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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 12 Sep 2008
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2 up RTW best handling

I have been travelling arround the world for many years but always solo, meaning that off road wasn't a problem and when I dished myself I had only one person to worry about. I am now preparing a RTW trip 2 up, I would like to have some info about people which traveled far two up using sometime off road. We plan to the US go to CA,To SA TDF ship the bike to Europe, go to S. Africa go to Asia....
I own a R1200GS but I am not sure about taking that much electronic on the road , I am tempted by the DL1000.
Please help .
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  #2  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Thumbs up

We did a Two-up on a R1150GS and it was very comfy and capable.

However, that was us and this is you. You'll probably get comments on both models. I think you'd manage on either. As for electronics, neither is running a basic loom and carbs...

Forget spec sheets, think what you can afford and what you think you'd enjoy, then test-ride, test-ride, test-ride...two-up, naturally....

If you plan a RTW, although the bike is not the be-all and end-all, its will get you from a to b, and its worth putting as much planning into your choice as you might in choosing your other kit... you probably did not run out and buy the first tent you sw, for example.

Book some weekends aside for you test-rides and dissappear over the horizon for a few hours with you other half!!
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  #3  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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It sounds like you want a bit more power (CC wise) anyway. But lessons I have learnt from two up on the AT. First off I find the AT (solo) very capable off road (it is better then i am, so it is not the bike that limits the dirt side of things).

Two up: The AT is a top heavy bike to begin with so two up un-loaded it is not great off road, loaded it can be a hard ride. BUT this is predominately due to how we pack. I know every one says low and forward for all the weight but it becomes even more important when two up off piste on a bike like this. I have found that our tank panniers (not tank bag) became indispensable, (to the point where i am custom making bigger better ones (then my Touratech bags). On road your bike can feel perfectly stable, but you get off and you will find that your front end is very light and may not do what you want. So really get the weight low. Sorry pillions (co-riders) but you are a heavy and badly packed lump when off road. So you have to compensate with packing the other stuff in the right places. .

I found that i can get away with a lot more high weight and sloppy packing when going solo. So if you can when you get your new bike, think carefully about the weight distribution of you, her, and gear.

I also am reluctant to drop tyre pressure to the same low levels that i will do solo (fear of pinch). But it does help.

Warthog is correct ride alot of bikes two-up, make sure she is comfortable (most important) and that you are too (beleive it or not less important). And most off all dont be afraid to ask her to walk durring the really bad stuff.. you get evil looks the first time, but then she see you fall and the evil look turns in o a Nelson like "HA-HA"..and she is happy that you are under the bike and not her..
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  #4  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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2 up handling

I agree with you that loading the bike is a very important items, I have so far 25000 Miles on my 1200gs and most of it 2 up, but I never really did any off road 2 up with the bemmer, we went for 2 month in India ,all arround SE Asia on an XR650L but now we are talking over a year so confort is very important and safety while driving is too. We drove the Vstroom and the bike is nice to drive , with a better seat it could be great for the pillon.I am jus a bit worry about the piste of africa , the choice of bike been very limited in the US the choice will be 1200 gs or DL650 or DL1000 .money is not a problem but confort handling could be and reliability too.

Thanks for your help
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  #5  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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V-Strom

Check out Grant Guerin story here on Travellers Stories. He has a V-Strom with over 140k kms on it with no serious problems. He has travelled for 3 years so far all over The Americas and now Africa. He is a big part of the reason why I sold my very unreliable 1100GS and got a V-Strom.
The BM rode a little better,had slightly better brakes and was a little more comfy for my wife. She also says it is a little noiser back there.
Although you say money is not a problem they are a lot cheaper to maintain. Mine now has 18000 miles and has had no problems but it is still early days I'll now how good it is in another 100,000 miles.
I have Pelican Cases on mine which I am very happy with. They are totally waterproof and are suppossed to be very tough but luckily I haven't tested that yet. The only problem is they are sde loading but my wife made some bag liners so that isn't really a problem.
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  #6  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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In all honesty I believe that it doesnt really matter what bike you choose so long as its one you are comfortable with... Especially when 2-up. By this I mean the comfort of your pillion and to a lesser extent you is the most important factor in keeping a healthy travel relationship. How you find that comfortable bike is up to you. In terms of performance I think you will adjust yourselves to the capabilities of the bike you choose less important is choosing the bike for your style of riding.
We are on a RTW 2-up now on a Honda CT110 and have found it more than adequate for doing the things we need it to. I chose this bike because I am yet to find a more comfortable ride... Honest.
Totally agree with the importance of tank panniers. I made my own and they have proven to be excellent for handelling and leg protection aswell(saved my leg from certain breakage in Sumatra) I just wish I'd made them bigger and the rear panniers smaller.

