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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 12 Mar 2009
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Awesome looking bike.

Sounds like you know where you are taking it. Thing is if you don't that if you do a lot of off-road on a trip more applicable to this site rather than ADVrider and compare it to your normal 3 day rides, you have to really plan it. Often people give themselves a certain amount of months and an A and B and those are usually from one end to a continent to another. And in that time you ofter spend ages on reatively short sections of open dirt roads (compared to the overall distance) and don't do enough miles and thus end up on the paved roads. 4WD tracks take a lot of planning to get anywhere and usually result in a much shorter trip.

If you want to go hard take nothing and use hotels. That way you can ride more of the day. Finding a camp spot in the dark sucks big time and can easily end you up in a lot of trouble when you find yourself in someones garden the next morning.
If you don't camp you will probably find more challenging terrain in your planning stage than if you don't. Try and find the countries state forrest maps.

In my area a lot of National parks are off limits, and the dirt roads are usually farm roads and fire trails. I'm just coming into the single trail type of riding, and in my area I struggle to find places for that. So if I'm going long distance, I'd take the comfortable bike because it flies on that stuff. But only because I have one. Probably won't if I'd only have the DRZ.
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  #17  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Any input from anyone on what specifically makes the bike uncomfortable?
Comfort and stock seat seem to be problem only when going on flat paved roads at speed. Not too bad when going on gravel or just on bad potholed road, where your a** will get some massage.

Main contributors to comfort issue at high speed in my view are vibration at high revs, missing fairing, seat, stability (due to high center of gravity and relative light weight) -- these combined will force you to drive in quite cramped position that is very tiring and dangerous.

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If you want to go hard take nothing and use hotels. That way you can ride more of the day. Finding a camp spot in the dark sucks big time and can easily end you up in a lot of trouble when you find yourself in someones garden the next morning.
In practice I think this will not work very well. Many nice 4x4 routes worth riding go to less populated places where you need to have some camping gear with you to enjoy the place and remoteness. If you only stay in hotels you need to be sure that certain leg is ridable in a day and every day need to push it to the hotel and curse it. So your freedom you gained without taking much luggage is lost right here with your big schedule and limited day range. But yes, this is another choice, although probably more suitable for a 2 week holiday in Namibia with friends than for longer overland trip.
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  #18  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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You just summarized what I was trying to say. Camping takes up much more time, and restricts you to daylight but more offroadability. Hotels means more time to ride on the dirt roads when you find them, but needs heaps of planning to find accomodation where you will be all worn out from stressing and riding hard to get there. This is why I reckon that riding a lot of dirt (+30%) on a big trip is near impossible. IF you want to cover a lot of ground.

Haven't seen a ride report that shows otherwise.
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  #19  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
Main contributors to comfort issue at high speed in my view are vibration at high revs, missing fairing, seat, stability (due to high center of gravity and relative light weight) -- these combined will force you to drive in quite cramped position that is very tiring and dangerous.

In practice I think this will not work very well. Many nice 4x4 routes worth riding go to less populated places where you need to have some camping gear with you to enjoy the place and remoteness. If you only stay in hotels you need to be sure that certain leg is ridable in a day and every day need to push it to the hotel and curse it. So your freedom you gained without taking much luggage is lost right here with your big schedule and limited day range. But yes, this is another choice, although probably more suitable for a 2 week holiday in Namibia with friends than for longer overland trip.
I agree but again it depends on the definition of offroad.
My favorite routes usually take 2-7 days through isolated places. Beds, water, food and petrol are rarely available.
It might be hard to know how far you can get in a day, numerous things can slow you down (mud, rivers, accidents, navigation, punctures ++).

Freedom is heavy!

350 km since last petrol station, a few km to the next but they had no petrol. 190 kms later we found petrol. No hotel along the route,
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  #20  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Again, all good input... We don't have a set travel time, and are leaving it open-ended. We are going to plan the route to some extent by looking for areas/things we want to see. We want to camp often. If we can find the maps we will do more off-road. We're both adventuresome, explorative people, and don't mind going where we feel like going.

Our general route is from Colorado to Halifax Nova Scotia, freighter to Southhampton England, then through France, Germany, Slovakia, and down through southestern Europe. We'd love to find some 4x4 roads in Hungary, Bulgary, Romania. Then we're looking at Turkey to Georgia, Armenia, and Iran. We have a contact in Iraq, but not sure whether we'd go in there or not.
Then Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and from there either a northern route across africa, or head south through cameroon... In any case, we're looking at finding less populated areas, small villages, off the beaten track type places where there aren't highways. We've both been to mexico, indonesia, thailand and been to places where you had to take either smaller roads through populated/rural areas, no highways, or dirt tracks.

