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!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
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!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
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I'm a born again biker returning after 25 years of non biking.
The bike I've been riding for the past 6 months is the Kawasaki ER-5. Everyone seems to underestimate this little beauty as a training bike, but she performs very well. In July this year I camped around Scotland on her with a friend on his Honda VFR800, doing 1,500 miles in 6 days and she was very comfortable, even though my luggage was borrowed or improvised. Fuel economy was wonderfull at about 250 miles for a 17ltr tank, mainly due to us avoiding motorways and trunk roads and taking in the scenery without the need to speed.
I came back from Sunderland recently and spent some time at a constant 80-90mph, I noticed the tank range dropped off to about 150mile and I guess that is a bit too much for her. That isn't my normal riding style though.
I've since added a small Puig windshield and a 48ltr back box, and we are planning a 2 week tour of France, Northern Italy, and Switzerland next year.
My questions are, what should I look for on the ER-5 when doing long trips, she has only done 8,000 miles ?
How often would you change the oil ?
How good a reputation has this model for electrical reliability ?
At what speed am I asking too much of her 70, 80, 90mph ?
I admire the ER-5s simplicity and on the one occasion I've had to put her down on her side, cocked up a u-turn , there is very little to scratch or break, no fairing, hard side panniers, etc. I could do with a couple of crash bungs fitted though methinks !
This website is a marvelous community and have enjoyed reading the input.
The ER is a very capable and indeed under rated bike. Any bike's tank range drops when you use it's performance for long periods. Speed wise you need to search out the "happy" speeds. This is where you get the most range (will be about 55 mph) and cover the most distance per day. The latter is a juggling act between running at 100 mph and then stopping for 15 minutes in the hour to fill up and get your head together and running at 55. Most bikes are happy at about 70-80 mph until you hit things like Pan Europeans whose fairings make the difference. The rider is a big factor. If you need to cruise at 90, the ER will do it, it just won't be comfortable and if you want to hit the bar after a days ride you might be just as well sticking to 70, you'll arrive minutes later but be fresher.
Take a look at your luggage, the smaller the bike, the bigger the difference that extra jumper/spare tent makes.
Service wise, I think the oil change interval is 4000 miles? Just go with what it says in the book, these things are pretty solid. Only thing I'd look for when touring is tyre condition and chain tension.
I wish my dad had kept his ER. The Guzzi he got instead he says has more "soul" which to me only seem to mean it breaks down more and parts are a PITA to get. The ER was cheaper to run, involved less work, the dealer was brilliant and it did everything required of it. A really good bike IMHO.
Do an oil change just before the trip and you should be good until you get back, when you might change it again. I'd imagine a 500cc twin would be happy at 80 on the motorways, but the ER isn't a long-distance speed machine. As an A-road tourer it'd be fine and should be fine for your trip. Don't forget the wd40, mind, European rain always seems to Monsoonal in its delivery compared to the Blighty variety !
In my view the er5 is a vastly under rated bike. It is basically simple therefore cheap reliable transport. Had there been a simple way to get it converted to right shift, I may well have bought one. Suggest you do as others have said, just follow the manual.
I had an ER-5 and it was bulletproof. I put about 15k miles on it in under 2 years. It had 32k miles on it when I last saw it and was going strong.
After a year I changed the filters and plugs - don't know when this was meant to be done but did it then. I changed the chain and sprockets when I got it and didn't need to do anything to them after, apart from obviously lubing the chain.
That bike never gave me any trouble at all! Always started, battery never went flat, clocks always worked, light always worked (never had to change a bulb). I kept ontop of the basics and it always seemed to work brilliantly, fluids, pressures and lube
I spent it's life outside being chained to a lampost and ridden to work during the week.
I rode it 2 up with luggage to Paris and made absolutely no mods to it. It sat at about 80 quite happily from what I remember.
I have an ER5 currently brilliant bike and as you already stated vastly underated. I picked it up in July for 700measly quid a 1999 model with 20k on the clock. Its now managed a few thousand trouble free miles and I'm taking it to France next Tuesday 3rd Nov.
I would keep an eye on chain tension/lubrication (I find my Izumi chain and sprocket kit I got is awful for road grit etc collecting crap in general so I have to clean it a lot)
Also tyre pressures/wear even though I bought it with the same pair of tyres I'm still using 4k later and they're so no sign of needing a change.
From my research into the bike I can confirm that a common electrical fault around 20kish miles is the regulator to blow (blowing the electrics I think tht basically is) - killing your battery etc and needing a replacement regulator for about 80quid.
But if you say your bike has 9k miles on it you shouldn't have to worry about tht for a while.
Oil change about 5k miles I think the manual says and if you keep it well maintained I hear they last for miles. I'm gonna see how many miles I can get out of mine!
How is it with a screen? I find it can get pretty choppy on the motorway (so I'm thinking of purchasing one).
Only problem I've had with the bike so far other than normal items wearing out is a speedo cable dying on me but it was only a tenna for a replacement.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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