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  #16  
Old 10 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I can see a lot of great things with heavy bikes (range, power, security, ability to carry water and food, funfactor, comfort, some are reliable etc).

Personally I use a 200kg bike for traveling...

... I'm saying that we have different preferences. There is nothing wrong with that.
(range) OK nice to have less stops for fuel, (power) when do you need the extra power from the R1200GS in comparison to a F650?, (security) ???, (ability to carry...) OK, (funfactor) funfactor is also available for small bikes!, (comfort) OK but you don't travel RTW on a motorbike for comfort now do you?, (some are reliable) some small bikes are too!
So that leaves us with these advantages:
-range
-carry more stuff
-comfort

You use a 200kg bike, then we are talking more about a F650 than a R1200GS? Let's say middle class, but not a 1000+cc, is it?

Different preferences is OK, better than OK or else we all would be riding the same bike!
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  #17  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
(range) OK nice to have less stops for fuel, (power)
It's nice to stop other places then petrolstations, but the important part is that when you drive in the third world and want to get away from the main route and explore exotic places you will not find fuel (and water and food) everywhere. For me range is necessary!

I also use my long range back home. Last year I was going to a town 500 km away, I chose to follow gravel roads and 900 kms and 3 days later I got there. On my way I saw two petrolstations, it was a marvelous trip! For my this is freedom!


Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
when do you need the extra power from the R1200GS in comparison to a F650?,
There might be some situations like overtaking and getting out of a problem. But most of all it's because I enjoy driving powerful bikes. I travel for my own pleasure and a powerful bike increase my pleasure. I'm not saying that this point (or anything else I write) is important for other people but a lot of people like to have some extra power (air-filter mods, different exhaust etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
(security) ???, (ability to carry...)
A bigger bike will normally have a stronger frame, better rims, better brakes, better suspension and more comfort then a small bike. For me this is safety-factors. I don't find it fun or safe to travel with a overloaded bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
OK, (funfactor) funfactor is also available for small bikes!,
Sure, if you enjoy it then do it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
(comfort) OK but you don't travel RTW on a motorbike for comfort now do you?,
I'm not the kind of guy who rides RTW at all, I haven't found a nice route.
But yes I've had trips longer then RTW and I think I enjoy the trip more when I relax and watch the scenery then when I'm cramped on a small bike with a sore arse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
(some are reliable) some small bikes are too!
Sure, but in general I think twins are more reliable then singles. There are a lot of exceptions to this but basically I think a twin should make at least 150kkm without major problems and I don't expect that from a single.
My bike has 235kkm (it has been rebuilt). Some people like to change bikes often, I prefer to keep mine for a long time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
So that leaves us with these advantages:
-range
-carry more stuff
-comfort
Well, I think there are a few other factors, but the factors you listed are important (to mee). I always try to reduce my luggage, but it ads up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
You use a 200kg bike, then we are talking more about a F650 than a R1200GS? Let's say middle class, but not a 1000+cc, is it?
1043cc to be exactly.
Personally I'm not a big fan of the 1200GS, but if you look at the routes many people takes (95% tarmac, 4% fast gravel) I think it can be a sensible choice (for some). IMHO it's a machine for covering long distances on most kind of roads- but as other bikes it has weak spots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
Different preferences is OK, better than OK or else we all would be riding the same bike!
Sure, that's why I don't see the point in topics like this
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  #18  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post

Different preferences is OK, better than OK or else we all would be riding the same bike!

Sure, that's why I don't see the point in topics like this
I think you may have misunderstood my reason for this topic.
My question in this thread/topic isn't about a competition between small and large bikes but I just want to know if somebody has a good reason for me to switch from my small bike to a large(r) bike.

Thanks a lot for your answers!
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  #19  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
...My question in this thread/topic isn't about a competition between small and large bikes but I just want to know if somebody has a good reason for me to switch from my small bike to a large(r) bike.

......!
Only you can know this.

Reasons for "needing" a bigger bike to replace a smaller one will vary from the entirely believable as circumstances change (see Alibaba and co above), to the honest to the honestly strange.

I used to believe that a certain badge meant I didn't need to learn mechanical stuff. I've reasoned that if 652cc allowed me to get to the top of Norway, 1085cc would obviously be required to go further, would wear better because it was less "stressed" and would give me more time due to less maintenance (shaft vs chain ). My local BMW dealers were pleased to confirm this (twice). A couple of years later I "needed" a 21-inch front wheel as I was going to become an off road God of some type (Yamaha agreed). This all pretty much wasted petrol money at the dealers and in the TT catalogue and didn't really achieve any more than I could have done by sticking with the first bike and learning how to use it. I blame Chris Scott for my stupidity, he obviously didn't know what I wanted to do when he wrote that book. .

