Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Considering Biking South America........

It´s looking like I may have to return from South America sooner than expected to fulfill upcoming promotional obligations for RSD.

That being the case, I´m toying with the idea of using the return to the States as a chance to learn how to ride motorcycles.

That way I could return in fourth quarter 2007, fully mobile.

I was tripping around on the Greek islands last year with the crew -- using MOPEDS... LOL.... High powered stuff... It was awesome though.

I´m understanding Spanish better since I´ve been down here, but before doing a hardcore trip like that I´d also want to be decently fluent.

Do any of you guys ride? How long does it take to pick it up? What´s biking South America like?

Gotta see if I´m able to pull this off or if it´s unrealistic. I´ll keep you updated.



Anonymous said...

After about six months of motorcycle riding you should be pretty comfortable. The thing that takes the most time is not learning to ride, but embedding the skills subconciously.

When I first learned to ride, I used to be mentally EXHAUSTED after about a half hour because I was having to concentrate so hard on everything going on around me, etc.

I've been riding about five years now, riding a 600cc supersport right now, it's very, very awesome.

So, go for it! :)

Cobra said...

Hey Tyler,

Travel and motorcycles are my two biggest passions and I have seen about half the world so far. Right now I am actually preparing for a big trip this summer myself (maybe Europe-Capetown or Europe-China?)

The first thing you absolutely HAVE to get is the "Adventure Motorcycling Handbook" by Chris Scott. Covers everything from paperwork, routes, which bike to choose, trip reports etc.
As far as web ressources go, check out and These are the absolute best sites and will have all the info you need.

This should be a great adventure and you are in for a lot of fantastic experiences as well as challenges - especially if you haven't driven in South America before and are new to motorcycles.

You will find that several people do it every year, and the Alaska-Tierra del Fuego (Chile) route is very popular.

I have been to every country between the US and Bolivia, split up in several trips. For the whole Americas I would allow myself at least 3 - 4 months. Since you are a newbie rider and probably haven't seen many of the countries en-route, I would say BA-LA in about 3 months.

If you get really serious about this and have more specific questions post them here on the blog or PM me on the forum. Username Cobra.

Since I know you like to read, too, one of the coolest bike travel books is "Jupiters travels" by Ted Simon.


airbuzzer said...

If I were you I would take a rider safety class. It teaches you alot before you get into a lot of bad habits and could save your life. I started off with a smaller bike (kawasaki 454ltd) so I could learn the basics and get good at them. I practiced up and down my driveway for about 3 weeks. What I didn't know is that its actually harder to go slow on a bike than it is to go fast. But it was a good way to learn. I best advice I got it when you going around a corner you lean instead of turning the handle bars. So if you going left around a corner then you press the left handle bar until your leaning. While your going around a corner you look at the end of the corner. You always look where you want to end up. If you look at the gravel on the side of the road then your probably going to end up there. Good luck, I road for two years and loved it. Here in wisconsin you have the bluffs and the winding roads. And I might add, perfect weather unless it's humid, not to warm and not to cold during the summer.

brainfreez said...

Ha great post

Little lifestyle snippets like this are jus as cool as the more hardcore stuff you post, good to feel somebody living the dream so well :D



Anonymous said...

Car & Driver or some other auto magazine had an article about biking through S. America. Search their website. Looks like fun.

However in the US, bikes aren't as numerous like they are in other parts of the world, which is why drivers in the US are oblivious to motorcyclists and prone to running them over. Motorcyclists don't register in the reality of the average US driver.

Recreationally, cycles are fine, but you'll run into 1 or 2 close calls per week if you use a motorcycle as your primary means of transport in the US. Your number will come up faster depending on how much mileage you do, and there's no such thing as a minor accident on a motorcycle that you can walk away from.

Bikes are similar to unprotected sex. Both are fun and risky except one is exponentially riskier.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tyler,

you can pick up biking really quick. The most complicated thing is to learn to use the clutch which you activate with your fingers, but that's pretty fast.

