Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Chat Forum > The HUBB PUB

The HUBB PUB Chat forum - no useful content required!

BUT the basic rules of polite and civil conduct which everyone agreed to when signing up for the HUBB, will still apply, though moderation will be a LITTLE looser than elsewhere on the HUBB.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree32Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Colchester, Essex
Posts: 7
The bikes we travel on

I have recently been reading about a complaint on the forum. It is concerns the problems a traveller endured in a far off part of the world due to the breakdown of his high tech, state of the art motorcycle and the subsequent lack of support he felt he got from the manufacturer.

This is not the first tale of woe I have encountered in regard to the shortcomings of travelling using a vehicle loaded with state of the art electronics and I wonder why people put themselves in this vulnerable position. If, as readers surely do, you wish to travel to and in these places, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to use vehicles better suited to the task. That is a vehicle that is uncomplicated, that can be more easily repaired in the field either by the rider or by a local workshop; one that is not largely tied to being fixed by the manufacturer’s dealer network.

I cannot think of any reason for buying and using a modern high tech bike for adventure travel, unless you are doing it the Ewan and Charlie way. Can anyone enlighten me?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,847
Because they can and want to!
Each of us decides what equipment or machines we like and works for us.
Few take the time to learn about their steeds/kit and rely on others to fix everything when things go pear shape.

Everything we use can break - expecting any support or claims made, usually driven by marketing forces... especially when very far from home can and usually does lead to great disappointment.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 190
I have moved in this direction a while ago by replacing my BMWR 1150GSA for an older and simpler BMW 100GSPD.......when I say replaced, that was because my 1150 was written off in a smash and I saw the 100 for sale in a rather fetching 90's style turquoise and white, a bit like the colour bike I would imagine a shell suited gay porn star would ride.

Then I realised it was simple to maintain and reliable....... as well as being in gay porn star colours.

win, win and win.

I have now moved back to a smaller ( 650 ) but modern bike, because the new bike gets twice the fuel mileage, is simple and and also appears to be very reliable.

The other main reason that I have gone back to a modern bike is because it is also my commuter bike for work, shopping,weekend fun, hunting solo teenagers etc.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Hopefully, this will not turn into yet another anti-BMW thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Because they can and want to!
And in the UK at least, have been doing so for a number of years.
BMW R 1200 GS UK’s best-selling motorcycle over 125cc - BMF’s Motorcycle Rider magazine

I feel sure you are referring to the recent thread about a Beemer 1200GS in Peru which had a problem; for every one of these that has a problem (which turned out to be a very well known issue that occurred for some years of this bike) there are countless others that complete their journeys with no problems at all.

It is a feature of human nature to hear only about problems - no one writes about things that go well, even including the press.

Footnote: For a second opinion, see post number 62 in here:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ed-know-8332-5
__________________
Dave

Last edited by Walkabout; 12 Jun 2013 at 22:54. Reason: footnote added
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Moderated Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 502
Actually, unless you want to ride 10+ year old machines, it's hard to find a decent bike without computers, FI etc etc.

So better get familiar with OBD, FI, fuel pumps and increasingly CANbus etc

None of it is that hard to understand, diagnose and fix; handy riders have fixed their F800GS type bikes with any old available fuel pumps in Africa. Granted immobilizer type problems are harder to work around, but even then there are known fixes and bodges.

Big mistake the OP made was not taking a GS911 with him and not listening to the advice the Adventure community gave him IMHO.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 Jun 2013
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 190
Old bikes are indeed great, unless you do break down with an unfixable problem, and require spares urgently.

As happened to me on my last big trip, the Old 100 GS decided to turn its starter motor into molten slag and a few other nearby parts got damaged as well.

Even though this happened in Albania, and I had to travel through Greece etc until finally get an unofficial repair in Budapest,Hungary....there was no number of bike shops that tried to help and could have got me the spares rapidly.....except, that old bikes like mine are not stocked as spares anymore and have to be ordered in.A newer bike like the R1200Gs could have had a new starter motor fitted on the day in Greece for example.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 168
A perennial discussion point.

