]Kevin Lee writes:
]] Dave,
]] I traveled from san diego to Panama City with another guy in '94
]] We both rode Transalps and spent 7 weeks on the road.  went the "cheap"
]] route and spent alot of time in the mountion and traveling dirt roads.  
]] I'm 28 now and Leroy is around 61.
]] ...
]] So, our journey was quite interesting and full of education.  
]] HAVE FUN !!!!!!
]] Kevin Lee 

I'ts good to hear from you.  
I would do it all the same and then some.  Or i should say i will do it the
same.  Just remember to spend as much time as posible in smaller towns and
with simple people.  
Mexico was great !  We rode down through Baja, crossed over at LaPaz and
then down the coast to Guat.  It got alot better from there.  The people
showed more pride in themselfs and the roads were MUCH cleaner.  Also
banks,etc., were much more polite.  the border crossings went down hill from
here though.  No problem though.  They tend to treat riders better then
cars.  If you let them though, they will rip you off.  Ask others that have
just gone through how much they paid in "fees".  There is a legal amount,
But they usually go over it.  I got pissed at first, then relized i should
remain clear and good humured with these guys or they WILL make it harder
for you.  Usually by making you wait... wait... wait.  If at all posible
don't ride after dark.  Big holes, dead cattle, slow moving ox carts w/no
lights, kids, and who knows what else. Hunduras was my favorite.  Very
beautiful and very nice people(we spent 3 days riding over and through
mountions and in small colonial towns, staying in family run pensions.
Nicuragu and El Salvador we kinda zipped through, but it was still nice.
Just be aware and you will be fine.  I do remember getting lost in San
Salvador.  Like everwhere down there, signs are next to nonexestant.  The
border into Costa Rica was real easy.  There's even a bank for "cambio".  We
let ourselfs relaxe here and enjoyed the jungle.  Panama was very nice also.
We met a fellow riding the globe on a BMW.  a year and a half with half a
year to go. Rode with him for a few days (on to Panama City).  Once in
Panama City we stayed on the U.S. airforce (?) base by invatation of the
base motorcycle club.  Nice beds and real good shop.  Met a couple from
japan travling the globe.  Planned on they're whole cost to be 40,000
dollars, half the usual cost.  They had it down pat.  Also some canadians
going to Chile to work a prearranged job. And two other american guys.  One
ended up back home soon and the other went on down to So. Amer. where he
stayed for a few months and then sold his bike for a price that even
suprised him.  Then he flew home.  There were a few airlines willing to fly
bike and rider to colombia for around 400 dollars (?).  The BMW rider ended
up leaving the 2nd day we were there, on a boat out of Bogata (?).  for
under 100 bucks.  But from what i hear he did have quite an adventure in a
storm, ect.  The canadians had been waiting six days to get there Paletted
Bikes on the plane and get to columbia (no transpertation in the mean
Costa rica uses radar guns and we got stopped twice and had to bribe out of
one of them (it was x-mas time!) for 15 dollars.  None of this problem
anywhere else.  Although road crews and speed limits are rarely posted, so
watch out.  and ask for directions often if you even slightly think you're
on the wrong road.  We often got incorrect directions.  Some of the people
looked at our maps like they didnt even know where they were.  :-)
Leroy had his accident here  in the states and while in his car.  Someone
fell asleep and crossed over into his lane.  His wife was ok, but he got it.
The other driver was ok also.  Leroy swears by his trusty seatbelt now.
I think it's great your wife wants to go.  I'm not married, but look forward
to traveling in the same way when i am.  She'll have a great time.  Leroy
and his wife have traveled all over the states, Baja, Canada, and all over
Alaska.  She loves it.
I installed an alarm on my bike that came with a remote.  When in our rooms
or whatever, We had a cable ran tight through both bikes so if they were
messed with, it would set the alarm off.  It wasn't an expensive one but did
the job well.  And it mounted out of the way under my fairing.  "Gorilla"
makes one meant for the stearing wheel of your car, but i've found it locks
on the handlebars also.  We never really left our bikes very long.  Or if we
did then we sometimes had the opp. to pay a local kid to watch it.  If they
are around, then you will have them asking YOU.  They seem to be very
trustworthy (?).  Or just leave one of you there.
Like i said on the border crossings, pretty easy.  Have copies of everything
and you might want to laminate one copy and use it, My stuff was worn out
when i got home.  From showing it so many times. Six or eight times entering
and a few when leaving.  Title, Drivers licence, Birth cert., etc.  And if
they want to search your stuff make it as easy as posible, becouse they will
search, but it's usually very casually and very politly.  They never touched
us.  Again, if you act the part of a guest, you treated like one... very well.
When we returned into Mexico the Chiapain indians were just starting they're
uprising and we had no idea...dumb gringos.... it doesn't feel good to have
a machine gun pointed at you and be told in very polite spanish to...
O.k. thats another story and i'm gettint very long winded here already.  any
other questions, let me know.