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!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
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.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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HI there, new to this, and was looking for some comments, and or suggestions,. I plan to change my foray into travelling from bicycle to motorcycle. I will, or am thinking of purchasing in the next year,... and my mind was almostmade up with the Bmw 1200gs. But after reading some of the discussions on the Hubb, I am starting to get confused about its reliability. I have rode motorcycles before but nothing this big. Especially the cost associated with the bike and associated breakdowns. At the $17000 range, I was thinking it would be a good and reliable purchase. I am not looking for older models or someone elses misery, just a great bike. Should I go down to the gs800, i thought the gs650 was a good thought but... Now my profession as a motorcoach operator in the Rocky Mountains offers me the chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery. And my coach is amazingly hardy with almost no breakdowns, but were talking different things of course. At the same time when I see Motorbike riders from around the world coming through my part of the province, and a lot of them on the Bmw 1200 gs or later models. Grinning. It strikes me as one hell of a bike. And as they say they are fantastic. Am i wrong in thinking this. My dream is to travel up to Alaska, Yukon, down to Cali and later on to the South American countries. But after reading some of the forums and discussion, i am somewhat jaded, too much info, too much hype, give me the real scoop!
If your heart is set on a BMW, by all means make sure you get a test ride on one and feel the weight and make sure you are comfortable with it.
P.S... Avoid the F650GS's.. They are unreliable and badly made junk.
Oh, and WELcOME TO THE HUBB
+1 on that.
I hope your heart isn't set on a BMW, this to me is a decision for the head. BMW will tell you their bikes are a premium product etc. It's marketing guff just like Harley will tell you their products will make you a rebel and Ducati will hint at you meeting beautiful women.
A working BMW is a perfectly good bike. What you need to ask yourself is what you'll be happy riding and what you'll do when it stops working. If you want 130 mph performance, can ride a half ton machine off road and don't mind trucking it to a dealer when it breaks the GS is maybe for you. If you can live with 80 mph performance, find 300 kg easier off road and know one end of a carb from the other there are real alternatives. I'd include KTM's in the list too.
BMW's ceased to be built better than other bikes in about 1995. Today they just have different technology and so fail in different ways. If you understand then you can fix them. More people worldwide understand KLR's etc. if you do need help.
If the badge does do it for you it's no shame to go for it. Having confidence in your machine because you feel it's up the job is probably as important as actually having reliability, your head will be set for the road not listening for impending disaster. I've had 4 BMW's and badges (the blue and white one in particular) don't do it for me anymore, but a lot of BM's have done big trips and worked out just fine. So have Urals, but I would't recomend them either.
Check out the what bike and tech threads and pick what your head says will work for you.
Edit to add: When's the trip? IMHO you want the bike on your drive 6 months before you set off and through the first set of tyres before your departure date. Best to get any bike through the learning/running in/finding out it's a lemon before you get too far in.
Having bicycled from Calgary up the IceFields Parkway to the Athabasca Glacier, then all the way south (via Yoho) to Mexico, I think I know where you're coming from. (Maybe you passed me once, all alone, going slowly).
Most of my travelling has been on motorcycles from 125cc to 1000cc, plus a few forays, including the above, into the wonderful world of bicycle travelling.
So my advice is read Lois Pryce's books, and Ted Simon's first book (Jupiter's Travels) before deciding.
In my opinion, what you ride should be decided by how quickly you want to travel, and how much money you want to have left over after buying the bike.
If you want to travel fast, apart from 'what's the point??' (which as a bicyclist maybe you'd agree with) then a big bike is necessary, but it comes with big disadvantages.
So my vote is for the small (say, less than 400cc) bike.
As for reliability, again in my own experience, that has far more to do with the respect you pay the bike, and to the manufacturer's instructions and guidance, and how well you acquaint yourself with the machine, than the name on the tank.
I find, the more you read other peoples' opinions, the more confused you become. So once I've decided what sort of size of bike I want, I just buy something that looks good, and feels good when I have a test ride.
I think that works, because every bike I've ever sold, I've regretted selling it for evermore - so I don't sell them any more!
too much info, too much hype, give me the real scoop!
One person's scoop is another's BS....
Basially, you could do it on any bike you please.
One big plus in your favour, is that you are probably better trained at packing light than most of us on here. So whatever you choose will be lighter packed than the same bike in someone else's hands. If you have that skill don't loose it: for many on here is the Holy Grail and harder to come by!! (me included)
My advice would be set a budget (don't shy away from used bikes), and then look for comfort for you, tank range, and reliability. Simplicity will lean toward higher relibility, but is no guarantee....
Beware reliability reports. In retail, it is known fact displeased customers make more noise than those satisfied, so you will always here more made of things that go wrong than right. It makes knowing how true and how widespread a problem is very tough to determine.
Off-roading: only you can decide what is off-road biased enough for your needs.
IMO, you would be fine with anything between 400-650 single or twin. Very suitable models can be had at low prices leaving you more for the road. By all means look at reliability reports and specs to narrow down your choice.
Ultimately, it is test-rides that will help you decide rather than suggestions from other HUBBers like us, so get out there and try bikes out.
Got to love BMWs marketing department. When people think world riding they think BMW! Too bad for riders now we get the R1200GS. It is a big tall wallowing pig that is more at home in the showroom than on some far off dirt road. But few bikes can do all that it can do.
If you must get a BMW look at the R80gs and R100GS there bikes that BMW has made its name in overlanding on. Grate bikes that will not lose there value. A older pre 2000 BMW F650 are good bikes (once you know there problems). The biggest problem with BMW is they think that there grate and the riders are so stupid that we buy what ever they want us to. And that feeling is shared with many of the BMW shops I have been to.
One shop had my bike for 6 months and never did fix it but they did drain the oil and run it around and want to split the case to replace the oil pump as there was a oil problem. The oil pump is not in the case and the oil problem was it was low on oil after the drain. The shop said that there was no way it was there problem. That there must have been oil in it (there was it was in the frame but if you do not run the bike the oil in frame dose not drop in to oil sump.) Well a new BMW will not be my problem!
If that dose not stop you the BMW R1200GS has a know problem the final drive is known to fail sometimes getting so hot it will burn the bike. BMW knows about it but has not fixed the bike.
Know all this before you spend your $ also there is "the price of ownership" like Harley Davison that BMW on your part will add a good bit of $ on any fix and maintenance on the bike.
When I replaced the F650 I looked good and long at all the bikes almost got the KLR650 but for my needs the DL650 did 95% that the GS did at almost half the price. It is will run at 90mph if need be is smother than a thumper has all the bits of kit I need and more reliable than the F had been or most 1200 I have seen. The DL mill comes from the SV650 bike and known to be long running. All in all a good bike for me and many people that have one.
Just before you spend $ try and ride one rent them if you can. Ask your self is what the BMW gives worth the $ there asking for it.
If you must get a BMW look at the R80gs and R100GS there bikes that BMW has made its name in overlanding on.
Good idea, but I'm seeing airheads now that are so totally worn out and bodged together they are useless. A guy I ride with (motorcycle mechanic too) has now switched to a new Bonneville after wrecking two so called rebuilt gearboxes in 9 months. BMW parts and parts from BMW's ex-suppliers are running out and even the most reputable (Motorworks in this case) people are having to seek alternatives. The era of the airhead as an everyday bike is coming to an end IMHO, if you can get a good one fine, if the one you get isn't good it's just another worn out classic that'll need knowledge and skill to put into expedition trim. Do some serious research if you go this route (or spend as much as you would on an R1200 and get the HPN).
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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