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H-Jay 01-03-2009 03:17 PM

We are already in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region> and I now have time to start a trip report. Iím also going to try and keep this and a blog going. That is Chris on the right.

But first, starting from the beginning, whatís the plan? The plan is for two guys to head south right after Christmas, 2008 on a three month, or so, ride through <st1:place w:st="on">Latin America</st1:place>. We will travel through <st1:country-region w:st="on">Mexico</st1:country-region>, Central America and fly over the Darien Gap in to <st1:place w:st="on">South America</st1:place>. In South America, we will continue south to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Ushuaia</st1:City>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Argentina</st1:country-region></st1:place>. From there we will turn north and go the 1900 miles up the east coast to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Buenos Aires</st1:City>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Argentina</st1:country-region></st1:place>. In <st1:City w:st="on">Buenos Aires</st1:City>, I will take a little non-moto vacation with my wife, before flying the motorcycles and us home in time for an early spring in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Michigan</st1:State></st1:place>. All in, the trip should be about 15,000 miles. Along the way, we plan to visit the great sights, such as, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Peru</st1:country-region>ís <st1:City w:st="on">Machu Picchu</st1:City> ruins, the Bolivian Salt Flats and <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Argentina</st1:place></st1:country-region>ís Lakes District. We will also travel some legendary roads like the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Chile</st1:country-region> and the famous Ruta 40 through <st1:country-region w:st="on">Argentina</st1:country-region>ís <st1:place w:st="on">Patagonia</st1:place> region where BMW filmed their 2004 GS New Model Introduction publicity shots. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
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My friend Chris and I have identical 2007 R1200GSAs. It wasnít planned for us to look like twins rolling down the highway. We had mutual friends but didnít even know each other when we separately purchased our motorcycles from John Horner at BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan. For my preferences, the GS Adventure comes almost complete for these types of journeys. Itís a little heavy (subtle sarcasm) and tall but makes a decent compromise between on and off road handling for long distance traveling. I may have wished for a thumper after having to pick the pig up in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bolivia</st1:place></st1:country-region>, but for now its great for knocking down miles. The Adventure and standard GS come with adequate off road protection. The exception is the need to add a little more protection to the headlight, radiator and cylinder heads. The latter got more protection from Adventure Designís well thought out Engine Guard Extension bars. Additional lights, front and rear, were added to help others see us.

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Packing was another time consuming logistical challenge. The strategy is to get everything in two lockable side cases and a tank bag. The rear top case will stay mostly empty so that the tank bag can get locked up during restaurant stops in sketchy areas. Here is the obigatory stuff spread out photo.

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Before we left town we had a bit of a fun displaying our motos during a open house Christmas party hosted by John Horner at BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan. I was amazed by the interest and the number of people that already knew about the trip.<o:p></o:p>
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We got out of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Michigan</st1:place></st1:State> on the Saturday after Christmas. We could not have asked for a better after Christmas present Ö.50 degree weather. The snow was still piled high on the side of the road but we had a clear path out of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Michigan</st1:place></st1:State>. After getting a nice send off from my family I cautiously rode an hour in thick fog to meet up with Chris. The big surprise for me was finding that 3 of our friends got up early Saturday and drove 40 miles to give Chris and I a send off. <o:p></o:p>
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We had 2 hard days riding to beat the bad weather. End of day 2 has us in <st1:City w:st="on">Covington</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">LA</st1:State> somewhere between <st1:City w:st="on">Baton Rouge</st1:City> and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Orleans</st1:place></st1:City>. We had been riding the last 4-5 hours in the rain and as dark ascended the rain picked up. Wanting to be around to see <st1:place w:st="on">South America</st1:place> we decide itís probably time to stop for the night. The next day we headed off to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City>. I have family to visit and dragged Chris along.

More later...

theturtleshead 01-03-2009 03:27 PM

The best way to pass the Darien is the Copa flight from Panama city to Medellin then head down through the Zona Cafetera to Mikes place in Cali.
Feel free to get in touch as you get closer to Colombia.
Al theturtleshead

pinkman 01-03-2009 03:31 PM

Have a fantastic trip! I'm toying with the idea of working my way down to Panama and will be reading your blog with great interest. Thanks for posting your adventure and I wish you the best of luck.

Roboter 01-03-2009 03:39 PM

That by far is the coolest plate Ive ever seen. I actually tried getting it for my KTM back when I lived in Michigan.
I've been to that shop many times. I liked them way more than the guys in Sterling heights.

You are about to embark on a big trip! Take care! It will change your life.


GB 01-03-2009 04:43 PM

Best wishes for a safe journey, and looking forward to reading about your great adventure :thumb


Kodanja 01-03-2009 05:16 PM

Subscribed! Looking forward to this one! Don't spare any details and don't go through Mexico too quickly.....I'm planning at trip to Mexico this Spring and want to hear all about it. Be safe.

hvilla 01-03-2009 05:30 PM

I'm already jealous!! Have a great trip...looking forward to going along with you guys!!:ricky :ricky :ricky Keep the pictures comin'!!! :thumb


H-Jay 01-03-2009 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by Roboter
That by far is the coolest plate Ive ever seen. I actually tried getting it for my KTM back when I lived in Michigan.
I've been to that shop many times. I liked them way more than the guys in Sterling heights.

You are about to embark on a big trip! Take care! It will change your life.


Thanks all. I'll get the report caught up soon. We did slow down and spent the day in Oaxaca.

Roboter, Yeah I like the plate. I also have a lot of time for John Horner. He is a rider and participates in a lot of our club activities. He is also very fair minded dealer. He and his entire team are easy to work with.

schismatic 01-03-2009 07:19 PM

sounds like an incredible journey. i grew up in michigan... now is the perfect time to go for a little ride down south!

Lion BR 01-03-2009 08:20 PM

Looking forward to your report.

Squishy 01-03-2009 10:34 PM

All the best on your travels.:clap
A beautiful part of the world i haven't yet visited, hope to soon.
Keep the camera busy.
Look forward to your rr.:nod


sandgroper 01-03-2009 10:44 PM

Best wishes in you travels, i look forewarn in seeing the pictures

OaklandLion 01-04-2009 08:16 AM

This is great!

I was in Southeast Michigan Christmas week. It was super cold except for the day you left. I would have had to trailer the bikes to KY!


Nata Harli 01-04-2009 08:21 AM


CoolBenge 01-04-2009 08:33 AM


Locked in. Envious as I can be.


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