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-   -   The One - T-minus 12 months (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=446646)

JackL 03-25-2009 04:05 PM

The One - T-minus 12 months
 
Ok, I just want to get this up quickly as a place holder & will add more over time. This is where I'll put a bunch of information and ask a lot of questions for THE ONE. The multi-decade-around-the-world-rest-of-our-life-trip my girlfriend & I are planning which is planned begin in June 2010.

Background: As you can see in my sig I've done a couple extended motorcycle trips in various parts of the world. I've also been to 38 countries & every US state. My travels began at the age of 3 when my family drove around the US for 18 months in an RV making & selling leather goods. I guess travel has been in my blood ever since. My girlfriend also loves travelling and has done one 14 month round the world trip on her own, although not on a motorcycle.
I've been dreaming of this since my first motorcycle trip around Europe in 2000 and after meeting my girlfriend in 2004 she decided it sounded like a wonderful way to spend our lives. We've had a planned departure date for 36 months. Over half way there now!

A couple pictures of us:
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j2...p/P1000816.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j2...p/P1000806.jpg

So far she has the bike she will ride, a 2008 Suzuki DRX 400, while I'm still working on getting mine. I just need to sell my Honda & Ducati this spring. After a lot of research & thought on my riding style & size I've decided on a 2007 or earlier KLR. This is because it doesn't look like the Yamaha Tenere will be sold in the US.

Our Very rough route will be:
Summer/Fall 2010: NW US, Canada, & Alaska then work at Whistler and be ski bums that winter.
2011: The rest of the US, retracing many of the places I went with my family as a child & seeing everything we want since we'll probably not be back. Winter that year in San Francisco where I'll research a book I want to write.
2012: South through Mexico where we'll attend the End of the World party onthe summer solstice at Chichen Itza. then the rest of central America
From there we'll work our way down the west coast of south America to TDF, then up the east coast as far as the Amazon. We'll stop & work a few various jobs for 6 months to a year whnever we can or find an area we really like.
Then off to west Africa somehere south of Morrocco, down the west coast of Africa to S Africa, up through east & central Africa dodging the hot spots to Egypt.
Next to Europe where we hope to live in Prague for a year or two. From there through the middle east & SW Asia. Who know the route here but we definately want to do the -stans, India, Mongolia, China & Tibet. Eventually through SE Asia, down the island chain of Indonesia & New Guinea, to Australia. Around it & end up in Perth some where after 2030.

Who knows how it will actually turn out, where we'll go, or how long it will take. As long as we point the front tires down the road on the first day and ride as long as we want, & can, we will have succeeded.

I plan on posting more on our preparations, bike setup, & general info as we go. We're still working on setting up a dedicated website & a lot of other things. As I post feel free to ask questions & offer suggestions, especially on places we should go, things we should experience & places we should stay.

I guess that's it for now. This will definitely be a work in progress & go through a lot of editing.

bananaman 03-26-2009 04:40 PM

Why two bikes? I mean two different makes and models? This means double the trouble for everything. Ride two of the same and everything will be tons easier.

Sacha & BJ 03-27-2009 02:46 AM

:lurk

space 03-27-2009 04:43 AM

That's a hell of a plan. Good luck! I'm sure it'll wind up quite different than intended, but it sounds like you know how to roll with the punches.

If you don't mind my asking -- what do you two do? Traveling for 20 years can't be cheap. What jobs are you looking for when you stop in places to work for a year or so? Yeah, I know: lame question. Still, I'm curious.

I agree with bananaman's suggestion, although if you're talking 20 years of riding it's something of a minor point!....

EDIT: on the same note, why not the Funduro? They're great bikes, and they're a lot more comfortable than the DRZ. It looks like she'd also need the DRZ lowered -- they're a lot taller than the Funduro, which I can see is already lowered.

JackL 03-27-2009 11:33 AM

2 Bikes?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bananaman
Why two bikes? I mean two different makes and models? This means double the trouble for everything. Ride two of the same and everything will be tons easier.

Good question. This is something we really thought about but eventually found that there wasn't one bike that fit our different size, riding style, gear carried, and desire. I figure that at least we're on two bikes so the chances of us both breaking down simultaneously are slim. We will both be on Japanese bikes that have been around for a while so finding places to get them worked on & parts should be fairly easy.

JackL 03-27-2009 11:48 AM

Finances
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by space
That's a hell of a plan. Good luck! I'm sure it'll wind up quite different than intended, but it sounds like you know how to roll with the punches.

If you don't mind my asking -- what do you two do? Traveling for 20 years can't be cheap. What jobs are you looking for when you stop in places to work for a year or so? Yeah, I know: lame question. Still, I'm curious.

I agree with bananaman's suggestion, although if you're talking 20 years of riding it's something of a minor point!....

EDIT: on the same note, why not the Funduro? They're great bikes, and they're a lot more comfortable than the DRZ. It looks like she'd also need the DRZ lowered -- they're a lot taller than the Funduro, which I can see is already lowered.

Right now I work at Boeing & she has a couple different jobs including freelance editing. Between the two of us we own three houses & the original plan was to sell one of these before we began & the other two as needed. Obviously that idea went out the window with the housing market crash but we can rent them out & have some monthly income that way until it improves.

Other than working at Ski resorts & Jessica doing freelance editing we plan on teaching English or other jobs where they need English speakers (hello tech support), working on farms & vineyards, being motorcycle messengers, writing a few books/articles (she's already been published, I'm working on it), and really whatever else comes our way. I really want to get to know the people/places we go better than you can get just by travelling through so we'll look for work in places we like.

We plan on living very cheaply. Cooking instead of eating out, guerilla camping, using CouchSurfing & GlobalFreeloaders.com to stay with locals and visiting lots of ADVRiders who have put themselves on the list to host riders or let them camp in their yard. I especially look forward to the last. Meeting lots of people from this site & having them show us around the best rides in their area.

