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Old 04-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
jonas_mx OP
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Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Mexico City
Oddometer: 23
Wicked Goodbye banking, hello riding. Mexico tu Ushuaia

Hello Guys,

My name is Jonas and along with my friend Hector, we are planning a trip from Mexico to Ushuaia and beyond. We live in Mexico city and work in the banking industry, long story short we are fed up with office life and living in such a big city (we are originally from the northern state of Durango) so we are gonna quit our jobs and go for it!

We started thinking about it about a year ago, and we have spent that time preparing and travelling around Mexico to get some experience. My friend Hector has been riding mx, sports and enduro bikes for about 10 years, but Im a total noob. I started riding about 18 months ago when I bought a 2008 Honda NX4 Falcon, since then I have done about 10,000kms. Hector used to ride a 2010 Kawasaki xr 600r but a few months ago he got a BMW F800GS for this trip. These last few months I have learned a lot about riding (falling and crashing in the process) and travelling on a bike but although I feel more confident, I know nothing can prepare me for this kind of trip. All I can do is to do research, plan, ride and hope for the best.

The Bikes:

Mine: The NX4 is my first bike and I love it, its been a good companion for the last months and Im quite attached to it as I learned to ride on it. However Hector and some other friends tell me that 400cc is not enough for this trip. Although I like to say that isnít true I have to admit the NX4 lacks power at high altitude, and when loaded up it feels slow and even unstable. Also it isnít the most comfortable bike and learning to ride on it has taken its toll on it both visually and mechanically. That is why I am thinking about buying a new bike for the trip. I would love to buy a triumph tiger xc but I donít have that much cash! So I think my options have to be in the 650cc branch. My options are 2013 Suzuki DR650, 2013 Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW GS650 (pre-owned). Right now my favorite is the DR as it is reliable, light, simple and as it is the cheapest with the extra cash I would be able to buy loads of equipment Also I have browsed the forum and from what I can tell there arenít many drawbacks for this bike, perhaps that the seat is uncomfortable and the tank is small?? The KLR is my second choice, it is about 30% more expensive than the DR but still within budget, has a bigger tank, and is supposed to be more comfortable. Problem is it feels a little bit high for me (Im 1.70m high) I know I could lower the ride has anyone done this? Also it is heavier. The BMW is the third choice, to buy one brand one would be a little bit too expensive, or at least it would leave me with very little cash to buy accessories, so I would have to go for a pre owned model, I have been looking at a 2010 GS with 10,000kms on it. I would appreciate any comments on this as I have to choose one soon, any feedback is welcome!

Hectorīs: as I said before he owns a 2013 BMW F800GS, nothing wrong with that one, great on and off the road and also very good looking. It just need some saddle bags and a windscreen and it should be ready to go. (He might swap it with his dad for a KTM Adventure but donít know if thatís gonna happen)

When: We are planning to depart on mid august 2013. As it seems the best time weather wise. Any thoughts on this?

How long: we are not sure, Iíve done some research and I think it should take us about 3 months to reach Ushuaia

The route: starting in Mexico city we are planning to go east to Veracruz, then south to Tabasco and Chiapas and cross into Guatemala. This is the shortest way our of Mexico I think, but an alternative and more scenic route would be to keep on going to the Yucatan peninsula and then cross to Belize (Iíve heard its amazing) and down to Guatemala. Has anyone gone this way? I donít know how good the road links are between Belize and Guatemala. After that is Honduras as we want to avoid San Salvador. Then Nicaragua and its awesome lake and then Costa Rica, where we want to spend a few days with some friends in San Josť. After that would be Panama and onto the Stahlratte. Iíve heard great reviews about it, has anyone tried it out? After that it is Colombia, Ecuador (Long stop in Quito with family) and into Peru and Machu Pichu (I know it can be a pain in the ass!). We donít have to go into Bolivia per se, but we want to see lake Titicaca and of course the salt flats in the Uyuni desert, has anyone done the trip from La paz to the flats? Then it will be chile, and more chile and more chile until we leave the desert behind and then into Argentina. We want to camp most of the time but also from now and then crash in a Hotel, especially in central America. On the way back we are thinking about going to Buenos Aires and perhaps Uruguay. I am still undecided about how we will return, as Hector wants to do it overland and I was thinking about doing it by air. I guess time and budget will tell. Any ideas on how expensive is to fly a bike back to Mexico?

