ganso de América del Sur What to ride what to ride? Having dreamed of a long trip down to South America after reading so many epic ride reports here I am going to take a look for myself. I recently retired so I have time to do this trip (thanks to the wife for understanding what I'm up to) and while not breaking any new ground for the adventurous types here I will be trying to get off the main tourist path for the most part. So I want to go, can afford to go and I just needed to decide what I wanted to ride down there. I figured my requirements were for a mid-sized bike, air cooled, shaft drive, easy maintenance and hey maybe something I like to ride. Well if you can speak Spanish you might recognize the title of my report for meaning " South American Goose" (well I hope so anyways, I'm in the No Fumar Espanol group of Spanish speakers). And what is a Goose? Moto Guzzi of course. So what Guzzi would be suitable for such a trip? Griso? Probably a bit too street toughish for the task. Norge? Not sure how well the sport tourer would do on the rougher parts of the trip. California 1400? Hmmm bit big really. Well of course the Stelvio makes perfect sense and I have one sitting in my garage right now!! but...... it's a bit heavy (really heavy) and all along I've wanted to take another Guzzi for this trip, the Stelvio will have to wait a bit to get some Latin America flavor. No I happen to have another Guzzi in my stable (well I only have the two Guzzi's nothing else) that has been the focus of my planning (hint, not much planning done) So here is the perfect bike for my South America trip Yep there she is, a 744cc air cooled shaft drive twin that isn't too heavy (relatively speaking of course, compared to the Stelvio it is a featherweight). This is a 2013 V7 Stone with 13,400 miles on her bought from new. What makes her the best bike? Fast? Nope, probably 40ish horsepower Dealer support? Hahahaha Nope, probably few to none Guzzi dealers south of San Diego Farkelable? Nope, not a wealth of parts designed to make the bike ADV worthy, eagle eyed readers will note the lack of a skid plate as I've only ever found one available and it was a nightmare to fit, was very thin, attached to the engine in a sub-optimal way and would add hours to doing oil changes as I'd have to remove it and then try to refit it afterwards so I'm going without. I do wish I had a better solution here. Spoked wheels? Nope, I'm going tubeless for the trip (I figure many bikes make the trip on similar rims so why not try it) and hope to miss the many potholes in my path if I can. Pliant Suspension? Ahhh I don't know of anyone who thinks the V7's stock forks and shocks are even a passable solution on smooth roads. but..... Air cooled so no radiator to worry about. 5 gallon fuel tank gives good range (200 miles plus) The drive train hasn't changed much in many years (parts from a Breva would fit the V7) so it's pretty reliable. 2013 saw the addition of the Single Throttle body fuel injection system which by all accounts is an improvement on previous models. Look how easy it is to get to the valve covers, routine maintenance is a snap on these bikes. It will probably be a bit different than other bikes on the same trek, I kinda like that. and lastly and of the most importance, it is the bike I WANT to ride there!! Will it end in disaster? Have I set myself up for failure? Who knows but I hope to have a bit of fun whatever happens. Now that I have laid out the insane reasons I chose a bike unsuitable to the task I'll list some of the things I have done to it for the trip Garmin 660 GPS Rocky Meyer seat Lowered foot pegs for more room (I'm 6'0 and cramped on a standard V7 but with the pegs and reworked seat I am fine) Center stand and Euro spec side stand (U.S. version of side stand interferes with the center stand) Kenda K761's front and rear Gazi rear shocks and RaceTech fork stuff up front (still not a great suspension IMO but there really isn't that much available for the bike unless I want to spring (spring get it?) for custom Ohlins shocks which I don't) Guzzi Tech 2:2 Stainless exhaust system which saves me some weight but also gives me more clearance for my luggage HepcoBecker rear and side luggage racks AdvSpec Magaden soft bags on the sides, HepcoBecker topcase and a Moto Guzzi tank bag Breva touring windscreen (again Moto Guzzi retains many of the same fittings, this windscreen fits with no modifications I just had to remove a couple of thread plugs and bolt this on) with a MRA X-tour wing mounted up (this may not make the trip, testing is underway) Headlight guard Heated grips Barkbuster handguards that are there for wind protection mostly as the ones that fit my bike don't have the metal cross bar that provides impact protection. CRG Arrow bar end mirrors (really these were not added with this trip in mind, the stock mirrors are poor and these are so much better but very vulnerable to a tip over so I may try to fit my Stelvio mirrors and see it they will work) EDIT: you may notice I have both mirrors on the bike for the pictures, I had decided to use the Stelvio mirrors but wanted a last test run and planned to take the bar end ones off for the pics but found I didn't have the 3mm allen I needed to remove them. The bar end mirrors are off now. FZ1 fuse box Original battery replaced with a MotoBatt AGM gel battery Original R/R replace with a MosFet R/R (there seems to be an issue with the stock R/R in that it can start overcharging the battery fairly quickly into the bikes life) In tank fuel filter that is half metal/half plastic replaced with all metal filter Spark plug caps replace with more reliable design EBC HH brake pads installed Pretty sure I stole this idea from rtwPaul but I have some maintenance info listed inside my topcase I'm sure I've forgotten some big important items but what can you do, I'm forgetful at times. Next up I'll post a bit about the things I'm taking on the trip. Ready to go? I'm leaving sometime around Oct. 7th and heading south for as far as I can or want to go.