Wondering about which Touring/Dualsport to use in Mex/C.A/S.A.

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Zokambaa, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I'm not going to try to convince you, because obviously you're a moron, but other people read these threads. What I'm saying now is for them.

    BMW's with 50,000 miles are barely broken in. Seriously. Check craigslist or the flea market here and you'll see R1100GS's for less then $5k. That's just how much they are.

    If you're not a US resident, you can still buy bikes here. You can easily ride a US registered bike from the US to Ushuaia. You can't just abandon it in Argentina or Chile. You must take the bike out. But even if you pay $1500 to ship it back to the US, where you'll be able to sell it for close to what you paid, you'll still be out less money than if you buy a bike in Canada or other countries with heavy import duties.

    The idea of risking the motor by dropping it- this is just fucking stupid. The boxer motor has been around for about 200 years. It wouldn't have survived this long if this was true. I've dropped my boxers many times. I know that lesser bikes will break when they're fully loaded and then they trip. The big GS's almost always have heavy duty crash bars. And if they don't, it's easy to find aftermarket crash bars that easily mount to existing brackets. Wunderlich and Touratech are two companies that sell crash bars, and often they're available used in the flea market or on ebay.

    Here are a few photos of my bikes.

    On The Haul Road, in Alaska:

    [​IMG]

    My R1100GS, on a rocky road in Ontario:

    [​IMG]

    In Guatemala:

    [​IMG]

    El Salvador:

    [​IMG]

    Panama:

    [​IMG]

    Panama:

    [​IMG]

    Panama:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not included:

    a hard fall on a steep gravel downhill in Costa Rica- probably my hardest fall on the ride, where I bruised my leg pretty badly, and I was too pissed at myself to take a picture.

    a quick drop going about 10 mph, in Madison, at an intersection near West High, where it slid a little.

    two funny drops in my driveway.

    a dumb drop traversing a steep hill in Madison, where the bike fell downhill.

    a downhill drop with the R1100RS, in British Colombia, when the sidestand sunk into the blacktop, so that when I came out of the grocery store, the bike was on its side.

    The worst damage has been a cracked plastic cylinder guard. I fixed it with duct tape and shoe goo.

    A drop in Arequipa, Peru.

    The big GS's are certainly less capable off-road than a smaller, more dirt-oriented bike, but for adventure travel, going long distances, where I define long-distances as 5,000 miles or more, there is no more capable, more proven, more comfortable, more fun bike.
    #41
  2. Zokambaa

    Zokambaa .

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    Look, I said it before, I don't want a big heavy bike and I have no interest in the 1000cc+ BMWs so no need to come in here and keep trying to convince me... and I'll give you the not damaging the cylinders when going over on the engine, but I know people who have managed to do it however uncommon that event is.

    at 50,000 the engine may be fine and just broken in...but other components will have had a lot of wear... I don't want a bike with high miles even if these things go 200,000+ miles

    Also I intend to drive down from Canada and back so there is no way of me to get one in the USA unless I trade out my Canadian bike while down in the USA and then having to deal with insurance, registration, licensing, import fees or whatever else is needed...


    Anyway I don't want a big heavy bike... I am already on tip toes on most bikes that have a seat height of 32", adding yet an extra 100+ pounds to the bike on top of that means it is a big pain in the ass to maneouver.. and yeah I know the bike can be modified to lower it.. but that is more time and money to do this on an already expensive bike and the bikes I have driven that people had professionaly lowered always felt weird compared to the stock... I'd go so far as seat lowering but I wouldn't want to mess with the suspension.


    So I do not want the big BMW however great it may be...end of story


    also what is up with the name calling and profanity, I don't believe I personally attacked you so there is no need for this here












    #42
  3. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    :huh Must be fun to pick up with the 11 gallon tank full.

    Hey Zokambaa, if you can pick up a Goldwing an R11xx Gs should be easy. I,ve dropped mine without cylinder damage. Couldn't pick it up though:cry

    There are no import duties to bring a motorcycle to Canada from the US. There is a registrar of imported vehicle fee ($200), and GST, that is all.

    Buying a used motorcycle in the USA is easy for a Canadian and almost always financially rewarding. Lots of good deals on ADV Rider. The usual buyer beware caveat applies.

    Another point made by B'man is you should take a motorcycle you are willing to abandon by the side of the road forever. A KLR or older R11xx GS qualifies.

    I.m taking my R11xxGS to SA and expect to have a great time and trouble free ride:thumb






    #43
  4. Zokambaa

    Zokambaa .

