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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there folks.

I'm planning at trip to the world cup in Brazil in 2014 and I'd like to know which bike would be the better one to take.

After seeing the Mondo Enduro stuff I was thinking the DR would be the way to go given it's simple and nothing bad happens when you drop it (versus the Wee where parts fall off), cus I don't ride very well off the pavement and the Wee is not that off road friendly versus the DR350 in that sort of riding.

But I spoke to a fellow yesterday who said its 98% pavement down to that part of the world and the Wee would be the better choice given it has more power and is more comfortable.

I don't know our route yet or very much about the roads down there. I imagine we will be staying on the main route given we only have 3 months to go down and back and we are travelling from norther BC Canada.

Any suggestions....?

ps: the DR is a '96 with 8000 miles and the Wee is a '09 with 16000 miles.
 

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ride each of them for 100 miles one day and then decide for yourself.

put shinko 705's on the wee after you decide to take that one. good on gravel.
 

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Sounds like a KLR650 might be a better choice for you if you want a road worthy dirt bike.
 

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KLR or DR650 is what you want in my opinion.
 

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Take the Wee!!

I have lived and toured in South America...

DR (or any true Dual Sport) Pros:
-Will fit in with the locals
-Adequate for typical speeds (<80 kph/50 mph)
-Great in the cities
-Any local mechanic will know what he's dealing with and you will likely find parts...

DL Pros:
-Much more comfortable
-Much more suited for the longer stretches between cities
-Will handle 99.9% of roads (unless you go looking for the off-road/marginal road short cut...like entering Brazil through Peru/Porto Velho in the Amazon)

DL Cons:
-You'll be noticed, especially outside the larger cities...
-Will be a hand full in city traffic...not unmanageable but you'll be more like a car and won't be as nimble as the locals on their 125's

Were it me (and I hope it will be soon), I would take the Strom for this type of trip. Even for a more off-road oriented trip, I would consider taking the DL down and beg/borrowing/renting a DR/XR/XT for the actual dual-sporting part of the trip. Little Dual Sports (under 250 cc) are everywhere and not hard to rent, borrow, or buy&resell.
 

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I take it you've driven in that part of the world before.
I lived in Brazil, and driving there would be a bit of a shock for someone from BC.
Research the route carefully; there are some areas along the way that are less than friendly.

I concur with whoever said KLR650, especially an older one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nope never been south of the US so it will be a new experience for sure.

So the Wee it will bee.... thanks for the intel and tips folks. The other rider in the crew is riding a wee so we should be good.

I sold my KLR to buy the Wee and I bought the DR for the back road riding I like to do close to home.

Take care!
 

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Good luck.

Do your research on Mexico, and avoid large cities in Brasil; actually probably everywhere you go. I haven't been down there since the nineties, but it was pretty bad back then for the obvious tourists. Some of the people I was working with got mugged three times in 20 minutes. If you blend in and speak the language(s) without an english accent, you should be fine. (You do speak spanish and portuguese, right?)

Spray paint your bikes flat-black before leaving, and scratch them up nice and good. Alternatively, you can drop them a few times in the US, and drive them through a bit of forest fire; you should be good to go after that.

I hope this isn't your first big trip; Alaska and back should be your weekly training for the ride you're planning, because by comparison, that's a trip to the grocery store...

(From a guy with over a million kilometres under his belt who hasn't done his Alaska to Tierra del fuego trip because he isn't ready yet)

Oh, will you be attending this event before you leave?
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/CanWest2011.php

AS far as the bike goes, like I said; a KLR is the best, or you could do the long way Beemer thing too, lol (the beemer was a joke, you wouldn't make it through Mexico with that).

Also, whoever said it was 98% paved was right, but the other 2% is amazonian jungle. Your wee will have a lot of fun with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Krykee that's some big ticket items to consider for sure.

No this won't be my first long distance trip on the Wee, checking out New Mexico in a couple of week (about 5000 miles one way), not really comparible I know but something. I installed pull back risers and will have to get a better seat for sure. I"ve checked out WA, OR, CA, UT, ID, WY, MO (Montana), CO on my cruiser for 50 000 miles in the last 5 years but again nothing like travel south of the US border I'm sure.

Well I'm hoping a good dose of mud will do the spray paint trick as an alternative. Good point I'll need to take some spanish lessons although my riding partners know the language.

I checked out Horizion's Unlimited in Nakusp BC last year, very informative and well set up for the AD riding folks.

