Realistic riding speeds in Central and South America

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by wanderind, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. stcowboy

    stcowboy Adventurer

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    When travelling from here in Brazil to other parts of Latin America in small bikes, people tend to use anything with a Honda or Yamaha 250cc air-cooled single-cylinder. The new Honda 300cc have a bad name between long distance travelers around here for not being reliable enough.

    On the bigger ones, they primarily use the XT660 or DL650.
    #61
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Hell I still ride the hell out of my little XR200R, damn good little capable engines:clap
    [​IMG]
    #62
  3. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    My 2 cents:
    Most people in Latin America ride smaller 125cc, 200cc or 250cc because that's all they can afford.
    You must remember that in poorer countries, a motorcycle is a vehicle (as opposed to wealthier countries where a motorcycle is, for the most part, a "toy" if you will).... Most motorcycle owners would prefer transporting themselves in a car rather than a motorcycle, but they just cannot afford one... It is true that 250cc (and smaller) bikes are the norm in Latin American countries, but you also have to take into consideration that these bike owners normally don't travel very far (they are used for daily commuting duties as opposed to inter-city or inter-country travel). I'm not saying it cannot be done, because it definitely can and HAS been done, I'm just saying don't be misguided with the abundance of 250cc bikes in Latin America being a sure sign that it is THE best bike for the job, because it not necessarily is.

    That being said, the Pulsar is a great bike. I've heard only praises from lots of owners in Colombia and Venezuela.
    Since you seem to be very well organized, I'm guessing you already know that South America has a lot of different roads, even if you stick mostly to the PanAm, there are tight twisties, potholed straights, gravel, mud and the occasional highway, so in reality there is no perfect bike, but If it was me, I would prefer something bigger, in the 600cc range with a decent suspension travel since that will cope better with all the changing terrain and roads, but like others have said: ride something you like.

    Buen viaje!
    #63
  4. wanderind

    wanderind kailasv.com

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    Thanks for the comment. As you would've seen from my chart in the previous page, I don't intend to travel more than 300 km on any given day, riding or not. On average, that would be about 6 odd hours on the saddle. The key point is that I am inclined to get a bigger bike because of the power on highways, then if the highway speed is about 60 to 80kmph with surprises around the corners, rash driving, potholes and weather - a smaller bike will be more controllable for my frame. I am originally from India, so I am well-trained to deal with most of those road conditions anyways :deal But I dont want the weight of a bigger bike to become a liability. that said, I am also concerned if I would starve and crave for more power in Chile and Argentina.

    I have a secret desire to take my R1100RT...I know that'd be radical..:205


    #64
  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I grew up in Panama in a suburb on the edge of the jungle back when the jungle came tight up to the city. I really don't need to explore more off-the-path places. For me it's about finding open roads. I did the Panamericana and loved it. I don't buy the "I'm not telling you what to do but my way is best." If I'd followed that, I wouldn't have gotten out of Mexico. Which means I'd have missed

    Guatemala
    El Salvador
    Honduras
    Nicaragua
    Costa Rica
    Panama
    Colombia
    Ecuador
    Peru
    Chile
    Argentina
    Tierra del Fuego
    and Ushuaia.

    The question was about speed. I like pegging the needle over 100 mph.
    #65
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    I'm saying I've heard way too many people say "yeah I rode South America on my bike" and all they did is hump the PanAm down to TDF, they barely touched the place at all.

    Ride like hell and join the TDF club, watch out for those speed traps in Peru:rofl
    #66
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Take it to the Max. Your name suits.

    Cue the Sammy Hagar in the earbuds :

    Take my licencia and all I got
    No puedo conducir 55

    Alas, my name is less inspiring,
    John
    #67
  8. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    +1 Just a dude riding a bike to interesting places.
    #68
  9. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Making judgements.....

    Briars and tar babies lie there...:D

    If you think you are special, and know better, feel free to directly state such.

    Have fun, always.
    #69
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    I remember one the very first pm's I ever sent over ADV was to you about riding down to Copper Canyon and over to Baja and back up to go back home. At the time you where in Ft. Smith and since you where close and your post count was high and I saw some of your other posts I fired away with questions about my first Mexico trip.

    The 'notch' was mentioned and about not 'knowing shit about where a person rode' and I listened a little and appreaciated your input.

    There is a whole lot more to South America than the PanAm just getting into a club. And no, I don't know better but do know there is a shitload of "special" riding down in South America.

    I'm having fun and made time I never thought I had.
    #70
  11. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Wo it's like you found religion or something. You're convinced that your way is better, even though you're comparing it to something you haven't done. A mile is a mile, on or near the Panamericana or far from it. You're comparing getting off the beaten path to- wait. You haven't yet done the Ushuaia thing.

    Don't make too many assumptions about me. For example, did you know that I once had a pony tail and with it I hitch-hiked and backpacked Europe? You get pretty close to "the people" when you hitch-hike.

