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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 13 Apr 2011
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Adventure touring is all the rage.

Not quite do-it-yourself, but there may be a nugget of information here.

Budget Adventure Touring - webBikeWorld
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  #2  
Old 13 Apr 2011
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Very interesting link HOWEVER -

A 2009 model DR650 isn't my idea of dirt cheap.

An even cheaper (and more bulletproof) method of adventure transport is the venerable Yamaha XT600E. It's still possible to source mint examples for around £1,500 in the UK. The makers Yamaha finally hit the stop button in 2003 after the EU dictated that carb bikes were not green enough...

From what I remember the DR series of bikes (apart from the excellent DR350) were a little fragile (compared to other similar Jap steeds). I used to ride an old DR650 and it was never as useful as the XT's.

The best DR ever made was the superb little DR350. Now hard to find as most have been ridden to destruction.

With respect $5,500 isn't exactly cheap. My mint XT600E (1999) will do everything the DR will do for a third of the price. If I were selling it (which I'm not) I'd be lucky to get £1,600 for it. Remember it's hardly run in (5,000 miles).

Sorry I'd alsp rate a XR650 and KLR650 before a DR everytime.

But I'm sure you know differently.....

Helmet on.
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  #3  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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People love the 'venerable XT600 here, but the 'ideal' adventure bike is a very very personal matter, as are prices and what you would do with someone elses budegt!

For that amount I would get:
1) A 1985 Elefant 650 with a shot engine - £250
2) A mid 1990's 750 monster engine from ebay - £500 (take off the heads, cylinders, pistons)
3) Engine bearings, gaskets, piston rings, belts etc - £400
4) Rear shock rebuild for the amazingly high-spec Ohlins £250
5) New fork internals £80
6) Some red oxide primer - £20
7) New tyres - £180
8) A wiring loom from 'something japanese' from a breakers - £25
9) bits and bobs £100

Hey presto - £1795 and you have a bike that weighs sub 190kg, has about 80 bhp at the wheel, a kickstart great frame and superb suspension. It's my dream travel bike. Would I recommend it? Not even to my worst enemy! (partly so they don't buy the parts I need, partly because the list above doesn't mention the 200+ hours of labour involved)

For what it is I reckon the DR looks pretty damn good, I'd have one over the KLR any day and maybe over the XT
The XT is a very very popular travel bike, but 'magnolia' is a very very popular colour for painting the living room!
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  #4  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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The XT is a good bike but not available in N America ,which [from the photos ] appears to be where the writer of the WBW article is from .
So the main choices for a thumper would be KLR ,KTM ,BMW or DR .
They are relatively cheap compared to the BMW 800 AND Triumph 800 and just a couple of thou less than a WeeStrom .
So for somebody not wanting to indulge in an old bike rebuild the DR is just the job .
Kudos to webbikeworld for picking a non mainstream bike and running a series of articles on it .There will be many folks who will learn a lot from this and decide to give "adventure" motorcycling a try .
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  #5  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
The XT is a very very popular travel bike, but 'magnolia' is a very very popular colour for painting the living room!
Wow, I have the XT of living rooms. That is so cool...

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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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  #6  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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So would a KLR be beige ?
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  #7  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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Yeah its a personal thing and everyone has a different view on what 'budget' means to them.

funnily enough as per the article I bought a lightly used 2009 DR650 with 7000 kms on the clock last year for $5000 CAD or £3180.

I got a nearly brand new bike for twice the price of a 10 year old Yamaha and after putting another few grand into it, completely new suspension, better seat, 30 litre tank, better electrics, panniers and some engine protection I ended up with what is FOR ME the best overlander around.

Id still call this a budget overlander, I looked at used V Stroms and Honda XR650s, KTMs and used BMWs which would have cost me a lot more money.

The DR has lots of gear available to turn it into a great bike, for less than half the price of buying a new BMW 800 for $14000 + cost of panniers etc.

