Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28 Mar 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Franklin, OH, USA
Posts: 7
Expert Input Needed

Hi all, I'm in the market for a dual sport that I want to ride from Ohio to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I don't intend on doing any extreme adventure riding along the way, just want to get there, be able to go anywhere I need to go, and most of all have fun. I'm only a novice rider and think that anything to big/fast might be asking for trouble. So after doing some research, I was inevitably persuaded into thinking that the Suzuki DRZ-400S is the greatest motorcycle in the world, as it receives an unbelievable amount of fanatical praise. Do you think this bike would be good for such a trip? Is a 650 really reccomened for a trip this long? Speaking of which, anybody done a trip of similar distance? How long do you think this trip will take? I estimated roughly 3 weeks. I know the comfort of this bike could be an issue, but I would be willing to purchase a custom seat and I'm young, light (150 lbs.) and in good shape, so should I still be concerned? Can this bike carry enough luggage/equipment to get me there (I'll be travelling as light as possible)? Please let me know if you reccomend this bike or not, and if not, please reccomend another bike(s) that you think might be better and why. Thanks for the help. You'll be hearing plenty more from me as I continue planning this trip over the next several months.

-Jared
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Three weeks is extremely fast. One rule of thumb is to spend as long planning for your trip as you are going to spend doing it - I'd suggest vice versa, in your case Plenty of people have gone far, far longer than Ohio-BA. Happy Trails, among others, make accessories for the DRZ, so it can definitely carry the gear. Then again, for only three weeks, you should be carrying sod-all, anyway! To go that far in 21 days means you will be doing some big, boring highway miles, and the DRZ won't be as good for them as, say, a KLR, and you won't have time for exploring, anyway. If you're still keen on going in this timeframe, think about a road-oriented bike, like the v-strom 650, 'cos road is all your gonna see...

Good luck,
James
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Franklin, OH, USA
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally posted by JamesCo:
Three weeks is extremely fast. One rule of thumb is to spend as long planning for your trip as you are going to spend doing it - I'd suggest vice versa, in your case Plenty of people have gone far, far longer than Ohio-BA. Happy Trails, among others, make accessories for the DRZ, so it can definitely carry the gear. Then again, for only three weeks, you should be carrying sod-all, anyway! To go that far in 21 days means you will be doing some big, boring highway miles, and the DRZ won't be as good for them as, say, a KLR, and you won't have time for exploring, anyway. If you're still keen on going in this timeframe, think about a road-oriented bike, like the v-strom 650, 'cos road is all your gonna see...

Good luck,
James
The reason I'm taking this trip is because I've recently graduated college and I am relocating to Buenos Aires. My friend, who's going with me, and I both decided that we didn't want to fly there and miss everything along the way. So we originally were going to drive there in some sort of car or SUV. But that turned out to be too expensive and not really much fun. So we decided we'd bike it. We wanted to make a long trip out of it, but we decided we wanted to arrive in B.A. as soon as possible with as much dough as possible, well that's changed and we've decided that we'd rather show up later with less cash and more adventures. We will be trying to leave sometime in late Sept./early Oct. So over the next 6 months I will be working out all of the details, I'm going to need a lot of help. I've never done anything like this and I realize its a little crazy, but I'm completely confindent in my ability to do it, especially because I intend to work out as many details as humanly possible in advance. I'll probably start a thread soon in the Central/South America forum as I get more details worked out. Anyway, I'm still open to bike suggestions, my obvious considerations are the DRZ-400S, KLR 650, or possibly maybe but doubtfully a mid to late-nineties F 650. I really can't rationalize spending a whole lot more than $4000, which pretty much cuts out the Beemer. But if the deal were right, it'd be a good investment, and I might be willing. Anything I should be considering that I might not be?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,576
Jared, a good primer for this would be reading "Ryan Wagner and Dan Koengeter" story in the Travellers Stories section (link on left) - couple USA guys just out of uni did exactly what you're thinking, only they took a lot longer.

