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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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RTW Trip - NEED Help and Advice

Hi all,

I'm new to HUBB but have been reading it for quite some time and am really glad that I found it. (linked from Erin and Chris' Ratay's website ) I'm planning a RTW Trip with my wife in 2010. I've read a lot of threads about what bike to choose and how to equip it - great help.

We're planning to Start from UK and then India -> Asia -> Australia -> New Zealand -> South America -> Central America -> USA -> Europe(back to home).

There are a few things that always troubled me. We're going two up so I'm thinking about BMW 1200 GS or 1150 GS. The thing that I always was worried about is the fuel capacity of the tank. Is it difficult to get petrol in more remote areas of the world? If so is it better to have BMW 1200GS Adventure with a bigger tank or upgrade 1150 GS and give it a bigger tank or is that not an issue at all? How about the money for the trip - it's not like we're going to get a cash machine in the middle of nowhere so how do you guys do it? How much money do you carry with you at all times? Is it better to have a factory fitted panniers or maybe custom make them yourself. What about the top case - better to have it or is it better to fit some sort of a strapped bag on the back? What is a better route to India and Asia from Europe - north of Black Sea through all the ...stans or South of Black Sea through Turkey and Iran?

All help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks a lot in advance!
Andy
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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Surely if you travel with a BMW you will need a laptop and diagnostic equipment in case of a breakdown?
There are many other bikes better suited to an RTW trip.
Bigger fuel tank? Carry jerrycans?
Unless you're going well off road I doubt that you will be further than 200/300 miles away from a source of fuel.
Keep in touch and let us know of any developments!
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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Get both of you off to the Ripley HU meeting .. BOOK NOW!

be prepared for 3 days of infomation .. split up so you both attend different talks .. take notes .. you learn a lot ..

Most of the basic stuff you have just asksed are answerd over on the left side bar .. it takes about a week of reading over there before you have that information down .. but even after a year here on the HUBB and with the stuff on the side bar .. you'll still get a lot out of a HU meeting ...

Oh - and welcome. Contribute your ideas and problems .. they help. Problems help by letting others know of the probelm .. and possibly solutions will come forward. Ideas are always welcome, don't expect all to agree .. but even total rejection causes further though on that area ..
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Great! We're definitely going to go to the HU Meeting in Ripley.

As far as the fuel goes I guess that it's better to carry a couple of jerrycans just in case, because we want to do a bit of off-road'in as well. I thought that the Beemers are quite electronicaly complicated - especially the newer ones. And the guy quoted me £13,500 for the new adventure, so I think that its better to buy a good bike for £4,000 -> £5,000 and modify it myself to suit our needs.

I'll try and dig in and find out which route to choose to Asia from Europe - north or south of black sea. And of course try and fnid out about the bike. If not a beemer then what Maybe an older beemer with less electronics? I dont't know why but I wuite fancy them somehow.

Anyway thanks a lot for your response. I'll start digging right away!

Cheers!
Andy
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Cool. I've read a lot about the GS1200 in comparison with Suzuki Vstrom650 and according to many people the suzuki is the way to go even two up so I think that we're going to test ride a couple and see. The only thing is the main difference to me: chain in comparison to drive shaft. I'm concerned that maintenance of the chain can be a little pain in the butt. What do you think guys?

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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Don't get hung up about chain maintenance. It's good to get in the habit of looking around the bike at the end or start of each day. Oil the chain, check the engine oil. It's a lot better to notice a bolt or nut coming loose than trying to find a replacement. It doesn't have to be every day but once you know your bike you'll know how often is required.

If you want a chain oiler I can recommend the "Loobman" You stick any old engine oil in it. It's operated by hand as and when required and gravity delivers the oil to the chain. At £17 it's cheap and it works, what more could you need?

The only other advice I could give about a chain is once you're fully loaded up and both of you are sitting on the bike get someone to check there is still some slack in the chain. If it's too tight it'll cause you some problems down the line.

In the end it doesn't really matter what bike you have as long as it'll carry you where you want to go. Think light and simple, no-one wishes they were on a heavier more complicated bike!
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Scottoiler

Hi, the Scottoiler is another version of automatic chain lubricator. I can't comment on it as I use a shaft drive bike but they are widely used and very well spoken of. Linzi.
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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I did 50,000 miles on a 1200GS and currently have a 1200GSA with 45,000 miles on the clock. I don't think it's the right bike for an unsupported RTW trip. It's too complex to fix if there's problems and the 1200GSA is also too heavy.

I also have the new 800cc F650GS twin with 11,000 miles since June. This is about 20kg lighter than the 1200GS (or 50kg lighter than the 1200GSA), about half the price, and consumes one third less petrol. However with fuel injection and complex electrics I would still hesitate to rely on it for a RTW trip.

