Traveling Chile via MotorcycleChile, running like a string of spaghetti down the western South American coast, is an increasingly modern country that now earns a high standard of political and civil rights rating from Freedom House. That means it is a place where you can visit and ride motorcycles without some of the nasty political intrigue that plagues other countries.
The Andes Mountains dominate the eastern border of the country, with the west presenting deserts, agricultural areas, and vast ranches. Given its 2880-mile north-south stretch, the climate ranges from dry desert in the north to glaciers in the south.Thanks to its narrow design, Chile offers relatively close access to Argentina, to the east. This allows travel to various cultures and terrain challenges. Major roads are paved, with a vast supply of dirt roads in less travelled portions of the region. Sparsely populated areas mean you can ride free of dangerous traffic.Owned by an Australian/Argentinean husband-and-wife team, South American Motorbike Tours (SAMt) offers a set of South American tours, mostly about two weeks in length. SAMt’s 15-day Patagonia Tour, which takes you to the “End of the World” at Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn, may be the most exotic of all their guided tours (motorcycles are also available for unescorted rental).Truly an adventure, SAMt is an Official Travel Partner of BMW Motorrad and exclusively offers BMW GS motorcycles of all sizes for this tour. Basically a one-way tour, you begin in Osorno, Chile in the Los Lagos Region, and then cross into and out of Argentina’s Gaucho country via the Andes over the next week.A highlight of the trip is a visit to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Torres del Paine National Park, which is a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve. At the end of the tour, you fly out of Punta Arenas at the Strait of Magellan, 53 degrees south of the Equator.You may be roughing it on the roads on the GSes, but SAMt puts its riders up in four- and five-star hotels along the way. For safety a satellite phone accompanies the tour in case of emergency, and a 4×4 support vehicle moves your luggage along.
KTM Super ADV R + Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams rides KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R. This hardcore ADV bike is big, powerful, and a true expert-level machine. Interestingly, it has multiple points of adjustment within its highly capable electronics package, and Don discovered several big surprises where the bike changed personality completely. His is an intriguing look at one of the most capable off road ADV bikes on the market today.
In the second segment, I chat with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning motorcycles. This silicon valley based manufacturer was founded in 2006, and having racked up several notable race victories (including Pikes Peak in 2013 with the late Carlin Dunne on board) Lightning have certainly dominated in racing terms. In another first, Lightning has just announced a new rapid-charging battery technology that may well bring electric motorcycles into becoming real-world, practical transport.
So from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!