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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 29 Mar 2012
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BMW 800GS, Triumph 800XC or Ténéré XTZ 660?

Hi folks,

I am planning a trip next year to do London to Everest, yeah!!!! Its gona be epic!!! Lots of planning to do!!! Starting with choosing the best bike for such ride. I want a middleweight bike, so, I have 3 bikes on my mind to choose. First, the great New Yamaha Tenere XTZ660, second, the reliable BMW F800GS and third, the new Triumph 800XC.
I tested all of them and I had the following results:
Tenere: A bit too tall for my height (5"4) but we can get a kit to lower it down... anyway, bike looks great, well built, extreme reliable, but the single cilinder vibrates a lot, is quite uncomfortable for long journeys, your hands and arms get completely numb after few miles, this really annoy me, I am not sure if I can get used to it.
BMW F800GS: very confortable, two cilinders make it more smooth, smart, reliable as Tenere, very good looking and lots of good accessories available to built the bike for such journey. I was very pleased testing this bike, my impression was really good.
Triumph 800XC: for me, the winner in confort, power and smoothness, the three cilinders make a big diference, the bike rides like a street bike but it is an adventure bike, the torque, the driving position, everything was superior compared with the two preview bikes. I would pick this one for my trip, BUT... is a Triumph... Its a bike that doesn't sell all over the world like Yamahas and BMWs, mechanics around the world are not familiar with this brand, I rarely see people traveling around the world using Triumphs...

My question here is: even with all this Triumph issues, I really like the bloody 800XC, but, can I rely on this new Triumph generation? What you guys recon? Should I forget the Triumph and choose between the 660XTZ and F800GS or not?

Thanks guys!

J
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  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2012
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XT660Z, no question.

1. Cheaper.
2. Simpler - can service with virtually the kit that comes with the bike.
3. Most reliable.
4. Lightest and most rugged.
5. Longest range and largest fuel tank.

DOI - XT660Z owner, bought after extensive research for similar trip and also considered those bikes.

Trumpet - too heavy and too new; Beemer - about as reliable as a DC10 and half as trustworthy.

I love the Tenere and in fact it cruises at 80 mph with on problem; vibes do not bother me. Cruise at 65-70 for best economy, but it will shift if you are in a hurry.

Love it.
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  #3  
Old 30 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joasphoto View Post

Its a bike that doesn't sell all over the world like Yamahas and BMWs, mechanics around the world are not familiar with this brand, I rarely see people traveling around the world using Triumphs...

My question here is: even with all this Triumph issues, I really like the bloody 800XC, but, can I rely on this new Triumph generation? What you guys recon? Should I forget the Triumph and choose between the 660XTZ and F800GS or not?
IMHO that you should stick with your pick of the Triumph. I wouldn't worry too much about the availability of mechanics who might familiar with the specific brand, in developing countries big bikes are usually fairly rare so a person is typically happy to just find a mechanic with any previous exposure to any large foreigner bikes.

Usually most people leave with an attitude of self sufficiency, bolstered with a few critical spare parts, a repair manual, a bag of tools and some basic mechanical skills. Actual mechanical shops or availability of parts enroute are a total bonus.

Some people notice vibration, some don't. You can mitigate with some aftermarket solutions (eg. bar snake, bar ends, etc.) but based on your comments, sounds like it's an issue for you so you may want to avoid singles unless you can find a solution that works for you.
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  #4  
Old 30 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
XT660Z, no question.

1. Cheaper.
2. Simpler - can service with virtually the kit that comes with the bike.
3. Most reliable.
4. Lightest and most rugged.
5. Longest range and largest fuel tank.

DOI - XT660Z owner, bought after extensive research for similar trip and also considered those bikes.

Trumpet - too heavy and too new; Beemer - about as reliable as a DC10 and half as trustworthy.

I love the Tenere and in fact it cruises at 80 mph with on problem; vibes do not bother me. Cruise at 65-70 for best economy, but it will shift if you are in a hurry.

Love it.
I totally agree
I have just bought one for my ride from the UK to Thailand this year and then onto AUZ/NZ 2013, very simple bike, super reliable, had few problems with rectifiers on the 2008 model, and its basically only the cush rubbers that seem to be a bit of a issue with some bikes{riders}. As for vibration i have no problem with the bike since i fitted the hand guards, maybe not as fast as the other two, the speed limit to me is fast enought.
They also seem to keep their price very well.

Eric
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  #5  
Old 30 Mar 2012
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Xt660z

Hi, i own and am a big fan of the Tenere but have also considered the other bikes you mention. Offroad the Tenere wins easily and has excellent reliabilty and the big tank with excellent mpg can acheive 300+ mile range (from previous ride reports into that region long tank range is essential).
BMW good road bike but i didn't like it off road, small tank.
Triumph is a bike i have never ridden but for a long road trip with some easy offroad would be a good choice. Andy
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  #6  
Old 30 Mar 2012
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choice of bike

I looked at the same bikes recently and I also found the Triumph superior over the other two so I bought .....an Africa Twin, 30% of the price, at least as reliable, probably alot more so, Honda, no complex electronics, is serviced all over the place, 2 cylinders very comfy. Lots of kit available but inessence you don't have to add all kind of expensive kit because it has been designed for the job. The Beemer and Triumph have much less protection in the standard outfitting. Adding kit will be extremely expensive too. The AT maybe not as sexy as the newer bikes but that can be changed too and you will still keep a heap of money in your pocket.

