds me of the trip I am about to set out on. It has been about 11 years since I raced my CBR to 3rd place victory that day in August of 2006. I have owned 8 bikes since the CBR, and 5 of them were street bikes. A couple of years ago I discovered ADV riding while living in Utah and getting stuck down a trail on a 2008 Yamaha R1. I kept finding that I enjoyed not only riding on the road, but anything that looked interesting to me. Eventually I got rid of all of the street bikes and bought a BMW R1200GS. I had seen them as the ultimate ADV bike growing up, but didnt know a lot about them. I road it on the stock anakee 3 tires and although it wasnt great in the dirt, it was far better than anything I had ridden before. Later I found out about the Anakee Wilds and LIFE WAS GOOD.

    Earlier this year I rode a loop that took me up the WABDR and through the woods to the IDBDR then back to Portland, OR with @Africapikipiki. We called it the "Piki Piki Trail" ride report HERE. After the ride I decided I was finally ready to do a ride that I have been wanting to do for ages. Ride to Buenos Aires from Portland.

    This is at the abandoned silver mine just outside of Wallace, ID. My bike is the slightly more colorful one:


    I have wanted to do this ride for a while but had no idea how to fund the ride. I have been hoarding cans, selling art, selling anything in my house with any value, and just saving and saving up. No matter how much money I saved, the harsh reality was that I am 33, I have a pretty great job, and no employer was going to give me the time off that I was going to need for a trip like this. I have been thinking about the trip every day for about 18 months now and it just has become a disease to me. I cannot stop thinking about it and I need it out of my system so that I can really focus on my career and life again.

    A few weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that now is the time. I needed to quit my job, take a leap of faith, and just go. I decided to leave early October, and I have been given a pretty hard deadline, that I cannot miss Christmas. Many of you will think that just over two months to complete the roughly 16,000 mile journey from Portland to Buenos Aires is impossible, but it is not. I may be moving faster than a lot of people like to go on a trip like this, but like the 3rd place finish after a number of big accidents on track 11 years ago, I am determined to finish, and I will get to Buenos Aires. I will say that this is supposed to be fun though, so if I get to a point where I think it is not fun and I am going way too fast and pushing myself way too much, I will take it easy and just see where I can get. There are a lot of places I will be able to fly home from, so I am going to just see what happens. I am tentatively planning to leave on Oct 3rd and will end my first day near Davis California. I will add an updated schedule to this first post as I continue to finalize my plans.

    One other thing related to the pace. As I said above, I just want to enjoy the experience while keeping pace towards Argentina. I am sure there will be plenty of great people and sights along the way. If I get caught up in this that will be fine. I would much rather enjoy the experience and eat my words about getting to Argentina than to be able to say I told you so and hate the entire trip.

    I hope to meet some of you along the way. Please let me know any advice or questions that you may have as I work my way south.

    Oh and one other thing. I sold the BMW and am going to be riding a KTM 1090R

    Here is a running list of sponsors for this trip:

    I also made a Facebook page to follow along:


    The current route will be through these countries:

    Mexico- No Visa Required
    Guatemala- No Visa Required
    Honduras- No Visa Required
    Nicaragua- No Visa Required
    Costa Rica- No Visa Required
    Panama- No Visa Required
    Colombia- No Visa Required
    Ecuador- No Visa Required
    Peru- No Visa Required
    Bolivia- Visa Required (http://www.boliviawdc.org/consulate/visas/tv ) $160 Get crisp $20 bills.
    Chile- No Visa Required
    Argentina- No Visa Required
    Paraguay- Visa Required
    Brasil- Visa Required

    So even though everyone says to just not plan and go with the flow, I am going to do a little more planning :)

    Tentatively Leaving Oct 3 or 4

    Oct 3, 2017- Portland to Davis, CA- 573 Miles (10 Hours or so)
    Frank on the ADVRider FB has invited me down, to at least say hi. Maybe he has a couch to swing my way? If nothing else I will join him for some In-N-Out and find my way to a campsite.

    Oct 4- Davis, CA to San Diego- 516 Miles (8 hours)
    I have family in San Diego, so I will have food and shelter that night too.

    Oct 5-7- San Diego to La Paz Ferry (Ferry Leaves at 8pm the 7th)- 930 Miles split over 2.5 days
    I would like to split this up over three days and just make sure I can get on the Ferry on day 3. Not sure on the ferry schedule yet. If possible, I will sleep on the ferry to Mazatlan. NOTE- Looks like it departs La Paz at 8pm, PERFECT.

