Saturday, March 1, 2008

The CT-70 Lives!

For those of you missing the Honda CT-70, fret no more. Just come to Latin America. Motorcycles based on that engine design are all over the place. It must have been a good design. There are actual Honda C-70s and C-90s, and an occasional Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, but most bikes are ones you've never heard of—probably Chinese. There's the Winner, Baccio, Tys, and my favorites, the Yusuki and Yumbo.

In Rio de Janeiro, there's a helmet law, but everyone ignores it. I think there's a helmet law in Uruguay, too, but it's unclear. In Salto, everyone wears a helmet, in Paysaydú, no one.

If you want to get around in the quickest way possible, a bike is the ticket. Traffic can be crawling on the freeway, and the bikes just keep zipping right along, right between the rows of cars.

People are serious riders down here. When it rains, they just pull out their rain suit and off they go. It's stowed under the seat or in a bag for quick access. For many people, I suspect the bike is their only set of wheels, so taking the car is not an option. Others who aren't prepared—or don't care—just get wet.

Some of the bikes are 4-strokes, some 2-strokes. Many of the 2-strokes sounds just like model airplanes or chainsaws. I suspect they're only 50ccs. They're the kind you pedal to get going—typical mopeds. I've seen hardly any bikes bigger than 125-150ccs—nothing like in the States where the smallest bike you typically see is 500-650ccs. I guess it comes down to economy and need.


Roger said...

Dude, I though you were going to Patagonia?

Anonymous said...

what happened to the photos? it's not nearly as interesting w/o the photos.

Jay said...


Here's the plan:

- Two weeks in Bueno Aires (where I arrived yesterday). I'll be living with a local family for 14 days while I'm in language school.

- Take bus to Santiago, Chile.

- Buy used car.

- Drive aroung Patagonia and Chile for about a month.

- Drive back to Santiago and sell car back.

- Then onto Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, then float the Amazon River.

Happy now?


Anonymous said...

Why don't you buy a bike (even like one in the picture), then you could be an adventure tourer. Also you would be more in tune with your environment. Since you would sell it afterward it may or may not save you money but I'm sure the gas milage would be great!