RTW riders, many things have being said about riders doing the entire trip on the same motorcycle, shipping it when they need to get to different continents. But is it necessarily the best way? We took snapshots from people who’s done it, and done it well. And many of the things they say are indeed valid points.

Is choosing different bikes for different places the best way to travel RTW? At the very least, it’s an alternative that is worth considering. Here are 4 reasons why:

Cutting costs

1. Cutting Costs: Elisa Wirkala, a RTW rider currently preparing for her Australia to Europe ride, did South America on a Honda GL125, Europe on a KLE500, North America on a Kawasaki KLR650, and Australia on a KL250 Sherpa. She now has a Suzuki DR650 waiting for her in Bali. According to Elisa, getting a different motorcycle for different legs of her RTW trip is saving her money.

I’ve rarely lost money on my wheeling and dealing of international motorcycles,” says Elisa Wirkala. “My first KLR650 was sold for the same amount I purchased it for, a year later. My second KLR actually made me a few hundred bucks after riding it across North America, while my KL250 in Australia I broke even on. The only bike I lost significant money on was my KLE500 in Europe, which I ended up losing about $600 bucks on. But if you factor in all the savings of having to ship bikes overseas, I definitely came out ahead. And the little Honda GL125 I rode up from Santiago de Chile for a mere $1,200 brand new? It’s tucked away safely in my parents’ shed, (and enjoying sneaky-joyrides when I’m home visiting!)” says Elisa.

Adapting to terrains

2. Adapting to terrains “Getting different bikes lets me choose motorcycles that are suited to the environment. Do I really want a bike that stands out like a sore thumb in Central America, when I’m riding alone? Wouldn’t I feel a bit better on a bike that blends in? It also gives me the peace of mind that if something doesn’t work out, I can sell a local bike much more easily and head home (though that hasn’t happened yet),” adds Elisa.


Do it if you like to experiment with different bikes for different purposes. Big, heavy motorcycles will work great for long distances and lots of pavement. On the other hand, smaller, lighter bikes will be fantastic for a lot of technical dirt riding. Additionally, smaller, cheaper bikes are also easier to fix anywhere in the world. This is due to the higher availability of parts and local mechanics being familiar with them. Think about it if you don’t want to risk getting your brand new KTM or BMW stolen or damaged. Also, consider it if you don’t have the time or the patience to cover long, boring hauls (e.g., riding across Kazakhstan to get to Mongolia or sprinting through Chile just so you can make it to Ushuaia on time).

Forget it if you have a sentimental attachment or bond with your bike. Also, if you tend to heavily customize your bikes with aftermarket suspension, performance, protection, and ergonomics modifications. This may not be possible in certain places.


3. Patchwork RTW riders Zee’s formula of a RTW trip is patchwork adventures: buy or rent a motorcycle locally, explore a country or a region thoroughly, then fly home and start planning the next adventure. Dan Zee, an adventure traveler from Vermont, has covered a lot of ground already: having done multiple rides in the Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia, Dan is now planning new motorcycling adventures in Northern Africa, Central Asia and Mongolia. “I don’t want to go on a continuous round the world trip on the same bike, though. I prefer to thoroughly research one specific continent or country that I want to visit. Then, I get a bike that best fits the purpose of the ride, and I go. However, after a month or two, I’m happy to go back home. There, I can rest, catch up with work, and then plan my next adventure.

RTW doesn’t have to be done in only one formula,” says Dan. Sleipnir Ecuador Bike Rental has the best motorcycles for your adventure in Ecuador. Regardless you plan to hit the Panamerican highway and remain on paviment, or hit back roads, we have the bike for you. If you don’t feel to safe, or just don’t have the time to arrange all the logistics for your adventure, let us present you our Guided Tours and Self Guided Tours.

Skipping the Bureaucracy

4. Skipping the Bureaucracy Part of every RTW riders traveler’s routine, however tedious, is paperwork. GGetting your bike insured for every country or continent can be a headache. Getting it ready for customs and shipping is also another challenge. If you’re planning to ride in Asia and Africa, you’re also going to have to take care of your bike’s carnet de passage (CDP). The CDP is a document ensuring you won’t sell your motorcycle in a foreign country. This means parting with a few hundred dollars for the document itself and leaving a bond with the issuing agency (usually the value of your bike).

So RTW riders if you have a brand-new BMW, that might amount to $10,000 or more – and sure, you get that money back when you return, but it’s a risk. In addition, if you’re traveling to places where they require a higher bond, you’re in for a whole lot of cash: according to Suki Duhaney, CDP specialist of the “Classic Automotive Relocation Services” (CARS), it’s all about your destination. “Say you’re traveling on a Honda Africa Twin DCT 750, made in 2008. For most countries in Africa, your CDP deposit will be about $4,000 (the worth of your bike).

But if you plan to go to Egypt, which requires a bond the size of 400% worth of your motorcycle, you’re looking to put down about $16,000 as a bond. You are refunded this amount once you’re back from your journey, of course,” says Suki. So even though this is the money you sort of freeze, rather than spend, it’s still a significant amount that not all travelers can just set aside.


For Ecuador, the rules for insurance apply as well. However, they’re not as aggressive as in other places. But it is still a hassle that you will have to deal with as RTW. For that reason, and obviously thinking of your safety first, we have our bikes all insured and ready to roll at all times.

One part of logistics you won’t have to deal with. However your decision might be as the adventure rider you are, Sleipner Bike Rental is here to offer you support. Our friends from South Africa, Great Britain, United States, Canada, etc. can testify to this.


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