I did sell an Enfield Bullet and buy the brick while shuffling jobs from one with a company car to one without that's 20 miles down the motorway. This verges on the sensible although I do miss kicking the green swine on sunny days.

If you want to hear real daftness find some bloke with a huge bike who's bought his wife a smaller one. Go ask if it doesn't make sense to have two the same..... .

Andy
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  #20  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
This has been discussed a few times already, but here we go....
And in the last day or so it has come around twice!!! http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...679#post374990

That's kind of weird (but that talk is going on in the bar).
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  #21  
Old 11 Apr 2012
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I always thought you need a medium sized bike ie a 650 Vstrom which I have done quite a few miles and lots of European trips.

So when looking for a bike for a RTW trip I bought a DR250.. lovely little bike but I couldnt get it out of my head that it was too small....

So I bought a Yamaha TT600RE... yep thats the bike :-)

However, I have just completed a 3,500 mile trip to Gambia on a
HONDA C90 !! and enjoyed every single minute of it... average speed... 45mph :-) you get to see so much more.

So the bike going on my RTW trip is .... My TT600 because I have put a lot of time and effort.. not to mention money on getting the bike just right.

I am keeping my 250 for a future trip to Africa.... less speed more to see

Cheers
Geordie aka Will
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  #22  
Old 12 Apr 2012
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Wink Honda C90 or BMW Adventura

Hi
No one can tell you which bike to ride you take the bike you feel most comfortable with, you only have to look at this site HU to see the many different bikes that travellers are on. You can go around the world on a Honda C90 just as easy as BMW Adventura. Skip
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  #23  
Old 12 Apr 2012
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I just thought I'd mention tyres and mpg

I had the chance to try a 1200GS and a XChallenge on the same muddy gravelly terrain, and the lighter bike made things so much easier everywhere, but the knobbly tyres as BMW supplied meant the 650 hardly ever slid, the 1200 slid its (high speed rated knobblie) rear all the time. Getting going again was easy on one, nigh on impossible at times on the other even with plenty of hands to push.

Riding to and from the "offroad" bit was nasty on the sewing machine smaller bike, lovely on the big one

I bought a 1200GS in 2005 to commute with and dream on, and loved it despite me being 5'6". 200 mile range without panniers, less with.

Now, I like the idea of the 650 Sertao purely because its supposed to do 80mpg, so again a 200 mile range but still a nasty engine?

To me, many people who say you need a more nimble bike are talking about mainly off road in their neck of the woods. RTW with proper off road seem to be a fairly rare combination from what I've read???

I wouldn't use a tiny bike for a holiday to ride 2000 miles to somewhere interesting either

Too many choices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason

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  #24  
Old 12 Apr 2012
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This is going to be unpopular though...

Maybe not for someone in HUBB, maybe not for a serious traveller, maybe not for 99% of you and not for many but... I've got quite a few friends (good as brothers, actually) riding 1200GS and, of course it is a great bike, it is very confortable, it has long range, you can carry your wife, your luggage, your dog and your aquarium... but social status was definitely involved in their decision. They are my friends, so I know that vanity was there as well. And the bigger, the better, as it happens with cars: bigger Mercedes, better than old 2CV. And if off roading, you have the Mercedes G owners, a class on its own. Sure, it's good...

So, I'm sure that it's not the case for those writing here, seasoned riders, serious off-roaders and many making 6ft 2" who are not going to ride a 125cc all the way to Cape Town (I'm smaller, travel less, etc, ok), but... the hipe of big bikes and particularly the GS is in many cases tied to upper class adventurous way (aka E+C LWR and the like), as the pimped Harley chopper with black/white tyres weekend bad-boy looking private banker (and I've got friends who are p. bankers, nothing wrong with that, they are nice). And sorry, that's a good reason why me, with all my prejudices, I don't feel part of that bunch.

I like the shity tiny cars, bikes and the people who like them. Especially if they can the big/expensive, but I like this way.

Sorry, I have to say it. I'm not ready for the storm if it comes, so do not be too bad with an honest prejudiced guy.

Whatever you ride, it's good, each one his needs, and there is the right time for everything (maybe for me is yet to come). I'm sure a huge bike is a great pleasure to ride as well. But when I see a GSA I feel I'm looking an XT who became a bodybuilder on steroids, kind of a Ben Johnson.

Happy travels,

Esteban

Last edited by estebangc; 12 Apr 2012 at 19:13.
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  #25  
Old 13 Apr 2012
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Nothing wrong with having a preference for one type of vehicle over another - as long as you realize that other folks will have different tastes. Even if I won a million dollars in the lottery tonight, I would never buy a Mercedes or a Cadillac - it's just not my thing. Why should bikes be any different?
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  #26  
Old 14 Apr 2012
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A few random thoughts based on my travels so far. Many of these are already noted by others.

