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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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  #16  
Old 6 Sep 2012
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You should be able to get a good XT600e for £1500. They are indestructable and good fun. And you'll probably not lose much on resale when you get back.

Acerbis 23l tank readily available.

I'll be keeping mine for as long as I can ride a bike.

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*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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  #17  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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Reviving a thread here but I thought it'd be better than starting a new one.

I've been looking at used bikes on UK eBay.
My budget is super low (1300 pounds) and most hits that I'm getting for bikes in decent condition are 125ccs. I'm actually OK with that - ideally I wanted a 250. But there is one other bike that keeps popping up in that price range: a Yamaha XT600E. Why is it that a 600cc can be so 'cheap'? I hear almost nothing but very good reviews of it - that it's a basic, no frills bike, indestructible - which is exactly what I want.

Is this a good well-priced bike to look at doing a tour on?

Unrelated to thread but maybe someone can still answer: I will probably purchase without riding it, and I currently ride a 250cc. It going to 600 going to be a massive jump?
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  #18  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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yes going to 600 will be a big jump in the wait of the bike but also in the miles the engine will last you. Thets how old xts and so get so cheap...tgey never realy break ;-)
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  #19  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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I wonder why nobody comes up with the BMW 650GS Dakar. Dirt cheap, great MPG, reliable.
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  #20  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keks View Post
I wonder why nobody comes up with the BMW 650GS Dakar. Dirt cheap, great MPG, reliable.
could be :
because they are not as 'dirt cheap' to own and/or prep as you may think!
or that there are some who don't like the Rotax engine...! (Ted...don't even think about it!)
Here's mine and it works for me.
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  #21  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicola_a View Post
Reviving a thread here but I thought it'd be better than starting a new one.

I've been looking at used bikes on UK eBay.
My budget is super low (1300 pounds) and most hits that I'm getting for bikes in decent condition are 125ccs. I'm actually OK with that - ideally I wanted a 250. But there is one other bike that keeps popping up in that price range: a Yamaha XT600E. Why is it that a 600cc can be so 'cheap'? I hear almost nothing but very good reviews of it - that it's a basic, no frills bike, indestructible - which is exactly what I want.

Is this a good well-priced bike to look at doing a tour on?

Unrelated to thread but maybe someone can still answer: I will probably purchase without riding it, and I currently ride a 250cc. It going to 600 going to be a massive jump?
Reviving a thread is a good idea to my mind; it can save some of that endless questioning that comes up, over and over again.
And, yes, your budget is certainly super low; I also check out the UK ebay site for what is on offer and how much is being asked, and given in the end of auction prices.
You won't find many XT600s on there at any one time; they have not been on sale in the UK for quite a few years - about 10, or a few more - and folks are holding on to them or they are now wrecked and no longer available.
Also, and I think this could be quite an important consideration for buying overseas, they are old technology which basically means that they need a certain amount of technical "input" by the owner compared with the modern machines; this is my no means a criticism or a massive disadvantage but simply a matter of fact concerning bikes generally (there are many more bikes than the XT600 that fall into this category.

And, yes again, 600cc is a much bigger, heavier machine than a 250cc, or less capacity.

For the UK market you will find lots and lots of 125cc bikes because of the learner-rider market, so be careful that any previous owner has taken good care of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keks View Post
I wonder why nobody comes up with the BMW 650GS Dakar. Dirt cheap, great MPG, reliable.
As per the last post, two of these attributes are correct; but the F650GS carries a BMW badge which carries a premium price, here in UK anyway.
Then the Dakar model carries an extra premium above and beyond the standard version being marketed as a "desirable" for the off road/adventure bike image.
My point is that the super low budget won't get anywhere near that bike but it could find a Beemer funduro if a 600-650 bike really is the thing to have; however, the earlier suggestion of a 250cc road bike that does not have the current image of adv/off road may be just the thing to go for - be contrary to the marketing hype??
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  #22  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
the earlier suggestion of a 250cc road bike that does not have the current image of adv/off road may be just the thing to go for - be contrary to the marketing hype??
I am starting to think that going for more of a road bike is a really good idea for low budgets.
How much packed dirt can a road bike cope with? I don't know what the roads are like in Iran, Pakistan and Nepal and how much tarmac there is (or isnt)....
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  #23  
Old 1 Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by nicola_a View Post
I am starting to think that going for more of a road bike is a really good idea for low budgets.
How much packed dirt can a road bike cope with? I don't know what the roads are like in Iran, Pakistan and Nepal and how much tarmac there is (or isnt)....
It's a bit like the famous question "how long is a bit of string?"
It would certainly depend on how sympathetic you would be in your riding style + how much weight you carry, how often you crash, how confident you are in riding off-highway etc etc etc - you get the idea.

IMO, there are many people travelling on two wheels who never get involved in the deep mud/sand issues that some riders actively seek.
Nowadays, the world is covered in bitumen - a lot of it I mean, + there are 1000 upon 1000 more Km of graded gravel roads for specific highway design/cost reasons.
(including Australia!).

