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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 12 Aug 2008
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Bike for 30k km 80% gravel road

Hello,

I can not sort it out - so many ideas. I was travelling for fun on super cub 50 cc in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, tuk-tuk in Cambodia and then honda nxr 125 (xr 125l) in South America. Now back home in Europe and thinking what is the best real bike for a longer tour. Starting again soon.

It will be 30 000 kms in Russia, Mongolia and then Bolvia, Argentina and Chile. 80% gravel road but not total enduro hardcore with jumping and diving with my bike in each water on the way. I like going slow long distances on the most wild road available in a region staying for some time in places I like, you know - put a small table and a chair to have coffe looking at wild mountines somewhere. I like it this way. Slow and have fun of getting there and staying long time in the wild. Was doing this mainly in Asia on horses until I found the bike better than horse. And a question - what bike for something like this? Have some types, in fact too many and I need your fresh view/ hints/ opinions.

Many thanks!

Best rgds
Konrad
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  #2  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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Hi

I bought an KTM Adventure 640 (2004) this spring for a trip to Mongolia. I just got home a few days ago. The bike is perfect for Mongolia and I can't think of another bike that would work as good in mongolia. The suspension, weight and handling is very good and saved me a couple of times from crashing. However there is a downside to this. I don't think the engine is as reliable as other manufacturers and the service is every 5000km.

Good luck finding the perfect bike :-)
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  #3  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spakur View Post
Hi

Good luck finding the perfect bike :-)
Haha! that about sums it up!

Seriously though everyone's different. I can only say what I would choose for that kind of trip.

If I was travelling with a lot of luggage on reasonable roads I'd go with a Yamaha XT 600E like my current bike. Comfy enough, legendary reliability, tough as nails, simple, lots of available mods, proven adventure tourer. I'd fit a big tank (Acerbis 23litre), bash plate, centre stand and hard luggage and go.

Travelling lighter on more difficult roads I'd get a Suzuki DRZ 400. Similar to the above but better off road. Fit a Safari 28 litre tank, Andy Strapz soft luggage...


Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #4  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ludnadrodze View Post

It will be 30 000 kms in Russia, Mongolia and then Bolvia, Argentina and Chile. 80% gravel road but not total enduro hardcore with jumping and diving with my bike in each water on the way. I like going slow long distances on the most wild road available in a region staying for some time in places I like, you know - put a small table and a chair to have coffe looking at wild mountines somewhere. I like it this way. Slow and have fun of getting there and staying long time in the wild. Was doing this mainly in Asia on horses until I found the bike better than horse. And a question - what bike for something like this? Have some types, in fact too many and I need your fresh view/ hints/ opinions.
Hello Konrad

I live in Chile and I would like to give you a couple of tips.

When you travel through Chile you will need a motorcycle that can keep a speed of 120 km/h. In Chile people tend to use 100-120 km/h as their comfort speed on long distance routes. If you then have a motorcycle such as mine which only does 105 km/h then you will find it unsafe because you will constantly be passed and in Chile people pass you as if they do not care about your life. They will not respect you on your motorcycle and some will even nearly stroke against you as they pass you. This goes for both car, trucks and buses. Some times you will even be forced to brake or get off the road just to save yourself from other vehicles that push you to take your space. And please keep out of the capitol with your motorcycle. I would fear for my life if I went there on a bike.

You say you wish to go on the most wild roads available and travel long and slowly. Well, Chile is full of such roads. They are so bad that you will need a very strong off roader competition bike to be able to travel many of them. I suppose the solution for you is a dual sport bike of some kind and stay away from the more extreme roads.

I have the same road challenges here in Chile as you are going to face and I have recently decided to switch my Honda 200XL with a Suzuki DRZ 400S.

It is in the thread "Bike for a farmer" in this section.
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  #5  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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For this kind of trip:

If money is no problem I would defenately choose the KTM640ADV. I'm able to do the servicing and other stuff bymiself.

