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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 9 Dec 2008
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everlasting bike?

Maybe a bit of an ambitious title, but it reflects the general idea.

My 1100 GS failed on me (broken gear box, don't want to go into it) and I 'm looking for a new bike.
She was fantastic and I enjoyed every minute I rode... but not so much the times she didn't ride.
It wasn't thàt often, but I 'm still quite afraid to make the final balance for that bike (My guess isn't very optimistic)
Anyway, she stopped at 250 000 km (that's 155 342 mile, google tells me) a bit less on the display though
(I took it the last 150k km in three years)

Now I 'm looking for something new, something that might last me a bit longer.

I am hoping to find a bike that will go for 300 000 km, with fairly limited technical interventions.
Don't get me wrong, I don't expect a sorrow free ride, but I don't want to strand up every half a year either.
And not needing to spend the same amount on repairs every two years as the bike costs itself.

Does it still exist, are manufacturers still making machines that simply work?

So if you would happen to know a bike (any model, any make) that fits the description (or at least the 300 000 km part) and would care to list the costs made to keep it on the road...



I'll start, although at the moment i'm only listing the things I experianced...

R 1100 GS '94
small stuff during use: let's estimate that at 500 euro
120k km: clutch pushrod stuck; 800 Euro
190k km: clutch started to slip; 250 Euro
220k km: driveshaft broken; 650 Euro
240k km: gearbox broken; 300 euro's trying to find a cheap replacement and gave up
(for a guaranteed replacement: 1500 euro)

while searching for a gearbox solution, I overheard that the previous owner had some serious repairwork on the same items not long before he sold.

that would mean that about every 110k km I'd be looking at the above total.
that's not really something I appreciate in a bike so I'm hoping to find an alternative.
(i'm not including regular maintenance because that's the same for every bike)

Who would like to write a testimony about a bike that was is everlasting?

Last edited by denBen; 9 Dec 2008 at 13:47.
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  #2  
Old 9 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denBen View Post
Maybe a bit of an ambitious title, but it reflects the general idea.


Now I 'm looking for something new, something that might last me a bit longer.

I am hoping to find a bike that will go for 300 000 km, with fairly limited technical interventions.


I'll start, although at the moment i'm only listing the things I experianced...

R 1100 GS '94
small stuff during use: let's estimate that at 500 euro
120k km: clutch pushrod stuck; 800 Euro
190k km: clutch started to slip; 250 Euro
220k km: driveshaft broken; 650 Euro
240k km: gearbox broken; 300 euro's trying to find a cheap replacement and gave up
(for a guaranteed replacement: 1500 euro)

I hate to bring the bad news but no bike is everlasting…

You will have hard time finding anything that’s better than what you have. Maybe a R80 G/S with a rebuild gearbox will do it, but I don’t think you will find a modern dual-sport that lasts longer.


I find the price for fixing your gearbox a bit high. If it gets overhauled before it stops to work it should be around less then half that price.
Some people overhaul there gearbox every 100kkm,.
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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I think you did well with the R1100R.

There are a few bikes out there that will match it and fail in different ways and so might be easier to repair (eg. R100's, Triumph Bonneville), but honestly I don't think there is such a thing as a 100,000 mile bike never mind one that does better.

I don't know why this is as I drive a Skoda for work that's done 115,000 miles with nothing except oil changes 10% past the recomended limits. Bikes I'm afraid are designed for weekend warriors who'll decide they are unfashionable long before they wear out, even when made out of toffee/cheese/wet cardboard etc.

The alternative is to repair what you have. This means either learning the skills and getting the tools to fix that BMW gearbox yourself, or going for something like an Enfield that you are going to learn about repairing very easily but very quickly.

Andy
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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Hate to think how long it would take to cover 250,000 km on an Enfield!

The only bikes that I would think stand any chance of covering that sort of mileage without anything more than oil changes are other BMWs such as the K100/1100 or R1150s.
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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It sounds like you are wanting an HPN, but instead of using an old donor bike you should start with new parts which will then be modified and improved by HPN. This sort of bike can last a life time and when you think it is at the end of one life time you strip it apart and rebuild it from scratch to start its next lifetime.

hpn
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I find the price for fixing your gearbox a bit high. If it gets overhauled before it stops to work it should be around less then half that price.
Some people overhaul there gearbox every 100kkm,.
This might indeed be true, it 's very probable that my bike won't break down when doing enough precautionary repairs.
It's very difficult to get a correct maintenance scheme for this.