What surprises me is not what bikes people choose to ride but the blind faith people many people put in their choice irrespective of whether they are old/new, simple/complex etc. Bikes are complex mechanical, and increasingly electronic, tools - of course they will break down sometimes. The wonder is they don't do it more often. If you can't live with a breakdown and its consequences choose another means of travel.

Many who bemoan problems with a bike (of any make) or dealer service seem to show a singular lack of self-preparedness, a gullibility in accepting the marketing messages of a manufacturer and all too commonly "its someone elses problem to fix it" attitude. If you get your enjoyment from a big expensive bike and want to take it away from its proven support network of dealers, then fine -do it. But also accept that if it breaks down it is going to be a pain in the arse; the local mechanics won't be experienced in fixing it, many dead ends may need to be followed before success and yes YOU have to pay for these both in $ and time. Many times people are putting themselves out even trying to help you so it seems harsh when people then complain about a behaviour which doesn't meet their ideal.

Me, I ride a simple old bike - not because it is any less likely to break down or easier to fix, but because it has less value. I can imagine how much stress a breakdown on a $20-30,000 bike must cause - you have so much invested in it you have to get it home and it has to be fixed at any cost. With my $2000 bike I tell myself at the end of the day if it all gets too hard I can simply walk away, catch the train, continue the trip and financially survive.

Sorry if this has turned into a rant.
__________________
Martin

back on the road again


http://awayonmybike.blogspot.co.uk/
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by navalarchitect View Post
A perennial discussion point.

What surprises me is not what bikes people choose to ride but the blind faith people many people put in their choice irrespective of whether they are old/new, simple/complex etc. Bikes are complex mechanical, and increasingly electronic, tools - of course they will break down sometimes. The wonder is they don't do it more often. If you can't live with a breakdown and its consequences choose another means of travel.

Many who bemoan problems with a bike (of any make) or dealer service seem to show a singular lack of self-preparedness, a gullibility in accepting the marketing messages of a manufacturer and all too commonly "its someone elses problem to fix it" attitude. If you get your enjoyment from a big expensive bike and want to take it away from its proven support network of dealers, then fine -do it. But also accept that if it breaks down it is going to be a pain in the arse; the local mechanics won't be experienced in fixing it, many dead ends may need to be followed before success and yes YOU have to pay for these both in $ and time. Many times people are putting themselves out even trying to help you so it seems harsh when people then complain about a behaviour which doesn't meet their ideal.

Me, I ride a simple old bike - not because it is any less likely to break down or easier to fix, but because it has less value. I can imagine how much stress a breakdown on a $20-30,000 bike must cause - you have so much invested in it you have to get it home and it has to be fixed at any cost. With my $2000 bike I tell myself at the end of the day if it all gets too hard I can simply walk away, catch the train, continue the trip and financially survive.

Sorry if this has turned into a rant.
You'll do for me!

The only thing I would add is that there seems to be an increasing number of people riding who have absolutely no idea about how an engine works; back in the days, you had to know in order to deal with such things as daily maintenance, never mind the minor breakdowns on the side of the road.
Now, vehicles, in all of their forms, are expected to run many, many miles on extended-life-oils with minimal interaction with the humans involved in the process of travel.

+ There seems to be a general increase in the approach to travel which involves flying around the world, purchasing a bike and just setting off, with a learner's licence (or even no licence) and next to no experience in riding.
Could these be related? Surely not.
Just asking.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13 Jun 2013
AliBaba's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,350
When my BMW was new it seemed like people loved to tell me that my bike was not suited for whatever I was doing and will fall apart in short time.
My bike is old now (16 year >240kkm) , and the people don't hassle me anymore, maybe they are to busy with the 800/1200GS crowd.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Yorkshire UK
Posts: 1,225
I have been in various camps. I loved my Enfield as great fun to ride and a very efficent means of geting places due to it's good range and light weight. I had to sell it as it wouldn't do my motorway commute to work. It was limited by 1990's Indian metalurgy and 1930's design tolerances. Knowing what to fix was easy, getting the bits was a PITA as the majority of the owners were thousand mile a year hobbyists who were just as happy with the bike in bits as moving. The parts came when the dealer finished selling chome polish and talking about the good old days.

