Youngest women to ride thePanamerican highway

Discussion in 'Americas' started by FreeWheels, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. FreeWheels

    FreeWheels Mayor

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    Hey Guys and Gals,

    I am new to the site and have recently justrode from AZ to Argentina. Mygirlfriend and I plannedon riding to Ushuaia but were t- boned by a car in the province of Cordoba.

    Anyways we are fine but thebike is not. With thaT SAID WE ARE ALREADY PLANNING on returning in september of this year. We both live and work in Alaska and will be leavingfrom AK to Ushuaia beginning in spetember of 2014.

    My girlfriend is 22 years old but will be 23 at the time of the trip. Does anybody know who the youngest women to ride the entire panamerican highway is? She wants to be the first and no worries she has been riding since she was a girl and her father just completed the same trip a couple of months ago.}

    Any information or help would be greatly aprreciated: }

    Awaiting your reponses.
    #1
  2. FreeWheels

    FreeWheels Mayor

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    any info will help if you know. we tried researchingit on the web but coud not find anything on the subject.
    #2
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I haven't seen anywhere that tracks such things. You hear about the youngest person to get their pilots license and things like that, but those have official paperwork trails that can be researched. Theoretically, a person could do the Pan American without telling anyone.

    You might search for key words while specifying websites like this one in the search parameters. You could also PM inmates like Dr. Benny who give talks at motorcycle shops/events, because they may have met or talked to other young ladies who have done the trip. Another source might be Amy Holland, who writes for Friction Zone Magazine, since she may have received letters from women who have done it.

    In any case, I think the important part is the personal challenge. Good Luck.
    #3
  4. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    On my trip to Cabo I met a young lady 19 years old from New York pedal her Touring bicycle from San Quintin to Argentina :eek2 ALONE..........
    #4
  5. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    Where in Alaska do you live?
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  6. FreeWheels

    FreeWheels Mayor

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    On the Kenai peninsula. Soldotna.

    We are looking for some used bikes for the new trip or possibly thinking of purchasing two new crf250ls but we would like to ride the same bike and prefer used since they are cheaper.

    My fiance is only 5;4. any recomondations
    #6
  7. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    My wife is 5'6" and rides a Honda NT700v that I am putting knobbies on for D2D this year. As far as Dual sports go I would ride a KLR. The problem is your wife's height. I don't think there is a dual sport out there that wouldn't need to be lowered. I had a friend in MO that rode a KLX250 that was maybe an inch taller but he had a unique method of getting on the bike. I ride a 13 KLR 650 and waiting for break up to pick up my new Tiger 800 XC. Any trip I take outside of civilization we be on the KLR. It is a really a surprising motorcycle.
    #7
  8. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    My wife is 5'-2" and rode a BMW F650GS with the low seat to Panama, Alaska and on the CDR. She still rides that bike along with an XT225 and a few others. She has to get her butt way off to the side when she's on a dirt bike as well as pick her stops but it's still manageable. It's also possible to have the suspension lowered so don't rule that out.
    #8
  9. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Budget wise I would recomend a KLR 650 someone has already prepped for travel for you and a DR200 for the lady. The KLR is a perfect workhorse travelbikel The DR200 is light easy to handle, very economical and one of the most common bikes in SA so spare parts/repairs, no worries. You should be able find a used KLR and a used DR for less than what one new crf250 costs.
    As far as riding the Pan America hwy, most of us figured out it is not the most pleasant hwy and get off it as soon as possible. There are many better and more interesting roads to be travelled. Especially in Ecuador and Peru. Ruta 40 in AR and the Carratera Austral in Chile are must see roads, imho!

    Colombia is kinda hard to avoid the pan-am.
    Also to save time to be able to explore more of of SA air freight the bikes to Bogota and start there.

    Sent from my SM-T211 using Tapatalk
    #9
  10. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    I set up a KLR for a 5'3" female friend. E-bay lowering links, and Sargent or Corbin low saddle.

    The KLR should be fine, but would have a slightly lower clearance point for the lower shock pivot. Avoid high-centering.

    Upper body strength might become an issue. I am carrying a 3-piece hard luggage kit, two spare tires, and an Ortlieb medium (yellow) dry bag. I get tipped over sometimes and it is very hard to keep it from going over, 6-foot, 210lbs.

    If weight is an issue, a DR650 might be a better choice, as you drop the weight of the liquid cooling system. A fully loaded KLR can be a handful, even though it can track like a mountain bike.
    #10
  11. Dr. Benny

    Dr. Benny Enjoying the Journey

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    I've met several lady travelers (some solo). Haven't met anyone that young though. I've heard of several young bicyclists, but not many young female moto riders. Keep researching, it could be a fun merit for her.

    Have a good ride! :deal
    #11
  12. Solohobo

    Solohobo Been here awhile

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    You need to read a bit about Latin America. I highly suggest if you are taking on a epic trip, you have a full command of Spanish, you will need it and make your lives easier, and also safer. You also should know you are going in rainy season, with Oct/Nov Hurricane season in the Yucatan/Belize/Honduras, and heavy rains in Costa Rica/Panama, many parks and beaches are off limits or closed in Oct.

    There is no road from Panama to Colombia, so you need to ship the bike, or, put on sailboat, sailboats are 2 nights 4 days and cost $600PP. Flying to Colombia to about $500PP. Shipping bike is not much, usually to Ecuador.

    All of Central America (7 countries not including Mexico), will fit into the size of Colombia, so distances in SA are far great, than in CA. You also have the Andes, and these are cold conditions in winter, and wet in spring.

    You will need Yellow Fever shots, get them in Panama City Panama.

