The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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"To narrow the field we would consider at Defender Hard Top TD5 from about 2004 and upwards and the Toyota Land Cruiser 80 or Amazon from 2001 & up."
TD5's have occasional ECU problems which would be pretty difficult to fix in Africa and in South America probably even less so. Consider an all mechanical 300 tdi or a pre '98 Cruiser VX. An Amazon or similar is also stuffed with electronics and is NOT recommended for desert use by friends in Germany who run a desert business, so probably not so good in non desert rough areas either?? Also Amazon highly stealable..............
The wonderful toyota reliability we hear sooo much about doesn't bear out in reality in my humble opinion or experience. Both makes are probably about the same and both need to be properly maintained even if they are tough 4x4's. I for example have had no problems with my thoroughly maintained Defender in 240,000 km whilst 3 Toyota friends have seen blown diffs (Prado) , a 3 ltre engine (Prado) self destruct and VX80 series transfer box fail - but you do have more power and comfort if that's what you want when things are going well.
Personally, and my Toyota loving girlfriend backs me up on this, I find the Defender (half the price of an Amazon and a working vehicle not a light load passenger car - so a fair comparison ?) more involving and Cruisers (Yes I've used air conned cruisers in the desert) too insulating for exploratory trips. If you want to wallow in air conditioned comfort whilst filing your nails and see the whole world move past the closed windows like a film - go see a film. Just my opinion, do you want to get involved in what's happening outside or not ??
I'd go for a 300 tdi or a pre 98 VX for your trip, either will be reliable if in good fettle to start with. Avoid anything with electronics or independent suspension if possible.
I do not drive either of these but have traveled with landrover TD5s and one thing they are prone to is fuel pump failure on poor fuel. I think it is in the tank too so not an easy fix.
I know it's not a popular choice but for the kind of money you are talking you might look at a mercedes G wagen as used by Tom Sheppard
The 461 series 290 turbo is the one to go for ( sprinter engine) and very reliable.
Just my twopenneth
The Toyota that we purchased actually cost much less than a defender in similar condition. Its a 1996 GX which basially is a VX model but with hardly any electronics in it. When we briefly looked at Defenders in our price range they did not come in the same good condition as the Toyota.
As for Andrews comment "If you want to wallow in air conditioned comfort whilst filing your nails and see the whole world move past the closed windows like a film - go see a film. Just my opinion, do you want to get involved in what's happening outside or not ??"
Surely its up to you and not the vehicle that affects your trip experience - anyway if you really want to be exposed to the people/culture then get a bike and ditch the safe, metal shell reagardless of the badge.
A 1996 GX model is a passenger car that has probably had an easy life on paved streets, hence the better condition than similarly priced Defenders - generally purchased as 'working' vehicles. In my experience the GX (Prado..??) is not built so solid. Expect to lose bumpers, diffs to pop when asked to do rougher jobs. They have independent front susp. and are not as tough as the bigger VX's.
A G wagen is probably one of the worse choices for such a trip, spares are very expensive - and where can you get them, and you need special tools.... You could trust to reliability (sounds familiar) if you want. The Sprinter engine is a common rail diesel controlled by electronics and an ECU. You often see them on the hard shoulder of the M25, as well as the outside lane. For rich Germans only...
Yes it does hinge on the individual as to how the trip is perceived but the vehicle also has a bearing on the overall experience.. As I said earlier, LR Defe's are more involving (smaller, noisier, bumpier, more trashable, no air con usually, can carry more weight), Cruisers are more insulating (smoother ride, quiet, plush, cool, precious, mmm ) - depends what you want.
Either will do the job, but get a simpler non electronic type with beam axles front and back......BTW you can get a TD5 fuel pump upgrade (!) from Switz that removes the pump from the tank and filters more dust or something. There's still plenty to go wrong though (I don't think they're too bad in reality) but I was speaking to a colleague a few weeks ago who had a TD5 Disco - same basic set up - who, the first thing he mentioned - 'had a problem with the ECU'.......
Just for reference the GX model is not a Prado but a no-frills 80 series (looks like an amazon). It was never imported into the Uk or most of Europe because people wanted leather interior, air-con etc.
The vehicle was imported and used off-road prior to us buying it. I have no worries and a lot of faith in the vehicle. Think of it as a cross between a troop carrier (no electrics) and an amazon (looks like one)
"We are planning a two year plus journey through Africa & South America and are debating the two types of vehicles"
Bigpond I think your thread was hijacked however its fun to see our biases in writing..have you thought of a Toyota that is available in africa and SA, would seem to be the answer...Alternatively use a LR but do africa first, when U. know all has been checked, then as the vehicle gets tatty U. will be in SA and find it easier to repair than a Landcruiser.
The GX is not a Prado but the third world version of the VX - Now I remember.... I encountered these in N.Af. Good simple vehicles with big 4.2 diesel but no turbo so don't know how they will perform at altitude in South America ??
Think you can buy them from some German dealers but not cheaply.
Why faff about - just get a pre 98 VX (£6k or less) or tdi Defender from the UK.
the question was about newer landcruisers and TD5 landrovers - post 2000. In that case the G wagen is certainly a contender since they all have electronics and yes a better relyability record. We all see broken down vehicles by the side of the road.
If the question had been which vehicle (of any age) then the options open up
but in the 5 or 6 year old category unless you import a third world spec landcruiser then the G wagen has proved itself over and over with the basic 461 model off the shelf - no mods. Yes you won't be able to get bits in the middle of nowhere - nor will you for a 100 series cruiser or TD5.
FWIW the injection pump on the merc 290 is the same as a standard peugeot item
Here we go again; already at 3 pages.
They're both boxes with the same number of wheels.
A large part of what they are capable of and how much they guzzle depends on driver competence/foolishness/care or whatever you want to call it.
Whatever car you take you’ll probably end up loading it to its limits, unless you’re very well disciplined/experienced (the former comes with the latter)
Sod's law (or is it Murphy) states that the moment you're stuck in some sand/mud/snow/melted chocolate or whatever there'll be someone who comes sailing by in the other brand car.
There’s not really enough space to sit on a porta potti in either (no I don’t have a bowel problem I just relish those tranquil moments, not rushing to finish in the fear that someone else is going to appear around the bush/rock/building where everyone else has already gone)
Absolutely FORCED to choose, I’d still try and find a way to choose a Daily; although at the Salon 4x4 de Val d’Isère I’ve seen some (almost) respectable camper conversions on both LR and TLC
After market upgrades: Have you ever asked yourself WHY a certain brand has so many upgrades available?
Service it, get in, drive, enjoy, fix what breaks with the facilities available where it breaks (if). The willingness and generosity of people to help travellers in distress has never ceased to amaze me, both from what I have experienced and in all the travelogs I have read. We “civilized” people have lost something there…
Talking technical: lots of people are wary of electronics. If electronic gubbins are going to pack in, they usually do it in the first year or so of their life, I wouldn’t be too worried about well tested circuit boards.
But the idea of a rubber timing belt makes me nervous; they seem to have a self destruct mileage built in, and although one can usually plan service intervals, I’ve seen more than one engine mangled because of cack in the belt pulleys and teeth.
A good old chain or gear drive will perhaps wear or be noisy, but IMHO is less likely to snap.
What type does the TLC use?
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