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Old 10-17-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
m22e OP
Joined: May 2011
Oddometer: 21
Open End Trip ... without bike?

Well.. hi there.

I already started a thread a couple of months ago. But things have changed for me and I don't really know what to do.

I hope it's ok to post this here, because if things work out, I will be doing a report here...

First of all, I'm 21. I don't see many people travelling for a long time in my age and I haven't met anyone who does it with a motorcycle.

I pretty much just got out of school. I had to do my military service for 1 year after that, but once I got out I knew that I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. And since you don't get too inspired by sitting around and I've always dreamt of it, I knew I'd be travelling for a bit.

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 12. I started out on a Yamaha PW50, then a PW70, later a TTR90 and before getting the bike I'm currently riding I had a bit of fun on a YZ 125. When I finally got my license my dad gave me his XT 550 83' for christmas and birthday ... and bought a Ducati Monster :P

Anyway. As some of you know, the XT 550 isn't exactly the most reliable bike, but then those who ride one hardly want to give it out of their hands because it's just that awesome once you get to know it. Being able to leave a bike with the key in the ignition and not worry about anyone stealing it, because they just wouldn't be able to start it is one of the things that just makes it unique to me....

Three days before leaving I decided it would be South America. Figured I'd be able to travel through many countries and even though I didn't speak any word spanish I thought that I would in a few months .... I got here and about two months after staying in Cordoba, Argentina, where I learned a bit of spanish, my XT got to Valparaiso, Chile where I picked it up.

It was more expensive than I had hoped and money is obviously the only limiting factor for me. As I was able to save up quite a bit in the past years (and especially through the army) I thought that would be pretty much a one time thing and I set off to Cordoba once again to say goodbye to my friends there and decide where to go first.

On the way there I had minor problems with the bike. Nothing thatcouldn't be fixed in a couple of minutes ... but when I got to Cordoba I noticed a hole in the cylinder block of the engine. After getting a garage next to the residencia where I'm staying and taking it apart there It turned out that the steering chain (not sure about the english terms for most of these things, so correct me if I'm wrong or ask if you don't understand) wasn't tightened as it was supposed to be and ground quite the whole in the block. It's really not fixable (as I've been to several mechanics) too big, and getting a part replacement here is impossible.

Then I went looking for an engine I could replace mine with. My dad offered to look around as well, and as I didn't find anything remotely fitting (I was looking for XT 550/600 Bikes/Engines/Parts) he told me he had gotten his hands on a cheap XT 600 86'. Frame and everthing else was pretty fucked but the engine had about 10,000 Miles on it and seemed to have no damage to it. After a bit of research I thought this was exactly what I needed and I wouldn't have much trouble getting it to work with the rest of my XT 550.

In the following days/ weeks the thing was send from Europe to Argentina... but since FedEx fucked up big time (and marked the package as >50kg, whereas it weighed about 55kg in reality) they would'nt let it through customs in Buenos Aires. I called them and emailed them and what not and they told me they would not forward it to me in Cordoba and even if I got to Ezeiza Airport (Buenos Aires) where it was waiting, I would not be able to get it.

Well.... now the company that made this mistake told me that they were sorry... and that they would return the package to Europe and send it again, marked correctly. That was more than 3 months ago. They tell me they have trouble getting it out of Buenos Aires... and what not... it was sent by airfreight btw., which normally takes about 3-4 days.

They tell me every once in a while that they do everything they can to get it to me, but as it has not even arrived in Germany I don't really have any reason to believe, that it will at some point in the near future, BEFORE I run out of money!

Well that's kind of my situation here. I want to travel with my bike and I have a bit of cash left and I'm not picky about what bike I do it on.... or what I have to do to finally get going.

Thing is it seems I couldn't even get a new bike here and drive it through more than any one country. I seriously do not know what to do. If there is any help I would greatly appreciate it. If there is any way I could buy a bike here (maybe from another traveller) that would enable me to go through other countries without buying a new one in each country, I would greatly appreciate any help.

I don't want to wait much longer as I want to actually see something on my trip, and even though Cordoba hasn't been the worst experience of my life, it also hasnt been what I had in the few weeks of getting from Valparaiso to Cordoba on the XT.

I don't know what else to say.... I hope someone has some kind of idea on what I could do.

My goal was by the way Mexico or maybe the States. After that I think I might have to work a bit to travel on... dont know yet.

Thanks for reading, and this is the bike in question with me in Valle de la Luna, San Juan Province, Argentina:
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