    Saturday Night?
    $3420 Pesos
    When u cross tijuana. Make sure to stop at the otay border, east of tijuana. Get you tvip and tourist visa there

    Day 6-8- Mazatlan to Chiapas (I am thinking of going to cancun though then dropping down into Belice)
    Kyle has invited me to stay at his place in Chiapas. He is a mechanic as well and has some space. He is pretty sure I can get from Mazatlan to Chiapas in 2 days, but I am going to budget 3 days just in case. It looks close to 20 hours of riding maybe slightly more.

    IF I am to the border of Guatemala at the end of Day 9 or 10, I will definitely be cooking with fire, and you guys will definitely be telling me I am bastardizing this trip lol.

    Day 9- Chiapas to Antigua
    A little bit of a shorter day, but I want to spend some time in Antigua.

    OCT 30- Stahlratte to Cartagena (be there or be square)

    Day Something-
    Notes on getting from Panama to Colombia: http://backpackista.com/darien-gap-4/

    Border Crossing info:


    Trip Costs-
    Mexico Trip Insurance-$91.53 through bajabound.com (HDI Seguros)
    Baja Ferry- $192.02 (Includes bike, Me, and a cabin)
    Stahlratte- $1150 (3 day voyage)
    Yellow Fever Shot- $273
    Garmin Inreach- $450
    Garmin Service- $65/ month
    Garmin Evac Insurance- $18

    New Look at my route. I also found this incredible site (http://www.dangerousroads.org/) that I may use to help me choose side adventures as I find some time here and there.

    Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.28.07 PM.png

    Packing List (4 Day rotations to clean clothes)-

    4- Pairs of tall socks
    4- Pairs of compression pants
    4- T-Shirts
    4- Undergarments
    1- Sweatshirt
    1-Rain Jacket

    1- Toilet Paper
    1- Tooth Brush
    1- Deoderant
    30- Q Tips
    1- Bar of Soap
    1- Toothbrush
    1- Toothpaste
    1- Travel Cologne

    1- Multitool
    1- Tool Roll
    1- Tire Plug Kit
    1- Pack of Extra Zip Ties
    1- Pack of Extra Fuses
    1- Flashlight
    1- Headlamp
    2- Tie Downs/ Tow Straps

    1- Tent
    1- Sleeping Pad
    1- Sleeping Bag

    1- Water Bladder

    1- USB Charger
    1- Garmin Inreach Explorer +
    1- Cell Phone
    1- Sena power Cable
    2- Phone Cables
    1- Comm Pad
    1- External Hard Drive
    1- Camera, 4 batteries, Memory Cards

    1- Passport
    1- Copies of Passport, Title, Registration, USA Insurance, Health Insurance Card, Driver License, Mexico Insurance
    1- Baja Ferry Ticket
    1- Stahlratte Instructions
    1- Copy of medical info

    Emergency and Medical-
    1- 1 day of emergency food
    1- Medicine
    1- Throw Away Wallet
    1- Emergency Tools included in "Tools"
    nk14zp, 06Klr650, ONandOFF and 7 others like this.
  2. mcstark

    mcstark Living brappy...

    Sep 12, 2008
    Bflo, NY
    IN! :ricky
    TanukiPDX likes this.
  3. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

    Oct 3, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Having read quite a few ride reports but never personally been on a trip longer than a week, I feel uniquely qualified to offer advice. Take it for what it's worth.

    Don't rush your pace to get more miles under your belt. You won't remember the miles or the people or the cities or the countries.
    Many many rider reports feature someone riding under a time constraint and over and over they're saying "I want to come back here someday to see more of this when I have more time."
    Instead, take your time, enjoy yourself, and if you only get halfway there, you'll enjoy it more and have much better memories of it, as opposed to riding hard from sunup to sundown to meet an arbitrary goal.

    Okay, that's all. Oh yeah, be safe, and don't crash.
    mac w b, Max Wedge, 97707 and 2 others like this.
  4. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

    Oct 14, 2008
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    How are you planing to cross the Darien Gap?
    TanukiPDX likes this.
  5. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Thank you, I enjoy some of the ride through dont stop aspect, but I will see what the balance is like and how that affects the pace. I am sure in the future I will want to fly back and visit these countries one by one regardless of how fast I go this time. I would love it if I could take 9 months or a year for the trip. This is going to just scratch the surface I am sure.

    I am talking to Stahlratte about going with them. The ship I want to catch leaves on OCT 30. I will be able to celebrate halloween at sea. I should probably bring candy and a costume.
    outbacktm likes this.
  6. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Welcome aboard! Please keep the windows up to avoid that annoying helicopter sound.
  7. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    I still have a few loose ends to tie up:

    Vaccinations, GPS tracker (inreach or spot?), bury a drainage pipe in my yard.

