We have been riding a variety of different motorcycles over the years, but for our South American trip we decided to take Kawasaki KLR650’s for a host of reasons. We went to an event in Canada where we met many people who where riding BIG 1200GS’s and funny thing was, when we asked what bike they would take on a trip to South America, most didn’t choose the big bike, or even a GS at all, to go south of the border. Nope most chose a KLR or DR650. Parts and tires are more readily available and for whatever work we can’t do on our own, it will be easier to find mechanical help for one of these types of bikes.  So within a week of being back we were shopping for our new bikes.  We ended up buying two used 2009 KLR650 bikes and kitted them for around $5,000 and that’s bike, Happy-Trail panniers, and other nick-nacks.  By choosing the same year bike, we can share parts and tools and will be able to  split up extra parts that we do bring with us between the two bikes.  Another thing that helped to influence our decision was if either of us have to walk away from one of the bikes, it’s a lot easier to walk away from a bike we spent $5000 on rather than $25,000. Oh, and the final deciding factor for us in regards to bike choice from the BIG NEW GS, is we can see and experience a whole lot more of the world for the cost of just one new GS.