Tierra Del Fuego to Deadhorse Alaska on a Harley Road King??????

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Gabeslaw, Oct 4, 2014.

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  1. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Greetings......useful comments welcomed:

    A friend and i are attempting to set a speed record on Harley V-Twin (Road King & Street Glide) motorcycles. We plan on leaving first week of May 2015 and traveling up Pan American Highway. I heard of the famous Ferry to nowhere that is suppose to go between Cartagena & Panama that never really materializes. Any hints beside air freight travel to quickly cross legally into Panama with bikes?

    Any advice, cautions, notices, or tips to help us succeed in achieving success is greatly appreciated. My friend has set the Iron Butt record from Prudhoe Bay to Key West in 80 hrs. I have made the same trip back and forth in 35 days. Not a record, but completed it none the less. Drove my Harley in the rain up the Dalton Hwy and back.

    I am fluent in Spanish and have traveled the world via plane but not overland. I have been reading lots of books and studying online. Visiting all the consulates here in Miami and many are not helpful.
    Your input is desired...........

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  2. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

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    Tierra del fuego (and southern Argentina/Chile in general) is going to be pretty cold and crappy in May. Good luck.

    If speed is your stated goal, then flying from Bogota or Medellin to Panama would be the way to go. The boats all take 3-4 days in transit, and at least as long to find..
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  3. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Right now I am an info-junkie and you guys gave me my fix for the day! No salt, cold....I mean. I have all the heated wear (gloves, socks, jacket, pant liner, ect). This summer I was riding toasty in 29F degree temps going to Deadhorse, AK.

    Once I get to Peru I believe the temps will get better. Plan was to go from Ushuaia to Rio Gallegos, to the area of Mendoza (near Santiago, Chile) and cross over to Chile a bit north of Santiago, then go until I enter into Peru (avoid Bolivia), follow the Pan Am or coast all the way up to Ecuador, into Columbia thru Cali, Medellin, and I am stuck now looking for transport in Columbia. Plane sounds good but I am told it could cost $5K per bike or do you think they are mistaken.

    The other would be from Usuaia to Peru I want to avoid snow if possible so I am looking for low elevations to travel. I am not worried of the cold....ice & snow worry me a lot....ideas? Opinions?


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  4. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Are you determined to avoid all the previous threads (here and on horizons unlimited.com) which address exactly the same questions? This one, for example: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=811662...? Your questions about air transport between Colombia and Panama ($5000? Sheesh.) don't demonstrate much basic research.

    You can stick to lower elevations if you want. Of course, you'll miss out on much of what's fun, and you'll inescapably hit at least a few passes here and there--notably wherever you cross the Andes, plus approaching Ushuaia. The weather might treat you well, but then again it might not.

    That's true no matter what time of year--summer in the northern Chile/Peru/Bolivian Andes and altiplano is rainy season, which brings both rain and snow at elevation. You'll miss all that, but depending on your timing you might catch a bit of hurricane season in Central America, or monsoons in the American Southwest.

    best,

    Mark
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  5. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Thank you Mark..........I am new to ADV and find it sometimes difficult to get data when most are going thru back roads and are in tourist mode not speed record. I have read Banaman's posts but again, he seems to have a great adventure on back dirt roads which is not what I am trying to do......but I did gleen great advice on the trackers and I am following up on PLB beacon system in place of SPOT.

    I appreciate your link to help me. As to the prices of $5K that quote came from a freight company here in Miami that flies the Columbia/Panama/Miami routes. I TODAY considered to relook into that option so please dont look down on my lack of knowledge since this trip of this magnitude I have never undertaken. I am learning as I go as you did when you first started.

    Finally, your link shows posts from 2012....I am traveling in 2015 and much has advanced and changed since then so looking back at previous posts is good........I am looking to get "fresh" info from recent adventurers that may have been there a month or two ago, which the data may be even more helpful.
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  6. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Hey, I'm not dissing your newbie status; I'm telling you what to do if you want to know how things work--and it's not by calling freight forwarders in Miami. Seriously; lots of us have shipped by air to and from Colombia, and lots of us have posted ad nauseum about how it went. We know more than your freight forwarder--including how to find up-to-date information--but get weary of repeating it every time someone asks. Show a bit of initiative and people will meet you half way. Or not: your choice.

    The thread I linked was located just ten or so below yours. You wouldn't have needed the search function to find it--you'd just have needed to spend a few minutes reading thread titles before posting.

    The thread I linked addresses your need for knowledge about scheduling around the weather in South America. The reason that thread was so near the top on this forum is that it's active--that means that people are posting currently. And the weather has not changed much since 2012 anyway--right?--so the information it contains is as good as you'll get. I also pointed you to the other major English-language internet forum. In other threads I've suggested Chris Scott's book(s). Not good enough? Ok with me. But you can research at least as well as I can, and I've got nothing to gain by doing it for you.

