Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jun 19, 2013 2:31 PM Last Post By: Mott2
Jun 16, 2013 8:14 AM
MotorcyclesWe're looking at a motorcycle trip to Costa Rica next year. 4 guys for 1 week. We're all reasonably experienced bikers. I'd be interested in any comments or advice on motorcycles there.
We're looking at these people. Ride
Also our choices are January or April. I would prefer April but am concerned about rain.
Jun 16, 2013 8:58 AM
Jun 16, 2013 9:06 AM
2look here for typical rainfall patterns: http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html april is generally pretty dry.
you should understand that highways are two-lane, often narrow, and you will be sharing the road with big trucks, little trucks loaded down with pineapples, pedestrians and bicycles and the occasional cow. one-lane bridges are not uncommon.
someone once said, "the two most dangerous things in costa rica are a gringo with a machete and a costa rican with a car." and that's not far from wrong.
it's great riding through the beautiful countryside, but you will have to be VERY defensive and mainly: don't assume anything.
i looked at the website and you could rent a bike from wild rider, make your own itinerary and save a lot. $2,000 for one week is pretty outrageous. and riding all the way to manuel antonio to stay one night is kind of stupid. but - if you have the bucks and don't mind spending them, it's not a bad itinerary and the lodging is nice.
Jun 16, 2013 9:15 AM
Jun 16, 2013 9:45 AM
4if you are flying from toronto, then you can fly into sjo pretty easily. i think that sunwing has some good deals, if i remember correctly.
there's nothing wrong with riding bikes in costa rica -- just as long as you know what the deal is. the fatality rate is so high with motorbike riders because they do stupid things, mostly. which i know you will not do. you just need to know that you will not be getting on a lovely, wide, four-lane highway with plenty of shoulder room. if you are used to riding two-lane country roads, it's more like that.
this might help you: http://www.yourtravelmap.com and this http://www.wild-rider.com wild rider is a really good company and well-respected here so you can trust what they say.
Jun 16, 2013 10:47 AM
5Regarding flights...I fly from Winnipeg to CR twice a year and my preferred flight is Air Canada direct from Toronto. Last time out found a deal from Wpg-Toronto-San Jose return for $740. I've paid up to $1300 for the same flight in the past so worth it to look often on line till a good deal comes along.
Jun 16, 2013 10:53 AM
6As a avid motorcyclist, in the motorcycle business now (this weeks ride a KTM RC8 1190R), but have owned Truimphs and Ducati's, and motorcycled in SE Asia and Africa, I agree with above comments.
You need to keep in mind that there are different risk in Central America and developing countries, and for CR, the risk are different that in North America. As above says, you are on all two lanes roads, and alsofew with shoulders, few with guardrails, and few with good signs, the best are the mountain rural roads and major routes, but you have to deal with a few factors, one being few people respect a motorcycle, or any other moving or walking thing on the roadway, the other is road conditions, pot holes as big as bath tubs, slick misty and foggy conditions winding thru many micro climates and eco systems.
That aside, and taking all the precautions, and knowing the issues, there is the fact that its not cheap, my god, that is a lot per person, more than a SUV and 4 star lodging. If you feel okay with blowing all that to have a moto than go for it. Its not the ideal way to take in CR IMO,and many of the best highlights, are not even possible to access with any wheels, like Tortuguero, Cano Negro, Corcovado.
Jan is dry season, so no worries there, but much of the country is brown and hot, especially lowlands and beach areas. CR is best explored and planned for hikers, nature lovers, wildlife seekers, surfers, river rafting, all not really a good marriage for being on a moto...just saying.
April rainy season is starting, and can be afternoon showers, each coast varies, as does the north and south.Why dont you just come to CR and focus on the National parks, adventure, great fishing, hiking and adventures, and go via a SUV and stay in cool charming and rustic lodging.
My buddy does this in Colombia, thru coffee country, with a mix of surface, gravel and off road, depending on your skills, they tailor it to you. Its much bigger country and would be more fun to cover ground I think on a moto.
I have been to CR over 35 trips the last 10 years, and have seen some nasty motorcycle accidents, I would only rent an enduro there, way off the beaten path from main traffic and away from tourist areas...and locals driving like nuts.\
But thats me...
Check out Horizons Unlimited and ADV rider forums, they are specifically for motorcyclist and adventure riders all over the world. Most people posting on this forum are scared to even rant a car in CR/CA....LOL
Adventure travel to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Morocco, Turkey, EU, Hawaii and USA National Parks...
Jun 16, 2013 11:46 AM
Jun 16, 2013 12:43 PM
8I found Costa Rica similar to other Central American countries on a bike--differing mainly in having better infrastructure, lots of variety in landscapes and other stuff to see, but correspondingly more tourists and less sense of adventure. It's also significantly more expensive than, say, Guatemala or Nicaragua.
All in all, I'd say your plan is reasonable if you've got the money. A week is nowhere near enough time in-country, so you might want to scale back your expectations drastically; a day adjusting to being there, a day catching your flight home, and what you're left with is a couple of days of scooting around without much chance to sit back and enjoy what you find. Personally, I'd skip the tour and instead double my vacation time....but with a mix of brothers and generations maybe having someone else to make all the decisions would be a good thing.
Everyone does need to be clear that certain habits you might have accumulated riding in Canada may not apply in Central America, and in fact might get you injured or dead. One mistake by one inattentive son (or brother) could spoil vacations for a long time to come. Having said that, Central American riding is not as bad as its sometimes described--not even in the same league for danger and unpredictability as Africa and much of Asia.
Horizonsunlimited.com and ADVrider.com are definitely the appropriate places to lurk and read trip reports to your heart's content.
Hope that's helpful.
Jun 16, 2013 4:04 PM
9Good point Mark. Costa Rica deserves 2 weeks just to see the top 4 national parks and throw in a beach for a few days...
Tortuguero 2 nights
Corcovado 4-5 nights
Arenal area 2-3 nights
Beach 3-4 nights.
If you only have A week, fly to San Fran and get bikes there and drop in LA or Vegas, Eaglerider has franchises for BMW, Harley and Triumph, and there is a another outfit in Cali renting Ducati's...
Jun 16, 2013 4:12 PM
Jun 16, 2013 4:48 PM
11Me too. Last thing I want to do is discourage you from riding. If you want to go to C.R., and you want to do it on bikes, your path is clear. Just try to be realistic about what you can do and whether you'll enjoy it.
No reason to go the Harley-to-Las-Vegas route unless that's really what you want to do. Same with renting Dukes in LA: personally, I've got better ways to spend my time and hard-earned dollars.
Jun 16, 2013 5:12 PM
This would be much more realistic and a beautiful drive from San Francisco down through the Big Sur on the coast..
I love Costa Rica, our daughter lived there for several years. You can't do anything in only a week. Save it for when you have time to enjoy it.
Jun 19, 2013 2:31 PM
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