americas   panamericana info tour Rasmus Reuter  

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.

The requirements:
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 instantly.

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.

The tour:
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 research.

  • 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 1993

  • Die Panamericana auf dem Motorrad von Burckhard Schäck, a tour done in 1995

  • The tour of two Germans, documented and photographed on their webpage, 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.

The bike:
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.