BMW F650 GS Dakar, built 2006
odometer reading at start: (tbd)

For preparations I recommend Mikes Blog. He has information about almost everything.

The information on this page was recorded before I started. Experiences I made during the journey can be found in the group useful infos.

Biker know, the Touratech shop offers a lot of possibilities to spend your money. As I have a limited budget, I tried to keep expenditures low. Regarding the equipment I widely orientated on experiences of other drivers. There are links to some blogs on the Links page.

– center stand
– headlight protection
– tank bag
– pack sack, theft protection
– crash bars
– USB outlet
– protection for the cooler (DIY found on this page)
– I bought the panniers from They offer cheaper alternatives compared to other vendors.
– some spare parts: brake pads, air filter, chain kit, spark plug, …

A lot of people have a different opinion on chain oilers. Some are excited, others say they are not worth it. I invested in one, because there are large distances to drive, and I don’t want to take care on the chain every second day – so primary for convenience. If the life cycle of the chain enhances, good for me and my budget.

I do not have a lot of tools with me, only a few to tighten screws and to repair tires. As I told, I work in the computer business, so I have no idea how to repair things on a bike, and rely on repair shops. I’m able to check fuses or to change the air filter and bulbs. Changing the rear tire would be a challenge. I have a certain amount of money for maintenance and hope it will be enough. I’m sure I will learn a few new things during the journey.

Baggage and clothing

– underwear, socks, T-shirts, jeans, …
– Photo Camera, Laptop and some other electronic things
– first-aid kit
– tent, sleeping bag and other camping stuff
– warm clothes for the upper North and the lower South
– trekking shoes, a pair of light neat shoes, sandals

It’s always recommended to travel lightweight.

Documents: international driving licence, international vehicle license, Carnet de Passage

When renting a car on vacation for a couple of days, it is not necessary to obtain an international driving license. If you leave a continent with your vehicle or if you are crossing different countries, you never know if they are necessary and the papers do not cost a fortune. For automobile club members in Austria the international driving license costs about 14,- EUR, for non-members 22,- EUR. The international vehicle license costs about 20,-  EUR for members and about 30,- EUR for non-members.

According to reports from other travellers, you do not need a Carnet de Passage for the countries along the Panamericana. Currently (February 2013) at the homepage of Austrian automobile clubs the information can be found that there is a Carnet de Passage necessary in some countries in South America. I trust the reports and do not take a Carnet with me. In Austria the Carnet de Passage costs 140,- EUR for members of an automobile club and 240,- for non-members. Obtaining a Carnet also requires to make a deposit equal to the actual value of the vehicle.

Travel insurance

Everyone of us has some kind of insurance. Maybe you ask your insurance agent if he could make an offer for a longer vacation. With VISA it is possible to take a global travel insurance, which is valid for 6 months. OEAMTC, an automobil club, has different offers of worldwide travel insurances up to 11 months. Included services can be deducted from the insurance terms. I went to the major insurance companies in Austria and asked them for offers. Most of usual diseases, such as dental care, are usually not covered in standard contracts. It is recommended to have yourself checked before you leave.

Concerning my accident you can see how important a good travel insurance is.

Vaccinations and First aid

Here in Austria we have medical centres which are specialised in travelling. I got the standard vaccinations hepatitis A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, … .

I took only a few painkillers and drugs against fever. A few patches and bandages for minor injuries and for the case to depend on unclear water – I hope I won’t need them – there are purification tablets in the luggage.