    The whole time I was walking around, from Greece to Finland, I was wishing I had a motorcycle. A month after getting back to the States, I bought my first motorcycle. A kz650.

    I'm addicted to speed. I love it. And the Panamericana is a great place to go fast for a long time.
    #71
  12. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

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    You're fuckin extreme, dude. Grab yourself a mountain dew. :D

    Or maybe you're saying you have an amphetamine addiction in which case that sucks. Sorry.
    #72
  13. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    LIke I said earlier, I am not an expert on South America but I did ride in Chile and Argentina recently. On road, the speeds were high and the roads were VERY good. In fact, most were in better shape than a lot of the roads in the US. A large bike would be a absolute blast.

    We did ride a fair amount of dirt roads as well and most were pretty tame. A few got a little tricky with sharp turns and loose gravel, but that was the exception. We were on the BMW F650GS and it was idea for those roads and wasn't bad on the pavement. I tend to prefer bigger bikes though and would have loved to be on a 1200GS. The RT would be awesome on the pavement but you might rattle off the fairings or top box on the dirt.
    #73
  14. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    If a mile is a mile then I've already technically ridden to Ushuaia and part way back up but I think you are wrong about a mile is a mile. That's one of the best things about riding a motor bike on and off the highway, some of these miles are measured in days or hours while others pass in mere seconds, some being simple and some being the most difficult you've ever ridden in your life:deal

    I'm convinced there's a lot more to South America than the Pan American all the way to Ushuaia. Maybe in a couple years I'll finally see what all this is about. I'm also convinced that you miss most of it staying on a highway that if for sure, what is ADV riding afterall:lol3 Ironbutt site next door with seals of approval given:deal

    I'm way too convinced I want to keep riding in South America for a long time:1drink

    John still in Caracas but heading to Los Roques sans bike waiting for parts.
    #74
  15. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Getting to a destination, in this case Ushuaia, was important to you. I understand that. You had a given amount of time and chose to use your time to that end. I get it.

    John is comparing getting off the beaten path to droning along on the highway.

    I've done both all the way to Ushuaia, and back. For me, and I suspect John as well, getting off the beaten was by far the richer experience.

    But, that's just me. I really dont give a shit how anyone wants to do it. If they want to pin the throttle open and make a destination that's fine. For me, I'd rather staple baloney to my face than do that.

    Ride your own ride.
    #75
  16. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Not a collective, eh, with approval needed/wanted - gained or lost self respect - or meant for fame?

    A bunch of weirdos, for sure. Such an electic and diverse group of riders we have here.

    Knife fights? Not over girls, but over methods. The girl thing would be natural - shedding blood...and all...and would be easily understood.

    Gladiators on two wheels. Unlike in the past, there is now more than one arena, I think.

    Keep your edges sharp, eh?
    :D
    .
    #76
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I was taught at an early age to ride your own ride to your ability and if other rider's don't like it, tough. If a person likes to ride fast and take chances and doesn't endanger others I say have at it. I'll catch up to you down the road when you take a break. There are some really great riders out there. Some people have a need for speed. Nothing wrong with that.

    It is a rare thing to find someone who rides simpatico to your style for more than a few days.

    Ever since I was a little kid I have not liked getting beaten. I have made a point of staying off the beaten path ever since.

    Cheers,
    John Downs
    #77
  18. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    A friend of mine once told me that life begins at 150mph. He used to ride sport bikes, but gave that up. In his words: he knew he would die soon.

    The power poles were like a picket fence, at speed. It was a high. Almost sexual in nature. Beyond...something....

    He's off bikes now, and still alive, and with his wife and two daughters.

    Drugs and passions come in diffenret ways.
    #78
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I said 100 mph, not 150. That's just crazy. I'd need a K bike, not an R.

    If I could fly around at Mach .9, maybe I'd be more interested in going slow.

    I'm not saying my way is better. I'm just a weirdo.

    I can't ride with anyone for more than a few days. Either they drive me mad, or I get them crazy, or somebody can't keep up. Or doesn't want to.

    That pavement from San Pedro de Atacama to Jama and then Jujuy- oh My FUCKING GOD. I did the stretch from SPdA to Jama, then back, then back to Jama, without stopping. At 100mph. It was absolutely amazing. Sure, there's ripio to Bolivia, and ripio south instead of to Jama, and there's tons of sand. I stayed on the absolutely perfect blacktop.
    #79
  20. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    When you have little self discipline, as moi, you might run the bike at 'comfortable' speeds.
    100 indicated (95 actual) was my default traveling speed when I had the 1150, seriously.
    Four years and 18 speeding tickets later (spead over many states and provinces), I got a smaller bike.
    Nary a ticket since.
    Self regulation vs. self discipline, maybe.

    When you had a surgeon a scalpel, he is gonna cut something. :D
    #80