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Old 16 Aug 2006
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
Posts: 86
New user. First post and first trip.

Hi Folks,

I thought I'd introduce myself.

I'm a Kiwi new to the Hubb and I've found it very useful already.

Planning a bit of a trip to Russia next year. Keen on your thoughts about bikes.

Would a KLR650, DR650 or XT600 be best?

So far I'm leaning towards the KLR, with it's large tank and slightly better luggage capability. Has anyone had any breakdown issues with the KLR? What are its weak points?

Also interested to know about Fuel in Siberia, between Vladivostok and Chita. Is it hard to come by?

Anyway if you're in New Zealand and need help with something let me know. If you don't need help we could still go for a cold or something. I'm always interested to hear other people’s stories first hand.

I'm also involved in club racing here, so if you're around and want to see some racing NZ style let me know.


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Old 21 Aug 2006
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,725
no problems

Any of the bikes are fine. You might need a couple of coke bottles of extra fuel for that stretch on the sukuzi or yamaha but its hardly a reason to choose another bike.

I know of plenty of guys who have crossed Russia on KLRs in recent years.

http://www.endless-highway.info/toky...n/mcmillan.htm 2004)
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/AdrianScott/ (2005)
if you need some points of reference

Its a pretty major biking route now, and most of the traffic is headed from Europe to Vladivostok ... if you are going the other way, you should pass hundreds of bikes coming from west to east. They will be your best source for updated info along the way.
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Old 21 Aug 2006
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
Thumbs up Xt600

Hi mate,
I can't comment on the DR or KLR, although I believe they're both good. I have a 2003 Yam XT600E though, so can comment on that!
I must say I've found it to be an awesome bike. It has plenty of power on normal and dirt roads, and enough for cruising fast enough, fully loaded on motorways. It's a solid, very reliable bike. It's relatively unsophisticated technology means that it is not only easier to fix for the owner but also for 3rd world mechanics, who won't be conversant with more advanced stuff. It will also (to quote Mr. Scott) "happily run on yak's piss".
I've crashed mine a couple of times, dropped it, run it on really rough roads fully loaded, and it just keeps going like it was born to that stuff.
There's also a decent amount of aftermarket kit available for it, including a 23 litre Acerbis tank which retails here for about £200.
You could do a lot worse than an XT.
Having said that, when I was buying the bike for my trip I just narrowed it down to 3 options (like you've done), in my case the XT, the BMW F650 and the Honda Transalp. I then went out with my money and an open mind and found that my best option for my money was a low mileage XT for sale in glasgow. It could easily have been one of the others. Assuming people with experience of the DR and the KLR confirm what I suspect, that they are also good bikes, I'd just go out and buy whichever one you can get the best deal on.


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 14 Sep 2006
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 34
Good idea for the first trip!

Some questions:
how long r u going to spent in Russia?
you want just to cross it or make a trip all around?

Don't worry, there is no problems with fuel even near Chita! But those roads are very hard!
You can always ask for my help, and information about Russia.
I'm going to be in NZ in the end of November, looking forvard to meet you there!
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Old 15 Sep 2006
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pennsylvania,USA
Posts: 107

If you decide on the KLR, I would advise that you replace the rear subframe with an aftermarket one and also the subframe bolts. The OEM subframe is not up to the challenge of a full kit on the rear and tough riding with said kit. Also, a fork brace and stainless steel brake lines. Maybe some auxillary lighting too. These sites below may be of some help.


Good luck and be safe.

Last edited by ct_miller13; 15 Sep 2006 at 20:33.
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