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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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.
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Suzuki TechSuzuki Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Suzuki riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
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Nice looking bike! If you plan to travel light, I'm sure you will have a lot of fun on it. Are you planning on going places with a big distance between fuel sources? With only 6.8l total capacity, you are going to be looking for fuel every 150km or so. We plan on traveling on TS185s but with the TF185 14l fuel tanks. I must say the thought of a four-stroke's better fuel economy, with the oil prioces climbing, is becoming a bit more appealing
I originally bought the Alp for classic trials but I've recently been looking around for a replacement for my current travel bike (KTM LC4). I've been reading some of the posts in this forum especially those on using the TS185, and as I already own the Alp I'm thinking why not travel on it?
My next big trip is another attempt at trans-Africa - just waiting for certain areas to become safe enough to pass through, and saving up the money. So a good fuel range is a requirement - for my planned route I currently reckon that 400km plus reserve will be needed.
On the Beta I've had about 30km/litre, unloaded, riding normally, on sealed roads. At one time an auxiliary fuel tank was available which I believe contains about 4 or 5 litres which should give me a range of around 300km loaded up - this all needs testing. For the rest I'm looking at carrying a 5 litre can as part of my baggage.
I guess travelling light must be something of a necessity on a small bike - but then IMHO taking as little as possible is always the wisest course. The only other problems I can think of are that the ride south through Europe will take a while longer than on a bigger bike and I question whether a small loaded bike will have enough torque to get through the soft sand often found in the Sahara? We'll see.
By the way I briefly rode a TS125 in the 80s - the model with a low slung exhaust pipe. Great bike - I don't think anything went wrong with it, but my riding wasn't so good - I crashed it once off-road and cracked 4 ribs that still hurt today.
I have an 1991 Beta Alp (TR35) with the 2 stroke engine. Anyway, I also happen to have a 97 Suzuki DR200SE that I use for SOLO backcountry touring here in the USA and Canada.
The big bike/little bike debate will rage forever because each side has such strong arguments for their case. Though I also have a F650GSD the 200 equally gets the nod for the points that support the small bike argument (trail bike size, lightweight, simplicity). Though it takes MUCH longer to get somewhere I prefer the lightweight package DR200 (300-325lbs laden, less fuel) to the F650GSD (500-525lbs laden less fuel) for areas where the going may get rough. Both bikes have about the same range/tank at about 225miles or 375 km. Once I'm there I find my travel speed about the same on either machine; I like to smell the roses (or should I say the pine and spruce) when in the backcountry. I do find the the 200 to be less intrusive to the senses than the 650 as I plod along.
I also changed my final ratio from a 15:45 to a 15:42 for a nice 40-45mph/70kph cruise in 5th and a 35-40mph/65kph cruise in 4th. There is a slight improvement in top end performance but I view the 200 as a 50mph/80kph max machine; any more and it is overworking the engine and a taller final will just sacrifice "out of the hole" performance. I ride with taking care of the bike always in mind.
I have not RTW'd. There is just so much to see here in the USA and Canada(before they pave it all or turn it into one big strip mall) I'm not sure if I'll ever leave this continent but applaud those that do. Perhaps the day will come for me, until then....
From what I remember the 2-stroke Alp was much closer to a trials bike than the 4-stroke, the 2-stroke being pretty much the trials bike with lights and a seat (and passenger foot pegs?). Coming from a trials-riding background I'm quite keen on these trail bikes derived from trials bikes, but prefer 4-strokes, otherwise I may have bought a Pampera instead of the Alp. I'm just wondering if Montesa will bring out a trail version of their 4-stroke Cota - you can already get the lighting kit, and a seat/extra tank unit.
Anyway, IMHO the arguments in favour of a small bike are greater fuel economy, less weight means easier going off road and cheaper shipping, and lower purchase cost, and possibly less attention in countries where bigger bikes aren't usually seen. The downsides are limited carrying capacity (then travel light) and as you've pointed out you need to allow more time to get places. That said taking the back roads can be much more rewarding...
I'm not sure of the final drive ratios on the Alp - I'll have a look when I go into the garage today to fit some shiny new Renthal handlebars and Acerbis handguards.
I'd be interested to know the baggage setup you use for your DR200 (or Alp for that matter) - if any. I'm looking at a Wolfman mini-Beta and tank panniers for my Alp.