Any comments or advice on this trip will be appreciated, especially about border crossings, costs, routes, etc.

Also if anyone lives in any of the countries above and can offer us some advise or perhaps a place to set a tent, I would love to hear from you!

Well thatís about it right now, we are still a few months away from our departure but I will try to keep you posted on our progress and on the preliminary trips we do around Mexico.

In the mean time here are a few pics from our trips around mexico and Also I want to say I can offer a bed, a hot meal, a beer and a place to store a bike safely to any riders going through Mexico city from now until our departure!





Nevado de Toluca natioanl park






La mancha, state of Veracruz






Cofre de Perote, State of Veracruz






Somewhere in the state of Puebla






World Rally Championship, Leon, Guanajuato






Benito Juarez National Park
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
nirb
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Planning the same trip!

Hi Jonas,

I am also saying goodbye to work (in Hi-Tec industry) and have started to plan a trip same dates and routes as you are :)
I am inexperienced and still looking for a partner but i have the will so guess the rest will sort out.

What do you plan to do with your bikes when you reach ushuaia if you go back by plane?

I am thinking on what would be the best way for me:

1. either to buy a bike in mexico and then sell it when i finish - i guess i have to sell it back in mexico which will be difficult as i do not plan a round trip.
2. Buy a motorcycle in Israel and ship it to mexico and back from Ushuaia (not sure how hard this is)
3. Buy a motorcycle in mexico and then import it back to israel - i guess this would have to be done from mexico as well.

Would appreciate any information you have or tips you gathers concerning the trip.

Cheers,
Nir
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:44 AM   #3
jimmex
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Honda 400 will be fine, even better on dirt tracks. Will suffer on Autopista but who cares, that's not fun anyway. Saludos, Jim
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
jonas_mx OP
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Location: Mexico City
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Hello Nir,

Once we reach Ushuaia we will turn back and head to Buenos Aires, once there we will have to decide what we are going to do. Hector will return overland almost for sure, but I donít know what I will do. If budget is healthy and time is ok, I think I will follow Hectorís path, if not I will hop on a plane and return to Mexico. About the bike, I will have to ship it back by plane, Im not sure the cost of this but I think it is around $1,500 USD (+your own ticket of course). I need to check with Girag or LanCargo for the price.

About your options:

1- Once I thought about doing this, but selling a foreign bike in Argentina and Chile is forbidden, Uruguay could be another option but I donít know if its legal there. I have read in other threads stories about people selling their bikes in SA, but as it is illegal the prices drop dramatically. I think the only viable way of doing this is buying a cheap bike which you can ďdisposeĒ once you reach your destination and return by plane. (with dispose I mean selling it for a very low price) Doing this with my NX4 has crossed my mind a few timesÖ
2- I think is possible, however it will be very expensive as your bike would have to travel to Europe first and then Mexico, and the same on the way backÖ
3- Sounds possible, but again I donít know how expensive it will be. Buying a bike in Mexico, do the trip, ship it back and then selling it in Mexico sounds like the best way of minimizing your costs.


Lest me know how your planning is going, would be cool to see you over here.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:52 AM   #5
nirb
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Hi Jonas,

Thanks alot, sounds great!
Will update you once i get more detailed plans.

Nir
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
garrydymond
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I live in Mexico City and will do a similar trip with my wife hopefully starting in September. I have ridden bikes for a long time and have hosted a lot of travellers over the years. If you want to talk about the trip send me a PM or call me at 50052090 from 6am to 2:30pm.
You said you work in the banking area and I have some questions about how to handle my money while travelling
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garrydymond screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 08:22 AM
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
jonas_mx OP
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Hello Gary
It would be great to talk to you about the trip with you, I'll give you a call tomorrrow if you dont mind. I do work in banking, but mostly with stocks so Im not very into account services... but I will help you out with whatever I can.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:25 AM   #8
garrydymond
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Iīm not working on Saturday please gime me a call on Monday.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:54 AM   #9
MikeMike
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Your Honda will be cheaper and easier to fix, if you have problems, compared to an F800.
Does your Honda run on Magna or do you need premium?
Was your Honda sold in a number of Latin American countries with at least a few Honda dealers in each one?
Do you need a computer interface to diagnose difficult problems with the Honda?
Are you comfortable on the bike?
How fast is anyone really going to ride when you get into Central and South America?
Chances are you will be towing the F800 at some time along the trip.

