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Old 01-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401

We are already in Mexico 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 Latin America. We will travel through Mexico, Central America and fly over the Darien Gap in to South America. In South America, we will continue south to Ushuaia, Argentina. From there we will turn north and go the 1900 miles up the east coast to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Buenos Aires, 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 Michigan. All in, the trip should be about 15,000 miles. Along the way, we plan to visit the great sights, such as, Peruís Machu Picchu ruins, the Bolivian Salt Flats and Argentinaís Lakes District. We will also travel some legendary roads like the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) in Chile and the famous Ruta 40 through Argentinaís Patagonia region where BMW filmed their 2004 GS New Model Introduction publicity shots.

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 Bolivia, 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.

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.

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.

We got out of Michigan 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 Michigan. 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.

We had 2 hard days riding to beat the bad weather. End of day 2 has us in Covington LA somewhere between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. 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 South America we decide itís probably time to stop for the night. The next day we headed off to Houston. I have family to visit and dragged Chris along.

More later...


2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report

Alaska Ride Report
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