Riding a motorcycle through Peru part 2 (bike choice)

To continue with the last post, where we talked a little bit about the experience of riding in Peru, we are going to talk bikes, terrains, experience and the right choice based on our fleet. To do so we are going to start with the bigger displacement bike and work our way down (to my personal preference) middle and low displacement bikes.


The Suzuki V Strom 1000 is our option for those sport touring riders out there that really like high power and comfort with the sacrifice of off road riding. Once you step on this motorcycle and you start accelerating you will feel the power. The Suzuki V Strom 1000 is a heavy all-rounder. But with its 228 kg, it weighs fairly light for a heavy motorcycle. The bike accelerates very quick and the steering is really great. In the corners it keeps its line very well and this is very pleasant when riding in the mountains of Peru. The bike is equipped with traction control and ABS making the riding even more comfortable and easy. The Suzuki V Strom 1000 is an excellent bike for asphalt, but also manages very well riding on gravel roads. Although we do not recommend it for heavy off road use, riding through Uyuni in Bolivia or dune riding in the coast as its weight and road set up (in our available models) will make it very uncomfortable and maybe unreliable.

Overall the Suzuki V Strom 1000 is a very comfortable and adventurous motorcycle, very suitable for larger tours in Peru. After a full day riding you will still be fresh, already looking forward to go riding the next day.

The Suzuki V Strom 650 ABS

As its bigger sister the 1000, this bike is a very capable option for long tours composed of mostly asphalt and gravel roads, with a little lower weight but with excellent power it will provide you with everything you need to make a long tour excellent, comfortable and a little more diverse than with the 1000 given that we will carry a little bit less of a weight penalty. Another good thing is that you have enough space to strap your house on the back of this beauty, that along with its excellent fuel economy and giant fuel tank makes a sport touring experience the best there is.

The Honda XL700V Transalp

This choice may not be well known between the american rider as it was built in France with the purpose of creating a machine that can feel right at home on the Alps. It is a favorite amongst the european and latin american riders that are looking for a comfortable but very capable big displacement bike. Set up for around 30% off road and 70% asphalt roads it can get you through most of the terrains your route throws at you with its very smooth, non aggressive, high torque engine. But still has some weigh penalty to keep in mind specially if it is raining or if it gets dropped.

The Suzuki 650 SE

The favorite of our team, this light, air cooled single cylinder with high torque and amazing suspension machine guarantees you can tackle any terrain, with any weather condition you may find while travelling in Peru, Bolivia or Chile. It feels right at home in dunes, mud, loose gravel and even asphalt, with the added advantage of being a very simple carbureted machine that is easy to fix if you find yourself in a bundle. Personally being a light rider (around 1,73 mts tall and 70 Kg in weight) it feels like the perfect choice and balance between weight and power, and with its trusty engine it can handle any situation we can think of. The only downside of this beautiful steed if it lacks a little bit of seat comfort which can be a real turning point for some riders out there, and the smaller fuel tank makes you plan your route a little bit more in detail to avoid that annoying experience of running out mid way.

The Honda XRE 300

This light, capable, easy going, fuel injected bike is one of my personal favorites. It is an easy to ride, easy to get the feel of brakes and suspension, comfortable and agile bike that really makes a trip an easy to grasp experience. It is low on power but still packs more than enough for most occasions, it gives you comfort and a sense of security while riding that I really have experienced in few models of bikes I have ridden. Perfect for those experienced riders that just want to enjoy and soak in every single thing that they see along the way and even more perfect for the riders that have experience but are looking for their first time adventure on an unknown country. it has a lot of space to pack basic equipment, good suspension for off roading, excellent brakes and riding it really feels effortless to the point where you forget that it is still a motorcycle. The low power will not be a problem (specially being fuel injected it can handle changes of high in a breeze) at all once you find yourself just cruising and feeling in your skin and bones every single place you are adventuring into.

The Honda XR 150

While some may be offended of even mentioning this option I personally will stand by it through thick and thin. This small displacement bike is a tank and can handle everything you throw at it. It is light, nimble, tough, comfortable, and if you put it through hell it will come back. It’s perfect if you have issues with high bikes, but don’t let that fool you as off roading is really what it is made for. The perfect example of the simpler bikes that you could take anywhere, do anything and keep in your garage forever because you never get the heart to sell it. Ideal for smaller riders and tackling tours for people that may have some doubts about their skills (everyone passes through that) and prefer to go for a really easy bike to ride and enjoy the moment and get the feel of bike adventures.