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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 Dec 2013
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Africa Twin XRV 750. 2 up on a long trip

Hi, anyone got experience riding an XRV 750 (RD07A) on a long trip, especially 2 up? Would be really helpful to us to hear your experiences.

Was it comfortable? Was it reliable? Did you do any specific mods for your trip that proved really useful / lifesavers? (I am not a great mechanic but I have swapped out the fuel pump for a facet and intend to change the red/rec).

We're planning a big trip from Oct 14. We expect mostly hardtop roads but some gravel and rough tracks. Option 1 ship to Australia then ride back Malaysia, India, Iran, Turkey then Europe into UK or, Option 2 ship to S. America, travel the continent and if it's going well, travel up through Central America and into North America for the Spring/Summer 2015.

I'm 6ft 4" tall and 92kg (203lbs) and my wife is 5' 4" tall, 51kg (112lbs).

(So far we've done 2-4 week tours within Europe both hotels and camping on a Suzuki Bandit and a BMW GSA. On the Africa Twin we've done a few UK trips so far and as a warm up we're intending to do trips to both Romania and Morocco on it before Oct 14)

Thanks for any experiences you can share - all input welcome
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  #2  
Old 21 Dec 2013
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search facility is your friend

A quick search will give you a months worth of reading..
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  #3  
Old 21 Dec 2013
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Dec. 21st, 11:39 am

It's true .. a ton of Africa Twin travel stories out there. One good one is from
long ago Hubber Maarten Munnik. He has a book:
100, 000 Miles Of Solitude: Maarten Munnik: 9781105408038: Amazon.com: Books

To save money, perhaps minimize transcontinental motorcycle shipping. For touring the EU, Russia, Mongolia and such ... you can do that from the UK, and the Africa Twin should be OK ... no shipping required.

For Australia, I'd buy a bike locally and re-sell once the Oz tour is done.

For the Americas, once again, I would not ship. Too expensive. Fly to California, buy a bike (no, no Africa Twins here but CHEAP!), do a big America's loop, sell off when back in USA or in S. America.)
Lots of good alternative bikes for two up that would do. The Suzuki V-Strom DL650 being a good choice, IMHO.

By going this route you could save THOUSANDS OF POUNDS in shipping costs. That translates to better living on the road and a longer trip.

For Asia and other areas, think about buying (buy back scheme?) or renting small bikes.

Good planning!
  #4  
Old 21 Dec 2013
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What´s comfy for one is hell for others. What´s decent luggage for one is a movers´van load for others. If you have not figured out whether you like it two up, go pack for the long trip and take a week-long trip. Don´t think anyone here will be able to tell you what YOU like. If you like offroad, two up is most probably a bad idea.
Cheers
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Old 22 Dec 2013
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The seat isnt the most comfy and there are more powerful bikes for 2 up, but except for those cons I reckon its a very well suited bike for 2 up.
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Last edited by Snakeboy; 22 Dec 2013 at 15:00.
  #6  
Old 23 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip and Mouse View Post
Hi, anyone got experience riding an XRV 750 (RD07A) on a long trip, especially 2 up? Would be really helpful to us to hear your experiences.

Was it comfortable? Was it reliable? Did you do any specific mods for your trip that proved really useful / lifesavers? (I am not a great mechanic but I have swapped out the fuel pump for a facet and intend to change the red/rec).

We're planning a big trip from Oct 14. We expect mostly hardtop roads but some gravel and rough tracks. Option 1 ship to Australia then ride back Malaysia, India, Iran, Turkey then Europe into UK or, Option 2 ship to S. America, travel the continent and if it's going well, travel up through Central America and into North America for the Spring/Summer 2015.

I'm 6ft 4" tall and 92kg (203lbs) and my wife is 5' 4" tall, 51kg (112lbs).

(So far we've done 2-4 week tours within Europe both hotels and camping on a Suzuki Bandit and a BMW GSA. On the Africa Twin we've done a few UK trips so far and as a warm up we're intending to do trips to both Romania and Morocco on it before Oct 14)

Thanks for any experiences you can share - all input welcome
Africa Twin, sure why not. It´s a well proven overlander, a couple of known issues, but they are easily solved.

That said, they haven´t built them for over 10 years, so it is getting age. And it is not the most economical bike either. Honda XL700V or Suzuki DL650 are more road-biased, but have fuel injection, so a bit less thirsty (FI or carbs is a neverending debate, won´t go into that, for me not really a deal-breaker either way, but generally FI is more economical, and handles high altitudes better). So I would have a look at these as well before deciding.

For Australia, and parts of SE Asia, the bike will need a carnet, and its value may be important because of this. For Americas, it won´t need a carnet. But I would not make travel plans based on that, it´s not the nightmare that some make it out to be.
  #7  
Old 30 Dec 2013
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Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the info folks. The more I get out on this AT the more I like it - there's something about the engine and handling, not a zippy bike but just feels great to ride and feels so much lighter than my GSA!
With the comments we've received and the forum threads we've seen it seems the AT is popular and considered well up to the job so we're going to fit a comfier seat and do a 2 weeker in the UK - if it's comfy for the two of us during that trip then we'll prep it up and take it !
Mollydog - thanks for the idea for buying in country then selling on. It's something we thought of but our trip's going to be open ended in that we may just keep going (!) if we've the stamina & we're enjoying it so we're going to take our own.
Going to have lots of fun prepping/planning and doing smaller trips in 2014 and another visit to HUBB UK so really looking forward to the new year.
Happy travelling one and all.
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Africa Twin XRV 750. 2 up on a long trip-p1020294.jpg  

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  #8  
Old 31 Dec 2013
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the down-side

I've got an AT and it's still my favorite bike, but...