Hmmm 2% Amazonian jungle eh, I know the Wee and I won't be liking that too much, thus the thought of taking the DR, but alas. Yes the KLR seems like the ride ride for sure.

I imagine I could get away with HWY tires to the US/Mexican border then I should change them up to a 75/25 like the Shinko 705's for the rest of the way.
 

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Don't let ducky scare you...

Things are a LOT better in most of SA than they were in the 90's (Mexico is the exception). I lived/toured in Colombia in the 90's...believe me, its WAY better. Even in the Amazon it is passable by 4X4 (in the dry season) and not really trail riding. I would go down the west coast Peru, Chile, etc. and cross over to Brazil further South...but, crossing at Porto Velho would be a more "Mondo" adventure (lots of dirt/gravel/mud roads...but roads no the less).

A KLR wouldn't give you anything over your DR, so I'd say its between the 2 bikes you have. The trip will be adventurous enough sticking to the main routes, so I think you are right on with the wee.

Yes, there is crime...but like most places in the world, most are good people. As far as Alaska being a warm-up, OK...but not that much different. Actually, there are a lot more places on the way to Alaska that are more remote than anyplace you'll go in SA unless you are TRYING to blaze a trail across virgin Jungles. Every two bit town on any SA highway will have a restaurant, a mechanic (of sorts), a welder, a tire guy, etc. The locals are traveling all the time on rickety old machines held together by inner tube rubber and wire...you'll make it through.

Spanish/Portuguese is nice, but if you are friendly and adventurous its not necessary. Study up a little before you go, take a phrase book, practice charades...

In short, go for it. Plan prudently, but if it was easy, it wouldn't be an adventure! Many people before you have done it, but be careful...it is contagious! You might want to take a ferry to S. Africa and keep on trucking!
 

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A friend of mine who goes by the moniker Misery Goat on ADV, is in the middle of his ride. You might want to check out his ride report over on that other site. He's a good writer and a great photographer. And is on a KTM 950 SE.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank Gitana, I did a search over on ADrider and I found his paga and his story about the 2010 ride but nothing current, can you send me a link...?

Thanks!
 

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Thank Gitana, I did a search over on ADrider and I found his paga and his story about the 2010 ride but nothing current, can you send me a link...?

Thanks!
Nothing current; I hope his trip wasn't cut short by banditos ;)
 

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A little local knowledge

Does the DR require premium fuel? I found it was not always available, at least outside the big cities, in Honduras in February 2011. And be prepared for sticker shock on gas, which was about $12 per gallon if my math serves. And, yes, the Carrera Principal is indeed paved. Sort of. With concrete that has a surface little short of corrugated.

And yes, there are thousands of 125s on the road, but I only saw three bikes over that size: a ZX-6 and two Harleys (in the rich section of Tegucigalpa).

Regardless, go. Have a blast.
 

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The Wee is so under-rated. I rode my Wee, "Lobo Rojo", from Colorado to Tierra del Fuego and it handled everything I threw at it. For the southern part of Peru, through Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, "Lobo Rojo" kept up just fine through the roughest parts of the trip with an African Twin, f650gs and an 100GS. We forged rivers, deep sand, gravel, etc etc etc. Best of it all, compared to the other guys I was with, I had the more comfortable ride.

The kind of tires you use makes a big difference. While in South America, I wasn't able to find the correct size tires that didn't need to be ordered, that were not expensive and didn't take 3 weeks to get. So I ended up downsizing to the next smaller tire - Pirelli MT60's. These changed the handling of the bike for the better. Not only do they have bite for the loose stuff, they handled well on pavement and made a heavy bike feel lighter with a quicker side to side swerving (handy on those pothole riddled paved roads). The MT60's available in the USA are not the same as those offered in SA. The price was very reasonable too. IIRC, $60 for the front and $100 for the rear.

Have fun! I am jealous. Can't wait for my next trip to SA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey thanks for the great heads up.

I was hoping to test the comfort of my Wee out on my latest ride to New Mexico (I know not much of a challenge off road) but turned out my wiring harness was fried so its waiting for a replacement so I had to take my Vulcan cruiser. Still was a good time but didn't see any dirt.

Cheers!
 

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I'm moving to Brazil next month and bringing my Wee with me. I was in Brasília a couple months ago and saw a few Vees and Wees around. Hoping to connect with some ADV riders once I get settled.

I'll be posting ride reports once I start doing something interesting.

Will follow you via threads.

Boa sorte!
 
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