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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 27 May 2009
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BMW or Yamaha?

Hi everyone, i'm new here. right, i'm looking for a bike to do a RTW leaving in january 2010, the trip takes me from europe down through africa, up central america, then across from south east asia, through russia and eastern europe, back home. i'm completely stuck between a gs, pre-2000, seems to be my favourite as it is a little lighter and doesn't have all those bells and whistles i don't need, or a yamaha xt600? the yamaha is better off road, and is lighter, easier to fix, but the BMW is superior on tarmac, more powerful and far more comfortable on the long tarmac roads. plus the BMW is more expensive to buy in the first place. any ideas? will the xt take thousands of miles of tarmac easily? or will the BMW break down too often?
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  #2  
Old 27 May 2009
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Hi Guys,

I'm in the same position - BMW F660 GS or Yamaha XT 660 Z Tenere. The bike will be used to commute to work and (hopefully) trips away to exotic destinations.

regards

Shaun
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  #3  
Old 27 May 2009
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Both capable bikes which are up to the trip; bottom line will probably be cost and heart. For me, I would go for the Yamaha, BMWs just don't do it for me.
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  #4  
Old 27 May 2009
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Both bikes are obviously capable of it, but I would go with the Yam. My XT600E just keeps going no matter what I throw at it. Not much fun on motorways due to the lack of weather protection, but who wants to ride on motorways?

BMWs do nothing for me either, but undoubtedly good bikes. If you like that sort of thing.

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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  #5  
Old 27 May 2009
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Test ride.

Looking at specs is pointless at the end of the day, although I do it, too!

Find examples of each that you can afford and would be willing to pay for and test ride. If not those, then similar examples...

It's the only way to actually know if the bike suits you in the slightest...
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Old 27 May 2009
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Most people riding around the world ride 9X% tarmac.

The BMW is clearly best for tarmac and IMHO the difference when driving offroad with luggage the difference is not that big.

I would have picked up an airhead….
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Old 27 May 2009
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[quote=AliBaba;243567]Most people riding around the world ride 9X% tarmac.

The BMW is clearly best for tarmac [quote]

A) True

B) Really? I think it depends on the tarmac. Would still rather have the XT on rough or twisty tarmac. More fun. But that's a personal opinion.

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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  #8  
Old 27 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
B) Really? I think it depends on the tarmac. Would still rather have the XT on rough or twisty tarmac. More fun. But that's a personal opinion.

Matt
No, it's to slow
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  #9  
Old 27 May 2009
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When you said pre-2000 GS, do you have a specific model in mind? The F650 (single), R1100-1150, or the older R80GS? Am I missing any?
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Old 27 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
No, it's to slow
Depends how you ride it! (i.e. not like me!)
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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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  #11  
Old 27 May 2009
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Haven't ridden the XT or the F650 so can't comment but having done two separate long trips on a GS1150 and a Suzuki DR650SE, I'd do it all again on the DR. If you're going solo, I'd definitely take a 600-650cc, if going two up, something larger is required. The DR was surprisingly good on the German Autobahn on the way home, but Europe was the only place where I felt I needed to ride fast (ie 120kph) to keep up, everywhere else, the traffic generally goes much slower and has more obstacles to avoid...
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  #12  
Old 27 May 2009
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My '95 F650 was fantastic, that was a bike I'd have taken anywhere.
My '99 F650 was a low quality, overpriced, underspecced POS.
My '03 XT600E was looking good but I didn't get chance to really prove it.

Personally, after the '99 F650, '97 & '95 R1100's and BMW's support levels, my heart would be screaming get the Yam. My head says find the best deal and allow time to get to know what you've bought.

Much as I dislike the Bavarian Tractor Company's marketing lies, they are as good as anything else if you know (or don't know) your own bike (with F650's it's the waterpump). If you are a Ural mechanic, a Ural IS the best bike. If you get a BM, you need to become a BM guy, the badge doesn't make the slightest difference. Go for the one you think you can learn to understand.

If I didn't make myself clear: Get the Yam

Andy
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  #13  
Old 27 May 2009
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Thanks for the advice, I guess I need to book some test rides.

I'm a bit concerned about the seat height on the Yammy, the BM is no problem even with the standard seat. Also the BM looks "tame" whilst the Yammy really does look the part.

I realise that the Yammy will be great in the rough stuff but how does it cope with the tarmac en route to the rough stuff ?

This will be my first adventure bike, my last bike was a race tuned CBR 600, that I went round Europe on - I just want to head further a field now.

regards

Shaun
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  #14  
Old 27 May 2009
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I'm 5'7" and can ride the Yams, they sit down a fair bit and the seat is narrow. Seat height specs can be misleading so go try before you buy.

Just noticed where you are. Head for Colin Appleyards, I was drooling over their Tenere last week.

Andy
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  #15  
Old 27 May 2009
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parts?

Hi there,

good idea to ride a bike around the world. Did you ask about the 1100GS/XT600 or 650GS/XT600??

yours question depends also on your budget, because parts for both bikes dont cost the same and are not available in the same places. sure you can ride around the world on a GS or on a XT, but they will both need parts along the way.

beemers are considered in most places (outside europe and the us) as expensive luxery bikes. the xt is used by many locals around the world to go to work etc. and in many places like you will find used parts.

I rode an XT600Z Tenere around the world for 6,5 years and I know that XT parts are easy to find (if parts are available at all) and quite cheap.

enjoy and take the bike that you like most, and than see what happens. its your journey ...

mika
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