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!
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Depending on your budget I would recommend a TD5 if your were planning on spending this amount of money, it is by far the most refined defender, body style is personal choice between CSW or hardtop.
I have previously owned a V8 and 200tdi 110s and now have a TD5 and would not go back again it is so much nicer to drive especially after having had the ECU tweaked.
Another reason for the TD5 is they are newer and by rights you should not have as many problems compared to buying an older TDI or V8 110, the youngest TDI will be an R reg and buy now most R regs will have quite a few miles on the clock, and the chances of running into reliability problems will be increased.
A newer TD5 defender on a trip like you are planning will not be any more unreliable than any other make of vehicle, there are a few known issues but most vehicles of any make have one or two issues as well.
Even the mightly toyotas have their problems as well, apart from the HZJ cruisers which are pretty well bullet proof, but ride like a pig on std suspension and drink like a fish compared to the defender, the non turbo versions are not particularly powerfull either, but with an after market turbo or the later turboed ones they are great engines but still drink like a fish.
The 80 series are good, but lack a decent engine, the 4.5 petrol 6 is nice but drinks to much fuel for use in Europe, the 80 series are also getting on a bit as well so some age related problems are staring to come their way, 100 series are very nice to drive but are still not anywhere near as strong as their reputation or the 80/105 series, the IFS has problems when used hard and gearboxs problems with both autos and manual crop up from time to time as well.
My pick for a jap vehicle would be a HZJ 79 or a Nissan Patrol, the Patrol is no where near as refined as the 100 series but it is dam near bullet proof and rides on coils unlke the rear end of the HZJ cruiser so still gives a nice ride, the 3.0lt diesel is OK on fuel but its bigger 4.8lt brother is nice big lazy engine, the 4.8 petrol is a power house but is incredably thirsty on fuel.
But at the end of the day if you want a defender buy one, they are not as bad as the doom mungers say for what you are planning, but in saying that if I was doing a trans africa I would also look long and hard at a HZJ 79 cruiser.
If you are planning a lot of sand driving on your trip you will really have to wring the neck out of a TDI especially when heavily loaded, the TD5 is much nicer in the sand, but still needs to be driven quite hard if you are getting serious in the dunes.
If it has to be a LR do yourself a favour and take a series II disco for a spin as well, the body style is not a mod friendly as the 110s and it does not have the defenders no sh1t looks, but they are a fantastic touring vehicle and with their 90lt fuel tank they also have a much better range than the defender does, remove the rear seats upgrade the suspension and fit a CDL and you will have a great vehicle for the trip you have planned. Getting out of a disco at the end of a long days driving will leave you more refreshed than getting out of the defender. I have a 2002 TD5 110 and my wife has a 2004 V8 disco and I am considering a trip to Jordan from Dubai in the next year or two and if I go I will take the disco as it is a much nicer cruising vehicle and still very capable off road. I just completed a 3700km trip around Oman in 11 days earlier this month in my defender as it was a very off road orientated trip and my 110 is better set up for the driving we were doing, on the offroad part of the trip is was a pleasure to drive but for the 1500 km drive home on the tar I would have killed for our disco, as the temp was in the mid 40s, the 110s A/C works as a chiller at best and will only bring the cab temp down to the low 30s at best where as the discos is very good, coupled with being able to sit on 120-140kph with the cruise control etc makes driving the long distance miles a pleasure. A trip from the UK to Egypt will involve a lot of road miles, thats why I would recommend seriously considering a TD5 series II disco.
As far as "Which 250,000km vehicle wont break down"
Well I hope I don't jinx my LC120, D4d, but at just 30 months old, she has 320,000km under her reliable belt.
It's when I get questions as to weather I park it on a rolling road at night, that brings a smile to my face.
Another "smile bringer" is when the Land Rover owners know the price of all the parts !
Yes, I just got a big grin.
Trust me the Prado driven hard has its fair share of problems as well, but kept mainly on the road it will outlast a LR any day, and will not have all the oil leaks and other niggling LR problems. When push comes to shove you cannot beat a beam axle over IFS for hard offroad use, be it LR or Toyota. In saying that if anything ever happens to my wifes series II Disco I think we will replace it with a Prado as her car does not get driven hard off road just touring, dirt roads etc.
Here is a picture or what happens when the bottom ball joint lets go on a prado, this one had to go home on the back of a recovery truck.
Lets face it any car can have problems with off road use .
The main thing has to be preparation , loads of checks of known faults of what ever type of car you use .
The other thing worth concidering has to be depending where your going is can I repair it in the bush ? lots of modern cars most people cant ..
In landrovers favour in the UK anyway parts are cheap , and the knowledge base is huge .
Having said all that I for one would still stick to my G wagen ..
With all respect but a Prado is not a real Landcruiser, its basically a Hilux with a hardbody.
