The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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My wife and I are Planning to ride our New Bonneville T100 2up overland from Oz to the Uk in early 2010, can you give us feedback if this bike is suitable for this trip. Obviously will modify it accordingly, it is the 883cc version. Will it be big enough, my wife and I have a combined weight of about 130kg. Any suggestions feed back will be appreciated. I have been told by others to a BMW F800 for the trip but I really like my Bonny.
You'll be fine. I've done everything from the Elefant to two up camping trips as far as Poland on mine before I fitted the sidecar. Now we do the same trips two up plus the dog , and me and the dog weigh more than you two . The only thing I didn't like was the autobahn with 3 inches of fresh snow, but there again I was stopping more often to pick up BM GS/Yam XT/Honda XR riders than myself, so it wasn't the bike. My longest day on the Bonneville was 900-odd miles in 18 1/2 hours starting on dirt tracks and finishing at the ferry. I think it says a lot for the Bonneville that I went to the bar and ate a three course meal before actually passing out, so a paced overland journey I'd see no problems with.
I'd suggest you knock up some sort of bash plate, mines a bit of 3mm aluminium bent by hand and secured to the frame spreader plate and frame behind the oil filter by P clips. I've taken off bent oil filters before I fitted the plate, which was worrying . You could also buy one from one of the various parts suppliers, but get a mortgage first! Heidenau and various other manufacturers do semi-knobblies that let you ride on snow and dirt with ease, so it might be worth going that way on the rubber. We ditched the OE seat after our first trip, but I think that's common with any bike.
My only complaint about the Bonneville (790 carbed 2004 in my case) is the fuel range. At 55mph fully loaded you can get 50+ mpg but that drops to 40 if you cruise at 70-80 and obviously gets worse if you end up stood on the pegs in third on some track. This means reserve at about 130 miles and walking well before 200. The EFI's have a slightly bigger tank and do a little better but if you know someone who can do it I'd be tempted to get a second fuel fine fitted to the right tank lobe. This free's up another few pints. Of course on a solo you can always lean the bike over. I carry a 10 litre can in Europe and more when really in the sticks because I can, but would suggest you might need only a 2 litre can?
I also run with a home made perspex deflector over the coil. Riding in torrential rain i've had a missfire due to rain running down the tank. Grease up all the connections on each service day and it won't do it, but I still run with the cover just in case.
As you'll note above one minor problem with not dressing your Bonneville in Chrome and hanging about coffee bars 3 miles from home is that fewer special bits are available. What you can't make yourself gets expensive. Luggage that will live when actually used for example is limited to a choice or Metal Mule, soft or home made.
F-800 Overpriced, over complex and just not as stylish old boy
Drop me a line with a mail address if you need pictures of the MM rack, bash plate, coil thingy etc.
Im currently goıng the other way on my 2007 Bonny.Im rıdıng from the UK the NZ on ıt.Im currently ın eastern turkey waıtıng to cross ınto Iran.I bought mıne from Norman Hyde ın the UK,who does all sorts of mods to make ıt a GT machıne.They all cost though.The maın ones were a 5 gallon tank,gıvıng me up to 220 mıles ıf I take ıt easy.Ikon rear shocks are defıantely a good ıdea,and beıng made ın Oz should be good value.It also has upgraded front sprıngs, a fork brace and steerıng damper.There an AP racıng front brake as Norman doesnt thınk the OE one ıs up to much.It mıght be a good ıdea to keep an eye on your spokes as well,checkıng for tıghtness,and carryıng a few spare ones for each spoke sıze.I got to Cappadocıa and notıced I had a broken spoke and broken nıpple.It was a matter of matchıng up the rıght spoke and changıng.You can replace broken spokes wıth the wheel ınsıtu,unfortuantely for broken nıpples you have to deflate the tyre,and break the bead to replace ıt.Thıs meant takıng the rear wheel out completely.Bıt of a paın but good practıce.I have mıne fıtted wıth a full set of Metal Mules,as well as an Andystrapz waxed cotton bıke bag and Ortlıeb,so my bıke ıs defıantely well loaded.I have the Ikons on the hardest settıng,so two up wıth luggage you,ll probably have to do somethıng sımılar.Im always ımpressed how people seem to carry less luggage two up than I do one up.Feel free to ask me any other questıons.
Can't top the two Andys but I've just come back from three weeks in Scandinavia on an '04 Bonneville.
I did 5,800 miles. Longest day was 422 miles, regularly did 300+ miles a day with the standard seat and suspension. Best fuel consumption was 67 mpg. When I ran it out to reserve in Denmark, I got to 165 miles before I had to start looking for a petrol station. The manual does say 95 octane or better so don't know if either Andy has any experience of getting away with less.
I didn't take it off road apart from the odd track to find somewhere to camp but the standard shocks were still a bit of a jolt sometimes and lumpy, bumpy Norwegian roads broke the rack, twice!
