The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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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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I'm looking to add a "beater" bike, for rough road travel, suppliment my high mileage 1150RT.... researching KLR650, WeeStrom DL650 Suzuki, and BMW F650GS. I like the BMW high output alternator but worried about the buffeting issues of the windscreen. Seems it's not solveable. The F650 is my preference, if the buffeting issue can be solved. Both the KLR and Wee have low alternator output (I like heated gear and good supplimental lighting). The Wee seems very road worthy on highway compared to the KLR - less buzzy. It also has cast wheels, meaning no tubes, which is a huge plus in my preference. Both the KLR and Wee seem rock solid and reliable, yes? The KLR seems to require a lot of upgrading (frame bolts, Doohicky, fork brace...)
Used is my market, and the KLR is often lowest priced, with the Wee and then the F650 in increasing price order. Difference of $2k to $3k between the three is not a huge issue, if the defects of each bike can be overcome. Simply looking here for more "on the ground" input, to suppliment my other information resources.
My riding goals are more remote riding, although I take my RT on dirt a lot. Looking for travel in MX and farther south, and on roads where knobbie tires are really needed, along with farther south "highway" travel. Will any of these machines be better in terms of South America/Central America parts availability?
the DL650 is great bike but not really an off road bike so it will be very heavy off road esp in sand , the klr is a great bike too and with some upgrade a very capable bike off road not very good on HWY, the DR650 ,XR650 ,DRZ400 will be a better choice for off road but slow on HWY, the problem is most of the bikes which are good off road will not be the best on HWY,but if you don't mind riding arround 60miles/H on HWY the drz400 will be a blast off road ,the other DL650..will be a handfull when stuff get rough.
The V Stroms have the best standard equipment lights on the market so you might not need auxiliary lights .
They also have more than enough alternator power for heated jacket and gloves for one person , two up might be a problem but you can use LEDs for taillight and switch off one headlight for daytime use .
Later DL650s have 400w alternators ,same power as the F650GS .
You just have to decide where you want to ride , if it's very severe off road ,then you need a lighter, more nimble bike than the VStrom .
You won't find the perfect bike so just take a few for a test ride and see which you like best .
If you want rough and remote riding i think light and reliable is key, and you have to sacrifice long distance touring comfort for it.
As said, KLR's are cheap and reliable but fairly heavy. So is the F650dakar.
You might want to check out the BMW Xchallange. Then there are the new KTM690 (reliability??), Husky TE610, KTM640Adv.
In cheap and light and reliable catagory you have the Suzuki DR650 or Honda XLR650. Both are cheap and proven and there's lots of aftermarket stuff like big tank, happytrail panniers etc. available. And then there's the Suzuki DRZ400 to look at. So many choices!
As for parts availability in MX,CA and SA. In my current trip from alaska to ushuaia i noticed that in CA and SA countries a lot of local police use new KLR's or DR650's. Which assumes parts availability. (BMW is bad, real bad and bloody expensive).
For what its worth, I would go for a DR650 anytime!
I reckon you need to narrow down the intended use a lot more. I.e. RTW, weekend blasts, trails, adventure trips, how fast you want do all of the above, how good you are with a wrench, how much luggage, etc.
On the F650, I have no issues with buffeting, but if you're handy with perspex there is no limit to what you can experiment with in terms of shape. Plenty of aftermarket stuff available. Crap suspension though. But unless you go for the KTM or Husky, all the mentioned bikes have that issue. 400 size bikes excluded without luggage.
If you're looking for heaps of dirt roads but also want single trail and simplicity/ reliability without the need for 1000's of tar km's, than the DR would be awesome. Bit less so the new KLR.
More tight trail and reliability, can't beat the XR or DRZ but this will suck on the tar.
All the above without the trail and more tar. F650.
Even more tar DL.
All out blasting 690E and TE. But pretty new though.
Really comes do to what you want. Rotor upgrades are possible on most bikes.
Really cannot add much more than what has been said already which is all good advice. I have ridden a wee strom for the last few years and would recommend it to anyone. It is near bulletproof in reliability, and two up over long distances is not a problem. Agree you need to figure exactly how much rough road riding you will be doing. If it is under 15% would go with the DL650. Have taken this two up over some very dodgy roads made mostly of stones and holes, two up with plenty of gear. My only concern was that I didnt have a bash plate, in terms of handling it was fine, but agree if you hit sand you will be wishing you had a lighter bike!
The replies are really appreciated and helpful. I was not aware the Wee has a better alternator. I'm not planning for heavy duty off road, but it does happen to me. One trip of high interest is riding through Copper Canyon. I ride solo all the time, and mostly highway travel and dirt road travel. I'm not in to remote sand dune, desert travel...yet. RTW is a wish for, trip to TDF from the States is becoming serious.
I've ridden for decades, and ride my 1150RT on dirt roads all the time at home. Also made a trip to Deadhorse on that machine. With the RT, I hate to be tempted with more difficult situations than the Dalton presents, drop the bike repeatedly, and do a lot of damage.
Wondering what year the Wee upgraded the alternator to 400 watts. Without an answer here, I'll do some research.
Dunno on the alternator. Sounds like the DL is closest to your needs to me. Depends on how quickly you increase you dirt ability and possibility to change bikes when that happens. It's more the rocky roads though. A DL would be quickly out of it's depth there. What about the F800? Will cover all bases but is a twin.
No probs with subframe ... over 40k km, over half on dirt, riding hard with up to 5 ortlieb bags on the back, plus a 12 litre fuel tank ... all that on the subframe and no probs ... yet ... touchwood.
As for seat and screen, I concede ... for I had mine changed prior to trip.
I will say that what I have ended up with is the best adventure travel bike I have had, and cant really imagine anything better. Huge ground clearance, super reliable engine, 70mpg fuel consumption average over all roads (4l/100km), and about as light as you are going to get ... especially in a 650 cc size
Looks good. I was dissapointed they didn't do a Dakar version of that one. I guess that might have been a bit much for their line up. Although they made 3 versions on this bike and only really seem to have sold the Xc.
my klr has 70,000 miles on the clock untouched ,a high output alternator is available for it ,yes it is a heavy pig in places but i love it and i have had no real problems here in south america with parts ,the new ones, 2008 on have a bit of plastic waiting to break but they are pretty much the same as the old ones undernneath
I have an R1150RT and loved until it was stolen my Yamaha Xt600 Tenere (large tank)
Strongly would suggest you look at this as a similarly minded person. (If not available try the KTM) The Single cylinder engines institute a strong passion, much in the same way that the BMW R series does.
Keep it simple though looking at the Pics above that G650 x Challenge looks amazing, and Touratech do an extra 16 litres for £500. Add some progressive front springs and if you need the distance you are good to go.
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