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Old 13 Mar 2013
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Question Reinforce the frame?

Hi All

We'll be doing a RTW for several years and I was wondering whether it is worth reinforcing the bike's frame? We will be on all sorts of rattely, potholed, etc. roads and the bike will be bumped and shaken about on them.

We will be packing as light as we can, but given its a RTW we will have to take hot and cold and rainy and sunny weather stuff as well as a few spares and tools, so no matter how hard we try to travel light, some things will accumulate. (We are low on cash and so want to be as self sufficient as possible without taking a whole caravan ....the whole take only credit cards and passports is not an option for us.)

Anyways, some people say if you reinforce the frame, something else is gonna give as the force has to go somewhere. And then there is the huge hassle of taking the bike apart to be able to weld safely on the frame (without blowing the electrics, etc). - Any tips on how best to do this if we decide to go ahead?

So...... reinforce the frame to avoid what happened to Claudio on the Long Way Round? Or leave it and pack light and pray that it was light enough? Is it easy enough to weld a frame if it brakes on the go?

Your advice will be much appreciated!

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Old 13 Mar 2013
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I think it really depends on which bike you intend to use.
Some need more help than others.

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Old 13 Mar 2013
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I would n't do it, just modify your riding and slow down when the going gets rough. We'ver had R65 series BMWs from the 1970s and 1980s and never had a frame crack and rode plenty of appalling dirt roads in Australia over the years. Friends had problems with alloy wheels cracking - but speed on dirt roads was the cause. Pannier racks are prone to cracking, but can be assisted with straps around the panniers and secured under the seat - you can strap camping stools to the panniers as well.

We use pot racks to move the weight from the rear and put it over the engine, cross brace (from side to side) any pannier racks - usually just a bolt on piece of pipe behind the rear wheel, keep the heavy items as low as possible on the pot racks.

When you drop the bike, pick it up by the main frame and not any sub frames or pannier frames, I use the strap around the pannier and put that on the frame to give me a better lift as well - stops you bending your back too much.
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Old 19 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by Stray Dog View Post
I think it really depends on which bike you intend to use.
Some need more help than others.

Sorry, should've said really.... its a BMW F650 GS 2004 (one each, not two up).
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Old 20 Mar 2013
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Your more likely to have issues overloading the rear shock if the spring rate is still stock rather than having the steel sub frame on F650GS break and being steel even if it does its easy to get welded anywhere.
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