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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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  #16  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave ede View Post
I have 'parked up' the larger machines for awhile and using a YBR 125 Yamaha, 100 plus mpg and running speeds a comfortable 45-55 loaded!


btw, trying59, I think you will find you have used the 'wrong' fun meter!!
sorry it was just a bad day yesterday .
It's kind of wild to see 100 years ago they used bikes that were under 10 horse power to do the same thing we do today. Cheap doesn't always equal saving cash. it's better to spend a grand or 2 more now instead of latter in the middle of nowhere shipping stuff to you from eupore etc.
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  #17  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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I completely get the point of goiing cheap, light and economical - it makes a lot of sense every way you look at it, especially if you have a bike that the locals ride e.g. a chinese 125 clone or similar. You won't draw attention you yourself and spares will be available etc etc

But, ask yourself if you could really cope with travelling on a 125cc for several months and be content to away at 50mph behing all the wagons and buses and not be able to overtake with any degree of speed in reserve. Also, isnt going a bit fast part of the thrill of riding a bike?

I have virtually no travel experience, so you can quite rightly ask 'what the hell does he know?' But I want to be able to cruise at 50mph, take in the sights when the road is good and have plenty in reserve on a boring stretch of road or if an overtaking gap suddenly closes up on me.

I aint preaching at all, just contributing what my thought process was when I was choosing a bike for travelling. The HUBB helped me through a lot of these quandries, so I feel like I should contribute back, even if no one agrees with me
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  #18  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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The whole world moves at 35-45 mph (check your GPS after a run in the UK, your peak might be 90 the average will be 40 unless you hit the M-1 at 4 am on a sunny Sunday), it's just a case of how the average relates to the extremes. Riders in the UK and US often tell me they "need" 1000 cc and 100 mph performance to "get into the gaps" and "safely overtake" and "not be intimidated" by trucks. I'd totally agree that on many western roads the traffic does run at 55 mph and having OVLOV or KCAM the only thing you can see in your mirrors isn't nice when the thing behind the badge weighs 40 tonnes.

The trick is simply to get your head round not spending hours on these roads, go through the city centre or on the smaller road, you'll see more. Overtaking is not required, just drop back and enjoy the view. Don't feel you need to do 400 miles a day, 100 is great if the rides better. Getting used to this is the hard part, it's comforting and easy to just hop on your large bike and knock off 500 miles, but where's the challenge? If the thrill was going fast, wouldn't it be easier (and safer, less anti-social) to do it on a race track? If the aim is to get from A to B as quickly as possible trains and planes are very efficient?

There is nothing wrong with any solution, but it is just a case of getting used to the one you choose. For me, 20-30 HP is just fine on a solo bike and I'll take a 12HP 125 over some of the behemoth tourers out there. It's like choosing an old bi-plane over a 747.

Andy
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  #19  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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Threewheelbonnie,
You make a lot of very good points that I totally agree with.

I do intend to go off the beaten track and will happily cruise at 40mph all day on gravel backroads and passes - that's one of the attractions of travel for me. I dont have a GPS and within reason I will follow my nose and see where the roads take me. I dont intend on ragging it around doing >60mph everywhere. I dont intend on doing more than 150 miles a day (6 months booked off to ride TDF - Yellowstone). I just 'need' to have options and where it's safe and responsible to do so, I want to be able to open the taps and ride - I love riding bikes! Not too quick mind, because I'm not that good a rider!

I dont know much, but I have enough experience to know that it isnt the bike, it's the rider. I think I have the right attitude to travel and so the rest is down to personal preference.

Also..Part of my thinking was that we'll be 2up and I will be responsible for my better halfs' well being for 6 months on our upcoming trip. 2up changes things compared to solo travel I know, so perhaps I should've mentioned that in my earlier post....

This was a thread about economy and I just wanted to make the point that some people might get a bit frustrated by being restricted on the speed side of things on a 125cc machine. That done, I'll shut up
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  #20  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by garmei View Post
I dont intend on ragging it around doing >60mph everywhere. I dont intend on doing more than 150 miles a day (6 months booked off to ride TDF - Yellowstone).

[snip]

Also..Part of my thinking was that we'll be 2up and I will be responsible for my better halfs' well being for 6 months on our upcoming trip. 2up changes things....
FWIW, 150 miles per day is not "slow;" it's moving along at a pretty good clip. Once you factor in activities off the bike, down time for personal recovery, predictable and unpredictable repairs, waiting for parts, wandering backroads and tracks, or whatever else befalls you, you'll be glad to have the option of moving more quickly through, say, Texas. Not that I've got anything against Texas.

You are perfectly correct about the two-up aspect. In fact, whatever you decide you'd do very well to test it out--fully laden and with pillion--long before departure. A week-long trial trip might provide valuable insight into what lies ahead between Ushuaia and Wyoming.

Hope that helps.

Mark

(now on the return leg from Ushuaia, a 7-month/20,000 mile trip in itself)
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  #21  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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"you'll be glad to have the option of moving more quickly through, say, Texas. Not that I've got anything against Texas"

That's what I thought too! Not bashing Texas or anything...

Hey Mark, thanks for all your posts over the past few months. I've been looking out for your posts and they really help with planning our trip.