    Oh and I am waiting on the MOSKO MOTO Scout bags to get in stock (next week). Hopefully they are what I am imagining, because I will buy them site unseen and without reviews. I will be happy with them I am sure :)
  8. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

    Jan 17, 2009
    Everyone rides their own ride, me I could spend two months in Baja alone! I'm planning this same trip as an eight month ride, a little slower pace. I will be following your RR for sure.
    outbacktm and TanukiPDX like this.
  9. migilito

    migilito Perpetual NooB

    Feb 19, 2015
    Im planning to sail the Transpac solo ( sailboat race from longbeach, ca to Kauia) so i get the race aspect of your ride. Having said that, you will likely pass this way but once...its seldom the fast straight sections of the road of life we remember, its the slow twists and turns. Heres hoping you break down in some small town on a rainy night and some beautiful seniorita offers you lodging
  10. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

    Jul 9, 2001
    Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon
    Cool plan. Hope it's all you want it to be and more.
    Some advice from an older PDX guy with too many miles under my butt.... Pace yourself.
    I have relatives in Davis and also close family ties to San Diego. Two 500+ mile slab days, back to back is tempting trouble. The LA basin to SD is difficult to travel when you're fresh. Consider that, depending on your departure time from Davis, you'll be arriving into LA in the mid to late afternoon-and likely fatigued.
    Try to ride your trip one day at a time, under 300 miles per day or less, so that you can ride the next day as fresh as possible.
    For example- PDX to Redding, Redding to Santa Barbara or Ventura, Ventura to San Diego

    More tips that you may already know- things south of the Mexican border move at their own pace... No matter how hard you might try, the pace of Central and South America move to a different beat... Don't fight it, enjoy it!

    Take pictures and be willing to walk away from your bike if things go to shit... It's just a bike.

    Don't ride at night if you can avoid it.

    That's all!
    I wish you a safe journey.
  11. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    You would make a wonderful story teller ;) i will certainly pace it. I too could spend months in Baja alone, but this will be a slightly different adventure.
  12. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Amen. I have ridden the Portland to San Diego trip more times than I care to count, and almost every time was on a bullet bike lol. These adv bikes feel like motorhomes to me. I will certainly pace myself. I know it's faster than most, but leaving the 3rd or 4th I do think making it to Panama by the 30th should be no issue. Well unless there's an issue if course :)

    I also bought a garmin Inreach explorer+ today, but when I got home I realized that not only are the maps $150, they don't include 5 of the countries I plan to go through, so now I am considering returning it and just running a spot device along with my offline iPhone app for maps. Things to figure out this week :)
  13. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Welcome aboard! If I had 8-9 months I'd be very happy, but I have under three, so I am going to be grateful to have over the standard us issue 2 week vacation and make the most of it :)
  14. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

    Dec 16, 2007
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Ride your own ride! We're leaving VA last week of October headed to Argentina. Looking to take about 3 months or so, but we're going to be on 350cc bikes. Nothing wrong with not stopping to look at everything little town along the way, some of my best pictures from our 90 some odd day round the world trip were taken at speed with my point and shoot camera I kept in my tank bag. Some people say that if you try to make big miles that you're missing the reason to travel by motorcycle. When actually your just missing THEIR REASON to travel. You sound like you really enjoy riding, so ride and enjoy it in far off places. Sure beats sitting at home reading about someone else's trip.
    Travel safe, and fast. And give good details of border crossings, those behind you will appreciate it:nod
  15. HH

    HH Dahlonega GA

    Dec 3, 2010
    Dahlonega GA
  16. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016

    Thank you for that! I think it is very doable and I will enjoy the journey. To be honest, if I had the 9 month window like a lot of people here, I would be riding the XT225 and not the KTM. I think that bike would be A BLAST to ride slow and tour the Americas. Heck, tour the planet.
  17. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Oh hi there. Welcome. We have meatloaf at 5.
  18. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Excited to announce my newest sponsorship "Vanasche Motorsports."
    These guys make some really incredible equipment for a few of the KTM models. They specialize in the 690/ 701 platforms, but they are starting to get into the 1090/1190 market and have asked me and this trip to be a part of that. I will also be visiting them on the way south, so stay tuned!
    Check out their site here:

  19. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

    Oct 31, 2008
    Puget Island WA, The Dalles OR
    Ive seen your post on ADV Facebook. I made the trip from Portland to Ushuaia than up to Buenos Aires last year. It was 17,000 miles and took me 3 months. I was focused more on the destination than the journey and kept on the move. I was on a well sorted KTM 690 but it proved to be unreliable. Since I'm close if you want to discuss the details in person let me know.
    outbacktm and TanukiPDX like this.
  20. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2016
    Thank you, do you have a ride report? I'm thinking I'll do around 15k in 2.5 months or so. Would love to sit and chat about it too. Better see when I have a spare minute!