Who has done the Pan Am on motorcycle and can share some helpful tips

Donkey_jaw

Observer
Hey guys. If you have done the Pan Am in Central and South America on motorcycle I have a few questions.

1. Did you stay in motels, camp or do a both?

2. When you camped, how difficult was it to bring everything with you for such a long trip?
-----How did you protect your belongings when you were away with the bike? I know there are locks on the storage boxes and all.
 

jkam

nomadic man
Motels in Central America are cheap enough that you really don't need to camp unless you want to.
South America offers more camping options but I still used motels most of the time.
I had minimal camping gear and it all fit inside one dry bag. I also had a Pacsafe net that I could wrap the whole thing in and secure it to a lot of things.
I had hard boxes on my bike that locked but in the 4 years I rode around outside the US, I never had any problems with theft from the bike.
I would often leave my helmet hanging from a mirror when off the bike for a little while.

An important part of traveling is to have a frame of mind that lets you enjoy the journey instead of fret over everything along the way.
 

Donkey_jaw

Observer
Thanks for the tips. If I did the Pan-Am in different steps, do you think its possible to leave my bike in something similar to a storage locker for months at a time?
 

jkam

nomadic man
Probably, but it will be expensive.
A guy over on Adventure Rider made contact with some people along his way and made arrangements with them to keep his bike until he returned. You make friends along the way and learn about the local customs. Worked out very well for him so you might consider something like that instead.
 

Donkey_jaw

Observer
Depending on my circumstances it may be better for me to do a month at a time and not be rushed. Storage will be the hardest part.
 

jkam

nomadic man
If you are not on Adventure Rider, join.
Then go to the forum with the regions you will be traveling through.
If you can figure out a route that would take you to places that people are willing to help store your bike. you might be able to stitch together a plan.
Maybe have to leave it in storage a time or two but otherwise kept a your new friends homes. Then you get to know the locals, the area and have a much better traveling experience. Especially if you are doing this solo.

A month at a time is hard on you. You barely get into rhythm and are looking to pack up and go home. Try for longer if possible, at least a few months.
 

Donkey_jaw

Observer
Thanks guys.

Jkam, I shouldn't of said a month at a time. If I decided to do the Pan Am on different trips it would be 2+ months at a time.
 

Wiley

Adventurer
The challenge to that plan is the importation, you need to temporarily import the bike into each country as you travel through them. Usually it is a 1-3 month period of time before you need to exit the bike out of the country, so you would need to find out which countries can put the temp import on hold for you if you wanted to leave a bike and fly home.

Due to the difficulties I am not optimistic to this being a real option with struggles and costs unless your only doing it 2 or so times times and can plan where you store ahead of time. If you are planning on doing it in each country I think you should probably rent or buy/sell cheap bikes within a country.
 

zolo

Explorer
You should join both ADVRider and Horizons Unlimited HUBB forum.
Expedition Portal is all but dead for moto stuff.

The Americas and Pan Am trips are common and tons of riders are doing them and on the road now posting up. Horizons Unlimited FB page is also really good for current info and folks posting up about Pan Am trips.

Biggest thing is to keep in mind just how big South America is. Riding the actual Pan american down here is boring as hell. The back roads and more remote routes are much better. Us the Pan Am as a guide and treat each country as its own trip. Just my opinion.
 
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