I remember being on a scooter in Lombok, and having to go around a mountain range through some muddy roads because another road was washed out. Mud and scooters don't mix... Anyway, that's they type of places we're looking to go. We know we'll have to connect with other roads, but will avoid autobahn/major highways 95% of the time.
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  #21  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I agree but again it depends on the definition of offroad.
My favorite routes usually take 2-7 days through isolated places. Beds, water, food and petrol are rarely available.
It might be hard to know how far you can get in a day, numerous things can slow you down (mud, rivers, accidents, navigation, punctures ++).

Freedom is heavy!

350 km since last petrol station, a few km to the next but they had no petrol. 190 kms later we found petrol. No hotel along the route,
Great picture, where is that? those are the types of places we want to go...
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  #22  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by griffnova View Post
Great picture, where is that? those are the types of places we want to go...
The picture is from the Djanet-Tamanrasset route, a short while before Ideles (Algeria). There are a few more here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...sset-2-a-27343

But Algeria (and most of North Africa) is not easy this days because a guide is compulsory in Libya and Algeria. More info about this on the Hubb.
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  #23  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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drz400

I ride arround Algeria with my old BMW900s and got lost close to Saida and Mascara, great riding but make sure to carry water and extra fuel . I hope that during my RTW Algeria will be open to us traveller ( without guide).
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  #24  
Old 12 Mar 2009
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Awesome picture.

I think you should try and gear up you DRZ for a weekend and take it onto some really rough stuff with all the gear to see how it performs. It has an ali subframe, so when distance comes into play, water and fuel take priority over anything else. Need to find some room for food as well. Sounds like a light sleeping bag in comb with a bivi bag and 3 pairs of undies type of trip.

This bloke is doing a fair trip on a Husky. May give you some ideas. He doesn't seem to be camping though.

Three Months on a Husky TE610 - ADVrider
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  #25  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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If you buy a BMW, you might want to carry extra forks in case this happens:


BMW Recovery Team (BMW Owners cover your eyes) - Page 5 - Stromtrooper.com
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  #26  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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Not too well informed I gather.....

Check your F650GS or Dakar Forks - ADVrider
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  #27  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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Personally, I think he should stick with the Suzi; not 'cause the forks on old BMW's might turn to mush, but because he already owns it and knows it--the BMW thread is only to throw gasoline on the fire
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  #28  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by HendiKaf View Post
I ride arround Algeria with my old BMW900s and got lost close to Saida and Mascara, great riding but make sure to carry water and extra fuel . I hope that during my RTW Algeria will be open to us traveller ( without guide).
Yes Algeria is one of the best! I’ll go back as soon as things normalize.


Going with a BMW900S must have been hard from time to time. When was it? Here is a video from Algeria, 1986. I think it’s great! YouTube - riding motorcycle to CAMEROON - per Motorrad bis KAMERUN

It’s not bad; we managed almost two pages before the BMW-bashing started.
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  #29  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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Drz400

You are right on this one , it was a handfull but the BMW was my first big bike so I didn't know better , I left from France and went across Africa with it and back without any major issue .But off road the beast was riding me. It was almost 20 year ago ,ignorance is bless ,I think sometime we know too much and worry way more than necessary.
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  #30  
Old 13 Mar 2009
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There is not a right or wrong, it’s whatever works for ya.

I have had both the BMW and DRZ.

I personally am leaning to smaller and slower bikes. I even question a 400 at times. When you see bigger bikes you normally see foreigners or you’re in a developed country. The DRZ can comfortably go 60mph, do you really need a bike that can go faster? Are you on a timeline, if not why go faster in areas that you are not familiar with in 3rd world?

Your DRZ is worth what $3k ish. How much would a modded BMW set you back? Which is cheaper to repair, insure, etc? DRZ has 2 dealers as well which may help at times but very little. This money is what gets you down the rode. Chris Scott said something along the lines of distance = gas and time = water. I say money = both.

I find that the DRZ is a lot easier to work on as well. It’s just a simpler bike plan and simple.

Travelers are stereotyped, we all are and we all do it at times. It’s presumed the couple riding a bike has less money than the couple on motorcycles and less than couple pulling up in their 4x4. Which looks like you have money the dirt bike or a BMW?

Either bike will work and it is all irrelevant. Only thing that maters, is what works for you and you are the only one that can decide that.

Wish you the best and GL with your decision.
EW
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