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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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  #1  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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motorbike vs 4x4...............

Having toured in landrovers all my life,,,was wondering what its like to tour on motorbikes....
obviously in a 4x4 you can travel in relative comfort,,is this possible by bike...
what are the things that draw motorbikers to touring on bikes???????
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  #2  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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On a bike, its more about what you don't need to take with you, rather than how much you can take.
That, and the joy of being on the bike, and being more in touch with the people and the places along the way.
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  #3  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Not sure about the "being more in touch with the people part". Have done both. Taking of a helmet is more involved than winding down a window or jumping the car. For me, the riding of the bike is much more fun.

But, on a bike I have skipped routes because they where too challenging/difficult/dangerous for me to travel on my own, where I wouldn't have thought twice to drive them with a 4x4 (on Iceland that was, had to do with fuel range and fords).

I think they're just different... , and both modes have a lot going for. Traveling on your own, a bike has less emissions... so it isn't as bad for the planet...
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  #4  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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I think that emmissions have been an issue for me for a while....get a bit cheesed off with the walkers in the Alps sometimes when they have even hit the landrover with walking sticks shouting le pong le pong.....
Trying to weigh up maybe looking more into bio fuels or something....
Not massively worried what others think but it does make me angry sometimes the way people are and can really ruin a day...
People just seem to really enjoy motorbike travel,,but i sometimes wonder what they would think if they tried van/4x4 travel ,,would they change???or have more people in here tried both????
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  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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I guess it's all about living in a box......

We're born, and put in a box (cot),
We go to a collection of boxes to learn (school)
We sit in front of a box for 'entertainment'
lots of us work with boxes,
everything comes in a box,

so when it comes to traveling, it's a great feeling to be out of the box !

Someone mentioned the freedom , and feeling 'closer' to things. I see the point about removing a lid compared to opening a door. But on a bike you are much closer to things, you appriciate the hazards much more, many more poeple will appoach a lone biker and start talking but I've never had someone open my door to do the same. You smell the smells, feel the heat, cold or rain when you are on a bike. You realy are closer to the elements, the people, the animals and you have to remember this. In a box, you can just pass through in your own little world.

I'm a biker, have been for as long as I've been allowed to ride. Once you've rode a bike then you either understand, or it's not for you.
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  #6  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Bike travel is not easy. Your body gets sore from the constant seating position and the vibrations. The extreme situational awareness that is required for safe bike driving can be exhausting. There is the constant concern about the weather. None of these things are insurmountable, but it is these things that ensure only hardcore bikers do long bike trips. The limited space on a bike and subsequently small amount of belongings brought along on the trip, makes the driver feel a little like The Road Warrior - surviving on few of the comforts of home.

The positives of bike travel is the incredible mobility and nimbleness it give you. My favorite thing about bike travel is the smell - the rushing air drives the external smells (flowers, grass, trees, whatever) into your nose. In a 4x4 you never get the smells or the sense of closeness to the environment as you do on a bike. Everyone wants to talk to a biker; men especially want to talk to bikers ( i think it is b/c men have an infatuation with the 'freedom' of bikers)

I've been on both bike and 4x4. I prefer the 4x4 for long trips as it provides me with a feeling of more security; having a locked space to sleep in, place to store valuables, protection from weather, greater fuel range, more self-sufficient in terms of supplies, etc.
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  #7  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4overland View Post
Having toured in landrovers all my life,,,was wondering what its like to tour on motorbikes....
obviously in a 4x4 you can travel in relative comfort,,is this possible by bike...
what are the things that draw motorbikers to touring on bikes???????

I had a Land Rover (serie III) for a few years and it reminded me a bit of a bike. When it rained I got wet, when it was cold I was freezing
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  #8  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I had a Land Rover (serie III) for a few years and it reminded me a bit of a bike. When it rained I got wet, when it was cold I was freezing
I know what you mean...have had 2 series 3,s....but saying that all my Defenders have been the same.....cold and wet....if you put a soft top on and rolled the sides up i suppose it wouldnt be much different to a bike....
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  #9  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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On our trip from the UK to Cape Town we met up with and travelled with others who were doing a similar trip in a Landrover. The obvious advantage of a Landrover is that you can carry more stuff but they all had the same problems as the bikes as they had filled the Landrover with stuff and then some and were always looking at what they could do without. On the other side of the coin the bike has many advantages - it is much more go anywhere, you can get across rivers in a canoe, easy and cheap to airfreight, you can park it in a hotel room when you pop off to Zanzibar for a few days and it's easier to get around and stop in big cities like Cairo. The biggest advantage of a bike in difficult terrain is that they are single track.

Personally, I would never consider anything other than a bike but I can't exactly explain why - it may just be familiarity.
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  #10  
Old 4 Sep 2010
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I've had a soft top CJ7 Jeep and a Series III Lightweight both of which had folding windscreens, and then a series of 3 ever faster Caterham 7's, all with no screen most of the time, then I can say for certain if you want to get away from the enclosed feeling of a car, take the lid off it!

