Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   Which Bike? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/)
-   -   Any ideas, can you help? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/any-ideas-can-you-help-61056)

jacks 3 Jan 2012 13:50

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

henryuk 3 Jan 2012 14:14

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

jacks 3 Jan 2012 14:30

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.

henryuk 3 Jan 2012 15:10

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!

jacks 3 Jan 2012 15:16

Thanks, but what is an Elefant?

henryuk 3 Jan 2012 15:53

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!

palace15 3 Jan 2012 16:07

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

henryuk 3 Jan 2012 16:20

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!

backofbeyond 3 Jan 2012 16:28

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 :biggrin::biggrin:

henryuk 3 Jan 2012 17:10

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

jacks 3 Jan 2012 18:01

Thanks everyone, great advice. Keep it coming :)

brianrossy 3 Jan 2012 19:58

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.


pecha72 4 Jan 2012 09:21

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.

Magnon 4 Jan 2012 09:35

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.

jacks 4 Jan 2012 10:11


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:25.