    Others here are less grumpy than I, no doubt. They're not hard to find.

    Have fun out there!

    Mark
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  7. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    There, you see? Bananaman is less grouchy than I am, just as predicted!
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  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    As others have said, the weather wil be the determining factor. When I was in southern Patagonia last March it was getting pretty dang cold when I made an executive decision and cut northeast to Uruguay and the land of milk and honey. I'll go to Tierra del Fuego this January when the living is easy. (If I bother going there at all). Cold weather sucks when you're riding a girl's bike through South America. Mind you I have no heated gear. Checking Wunderground.com:

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/SAWH/2014/5/5/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar

    historical info, I see that historically May is in the low 40s and 30s much of the month of May in Ushuaia with a fair amount of snow. Snow in the passes outside Ushuaia in the southern hemisphere winter would be my main concern at that time of year. Sort of like trying to ride through northern British Colombia in November. I wouldn't advise it. Although you can always throw your Roadking on a flatbed with chains and hang out in the heated cab if the going gets rough heading through the snowy passes.

    But then there are the fierce sidewinds coming off the Andes that make it seem even colder in southern Patagonia. And mind you, Patagonian winds are the strongest I have ridden through. They make riding through the windmill farms in the late afternoon through La Ventana in southern Mexico seem like childs play.

    Gas last spring was 6 bucks a gallon in Chile and 3.50/gal in Argentina. Most of Ruta 40 is paved. If I were trying to set some kind of speed record (I don’t think so), I would save money and jet north through Argentina. Rather than cutting west from Mendoza over the pass, I would follow Bananaman’s advice and cut west in northern Argentina past Jujuy through Paso de Jama, San Pedro de Atacama and Calama and head north through the Atacama desert in northern Chile. Ahhhhh, sunshine and desert warmth. Well okay, it gets colder than a witches tit in December at night in the desert.

    Girag charges less flying north from Bogota to Panama City than they do the other way. Don’t ask me why. Last spring it was 903.00 from Panama to Colombia and 700 or so from Colombia to Panama. I took a Kuna cargo boat which is much cheaper ( if your bike doesn't get smashed against the dock while unloading) but that is the slow way. Flying is the fastest way to get your bike across the Darien Gap. You have to pay cash. I hear it doesn’t cost that much more to fly your bike to Miami if speed is your main goal. It is actually cheaper to fly yourself from Bogota to Miami (Fort Lauderdale) on Spirit Airlines than it is to fly from Bogota to Panama City. Go figure.

    You will likely get a lot of guff from fellow ADVriders for trying something like this. I know it sounds nuts to me. Please know that folks are mainly concerned for your safety. And I must admit I think the chances of this plan coming to fruition are less than 10% knowing what I know.

    Of course, I just like to goof around and have fun on the roads less travelled. But that's just me.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
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  9. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    :lol3:lol3:clap
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  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Ah yes, land speed records are anathema to me. It was nice meeting you and your lovely wife at the last Latin American ADV rally down in Oklahoma last month Señor Bananaman. You grill some mean ribs.

    Look forward to seeing you down the road amigo.

    Your ADVpal,
    Tio Juancito
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  11. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    Just out of curiosity what is the record you are trying to beat? :1drink
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  12. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Mark.....I understand. I apologize if my post sounded insulting in any way .

    I appreciate all commenting and arrogance aside I am humbled that experienced riders as yourselves would give me the intel that I needed. Looks like April may be better, but I have been told by some that snow starts mid June but the higher elevations is what concerned me. I have chosen to follow the advice of staying in Argentina and crossing at a more northern point to avoid snow in the Andes into Chile. Roads are better quality as I understand it.

    I guess if it wernt for my hard head I would never do any of the LDR that I do including this trip. If I fail, I go home, tweek the run......and try again. I dont think there is an Iron Butt Association documented run on a Harley Bagger for this particular ride. I do know there is an article claiming 28 days and 22 hrs.

    http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/updated-new-alaska-argentina-trans-americas-record-set-on-bmw-f650/

    I am more of an endurance rider than and adventurer as viewed on this forum. But if I get a Million dollar case I would like to take 6-months chilling on a ride. I am 50-yrs old and I have about 10-18 yrs left of hard riding. Trying to cross some events off my bucket list.

    I am going to find out more about Girag to view their schedule.........you guys are a gold mine. Like I say, why repeat another's mistake when you can learn from them. I will try to learn more how to navigate this site better.
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  13. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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  14. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    If girag flies on Wed and sat only, I need to know, To plan on getting to the drop off point, this is the save time not waste it. I dont want to place a reservation online just know the days they fly out. Again, I cant waste 2-3 days waiting if a simple telephone call can let me know when they depart. I dont need specific hours or min but it does make sense the days they dont fly out.