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    Hmm I'll have to look into bike import into Canada... I guess most US bikes have instrument gauges that switch to metric... I know with cars they usually have to be modified most times... as well as adding the daytime running lights etc.. the fees are quite a bit higher than $200 for cars and they have weird regulations on which ones you can import with out high fees.. For example the Subaru Imprezza was a high duty.. but the Subaru Forrester wasn't, because the Forrester was assembled in the USA or something like that.

    Anyway I'll have to check it out...


    For the most part picking it up is more about leverage and how you position the steering wheel... if all else fails pick it up like they show in the bike courses... there are lots of videos of how to do this on the net with heavy bikes... but I never really had an issue just heaving it up while facing the bike.... It's kind of funny I saw a couple videos with smaller, older ladies lifting goldwings to show the proper way of getting it up again... made me think twice how I've been picking up bikes over the years.

    but it isn't about picking it up it is parking lot maneouvers, doing a 180 turn in narrow spaces and backing up while on the bike... plus how heavier bikes handle... I like something I can toss around a bit better and brake on a dime... not that a loaded touring bike will brake on a dime or slalolm like a GSXR.

    I don't have training like the Calafornia Highway Patroll guys do in order to whip a heavy bike around like it was a tiny sport bike... it's crazy what they can do with those big bikes.





    #44
  5. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Dude... Have you gone bananas? :eek1

    (sorry, couldn't help myself and avoid that pun... :lol3)


    What happened to not begrudging other people's adventures? It doesn't extend to their bike of choice for that adventure or what? :dunno


    Gustavo
    #45
  6. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I don't begrudge anyone's adventure. I do not like it when people make ignorant statements about about things they really are ignorant about. I enjoy helping noob's who want help. I do not enjoy trying to help noob's who are probably 14 year old boys who will never leave their parents' basements.

    For example, a Canadian has to pay a few dollars in registration fees, but doesn't have to pay sales tax. Wisconsin, for example, charges 5.5% sales tax, plus title and registration.

    Boblawblaw is going to have a great time on his big old BMW, and if he drops it below 10,000 feet, I'm sure he'll be able to pick it up by himself.

    Quite a few of the regular posters here in the Latin America forum actually know each other. If you think our online arguments are nasty, you should see us arguing over who's going to pay for the next beer.

    In the next few months you're going to see a lot of reference to the next Latin America Rider Rallye. If the OP cares to come, he'll be assigned a presentation of the pros and cons of five different motorcycles for Latin America riding.
    #46
  7. Zokambaa

    Zokambaa .

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    Well I've been riding motorcycles since about 1990 and I know I don't like heavy high bikes... and I know people who had boxers who had issues with the cylinders when they crashed them... perhaps many haven't had that problem.. but it put me off having something mechanical stick out.. then add the fact they are tall and heavy bikes and the fact I said I didn't want something big and heavy... I wouldn't call that ignorant... and calling names on the internet shows a lot of maturity, especially for someone in their 40's

    If I was 6 ft tall and made a living working for an oil company and had a lot of cash I would take a BMW 1000cc+ but that is not the case... and for someone to get all pissy about it here is not warranted.. I'm just looking for suggestions not someone to fight over why they think their bike is best and why every thing else is crap.. I'll probably be buying a bike here... which means the expensive BMWs are out.. I mentioned this.. and the fact that the bikes are big and heavy and tall.. again more reason why I don't want them... even the 1000cc Vstrom is too big for me...

    Maybe I should have said it from the start but around here BMWs are not even close to the ballpark in cost and I will be getting the bike here.. not in wisconsin or some other US state.

    Take your big BMW promotions to some other thread because they simply will not work for me. the 800cc and smaller are closer in cost and size for me.. but even then those bikes are quite expensive too...
    #47
  8. JamesOn2Wheels

    JamesOn2Wheels Banned

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    dammit..back in the states
    That Colorado price is out the door, tax, title, license and all
    if it's too tall you can have the seat cut down for 20 bucks in Mexico, they do NICE work there
    sell it in Peru legally when you are done, fly back, or sell it to a gringo down south, or ride back and sell it in the states
    import tax to Canuckland might be too high
    Zig
    my 2 cents or 1.5 loony cents worth
    #48
  9. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    My original suggestion to you was for a suzuki 650 weestrom. Post number 10 in this thread. In my opinion it's the best cheapest bike for riding central america. It's not the best cheapest bike for everything, but I think it's the perfect bike for the roads and streets of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. There are more paved roads than a lot of popular culture would lead you to expect. Many of the un-paved roads are good gravel.