I bought my bike off eBay, previous owner did 9,500 miles commuting, I got it serviced, and didn't have a single problem. Didn't burn oil, started every time, but the back tyre (Metzeler Lazer) is pretty shot (after 8,000+ miles) and will need replacing soon.
If you don't want to go the D-I-Y route, as AndyP mentioned, Norman Hyde do a load of extras to beef up the standard bike as do others like MotoTwin and Sprint.
Indoors (whose real name is also Andy, but I prefer Andrew).
I've been putting normal unleaded in which I think varies from 92 to 95 Octane depending where you are? Once or twice when petrol stations were out i've had to use super 98 stuff, which as you'd expect makes naff all difference to anything but your wallet on such a simple engine. I've also used the odd tank full of French 89 Octane "essence" and a few cans of generator/test fuel (basically off road/pool petrol/paraffin with most of the additives including the tax man's dye missing) which my former employer required me to "dispose of in line with enviromental policies" ; all with no ill effects, or at least none I can find over such small quantities.
This however reminds me, I did try fitting an inline fuel filter and T to a drain tap for filling a stove with the result it wouldn't go above 20 mph due to fuel starvation. Now it's unforgivable to make two changes at once (I'm an engineer and should know better) but I never went back to find out if the filter or the T and tap were the problem. I suspect the T allowed a vacuum. I have a QD self sealer in the fuel line and that's no problem, but I'd get some miles in after you fit any sort of filter.
35,000 miles so far, round Europe on an unmodified 2006 Bonnie with Metal Mule panniers. The only problems I've had with the bike (echoing what's already been said):
1. Spoke breaking and puncturing the front wheel: luckily, I was only doing 30mph at the time and even luckier, managed to stay upright.
2. Rear shocks: first one snapped in Spain after approx. 25000miles; and the reconditioned secondhand shock I fitted there just broke in Croatia, approx 13000miles later. It's been welded back in place but I'm looking for new shocks when I get to Greece. Been quoted silly money for ioriginal parts so very interesting to read about Ikons and will be checking them out when this danged internet connection improves and I can can see them online :-)
It's a great bike and you'll meet lots of people who agree..
has anyone tried Hagon shocks, pretty sure they will have a suitable replacement (I assume the new Bonnies are also twin shock like the old ones). I have used a couple of Hagons on other bikes (single shock) and they stood up pretty well to some substantial abuse, am probably going to look at getting some for my TR25
I don't know if it's much use while you're travelling, but shocks do come up on ebay from time to time when bikes are broken for spares or owners 'upgrade' to Ikons or put the originals back on when they sell the bike. They tend to be a lot cheaper than original prices.
I have an 06 Scrambler and think you'll do fine - the suspension is where i'd sepnd some money if you have it - my stock rear shocks find the limit pretty quickly with my girlfriend on the back, especially mid corner on non-perfect road - BUT its nothing that slwoing down doesn't fix!
I road 400 km's onteh weekend in the wettest of wet downpours on 7500km old trailwing tyres and the bike was great and sure footed.
Just go for it - a cheap option is looking for Thruxton shocks - they offer and extra inch of travel I'm told
Some hand guards would be worthwhile too - snapped my break lever this morning wheeling my bikeout of the shed......(i'm an idiot)
Only thing i find annoying as mentioned is the fuel range - best I've seen two up is 245km before reserve - but it was steady cruising at 100kkph with very little stop-start riding
Around the city i get about 185km before reserve - no options that aren't ridiculously expensive other than carrying some extra
Im currently in India at the moment on my 2007.The road in Pakistan and India are woeful, and Im so glad I put on Ikons, as I am pretty sure the OE ones would havent put up with the pounding the bike takes on the roads here.I took me 11 hours yesterday to do 240k, and there are very stretches of road that arent covered in potholes and gravel, or the roads have been copletey ripped up.Id also look at getting stronger front springs and a fork brace.After 11000 miles from the UK to here, the Bonny is starting to get the odd rattle, and Im looking forward to getting it serviced in Bangkok soon.I use Lasertec tyres and cant recommend them highly enough.The set I had put on in Greece has done 8000 miles of fully loaded touring and there still plenty of tread.I second the comment about hand gurads.Ive got Dirtbusters on my Bonny, and they came into their own when my front wheel slide out on a shiny road in Pakistane.I was only doing about 2mph, but the guard prevented any damage to my brake lever.I was using leaded fuel in Iran, as that is all you can get, and the bike ran fine.Not having a cat convertor helps.
I want to thank everybody for there input and inspiration I am new to motorbike travel (Ihave travelled to many countries tho) but I find this a whole new world with a dirverse aray of people with a common bond. Milkman I would sure like to see how you did your bike. My email is email@example.com, and Andy I will follow your trip on your website as well. My wife is still in learning stage of getting her license but being only little, she is finding the weight of the bike a bit unnerving but she is determined to see thru.
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