I love my Wee and have plenty of toys, GPS, heated kit, internet access and so on. I have the means to diagnose a lot of the problems roadside with a paperclip to get the flash code going. The technology is what makes it reliable, efficient and a heck of a lot more powerful than the Bullet. You don't do 1000 mile days on a pushrod single and having two trip meters and all that electrical power is highly convienient. If I fried the engine ECU it would be painful.

I have run an 8 year old Triumph Bonneville in places it was never meant to go. It did it. Old bikes wear things out though. I could change the coil Hinckley use as a water collector in under 5 minutes given the amount of practice. I should not have had to, but Triumph designed this bike for old boys to go buy coffee on, they expected an 8 year old bike to have 7000 dry miles on the clock.

If they sold them here or I was going there I'd cheerfully buy the Utility 125's the Japanese sell outside of Europe. Quality, basic electronics where useful and the locals all trained up. I know plenty of riders who think 650cc should come with pink tassles on the bar ends and a basket for your teddy bear. 125cc in the Andes would have the voices in their heads making life very painful.

The CAN thing in Peru would seem at a distance of many thousands of miles easy to diagnose with a GS-911 reader and some training, neither of which is cheap or easy to get. The expectation a BMW dealer would have it readily available is entirely understandable, they will tell you the lie to your face (and I regret to say I've probably said things along the lines of "our office in XXXX will support you" knowing full well they were clueless grease monkeys in order to save my own job and sell something). I would buy a CAN bike only if it came with the diagnostic app for my phone though, experience tells me that what manufacturers claim for Germany doesn't happen in Wales never mind Peru. I do have about 12 years experience with other CAN vehicles while my experience with carbs etc. is as a hobby, so I would say my take on this has to be unusual.

There is no right answer. No one makes that 90 mph, 90 mpg, 350 mile range, 9000 mile service interval bike that never breaks down or can be fixed with a Swiss Army knife if it does. You pick your own balance of what is really available based on your own knowledge and performance requirements. I want quality electronics to a 10 year old design, only where they add something to where I use it, in a machine bought new, hence the Wee.

Peoples reactions to electronic failures are interesting though. If your laptop screen goes blue you will accept it isn't a 2 minute solution. If your engine goes bang and you can see what used to be the piston from the outside there is an acceptance that it is major. The very reliability (brake ECU failures in warranty were under 3 in a million) of vehicle electronics and the fact that they look so insignificant (video tape sized box) seems to lead to the conclusion that this is more like a duff spark plug than a highly significant event. There is also the unusual relationship with components. A welded up piston skirt is seen as a bodge fixing syptoms not a solution, yet people will ask you to solder new bits onto a failed circuit board and as long as it goes they are happy.

Andy

Last edited by Threewheelbonnie; 13 Jun 2013 at 13:37.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SW France
Posts: 266
Car and bikes have improved enormously over recent years. They are inherently reliable and because of this our expectations have risen. The breakdown is now rarity to the extent that probably the most likely thing that could stop you on your journey is a puncture and even repairing this has been greatly simplified with the advent of tubeless tyres on bikes.

I personally wouldn't even consider travelling in a developing country on a bike on which I couldn't fix at least 90% of potential faults myself at the roadside using tools and parts that I'm carrying on the bike. The idea of being reliant on some sort of international dealer network offering some sort of satellite/internet diagnostic service would completely spoil the trip for me. One of the main reasons for travelling by bike is the independance it gives you, the freedom to roam, get off the beaten path and the feeling that you need to rely on your own resourcefulness not just to fix the bike but to survive. Riding around on some techno wizardry spaceship with built in security systems that are just as likely to cause you not to go as they are to prevent your bike from being nicked, and more unnecessary programs and gizmos than your average washing machine is definately not for me.

