In some ways motorcycles are the ideal overlanding platform. They’re inexpensive, sip fuel, can get through stalled traffic, or down the narrowest trail. In my experience, they’re two to three times faster over rough roads than 4x4s. And, as this beautiful video shows, they even work for very long distance travel.
Between 2010 and 2012 Alex Chacon, a recent BioMed graduate from the University of Texas, spent just over 500 days traveling up, down, and across the Americas, from Alaska to the Tip of South America, on his motorcycle, a 2007 KLR 650. It looks like it was a stunning trip. If you’d like to dig deeper, his YouTube channel covers his journey in twelve episodes.
Here’s more info on his KLR, the way he equipped it, and why he chose it over a BMW or KTM. He also set up a consulting service to assist other travels wanting to head south.
Update 5/14/2013: Here’s a WCXC post about the benefits of the KLR 650.