Tim
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Old 1 Nov 2008
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Unless you must go 2 up dont. Get 2 cheap bikes like a KL650 or DR650 or DL650 or if you must have a BMW a f650 or 800 or what ever there calling it now. If you must go 2 up try other bikes before making the leap to the BMW like a DL1000. All bikes brake down.
As for the chain a good lubed chain will last a long time I have 20,000 miles on mine (DL650). Just spray, shoot or drip it on once a day or so.

I dont like the BMW fitted cases. Id look in to Metal Mules.
I like a straped on bags on the back over a box. I have both. The bag is more expandable and a nice back rest as im solo all the time. The down side is a bag is easy to get at for people looking to take something and not as easy to get in to for me. A packsafe net will keep it safe from most walk by thefs. A bag is easer to move if you need to shift the load forward.
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  #10  
Old 1 Nov 2008
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Thanks a lot for the Info. I'm seriously considering DL650 at the moment. Big enough for 2 up and lighter then the beemer. Also Fuel consumption is quite low compared to the bMw or DL1000 so i think it's going to be a wee.

I'll think about installing a chain lubricator like scottoiler or similar.

Thanks again and see you outthere
Andy.
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Old 2 Nov 2008
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One vote for the DL650, which we rode from Europe to Australia last winter with my girlfriend. I used to have Africa Twins and Transalps, and the DL is just as reliable - if properly maintained, it will keep on going, and there are no known major worries in general.

And it carries luggage like you wouldnt believe (consider fitting springs for the load, though!) We even had, on top of everything else, spare tyres mounted on the sides of the fuel tank, needed to do some extra weldings to the crashbars to be able to do that. Still it could do 150kms per hour, and still handled ok, not that we ever needed to go that fast, but for a ´650-only´ bike, that costs a fraction of some bigger ones, I think thats remarkable. The frame is much sturdier than is usual on this kind of bikes, and its benefit shows here.

It run on any gasoline, sometimes a little knocking, but you needed to be careful with the throttle.

Its subframe will not break like some others. Its wheels are durable, even though they are cast type. Being able to use tubeless, which can normally be repaired quite easily, is a plus on a long trip.

We had a huge sack of spare parts, out of which we ever needed a set of brake pads! Even the chain & sprockets, renewed before leaving, lasted the whole trip. The bike´s got ABS, not one technical problem with that, either, not during the trip or after (its now done 55000 kms).

For the price - and also considering it will probably be hard to get any comprehensive insurance for the bike on a trip like this, so you probably have to risk losing the bike completely, if bad luck strikes - I think DL650 is pretty hard to beat. And especially 2-up, which is where a lot of other great options will suffer. If we ever decide to go on a trip like this again, which I hope we will, the choice of the bike will be easy.

Our ´blog´, which Im currently translating fully into English, hoping that will be completed in a few months, is at: w w w .moto1.fi/blog
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Good luck with your trip

Hi
sure the h-u is the BIBLE FOR TRAVELERS
about the bike ,you may look for a neat old BMW (g/s 800 -or 1000 ) like Johnson's .its easy bike to maintenance ,with a large tank ,
just want to ask you ,why you wont pass by Africa ??
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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I had a DL650 for a weekend, with girlfriend and loaded for camping. But I found it too slow. I ended up with the DL1000.

Fuel economy is a problem for the DL1000 if ridden fairly quickly. But 200 miles if taking it easy, though I've yet to run out.

it's worth taking both 650 and 1000 out for a test ride, Saltire in Edinburgh should have at least the 650 available for test ride. If you need a prod around the 1000 let me know.

You really have to test ride with your wife on the back. Her comfort is just as (often more so) important than yours. You have plenty of time, so ride as many of the options as you can. Are the grab-rails in the right position, do the rear pegs vibrate, can she see over you, etc?

What other people recommend can only be taken as a very loose guide, as you ain't other people.
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Why 650 for RTW:

- A bit lighter

- Better fuel economy / range (same size tank), and especially from 2007 onwards

- Cheaper, so less of a pain, if totally lost and no insurance cover for the country, where the incident happened, as can often be the case on a trip like this

- Less demanding to keep the throttle bodies sync´d

- ABS-option (why it still isnt an option on the 1000, is beyond me)

- About similar touring comfort, and load carrying ability in both

For areas with fast highways, like Europe and North America, I´d consider the 1000. But for RTW, I personally wouldnt need the extra power of the big engine (as much as I´d need that better range, for example). But that´s just my view, others may disagree.
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Depends totally on your plans...

I guess all are right. Now please think of what do you want to do? Many miles offroad in Africa (although not on the list), Asia or South America? OR do you prefer to stay on tarmac? Then the Beamer can be a good choice. There exists a worldwide support network and yes, it works as friends told me. But it is expensive and again, depends on your budget I guess. I agree with Tom, less Electrics and a bit old fashion can be repaired everywhere. Although I went on a KTM, I would propably next time choose a Japanese bike. They can be found everywhere in the world, all mechanics can repair them and parts fit them all.
Whatevery you do, my tip: Travel as light as you can, once in trouble, you will hate any extra pound.
Good luck.
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