In comparison to my bike which I love, a low sportscar with no screen is absolutely fabulously amazing. Some wear a helmet all the time, I only did when it rained cos it bloody hurts!

The rest of the time, sunshine or not, with no helmet, no bike gear and nothing infront or above you the feeling of connectedness is unsurpassed!

In Tom Sheppards book, the pics of him cruising around Africa in a Series Landy with no roof or screen make me envious! Perhaps a roll bar added though!
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  #11  
Old 4 Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by grizzly7 View Post
I've had a soft top CJ7 Jeep and a Series III Lightweight both of which had folding windscreens, and then a series of 3 ever faster Caterham 7's, all with no screen most of the time, then I can say for certain if you want to get away from the enclosed feeling of a car, take the lid off it!

In comparison to my bike which I love, a low sportscar with no screen is absolutely fabulously amazing. Some wear a helmet all the time, I only did when it rained cos it bloody hurts!

The rest of the time, sunshine or not, with no helmet, no bike gear and nothing infront or above you the feeling of connectedness is unsurpassed!

In Tom Sheppards book, the pics of him cruising around Africa in a Series Landy with no roof or screen make me envious! Perhaps a roll bar added though!
Agreed it is good fun....Did it once when i had my 109....i suppose yes you would have the same feel as beeing on a bike,except the speed and cornering capabilities...
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  #12  
Old 4 Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by 4x4overland View Post
Agreed it is good fun....Did it once when i had my 109....i suppose yes you would have the same feel as beeing on a bike,except the speed and cornering capabilities...

Now you're being picky!

The reason everyone says (apart from earlier in this thread of course!) travelling on a bike is better is cos there is no disconnection from the people around you when you stop. That perhaps isn't the case if your 4*4 has no roof, doors, windscreen and other such nonessentials

Getting you're knee down on a knobbly equipped heavily laden travel bike is moving the goalposts!
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  #13  
Old 5 Sep 2010
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Thumbs up poerty

Quote:
Originally Posted by GasUp View Post
I guess it's all about living in a box......

We're born, and put in a box (cot),
We go to a collection of boxes to learn (school)
We sit in front of a box for 'entertainment'
lots of us work with boxes,
everything comes in a box,

so when it comes to traveling, it's a great feeling to be out of the box !

Someone mentioned the freedom , and feeling 'closer' to things. I see the point about removing a lid compared to opening a door. But on a bike you are much closer to things, you appriciate the hazards much more, many more poeple will appoach a lone biker and start talking but I've never had someone open my door to do the same. You smell the smells, feel the heat, cold or rain when you are on a bike. You realy are closer to the elements, the people, the animals and you have to remember this. In a box, you can just pass through in your own little world.

I'm a biker, have been for as long as I've been allowed to ride. Once you've rode a bike then you either understand, or it's not for you.
dude your world are simply perfection!!!!
I have just beginner, i have traveled across south/south america for 4 months and it's amazing, the feelings of the air and the smells, the fact that you have to be aware of the whole surrounding to calculate, fuel economy, trajectory, brakes speed....ipod sometimes!!!Wow!!! i have just being 2 weeks with out my KLR 650, i have done a tour with a friend of mine in bolivia, i felt in a box like i went to a museum, looking everything trough a glassed window. beautiful but i couldnt see the "whole" picture like on the bike instead. there is nothing more satisfying than check you mirrors to c if you have other cars behind, let the last carr in front of you disappear over the orizon. pull the clutch and switch off your bike. than look up and see the milky way and a shooting star right up there. no one around you. you are standing there looking at it all.

I'll be riding as far as i could!!!

As in for the helmet, i know it might get better with out gears and protection, i will try once.... but dude, if you say you like riding with no helmets all the time you must be crazy....... Life before everything. It s possible, you can do it with out. i just wish i have your luck with my gears!!!!!

Cheers!!!

Matteo!!!
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  #14  
Old 6 Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by gunt86 View Post
My favorite thing about bike travel is the smell - the rushing air drives the external smells (flowers, grass, trees, whatever) into your nose. In a 4x4 you never get the smells or the sense of closeness to the environment as you do on a bike.
That's what does it for me... it's the smells. even in a 4x4/car/truck/cage with the windows open, I still don't get the aromas like I do on a bike.
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  #15  
Old 6 Sep 2010
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Just some addition things off the top of my head:

- If you're traveling solo then petrol will be much cheaper on a bike!

- Here in South America traffic can build up for whatever reason, broken down car, protest, riot or a music band walking down the street, on the motorcycle it's easier to go around and continue your travel. Once a rally race had blocked my only entrance to where I was going so I rode along the train tracks until I could hit the road again, can't do this in a 4x4.

- Motorcycles are much cheaper than 4x4's.

- If you break down on a motorbike it's easier to fix and/or load onto a truck until the next town.

- Motorcycles are easier to park, some cities are impossible to find spaces in.

- Motorcycles are far quicker in heavy traffic.

- Motorcycles can take single-tracks and are easier to go around obstacles

- Motorcycles can do wheelies!

Of course 4x4's have their advantages as well but a 4x4 guru should probably list those...
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