Good a very good one, only 22K km for E4000,-

Cheers,
Noel
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  #7  
Old 30 Mar 2012
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I agree 100% with you Noel, and I bought an Africa Twin last year too, 1998, 12k miles, like new! But I realized that it was too big and too heavy for me, I am not a big bloke, just 5"4, 70kg! So, I sold it few months ago... I need a middleweight adventure bike, thats why I am looking for those 3 ones.

cheers,
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  #8  
Old 31 Mar 2012
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Rode my F800GS 74,000km...too many issues to list...swapped it for a XT660Z Tenere five months ago and just finished my trip with 28,000km on it, I have to say the only thing that failed was a head light bulb....and guess what it was a Osram bulb made in Germany!! The cush drive rubbers are a little bit crap , a few mods like new air filter, Power comander, rear shock, front springs, new exhaust, stronger handle bars, new seat (All mods from OFFTHEROAD Germany) and lower gearing and the bike is awesome....even with the mods it was 50% cheaper than the F800GS!!...its also not just the bike.... its having to put up with BMW dealers around the world...90% of them are absolutly useless and rip you off!...BMW does not stand behind their warranty as I found out and it should be BMW unstoppable (but only if you stay close to Munich and do not do any more than 1000km per year!)

Go Yamaha XT, I do not think there is anything on the market that comes close...love Honda AT's but too expensive for such an old bike, I really notice no difference in terms of comfort or power from the F800GS to the XT....but enjoy riding the XT so much more!

Last edited by Crappybiker; 24 Nov 2012 at 12:53.
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  #9  
Old 31 Mar 2012
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I would stick with the Beemer.. I have a 2008 GS with 45000km and only thing I have ever changed was the battery and a light bulb..

Reading posts here it looks like BMW are the most unreliable bikes on the planet.

Truth is everything will eventually break but if you look at numbers or you do a Google search you find way more reported issues about BMWs just because they are sold in the hundred of thousands (like the 1200GS alone..)

Are they more expensive??? Hell yeah but I do believe the quality is top.
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  #10  
Old 31 Mar 2012
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choice of bike

I looked at the weights too and found the weight difference between the BMW, Tiger, XT660Z and the AT relatively small where the the XT is relatively heavy for a one cylinder bike! They are all around 183-185 kg. The AT is some 22kg heavier (dry weight) than the others but it already has big 24 litre tank while the GS and the XC have only 18 litre! The XT has 22 litre.

I am relatively new with the bike stuff and the AT is my first bike, done more (actually a lot) 4x4 travelling. So is that 22 kg difference really so noticeable on a bike?

When you start outfitting it, the weight difference is practically lost I think because the AT does not need a whole lot of protection, its already there. Also, I think there is more to win in packing sensibly than in buying the lighter bike. And is that worth so much money?

cheers,
Noel
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  #11  
Old 1 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luca9277 View Post
I would stick with the Beemer.. I have a 2008 GS with 45000km and only thing I have ever changed was the battery and a light bulb..

Reading posts here it looks like BMW are the most unreliable bikes on the planet.

Truth is everything will eventually break but if you look at numbers or you do a Google search you find way more reported issues about BMWs just because they are sold in the hundred of thousands (like the 1200GS alone..)

Are they more expensive??? Hell yeah but I do believe the quality is top.
Ok you can do 45,000km in Australia but that certainly isn't using crap fuel in third world countries, The Tenere is low compression and can handle a lot lower quality of fuel than the highly strung F800GS, my friend who also rode the Americas with me had exactly the same issues which are actually quite common with these bikes, I am not commenting on the 1200GS because I dont have experince on this bike but I know for a fact the the F800GS is a lemon for riding around the world, wait to your fan jams from dust in TDF, water pump fails (4 times) back wheel explodes at 35,000km in Chile and BMW blames the roads and wants to charge US$2500 for a new back wheel, magneto fails in the middle of the Atacama desert and you miss following the Dakar with your mates, bike stops for no reason in the US (Software update according to BMW Denver) countless fuel breakdowns in Boliva and Peru, as for quality please explain why BMW charges 25 Euros for crap Tawianese wheel bearings? bad quality Czech Republic chains that snap...etc etc.

