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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2010
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Anyone want to go somewhere?

Hi everyone. I'm new on here. Just found the site. Great stuff! Makes you want to get up and go...........and I do (want to get up and go!). Looking to make a trip anytime from now.

First - get a bike. I'm a short-arse, 5'7", with 29" inside leg. Which of the tried and trusted tough bikes (Transalp, XT650 etc.) are quite low? I tried a BMW GS1200 and couldn't even put one foot on the floor, never mind two! I'd like a Beemer but they are just too high, even with the 'low seat' option. Which makes/models should I be looking at?


Whilst I'm on here........anyone fancy going walkabout down Africa way? I have time......I'd love to get to Timbuktu, and even down to S. Africa. I'm open to ideas. Any like-minded soul ready to shoot off somewhere for a bit of adventure?

I'm well-traveled, donkey's years of backpacking, familiar with Carnets (did a 6-year trip in a Landy), sailed most of the world's oceans etc.etc. but never done a trip on a bike.....not a motorbike anyway. Went from southern Germany up to Northern Sweden last year on a push bike but that doesn't count..........

Get a bike, get a Carnet, set off. Sounds like a plan.
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  #2  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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welcome to the site jamesofyorkshire

plenty of information for a trip here

the question about bikes for short riders is a frequent one (I have asked too!) but there seems to be no definitive answer because what one person considers to be low is still too tall for another
I'm 5' 2" but have a 29" inside leg and have test rode a BMW 1200 GS which had a factory lowered frame + low seat and I coped fairly well. However, once I had considered piling the bike up with luggage, ruled it out on weight.
The 650 version (twin or older single) is however, a good height and weight so may be worth looking at. It's currently at the top of my wanted list but isn't ideal.
I've never looked at the bikes you mention - I generally search online for seat height specification and rule them out based on the results.
My current bike is a CBF1000 which has 3 seat height options but isn't a bike for any off-tarmac rides so I'm still searching for the ideal long-distance tourer....

I'm assuming that even though you are bike-less, you actually have a licence?
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  #3  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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I'm 5ft 4 and have an XT600E with lowered seat no probs at all the better half is slightly shorter and has a drz. The only issue with the XT is I really like the DRZ so it may have to go to finance one, both bikes are great and can be made to fit shorties at 5'7 you should have no probs.
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  #4  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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Hello.
Steve Coleman at Allan Jeffries BMW in Shipley and Paul Sadler at Acklams Yamaha/Beta in Harrogate are the two lads that I buy bikes from. Paul had a low miles XT in a few weeks ago,full luggage. Steve has loads of stuff in the new shop. I'm certain they could sort you out with something. Lowered or modified to suit.
My problem is trying to STOP touching the ground (on the Beta)

Last edited by Starbeck; 23 Jan 2011 at 21:07.
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  #5  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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Pheonix........thanks for your message.

I have been trawling through this, and other sites, and the F650 is a possibility...in fact, it seems like the one to go for........then I read other posts about its' problems and turns me off it. What happened to the Beemers of old? The horizontally oppsed twins that had a reputation for longevity and reliabilty?
Top of your 'wanted' list? Which one? The single or twin? and why do you say it's 'not ideal'? What bike would be? I know it's only your opinion, but you've probably been looking into this for a lot longer than me, so your opinion counts.

..........and yes, I have a licence! Very little experience on the road though.......apart from when I was 16, when I did massive mileage (and fast fast as I could at all times) on my SS50..........lol

Trix. How did you lower the seat on the XT? What makes you want a DRZ? Aren't they primarily an off-roader? And aren't they tall?
I think I'm wanting primarily a raod bike tough enough, and with some ground clearance, to go over some rough stuff occassionally, but not an all-out MXer.

Starbeck. For a start, I'm on the other side of Harrogate from you! Secondly, I get your quip about touching the ground. I've had a Bultaco 250 Sherpa T since 1974....only sold it last year due to lack of space. I was a lousy trials rider though. No balance. Wrong sport for me!
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  #6  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesofyorkshire View Post
[

Trix. How did you lower the seat on the XT? What makes you want a DRZ? Aren't they primarily an off-roader? And aren't they tall?
I think I'm wanting primarily a raod bike tough enough, and with some ground clearance, to go over some rough stuff occassionally, but not an all-out MXer.
Basically I had the seat foam reduced and a gel pad added the guy did it whilst I was there to suit me and a very good job as well. The drz is higher but with the pre load backed off on the shock and the fact it is much narrower I can touch the floor just as well they also do a 4" adjustable lowering kit 0-4". The XT is more road biased but I want to adventure a little more off road. So if you want a XT600E with just 3500 miles (yes you read that right 3500) on it give me a shout full ali boxes and lowered seat
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Old 1 Nov 2010
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Welcome to the site,
I am 5ft 5 with 30 inside leg look at the F650 standard either twin or single don't really matter both good bikes, I rode 1 round Spain last year, look at the triumph tiger met a guy the other day had lowered the bike suited him well & more importantly not as heavy as the BMW 1250.
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  #8  
Old 2 Nov 2010
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A trip anywere sounds up my street