In stock trim the Yamaha Honda and maybe the KLR are better bikes, Ive had a Yam TTR, Honda XR400, KTM 640 and a mid ninties DR650 before - the DR suspension is made of jelly, its got a tiny tank and the stock seat should be burned its so bad.

I wouldnt call it fragile though, the later DR's have a much stronger frame, Ive been off it at 70 mph, (ish) it cartwheeled and I managed to fix it up for a few hundred bucks, its also been nearly driven over by a pick up truck in Colombia, cost to repair, under a hundered bucks in parts, its been dropped a good few times, been banged around on its side on a Bolivian train and ridden around South/North America 2up for 22,000 kms.

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  #8  
Old 24 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
The XT is a very very popular travel bike, but 'magnolia' is a very very popular colour for painting the living room!
Outstanding quote !

Yes the idea of adventure touring on a "budget" is as vague as a piece of string is long. Any motorcycle travel is budget compared to the car guys. Talk to guy who spend 50-70,000 pounds prepping their landrover for a return trip to Mongolia and you realise that a 1200 GSA with the touratech catalogue thrown at it is absolutely budget adventuring in the eyes of the 4 wheeled crowd.

I personally dont get the obsession with doing it dirt cheap. Sure you can spend less, save money on suspension, but then you end up with a less competent bike. You wont get the thrill of hooting across Mongolia at full throttle. To me, the idea of touring on a lesser prepped bike isnt anywhere near as appealing anymore. I have done it before. You do it because you have to, not because its virtuous.

I can understand if you are almost skint and the only way to do a big trip is to do it cheap, but I can say, as someone who has done a lot of touring on the cheap (on a non prepped bike) and doing with a well prepped bike (about the equivalent of 4 grand of prep work) there is no comparison. You still get the same scenery, and you still get the cultural experience, but you miss out on a lot of the riding pleasure. I certainly cant go back to doing it on an unprepped bike.
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  #9  
Old 24 Apr 2011
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That's because you're on a bike that NEEDS prep.
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  #10  
Old 26 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
That's because you're on a bike that NEEDS prep.
Says the man who is going nuts with prep.

Why dont you update me Taco, on your current prepping project?
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  #11  
Old 26 Apr 2011
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Well. It's taking longer than I anticipated. Summer is over and I'm still fiddling with the plugs. I had to take a break, but knowing myself decided the only way I wouldn't work on it over a long easter break was to fly to Hawaii.
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  #12  
Old 26 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
You still get the same scenery, and you still get the cultural experience, but you miss out on a lot of the riding pleasure.
But you miss breaking down in a small village in the middle of nowhere!
With a less prepared bike, you get the great cultural experience of getting up close with locals as they help to prevent you from becoming their new permanent neighbor.
With a less prepared bike, you get the riding pleasure of 15 hours in the saddle a day after completing repairs as you race to get to the border before your visa expires!
At least it makes for good stories if your objective is to write a book...
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Old 26 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
You wont get the thrill of hooting across Mongolia at full throttle.
To some of us the thrill is not how fast but how far.
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  #14  
Old 26 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by Chris in Tokyo View Post
...
With a less prepared bike, you get the riding pleasure of 15 hours in the saddle a day after completing repairs as you race to get to the border before your visa expires!
At least it makes for good stories if your objective is to write a book...
Now there's a point ... there is more "jeopardy" in a cheap unprepped bike. Its boring for a reader or viewer if everything works. A good story NEEDS jeopardy. Increase risk of failure, increase tension and therefore increase sales . And ... If you poorly plan your visas, thus making your schedule unnecessarily tight, you can even further build tension and jeopardy, thus making the stories (and book) even more gripping.
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  #15  
Old 26 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Now there's a point ... there is more "jeopardy" in a cheap unprepped bike. Its boring for a reader or viewer if everything works. A good story NEEDS jeopardy. Increase risk of failure, increase tension and therefore increase sales . And ... If you poorly plan your visas, thus making your schedule unnecessarily tight, you can even further build tension and jeopardy, thus making the stories (and book) even more gripping.
It's like I've always said: Adventure is just another word for poor planning.
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