The real Landcruisers have beam axles in front, even the very modern and up to date 100 series still has a beam axle. So I think the Prado should not be dragged into the comparison between LC and the Defender.
Noel sorry to correct you mate but the new 100 series has IFS with torssion bars which has now been superseeded by the even newer 200 series which has dropped the torssion bars and is now similar to the Prados IFS, it has not really been released long enough to know if they have any problems with the new 200 series yet. I am not 100% sure but I think the solid axle 105 series cruiser is also out of production, maybe it is available in some markets for the UN etc, but I think not as all the UN cruisers that come through Dubai nowdays which get fitted out are the newer style LC70 5 door troppies.
They are no doubt a fantastic vehicle but look worse than my mother in-law, which takes some doing. The ute versions with a decent bullbar looks OK apart from the front axle being wider than the rear.
You can even see in this photo how the front axles is wider than the rear, how the normally level headed Toyota let this happen I don`t know, wheel spacers on the rear solves the problem, but I am not sure of the legalities of running wheel spacers and if over time that maybe it may increase the loadings on wheel bearings etc possibly leading to a failure on vehicles which have spend most of their life heavily loaded.
nibshis - I hav eexactly the same reasons as you for choosing my Defender. With my heart. OK the head says get a very profitiant LC (more money mind) but as you say everytime I turn the key, or jump on the roof I get an amazing sense of happyness.
And to tell the truth, everytime he breaks down (only twice!) I smile, pat him on the side and tell him I love him!
I'm much happier going with my hear tthan my head. People who go with their, by definition won't understand why us fools go with our hearts, because it's not a rational decision
I know my LC120 has front IFS coils (indipendant front suspension ) and rear solid axles, on coils.
This makes them so strong in my opinion.
Also they ride on coils all round, and if Toyota were concerned about the use of IFS on the front's then I am sure they would have thought long and hard about the newer 100 seies, and the newer 200 series.
All of which have the very same suspension as the PRado ( Land Cruiser 120 series )
I don't know much about the other Toyota's, but the LC 120 would probably take a "real good hiding" before she went down on her knees.
All in all, I believe the 2002 and onwards Land Cruisers are pretty hard to beat as an on road, and an off road vehicle.
On the road, the 3.0 liter D4d will cruise effortlessly, loaded up in the rear.
Fuel consumption at a steady 60mph, (100km/h) on cruise control, is a respectable 30 mpg, with about 300kg load in the rear.
With the 87 liter tank (19.1 gallons) has given me 500 miles with quarter tank left.
So, perhaps the older land Cruisers were thirsty, I know, because my son in law has one, but the newer ones are very economical, as far as 4x4's are concerned.
Yup - unfortunately the beam axle 105 is out of production and the last ones were scarce as hen's teeth: I know because I was trying to get one for company fleet use. This is a bugger as effectively the only rigid axle LC now available in a station wagon format is the "Mother in Law" 76 series :-) Very nice car (apart from the looks), but for ferrying our staff and visitors on bad African roads it won't win any favours with a shorter wheel base than a troopy but the same rear leaf springs. The new 200 series is also about €35k in it's basic form, so more than €10k more than the price we used to pay for a std 105 series. A bit more than we are prepared (or my MD will let me!) to pay. So we were pretty much left with no choice (assuming we stick with Toyo) but the Prado. No doubt the Prado is good, but 4/5 years pounding the potholes will I am sure take a heavier toll than on a rigid (i.e. non-IFS) axle L/C. If nothing else the front wheel alignment on IFS vehicles can be quite a problem to keep right in the bush. Yesterday I had a shot of a Toyota Tundra V8 Petrol double cab... wow! And the really crazy thing is in the USA they are paying about €18,000 for a very well equipped monster of a p/up. Less than we have to pay for a crappy SA built 3.2 Nissan D22. Some things are just not fair. Although consumption might be a 'small' issue! Interesting to note there is quite a market in USA for dedicated off-roaders converting their Tundras and Tacomas to solid front axles for better articulation.
My Two pence worth: I drove Nairobi to Cape Town and back in the following vehicles:
Landrover series 2a 109 - 1972 - Three times
Suzuki SJ410 1992 6 months round trip
Landrover 110 turbo (and later with a Nissan 2.8 conversion engine)
Defender 200Tdi pick-up, converted to a safari vehicle.
I also have varied travel experience in an 1984 Range Rover, a Mitsubishi Pajero and 78 Landcruiser mostly on severely bad roads in Kenya and Tanzania.
One thing I do know is that you shouldnt exceed the weight limits in anyway at all. The worse the road the less you should load the vehicle.
If I can do six months and 24,000 in a suzuki jeep without overloading it, then you can and will do London to cairo in your Defender.