Jessica thought about keeping the BMW F650 but it was pretty beat up, Very heavy for her, harder to fix, and didn't have the off-road capabilities we were looking for. She loves the DRZ. It's her only vehicle.

Thanks for the questions. Jessica will probably add some of her own insights later today.

bananaman 03-27-2009 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackL
We will both be on Japanese bikes that have been around for a while so finding places to get them worked on & parts should be fairly easy.

I've heard this before! :rofl :rofl :rofl

Recently somebody- was it Sgt Marty? in Argentina had major KLR engine problems. If you read the blog and the ride report, you'll see that nothing about getting his bike fixed was "fairly easy."

20 years of travel... gosh that's awesome. Don't you want to take a bike that has a history of lasting 20 years? I'd take an R100PD or even an R85GS.

Superball 03-27-2009 02:02 PM

Yep, it's gonna be a hell of a trip. I mean that in the "welcome to hell; here's your martini" way.

My bike is actually a DR-Z400 (nothing rated X on it . . . yet). Its name is Reefie. I've had the suspension and seat lowered and 2-inch platforms put on my boots, but I'm probably going to lower the front as well and maybe switch to smaller wheels. I'd like to get the platforms off of my boots so I can use them for hiking and not have to take a separate pair of hiking boots.

Jack's the planner of our party--I'm the random one--so I throw in ideas and he figures out where to stick them in the plan. Because I still have the traveling basics from my trip around the world in '05 and '06, I like to think I'm ready to go anytime and can figure it out as I go. That way of thinking has gotten me into trouble before--almost got me killed once--so it's nice to be with somebody who's good at preparation.

:gun1

2uprtw 03-28-2009 11:41 AM

Sounds like you guys are gonna have a blast.

Just a bit of advice for you if you don't mind. Take a good hard look at insurance before you go. The number of companies willing to insure people who do what we do (multi year trips) are limited. One year on the road, no problem. But when you are gone for a while your choices diminish considerably. We are currently in this situation now in Istanbul. Running out of insurance and having a hard time finding some.

Budget about 1500 USD per year for this (but you can find cheaper of course) for both. You will want to look for expatriate plans as they seem most relevant to long term traveling. Any questions, don't hesitate.

Oh yeah, get the same bike if you can. You will thank us later.

acejones 03-29-2009 04:08 PM

I'll bet this plan doesn't work.

allanmca 03-30-2009 12:51 PM

The trip of your life
 
Sounds like a great idea - I hope it works out for you, and I look forward to reading the ride reports for years to come.

If you're planning on teaching English in Europe, Africa and Middle East you should look into the TEFL qualification. Got a buddy that's been travelling for the last 12 or 13 yrs on that one qualification.

mr. matteeanne 03-30-2009 01:05 PM

:fyyff
Quote:

Originally Posted by acejones
I'll bet this plan doesn't work.


Deuce 03-30-2009 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackL
Summer/Fall 2010: NW US, Canada, & Alaska then work at Whistler and be ski bums that winter.

Winter Olympics are in Whistler in January 2010 I think. It will be hard finding work and accommodation then. It's hard finding it there now.

Django Loco 03-31-2009 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bananaman
I've heard this before! :rofl :rofl :rofl

Recently somebody- was it Sgt Marty? in Argentina had major KLR engine problems. If you read the blog and the ride report, you'll see that nothing about getting his bike fixed was "fairly easy."

20 years of travel... gosh that's awesome. Don't you want to take a bike that has a history of lasting 20 years? I'd take an R100PD or even an R85GS.

Do you know the history or Sgt. Marty's KLR? His bike was hastily rebuilt by amateurs before he left the USA. So it finally blew. Frankly I'm impressed Marty made it as far as he did.

Real question is .... how many KLR's have successfully made the trip? done the miles? Answer? Plenty. :D Fact is, KLR's do have a few issues (Doohickey, sub frame bolts) but once dealt with become fairly bullet proof
travel bikes capable of big miles.

I like the old Air heads but they might be a bit big/heavy for a girl rider compared to a DRZ400 or KLR. Both bikes are pretty reliable and CHEAP.
I've owned both. Solid bikes.

Having the same bike, IMO, is not strictly required. Nice at times but better to be riding bikes you are comfortable on.
Quite an ambitious plan for sure. I'm sure it's structure will "evolve" constantly, be revised and edited as it unfolds.
You've both lived and worked in other cultures so you know what your getting into. Having relevant skills is a plus but
sometimes getting past legalities can be challenging. Don't give up!

You guys sound like first class scroungers and both probably have PHD's in Improvisation.
Have fun ... hope you find what you're looking for!

JackL 03-31-2009 03:27 PM

Insurance issues
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2uprtw
Sounds like you guys are gonna have a blast.

Just a bit of advice for you if you don't mind. Take a good hard look at insurance before you go. The number of companies willing to insure people who do what we do (multi year trips) are limited. One year on the road, no problem. But when you are gone for a while your choices diminish considerably. We are currently in this situation now in Istanbul. Running out of insurance and having a hard time finding some.

Budget about 1500 USD per year for this (but you can find cheaper of course) for both. You will want to look for expatriate plans as they seem most relevant to long term traveling. Any questions, don't hesitate.

Oh yeah, get the same bike if you can. You will thank us later.


Yeah, good advice on the insurance. That was one of the biggest hassles when riding my American Ducati around Europe. Hard to find and expensive and it seems every country is different. If there's not one already we should start an Insurance thread, maybe sortable by continent. One of the other pains is going to be Carnets once we get to Africa & Eurasia. But those are both part of the price we pay for ADV.


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