Hi James
not quite ready right now to leave, but would be up for a trip in two or three months.
I just bought a xr600 wich is a big bike but as one of the other contributors has said just like her dr you can get lowering kits for the Honda as well, there cheap to buy and absolutly bullet proof they also have the advantage of being great offroad, worth a look.
As for the trip Infancy anything mountainous with rough camping to start with, then I fancy the far east after, so if you think your still about early next year i will be ready.
Good luck withe bike choice.
Regards warren
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  #9  
Old 2 Nov 2010
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Hi, have a look at a Suzuki V-Strom. There's an 07/57 one on MCN's website @ £2895. Engine guards/bash plate and a few other goodies negotiable. Many,many lowering kits show up on ebay for V-Stroms and they don't look expensive or complicated.
Also, Touratech do all sorts of "global wanderer" type accessories for them if you want to do the whole Ewan/Charlie thing 'round Sainsbury's car park. And why not........I do.
V-Stroms seem quite popular in the U.S. too. Have a look on Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum

I live in the old Stationmasters house in Starbeck near the disused railway line (which is now a cycle-track) so, if you're passing and this is parked outside, I won't be far away.
Cheers, Dave.

Last edited by Starbeck; 23 Jan 2011 at 21:07.
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  #10  
Old 3 Nov 2010
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Hi Dave. I was down your way yesterday having a look in Stianos.........I rarely come that way because of the B****** traffic. Nice looking machine you got there. Huge, but nice!
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  #11  
Old 3 Nov 2010
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Warren........

In 2 or 3 months, I won't be here. Don't know where I'll be, but it wont be here. Or the Far East for that matter - I've done it to death. You name it, I've been there.
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  #12  
Old 3 Nov 2010
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short arses

5'6", 650 Transalp with a lowered seat works fine for me. I also have the suspension set as soft as possible so when it's loaded up I get as much contact as possible with the ground.

The 700 TA is lower & more compact, but when I test rode it found it quite dull - not as much ground clearance so wouldn't want it on rough roads or dirt, not enough fun as a road bike.

Test-rode a V-Strom before leaving, unlowered. Didn't get it because of general bulkiness/plastics, but could touch the ground enough to survive.

Sat on an F650 could properly touch the ground. Surprisingly I sat on a Tiger in a showroom the other day and could actually manage - so from that I say just go and sit on things!

Laura
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  #13  
Old 3 Nov 2010
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Thanks Laura. I've been doing that!

I need to start doing some stretching exercises. Just to try get my leg over most of them......(the bikes).
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  #14  
Old 4 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesofyorkshire View Post
Pheonix........thanks for your message.
........Top of your 'wanted' list? Which one? The single or twin? and why do you say it's 'not ideal'? What bike would be? I know it's only your opinion, but you've probably been looking into this for a lot longer than me, so your opinion counts.....
James
Like you, I have read and listened to a lot of negative reports about the F650 that state it's not really ideal for an off-road adventure. But if it was my only option, I'd buy the twin model as it has the extra power.
Personally, I didn't like the seating position - my shoulder was aching after an hour. I'm sure people here would say that could be changed but I'm not keen on spending £££ on a bike I've just bought!

Alan Jeffries in Shipley or Barrie Robson in York will happily loan you one to test ride (if in stock). AJ recently had a lowered version recently but they seem to fly off the shelves. They had a lot of singles in stock and one of the salesmen has a wealth of information for adventure travelling (but his name slips my memory).

The responses to this thread are interesting - more bikes to put on the maybe list - but finding them to try out is challenging!
Perhaps we should we have a "sit on my bike" meeting? lol
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  #15  
Old 27 Dec 2010
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try a kle500

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesofyorkshire View Post
Pheonix........thanks for your message.

I have been trawling through this, and other sites, and the F650 is a possibility...in fact, it seems like the one to go for........then I read other posts about its' problems and turns me off it. What happened to the Beemers of old? The horizontally oppsed twins that had a reputation for longevity and reliabilty?
Top of your 'wanted' list? Which one? The single or twin? and why do you say it's 'not ideal'? What bike would be? I know it's only your opinion, but you've probably been looking into this for a lot longer than me, so your opinion counts.

..........and yes, I have a licence! Very little experience on the road though.......apart from when I was 16, when I did massive mileage (and fast fast as I could at all times) on my SS50..........lol
HI James, I like your attitude mate.
A couple of years ago me and my mate rode down to mauritainia, me on a xtz750 (bit big but i LOVE it) and he on a Kawasaki KLE500 (1st gen) both bikes together only cost us a grand.
I suggest you have a look at the KLE, its very reliable and they go for peanuts. With the 21" fromt wheel you can even put knobblies on it and it becomes alot more capable offroad than any Bmw GS1200 while still remaining comfortable on the road because of the twin cylinder motor. Its got a low seat height too and not even that bad 2up.
Definetly recomended.
Have you firmed up your plans yet? I'm thinking of heading to marocco in the new year when i get back from indo....
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