    Although you can ride a totally stock weestrom, if it was me, I'd modify it with spoked wheels, bigger brakes, bigger suspension, heavy duty bash plates on the front, bigger crash bars, and more headlights. I don't know what kind of output the alternator has, for running things like aux lights, heated grips, gps, ipod, etc., but maybe it can be modified.

    Heated grips? you say? Yes, says I. The mountains of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama can be very cold, especially when it's raining or even just misting. Extra head lights? Yes, says I. You might not be planning to ride at night, but that doesn't mean you won't have to, and the central american night can be dark. Street lights and brightly lit cities exist, but extremely dark rural areas, where the road is under a canopy of trees- these roads are dark. Road hazzards include cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, dogs, and people. When it's dark you don't see them until it's too late. It's especially important to be able to light up the roadside, the periphery, so that you have more time to react.

    The KLR is a fine bike. It's more dirt-oriented than the wee. It's less comfortable for long paved stretches. If you're planning on a lot more dirt/gravel, then go klr. If you're going to be sticking to the Pan American, and exploring town-to-town, then go with the wee. If you're going to spout bullshit about boxes, come see me at the next latin america rider rallye.
    #49
  10. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    Pay attention. There IS NO IMPORT TAX on motorcycles going to Canada from the US.

    2cents US is 1.92 cents CDN however if you'll take 1.5 we can do a deal:D .

    For the mathematically challenged $4400 US is $4583CDN at current exchange rates. Thats a great deal Zokambaa. You could fly to CO and have a very nice ride home or to ALARR3:evil

    How do you legally sell a MC in Peru?






    #50
  11. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    Personally, I think that Bman character eats way to many bananas. It's starting to affect his judgment.
    My wife and I ride KLR's, Bman doesn't not. His bike falls over and so do ours. Heavy gladiator bars are a must for any bike with a tendency to fall over.
    To my knowledge, Bman has not owned a KLR only his pig.
    We have lowered our KLR's to fit our vertically challenged bodies and put aftermarket seats on. We have ridden our KLR's in Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize for 4 months. We haven't made it to Bmans homeland, Panama yet.
    I would agree with Bman that the KLR's are not great interstate bikes but they will run 65-75 mph all day long. We try and avoid interstates or toll roads wherever we are. They are great on secondary roads and going over topes.
    We live in western Colorado and have lots of twisty mountain roads. Our bikes mounted with the Mefo Explorer tires are one hell of a fun bike in the mountains. We also enjoyed riding all the twisties north and south of the US. We used Gripster tires for those trips for better tire mileage.
    I don't always agree with Bman because he is such a dweeb but come to Colorado for the Latin America Riders Rally and meet all the goofballs who have ridden south or want to ride south and see the fine mix of two wheeled machines.
    #51
  12. JamesOn2Wheels

    JamesOn2Wheels Banned

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    dammit..back in the states
    how ?
    Just find someone who knows how...in my case it was a dealer who "took care of it"....in Cajamarca. I don't think it would fly in Lima but who knows ?
    And not even remotely possible if bike is registered in a south american country, especially Colombia or Ecuador and my guess Chile as well.
    Don't know any other info except I did it and I know of 2 others riding non SA country bikes who did as well.
    Zig
    ...all you have to do is ask.....

    the loony is worth HOW MUCH ?????? :-)
    #52
  13. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    JohnTM (a former mod here) sold his bike in Lima, I think to a cop.

    It's true I've never owned a KLR, but I chased one all the way to Panama. :evil . I got to ride it a little. I got to pick it up, too. I got to try to figure out why it wouldn't start (my fault).
    #53
  14. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    1: BMW R1100GS with ohlins, abs, big windscreen, 11 gallon tank, heated grips, jesse luggage, hard parts, extra lights, extra 12v outlets, and TKC80s.

    2: BMW 800GS

    3: BMW 650GS (single) outfitted like Throttlemeister's. (Read Salcar's ride report, Dave's ride report, GatoGato's ride report...)

    4: Suzuki V-strom 1000 with givi side cases. (Read Lucio's ride report and Robocop's ride report.)

    5: KLR. (Read almost all the other ride reports, including mine, where Barb is featured.)

    6: Suzuki wee-strom 650 (I actually don't have any wee-ride-to-latin-america ride reports in the ride report link thread, do I?)

