Posted in Tours on May 05, 2019
We all have heard the words: "having no plan, is the best plan"... well, at some extent the feeling of freedom of this eternal phrase might grasp the appealing side for many, but then you step out the door with no decided destination, nor a defined route or a time frame. Yes, of course, you count with unlimited resources, no timeframe to adhere yourself to, and you are used to a frugal lifestyle for the last couple of years. If this is your case, then read no further, but if not, I would like to point out a few key aspects for a successful stress-free motorcycle ride considering just a couple of planning basics.
This can be divided into various factors to consider, like territory, weather, emergency response and riding seasons. Some of the most beautiful landscapes are hidden with only backroad access to them. Third order roads can seriously reduce your daily riding length, but so worth it if you compare it with the things you'll be able to see that not many outsiders have. That being said, and especially in the Andes is a common mistake to think that since is just a couple of hundred kilometers, you should be able to do them before sunset. Specialized blogs like https://www.pikipikioverland.com/ are open with vast information about the route you are planning to ride along with tips about what motorcycle worked out the best, type of tires, fuel stop agenda, etc. Should you wish to cover lots of kilometers in the shortest time possible, in Ecuador we have the Panamerican highway that takes you from North to South in a relatively short timeframe. The roads to West and East are always in mint condition as one of the main country incomes is tourism, hence the paramount of road maintenance. Needless to say that some phone GPS apps are the perfect company especially in remote places where no roaming is accessible nor mobile data. So make sure that you have downloaded the maps needed for your next leg for this offline helpers whilst you have good WiFi connectivity. In short, plan ahead.
Another factor to consider that is countries like Ecuador for instance, do not have a fixed season a year. Therefore, make sure you do the respective analysis before purchasing your flight ticket. Ecuador is a great place to ride as you have all three worlds (Amazonas, Pacific Coast, and the Andes) reachable in a small time frame. But by being on the Equator, its sudden changes in weather can happen at any time of the day. These are not drastic changes but is not strange to find yourself riding in light rain and then in a beautiful sunny clear sky just around the corner.
Being in a different country intel different environment and supply chain. If it has been decided to spend up to a month on the road, then the considerations can be held to a minimum. However, if the plan is to go away for a very long time, proper research is needed in terms of supplies for you and your motorcycle. Sometimes what we consider cheap universal spares, things can be fitted in a scooter or in a war tank, happens to be not that common around the globe and then you find yourself in a situation where you need to adapt in the best scenario or worse, import that spare and spend days or weeks waiting for it.
Yes, in summary: money. Your lifestyle dictates a lot your adventure standard as well. Are you planning for cheap hotels along the way, is it ok with you to ride long hours, park your motorcycle and make up your sleeping tent having no roof but clear skies filled with stars? Planning your budget will give you a better insight into the adventure quality you are about to have. If the idea is to simply ride without the need of work to fill up your pockets again, make sure that the money you leave with will be enough to cover a possible contingency on the way.
Food is also a matter of importance. On short rides, I encourage you to try the local cuisine. On a motorcycle road trip you have the obvious advantage to step on the side of the road to try new flavors and how easy is to find a parking spot in crowded cities where you found that restaurant you so much read about. Then again, don't risk your stomach health as this is one of the things that can make your ride very uncomfortable. In the case of our tours, we have designed them so that our food stops allow you to experience the local flavors without getting sick in the process.
Are you riding by yourself? if not, is it one motorcycle or more? Consider splitting some expenses to prolong your joy.
A great truth is that the perfect motorcycle for your adventure is the one you have already, for instance, I rode once from Ecuador to Ushuaia in my Ducati Diavel as this was what I had then and I wasn't planning to sell it to find "the ideal bike". If you don't have one yet, then you have the chance to rent different models for the time you need to test it and around the terrain, you think you'll be riding the most to see if it's your fit. This will save you also the whole waiting time and paperwork to send your motorcycle from one point to another and to bring it back.
Is not the same feeling to ride a small engine bike on the dirt than a big adventure model like the Honda Africa Twin. Other mid-size models could be a great option like the hard to kill Suzuki DR 650, or Kawasaki KLR 650. Maybe for you being on asphalt is your thing and might find a 300cc engine way too short. Hence the importance to give it a fair chance to find that combination of your riding likes with the bike for the job.
This basic number combines all other aspects. Self-questions to be made like: is my riding schedule doable?, can I cope with X amount of motorcycle hours a day, and for how many days in a row? then again, do I have the budget to cover my full expenses with a little extra in my pocket in case of an emergency and how much time I have to solve the issue? am I planning to reach my final goal in one single go or do I have my legs well planned?.
If the case is that you are just starting with this passionate way of travel, the best way to go is to take it easy. Find yourself a country that calls your attention, gain some experience in a place away from home under the logistics of a responsible motorcycle tour planners and learn from what they use, their gear, leg lengths, the fact that you can try different motorcycle models and see what fits best to you. in Ecuador Bike Rental we offer you the self-guided option based on a pre-programmed GPS that will allow you to play a little bit with your day by day, knowing for sure that your accommodation at the end of the day is already fixed and that they'll be waiting for your. As mentioned before, select your time frame, choose your motorcycle and ride along with your trip planned ahead. One thing is for sure, don't miss out to lose your best years for riding and that time has arrived.