Its an attitude thing, My '79 Landrover Station wagon was an ultimate overlanding machine, slept 2 in the back, 2 on the roof in real comfort, two 40 litre tanks under the front seats and the 80l in the back, winch and welding machine run off the altenator. The original straight 6 2.6 petrol engine is surprisingly great, I took this vehicle everywhere, on every terrain. From up muddy tracks on Mt Kenya to along the sand-dunes on the beach in South Africa. and it diddnt ever not get me to a destination.
However in difficult times I experienced a few breakages, but nothing I could not fix. And certainly nothing that shouldnt have broken given what it went through and how it was loaded.
The Suzuki jeep was small but very capable, in fact other than the very small part, it was unstoppable.
The Pajero (Shogun) is alright, but really not in the same league.
The Range Rover is thirsty, but enormously capable, throw a fridge in the back, and spare wheels and jerry cans mounted on the tail gate and your good to go anywhere in comfort.
The Defender in various guises is my preferred choice, provided you dont overload it. The 4 door stationwagon with rear seat removed or a pick up with a suitable rear are great.
I modified all of mine heavily to suit the purpose, and having the pick up section with a lockable box was really great, but possibly less practical in cities.
If I could make one suggestion it would be a low mileage 110 HCPU 300Tdi, then modify a suitable rear section for your needs.
There are some former national electricity / water board vehicles which have pretty much been prepared for you with side access, these would eb great alternative.
The HCPU Landies are stronger, have a steel rear tub with much wider tailgate making rear access easier.
The 300Tdi engine with modified zeus gears larger capacity iintercooler and you pay landrover to fully service it. i would also consider an additional electric fan wired to the dash board
If you build a rear frame and mount the roof top tent on top of it, with aluminium panel sides or canvas covering steel mesh. The top of the tail gate should be similar to a range rover. It should be completely lockable.
I like having rollup canvas covering steel mesh in frames that can be removed for a more out there feel, that sort of looks like a rear tub tilt, but is practical.
You can also remove the rear window panel to gain access to the front of the tub section.
Ultimately a roof top tent is the perfect sleep solution, one that swings out over the bull bar is neat, because you dont need extra ladders and can move the landy with it up. But one over the side, allows much more scope for a shower tent or additional shade.
In truth you will not have any problems, provided you dont drive like a hooligan, or over load it. Remember; use Low ratio in advance.
Oh and keep the vehicle running cold. dont switch the engine off without running it for a while, preferably faced into the wind, if really warm
Parabolic springs on a series 3 would do just fine, if a little slow.
Anyway, back on topic , with a 110 SW (which i've also got), you can remove the rear panels (with the slidy windows) and bolt in a pair of 'series' (as in, series 2 or 3) plain side panels, they fit straight in, and hey presto, you've got yourself a 110 commercial (As available from the factory),
This will eliminate the side windows, better security etc, and when you get home you can bolt back in the original side panels and get the true station wagon back again.
so you'd gain a kind of "half van/half SW", rear end will be a bit darker inside, might be better for sleeping etc.
Sorry this is off topic but just a few more thoughts on the 120 Land Cruiser. They're a fantastic vehicle but the front end is a weak point for prolonged off road use. I've had 2 and have clocked up over 100,000km in each with most of it off road in North Africa and throughout Europe.
Corrugations will put a lot of stress on the front end. Double skinning the front inner wings will help. Mine had split from top to bottom on both sides of the vehicle after a few weeks of tough driving. This is a common mod as used by some of our French and German colleagues.
Top wishbone ball joints wear very quickly and Mt toyota will only sell a complete wishbone with ball joint fitted. You can get the joint alone from motor factors but it takes a bit of tracking down. (BTW 90 series joints don't fit!)
Solid axles are definately superior which is why I've now got a 78 series. It's great but, boy, do i miss the 120 series on the Autoroute!
Land Rover or Land Cruiser? The arguments are more hackneyed than a cab. You buy what you want to buy for the reasons that are best for you. If I wanted reliability then a Land Cruiser wouldn't come close: it would be a G wagon every time. But then I didn't buy my truck for reliability. I was under it again this afternoon.
I bought my truck because I love it and because so does everyone else we ever meet on the road. We have a 101. Thirty years old, ex-military so god knows what it's history is, with less parts availability than even a series 3. I can't count the number of people we meet just because they come over with a smile on their face to ask questions about the truck. What's travelling about if it's not about meeting people?
I don't care how many times I break down. Each time I do I meet even more interesting people. Every time I drive it I fall in love with it all over again. That’s the point though isn't it? I have valid reasons to justify the pain, money, time and hassle that even a 101 can bring, so 110? G Wagon? Land Cruiser? Who cares? As long as you have your own reasons and they bring you pleasure then any other talk is tantamount to immature boys comparing dick size.
Yes ours is the one with the extended back. Hope you aren't missing Tiguur to much! Wouldn't mind picking your overlanding brains - is that OK? Will pm you my email address so you can cantact me if you are happy to talk
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