I'm 6'4" like you, and just don't find the AT as comfortable 2-up as compared with the GS I had or the Vardero I currently have. When I ride with a pillion, my knees don't 'fit' in the tank or behind the tankbag sidebags. And there is very little room for my pillion to move behind me if I have anything on the back (e.g. a topbox or gear.

So my AT is my favorite touring bike if I'm alone.

And if that's you on the photo above- there doesn't seem like much room behind you either.
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  #9  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Regulator Rectifier

Just make sure you have a spare Regulator Rectifier handy for you AT. Really.
  #10  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joasphoto View Post
Just make sure you have a spare Regulator Rectifier handy for you AT. Really.
Thanks Joasphoto - yes have heard that before. Stories of reg/rec going and bike dying or even worse frying parts of the loom. One thread said it's partly because not enough cooling air gets to it. It seems the oft quoted replacement is a Mosfet.
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  #11  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Change of heart?

I love the AT, something about it. Really enjoy riding it (1 up) but Squily is right, I'm tall and there isn't much room behind me. Was out today on it with my better half and with a top box on and she felt cramped and a bit squashed up against me. We may have to rethink this
Really not sure about taking our GSA1200, sooooo bloody heavy and I have a slightly dodgy back. But I'm so tall, what a pain.
However, we've got time on our side, gonna start looking at other tall but lighter bikes. Might start by looking at the F800GS, the earlier 2008 - 2010 models. About 185kg (dry) before adding bash plate, crash bars, luggage etc and tall, 880 saddle height. It's strange, you see so many threads on sites about people struggling to lower bikes and I have the exact opposite problem.
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Old 7 Jan 2014
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The 800 GS is nice & tall, we went RTW on ours. The seat length is fairly long but the stock seat is like a plank of wood. We used a wooly & it was fine. The bike is also much lighter than the 1200gsa & probably the AT? Most people don't go for it for 2 up but for us it was a good balance .
  #13  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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Rtw f800gs

Quote:
Originally Posted by niello8 View Post
The 800 GS is nice & tall, we went RTW on ours. The seat length is fairly long but the stock seat is like a plank of wood. We used a wooly & it was fine. The bike is also much lighter than the 1200gsa & probably the AT? Most people don't go for it for 2 up but for us it was a good balance .
Thanks Neiell08 that's useful info. The stock seat does indeed seem a bit of a plank but we saw a seat on the new 800 Adventure the other day and it was nice and comfy although the drivers bit seemed a bit cut away and low.
When you were 2 up what sort of height are you both? It seems big enough when I sit on it for my lanky 6' 4" frame but I haven't been able to test ride one yet.
As a matter of interest, what luggage system did you end up using and how did it perform?

RTW is what we'd like to do ultimately but we'll have to start with the America's and see how the money and energy hold out!
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Old 7 Jan 2014
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1-7, 10:26

Only one truly light weight bike that is tall enough, enough room for two (once set up correctly): The KTM 950SE, 990 or 1190 Adventure.

KTM 950SE would be best. REMARKABLY light (under 500 lbs. WET), very tall seat height and BY FAR best off road capabilities in class.

Lots of rider leg room, fun to ride, only knock is poor fuel economy. (roughly 35 to 40 MPG us gallons) The new KTM's do much better on fuel but none are as light or as tall as the SE model.

Will it be as comfy as your R12GSA? No. But as mentioned, with a really good custom seat and good luggage arrangement, the SE is quite a remarkable bike. Yes ... you will have to stay right on top of maintenance, but once set up properly the SE will run forever.

Or you could do the smart and easy solution:

Install rising links (aka "dog bones") on your Africa Twin rear suspension. Then, swap in modern, longer dirt bike front forks to match rear height.

Worth two inches no problem, perhaps more. But it may still be too cramped. But it's amazing what a good custom seat maker can do ... extending pillion portion back a few inches and much wider than stock. It could work. You may have to give up some space on your rear luggage rack but would be worth it for pillion comfort.
  #15  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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My husband is about 5'10" and weighs about 145. I'm about 5'3" and was about 190lbs. He was just about flat footed with me on the back and loaded. We used pelican cases and a rack we got from twisted throttle in America. The rack held up ok, we had to weld reinforcements on the top plate (we carried spare tires while doing a lot of off road in Central Asia) and one side of the rack ended up needing to be rewelded. The locks that hold the cases on were total crap, we used straps as well. They constantly broke. The cases themselves are absolutely bombproof and watertight. The bike was on its side many times, cases went flying down the road, we had a bit of a nasty crash in Laos and the cases are a bit scratched...that's it. I'd go with the same panniers again for sure. They are big but not too wide on the bike and can be installed according to your seating position.

I heard the 800GSA seat is supposed to be way better. Even so you probably want a wooly or something to supplement. That bike does add a lot of weight with the bigger tank and other things. There is a long thread here about it.

Holler if y'all come thru washington DC

Si
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