Nathan and Aki
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  #7  
Old 24 Sep 2008
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Am I right is understanding that it's pretty much the off-road performance that this question is about?

"I have been travelling arround the world for many years but always solo, meaning that off road wasn't a problem"

Off road is ALWAYS a problem with two people on a bike. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You want space for two, and reliability. Ground clearance is nice. First gear has to be fairly slow, at least slower than you need for one up riding. Other than that you make your choice with as much rationality as you can muster in the showroom!

I'm still hearing scary stories about 1200GS final drives.....


Regards

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  #8  
Old 7 Oct 2008
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Test Ride

Most malfunctions (electronics too) doesn't happen at test rides IMHO ! ! !




Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
It sounds like you want a bit more power (CC wise) anyway. But lessons I have learnt from two up on the AT. First off I find the AT (solo) very capable off road (it is better then i am, so it is not the bike that limits the dirt side of things).

Two up: The AT is a top heavy bike to begin with so two up un-loaded it is not great off road, loaded it can be a hard ride. BUT this is predominately due to how we pack. I know every one says low and forward for all the weight but it becomes even more important when two up off piste on a bike like this. I have found that our tank panniers (not tank bag) became indispensable, (to the point where i am custom making bigger better ones (then my Touratech bags). On road your bike can feel perfectly stable, but you get off and you will find that your front end is very light and may not do what you want. So really get the weight low. Sorry pillions (co-riders) but you are a heavy and badly packed lump when off road. So you have to compensate with packing the other stuff in the right places. .

I found that i can get away with a lot more high weight and sloppy packing when going solo. So if you can when you get your new bike, think carefully about the weight distribution of you, her, and gear.

I also am reluctant to drop tyre pressure to the same low levels that i will do solo (fear of pinch). But it does help.

Warthog is correct ride alot of bikes two-up, make sure she is comfortable (most important) and that you are too (beleive it or not less important). And most off all dont be afraid to ask her to walk durring the really bad stuff.. you get evil looks the first time, but then she see you fall and the evil look turns in o a Nelson like "HA-HA"..and she is happy that you are under the bike and not her..
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  #9  
Old 7 Oct 2008
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Test Ride

Most malfunctions (electronics too) doesn't happen at test rides IMHO ! ! !




SORRY FOR MISQUOTING Warthog's instead of Xanders ! ! !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthog View Post
We did a Two-up on a R1150GS and it was very comfy and capable.

However, that was us and this is you. You'll probably get comments on both models. I think you'd manage on either. As for electronics, neither is running a basic loom and carbs...

Forget spec sheets, think what you can afford and what you think you'd enjoy, then test-ride, test-ride, test-ride...two-up, naturally....

If you plan a RTW, although the bike is not the be-all and end-all, its will get you from a to b, and its worth putting as much planning into your choice as you might in choosing your other kit... you probably did not run out and buy the first tent you sw, for example.

Book some weekends aside for you test-rides and dissappear over the horizon for a few hours with you other half!!
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  #10  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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in all seriousness: A Ural

The Ural with the driven side car.
Ideal round the world motorbike. Particularly if your wife wants some luxury's to be packed, and not be constantly squished in some where.

After all at this point Your riding RTW on a form of open vehicle, and you are not in a rush.

The Urals are amazing off road. Saw one riding up a very heavily rutted forest path I was walkig up and it struck me with how easy it trundled over things.
I know filtering is frowned upon with an outfit but two up this isnt going to be as much of a hinderance as a magical bike on bad roads with a simply bottomless cavern for packing space.

The new ones are reputed to be reliable (or some derivative thereof) but mostly they are fixable. No other bike comes with a DIY service manual and a warranty to cover it if you do your own servicing!

You will have great fun on the bike and having two seated positions for your wife, (either pillion of in the side car) means that she has some scope for movement from the monotonous positions. Also Off road she will have great fun keeping you upright, and watching those guys go up that track, it really is a teamwork thing.

If I were going on any looong trip and planned to go two up, I would buy their "Ranger" (also called "Gear Up") and I would change the paint scheme from Cammo plus reinforce all the pannier mounts.

Ural Motorcycles Europe | Ranger

Its certainly a bike that has really got my interest, one of these days I will get one, but I do want the powered side car drive with reverse. Just have to be careful in Right hand drive countries if I get the opportunity to overtake
Heh heh heh!

