Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 3 Jan 2012
jacks's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Exmouth
Posts: 6
Any ideas, can you help?

Hi, i was wondering if you guys could help, i am looking to buy a motorcycle, i have thought about what i want from it, and have listed them below. It would be great if you could give me some suggestions. They can be bikes still in production or not. Cheers.

What i want from a motorcycle:
  • Comfort for all day riding.
  • 150+ miles (241+ kilometers) fuel range.
  • Ability to do DIY maintenance. eg. change oil/filter, change air filter, change spark plugs, maintain final drive (chain, shaft or belt i don't mind).
  • reasonable fuel economy, 50+mpg (11+miles/liter)
  • Reliable (i understand this means following the maintenance schedule, i don't mean a bike you just by and never have to do any work on, unless this exists.)
  • Ability to cruise at between 50-60mph (80-100kph) with 1 rider and some luggage.
  • Luggage carrying ability, after-market or OEM, hard or soft.
  • Looks aren’t that important, i put it down anyway. However it is a pretty subjective criteria.
  • Available parts, OEM or good quality after-market.
  • Can handle going down a dusty track occasionally. I know you could say any bike can handle it, but i mean not make a fuss. Not as extreme as Nick Sanders on his R1 in the desert.
  • Fun, obviously depends on how you ride it.

I think thats it let me know if you have any suggestions of bikes that you think fit this criteria. Thanks

Last edited by jacks; 3 Jan 2012 at 14:45.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,038
Pretty mmuch any bike I can think of will meet all those criteria. Hondas are the most hassle-free but drink a lot of oil, Dominators, XL etc
Yamaha XTs
Suzuki DR
Kawasaki KLR
Even a KTM ticks those boxes with possibly an aftermarket tank
Cagiva Elefants, the best bikes ever built (but I'm biased!)
Armstrong MT500
BMW F650

Nearly every bike has luggage capability

Don't forget to get a bike that you like and puts a grin on your face - that's the most important thing!

You didn't mention a budget which will probably be a defining factor
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 3 Jan 2012
jacks's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Exmouth
Posts: 6
I don't have a budget in mind, within reason. If the bike is worth the money then i will consider it. If it means saving up to get it, i would rather do that, if it means getting the right bike.

Thanks for your reply.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,038
There are some bikes that will only go up in value - even if you stick 100,000 miles on it, like the BMW R80 GSPD, I can't stand modern GS's but those bikes are superb

I've done long rides on an Elefant, a Dominator and a BMW F650 (older style). Much as I hate to admit it the Beemer gave the best fuel consumption, needed the least on the road maintenance and handled the best on tarmac. The Elefant had me spending three seperate days working on it all day during the trip but also made me grin the most.

If you can have a ride on a few, make sure that they are not lemons and get the one you like most. A big problem I have buying motorbikes is that they are all motorbikes, and by default as soon as you get off you want to get back on and ride into the sunset!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 3 Jan 2012
jacks's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Exmouth
Posts: 6
Thanks, but what is an Elefant?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,038
An Elefant is like a Honda Africa twin but a bit thinner, a better handling chassis and a stonking Ducati V-Twin in it. Plenty of power and plenty of suspension.

I wouldn't recommend one if you aren't into working on bikes - I had one as my first bike and it propelled me from utter novice to mechanically competent in one trip!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3 Jan 2012
palace15's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LONDONISTAN, England
Posts: 1,037
Cagiva Elephant, came out in various engine sizes, even 350, handle pretty well but Ducati temperament. Cagiva 750/900 Elefant (1993-1999) - Cagiva Motorcycle Reviews
__________________
'He who laughs last, was too slow to get the joke'
Never confuse the map with the journey.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,038
Good prep can avoid the ducati temperament - replace certain parts of the wiring loom, fit titanium shims and collets and hey presto, Japanese service intervals, starts like a german bike and Italian passion - perfect combo!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 925
The hardest thing on your list to find is going to be the comfortable seat! You'll get the rest of the requirements on just about any bike from 400 -800cc, although the need for aftermarket bling availability might push you in the direction of the usual suspects - BMW, Yamaha XT varients, Suzuki DRZ or even a KLR. Not many Hondas on that list (although it's not because they drink oil
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,038
Another problem with finding a 'comfortable seat' is that comfortable to sit on for a minute or two doesn't mean comfortable for a long time. Beemers tend to have wide well padded seats that feel great at first, but what you need is a seat that loads in the right places on your backside - straight into the bones.

'Boisterous' riding helps with the arse comfort as you are hanging off the side of the bike or standing on the pegs a lot more
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 3 Jan 2012
jacks's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Exmouth
Posts: 6
Thanks everyone, great advice. Keep it coming
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 3 Jan 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 163
Hey mate,

On my travels so far through south and north America I've come across many bikes, but the most common bikes I've seen were

- KLR 650, old and new models. Great bike, reliable and simple.

- BMW GS 650/800/1150/1200. Another great bike, but more computer like and harder to work on yourself. More expensive and too heavy for my liking.

- Suzuki DR650 - My bike, and a great simple, light, machine. Easy to work on, fairly bombproof unless you're me and happen to destroy it. Still going back to the DR though!

- KTM Adventure - of different sizes, 990 was common. Great bike, although on the heavier and more complex side of things

- Honda XR650L - my roommates are doing 2 up now and they are looking great for the road! Another simple, light machine.

- A few...Honda Africa Twin's and cheap machines from that continent.

My top 3 from the above in order would be the DR650, the KLR650, and the BMW 650. The Honda could fit in there too. My basis for that and my needs for a bike are a simple MACHINE (not a computer) that I can work on, is bombproof, lightweight, simple, looks not flash so to not attract attention.

Whatever you choose and modify you will be happy with. After a few years riding maybe you will stay with that one as many have done, or change to something else, as many others have done. A good example of a guy who started on a BMW F650 GS and changed to a DR650 halfway through is trip can be found at Short Way Round and gives a great description on the setup for each bike, especially the DR.

GOOD LUCK!
__________________
'10 Suzuki DR650. 2011+ RTW trip. Currently in Canada. www.followtheakubra.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 4 Jan 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,560
If Africa Twin (I´ve owned a total 5 different AT´s!) & KTM Adventure get mentioned, then I think the DL650 and Transalp 650/700 should, too. These are more road-biased, but still good all-rounders, and as bulletproof as they get. Carry weight pretty well, too, and the twin engines will be good (way better than any 1-cylinder) on the highways. 1-cylinder bikes are much lighter, and will be better when you go away from the tarmac, but long as there´s something that can be described as a "road", usually any all-rounder will do. The right choice of bike depends on your travel plans & personal preferences.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 4 Jan 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SW France
Posts: 255
Another thing to bear in mind on the comfort front is that a twin will be a lot more bearable on long road rides - the obvious penalty is that it will be heavier which is only a disadvantage when riding off paved roads. Twins are also less economical on fuel, however, at a steady high'ish cruising speed most twins will be just as economical as a single. Fuel injected bikes these days are more economical than carburated bikes but then you have to way up the added complexity of fuel injection - bearing in mind that it is incredibly reliable.

My choice would be a BMW R100GS. Fuel economy doesn't quite meet your spec. but it definately wins on the comfort and simplicity fronts. Although they've not been available new for 15 years or so they are still very popular long distance travel bikes.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 4 Jan 2012
jacks's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Exmouth
Posts: 6
Cheers
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DR650 Engine Dead, Ideas? brianrossy Suzuki Tech 18 4 Jan 2012 08:37

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:09.