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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 6 Jul 2013
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10 (or 20..) classic motorbikes to experience, in search of different summer bike!

Hi everyone,
This summer I want to experience a different bike! For a long time I was dreaming of riding 1200 GS but after riding Aprillia Caponord Rally Raid I think I can say to myself "Ok, you rode big ADVENTURE bike"!. I loved it (and I will buy Caponord one day, the are brilliant bikes) but this summer I would love to try something different, unusual. My day to day bike is f650, but I'm happy to spend up to 2k for a "summer bike" and do European tour (no off road involved). I'm not afraid of older bikes, actually quite like their charm. On my short list possible summer bikes are:

- Moto Guzzi , can be old V35 or 50 or chopper type (Nevada)
- Honda VFR 800
- Honda PanEuropean
- Suzuki DRZ650 (I would go off road then )
- Honda C90
- Royal Enfield

Be daring!

Dan
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  #2  
Old 6 Jul 2013
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Something a little bit different, a little bit retro, which might just squeeze into your budget...



The Honda CL400

I reckon it could be a great summer tourer with a couple of throwovers if you don't want to use the autoroute.
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  #3  
Old 6 Jul 2013
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Thanks Alex, only two on eBay, one in Japan...a rare one you have chosen
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Old 7 Jul 2013
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I see there is an ex army MT500 Armstrong avaialble for £1350 on ebay but for anything really classic that isn't going to be a money pit your £2k budget sadly doesn't go far these days, it seems.

Safe options are things like BMW K100s - even with high miles these are reliable and cheap. C90 and CB125 are silly money as are RE Bullets.
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Old 7 Jul 2013
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The MT500 is kick start only but are often available for less than £1,000

You should look for a MT350 which has electric start and disk brakes

Both of mine cost about £1,200

Really great bike. Just did Twinshock 2013 on it, including about 2,000 miles in Spain

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Old 7 Jul 2013
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Annoyingly I wrote out a long complicated reply a couple of hours ago and managed to lose it through some cyberspace glitch, so here's the short version -

MT500s or their other manufacturer equivalents wouldn't be a bad choice - here's my 10 yrs old version -




You can pick these up cheap as they're not very popular. Picking something that's not very popular is going to be the only way you'll get something reliable for your budget - and even then you're probably going to need to know your way round a set of spanners. The only downside is that if you already ride a F650 they won't be different enough.

From your list I'd forget the VFR (for £2k it'd be like russian roulette), the C90 ( too slow), the V50 (I owned two - just forget it!) and the Enfield (see VFR reason) A Pan Euro could work as could any of its siblings - K100, a number of Triumphs etc. They'll all be starship mileage for £2k but that's no bad thing if you're going to buy and sell after a month or two. For me these ubercruisers are only one step / two wheels removed from a Renault Clio though. Nothing wrong with them but just big, heavy and more work than pleasure.

My alternative choices at the moment are these -



A 70's 400/4 Honda. You can still pick up a good one under £2k



An old Kawasaki 500 two stroke. These days though classic mania has driven prices way over £2k. At 20mpg I can't understand why.
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Old 7 Jul 2013
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Maybe one of the less popular bigger Guzzi? The late 70s / early 80s 850 was a popular standard tourer. I had an SP1000NT back in the day that was excellent on longer trips. Bring tools and basic spares though...



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Old 7 Jul 2013
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But, if you really want to do something different, I'd go with a completely different approach.

You can rent a Enfield in India, or a modern day C90 (Honda Wave 125 or any

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Old 7 Jul 2013
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Continued...
Of the CT90s myriad clones in SE Asia for not much money. The cost of the airfare is well offset by the much cheaper costs of lodging and food if you go for longer periods.
Also you won't have spend potentially big money dealing with fixing some old beater if it breaks...

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Old 7 Jul 2013
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Thanks guys, a lot of great sugestions, renting bike in India is next year! so no excess spending this summer...I like Mt350/500 as an aleternative to f650, there is a couple of them on ebay now, a white/red one:

1995 ARMSTRONG MT 500 RED/WHITE. | eBay

or black, army style

Armstrong MT 500 | eBay

I also like the idea of BMW k100, most of them with luggage, really cheap ones like

BMW K100 | eBay

So many bikes so little time!
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  #11  
Old 7 Jul 2013
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Have a look at the MTRiders club web site as well

A lot of bikes get listed there before eBay

3 x MT350's were sold for £950 each last week :-)

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