Half-Way-Round on a V-strom
Well next month I start on my own "little" adventure trip, UK to Australia, the Half-Way-Round-trip (appologies to the LWR, but I recon they only went half-way anyway)
We are currently still in Australia but the bike is on its way by ship (via Panama) to the UK (hope it arrives OK). The car is sold, the house rented and I quit my job of 25 years. My wife has 12 months leave from teaching & she is travelling pillion. We will be away for at least 12 months.
Our route takes us around UK, E & W.Europe for 5 months, then Turkey (maybe Syria & Jordan), Iran, Pakistan (KKH), India & Nepal. Not sure where after that, depends on time and money.
So what bike? - Suzuki V-strom 1000
Is it standard? - No, has the following mods
- Pro Taper bars and barkbusters
- Givi engine guards
- Radguard alloy radiator & oil cooler guards
- Ohlins shock with heavier spring and upgraded springs and damping for the forks (best mod - needed for our weight, the Ohlins is magic)
- Givi top box and panniers
- Packsafe tankbag
- Oxford heated grips
- Michelin Anakee tyres
- 16t front sprocket
- Yellowbox speedo calibrator
- Autocom communication
- Magellan Meridian GPS
Am I sponsored? - I wish!! Not a cent, we have been planning & saving for the last 5 years or so.
Why a Vstrom? - Because I like it. I think its an under-rated bike for this type of trip and I want to give it a go. Also no one else has done a trip like this on the Vstrom (that I know of - appologies if not true). In reality this trip can be done on any bike, but a big bike is nice for 2-up with luggage/camping gear for a year. The vstrom power will be much overkill in Pakistan, India and Nepal, but will be very nice in W.Europe. Guess I could have gone for a BMW twin like so many others that have done this trip, but I just didnt like it as much as the Vstrom - personal choice. My previous bike was a F650 Dakar which I liked a lot, so its not like a had anything against BMW, except the service costs. I also owned a KTM 250EXC (now sold too), so I'm OK with KTM, but the 950 was more dirt than I needed and not enough road comfort for 2-up. Also the price of either of those alternatives would have been much higher, which would have meant longer working/saving before travelling. An older BMW was considered, but I didnt have time to find a good one or to learn how to rebuild one (haha, I'm partly joking, partly serious)
We wont be doing any serious off-road with pillion and luggage, but I guess I will find out first-hand whether the Vstrom and accessories is up to a half-way-round trip on all kinds of "roads" - and so I can give you all an update on my Vstrom experiences from time to time.
I have organised a Blog on HU (thanks Grant) but have not started it yet. We are starting to let ourselves get a little excited now, although so many things to do -like pack up the house contents. Hope to catch up with a few HU community members on our travels.
See ya on the road, or somewhere near your place soon.
John & Alanna