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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 2005
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build your own?

Has anybody ever attempted to design an overlander kit bike, to build at home? Would there be a big enough market for it?

I would imagine it as low tech, bolt together, engine for crappy fuel, big tank, built for toughness (and perhaps lightweight) - with none of that expensive, flashy branding and polish.

I know I would think about buying one.

Or am I just being silly?



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  #2  
Old 27 May 2005
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What about a Frankenstein Bike built with existing parts(sort of a best of show mongrel)?I would use a KTM 640 adventure chassis with a Suzuki/Honda engine,a custom 40 liter fuel tank,super plush seat,ect.
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  #3  
Old 27 May 2005
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This would get very expensive unless you were able to do a lot of the engineering work yourself. Grafting forks, wheels, swingarms & engines in to different frames is time consuming & potentially fatal if you've over estimated your engineering skills.

Wayne Weber on the Adv.Riders carried out such a project, using a KLE/GPZ500 twin. Huge amount of effort & he did most, if not all of the work himself. I'm sure he said that if he had to build another one, he'd have to charge US$60,000 because of the time it took - as you can, there have been no customers.

I've swapped wheels, forks & brake calipers between very different bikes, the scope for getting it wrong is huge. You're best off choosing the bike that most suits your requirements & upgrading the suspension, fuel load, brakes etc.

Just my 2p worth.
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  #4  
Old 28 May 2005
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I agree the mongrel bike would be very difficult - and potentially dangerous

What I was thinking of was a purpose designed bike - perhaps even based on an old classic no longer in production by the manufacturer.

There is a market for build your own kit cars, like Caterhams, and a bike is a lot simpler than a car.

Just a thought, I'm quite happy with my f650 for now

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  #5  
Old 28 May 2005
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"I would imagine it as low tech, bolt together, engine for crappy fuel, big tank, built for toughness (and perhaps lightweight) - with none of that expensive, flashy branding and polish."

I would think a BMW R80 or R100
lots of parts around, you can have a small tank or large, fairing or not, high comperssion or low compression engine.
All kinds of aftermarket parts, luggage.
Any of the problems they have are well known and you can find a fix for them before you build it.

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Old 19 Jun 2005
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Wouldnt you just buy a honda Kawa Suzuki etc 650 and put a big tank on it. Reliable Simple Unglamorous Inexpensive.
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  #7  
Old 20 Jun 2005
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Honda XL600LMF??? 7.4 gallon tank (mine has a range of over 300 miles,BEFORE i even switch onto reserve,and i know there's about 2 gallons on that!).Non-stop riding limit before numb-bum sets in is about the same time you reach for the above mentioned reserve tap.Very few plastic bits.Showa suspension both ends as standard.Italian imports are easily available on Ebay,usually in reasonable nick.Good old steel frame(weldable by any bush mechanic,if needed).Most popular tyre sizes for dual-purpose bikes.All in all a good battle horse.

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  #8  
Old 20 Jun 2005
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This sounds like the kind of thing I'd like! I imagine almost as much of the enjoyment would come from building it as riding it? Plus you'd be fully aquainted with the bike if you needed to repair it on the road. Practical or not its a grand idea if not one we'll ever see in reality!
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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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Old 20 Jun 2005
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It definitely been done. Simon Milward used some Rotax powerred homebuilt special I believe. unfortunately he is no longer here to tell you about it.

http://www.millennium-ride.com/

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  #10  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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I built one, but had a good start!


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  #11  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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XL600LMF? are you having a giraffe (laugh)? I had one and it was bloody awful: carburation, gearing, suspension, crash tolerance were all rubbish. it bears no comparison to a Tenere which is 10 years behind an XR650L or KTM.

my reasoning for designing and building my own bikes is that I enjoy the engineering.
they're flipping expensive and lose their value immediately, but, for me, it was a HUGE part of the journey and worth every penny.
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