I recently dropped a lot of weight by switching from hard luggage to soft (on a KLR650), and dropping a few extra items. After doing this I found I had a lot more fun riding. Easier on dirt roads, which I seek out often, and more nimble on pavement. Just be certain whatever bike you use is setup to be comfortable.

If you like carrying lots of stuff, get a larger bike. It will handle the heavy load better.

If you carry a pillion AND need lots of stuff, get a larger bike. But I am 100% confident I could travel happily on a KLR650 with a pillion that travels as light as I do. I've done it for short distances and been happy with the impromptu setup.

If you want to do all your own maintenance, choose a smaller bike, preferably with a carburetor. It will be a lot easier to work on.

If you are traveling lots of highway miles and must go very fast, get a larger bike. But I would only consider this in the USA, Europe, etc. where the roads are good. If you don't need to go fast a smaller bike still works fine. Just modify the bike to be comfortable by changing tings. Comfortable seat, possibly changing final drive gearing, better windshield, better grips, better handlebars, throttle lock, etc.

If you like to get on dirt roads away from civilization, take drop as much weight as possible. I would consider it more important to have less luggage weight than a smaller bike, but decreasing both is best. Also seriously consider soft luggage for this type of riding.

If you like being the center of attention, get a bigger bike. Ditto if you want fashion.

I ride a KLR650 setup for dirt riding and have one of the smallest amounts of luggage I've seen among travelers. I've spent a lot of time practicing riding dirt roads. But I still see small 125cc street bikes with tires resembling racing slicks going places that are impossible for me. Next time around I may try a smaller bike....
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  #27  
Old 14 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
Maybe not for someone in HUBB, maybe not for a serious traveller, ...... but social status was definitely involved in their decision. .....as the pimped Harley chopper with black/white tyres weekend bad-boy looking private banker (and I've got friends who are p. bankers, nothing wrong with that, they are nice). .......

Sorry, I have to say it. I'm not ready for the storm if it comes, so do not be too bad with an honest prejudiced guy.

Whatever you ride, it's good, each one his needs, ....


Esteban
Well said.

Every activity that gets any attention has it's Charlies. I've owned training shoes but have no intention of doing any running or jumping. I could claim they give me the chance to win medals once I've done some training and given up the pies and the and got over the stage where the thought of any physical exercise makes me sick and you'd simply think I was daft. Lots of fat old blokes wearing football shirts enjoy themselves and do little harm. Same goes for the sixty year olds with squared off tyres and Rossi lookalike leathers and the bad boy rebel bankers. It's telling some kid that he's only got a chance of getting to the Olympics/Premier league/RTW if he buys the kit with certain expensive logos that I find annoying.

I hang around here because despite having no intentions of going anywhere that involves lots of paperwork to get in and doesn't serve a decent cappachino when I get there, the ratio of guys with real information to Charlies is pretty high on the whole. There are a couple of other sites where your comments may be taken the wrong way but not I think here.

Andy
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  #28  
Old 14 Apr 2012
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I think the question is in reality unanswerable.
You should ride the bike you like to be with. That way you will find it easier to live with its downsides. All bikes have good and bad points in various proportions. It is your own mindset and physical abilities which will determine which particular bike will serve you best.
You can optimise your choice of bikes good points by selective routing. Conversely you can choose a bike that is optimised for your preferred routing. It is up to you where to make the compromises.
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  #29  
Old 15 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
Which is why I've reluctantly binned the idea of a small bike. Many things in their favour but two-up comfort's not really one of them...

I don't see the need for any more than a 650 though, unless you really WANT it

Whatever floats your boat.
Do you have a 650 in mind?
I have considered a few, but it all depends on your build (heavy weight westerner with a belly or just a 2m tall well built athlete??), the build of your pillion passenger, the general size and shape of both seats, the amount of luggage that you and your pillion need, or want, to carry, the duration of the trip, the nature of the trip (the old favourite question of "to camp or not to camp"), it goes on; all of these factors have always pushed me toward inline 4 cyls and hotel bookings!!
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  #30  
Old 15 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by othalan View Post
But I still see small 125cc street bikes with tires resembling racing slicks going places that are impossible for me. Next time around I may try a smaller bike....
This is a good point.

We found this guy in Mongolia who let us follow him to a monastery we were looking for. Despite having a couple of heavy bags of grain and his wife on the back, his route included a couple of trickier little bits that I could describe as goat trails. Fortunately we were also on a lightweight bike as I suspect being on a large "off-roader" would have led to the embarrassing situation of not being able to keep up, or more likely dropping the bike in a river.
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