Other than the Ural I'd say the BMW R1150GS, I have the RT and its an amazing bike (more technically minded folk will say get the simpler R100GS) The 1150 basically doesnt notice it when my wife is on board with me, fully loaded and touring, plus it returns my most economical runs when we're two up. 315 miles from one fillup of (about) 24 litres. Wow!

I've been astounded by the R1200GS its handling and road manners are impecable (other than the mirrors swatting every White van you see)
But as a bike its kind of like going to the Mayors fancy ball wearing a ski mask, that phantom of the opera chap pulled it off but it just doesnt go down well. Likewise this bike is sort of a road bike but it looks like it should be in a bog spraying everyone with mud. I wouldnt take the newer 1200, cos... I just wouldnt!
Having said that I genuinely loathe those theiving ***** BMW dealers, I have yet to come back from one without the feeling of being royally shafted. Hopefully beelzeebub has a special plan for them.

P.S. If you ever get the opportunity to take a ural for an off road spin, do it, it will make you laugh. Thats what it is all about

Cheers G
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  #11  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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2 up RTW

thanks for the reply, I like the idea of a sidecar but this would not be convinient for shipping and during this trip I will have to ship the bike few time. I looked at the 1150gs but get not real good feedback about it, so far the best contendent is the DL1000 , the only problem is that the bike have such a little tank.
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Old 10 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samy View Post
Most malfunctions (electronics too) doesn't happen at test rides IMHO ! ! !




SORRY FOR MISQUOTING Warthog's instead of Xanders ! ! !
Confused...
You'll get warning of even fewer malfunctions if you buy off spec alone...

Surely a test-ride is better than nothing?

I never said that test-rides would eliminate all doubts, but if I am riding a bike RTW, the only way I will have even the faintest idea if it has tendencies that will make that RTW less enjoyable/comfortable is with a test-ride. Several if possible...
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Last edited by Warthog; 10 Oct 2008 at 18:05.
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  #13  
Old 10 Oct 2008
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KTM - all you need in a BMW, but without the electronics to go wrong.

Plus it looks and rides better and everyone goes 'ooh a ktm' rather than 'yet another bee-em'

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  #14  
Old 10 Oct 2008
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
The Ural with the driven side car.
Ideal round the world motorbike. Particularly if your wife wants some luxury's to be packed, and not be constantly squished in some where.

After all at this point Your riding RTW on a form of open vehicle, and you are not in a rush.

The Urals are amazing off road. Saw one riding up a very heavily rutted forest path I was walkig up and it struck me with how easy it trundled over things.
I know filtering is frowned upon with an outfit but two up this isnt going to be as much of a hinderance as a magical bike on bad roads with a simply bottomless cavern for packing space.

The new ones are reputed to be reliable (or some derivative thereof) but mostly they are fixable. No other bike comes with a DIY service manual and a warranty to cover it if you do your own servicing!

Have to agree, as this is exactly what I had planned.

I have since bought the 2WD Sportman model for our future trips which must now also take Pretzel the Dog into account.

It is good off-road. It has its limitations, and ground clearance is not the best and first gear a bit tall, but in 2WD with knobblies on both rear wheels ( about 20 mins to change the two and I carry the two spare wheels on the chair)if blasts through stuff really well. Even on road tyres it performs well. Not as fast as two wheels, but carrying a lot more and with more stability: perfect for me who is no off-road god!!

Down sides are its regular services (1000-1500 mile oil change, carb balance and valve clearance check), its fuel consumption and medium sized tank (35mpg is average with a 19 litre tank) and off-course the reliability. It is basic in design and so easy to work on, and the 2007 onward models are said to be a lot more reliable thanks to German and Japanese components, but the basic 1940s design also means it has not evelved as modern bikes have to be more relialbe in general.

I will say that, after owning it for less than a year, riding a Sidecar well, takes a lot of skill and, despite the same controls, it is a completely different technique: forget what you know about solos.

Nonetheless, all in all a worthy candidate!!
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Last edited by Warthog; 10 Oct 2008 at 18:04.
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  #15  
Old 10 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samy View Post
Most malfunctions (electronics too) doesn't happen at test rides IMHO ! ! !




SORRY FOR MISQUOTING Warthog's instead of Xanders ! ! !
Oahh that explains it: I was very confused..on how packing is almost more important then the actual bike related to electronic malfunctions....: confused1:
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