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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 29 Apr 2012
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Thats an impressive list Pacha! I am pretty much sold on the Dl 650 but will test ride the others first. reason for the attraction of the dl is that i also need it to be a day today commuter bike and i feel coming from a sports bike (zx6r j2) im really gonna feel the lack of power in the others. Its that age old thing.... if i could have them all i would!
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  #17  
Old 29 Apr 2012
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The engine really is the sweet spot on the DL650, and it has more punch than you may expect from the displacement. But it's still slow, if compared to a sports bike. The 800cc BMW GS, or Tiger800, though I have not tested the latter, offer more in that department. DL650 is about on par with the Versys 650 & F650GS twin, though the Beemer is actually 800cc, so it has more torque.
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  #18  
Old 29 Apr 2012
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I may sound strange but im actually looking forward to get rid of the sports bike and get on something that isnt constantly trying to kill me! not to mention the pain in your knees after 100 miles. the acceleration on a sports bike is addictive but im not sure its fun anymore.

what do you reckon to the beemer f650gs single. just spotted a cheap one on ebay with low mileage.
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  #19  
Old 30 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebus View Post
what do you reckon to the beemer f650gs single. just spotted a cheap one on ebay with low mileage.
The single cylinder bike will be even further away from your current sportsbike. Its great advantage is that it is a bit lighter, more nimble, and so they are usually better for serious off-road. It´s right there, where the bike´s weight is really important. But I haven´t ridden so much on the F650GS single to be able to really comment on that particular model. People seem to do big trips on them all the time, though.

Personally I prefer twins (or at least 2 cylinders) for long-distance travel... (for 2-up, I would not even think of a single cylinder, but that´s just me!)

Actually a decade ago I did several trips in southern Africa on a rented KLR650 (also 1-cylinder), and while it was great in its own way (I was riding 1-up), no reason why a Transalp, Africa Twin or DL650 would not have been even more enjoyable. But it´s worth noting, that roads were generally quite good in the southern part of the continent, in all other parts of Africa there may be regions, where a lighter single might be better.
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  #20  
Old 30 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Bluebus View Post
I may sound strange but im actually looking forward to get rid of the sports bike and get on something that isnt constantly trying to kill me! not to mention the pain in your knees after 100 miles. the acceleration on a sports bike is addictive but im not sure its fun anymore.

what do you reckon to the beemer f650gs single. just spotted a cheap one on ebay with low mileage.
Coming from a sports bike to a F650GS would be like trading in Cheryl Cole for Cilla Black...

Maybe ease yourself in with a twin/triple cylinder 650cc+ machine.

What about a Tiger 800XC ?? Pricey though.
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  #21  
Old 30 Apr 2012
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I like the analogy ted! i'm kinda used to shocking bike changes, went from a gpz 900 to an xt 500 at one point. that was a steep learning curve, especially kick starting an old thumper!

I've thought about both the tiger 800xc and the beemer f800gs but untill the second hand value comes down their a bit out of my league!
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  #22  
Old 2 May 2012
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With a fork brake, and suitable tyres (I´ve got Michelin Pilot Road 3´s on mine right now, also tested Metzeler Z6´s before) the DL650 is a nice bike for twisty roads.

Even the suspension holds up pretty well, but I´m talking about the 2012-model here, which is better in this department, than older models were. I´d even go as far to say it is surprisingly quick for a bike, that´s only 650, AND can also tour fully loaded 2-up without any problems. Just don´t expect it to perform like a real sportsbike...
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  #23  
Old 2 May 2012
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too heavy

I wouldnt worry too much about power. Dakar bikes are 450cc and put out 70 odd HP ... they have more power than you need off road unless you are Marc Coma.

If you have not really ridden and toured off road before, you are only making it miserable for yourself by trying it on heavy bikes. As a few people have hinted at above ... stick with a large single and prep it the way you want the bike to be set up. Judging from your answers to posts above, you dont have that irrational paranoia about modern bikes that plague many - which is a good thing.

Based on that, I would be looking at a KTM 690 EXC or BMW G650 X-Challenge and converting them into adventure bikes. Plenty of info on both bikes around the place. At about 140 kgs (as opposed to about 220 kgs), full range suspension, either of these will be 20 times easier to handle in sand, rocks and mud than a DL650. Both are fuel injected, reliable, and there are good aftermarket parts available for each to adventurise them.

If money is an object, consider the DR650, NX650, XR650, XL650, XT600 etc

Have a look as well at the XT660R and XTZ 660 - but bear in mind they are built like tanks, and weigh almost as much as well.

You really have to think what you want to do in your adventure travels ... you need to choose a bike that doesnt limit you. The limiting factor you need to consider is what are the hardest parts of your planned journey. Choose a bike to do that - cause any bike can do the asphalt road parts. Heavy bikes off road is a recipe for misery. Either of the bikes above will cruise all day at 80 mph once you fit a fairing. If you choose too heavy then you limit where you can go and what you can do significantly. If you choose too light, then all it means is through Europe you cruise at 75-80 mph instead of 85 -90 mph.

