The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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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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Sorry if this has been covered before. I did search but found very little.
The missis is planning to join me on a long overland trip of the Americas. Iv already got my fully kitted out XT600E and would like us to use the same bike. She likes the XT but shes 5'8 and im concerned it maybe a little tall for her when things get tricky.
Iv though about lowering it but there's always /usually a handling compromise !!
I second the recommendation of the DR650SE. (SP46A)
One thing: AFAIK the lowering of the DR happens in the following way:
Front: Move the spring spacer from on top of fork spring to underneath the damper piston. This prevents the fork to extend fully. Clamping the fork tubes lower by the height of the spring spacer has the same effect without having to open the forks.
Rear: You need to take the rear shock out of the bike. The spring seat at the bottom of the shock is turned upside down to restrict the travel of the shock piston. The preload is readjusted. The shock is connected to the joint using the upper of the two bores.
No need to replace the joint itself.
You will need the shorter sidestand if you lower the DR or alternatively cut 50mm out of the original stand and weld it back together.
The full height bike stands well on the short sidestand but on hot days the stand pokes holes into the tarmac.
The process is described in the workshop manual and easy enough to do for someone with good tools and mechanical skills.
The DR is actually easier to handle for short people than the F 650 GS due to its lower weight and narrower seat.
your G/F seems to be fairly tall so she would have more choice than most of us, as the height of the seat will be less of a problem.
Another thing to consider is the handling of the bike. Women have less upper body threnght, and that, if your travel involve off-road for example, can be a problem.
I ride a F650Gs, simply because that was the only medium size bike ( I wanted between 500 and 750cc) that I could reach the ground with my toes!
The other thing that I think makes it more interesting than a V-Strom (which by the way is a bike I really love) is that the centre of gravity is very low, due to the fact that the petrol tank is under the seat. That makes a big difference in the handling.
Ultimately, you can't really chose for her, she should get round few dealers and try as many bikes as possible. 1 day off-road days (BMw/Kawa/Suzu all are doing it) can also be a good idea,a s she could trash it and get a good idea of what she could get.
From my experience of south America, many national parks and sites will require trail / non -paved riding. Take that into account.
The XT was my first love, and I was convinced I was going to have one after sitting a beauty in a show room. I was still saving some pennies, so had to live with the fact I would have to find another. I am 5'7" (ish).
I subsequently had a look at 2 other XTs, but both seemed markedly higher, and much 'squarer' (sorry, forgot to warn you about the upcoming technical description).
In the end I bought my Dommie, and am very happy with it. I walked into the show room, to see an XT, and my jaw slackened when I saw the XT, a DR and the Dommie all lined up next to each other
(that XT was too uncomfortable and high for me and the DR too expensive. Luckily, the Dommie is just right - like the 3 bears )
I rode with a female friend who is shorter than I, and she highly recommended the DR. She also had a KTM LC4 customised for her.
Don't forget, seats can be altered without any effect on the handling (buns of steal may be required though)
Things I find affect my confidence in riding a different model bike:
- When I get on it, can I 'paddle' if I need to (you know the awkward maneuver necessary to reverse or move the bike without the engine on)
- Is the tank massive? (and therefore heavier and more difficult handling with a smaller proportioned body)
- Can I handle it?
I would suggest that you and your partner decide on a few different bikes, based on performance and whether they will meet your trip needs, and then go out and try a few (it's very different when you are actually on one and realise that 'this sticks out there and makes that impossible'/'the seat hurts'/'it leans too much on the side stand'/'it's MASSIVE!' or just 'No Way!'
There are of course also specialist boots that can add an inch to your height (if she does fall in love with a beast!)
After hunting for the bike and asking questions here (search Bossies and F650) I was DETERMINED that we would both have 600c or bigger bikes. I dragged my partner around forcing her to manage on a F650. She was not confident on the bike and spent every minute in terror and would end up hating it.
After coming back from a trip to the Pyrennes we sold both our F650's and we now have two XR250's. The bike is small for me but strong enough to get us around with luggage at 100km/h which is nice because now we actually stop to smell the roses instead of blasting around the country missing out on the important things. My partner loves every single minute on this very capable little bike. My partner is 5'1" and the XR is lowered.
I'm not saying your partner now needs a smaller capacity bike but maybe come at it from another angle and be prepared to find her a bike that she is comfortable with and will ride safely on. She then sets the pace and you stick with her. In that way you wont need to worry about her being left behind.
Good luck finding the most appropriate bike for your plans.
Africa twin: huge, heavy
Transalp: same problem, a monster
DR and XRs: I did not a want pure trail bike, too hard on my bum, and too tall.
KLR500: huge as well, seat 850mm, top heavy
XT660R: beauty! I adore this bike, is fairly light but for me was way too tall with the seat of 865mm (I'm 163cm, around 5'3'' ? on a good day).
BMWF650GS: too much electronic, expensive spare parts
Smaller size bikes is a good idea, although it is a compromise of you two.
My husband would have loved an Africa Twin or a 1200GS. I would have prefered a 350cc bike, in the end we compromised.
I feel sometimes like riding a tank when I'm on my F650. Don't get me wrong, now I'd have it for a year and done lots of mileage and off-road on it I'm really impressed with it. However how will I cope with a fully loaded bike off-road? Good question!
Good luck. In the end there no right or wrong answer....
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