Road warrior?

So, to motorcycle through South America or not, that is the question?

· Bloody exciting!
· Once in a lifetime
· Some, but not many, will ever do it in their lifetime
· Did I say “bloody exciting”?

· A little cliche perhaps?
· Dangerous (or is that a pro?)
· Lots of red tape

That last point is the issue I need to do the most research on. If I could buy a bike tomorrow and know that I could travel the length and breadth of South America with no border crossing issues I’d do it in a flash. The pros far outweigh the cons as far as I’m concerned. At the moment living for the present is all that I have, and the present would be made inordinately more exciting with a motorcycle between my legs and a continent to traverse.

But yeah, that red tape… Thankfully for the wonders of the interweb I have all this information on buying bikes in South America and riding across borders …etc. But in fact I almost have too much information, and some of it conflicting… and then you factor in the rural police corruption in certain countries and the difficulty that can add. At the moment I really don’t know the least painful (ie. least expensive) way of making this happen.

Four basic options:

  1. Buy a bike in Argentina, and submit/pay for relevant paperwork to be able to take the bike out of Argentina. Not sure this can happen without owning the bike for a year first.
  2. Bus/fly to Chile, where apparently the whole process is much easier.
  3. Buy a US registered bike from a rider ending their trip in Buenos Aires. Means a second hand, hard ridden bike, but maybe a bargain.
  4. Fly to the US, buy a bike, start from there and head south.

And against those four options, there’s the following criteria to factor in:

  • Reliability of bike – being a bike novice, need some help on that.
  • Legislation – ownership, insurance, ability to take across borders.
  • Overall cost – for the bike and all associated costs.

Nothing like doing this while in a country where you don’t speak the language, hey?

Stay tuned, and we’ll see what eventuates. “Beer Tango Sex… on two wheels” has a nice ring to it! Any advice/tips greatly appreciated!


  1. Once bitten, twice shy….. I think something happened to you when buying “wheels” in Argentina…… does it ring a bell? not to mention the need of ringing people to help you out…..

    so, “… the present would be made inordinately more exciting with a motorcycle between my legs and a continent to traverse” HELL YES!! but can you handle it?

  2. Howdy… I am a Texan married to an Argentine beauty and have lived in Mar del Plata for 3 .5 years. I have a US registered (Florida) BMW R1100S (1999 model, black) in outstanding condition with less than 18,000 miles in storage since I broke my elbow 2 years ago. It is available for an unbelievably low price because it costs so much to store it and my elbow problems continue, making it dangerous to ride with my new disability. Send me your email address and I can forward fotos.

    The unit is still registered in FL, but we have all the papers ready to transfer to a new owner in Argentina, taxes and duties paid, etc.

    You can operate in all the Mercosur countries with Argentine paperwork, and in all other countries, you would need a temporary transit driving permit, which can be arranged at said countries’ consulate. I did my Argentine paperwork in Miami.

    If you come to Mar del Plata, drop by whether you are interested in the bike or not and I’ll buy you a cold one. CapnRick

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