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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 18 Nov 2010
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Advice needed on bike for 2 persons

I need a bike which is suitable for 2 persons and which is not that expensive. I thought about an Africa twin or Transalp from the mid 90's. I am going to get the bike from Germany. I have searched this side and I have talked to bikers in Australia and South America. The thing is my Girlfriend is riding on the back she isn't going to ride. So I need advice on which bike is suitable for 2 persons plus luggage. The terrain will be everything we will go through Africa as Europe and Southamerica. Currently we are in India and we are travelling on a Bullet 350 with all lugagge. But 18 hp seems to be a bit low and we need something stronger.

My questions are:

Is one of the two above mentioned a good choice for 2 persons and luggage?
Have you any other suggestions on bikes?
In general, spareparts in Africa are available on this bikes?

Hope someone can help me!!

Thank you, Sascha
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  #2  
Old 19 Nov 2010
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Here´s what we did with my girlfriend and a V-Strom 650:

www (dot) moto1 (dot) fi/blog

(sorry I have to put it that way, but somehow it wouldnt let me paste the address ..it´s still a little ´under construction´ & partly in Finnish, but will be updated)

I´ve owned a few Africa Twins, done many trips with them, and ridden the Transalp quite a bit as well. All these are capable of doing it 2-up, so it´s more about your personal preferences. And money.

I dont know about your country, but here those 1990- something Africa Twins are ridiculously expensive. You can get a 2004 Vstrom for almost the same price, so for me that would be a no-brainer.

In Africa (outside South Africa) it could be tough to find spares for any of these ´off the shelf´. Luckily they seldom break down, all are very serious overlanders, if kept well... but if you get unlucky, or crash or something, then you might have to wait for the spares a bit.
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  #3  
Old 19 Nov 2010
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hey sascha.. i've not ridden an AT so can't really compare but i did buy a transalp in germany this summer just gone so maybe that is helpful. overall there are some great examples around and about as the TA was popular here.. that said.. it might be cheaper (and maybe easier?) buying in the UK. my 1995 TA with 35k on the clock, full luggage, full service history and directly from a dealer in berlin was 2,500 euros. not a bad price. but.. you won't be here to take advantage of the nice guarantees you get in germany and in the UK it might be more like 1,500 pounds. plus the hassles with registration aren't so big in the UK (depending on your nationality, you might already have an address in Germany and be registered etc etc etc).

there's a few specialist groups you could try for more information

Honda Trail Bike Forums

Transalp-Freunde Deutschland e.V. - Herzlich willkommen! (in german)

best of luck mate
nick
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  #4  
Old 20 Nov 2010
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Hi Sascha - We're 2 up on a Transalp 650 in Asia, and while it's got Honda reliability, shortcomings are the suspension isn't up to 2 people and small luggage, and even with the back jacked right up, the ctr stand hits the road every day over bumps.

Also, the fuel range is poor, and carrying fuel is a pain. Look at a V-strom 650 (not 1000) as their fuel range is much better, and they are very cheap and have more bhp.

Good luck
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  #5  
Old 21 Nov 2010
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I've had both Africa Twin and Vtrom 650.

I think the Africa Twin is the best adventure bike ever made, a very punchy engine, lots of torque, best riding position, it is a very reliable and tough bike, but that doesn't mean is the most confortable. Original seat is too hard.

Vstrom is a much lighter a smoother bike, seat as like a futon, suspension is softer. I think Vstrom is way more confortable for passenger. The bike has a very smooth engine delivery (sometimes you feel you are ridding a big scooter), so you don't feel a high torque like in the AT but it is more powerful. Cruise speed on the AT could be about 120 kph, and 140kph on the Vstrom. Tubeless tires on the VS are also an advantage if you plan to ride on paved roads most of the time. Both bikes has a 400 kms fuel autonomy but sadly AT doesn't have fuel level meter.

So it depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. AT is very reliable but it's a discontinued bike, so you can get stuck if need a rare spare part. 650 VStroms are now assembled in Colombia so you can find parts easier in SA. Vstrom has more electronics but I think they have proved they are reliable so far.
.
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  #6  
Old 22 Nov 2010
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Ta or not

Sascha, hi there and guten Morgen from Japan!

I own a 400cc Honda TA (old model 1992 built for the Japanese market) and we've done quite some riding 2 up (check out my homepage at virtulanguage.com and go to the photo gallery). I never had any problems.

Fuel consumption was good something like 20 to 25 kilometers/liter depending on the terrain. I use 2 H&B junior cases plus some more stuff on the rear (usually comes to 20 to 25 kilo counting the camping equipment) and the bike never let me down.

I did change the front suspension, using Wirth progressive fork springs now which make a difference.

Hope this helps. For more info send me an e-mail.
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2010
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What is your price range?

In europe the price of a BMW 1150GS are very low and they are an excellent 2up bike. Reliable, robust, trustworthy and comfortable.

Fellow riders on a 1150GS are Mark & Maggie, see their blog here.

We also have friends riding an Africa Twin 2up now leaving Spain for Africa. Darius & Jane's blog is here.

Personally we ride a BMW 1200GS. Very comfortable with good power and has done everything we've thrown at it (over 50,000kms riding2up). If you want more info on any of these bikes or what they are like 2up then send me a PM and I can get you intouch with the owners. For more on our bike and travels including mods we made to ride with 2 plus luggage see our website here.
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  #8  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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Hey everybody, thanks for all the replies. I havent had Internet in the last days so thats why I reply that late. So, I'm german so I will go back home to get a differnent bike. The price Range is between 3000 and 4000 Euro the maximum. Now I will look up all these bikes you guys mentioned and will see. Is there not a Chance if get an Transalp that I make the suspension better somehow that it can carry two persons and luggage? And dont hit every bumo too hard! Because if I spend 3000 euro for a Transalp I get a quite good bike.
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  #9  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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A well maintained R1100GS would work pretty well.
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  #10  
Old 1 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sascha84 View Post
Hey everybody, thanks for all the replies. I havent had Internet in the last days so thats why I reply that late. So, I'm german so I will go back home to get a differnent bike. The price Range is between 3000 and 4000 Euro the maximum. Now I will look up all these bikes you guys mentioned and will see. Is there not a Chance if get an Transalp that I make the suspension better somehow that it can carry two persons and luggage? And dont hit every bumo too hard! Because if I spend 3000 euro for a Transalp I get a quite good bike.
You'll find that most bikes aren't equiped to take the load of 2ppl + luggage.

Even our R1200GS bottomed out on rough roads with standard shocks so I changed just the rear to +2 spring and Ohlins BM436 rear shock. Never had a problem since. BUT they are expensive. So put it in your budget upfront.

You shouldn't have a problem finding new rear shocks for your transalp. It has been done before. Typically though you might want either a stiffer spring ie. +1 or +2 or better still is a graded spring. You might be able to find a second hand spring in good condition from another bike or graveyard (wreckers) to replace the spring on your (to be bought) transalp.

Good luck
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