By the way, did you summit el Cofre on that bike or just ride through the town of Perote?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
jonas_mx OP
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Location: Mexico City
Oddometer: 23
Hello Mike, thanks for your support for my dear old NX4!
Yes it is cheap to fix, yes it runs on Magna (although I usually use premium), yes it is sold all over latin america, No it doesnt need a computer to diagnose problems, and yes I am comfortable on it.

On that topic, on saturday I went to the Suzuki dealer to check out the DR650 and I have to say it feels very similar to my Honda, Im still undecided about buying it, but it felt good...

About Perote, No we didnt get to the summit we just passed by on our way to the coast, but it is an astonishing place, very dangerous fog though! where do you live btw, veracruz?
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
MikeMike
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I am in Veracruz, Boca del Rio to be exact.
DR650 is a good bike, but on the tall side.
Nice that they are selling it here, now.
Have you thought about a clean used KLR?
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
garrydymond
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The DR650 is nice but youīll need to sell the Honda and put quite a bit of money on the table to ride away on the DR650.
Keep the Honda save money and then spend it on the trip.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
MikeMike
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Thumb

Orale +1
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
fat_tony
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Good luck!

Your trip looks awesome. I'm interested to see how comfortable the bike proves to be.

I'm planning on doing the same trip in 2014, though I'll be starting in Philly. Could you be a little more specific about your route?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:42 PM   #15
jonas_mx OP
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Location: Mexico City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat_tony View Post
Your trip looks awesome. I'm interested to see how comfortable the bike proves to be.

I'm planning on doing the same trip in 2014, though I'll be starting in Philly. Could you be a little more specific about your route?
Hi, thanks!

Well I've been on the Honda for trips of 500-600kms and it feels fine. However Im about to swap it for a DR650 and I hear the seat on the Suzuki is worse so I might change it.

Here is a very simplistic overview of our planned route, Im missing the saltflats in Bolivia but that would take us from la paz, to potosi, then Uyuni, Avaroa and San Pedro.

Inicio Destino KMS
Mexico DF Veracruz 400
Veracruz Villahermosa 472
Villahermosa Tapachula 597
Tapachula Antigua Guatemala 263
Antigua Chiquimula 211
Chiquimula Tegucigalpa Honduras 442
Tegucigalpa Managua Nicaragua 350
Managua San Jose, Costa Rica 424
San Jose Golfito 291
Golfito Santiago, Panama 300
Santiago Panama 250
Panama San Blas 150
Stahratte
Cartagena Monteria 300
Monteria Medellin 406
Medellin Bogota (Honda) 444
Bogota Neiva 292
Neiva Pasto 431
Pasto Quito, Ecuador 321
Quito Guayaquil 386
Guayaquil Punta Sal, Peru 360
Punta Sal Chiclayo 420
Chiclayo Chimbote 342
Chimbote Lima 420
Lima Ayacucho 519
Ayacucho Cuzco 419
Cuzco Ollantaytambo 89.2
Tren a Machu Pichu
Cuzco Juliaca 407
Juliaca La paz, se puede pasar por copa cabana 295
La Paz Putre, Chile 344
Putre Iquique 354
Iquique Antofagasta 419
Antofagasta Chanaral 359
Chanaral Vallenar 306
Vallenar La Serena 200
La Serena Los Vilos 393
Los vilos Vina del Mar 280
Vina del Mar Santiago de Chile 160
Santiago de Chile Curico 249
Curico Concepcion 324
Concepcion Temuco 282
Temuco San Carlos Bariloche, Argentina 466
San Carlos Bariloche Esquel 285
Esquel Alto Rio Senguer 323
Alto Rio Senguer Comodoro Rivadavia 347
Comodoro Rivadavia Puerto Deseado 297
Puerto Deseado puerto San julian 360
Puerto San Julian Rio gallegos 360
Rio Gallegos Primavera, Chile 160
Primavera Rio Grande, Argentina 190
Rio Grande Ushuaia 212


























































































































































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