Anyway, it might just be me, but i don't have much trust in models that require that kind of maintenance.
(to an extend obviously, i'm not going to wait for breakdown before maintaining my bike)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Bikes I'm afraid are designed for weekend warriors who'll decide they are unfashionable long before they wear out, even when made out of toffee/cheese/wet cardboard etc.
I am starting to realise that.
I 'm just hoping there is still one model out there that defies this design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
The alternative is to repair what you have. This means either learning the skills and getting the tools to fix that BMW gearbox yourself, or going for something like an Enfield that you are going to learn about repairing very easily but very quickly.
I did most of my repairs myself (else those prices would be a tiny bit higher)

Repairing a gearbox is beyond my capabilities, but that 's not relevant as it was completely smashed (repairing what was broken would take about 3000 euro)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
Hate to think how long it would take to cover 250,000 km on an Enfield!
It would probably take me just as long as on any other bike...


Would someone know a place I could find maintenance costs for large distance motorcycles?
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  #7  
Old 9 Dec 2008
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Any of the big Japanese touring bikes will run mostly problem free for many many miles. I think you can do better with most Japanese stuff.
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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I had an Africa Twin (1991 model) from 20.000kms onwards to 105.000kms. The only mechanical glitch during that time was the countershaft bearing behind the sprocket, which very nearly lead to a big catastrophe at almost exactly 100.000, but luckily the fault was found & fixed, otherwise it probably would´ve blown up the engine. Even this was a freak occurrence, and could have been the result of having the chain adjusted too tight somewhere along the way. I didnt sell it because of this.

If I´d have to try to get real big mileage out of a bike, I´d probably still go for the Africa Twin, or possibly a DL1000 (or how about a 1200 or 1250 Bandit?)........ the km´s mentioned are huge, however, so your personal riding habits, choice of routes, and how good you are in maintaining the bike will probably have a huge impact on the outcome.
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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Bikes in the "developed" world are generally used as a secondary vehicle to a car, say. And they're not designed/expected to rack up huge (100k+ miles) mileages without major overhauls, here in the UK a bike is "high mileage" if it does more than about 3k miles/year... If you want a machine that'll seem to cover high miles reliably look towards, say, a Fireblade in any of its incarnations, or that old faithful the Cub (seriously!).
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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Not too sure about the new one but the old Honda Deauville 650 use to do it all, had one for a year and a half, only thing that went wrong was a wheel bearing went but i was told its cause i was riding it too hard (who said a deauville cant get both wheel off the ground!!!). Couriers love them so the better more loved 2nd hand ones are hard to find.

Anyway the new one is suppose to be the same but as usual quality of some of the pairs is just not what it use to be.

Apart from this maybe the Honda Transalp but its got the usual chain drive which can add up costs over a high milage bike.
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Old 9 Dec 2008
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I agree with the sentiment of others on here...no bike is everlasting or without sorrows every so often.

BUT one bike that should be in the running...with some minor alterations...would be the BMW K75(no ABS)...

These bikes consistently rack up the mileage and the punishment with minor drama...

The biggest drama is the final drive splines but the costs of swapping that out is almost equivalent to the maintenance of a chain and its complimentary sprockets. Heck a buy in Canada(Bruno's Machine Shop) has developed a permanent fix by remachining the worn splines, rebuilding the final drive and the driveshaft for about $1k USD.

When you consider the cost of acqusition, pre-trip adjustments, maintenance, and farkling...the K75 has got to be about the cheapest to get you 300k miles.

Its not a sexy looking enduro bike...but it will get you wherever *there* is...

HTH
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  #12  
Old 9 Dec 2008
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Go Guzzi! They last, parts are cheap, they are easy to fix, they are good and strong runners (the big blocks that is) - the closest motorcycle equivalent to a Perpetuum Mobile in my opinion. But then again I'm totally unable to see any flaws in any Guzzi. I'm totally in love with these bikes and love makes blind they say... ;-)
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  #13  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Everlasting bike? BMW R1100GS !!

Milestone for my GS - ADVrider
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Old 10 Dec 2008
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Second on BMW K75 that is made in the early 90s. I had an K75RT which the German police itself still uses. The cops beat the crap out of the RT and ride so hard that the clutch is the first thing to be replaced regularly, but it keeps on running. If you don't ride as hard or need to chase after some mafia, the bike is well known to have lasted 300-500K km. Don't trust anything else newer in BMW except your 1100gs. They are getting more complicated with too many bells and whistles. Yes, watch out the spline, also look after the rotor start after 100,000 km and if you leave the bike on the street through winter.
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Old 11 Dec 2008
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An everlasting bike? It's got to be a YAMAHA XT600
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