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Old 04-13-2011, 07:10 PM   #2
trackpete OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 188
Preparation: Buying the Mototaxi

Preparation: Buying the Mototaxi

I knew from a little research that buying a motorcycle in Peru can result in a long wait, and that the best idea is to take care of everything ahead of time. I had enough going on in my personal life (and, truth be told, enough of a devil-may-care attitude) to decide that I'd worry about everything once I arrived in Peru... what happens, happens.

I am by no means fluent in Spanish, however I spent three years in Colombia during the early 90's and can get by - even though I haven't really used my Spanish much in fifteen years. If anything, this trip would really put it to the test.

My first day in Lima I headed over to Honda Desert Racing SAC, based on recommendations from here on ADV and other research. I walked in and introduced myself to Enrique Delgado and told him my desire to purchase a Honda CG125NL Ultra Abierta and drive it around South America.

Instead of disbelief, he responded with excited glee, my first of what would be many times people would love the craziness of the idea. Within minutes I had a price (it was even on sale - 5,740 soles, or approximately $2000USD) and bank account info for a wire transfer. I immediately used to wire the money, though I could not get their account to work and instead wired myself cash at Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP).

When my transfer cleared, I went to pick it up and was surprised at the modern setup at the BCP branch nearby, complete with a touchscreen kiosk to select my service and take a number. Eventually I made it up to the counter and with minimum fuss was able to accept the cash transfer as well as perform a deposit into the Desert Honda account. BCP provided me with a receipt which I then took back to Desert Honda so they could order the mototaxi!

After much back and forth, I was given to understand that it would take ten days to deliver the mototaxi and fifteen days for the government plates. I thought they could do both at the same time (for fifteen days total), but that turned out to be a misunderstanding... which I found out when I returned ten days later and was told it would still be another fifteen days!

Without much of a fuss, I found things to entertain me (what happens, happens right?) in the interim, arriving back in Lima today to find out that my mototaxi is here and my paperwork and license plates should be ready tomorrow. I'll find out for sure how that goes then, but for now, here is a picture of my mototaxi (phone shot, real pictures will be forthcoming) and some information on it:

Year: 2010
Engine: 125cc, gasoline, 1 cylinder
Power: 7.2@8500 KW/rpm (~9.6hp @ 8500RPM)
Width: 1,315mm (~52 inches)
Length: 2,840mm (~112 inches)
Height: 1,710m (~67 inches)
Net Weight: 235kg (518lbs)
Gross Weight: 415kg (915lbs)
Max Cargo Load: 180kg (397lbs)
Axles: 2
Drive: 3 wheels, 1 drive (rear left)
Passengers: 2

The General Plan:

I will be heading south mostly trying to avoid large roads - the Panamerican especially. Unfortunately I need to take it (jumping off onto the accompanying side roads as much as possible) down to Ica, then the plan is to swing towards Arequipa for the first service.

After that, I hope to head towards the Salar de Uyuni while it's still covered in water, then slide southwards towards Tierra del Fuego on the crappiest, most remote roads I can find (as long as they aren't pure sand). With a top speed around 60kmh, it's just frustrating and boring to drive on perfect tarmac - plus I hate cities, instead preferring small villages and raw nature.

Food will be foraged as available from local villages, though I expect to find myself hungry and alone as often as not. During the night I expect to mostly be sleeping in the mototaxi, though I have a tent for crazy weather (and I am carrying some solid gear which should stand me for all weather)... A mototaxi can be surprisingly comfortable from previous experience:

The rest will be about great random experiences, awesome photos, and as much fun with video as I can manage... plus I'll be writing on my blog as well as more motorcycle-related posts here.

How long will I travel for? I don't know... right now, the plan is to stay down here in South America until I run out of money. Originally I planned for 6+ months, but the way I'm being irresponsible it may be limited to three or four. We'll see how it goes - what happens, happens.

The Hook:

As part of this trip, I hope to inspire people to donate to an awesome charity that has done amazing work all over the world, especially down here in South America: Operation Smile. They put on large clinics to perform surgery on children with facial deformities in order to massively improve their quality of life.

If, over the course of this ride report during the next few months, you find yourself enjoying my writing, photos, or videos, I hope you'll take a moment to share the word with others by linking them to my site at I hope you may even be inspired to donate a small amount - even just $5 makes a difference - on my behalf by clicking the donate link on that page or by visiting I won't harp much, but this trip isn't just about me.
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
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