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  #1  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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Choice of Bike - Input Please

Cross posted in aus.motorcycle

Hi Guys

My S.O. and I are looking at a pair of (identical) dual purpose bikes sometime this year. Aim is to do some (more) touring/rallying in Aus and then later some overseas long distance stuff. Big dream is one of the long ones. India to the UK, UK to South Africa and maybe Canada down to TDF.

Problem is that my S.O. is a little vertically challenged (166cm) so the original idea of a pair of R1200GS won't work. I'm thinking maybe a couple of earlier R80 G/S or even the later GS might be the go.

Requirements include:

They have to be tried, tested and tough and not mind being bounced off the scenery a few times.

They have to be low-tech and capable of being cobbled back together in somewhere like Ulan Bator by the local blacksmith.

They have to have easily obtainable spares.

They need to be on the light side of heavy.

They have to be simple to maintain.

Any input/suggestions short of taxidermy (or trading her in) gratefully accepted.

Rgds

Nigel.
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  #2  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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You might like to consider a 250 .. much lighter. Ok it won't be happy at 120km/h .. but most of the time you'll be doing 100km/h or less ...

If you insit on a bigger bke .. the suzi DR650 is lowerable (all the bits are there - except for the shorter side stand - that you could cut and reuse the original).

Read a few blogs of couples travelling together to get ideas on what bikes they used .. and their experience with them.

Going to the HU meeting in Feb?
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motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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  #3  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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yeah.......umm.........OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosmart;167654

Requirements include:

They have to be tried, tested and tough and not mind being bounced off the scenery a few times. [B
Yamaha XT600[/B]

They have to be low-tech and capable of being cobbled back together in somewhere like Ulan Bator by the local blacksmith. Yamaha XT600

They have to have easily obtainable spares. Yamaha XT600

They need to be on the light side of heavy. Yamaha XT600 ( if compared to a lardy 1200GS)

They have to be simple to maintain. Yamaha XT600

Nigel.
Above Bold Words my additions........

In the words of Mr Rolf Harris..."Can You Tell What It Is Yet?"

Martyn
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  #4  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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If it were me I would seriously consider a pair of Enfield Electras. What you save on purchase price would pay for an awful lot of repairs/shipping should you need it. They come with a 760mm seat height as standard, there is a low seat option for 720mm. £130 will buy a 20 litre tank which will give over 320 mile range. weigh 160kg. From what I hear about these bikes from owners on the enfield forums is they are much more reliable than popular urban myths would have you beleive. Be prepared to take 6k miles at least to run in the nicasil barrel, this is a huge step forward from the old cast iron 1949 model engine.

As an aside, seems the barrels, cranks and pistons are made in the same factory as makes bmw, porsche, mecedes and Mack castings and forgings.

Last edited by oldbmw; 10 Jan 2008 at 22:29. Reason: typos
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  #5  
Old 10 Jan 2008
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Small Is Best

Choice of bike depends on where you travel. BMW spares are non existent in many places. I ride a Honda 125. Spares are available everywhere. The bike has transported me from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego without mechanical trouble and I am now back in Panama heading north to the US. Next ride I will chose a 200 and have a custom seat built to accomodate my fat old butt. While traveling the past two years, I have met many bikers on big bikes. They drop a big bike on a leg, they end in hospital. Their accidents were more costly than mine, some waited weeks for spares. Finally, a big bike is a flag of afluence in poor countries. Forget that the bike is second hand - the image counts. Flags of afluence can make you a target. You can find a Blog of my trip at home
Good luck and have fun...
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  #6  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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V.True!

Quote:
Originally Posted by simongandolfi View Post
Finally, a big bike is a flag of afluence in poor countries. Forget that the bike is second hand - the image counts. Flags of afluence can make you a target.
You are Spot on with that Simon! Big Bike and you may as well have a sign saying "IM RICH" in the Local language hung round your neck!
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  #7  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Warner View Post
You might like to consider a 250 .. much lighter. Ok it won't be happy at 120km/h .. but most of the time you'll be doing 100km/h or less ...

If you insit on a bigger bke .. the suzi DR650 is lowerable (all the bits are there - except for the shorter side stand - that you could cut and reuse the original).

Read a few blogs of couples travelling together to get ideas on what bikes they used .. and their experience with them.

Going to the HU meeting in Feb?
I'll double down on Frank's post. :thumb

Read the real-world posts, not the fancy magazine advertisements...really.
When you're there, it wan't be fantasy thinking...
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  #8  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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I'd personally save my money and invest in two pairs of roller skates, that way you get fit quick as well, I mean just look at what running did for Forest Gump and you will be travelling at least twice as fast as him, so should get twice as much done.

Lee
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  #9  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosmart View Post
Cross posted in aus.motorcycle

Hi Guys

Problem is that my S.O. is a little vertically challenged (166cm) so the original idea of a pair of R1200GS won't work. I'm thinking maybe a couple of earlier R80 G/S or even the later GS might be the go.

Rgds

Nigel.
166cm is 5'5" tall, not that short? My g/f is a similar height & rides an 1150GS offroad pretty well. Daytona Ladystar GTX boots are built up on the inside, adding 1" to your leg length. Bolting a 12mm+ thick plate to the underside of the sidestand foot makes life easier, especially when fully loaded & prevents bike sinking in soft ground.
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  #10  
Old 13 Jan 2008
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DR350??/


OR BETTER STILL


XT350? LIGHT ECONOMICAL AND ROBUST THENPUT LOW SEAT ON ?
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  #11  
Old 17 Jan 2008
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G/S - Best Choice

Depending on how much you have to spend I would recommend two G/S's modeled on HPN's modifications. The G/S is easy to maintain and repair and after a complete rebuild will be as good as new. Suspension will have to be upgraded but the HPN suspension increase ride height to new levels. German friends of mine have had the same problem and HPN have build Claudia's bike to fit her profile.
They made use of a lower rear shock on a Paralever R80GS model fitted with the HPN sport suspension (Converted 1150GS swing-arm). The forks was the standard Marzzochi fitted with fully adjustable working mechanism. This produced a high performance suspension that can withstand the worst of Africa for thousands of miles but with a low enough ride height to reach the ground with both feet.
You can get more info here www.gsworkshop.co.za
Werner and Claudia are currently touring in Australia on their HPN models.
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