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Old 06-16-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
rhin0ceros OP
Joined: Jun 2013
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early plannig a trip to central and south america

Hi everyone!

My name is Amitai 22 yr old from Israel. I'm planing on going on a road trip around central and south america. I have some questions and need some advice on buying and selling the motorcycle and insurance related topics:
1. I'm planing to buy the bike in the USA. That means I'll have to start my trip from there. Where is a good place to strat looking for a bike that will also be beneficial for my trip? Where is a good place to sell my bike that will also be beneficial to the ending of my trip?
2. Currently i'm not holding any motorcycle licence. What is the minimum that I'm required to have both for usa and south america? As far as I know there shouldn't be any problem riding big motor cycles (600cc<) with a1 licence (european).
3. Will I have to use international licence?
4. As a tourist will I be able to get third party insurance for the USA and south america? and where? is there a safe place on line?

guys, ur talking to a realy realy young noob here. please be patient and forgiving with me. these questions are being asked because they are much more important than the rout im going to take or the countries im going to visit or wich bike I'm going to get.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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Go to Horizons Unlimited, a lot more specific to the types of questions you are asking. There are several threads discussing these same questions. Sorry, don't have 1st hand experience with your scenario.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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Hello, Here is some answer to your questions:

1. I think yes, buying a bike in the U.S. has their advantage, cost, easy to register and freedom to take the bike out/in the country. I am adventurer exporter and 99% of the cases exporting or reimporting U.S. registered bikes are an easy task.
2. Some states don't require to have insurance. At least in Florida, if oyu are wearing a helmet (which is obvious), no insurance is required.
Buying a bike in the U.S. it is also easy with your name, fast and practical. If you have a friend that could help you before you come much better. If not , use the address where you are going to be in order to register the bike.
3. Yes, you need motorcycle license to legally ride. Not needed to buy a motorcycle but to circulate. Having a license here in the U.S. is a problem because it is an endorsement or extension to your regular driving license. If I were you, use your country license. If you get stopped by police, just tell them that your license is valid for motorcycle. They won't know or what to do or believe., explain them your intentions and they will let you know. Always be polite and smile to them, you'll be fine.
As for Latin America, any driving license will be good.
4. International License is not required anywhere , not in the U.S. or Latin America. If you want to have one is fine and valid but not needed, just your regular driver license work everywhere.
5. Third party insurance is not sold in the U.S. to tourists. This is something that you must do international and get worldwide coverage.
It is incredible but this country being so regulated does not sell insurance to foreigners. As for Latin America in most countries is mandatory having insurance. They sell it at the border as soon you enter the country.

Well, if you have any question, just mail me. Also if you need shipping needs or advice, please contact me , we cover the Americas and Europe.
Export/Import Adventure Logistics
Motorbikes & Overland Vehicles
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
rhin0ceros OP
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GastonUSAChile thank you very much for your informative answer.
from your answers I understand that in the US some countries demand insurance and some are not. in the latin countries I will be able to buy insurance as I enter to that country. am I right? as for buying and selling the motor cycle the process is not hard and intuitive.

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Old 06-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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For the most part, if you need insurance to enter a country, they will sell it at the border crossing. There are a couple exceptions, but once you get on the road you'll figure it all out.

You'll probably need liability insurance for the USA, generally bought in the state that you bought/registered your bike. Every state has different laws. So get it, you'll need it. However, they probably won't sell it to you, you'll have to get some sort of international policy that's good for the USA. About the motorcycle license, just tell the cops that its good for a motorcycle, they will not know the difference, well unless you run into a cop that is an Israeli, they he may know what he's looking for on the license.

You'll want liability insurance for Mexico (not required but if you are in an accident/vehicle contact event and you don't have it, they throw you in the clink until everything gets sorted out) or you can buy at most borders, just before crossing into Mexico.

In Central America, if its required, they sell it to you right at the border crossing for 10 to 15 USD. El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, IIRC.

South America can be a little more tricky. Some countries require you to have insurance by law, but will not require you to show it before entering the country, nor have a convenient place to buy it.

Colombia requires an insurance called SOAT. The trick is that it can be hard to find a 3 month moto policy, and the only border that I crossed where I could buy it right there at the border was in Cucuta (VZ border) At other crossings into Colombia, I would enter the country, then try to the find the SOAT in the first larger town I came to.

Venezuela requires it for entry, but would not sell it to me at the particular border with Brazil. I had to get creative with that one.

Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia I had none, but some folks insist that its required for Peru, although they do not require insurance for entry in these countries.

Argentina requires it by law, sometimes for entry, but some borders will not have it available to buy. One border in Argentina where they did ask for it, was when I was coming from Uruguay to Argentina. They could ask for it at other borders as well, it all depends on the day and the aduana official.

I hear its required in Chile, but anytime the Carabineros stopped me and checked my paperwork, they never once asked me for insurance.

I cant remember about Brazil, but I know that I did not buy any insurance while I was there.

French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana all require insurance. For Suriname and Guyana, its easy to get and cheap. French Guiana, not so much. They want to see a Euro green card policy that is good for France. The problem is that the only one you can buy there is good for a year and costs over 800 Euros. I had to get creative with that one as well.

As far as a third party insurance that's good for all of the Americas, if it exists, its probably not worth the paper its printed on, since no one in Latin America will accept it. So avoid wasting money on some third party stuff that claims to be good for all the Americas. While its probably accepted in the USA, its probably not worth anything in Latin America.

Check out this thread to get you an idea of logistics for central american borders:

Dont stress too much about the planning, you will figure it all out as you go along.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español

crashmaster screwed with this post 06-30-2013 at 01:34 PM
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Anything you need to know about Peru, let me know. Peru is my backyard.


"Those friends thou hast... and their adoption tried... grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel. But do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade...." Polonius in Hamlet
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Just to clarify (4): There is not such thing as "international driver's license". There is only "international driver's permit" which is nothing more than a cheap translation/notarization to 10 languages of your existing country license.

IDP is nice to have, though. I usually get several copies. On trips I've taken outside of the USA, I _only_ show the IDP at police stops and checks and I'm almost never questioned or asked to see my actual driver's license. In developing countries, it is a good precaution. You never know when they give you trouble and don't want to give you back your real license.... With IDP, it doesn't matter because it's mostly a worthless piece of paper that usually works because it looks official.

Also, when you get the IDP make sure they check off that you have motorcycle endorsement. They usually forget because that's not something they think about.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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An international permit is nice to have, as mentioned above. I pretty much exclusively showed this permit to the cops for over two years with no questions, and it was expired for half of that time.

In addition, I made very nice looking copies of my real license, laminated to look official. I always kept my real license in a safe place and never showed it for any reason.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español

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