I can see your point regarding having so much to see in one's own region: I'm just disovering the trails of Spain, not to mention that relatively speaking we have eastern Europe and northern Africa on our doorstep.
Though I have the extended ride kit (optional seat(a bit of a joke) and lighting kit)for my Beta Alp I have never fitted them. The Beta is used as a trials skills bike for me at a nearby ORV park that has some terrific isolated sections (from the other 2 and 4 wheel traffic) for such practice. This model is the tube frame type that I would consider a recreation model being one generation removed from the beam type that had already hit the competition circuits at that time. Would never consider this Alp for even any lengthy trail riding. As much as I like 2 strokes (have TZ125, IT175, RGV and RS 250's too) I prefer the mild (read that quiet; loud pipes lose rights) 4 strokes for any traveling. Currently have Beta down for full chassis rehab (previous owner neglect of lubrication points).
I really like the Suzuki 200 engine though it sure could use a 6th gear in the tranny. I have run this bike in the same ORV park sections as my Beta and it does very well with a stock final ratio. This perfomance is what led me to first try it as a backcountry mount. Already mentioned it's over the road performance and if one can handle the reduced pace and manage other traffic while on main roadways you are good to go. I think of the DR200 as my powered mountain bike.
It just so happens I use the Wolfman Mini Beta, the Wolfman Denali tank bag which though designed for the F650GS fits the D200SE tank profile just fine(but I remove the side pockets for both bikes and your Beta profile may be different), a Camelback Mule but with a Platypus reservoir, several Aerostich bags that I strap to the mini-beta, and two 1L fuel cans (in case). Modern backpacking and motorcycle equipment sure makes the job of packing easier than 25 years ago. Have not had need to go with tank panniers yet because of tank bag and distance I cover (usually under 1200mi/2000km).
Keep me posted on your experience with your Beta and that Suzuki engine. Spain sounds great.
The opportunities are endless for 2 wheel travel no matter where you are. I watch/monitor the major cycling tours and think how great it would be to be on a bike there some day; or some other place(s) (Scandinavia, UK,S. America, etc) I have heard about. It just goes on and on.....
As you say the Suzuki motor could do with a 6th gear. I recall the 125 version may have this. No problems so far with the Alp, but then it's only done about 700 miles. The only problem I heard of was from a friend who's final drive sprocket came off his Alp. I've no idea if he'd used the correct torque and/or thread locking fuid.
I did a 400 mile round trip a few weeks ago mainly on A-roads (next category down from motorways/interstate), taking in a classic trial en route. Not really much discomfort, even through torrential rain on the way home - that motor's really smooth.
I measured up the possibility of using tank panniers today - no chance as my knees are much too far forward. Oh well, I'll have to cut the luggage down again.
I can strongly recommend Spain, at least the Pyrenees - I was there for a 2nd trip a few weeks back. So many trails, good food, spectacular scenery. I can recommend Vibraction (http://perso.orange.fr/vibraction/index.htm) for roadbooks.
I was surprised to hear of someone considering an Alp for distance touring. I have both an Alp and a DR200J (88). The DR is great for green-laning and it's big enough for road work. The earlier models are much more off-road oriented than the newer ones - better gound clearance. I find the Alp is just too small (I'm not big at 5' 7") and on fast lanes it can get crossed up because of its shortness. But it's great for rocky climbs and off-piste work. The 200 fourstroke engine is a gem. Reliable and tireless.
I just happen to own the Alp and I think it'd make a nice machine for the sort of trip where you'd fly yourself and the bike in, have 2 or 3 weeks touring around, then fly home. In fact just the kind of trips I'm planning over the next couple of years.
In my experience, provided one travels light, which I do, a big bike is only useful for getting to where you're planning to have your adventure e.g. riding down through Europe to the Sahara. Then again, the whole journey is arguably an adventure.
I have covered some distances on the Alp, which I actually bought for classic long distance trials, namely riding 100 or so miles to the trial start, riding the event (usually around 70 to 250 miles), then riding home. I've even had it on the motorway where it's been more convenient than the smaller roads. It will easily cruise at 60mph, providing there's no steep inclines or headwind...
Northerners! The weather outside is frightful, so what better time to start planning your next adventure! To help you get started, for February we're taking 30% off the Get Ready! DVD in the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GETREADY' on your order when you checkout.
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