South America

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South America

Post by gbags » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:21 pm

Hi All,

I’m heading to South America soon and a couple of questions cropped up. I hope someone here can help.

My questions are about tyres and accommodation.
I’m riding a 1200 GSA, two up, and wondered how much gravel/tarmac I’d come across.
Actually I’m pushing sixty with a pillion and a big bike so I’ll stick near good gravel or tar as often as I can and avoid sand like the plague. I want some tyres that are halfway knobbly and can keep me upright on gravel in a huge crosswind but will handle tarmac too.
Which tyres would you recommend?

Secondly, how expensive or cheap is accommodation generally across South America? I recognise that the question is a bit daft but is accomodation in South America generally like Western Europe? Eastern Europe? What would you budget for bike-safe accomodation?
Do you take camping gear or just use hostels/hotels? Is camping pretty common?

Many thanks for any replies. I’ll obviously fling photos and a ride report onto the forum as we go. The trip begins in October.


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Re: South America

Post by herman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:33 pm

If as you say it will be easy gravel then personally I would stick with a good road tyre as it will last three times longer, be the dogs for the metalled surfaces, quiet and if it rains wont send you sliding all over the place. I like the PR4 or whatever it is now. The above is of course bollox if you are going to be riding dirt roads in the rain. As an aside I use road tyres on the S10 for a dry Salisbury plain and the enduro course at the midlands rally .
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Re: South America

Post by zimtim » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:09 pm

Drop these guys a pm they just completed the Americas, currently in Europe and will be heading into the UK again soon before shipping back to Australia
Maryna Mathews
Paul knibbs

Should be able to answer a lot of your questions
They also did an interview on ... -the-world
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Re: South America

Post by mark vb » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:23 pm

Hi Graham,
as of course you know, we recently spent 5 months in lower S. America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, S. Brazil). Can't help with tyres (at least not unless you decide to take an outfit!), but accommodation-wise I guess we have pretty good experience.
We took a tent - I would say our most enjoyable times were camping. The weather was great and the places we camped were superb - maybe it was just good luck. No wild camping, it was all in proper sites which we found to be reasonably well equipped & maintained. We found our sites either on recommendation or via our i-overlander app. In particular, Motocamp in Pucon, Chile was superb at 9000 pesos (approx. £11) per night. One of the cheapest was 5000 pesos a night camping in a vineyard near Vicuna, in the Elqui Valley in the northern part of central Chile.....but the facilities were superb - clean, hot showers, small pool, café and 15 minutes walk to the town centre. The cheapest was nil pesos in Pumalin Parque, a massive nature reserve on the northern part of the Carreterra Austral ( a 'must' road to ride in southern Chile, now slowly being paved) - it was mid-December, just before the season started; the site was open but there was no-one taking money! The most expensive camping was 17,000 Chilean pesos (£19) a night on a remote beach at the edge of the Atacama desert.
We also stayed in a variety of hostels, hotels, hospedajes (a room in a private house) and cabanas (cabins which can be mobile homes, converted shipping containers or larger purpose-built dwellings).
Prices - well, how long is a piece of string? A very good hotel can be around 80,000 Chilean pesos a night, a fair hotel around 35,000 CP, and a reasonable hostel can be 25,000CP.
Accommodation carries a premium down south in Patagonia; we paid around 1000 Argentine pesos (c.£38) for several crappy hotels, and then in the next town we'd get a nice, comfy cabana for the same money! A luxury hotel at Iguazu Falls was 2200AP (£81) a night whilst an old, basic but clean hotel a couple of days later, en-route to Buenos Aires, was 500AP (£18). A well-appointed but smallish cabana overlooking the ocean in Punta del Diablo (Uruguay) was 5220 Uruguayan pesos for 3 nights (c. £43 per night) whilst a rather run-down hotel shortly after in Brazil was 120 reals (£24) complete with bed bugs!
I kept a log of all our accommodations which were over 60 in total. I'd say the good majority we found on spec. rather than pre-booking. We never had a problem getting somewhere to stay and all had secure parking of one sort or another. If I've one recommendation, it's to get the i-overlander app. which has loads of accommodation hits, as well as garages, shops, fuel stations & so on - and you can add your own ones complete with commentary.
Edit - forgot to ask, have you planned a rough route, and for how long are you travelling?
Edit 2 - God, I wish we were back in S. America, I really do, it's amazing in so many ways. It seems like a distant dream, now. I'm envious of you with a trip to look forward to! But, we will be back!
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Re: South America

Post by gbags » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:03 pm

Thanks fellas,

I’ll check those links tomorrow and download ioverlader.

On tyres I think I’m bound to end up slithering around on wet gravel so will certainly need off road tyres. I’ve used Mitas maybe 7’s in Africa and loved them so that’s an option, though they were on an 800.

Good info on camping and hostels too.


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Re: South America

Post by gspod » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:27 pm

Brilliant blog of a 2 up Tiger with huge amount of detail - just google 2-up RTW on a tiger

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Re: South America

Post by gbags » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Thanks gspod. I’ll check it out.

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Re: South America

Post by gbags » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:04 pm

I’ll try later on a laptop.
There’s literally nothing to read on an iPad.

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Re: South America

Post by robson » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 pm

get tkc80 enduro.

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Re: South America

Post by Barcelona Pat » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:18 pm

Mark VP clearly has more up to date info on accommodation than I can offer, as my time down there was a few years back now - but his points very much resonate with me (including the edit 2!!)

As for tyres, again very much a personal thing. For me, much as I like them (and currently running my XT on them), I would avoid TKC80s as I don't think you will get the mileage that you will be looking for in SA. That place is pretty darn big, so you'll want something that you can clock up some miles on - and I agree with Herman, you don't need an out and out knobbly. I ran my XT on Mefo Explorers down there - which did the job - but I also spent some time with a chap from Canada when in Buenos Aires who had ridden all the way down on his GS1200 on the same set of Heidenau K60s. OK, I wouldn't advise that (they were in a bit of a state when I saw them - the bike almost stood upright without a centre stand they were so squared off!) - but he (and others I know) have spoken highly of them, and they certainly will give you some good miles and work well on the roads down there (unless you stray well off the beaten track).

Hope that helps

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