    I suggest you get a mace for the GF, a knife in a market in Mexico, and both take self defense classes. Police and justice dont exist in Latin America, period.

    Here is my Central America on a motorcycle list, or car for that matter.

    You need to read up on Central America, get a guidebook like Shoestring or Roughguide, MOON or LP.

    1- Crime and petty theft is a major issue in Central America, I have been going there for over decade. I have hiked and traveled much of Guatemala, Dove in Honduras, and poked around Nicaragua. Costa for weeks at a time...

    2- You need to park the bike in a secure, guarded area at night, in a home or hotel hallways is best, you dont park on the street or left unattended.

    3- You cant leave anything unattended on the bike. Period.

    4- You need to rethink the camping, its not something that is recommended overall, its not safe, and gringos are targets for theft of belongings, you cant leave anything unattended.

    5- How many weeks you have planned for MX?

    6- You do know the main Pan Am Hwy is all 2 lane, thru mountians, no shoulders, and cargo trucks and nutty drivers, its nothing like the USA, and average speed is about 40MPH, 80KPH...the roads are often pot hole strewn and have washouts, landslides in rainy season.

    7- Rainy season is May to Dec, Hurricane season is from Aug to Nov, the peak rainy season is Oct, the Yucatan to Panama on the caribe side is a hit n miss. Costa Rica/Panama in Oct early Nov best avoided, its daily heavy rains, key parks are closed, and many beach towns shutter for the month of Oct/

    8- You need the title to the bike in your name, which needs to match your Passport. You also need to hit borders in early AM, as you need to que up to get out of one country, and then que up again and go thru processes taht can take 2-6 hours of paperwork, import fees, insurance and copies of copies of copies to 4 different office on the border...The bike will go in your Passport, in some countries, you cant leave the country without it...

    9-you cant enter Panama without a "Proof of Onward Travel" as of late, if going via bus, meaning you need a flight, so check into that. You also cant leave any country, without the bike, without paying huge import fees and duties, and they determine the value of the bike, not you, and its not in your favor.

    10- Capitals are best avoided, though the main Pan Am connects them all. They are polluted, congested, crime ridden not a good place to get lost as a gringo on a nice bike.


    11- Budget, a backpacker can go thru CA staying at hostels, eating local food (rice/beans) for $25 day, $40 day private room/cabina/bath, $60 day for nice, and $100 day to eat and stay in gringo level places.

    12- Best camping options are in National Parks with ranger stations, Costa Rica has the most options, great hiking, super scenic roads and varying climates and eco systems.

    13- Do you plan to take spanish immersion? This would help the trip huge, and also open many more doors for staying with locals and pitching a tent on private property. Tent camping in hot, humid, rains for hours on end is no fun, promise, I am a huge camper, fishing and hiking person.

    14- Dengue Fever is a issue in rainy season, cover up.

    15- Get Typhoid, Dyptheria and Hep A-B (Hep B is sexually active) and a Tetanus booster

    16- You should buy mace and a good knife once in CA, have a smoked face shield, and dont take routes you dont know if its not safe, drug traffickers and gangs are a issue, you need to know where not to go, they usually dont mees with a foreigner, but if they do, your most likely good as dead..

    17-ATM Debit Card with No Foreign Transaction fee and a low Non Netrwork Fee.

    18- Medical Insurance that covers a motorcycle, and also has evacuation insurance, the majority of CA is rural, and hours to a decent hospital, otherwise it is crude clinics that have old xray equipment (if lucky) few english speaking medical personnel, and access to a MRI or Cat Scan will only be in the capitals, and you have to pay first. If serious trauma (motorcycle accidents usually are) then you need to get to Houston/Dallas, Miami, on a MedVac plane, commercial flights wont allow sick people to fly. Thats $50K.

    19- Dont plan to rider more than 4-5 hours a day, the sun is intense in CA, roads are small and you need to be alert, on defense, its fatiguing and stressful in a car, muchless a moto....

    20- Wear full protection, full face helmet (tons of bugs and gravel on roads in tropics) back protector, waterproof riding suit, not a rain suit, these will be like a sauna in 95 degree and 100% humidity. Riding pants and boots, not shoes. Stay hydrated too, major heat and sweating is non stop.

    21- Get a good GPS, waterproof, signs and roads are not well marked and not easy to figure out.

    22- you will share the road with farm animals, farm equipement, people, children as there is no where else for them to walk to town, school, home, bus stops...

    23- Many countries have new motorcycle laws, you need to wear a bright vest in Costa Rica now. Helmet laws are enforced with vigor.

    24- Read the "Driving the Americas" website and forum.

    25- if you take your time and kick back, know some spanish, its a epic journey with rich culture, beautiful vistas and amazing scenery
    #12
  13. Travelbugblues

    Travelbugblues Teacher on the road

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    I'm currently traveling from Ushuaia (via Santiago first) up to Seattle. But I just turned 30 :)

    As a female rider who owned a KLR and lowered it, plus shaved the seat down, I would stay away from that as an option for your lady. Too damn top heavy. I'm 5'6, 135lbs and pretty strong from climbing, and it's still too big. I love my KL250 Super Sherpa, if you can find one in the States. I'm on a CGL 125 and loving it (although it does take some patience).

    No mace allowed over some border crossings, FYI.
    #13
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    KLR250
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    Availability of extended range fuel tank and heavy duty rack might play a part in your decision. The complete rack from MMoto is great, and I know someone makes a tank for the DR.
    #14
  15. opticalmace

    opticalmace Been here awhile

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    Dang, great post!
    #15
  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    My wife Colleen may be the oldest.....ride reports...tuckers to tdf
    #16