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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #31  
Old 15 Apr 2012
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Going for the middle option...

Very interesting topic that there is no definative answer. Each to his/her own. I'm influenced by people like Lois Pryce - 225 Serow and TTR 250 - but have just bought a BMW G650GS Sertao as I believe it's the right bike for me - planning to go back to Africa in 18 months ish. Even then I wish the tank was a bit bigger - only 14l, but not often you need more than 200 miles range. So carrying a can or two is the answer. Weight, isn't too much and feels so much easier than my KTM950 adventure that is at home bombing about Europe but consumes nearly double the fuel and is far too fast for the trip I'm planning.
My view is that nothing is perfect!
Recently saw AJP motorcycles at a show in Manchester, they seem to be testing out a 250 adventure travel bike. Ideal for most of us and I hope they go on and produce 'em!
Cheers and happy riding
Col
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  #32  
Old 15 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
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
Totally agree, go for what you like, get the best basket trainers if you like basket or just the shoes, do not need to be in the Olympics. Or sometimes you plan to do it, but never get to that. But please do not lie yourself or the others with an stupid reasoning. You keep it to yourself, but if you still try to convince the others, then you may get an honest answer. I also belong to the group of ideas that often do not materialize as planned: it's always better to have dreams than nothing, especially if they are more on "doing" than "owning".

Thanks, I am happy nobody got harsh (I am not as honest as Touring Ted yet!), but it is a feeling I sometimes have to tell it... and could not stop myself when I wrote it.

Anyway, no matter what is the bike of anyone's preference here, just enjoy it for your purpose.

Esteban
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  #33  
Old 19 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
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!!
Hard to see past the V-strom for the combination of economy, reliability, comfort and carrying capacity. The plan is too buy in the states and ride down to South America for a an extended tour. We've had a 600 TA for a few years now and the only complaints I have about it are: it's a bit top heavy, a little cramped for two and I get butt ache very quickly. I've tried a sheepskin, airhawk and a custom seat all to no avail so it must be me..!
Incidentally, the other half thinks it's really comfortable.

I've never felt the need for more power though, 120kph cruising all day long with a bit in reserve if you feel the need. Good enough for me but feel free to differ.

I did consider a Bajaj Pulsar for all the reasons already discussed but decided it wasn't really going to work for two of us.
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  #34  
Old 20 Apr 2012
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My thread title is misleading but what i meant was:

- what are the advantages of bigger (heavier) bikes?

I've already seen some answers that make sense, thank you all for that.
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  #35  
Old 20 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post

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
Then there's the bloke who has a light small bike, but his wife owns the big, heavier 650!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElChico View Post
V] but have just bought a BMW G650GS Sertao as I believe it's the right bike for me - planning to go back to Africa in 18 months ish. Even then I wish the tank was a bit bigger - only 14l, but not often you need more than 200 miles range.
Col
Ride magazine are saying that the Sertao gave them 54 MPG on a run they did to the Scottish borders (no more than a couple of days); based on the earlier F650GS fuel economy, they must have been caning it.
But, yes, the tank is becoming a tad too small.
Dry weight = 175 Kg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
Hard to see past the V-strom for the combination of economy, reliability, comfort and carrying capacity. The plan is too buy in the states and ride down to South America for a an extended tour. We've had a 600 TA for a few years now and the only complaints I have about it are: it's a bit top heavy, a little cramped for two and I get butt ache very quickly. I've tried a sheepskin, airhawk and a custom seat all to no avail so it must be me..!
Incidentally, the other half thinks it's really comfortable.

I've never felt the need for more power though, 120kph cruising all day long with a bit in reserve if you feel the need. Good enough for me but feel free to differ.

I did consider a Bajaj Pulsar for all the reasons already discussed but decided it wasn't really going to work for two of us.
Yes, that is one of the bigger 650s with a good sized seat for two people.
The twin engine helps when two-up IMO with that bit more HP than the singles of the same engine capacity.
The newish one (released late last year) is "neater" looking but it still appears big when you get up close (to me, the older model always seemed big with the scale of the plastics).
The same Ride mag report claims 46 MPG for the new model Wee strom.
Kerb weight = 214 Kg.
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  #36  
Old 21 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duive01 View Post
My thread title is misleading but what i meant was:

- what are the advantages of bigger (heavier) bikes?

I've already seen some answers that make sense, thank you all for that.
Despite some convincing arguments in favour of small bikes in the other thread running in the Bar I'm still a big bike fan myself.

Most of my travels are with my wife as pillion and the first requirement is comfort for both rider and passenger, however, travelling 2 up means you have to carry more luggage and riding off piste is not a priority. We've not avoided the more difficult routes, but accept that in some places we will struggle. So far my wife has only had to walk on 2 occassions (about a mile each time) but I know there have been times when she's wished she was walking rather than sitting on the bike.

Other benefits of a bigger bike are better performance on the road. We can avoid the vast stretches of tarmac across Europe by travelling on the back roads which is enjoyable but if our destination is southern Africa or India, for example, we'd really just want to get through Europe to places we had'nt seen before to start exploring. A modern 650 has perfectly adequate road performance but they are all physically too small for our use.

Obvious downsides to a bigger bike are higher fuel consumption, greater tyre (and chain) wear, more difficult to transport by other means (canoe) and generally harder to be inconspicuous.
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  #37  
Old 21 Apr 2012
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2 stroke

Did anyone consider a 2 stroke bike? They are addictive with the best power to weight ratio and might offer best of both worlds.
I love my 2 stroke Kawasaki KE175s specially when driving offroad or the KKH and prefer it over my VX800.

Cheers
Omar
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  #38  
Old 21 Apr 2012
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I'm a two stroke fan but the reality is that there aren't any new 2Ts of any capacity for sale in Europe and there hasn't been for quite some time. Mainly this has been down to emission regs getting tighter and tighter leaving the manufacturers with little choice. Even those of us with a few carefully hoarded smokers are now being faced with an increasing number of low emission zones (mainly in Italy at the moment) specifically banning two strokes from entering the town / city.
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  #39  
Old 21 Apr 2012
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I own 1 MZ 301 Saxon Tour and enough bits to make 2 and a bit more. They are, overall, my favourite bike ever, fast enough, addictive performance, so simple it's unbelievable. If I could only have one bike the MZ would be on the list of possibles (with the Bonneville).

Would I tour on one? Absolutely, been there done that, will be doing it again.

Would I consider one for RTW or similar? Not unless the aim was specifically to get that bike somewhere. Good stroke oil now requires hunting down in bike shops or online. In Europe you can buy something that will get you to the next town or home but don't expect a choice. Parts for 20 year old machines that when abused eat pistons and bearings and now mail order only. I wish it was like 1989 but things have moved on and the practical answer is 4-stroke.

Andy
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