    I use to live in Mexico one summer and I drove around in a bug. I am somewhat use to traffic there, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. Everyone has to jump in their first time and just deal with the risk.

    I plan several trips to Nicaragua, Columbia, Argentina, Honduras, and what ever the budget allows to scout out the area. For example, I have a close friend who is friends with the higher ups in Managua. He is going to ask for a "Carta de Respresentacion" for border Nica crossing to make it easier.

    That is one example of my resources available to me. Am I serious? Just sit back and watch.......I didnt make it to 50 yrs old because my feet were not planted in reality.....keep the advice rolling in and I will update you on my progress. I need to read the rules make sure I am doing the postings right
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  15. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Uh oh: Bananaman's getting grumpy. When he starts insisting you read tales of death and dismemberment you're on a long, slippery slope. Best arrest the slide immediately.

    I don't think riding in Latin America is so desperate as all that--my context is Africa, where corruption, roads, borders and driving habits are generally worse--but there's no denying that a lot of people hurt themselves. Most likely you'll experience a lot of unadulterated boredom with just occasional spicy moments to confirm proper adrenal function and reinforce any pre-existing PTSD.

    I'm not in the mood to argue about Girag, but I'd sure be interested in hearing about it if you manage to 1. get information about their schedule over the phone or elsewhere, and 2. that information bears any passing resemblance to what you actual encounter on the ground.

    best,

    Mark

    Edit to add: I see you're a lawyer. In my experience, lawyers are often highly accomplished at convincing others of whatever they wish. Sometimes this bleeds over into convincing themselves as well. Your goal here is not to convince us, but to solicit information, then incorporate that information into your self-assessment and planning, generating more realistic plans, fresh questions and, dare I say, wisdom. Or did I get that wrong? If I'm right, you might want to be wary of your argumentative abilities, since they're likely to lead you astray.

    Not that the rest of us are in any way immune to the same processes. Suerte!
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  16. Javier K.

    Javier K. Adventurer

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    I believe last current record belongs to Richard “Dick” Fish (R.I.P.) who back in 2006 complete the trip from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia in 21 Days, 2 Hours and few minutes on a R1150GS; approximate 14.400 miles without count the last 2.000 back to Buenos Aires to ship back his bike.
    I had the pleasure to meet him here and share few hours, enough to understand that his record probably never will be beat, and there isn’t a reason for do it… (In my opinion)

    http://www.ahdra.com/prlib/pr072711.html
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13844936
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hu...world/world-record-attempt-ak-ushuaia-22912-7

    Definitely May isn’t the right month to start a trip in Ushuaia, and let me ask how you plan to get the two Harleys there?

    Airhead, Banana & Markharf are all grumpys but they know what they says… ;-P
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  17. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I traveled TDF in mid April and it was cold but not too bad. I rode through a small snow storm on Garibaldi pass entering Ushuaia which you can expect at this time of year. Traveling before May will make it more enjoyable I'm sure. :lol3
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  18. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Never thought of that angel on the Attorney thang....just that I feel I am not a good communicator and I could do better....even though I have an MA in communications (LOL). My IBA brother, may he RIP, did the run in 21 days but I want to set it in a category for American V-Twins Street Bikes. I need to get a hold of Mike Kneebone but he is riding around the world and not returning my emails now. I will see him at the annual banquet.

    I plan flying down to Cartagena to do some scouting and I am sure to post some pics. Should be down there within 30-days or so. Leave on a Thursday and come back on a Monday.
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  19. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    i won't speak for any other countries, but if you think a carta de representacion (which makes no sense, since who will you be representing?) is going to make a difference to a bunch of ignorant, bored out of their minds, grossly underpaid cops at the border of nicaragua, you're in for a surprise.

    you'd be better off getting your friend to get you some fine sandinista apparel and a few flags of the "frente" for your hog. then, as you greet the policia at the border, simply say, "viva Daniel! viva Hugo! viva Fidel! soy gringo, pero me gusta mucho el buen gobierno de nicaragua! el pueblo presidente!!!!?
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  20. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Very Impressive but like I posted to Mark..............I think an American V-Twin cat is what I should fall into since it aint a dirt/adventure bike, thus making it more difficult. I am considering April and I dont need snow but I will check that Weather records Link for Prodhoe to see how the weather is there toward end of April and May. I checked out that link .... it snowed 7 days out of 31 in May historically.....2015 could be record breaking snow or heat or same ole!

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/SAWH/2014/5/5/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar

    At work and have to pick up my kiddies.....will review other two links at home.
    #20
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