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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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Old 27 Nov 2000
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 23
One Bike or Two?

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip round the world starting out next summer. We've just the very initial planning, buying books etc. and would appreciate your thoughts on starting the process, how much it costs, weather etc. I've never ridden a bike before although have been pillion quite alot!! I'm thinking of taking a direct access course so we can go on 2 bikes - more luggage space, more freedom etc. but wondered what people thought. Also any news on the China situation - would love to go but I understand you can't on the bike - is that still the case?
Hope to hear from you soon.
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Old 29 Nov 2000
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Posts: 1
Hi Lisa,

This is Sue. I have my own bike and want to ride through Europe, et al. I have also ridden, in one go, appx 20,000 miles in 4 months, "pillion"...and 24 yrs altogether. I can speak as a driver and I can speak as an extensive "pillion" rider. GET YOUR OWN BIKE. Not knocking pillion. When you are on the back and are really into the "ride", not daydreaming and freaking out at the smallest emergency move, it is pure heaven. Quite the journey/rush. Driving though, man, you'll regret not doing it on such an extensive trip. You'll fall in love with riding, get back home after eons, go for your license and then say "man, now I'm going to have to go back and do it right". They are such different worlds. Impossible to explain. Pillion is fun, driving is everything! You have to be a trooper though Lisa. I'm a strong woman and it's hard work...man or woman. Call it a "state of mind" because through heavy winds, rain, rough terrain, cold air, hours of vibration from the grips, on the defence 75% of the time on average, mental and physical drain that can be better than sex if you let it (!), Lisa, it's ALL good. Also know, the mental part you can't take a break from for a second. You have to love it to do it. And, you should go to a safety school course for a few days and test for your license with them. On top of that, you should have at least one season in as a driver before doing something like you are planning. Not to hang a damper on your plans but it's just not wise. I'm sure other experienced drivers would agree with me. Maybe you could take the course before you go and get your license and then take turns driving the bike when travelling. Once you have some mileage and skills "earned" you can rent one and drive your own. You can pretty much rent one to travel on anywhere. As for China, no info there. May your journey be full of magic and the wind be at your back.
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Old 1 Dec 2000
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Padova Italy
Posts: 130
Sue has said it all ...get your bike :-))
don't underestimate the big advantage of having two bikes ....that makes possible to continue the trip even in case of an accident...or just makes possible to get fuel and save a night outside on the road ...
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Old 4 Dec 2000
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Matane, Quebec
Posts: 90
Hi Lisa

I have to say that we are going though much the same situation as you. I have completed a round the world trip, but would like to embark on another with my girlfriend. Our plan is to ride, next fall, from NZ Australia through SE Asia into China, MOngolia then Russia over to Alaska. My girlfriend is a new rider. I am trying to teach her to ride a small enduro 200cc where we live now. The process is slow and a bit frustrating as the learning curve is short and steep. We live in a small village where there are no paved streets or streetlights, actually we own the only motorcycles for at least a thousand miles. Anyway, after a short trip last summer two up on my Suzuki dr 600, she decided that passenger was not the way to go. I am worried about the conditions that we will encounter on the road. I am sure that it will be a trial for us both, but with big rewards. It was almost impossible to fit all of our gear on one bike, and trust me I am a minimalist when it comes to gear, and still be able to enjoy a good ride. Having two bikes we can distribute some of the weight more evenly (although at 5 feet 4 inches a big bike will not work for her)but I will carry 60-70% of the gear. In NZ We will look at buying a dual purpose around 250cc (maybe even 2 stroke) that is light enough and not too tall. She will start, on the road, in NZ. Which we figure will be a safe place to learn (good roads little traffic) and if this is successful, we will then send the bike or buy one in Australia and do much the same. If this works out well and we are both comfortable with her abilities, then we may be ready for SE Asia and all its crazy traffic. If things don't work out so well we will go two up through Asia and maybe try again with 2 bikes in China. The plans are a bit sketchy right now, but for the moment thats it. We think it is important that both of us share the adventure, and a good part of that is riding our own bikes and having the autonomy to do as we like. THere will be compromises, I like to ride at a good pace,and enjoy a good long wheelie every now and then, while she seems to enjoy a much more sedate pace and less challenging mileage. This may change with experience (although I will insist on doing wheelies)
We think we are making a good decision, but are open to all comments on the issue.
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Old 4 Dec 2000
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Townsville Queensland Australia
Posts: 14
To 'Lost1'
Perhaps an XT 225 Yamaha for your friend?. The bike is a 4 stroke with electric start and a seat height that is reasonably low. For long distance touring stay away from 2 Strokes, the maintenance will crash the budget. The only drawback with the xt is its fuel capacity (~200km). A change to the gearing at the rear wheel would reduce the revs at highway speeds and so the fuel consumption as well.
Good luck with your trip.
Cheers Ben.
Ben Wright
00-XT600E, 89-R100GS
Townsville Queensland Australia.
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