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Old 7 Oct 2012
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Garstang, Lancashire, UK
Posts: 77
I have toured Scotland on a Transalp 650, a Varadero 1000, and an XT660R. The Varadero had full aluminium luggage and I felt embarrassingly "over-biked" . Size, weight, power, luggage, all too much for sightseeing the wilder parts of Scotland. The Transalp and the XT were both about right.
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: ojai, ca usa
Posts: 19
DR650 cheap light and simple, all you need.
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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I toured the west coast of scotland last june on a varadero 2 up,alu panniers fully loaded and enjoyed every minute...in fact going back next year on same bike.
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Old 16 Oct 2012
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Location: Scotland
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I've toured Scotland(easy, because I live here!) on a load of bikes from a BSA Bantam to my Mk1 TDM, and it's all good!

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Old 28 Jan 2013
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I agree that there's a lot of bikes that would be great in scotland. The road conditions can be varied though so it depends on the type of riding you want to do.
My first camping trips around scotland were on a cbr 125. This bike isn't the fastest, especially when fully loaded, so I tried to avoid the major A roads when possible. Even at 60mph (close to the limit of that bike on the trip) you'll get cars travelling far too close to you on the A9, because they want you to go faster. Likewise, if you are behind the trucks you'll lack the power to get past safely. I remember a couple of times truck drivers indicating for me to go past them, but being unable to as i was pretty much flat out ! Once I was on the tiny roads it was fine though, but travel on busy routes is sometimes unavoidable.

Overtaking is something you should think about too. There are lots of campervans/caravans/coaches etc in the summer so they can be quite annoying. You might be happy to coast along behind them, but other impatient drivers become annoying as they rarely follow at a safe distance. I'd reccomend something that has enough power to deliver quick acceleration even when loaded.

The other thing you should know about a lot of roads in scotland is that they are single track. The advantage of a bike here is that the quick acceleration and braking means you can get up to speed quickly after passing places, and stop quickly when you see something coming. Progress on these roads can be pretty slow otherwise.

As for off road, I really wouldn't worry about it. As far as I'm aware, there isn't really anywhere that you can do it legally. There are forestry tracks etc, but these are ususally working logging areas and can be busier than you think. I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 28 Jan 2013
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Inverness, Scotland
Posts: 102
so is a smaller bike more suited to travelling round Scotland
if riding a 1000/1200cc bike do you just ride to fast and miss allot of the lovely scenery and get allot less mpg

so if you were on a 600cc getting 70 mpg at a leisurely pace would
this be an ideal size of bike for touring Scotland
Doesn't matter really. My bikes have a throttle control which allow me to go as slowly or as fast as I like. I think this idea will catch on! I find my GS perfect for most all of the roads up here and it can manage 50mpg+ if I'm not in the mood to spank it-they are easily the most common bike seen during the summer- but I have more fun on my Laverda RGS. Where are these forest trails of which you speak?

Whatever, when the roads are empty and the sun is out, it's all good...

1997 R1100GS, 1985 Laverda RGS, IBA 44014
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