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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm toying with the idea of, in a year or so, taking a one-way trip from Southern Oregon to Quito, Ecuador (about 4200 miles in a little over a month). Here are my questions:

1. I have a 1981 Suzuki GS550T and obviously I'm going to have to make sure it's in top shape, but is this a good bike to take such a long trip with or should I start looking for a different one?

2. I've found "super-duty" moto covers, but are there any I can actually use to lock up my motorcycle and all inside? Perhaps one that can only be opened with a key and can't be punctured by a knife?
 

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Not a bad bike, (I had one) but I think you would be better off with a semi-dual-sport bike - something that would handle poor/dirt roads much better. Think Kawasaki KLR650, Honda XL650, etc. I think a V-STrom would be ok, too. Even if you intend to stay strictly on the paved roads, they can be pretty bad in the 3rd world...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"they can be pretty bad in the 3rd world..."

Just as far as reliability or it what sense?

Yeah, the bike does have a lot of trouble with dirt. That's not even something I thought about. Thanks for pointing it out.
 

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Right, the roads. A little more suspension is in order to soak up potholes, etc. I'm a Honda guy, but I would probably go with the KLR just because they have been around FOREVER and parts are easy to find - also they are probably a little cheaper to buy used. There were virtually no changes at all until the last 2 years; even now, the engine is the same.
 

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question - do you have any friends in Mexico who can ride with you?? might be a very good idea in that country. you know what they call the bridges that run from Texas over to northern Mex? El Puente del Diablo.

dT
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thumpower - thanks for the info and insight. The trip won't be for quite some time, so I have time to think about it.

distantThunder - I don't. Thanks for the consideration, but to be honest, as far as danger goes, Mexico is probably the least of my worries (except maybe California and Oregon lol). I have made that crossing quite a few times and haven't seen any real danger. I plan to go through in Tecate on the border of California, which has seen almost no drug related violence. Once I get passed the border towns, I should be out of the woods until I get to southern Mexico.

The real terror will be in Columbia and Honduras, which currently has the highest murder rate in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A second rider is never a bad idea for safety, but I'm more worried about my bike making it all the way there.
 

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well ... as a practical solution. suggest that you ride your bike on a really long cross-country within the USA - before heading for Ecuador. it would be good to get to know your bike for the long hauls anyway.

here's the problem with Mexico.
suppose your bike breaks down somewhere on the road in Mex.
now you are stuck in whatever town you happen to be passing thru. And you will be there until some parts can be ordered and a repair done. By the way - who exactly will be doing this repair.

read this web page and take a look thru some of the recent articles.
the problems are mostly in northern Mexico, but they can happen in a lot of places.

www.borderlandbeat.com

dT
 

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Also, In a year or so, the whole system could have changed, so yes, ok on your planning, but allow for X country to decide to invade Y country and change route accordingly.
 

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Hey all,

I'm toying with the idea of, in a year or so, taking a one-way trip from Southern Oregon to Quito, Ecuador (about 4200 miles in a little over a month). Here are my questions:

1. I have a 1981 Suzuki GS550T and obviously I'm going to have to make sure it's in top shape, but is this a good bike to take such a long trip with or should I start looking for a different one?

2. I've found "super-duty" moto covers, but are there any I can actually use to lock up my motorcycle and all inside? Perhaps one that can only be opened with a key and can't be punctured by a knife?

1
ANY bike can be a good bike to make a trip on. If its in good condition, your familiar with it and its well maintained - ride it anywhere.

Read about his guy:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/tx-south-america-2up-ninja-54299

He rode a 250 Ninja from Texas to the tip of South America....2UP.

My advice.....get comfortable with your bike. Take the wheels off.....learn how to change tires/tubes.......how to repair the chain and replace sprockets.......where are the fuses/wiring etc.

Then Id put a dual sport type tire on the GS550 and take off - I think it'd be plenty capable of most dirt road action that would be required. Before high dollar dirt bikes and dual sports there were people riding Jap standards all over the place......if its what you have, make it work.

I run Shinko 705s on my BMW GS and KLR 650 - great tire for 90 street/10 dirt. Its capable on gravel, dirt, fire roads,sand etc. Pretty much can go anywhere I want except mud.....you need REAL dirt bike tires to go like hell in the mud. But I can blast down the gravel/dirt roads at 80mph on a KLR with them......so they should get you anywhere you need to go on that Suzuki. They also stick darn good on the pavement, wet or dry.....and last pretty decent. Its only one of many options.....look around.



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No.....there arent. If its a "cover" it can be cut or hacked into. When your traveling your stuff/gear stays with you......never leave anything you cant loose on the bike. My bags/panniers come off and go into the tent/room with me.
 

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you need to find gas stations, set an itinerary and follow it explicitly....
I have always loved to see ecuador, and do some archyological digging there!
I live in S. WA.
 
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