EarthQuaker I like your Spirit already and i'm really glad we have a teacher like you around since you live your life by example and that is a great place to start.
I only know about sur america so is not like my vision of machines is uinversal, but i think the basic ballpark is pretty much "Universal".
I can only tell you in many countrys in sur america two strokes still ride aroud, maybe because they are so simple, cheap and easy to mantain (actually not mantain, but ride around until they dye), yes nasty fumes and ineficient but you can thank DOW Quemical and many other Corporations, for far deeper contaminations issues, not like riding a shitty bike is a excuse but is ussually the least of a III world country problems...
maybe you can have a diferent aproach to things. (Yes not your only choice but a idea.)
My aproach is Basically...
don't worry about the bike, figure out a sistem to carry the gear you need and attach to Any bike, backpacks, duffle bags, bungly cords, ropes, things that you can carry walking, or on the bus, yeah it sound wierd, but if you think about it, trying to cover long distances on a country as bast as the USA on a small bike can be a pain, not to mension really slow and expensive wasting yout time and recourses just getting to the border (always the sae border before you can go any farder), so my basic idea is to travel to your favorite destination ussing a plane, boat or whatever gets you to the target destination in a hurry and then find a bike suitable for your needs on the region, Each country has a popular bike you can buy, rent one even do some kind of Monkey business to use the bike just for a few weeks, ride the thing around the country(s) when you are done, sell it, donated, give it back to who ever lend it to you and then come back to your teaching job until you batteries are recharge for the next adventure, this way you are not face with all the issues of bringing a bike back into the USA, paying for the boat fees to transport the bike, the very smart people at the DMV, etc.
Think "Motorcycle diaries" were the Bike is just a medium a tool if you like but not the focus or the main goal of the trip..
another side Topic.
about 25 years ago I meet a little guy riding a single speed bicycle (40 pound "gardener" special) at first he look like a million other dark skin sur american man, exept for the fact of a sign on his handlebars saying, "my first trip around the world" writen in ingles anyway the gentleman was from India and was already on his ten years of riding around the world when I meet him, the last time I ear from him (I have a Indian friend that is in the diplomatic community) he was on his second loop being already about 55 years old..
i tell you this story, just for contrast, if you can ride a bicycle for 30 years around the wolrd, working as a magician to make the little money that you need, any motorbike is already a luxury what will let you travel in style..
best of luck finding your Jorney and also your destination
Wanted: worn, ugly, cheap motorcycle cover for a big GS 1200
Ricardo Kuhn screwed with this post 02-08-2007 at 07:58 AM