As an example of the above, Nepal has "wall to wall" bitumen surfaced roads between all of the major centres of population. Some have significant potholes, but nothing that would stop a bike.
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  #24  
Old 2 Jan 2013
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Thanks very much for your tips, Dave
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  #25  
Old 2 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
could be :
because they are not as 'dirt cheap' to own and/or prep as you may think!
or that there are some who don't like the Rotax engine...! (Ted...don't even think about it!)
Here's mine and it works for me.
hahah would I ???

It's not the Rotax engine that I don't like. It's the rest of the Fisher Price kit bolted onto it
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  #26  
Old 2 Jan 2013
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I have one of each. The BMW GS is a nice bike, seems reliable, goes well enough, good mpg, power delivery mild and predictable to the point of being bland. I am disappointed in the quality of the finish and fasteners, though, which are frankly poor. It has a low seat and can be made lower still very easily, as it was designed as a 'first big bike' or entry level Beemer, especially for the shorter or lighter-build rider (notice how I am avoiding sexism here). The XT is a much older design, as others have pointed out, and many are now reaching the end of their lives. But it is as tough as an old boot and once I have done a light overhaul on mine I expect it to be going well for another 19 years. It's taller than the GS, although not as tall as some big trailies, and the seat is narrower and for some less comfy. It uses slightly more fuel than the GS (53 average compared to 65-70, UKmpg) and has less power, but the way it makes the power is far more engaging and entertaining. The GS will cruise at a comfy 70 all day - make that 60 for the XT.

The XT is easier to work on, being simpler to start with and having less body plastics in the way, and for me that would be the defining factor for any serious trip.

The BMW Dakar is just a GS with better looks, taller suspension and a 21" front wheel, so a lot of the above about the GS will apply.

There are plenty of XTs around on eBay, usually around the £2k mark for a decent one. My opinion, they are probably a bit over-priced, but that what popularity does, and there is a reason they are popular, despite being no longer made.

If I had a long way to go on good roads, and I just had to get wherever I am going, I'd take the GS for its comfort, good cruise and economy. If I wanted to enjoy the ride and could take my time, I'd have the XT every time.

I'm seriously thinking of selling the GS and getting another XT. They are that good. I would never sell mine.
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  #27  
Old 7 Jan 2013
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As the O.P. Im glad to see this thread alive and well!
Ive extended my plans to through east Europe, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, West Kazakhstan and up the Volga eventually reaching St Petersburg. I've honed in on two bikes in particular-
'02 KLR 650 w/ 23000 miles = £1600
'90 Transalp w/ 26000 miles = £1500

I'm assuming 9/10th of the trip will be sealed so the seat and screen of the transalp may win out. Is transalp substantially worse in sand/ rocks/ dirt roads of Kazakhstan? I'm only going Atrau back to Astrakhan but I think road deteriorates (read: non-existant) in patches..

Any thoughts/ recommendations/ past experience greatly appreciated, as always!

Tom
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  #28  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Hi,

I have been riding a 500 Euro Transalp around Africa

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

and a 800 Euro Honda CG 125 around Southamerica:

Motorbike trip around Southamerica: Chile and Argentina part 1

2500 Euro was the total budged of this last 9 months and 28.000 km trip

Travel save
Did you say £2500 was the total budget for 28.000km through South America?

How did you manage that? How long were you there for?

Presumably that didn't include visas, or shipping the bike.
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  #29  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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Quote:
I'm only going Atrau back to Astrakhan but I think road deteriorates (read: non-existant) in patches..
Astrakhan - Atryau in may last year was a fairly broken up road, riddled with potholes, lots of weaving about

Atryau - Uralsk - Perfect new tarmac
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  #30  
Old 29 Jan 2013
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In order, what you should look for in a motorcycle should be:
1) Lightweight:
Maximum 170 kilo. You should be able to pick it up and go with it anywhere.
2) Reliability:
Buy a motorcycle that you KNOW will not fail you in the middle of no where. Bring spare parts with you: what other owners say usually fail.
3) Easy to service/repair:
No over-complicate electronic stuff. The bike that you own should be repairable in the most remote workshop with the most simple tool. For instance in a small town in Africa, in old soviet countries or even with a rock (sometime...).
4) Off road capability/ robustness:
If you want to go anywhere&everywhere... you should be able to!
5) Cheap:
Why would you buying a motorcycle worth 20 000 USD? When you can buy one which will do the job (sometime better) for less then 2000 USD? All the money you save when buying your bike, is money that you can spend while travelling. Plus, you won't cry when a part of your fairing has been scratch/fall-down with those.

Some of the bike that, somehow, fit into this are:
-Honda: XR400, 600, 650 ; Old Transalp 600, maybe Africa Twin 650.
-Suzuki: Drz 350, 400, 650.
-Yamaha: xt600z, 660z.
-Kawazaki: KLR650.
-KTM: 640 Adventure (Very reliable after 2003!)
-BMW: R80gs, bmw 650gs(single cylinder one).
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