A solid planning and a well organized trip are the goal to
the arrival on any peak, climbers say. And that's the same
with this trip, my Panamericana.
Well, I guess you need to be called crazy enough (el aleman
loco) and be fluent in English and Spanish. Otherwise it is
almost impossible and that's why I started with Spanish lessons
I won't discuss the travel budget, this is everybodies own
call. Some only want to stay in upper-class hotels, others
only on campgrounds or youth hostels. Any choice has a major
influence on your cash flow.
I strongly recommend to anybody dreaming of a tour or especially
the Panamericana that he is willing to spend lot's of time
reading the equivalent literature and searching the web.
And of course you definitely need to know what you want.
Especially the following 3 books and travellers stories helped
me to get better organized (in German language)
- Handbuch "Motorradreisen zwischen Urlaub und Expedition"
von Thomas Troßmann. It is a book about the professional
preparation for an expedition on a motorbike through the
Sahara deserts. And it helps you to chose the right bike
for your trip.
- Selbstreisehandbuch Band 1 Reisevorbereitung von der Deutschen
Zentrale für Globetrotter. This book offers many checklists
so that you spend your preparation time wisely. And with
a lot of intelligent internet links it offers even more
- Sabbatical-Handbuch "Aussteigen auf Zeit" von
Anke Richter. This book helped me to prepare my final "go"
call and gave some hints also for the "time-after".
I am sure that there are similar books available in English
or other languages. Please also see my internet links I
used to prepare myself.
Two reports and one page were of great interest and help
for the details of the Panamericana:
- Panamericana von Peter Ruch, an individual tour done in
- Die Panamericana auf dem Motorrad von Burckhard Schäck,
a tour done in 1995
- The tour of two Germans, documented and photographed on
their webpage www.panamericana-tour.com,
finished just recently this year.
A book is there to create interest, but sometimes it generates
overestimation. This is why I talked and discussed the tour
and its stories with as many people I could find. Any live
report is the best you can get.
As mentioned above, the tour and the troubles ahead of me
drive the choice. Here the most needed characteristics:
"light in weight, durable, good ground clearance, dealer
and parts support along the Panamericana (for the unexpected),
and heavy-duty proven around the rallyes of the world"
- in one word: KTM. And with a big gas tank these bikes are
called The Adventure. Here is a rough description of it: 185kg
fully equipped, 625ccm, one big liquid cooled cylinder, 30
liters of gas capacity (7.5 gallons), and finally winner of
the Dakar rallye, more than once
Currently I am slightly modifying the used bike I bought with
the help and parts from the big KTM dealer Sommer in Oberhausen,
Germany. They are real experts, and a good address for anybody
with similar ideas. For more please see Equipment.
So right now I am on track with my planning. The time will
tell whether the preparation was good enough, I will update
you latest next summer 2005.