More time is always better. And a great bike is not critical, as Ryan and Dan's story shows. They bought a pair of CB550 Honda four's for like a thousand each, and ended up selling them for a profit - after almost totally destroying them!

Do a LOT of reading in the travellers stories and ezine, and you'll learn a lot.

Have fun planning!
__________________
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29 Mar 2005
amcwillie's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Arlington, TX, USA
Posts: 34
Howdy, Curtis here. Check out the Suzuki 650 Vstrom. A much more modern 650 than the KLR. Don't believe the stories that the KLR is the bike the world rides. BS. It is the bike the world travelers ride, thinking they can get parts and service easy in foreign countries. Hell you can't hardly get parts for them at US Dealers. For goodness sakes don't try to sit on the DR all that way. I use a BMW F650 Dakar now and have been in sveral coutries with it with no problems.But I am considering the Suzuki for a replacement when Hidalgo gives it up. Listen to everyone, but if they haven't done it themselves, bear that in mind. Whatever you do have fun doing it.

------------------
__________________
I just want to ride
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally posted by amcwillie:
Don't believe the stories that the KLR is the bike the world rides. BS.
Well, I do feel chastened, but the KLR is the most popular bike for travellers, according to the AMC site. Anyway, Jared, if four grand is your budget for the bike, including prep, you can get an F650 for that, if you want. If you're planning on keeping the bike when you get here, well, looking around BA, the most popular big bike seems to be the Africa Twin, but there are lots of KLR's from the 80's, too. Parts are hard to get here due to a change in regulations; basically, imported parts must pass a compliance test, which is expensive. Locally made shite doesn't... Your plans are not crazy. Grant's suggestion to read this - http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/ryananddan/ - is good.

Good luck,
JC
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 761
you'll get as many opinions as to 'best bikes' as there are bikes. go and ride a few, and then scratch off the ones that don't fit you. No point speculating on the 400 if you don't enjoy riding it. You are in danger of convincing yourself that it's the best bike, even if you don't think so once you ride it. It's a long way to go on a bike you don't really enjoy.

If you want to arrive with less cash and more adventures then biking is a fantastic way to achieve that. Take more time if you can though.

good luck,
Doug
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29 Mar 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Franklin, OH, USA
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally posted by JamesCo:
If you're planning on keeping the bike when you get here...
Thanks for all the great input everybody. I'll probably take Dougie's advice and go ride a couple soon. But James, you asked me if I was planning on keeping it once I got to B.A., and I was planning, but if I got there and my funds became a problem I wouldn't hesitate to sell it. How would that work? Would I be legally allowed to sell it? I don't plan on leaving B.A. for sometime, I'm relocating indefinitely. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. If selling it once I get there is an option, that frees up my ability to spend a little more.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 30 Mar 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
You can't legally sell it without registering the bike, which means paying import duties. So, you could sell it, but would likely get a relatively low price. Javier from Dakar Motos mentioned that if a bike is over 10 years old, then the owner can get new paperwork for it just by declaring that it's been 'lost', and therefore doesn't need to pay a fine or duty. So, you might want to keep that in mind - buy an older bike and sell it. Low price for you buying, high price for you selling... Get in touch with Javier - he can tell you what the best bike for selling would be. Maybe it'll be a KLR

Good luck,
James
__________________
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 May 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Franklin, OH, USA
Posts: 7
I made the purchase this weekend. I bought a '92 KLR 650, 5000 miles, for $2500. Thankfully the previous owner did away with that awful pink and blue color scheme, it now has the black/green 2003 tank, black rear fender, a black Sargent seat, and the rest of the plastic has been removed. He also installed a Big Gun Quiet exhaust, hydraulic clutch, progressive springs, Avon Gripsters, steel braided brake lines, larger front brake, K&N air filter, one-tooth less rear sprocket, one tooth extra in the front, and it's been rejetted. The bike looks brand new and unlike any other KLR I've seen, I'm really happy with the purchase. Check out the pics at my ThumperTalk garage.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/gar...hicle&vid=1532
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:26.