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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 31 Aug 2005
fcasado's Avatar
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Location: A Brazilian couple living in Cambridge, UK
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Bike for Europe

Hi guys!

I am planning to travel around Europe may/2006 and don’t know which bike would be the right one…
I am gonna be travelling for about 3 – 4 months, 2 up in the bike and after that I’ll ship it to Chile, and ride it to Brasil.

So, I am absolutely lost

I’ve been looking on E-bay, dealers, speaking to a lot of riders but cant make up my mind…

I had a Suzuki DR 650, and loved the bike, but it was a bit uncomfortable 2 up…

Now I have between £3,500 and 4,000 to buy the bike…

The options that I found are:

- Varadero 1000
- Grand Canyon 900
- BMW 11XX GS (seems to be the BEST option, but a bit expensive)
- Tiger 955i
- TDM 850/900
- Africa Twin
- BMW F650 GS (I’ve never ridden one, and don’t know how its 2-up)

Could you guys advice me please??

Any tips are more than welcome!!!!

Thanks very much
Fernando Casado
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  #2  
Old 31 Aug 2005
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Location: albury nsw australia
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i am cruising on a xtz660 and have just had a recent ride on an africa twin and they will get my vote for two up riding easily so smooth and so much grunt ,bmw,s ktm,s to finicky go for jap reliabilty
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Old 31 Aug 2005
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Location: Oxford, UK
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Just returned from a trip to France & Spain, me & my girlfriend each riding an 1150GS, no problems at all. I bought mine 15 months ago & have covered 21,000 miles on it. Reliability has been excellent - replaced the l/h cam chain tensioner, a fuse & a tail light bulb in that period.

The bike you choose needs to suit your height & shape.

Two-up? I would rank luggage capability near the top of my priorities.

Two-up with luggage on poor roads? Plenty of torque low down the rev range.

Riding long distance? Think about service intervals, ease of service if doing it yourself or dealer/mechanic network if not. You also need to be able to get those service items.

It's for these reasons I chose the 1150GS. 6,000 mile service intervals are a plus, as is screw & locknut valve adjustment. Ease of access to various filters is also important.

The thought of buying a bike that's hard to service, has short service intervals, a poor dealer network & spares back-up and requires shims to adjust the valve clearance is the bike I'd avoid.

For the money you're talking, you could buy a very well pre-prepped airhead GS or a stock 1100GS. Tigers, Grand Canyons & Caponords are good bikes - not sure about service intervals & spares backup. especially re: the Caponord? I think Varadero's are too heavy & some models have poor fuel range and/or consumption? V-Strom's sound like a good buy, popular in the US in both the 650 & 1,000 variants. TDM's are not built for poor roads, XTZ750 would be better but getting a good one would be an issue? Africa Twin is a great option, plenty of prepped bikes for sale in your price range, good spares backup. Big singles are okay if you're both not too big & not carrying to much luggage.

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