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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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Old 19 Oct 2012
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WHICH BIKE? Share why you chose yours.

It would be good to know why people chose a specific bike - cost, brand, features. maybe it would help everyone get a better idea?

I currently ride a 2005 DR650 with 26000kms, not many mods apart from windscreen, heated grips and large fuel tank. Got it second hand, plan to upgrade suspension and fit a rear rack for soft panniers. Cheap so far.

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Old 19 Oct 2012
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DL650 Weestrom: Chosen for the deal on buying it, range/fuel economy and a reputation for doing most things quite well.

The dealers pushing their brands all shot themselves in the foot with offers that assumed I cared less about what badge a bike had and which Starbucks their other customers were drinking at. I can see there will be a Chinese brand in my future, but maybe not this decade.

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Old 19 Oct 2012
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The Honda Transalp is known as one of the most relaiable bike on this planet. Many people before have done more then 200.000 km on the first engine. Also this bike is very cheap in Germany and many used parts are available in case of an accedent so i used it to go to university and later on around africa with it:

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

For Southamerica i decidet to use the same bike as most of the the locals do: A Honda CGL 125. This bike is very cheap there, with it i dont look too fancy, all parts are available everywere and i dont had to ship my transalp:

Motorbike trip around Southamerica: Chile and Argentina part 1

Travel save, Tobi
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Chosen because we considered it to be the most suitable for a 2 up trip from the UK to Cape Town (21 years ago).

Still loved for it's comfort, simplicity, reliability and pure charm.

Lots of other bikes have passed through the garage in the intervening years and many are still there but the GS is the best all rounder.
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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I have an F800GS. I bought it new, as I want any issues to be my doing! Not the cheapest, but I don't drive so it's my only transport; this, in my mind, justified the expense!

I bought it for a range of reasons. I'd seen many GS's around, but preferred the 800 to the 1200 having ridden both. Mine does 60mpg, even if I ride with more spirit; in my mind, this is really important if I'm riding 1000's miles. I like the fact that there's lots of Farkles already available, so I can choose from plenty of toys if I wish. With a replacement seat, it's very all-day comfy. I love this bike. In the past, I've thought about changing bikes often. Not this time. I'm going to ride it until it won't work any more (no jokes!).

Another main consideration is that my BMW dealership is excellent; they're very helpful, offering help well above what's required. It's for this reason I'd happily buy from them again.
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Motorcycles are like wives.Some men are happy with just one .Some have to trade in from time to time as newer models come on the market and requirements change .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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Old 21 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Some men are happy with just one
One is never enough. Bikes, that is.

Yamaha XT600E: simple, reliable as a rock, easy to fix. Bought as a winter hack to save a beautiful Ducati from the ravages of a winter commute, but has been a well-loved 'second bike' while several 'best bikes' have come and gone. Downside: runs out of puff too soon, and not all-day comfy. Can't see myself ever selling it. A) its cash value is tiny, and b) it would be like kicking a puppy out into the snow.
2006 XT660R daily ride, 1994 XT600E about to be reborn, Blog: http://goingfastgettingnowhere.blogspot.com/
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Old 21 Oct 2012
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Xt600z 3aj,

Big fuel tank
Very low tech= easy to fix
Parts easy to get
Relatively light weight
Takes you anywhere
My heroes from the 80's dakar rally drove it

Not very good for highway use
Some models have gearbox issues
Checking the oil is a nightmare
Rust quicker than a french car

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Old 21 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Endurodude View Post
I'm going to ride it until it won't work any more (no jokes!).
Dont make jokes like this. In other forums you can read more and more about the F800 is having serios engine trouble with only very little kilometers. When you go to change the oil on a japanese bike you have to change the engine on F800

800GS.de - Motorschaden an meiner F800GS mit 17.000km
F800-Forum.de - F 800 GS - F 800 R - F 800 S - F 800 ST • Thema anzeigen - Motorschaden an meiner F800GS
Motorschaden F800 GS

The 1200GS seems not to be much better. Its engine even broke down with less then 50.000 km while a magazine took it for a test drive:


Its not that i think BMW cant make good bikes i think they just dont want anymore. The old bikes like R80 etc. were really good. Now I think its like with the bulbs when they specialy reduced the live of a light bulb down to only 1000 hours to sell more of them:

Obsoleszenz – Wikipedia

Even TV stations start talking about companys who specialy reduce the live of there products now (just a quick google search):

Kaufen für die Müllhalde 1v5 - YouTube
'Verfallsdatum' für Konsumartikel und -geräte - Plusminus 29.03.2012 - YouTube
Kalkulierter Ausfall (Obsoleszenz) - was! 25.04.2012 - YouTube
Obsoleszenz: Elektrogeräte eingebautem Verfallsdatum - YouTube

I would only take a new bmw if i would get it for free like in long way round/down

Hope all your "only transport" bikes reach more then 150.000 km too, Tobi

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Old 21 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Magnon View Post

Chosen because we considered it to be the most suitable for a 2 up trip from the UK to Cape Town (21 years ago).