Nobody gets to Morocco, Mongolia, Siberia, Bolivia and wishes he had a bigger heavier bike. Nobody.
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Last edited by colebatch; 2 May 2012 at 17:20.
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  #24  
Old 2 May 2012
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I have just sold my DL650, I was convinced it was the bike to go round the world.
Having done some further research, I found its the ideal bike for touring in Europe on decent roads.... Off road... Forget it !! way to heavy and unstable.

I am now taking a TT600RE, yes I had to prep it all again.. but isnt that half the fun.

In a year from now I will let you know wether I regret selling the Wee strom

Cheers
Geordie aka Will
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  #25  
Old 2 May 2012
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[YOUTUBE]Hitler find out a C90 is riding around the world - YouTube[YOUTUBE]
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  #26  
Old 3 May 2012
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very funny Ted

Having just rode to the Gambia on a C90 I can see why he was so upset lol

It also reprograms your brain into thinking you dont have to blast along at 80mph everywhere !!

Cheers
Geordie aka Will
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  #27  
Old 3 May 2012
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I do not question at all, that a much lighter single will be far superior off-road. And a bike like a DL650 will be a heavy pig in those conditions, so totally helpless, that it cannot be even compared.

But I think it´s still worth keeping in mind, that riders are different, and the trips they plan, and do, are equally different. Some people benefit more from space, comfort, and ability to carry weight (especially if riding 2-up then it´s important), than they would benefit from having a lightweight bike, that handles well on sandy or muddy surfaces.

These days you can go around the planet without practically leaving the tarmac, if that´s what you want. Or you can find some very challenging roads/tracks almost everywhere, especially in some remote areas or 3rd world countries, if that´s what you want. And it can still, in both cases, be "an adventure" or "out of your comfort zone", that just depends on your past experience, and personal definitions of those subjects.

There is no one bike, that´ll be "the best" for everything, so often you´ll need to think, what would be the best compromise FOR YOU. And you should also listen only so much to somebody else´s advice, because no matter how much of an expert they are, in the end their idea of the "big trip" could be quite different from yours. What your trip will be like, is the key to choose the right bike IMO.

(but just my 0.02, and without any sarcasm, certainly there are folks on this site, who know more about adventure travel than I ever might).
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  #28  
Old 3 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
These days you can go around the planet without practically leaving the tarmac, if that´s what you want. Or you can find some very challenging roads/tracks almost everywhere, especially in some remote areas or 3rd world countries, if that´s what you want. And it can still, in both cases, be "an adventure" or "out of your comfort zone", that just depends on your past experience, and personal definitions of those subjects.

There is no one bike, that´ll be "the best" for everything, so often you´ll need to think, what would be the best compromise FOR YOU.
That's very very true....
I met an old Polish guy who went from Poland to South Africa on a massive 1200cc Chromed up Suzuki Cruiser.
Although, he did put it on a truck for the Kenya-Moyale 'Bandit Highway', but even that is in the process of being sealed.

However, it's not just the roads you have to consider. Many camp sites/ hostels tracks, detours and road works can throw miles of unexpected HORRENDOUS off-road conditions at you and this is when the Goldwings and big GS style bikes will get unstuck very quickly.
However, if one takes their time and plans ahead, it won't be a deal breaker.
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  #29  
Old 3 May 2012
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Factor in the time available, rider and tyres too:

In 1999 I went to the North Cape/Finland Russia etc. on an F650 on tyres straight from the dealer. I was terrified on the long stretches of gravel that have to be done when they are fixing the roads or there are land slides. I saw Goldwings and Harleys turn back but the old F could do it (just) even with too much stuff and a rider who didn't even know to stand up.

This lead me to do the BMW off road event (I was a Charlie before Ewan and Charlie ) and I went to the desert the first time in 2003 on Pirelli knobblies. R1100/1150GS's with inexperienced riders and the wrong tyres again turned back. A couple of experienced big GS riders on TCK's stayed with the F's (as did a bloke an a Yamaha XS goodness knows what muscle bike thing, but he'd been RTW about ten times).

I've been in similar conditions on knobbly-ish tyres on the Bonneville and found it easier and not in the slightest bit scary having had a few more years in varied conditions. This is an underpowered road bike that probably weighs as much as a 1200GS but is low. My XT600 would be a blast in these conditions but a PITA two up on the motorway run to get there or the trip to work.

I'm probably about to buy a V-strom 650 exactly because on my current mix of work-motorway- 2 up - gravel track it will do everything quite well. No one may get to Mongolia and wish they had a heavier bike, but I wonder how many cursed XT225's while trying to get across Germany? If there is no time limit against the journey of course the goal posts move again.

Andy
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  #30  
Old 5 May 2012
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test road a dl650 yesterday. Having riden to the place on a sports bike it was like getting out of a ferrari and driving a landrover. hated it for the first 5 minutes but by the time i came back didnt want to get off. totally diferent riding experience! corners are very strange! None the less really liked the bike and could easily imagine setting off on a long distance adventure with one. only the xt and transalp to try now and i'll make a decision.

its funny that everyone says the dl is so heavy, i thought it felt incredibly light and easy to manover. looks big but didnt feel big if you know what i mean. guess its all down to what your used too.
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