Happy riding
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  #22  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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Glad to hear it! Sometimes it's tough to tell what's useful and what's not, and I do strive to be useful (even when it doesn't seem that way, on the evidence, to some people).

Safe journeys!

Mark
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  #23  
Old 25 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by garmei View Post
I dont know much, but I have enough experience to know that it isnt the bike, it's the rider.

.......

Also..Part of my thinking was that we'll be 2up and I will be responsible for my better halfs' well being for 6 months on our upcoming trip. 2up changes things compared to solo travel I know, so perhaps I should've mentioned that in my earlier post.... ..... That done, I'll shut up
Please don't shut up, it's all good stuff and you are totally right IMHO about riders rather than bikes.

Two up is a different kettle of fish that again there seems to be different solutions to. As you'll see from the name I'm a sidecarist, (which isn't efficient although I'd love to build a Diesel outfit that might be) . Two-Three up (usually two plus the dog) I'm happy with anything from 30 Hp (Ural) to 80 Hp (R1100R). You are right that my 23HP MZ would require serious reconsideration of (my wife's ) plans regarding the amount of luggage etc. That said, I really can't see me ever wanting to hit the Riviera 24 hours after leaving home by Goldwing or Hayabusa. I'd be more interested in trying to get say an Enfield or Ural outfit somewhere good, but maybe that's just my personal interest (the Enfield would be no use, if the music isn't audible we have to stop every 20 miles for coffee ).

For an efficient two up ride (solo) I think it'd be a tough decision. ER-5/CB500/Deauville?

Andy
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  #24  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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Well I made it to Ripley and back! on the YBR125, it took me 4hrs 45mins to get up there with a couple of stops which, in total was for no more than 20 minutes, not the leisurely pace I would have liked but the 'target was the HU meet.
It was an even less enjoyable run back to London as I was rushing back home for the England/Germany game. I did the 180 miles in 4hrs 5mins with a fuel stop and a brief stop on the motorway to retrieve one of my mirrors..

I was getting about 100mpg and speeds up to 60 mph, it was a bit tiresome as it was all a rush, but hopefully I will do 'some distance' in a more relaxed manor.
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  #25  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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I ve got only an old elite 250 scooter. 13 horses gets me to 126 K flat out. It take me 4 or 5 hours to go 350 K . ( Lots of hills) I m really considering taking a helix scooter for a long term tour. I love to get a smaller 250 duel sport but I m to big. I would rather go 55 all day and save some money on gas. If you ve got time then speed doesn't matter. Whom knows what pretty woman you might meet by going a little bit slower.
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  #26  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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for real budget biking, there are only 2 choices in my opinion,
honda cub90, or for those in a "hurry", the cg125 (cdi version).

both are solid workhorses.
I found that on the cub, I averaged 30mph, 90mpg loaded, with barndoor fairing, on good roads.

You get to see the scenery too, not fly down the road.
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  #27  
Old 2 Jul 2010
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I second Joe.

The C90 is awesome, but a bit overladen two up. I managed to get a good 30-40 mph, and around 90mpg down to Senegal on the C90, but that was on my own.

But, like the man said, if you want 'fast' and economical, the Cg125cdi is perfect. It will cruise at about 50mph fully laden two up, and still make up to 80mpg. Our 1982 model made it from UK to Cape Town with barely a hiccup.

Go slow, enjoy the scenery.

It's also cheap to repair or replace anything. A set of tyres in Nairobbery cost $12, and a set of sprockets $20, and they were the only consumables we changed in 22000k.

Plus you can buy them for way less than 500 Euros. Which gives you a whole lot more money for travelling.


Birdy
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  #28  
Old 2 Jul 2010
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I recently cycled a road up North in Scotland that I had only previously ridden on my motorbike and realised I'd seen much, much more on the bicycle and it was a much more memorable trip.

I'm very intrigued by the idea of low-powered bike touring. I've had enough of cycling after about 3 or 4 days, but a low powered motorbike might be a great way to see the world.

I've currently got a XT600 and, to be honest, it just makes everything too easy! If ever I get the chance for another big trip I think I'd take something like a CG125. Low, slow and very reliable. I have an enfield which I love, but I'm not sure its reliable enough for a big trip for me personally. (Plenty of more robust characters have done enormous trips on them though).

An alternative would be the kind of small dirt bike farmers use. Low powered plodding four-strokes. I think Honda do a 175 which would be good.

And any bike that makes motorway riding a trial is a good thing IMHO, keeps you from being tempted to just blast along to the next destination.

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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  #29  
Old 2 Jul 2010
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I've currently got a XT600 and, to be honest, it just makes everything too easy!
Now that to me is the dilema. Sat here in a office dreaming about where I'd rather be, the XT600 route is indeed such a known quantity I'd sign up for a Batley to Beijing by BSA Bantam. I do recall from my last trip a small episode in the Eifel (Blizzard conditions, not on top form health wise, had about three hours sleep in the last 48 hours) where the daily prayer was along the lines of "Thank Goodness I have the sidecar, where do I sign up to replace the Triumph with a brand new Goldwing".

Andy
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  #30  
Old 2 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
the XT600 route is indeed such a known quantity I'd sign up for a Batley to Beijing by BSA Bantam.


Funnily enough I was just looking at Bantams! £1000 seems to get you a decent one - and I was wondering how they'd go as a travel bike! Yop'd have to travel pretty light though!

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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