If money is just a little problem, then I would defenately choose the new Yamaha XT660Z.

If money is a problem or If I would like to spend the money somewhere else and do the trip anyway I would defenately choose the old Yamaha XTZ660.

This is my list.
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  #6  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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Hi Guys

Thank you for ideas - I am thinking about this new yamaha Tenere. This may be solution. Or KTM Adventure but his one I heard sometimes needs more service than simple Japanese bikes. Do not know if true. I was thinking also about Honda Xr600 L as this looks like simple as russian tank. But it is also very high and I am only 174 cm...

Horses - I was in Chile last year - you will not belive on what bike and somehow I survived but it was exactly as you said, felt not really comfortable on this:

Podró¿ dooko³a œwiata




Best rgds
Konrad
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  #7  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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Good luck with your bike shopping and I hope

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:07.
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  #8  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The XT Yamaha is certainly good too. Most popular bike here on the HUBB. (mostly all British) The Tenere' is good also but expensive and I just looked at the weight ... it is really quite a heavy bike! I was surprised by this.
403 lbs. / 183 kgs. dry weight!! that is 35 kgs. heavier than my DR650!
which xt you mean mollydog?
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2008
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KTM 640 Adv!

My KTM eats dirt, craps asphalt and will wipe its arse with any other bike in that field!!!
Its a good feeling knowing you have the best bike!

Did 1200km on it yesterday and I can still feel my arse!
Hope that helps
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2008
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Aren't they all good? What are you trying to say Amigo?

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:07.
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2008
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hola amigo mollydog,

i ment the xt660r or xt660z. people here claim xt660z are a bit better then 660r because of new gearbox, larger tank, and some other minor differences. i had a test ride with an xt660r last week and it was ok, but, need high screen for long rides.
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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ludnadrodze View Post
Hi Guys

Thank you for ideas - I am thinking about this new yamaha Tenere. This may be solution. Or KTM Adventure but his one I heard sometimes needs more service than simple Japanese bikes. Do not know if true. I was thinking also about Honda Xr600 L as this looks like simple as russian tank. But it is also very high and I am only 174 cm...

Horses - I was in Chile last year - you will not belive on what bike and somehow I survived but it was exactly as you said, felt not really comfortable on this:

Podró¿ dooko³a œwiata




Best rgds
Konrad
That was a great trip you made in South America. I would like to do it myself. I thought to go Chile - Bolivia - Peru and then head back home to Chile.

Try to pay attention to how you choose and don't start reading about all kinds of technical stuff. You might try to focus on just a few vital factors and then manage to narrow down your choice a lot.

Weight might be one such factor.

Top speed might be another.

I chose my new bike like this. I wanted one that I could manage to lift out of trouble alone plus better on soft grounds, and one that was fast enough on the Chilean motorway.
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  #13  
Old 20 Aug 2008
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Hi Patric,

Thanks for you nice words. But I am not any real adventurer, rather accountant that got bored of all that and was given a camera

I started the trip thinking about treks, bicycles, done a lot of horse riding and then got completely crazy about the bike. Comapring to other things it is so much more of a freedom. Starting soon again. Have maps all over tha place. The best moment I think. Trying to extend it as much as possible to let this pleasure last for some time. Then when I start usually do not feel this trip until back home again.

Just tried honda xr 600 l, ktm 640 and new tenere - completely different bikes yet sth similar in the spirit. Dont know which one to take. Nice dilema. But I think I will take one of them for a trip to the East - Russia, MOngolia and then maybe States. Although being from Poland now will not make the things easier in Russia after we have signed the treaty last night with US on anti missails deal

Best regards
Konrad
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  #14  
Old 20 Aug 2008
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Hola Horses,

My parents liked Chile from our pictures so much that they are flying to Santiago in a month time. Good choice, envy.

rgds
Konrad
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Old 20 Aug 2008
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