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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 21 Jun 2005
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5'6" tall which bike

Hello All,
I have been reading and training for my bike test and eventual departure to Asia next year (alone at least initially), not sure yet if I will buy and fly or turn up and chance it out there!?: I was thinking of a KTM 650 Adventure as I had read how good it was for overland travel --- but have discovered that I am too short for it (I am 5’6”) and many people have told me it is for a stronger, experienced rider as it only have one cylinder and is very heavy----- Please could people suggest alternatives for me to start researching, I am told that I should be looking for a 500/550 that has 4 cylinders, where do I start!

Thanks ------ Looking forward to the replies

Kathryn


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  #2  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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First step would be to stop listening to those people!

The only thing they got half-right was that the KTM is a bit much for you, but only because of it's height.

As for a 4-cylinder on a tour of Asia - DO NOT listen - they haven't a clue.

F650, Transalp, KLR650, DR650, and many others are all single cylinder - and perfect overland bikes.

Get to the UK Travellers Meeting this weekend - you'll get a chance to sit on lots of travel bikes, talk to their owners and get a wealth of information available nowhere else in the world.

Also read the many many posts here discussing "which bike" including bikes for "vertically challenged" and women.


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  #3  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Kathryn

very little to add to what grant already said.

apart to share my own experience -which on a good day I may be around 5.6" (whats that in metric is it 168cm?)- I have to say that I enjoyed prancing around on a BMW F650 GS Dakar and my girlfriend (who is about the same hight as me) did the BMW off road course on a F650 and she loved it. Also tried couple of XRs 400 in Morocco last year which are good fun but not sure if you want to do a big overland trip on them.

I'd say go out and try test ride as many as possible, ask for lower seat options - which many BM's do -

Don't be put off by people saying that you must put both feet down, I never did.

gt

PS. I will be experimenting on 1200gs soon (with lower seat option -) so wait for up dated news - may have some commedy value

g
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  #4  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Kathryn,

My girlfriend is 5'5" & rides an 1150GS, bought it in March '05. Prior to that, she'd clocked up just over 100,000 miles on a bought from new '94 R80GS.

As the others have said, four cylinders are not ideal for off road. F650 of some sort may be what you need.
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  #5  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Dear All,
Many thanks for all your advise,, and so quickly! --- I will look at the ones you have mentioned and look into going on the weekend to the bash --- But I think it is full?

This is the frst of many questions I am sure! Look forward to talking with you all at times in the future

Thanks
Kathryn

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  #6  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Kathryn
If you're thinking of buying a new bike I believe that BMW offer a lower seat at no extra cost if you order it at with the bike, not sure which models but it might be worth looking at. If you need to you can also get an upholsterer to remove some foam and recover the seat.
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  #7  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Re-read the UK Meeting page - it's not full anymore, instead it's "restricted with conditions" - sign up IMMEDIATELY if you want to come to get the best chance of getting in to all the presentations. If you arrive without signing up, yes you will get in, but you won't get to many presentations as the early birds get first crack. But you will get to some, and you will get to meet over 350 other people ALL interested in motorcycle travel, and all readers of the HUBB!

See you there!

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  #8  
Old 8 Jul 2005
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Hi Kathryn - I'm 5'8 and wouldn't considera KTM adventure because of the seat height. I would also suggest a Transalp or BMW650 (probably the BMW with low seat).

The Xr400 is a great bike and would make it round the world easily imho. however your bum may not thank you for it.

good luck with your choices and test rides
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  #9  
Old 9 Jul 2005
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The Suzuki DR 650 has a low seat height and is designed to be lowerd with existing parts. You may want to look at it.

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  #10  
Old 2 Aug 2005
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Don't. We own two and the longer we ride them the more we think they are junk.

I suggest you try smaller bikes, like XT225. In Pak and India you will hardly ever exceed 60-80 km/h. If you go to Ladakh (can't wait to get there) you will appreciate a smaller lighter bike.
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  #11  
Old 3 Aug 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by beddhist:
Don't. We own two and the longer we ride them the more we think they are junk.

I suggest you try smaller bikes, like XT225. In Pak and India you will hardly ever exceed 60-80 km/h. If you go to Ladakh (can't wait to get there) you will appreciate a smaller lighter bike.
Many thanks for this - In fact I am going to Ladakh next week! But not on a bike this year --- In fact still in search of lessons having had a problem with the bike I started on!

I will get there!

Thanks

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Old 6 Aug 2005
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I'm with recommendations on a smaller bike too.
My wife has the sexy lil Sherpa and keeps up with me offroad and on.
We don't do over 70 or so.
It's in the catagory of the XT225.
These bikes are sweet with the magic button and six speed trannys.
The Sherpa even has a twin piston front caliper.
We love that lil bike and it's surprisingly fast.(can you say 60-70 mpg?)
I'm of the thought that if you can't throw it down and pick it up without hurtin your back, it's too big.
My wife is 5-9 and sittin on my big KLR, can barely lean it off the kickstand.
The KLR 650 is lighter than the BMW 650.
I'm glad I don't have to try to find a place to stand the KLR to go back and pick up my wife's bike.
Electric start means she won't get hurt startin too.
Good luck with your choice,
Rod
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  #13  
Old 8 Aug 2005
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I'm happy with my 1965 Ducati 250cc (except for when I seized the engine). If you get a 4 cylinder bike, you get extra carbs to worry about. A single is great. Less things to go wrong -- although if something does break, you can't limp it somewhere.

Small bikes are underrated I think. You're in a foreign country, so you don't go that fast. Any small Japanese bike would be great. They're pretty indestructible and you can find parts anywhere.

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