You should do some training on how to avoid obstacles, the typicl training includes having to break fast and then do two quick curves.

I don't know how regulations are in Canada regarding driving license. In Europe you first get a driving license with which you only can drive motor cycles with a limited horse power. After two years you can then update to a full license.


Trance said...

Tyler, when I read this post, I thought of the movie 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. If you haven't seen it, watch it! [viewing it is a spiritual experience by itself]

I also wanted to say after reading The Game, meeting with Style personally, and buying Style's AM, nothing and 'I mean nothing' can even come close to what you have taught me.

You guys have unplugged me from The Matrix and my flipped my reality 180.

And I hate you guys for it! You guys suck! You guys are the devil incarnate!

And I love it :-)


Anonymous said...

youll have no problem im sure,- but helmets really mess with long hair .

ps anything under 400cc isnt a bike;)

Anonymous said...

Awesome advice!

I've been considering doing this the past year or so after I watched 'the motorcycle diaries' and was stoked when Tyler asked me if I'd consider it this fall/winter. Any specifics you guys have then I'm all ears.

living the legend,


p.s. agreed. After two years of competing in the Baja 500- anything under 400cc will not be allowed.

Anonymous said...

this is not related to the article.

I was at the LA supercoference and i seriouly wanted my money back but when i heard TD and Jeffy give their seminar they took it to the next fu***** Level. I attend with my brother and he pay for both of us but i asked him what are we going to learn if everything is in the internet? he did not respond so i go fu*** it lest go. that Seminar change my whole out look. not just about pick up but how to be positive and change my inner self for the better.the messeage was keep reading positive material and progress. The Whole RSD has my respect because For TD To tell us stay positive and keep Moving Forward is Worth a trillion dollars. I personaly can think that someone coming from the community would just want to market their material and not care of what we think. He is a motivational speaker and we got to read between the lines. I got to give it up to the Whole RSD for helping us grow as a person not just to be superficial.

P.S. the reason i wrote this comment here bc i can not open a new thread in the RSD Forum!!!

$matteo said...

Don't do it.

You really need a good six months to a year in familiar known terrain before you're ready for a thousand miles of foreign road.

After that, hit it!! I've toured Bulgaria, Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, the states and have been riding for 20 years now.

With that said, the two most dangerous aspects of motorcycles are the first 6 months and oncoming traffic making a LEFT HAND TURN.

That single situation is responsible for 65% of motorcycle accidents. Treat every car making an oncoming left-hand turn as one that could KILL YOU. Always assume you're invisible.

If you're in a motorcycle accident, it's ALWAYS YOUR FAULT. ALWAYS. If that doesn't make sense, you should never touch a bike.

$Matteo said...

Just wanted to add a couple more points..

ALL new motorcyclists will run into a couple of major issues their first year.

1) You'll go into a turn on a two lane road with too much speed and either veer into the other lane OR hit the guard rail.

2) You'll hit a major pothole or a boulder and it will feel like the Handlebars are being ripped from your hands.

3) A car will try to change lanes into you.

4) You will have to maneuver a patch of gravel, hay, or some other unstable surface and lose some traction on the road.

5) If you ride in the country, you will have to navigate around an animal obstacle at the last second.

6) The adrenaline will be such a new high that you're prone to want to gun it more often than an experienced rider.

All these things are par for the course and no big deal when you know what's up BUT the first time is always the most dangerous and many many people go down their first year.

I really think all riders should practice on the SAME roads for the first six months so the terrain can be analyzed, predicted, and understood..

Last point is remember, if you go down in a foreign country, you will probably receive substandard care and they will err on the side of amputating vs. trying to save appendages.

Riding has been one of my greatest passions for 20 years since 13 but you really want to be in it for life.

I can't accept dropping my bike as an option.


Anonymous said...

omg please dont tell me the book is coming out in the 4th quarter

Anonymous said...

Riding a motorcycle is soooo much fun! If you have the desire..go for it.

If you can already drive a stick, you have a big head start.

Definitely take a MSF course. Learn good habits from the start.