But that is just me and I accept that this is not everyone's point of view or their motivation for travelling.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Posts: 93
Often forgotten during these discussions is the fact that third world or developing countries are full of complex, modern vehicles sporting elaborate electronics (i.e cars, trucks, buses) and somehow they seem to get fixed when necessary.

I recall an entertaining scene in Vietnam. A group of curb side, urban bush mechanics were hammering and wrenching away at scooters, the parts of which were spread all over a public street. Perhaps 50 metres away white coated technicians in glass enclosures were diagnosing scooter problems on laptops.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 13 Jun 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by navalarchitect View Post
With my $2000 bike I tell myself at the end of the day if it all gets too hard I can simply walk away, catch the train, continue the trip and financially survive.
Hello
If your bike is stamped in your passport or even under a CDP the bike has to leave the country with you,no matter the costs of the bike.
sushi
__________________
My RTW:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrXt660ztenere
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by plainshorse View Post
This is not the first tale of woe I have encountered in regard to the shortcomings of travelling using a vehicle loaded with state of the art electronics and I wonder why people put themselves in this vulnerable position. If, as readers surely do, you wish to travel to and in these places, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to use vehicles better suited to the task. That is a vehicle that is uncomplicated, that can be more easily repaired in the field either by the rider or by a local workshop; one that is not largely tied to being fixed by the manufacturer’s dealer network.

I cannot think of any reason for buying and using a modern high tech bike for adventure travel, unless you are doing it the Ewan and Charlie way. Can anyone enlighten me?
Personally I've grown very tired of anyone taking a modern BMW on an "adventure" tour being compared to Ewan and Charlie. The fact is that properly prepped, and if you carry a couple of spare parts, these bikes are generally very reliable. Several years ago I was with a group riding from China to France; mainly R1200GS, a KTM and one old BMW (R800GSPD?). Guess which one was the only one to break down and have to be shipped home from Siberia? Yes, the GSPD, despite having parts shipped for it from Europe, etc.

I think more problems tend to come up if you take a new bike right off the showroom floor and haven't done any research to find out about known weaknesses to correct them prior to the trip.

I think its great that people want to take their 20 year old bikes around the world and certainly agree that there is no need to go out and buy a newer bike to do so. But on the other hand, if you're buying a bike for this kind of trip, I see no reason to limit the choice to something without FI, electronics, etc. Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide what is appropriate for them, is it not?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16 Jun 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SW France
Posts: 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide what is appropriate for them, is it not?
Absolutely...

Any bike can suffer a terminal breakdown - one beyond roadside repair or even local repair such as gearbox or crankshaft failure but it is fair to say that, whilst it is very unlikely, it is probably statistically more likely to happen to an older bike than a more modern bike.

My issue with the latest generation of bikes loaded with even more tech is that there are so many more elements in the system which, if they fail, stop you from going. I'm not talking about FI and electronic ignition which have been around for years and have become reliable. However as these bikes appear there is obviously a new generation of traveller evolving who doesn't expect to have to know their bike and how to fix it but plans their trip around the dealer network.

I'm from the Ted Simon generation and as he says; it always gets more interesting when you break down. The Charlie and Ewan generation have a panic attack if the battery is flat in the satellite phone.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia - Bright Vic 24-26 Feb 2012 Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia HU Travellers Meetings - Australia 23 28 Nov 2012 06:04
Wanted bikes for travel SANTIAGO now mattperry TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 14 Jul 2012 20:49
Warning! Why not to rent bikes from Stonehead Bikes - Delhi! WorldlyMaret Southern Asia 16 12 May 2012 22:38
3 Bikes for sale in Peru Flachschieberli TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 16 Dec 2011 15:22
3 bikes for sale in Peru Flachschieberli South America 0 10 Nov 2011 21:04

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

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 (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:20.