Still loved for it's comfort, simplicity, reliability and pure charm.

Lots of other bikes have passed through the garage in the intervening years and many are still there but the GS is the best all rounder.
The same for me and my '91 80GS, it is not the best at anything but is an excellent alrounder. There might be more up to date bikes out there now but for the price of one of them I can spend 6-12 months travelling on what I already own.
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
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Old 22 Oct 2012
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KTM 990 Adv

Its awesome

Its awesome
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
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Old 22 Oct 2012
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I can't help it, but the Guzzis really gets under my skin. The throbbing, mechanical sensation of that v-twin, the great geometrics giving ace handling (even the older ones are fantastic road holding machines), its simplicity, cheap spare parts - Guzzis just ticks off all the boxes in my book. I have a 2011 Stelvio NTX 1200 as my main transport, and a couple of older Guzzis as winter ride (850 T5 hack) and project bike (SP1000), respectively. I guess I've chosen bike by heart, not necessarily by head...
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Old 23 Oct 2012
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'98 R1100GS (considered the best of the R1100 series are '97-'99 bunch), mine's 255 000+ kilometers now, mechanically all stock minus few bearings.

It's an affordible 2up+full RTW luggage bike that can do reasonable offroad and definitely can take on full continents. It's a Land Rover Defender type of a bike, solidly robust yet capable design with few "buts" going along and a huge haters community shadowing it.

- Cheap to run and maintain (at least compared to my previous japanese bikes)
- Really good stability and rideability when fully loaded (telelever makes all the difference for a loaded bike)
- Has a character - keeps you grinnin' and is photogenic too
- Economical on fuel per it's big bore torque - does 4.5-5L/100km average two up full luggage
- Drinks any cheap car/truck oil and poor quality fuel
- Relatively reliable and supereasy maintenance procedures (valves, TBs etc all directly accessible without messing around with plastics, hoses, radiators or frame parts)
- Robust and easy to fix (aircooled WWII technology mechanics, and the EFI it has is very primitive yet economical compared to carb)
- Almost no plastics
- Probably one of the least rusting bikes on the planet

- Heavy
- Requires couple of important mods to make it 'perfect' RTW heavy duty bike (rear subframe reinforement)
- FD bearing (mine went around every 100 000km, but I can replace it even in the bush in around hour or two plus the kit is a lot cheaper and smaller to carry than a chain and a sprocket kit)
- controversal BMW badge (haters vs fanboys)
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Old 23 Oct 2012
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2009 XT660Z

Why? Well I wanted something new-ish after years of running old shonkers, and out of what's still available it's pretty much in a class of one.

- Cheap (rules out KTM and the big multi-cylinders)
- Efficient (rules out KTM)
- Rally bike looks (rules out more or less everything but the Tenere and the KTM ADVs)
- Proper off-road capability (rules out Transalp, V-Strom etc)
- Motorway capable (rules out sub-600cc singles and anything without a decent screen)

Plus my mate had one and seemed to be having fun.

What else is there?

I have made a lot of changes from the stock bike over the two and a half years I've had it, but most of the serious ones have been because I'm dumb enough to take it racing. If I was just using it for commuting, trail-riding and travelling it would probably still be pretty much stock.
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Old 23 Oct 2012
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2009 Suzuki DR650, paid $5000/3100 pounds sterling for a used one and at least the same again in mods, has screen, Safari tank with 700 km/400 mile range, comfy seat, air cooled, simple, reliable, easy to service, easy to fix with a big hammer, its taken my wife and me around SAmerica 2up, its been dropped more times than a buttered hot potato and it still going strong....

The only real weak point is the muppet riding it....

Its a shame you cant get new ones in the UK any more, or id have one over there too!!!


'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander

Last edited by Gipper; 24 Oct 2012 at 00:38.
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