    7: BMW R1200GS/ADV (Read Martincito's ride report, Gpothaven's ride report, and tons more)

    8: KTM 990 (Read Trevor and Nina's ride report)

    9: BMW R100GS (Read Nata Harli's Misadventure)

    10: BMW R1150GS/ADV

    If you want more dirt-oriented, then fix up your favorite dirt bike, 125cc's and up.

    These are my centavos.
    #54
  15. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/rates/converter.html
    #55
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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  17. luciosiq

    luciosiq Been here awhile

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    For us, the V-Strom 1000 was "the perfect" bike.
    Power, very stable, very very confortable for long rides - bear in mind that somedays you might want to cover 600 miles or more.
    If the 1000cc is too big, as Bananama said, there is the little brother version (650cc).
    Honestly, I don't think it is necessary additional headlights for the V-Stroms.

    I have heard (and read) that the DR 650, although not very confortable, is very tough for this kind of adventure.
    I have never read (or heard) any big complaints about it.

    My only experience with a GS 1000+ was riding Bananaman's Pig in Denver :rofl . It felt very smooth - but at that time I was riding a BMW 650 which I didn't like at all, so, obviously, Pig was heaven compared to that 650.:lol3
    I guess the only advantage of the GS650 is that if you feel like a milk shake, just grab a bottle of milk and go for a ride on a GS650 for a few blocks.

    Anyway, for Latin America, I would still go for the V-Stroms.
    #57
  18. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    You guys are all smokin crack. :rofl Take whatever bike you already own and go have an adventure. :strum
    #58
  19. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I am surprised the DR650 has not really been in the mix here.

    Although, bottom line is Crashmaster has it right .... Run What 'Ya Brung!
    and just go.

    For those of limited inseam however any GS BMW is out. Do you want to slip on Bananas in the mud like in Mr. Bananas' great pics? I hate crashing and rarely do.

    The DR650 is the lowest dual sport in the 650 class, most reliable and better in the dirt than a KLR. With a Corbin seat it can cover serious miles. Read up over the on the DR650 thread (the BIG one) and find out. You will have to travel lighter than on a Vstrom, but the subframe will not break like the klr, BMW F650, KTM, or Husky. In fact, nothing is likely to break.
    These are very tough bikes and handle a bashing well ... for years and years.

    The DR650 is also cheap to buy used compared to any of the others save the klr. If you lose a used DR650, it won't hurt as much as a 20K BMW or KTM.

    Another low budget option is to buy locally. Honda Falcon 400 among a few other choices. Once off the main highways, speeds will be low. On mountain roads the little bikes rock, are agile and can handle unintended off road diversions (to avoid errant trucks in your lane) much better than a V-strom, GS or other large bike in that situation. :freaky
    #59
  20. Zokambaa

    Zokambaa .

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    I considered it.. If people can ride down there on Harleys, surely my SV could do it...
    but it really isn't so practical... too much body work to crack up and the suspension couldn't handle it for long without turning into a pogo stick... and my kidneys would take quite a beating...

    I'm pretty certain I am going to sell my Marauder... cruising is fun and all but there is plenty of time for that when I am in my 50's and 60's and find it harder to lift my leg over the bike :D
    ... if I sell the Marauder, I can take the cash, save a bit more and put it toward something better suited for the trip..

    perhaps if I sell the bike and pick up something to do the trip, I can get the feel for it around the back roads and deserted old logging roads/fire roads etc and get a an idea if it will suit me... then that will leave some more time to gradually do it up with the toys...

    I don't think my Nelson-Rigg sport touring soft luggage would stand up to the length and abuse of this kind of trip...I could possibly get away with my tail bag but I'm going to have to get hard side cases for sure... and then I have to think about crash bars... That will all factor into things...

    I should be able to find some used bikes with a lot of the toys already... but the majority of the ones I've seen lately have been overpriced, had pretty high miles and look rather beat up... a lot of the bikes have been owned by college kids who beat the hell out of them as their first bike (except for the stroms as most college kids can't afford them unless they have rich daddies buying them the bike... even used stroms are generaly about 3-4 grand more on the used market) I've only seen one DR650 which kind of looked ok.. it was a bit old and had about 50,000km on it already but the KLRs, while more plentiful were in pretty rough shape... one guy was selling a well done up klr and it was a 2005 but he wanted almost $9,000 for it with 45,000km on it... but it looked to be in pretty good shape.

    I'll see how things pan out the closer it gets to spring... I'm not in a huge hurry to get something right this minute.





    #60