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Motorcycle Adventure Travel Sites
One of the best places to find information for travelling, read other's experiences and seek help. Some Adventurers prefer to completely jump into the unknown with no maps and no knowledge of other's experiences and, they will truly have an adventure and will stumble on some truly interesting things. I believe that some prepartion will provide a richer experience overall for those who have not learned how to adapt in rugged circumstances like Navy Seals or, they are old (both like me)
While a rich source of information, remember, it is the internet and there will be a lot of opinions masquerading as facts.
The biggest with the most members, Adventure Rider solely in a forum format
The other larger site with a greater % of membership in Brittan and Europe is Horizons Unlimited with a lot of articles and their Forum The HUBB Some good Moto-Traveler articles. Also, check out their meetings - very informative.
For Mexico, here are a couple of handy sites produced by the National Gas Station chain, Pemex
Guía Pemex - Find gas stations, and a few hotels, restaurants, etc in Mexico
Viaja con Pemex - Trip planner for Mexico
Other people's trips
I found reading stories about other's adventures gave me a lot of information to make my trips as rich as possible. Books and videos are a bit more polished but Ride Reports are generally pretty current and you can travel with the writer.
Some of the Ride Reports I have enjoyed:
Peter and Kay Forwood - 15 years around the world on a Harley - 610,000 km
Crashmaster - Offered a couple of years leave by his employer, Vinnie jumped on his KTM and went to South America. A great read. Title of his Ride Report is "No Fumar Espanol" (I don't smoke Spanish) which phrase I used a couple of times myself
Misery Goat - Quit a good job and went travelling. Great read, good music and great videos.
Ulyses - Finished a couple of tours in Afganastan in the Marines and did a trip to South America at the same time I was. Great adventure.
Radioman - Doing an around the world tour and was a bit ahead of me on his Latin American legs
RoadHD - Guy jumps on his Harley and rides to South America. No real motorcycle riding experience. Thought he was nuts at first but a great adventure. Oh, then went on to ride Africa on his Harley. Huge Kahones
igorshen - Riding a KLR, had a great Latin American experience.
moto-treks - Like me, retired and started travelling. I even relied on some of his itinerary in Ecuador he did with his wife.
There are so many more to choose from. Check out the two big repositories of Ride Reports:
Forcasting the weather is like understanding women . . . whoever attempt to do either will end up just looking silly. However, I do find it useful to keep an eye on short-term forcasts for some areas
Weather Underground - My favorite
Accuweather - Pretty good also and sometimes more information than Wunderground
Much of Latin America is near the equator and tends to be less impacted by seasons and more by rainy periods or, rainy season. This will manifest itself in more slides, flooding, fog and muddy roads. Not the end of the world, just worth being aware of.
World Weather and Climate is a great site to get more info on what to expect weatherwise in specific areas.
I am not a photographer. Taking the time to get a good shot is worthwhile. Taking lots of pictures of one thing will lead to a better probability of success. Every once in awhile I get lucky and actually end up with a decent pic.
Here is the gear I carried
Canon EOS T3i - With a 18 - 135 zoom lens. Takes nice photos and very versatile but, bulky, not quickly accessable and have to be careful of security issues
Canon PowerShot S100 - My go-to camera. Takes good quality photos and can get at it fast
GoPro - I used this for most videos taken until recently. Remote is sporadic and I stopped using that device. Not great for single shots as the lens is fairly wide angle. The new versions of GoPro continue to be the standard but I was dissatisfied with the lack of a decent remote and the very short battery life of the new versions.
Drift Ghost S - My replacement video camera for the GoPro. Has a good remote, long battery life and a full sized screen on the camera. Can even be linked with your smart phone and controlled from there. One of the features I really like is looping - at the press of the remote, it will save the last x minutes and record the next 2x minutes. With many smaller files to review (at 6 minutes each) rather than hours of video to wade through, I am more likely to be able to readily put my finger on interesting footage. Easy to also take individual photos using the remote - great for places you can't stop. Great improvement over GoPro.
Learning how to take photos
Here are a couple of websites I found helpful in trying to figure this art out.
Digital Photography School - A lot of really good free info
Ken Rockwell - Another source of good free info
There is nothing worse than having your laptop die, break or get stolen and you loose all of your priceless photos, diaries and anything else important. Your memories are gone - that can put a real damper on the trip.
I carried a 1 Terabyte portable hard drive with me. I would regularly transfer my pics there. At least I have a copy if my laptop is gone. Won't be any protection if everything is stolen. I see the 1 TB version now sells for $70 and 2 TB can be had for $100. Fairly small and easy to carry.
I've heard of other people buying stacks of SD cards (which are getting relatively inexpensive), filling them with their pics and mailing them home
SmugMug - A great place to store photos. Easy to upload, easy to organize, easy to share and unlimited storage. I use it to hold pics I may use in my Ride Reports. Simple to upload pictures and grab the code to insert into the report. Since it has unlimited storage, I use it to back up all of my digital photos in a private (ie: nobody else can access it) file. $40 a year and well worth it. Go here to sign up.
DropBox - I use this to store important documents I may need to access at anytime on the road or at home. Everything from frequently updated documents like spreadsheets or Diaries to copies of all my personal documents I may need to access sometime. Synchronized between all my computers and my Smartphone. I use the free version which gives me 2GB of storage. Go here to sign up.
Still under construction
Last updated May 12, 2014