As for sales of bikes, european built bike sales have been in decline for the last four years, Honda for example has sold 60 million cub's, Yamaha last year sold 157,731 units that's almost as much as all the European manufacturers combined in 2011, BMW sell around 4000-5000 units in a good month so the number argument doesn't stack up, BMW come up with problems in Google searches because they have a high amount of problems, did you see any European cars in the top 15 of reliabilty surveys for example?...No because its mostly Japanese who have got the engineering down to a fine art, I know people are sensitive about the bikes they own but sorry the F800GS is no "Around the world" bike and never will be!...I also bought into the BMW hype and it cost me a huge amount of cash and plenty of stress, so unless you buy into the whole "You meet the nicest people when you breakdown" thing, I however prefer to enjoy the trip and not worry about when my bike will break down next and keep my money for (In no particular order) fuel, Ladies and

Update: I checked out the new 2013 F800GS and I see they now have a New water pump and Rear hub, funny how they keep these changes very secret and when I tried to claim on warranty they told me they had never heard of a rear hub bearing breaking apart....still wouldnt trust it!

Last edited by Crappybiker; 24 Nov 2012 at 12:58.
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  #12  
Old 1 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Crappybiker View Post
Ok you can do 45,000km in Australia but that certainly isn't using crap fuel in third world countries, The Tenere is low compression and can handle a lot lower quality of fuel than the highly strung F800GS, my friend who also rode the Americas with me had exactly the same issues which are actually quite common with these bikes, I am not commenting on the 1200GS because I dont have experince on this bike but I know for a fact the the F800GS is a lemon for riding around the world, wait to your fan jams from dust in TDF, water pump fails (4 times) back wheel explodes at 35,000km in Chile and BMW blames the roads and wants to charge US$2500 for a new back wheel, magneto fails in the middle of the Atacama desert and you miss following the Dakar with your mates, bike stops for no reason in the US (Software update according to BMW Denver) countless fuel breakdowns in Boliva and Peru, as for quality please explain why BMW charges 25 Euros for crap Tawianese wheel bearings? bad quality Czech Republic chains that snap...etc etc.

As for sales of bikes, european built bike sales have been in decline for the last four years, Honda for example has sold 60 million cub's, Yamaha last year sold 157,731 units that's almost as much as all the European manufacturers combined in 2011, BMW sell around 4000-5000 units in a good month so the number argument doesn't stack up, BMW come up with problems in Google searches because they have a high amount of problems, did you see any European cars in the top 15 of reliabilty surveys for example?...No because its mostly Japanese who have got the engineering down to a fine art, I know people are sensitive about the bikes they own but sorry the F800GS is no "Around the world" bike and never will be!...I also bought into the BMW hype and it cost me a huge amount of cash and plenty of stress, so unless you buy into the whole "You meet the nicest people when you breakdown" thing, I however prefer to enjoy the trip and not worry about when my bike will break down next and keep my money for (In no particular order) fuel, Ladies and
WELL SAID MY MAN
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  #13  
Old 8 Apr 2012
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No

Go tenere or triumph. Or xtz1200. 51000 MILES and no issues?? Nick Sanders latest record. You can get a brand new pre reg for £10000. Imagine not having to oil your chain and not being a BMW charley boringman wannabe???

Go with what makes you feel good, even if it is a BMW.

Ramble over
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  #14  
Old 8 Apr 2012
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If a Beemer, I´d go look for an good-as-new F650 Dakar. Rock solid stuff if an Africa Twin is oversized for you; excellent mileage, great weight distribution.
Cheers
Chris
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  #15  
Old 10 Apr 2012
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I just picked up my 3rd BMW in 4 years (I put a lot of milage on them), all of them 2nd hand - I like other people to fight BMW to have the illnesses fixed before I get them.

I am not BMW biased, nor any other brand, I have a short list of things I want, and pick the one which gets the most check marks. I was looking at the XT660, and it is very interesting, but the one thing which kept me with BMW was that, I'm 6'3" and 110kg... if I would live closed to interesting parts of the world I would have picked it, but unfortunately I have ~1000-2500km to my favorite vacation places, which means lots of transit.

But I think that all vendors produce lemon bikes, does not matter which brand, they all sometimes produce something which will cause lots of tears, and the only thing one can hope for is that one is close to home when it happens.

Over the years there have been lots of writing about what is the best thing for a RTW trip, and most people disagree on what it is. Only thing I've concluded is that I pick what I want, and live the consequences (and I unfortunately do not have the option to do a RTW). BMW have produced some really excellent bikes like the R80/R100, or Honda with the TransAlp/African Twin, or Yamaha with the XT series. Unfortunately these days bikes are stuffed with electronics, which makes things complicated, and due to the the hunt for HP the vendors have produced bikes with more and more HP (which most people want), instead of providing something which is easy on the fuel, not too heavy, and easy to maintain without having a computer at hand.

I think lots of people where kind of disappointed when Yamaha came out with the 1200... lots of people had hoped for a 800 V2, build in the same way as the XT660 - I for one was one of them...

For any serious travel (meaning very far a way from home) I would choose something like the XT660, or maybe an 2000-2003 Transalp... and leave my F800GS at home...

btw. I had 3 interesting years with a Triumph..... not impressed at all

Casper
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