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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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Old 24 Aug 2004
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F650GS Dakar v Tiger v ???

Hi all, I am planning to tour Europe next summer, as far as I can get there and back in 2-3 weeks. Not much time I know but it will be my first go at touring and that is all the time I can get offfrom work. The biggest question is which bike to use. I currently have a 600 Hornet but I want to change this for something with better tank range (pretty much any other bike!!). The other guy I will be touring with rides an XT600 and the constant piece of advice seems to be to ride something of similar type to the other people you are touring with. The main bike I was considering was the 650 Dakar. It seems most people agree that the build quality is poor but overall it is not a bad bike. My other choice is the Tiger. I know this is a totally diffrent type of bike, I just like them! Any input would be appreciated, thanks.
Ride To Live, Live to Ride!
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Old 24 Aug 2004
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know what you mean about the hornet, I used to have one, nice bike though and I reckon anywhereyou are planning on going within europe you will be fine with the hornet and considering 99% will be on tarmac then I'd stick to what you already have or get a tiger.

Ive tried a single on the road and there just too buzzy, slow and just meant to be used on back roads or off road. It will annoy you like hell on the twisties through Italy or anywhere that you can't get a nice run around quality tarmac and get you knee down when 100's of other sports bikes or simular to the hornet is buzzing past you on a single. Your friend will have monkey butt, slow you down and generally hold you back. This is assuming no off road though!
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Old 24 Aug 2004
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sorry I agree with martyn, stick with the hornet and pack light to have some fun, also assuming no offroad, but if you want offroad head for morocco.

Safe travels
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Old 10 Sep 2004
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Just have to put up some good words for the beemer here. It's a great road machine! About as buzzy as a twin, very smooth for a single. Haven't tried the Dakar, got the GS, but I assume they're about the same with a bit less road-worthiness on the Dakar.

It's a bit down on the power compared to most any other bike of the same capacity(with more cylinders), but you don't need more than 50 ponies to climb montains. Torque is the key and it got plenty of that.

I had no problems blasting along with fireblades and gixxers in the Alps, it's definitely not a chore in the twisties! Only big open roads will give the higher powered machines an advantage and that's the sort of roads that's booooring.. Did a few thousand autobahn kilometers to get back and forth fast, no problem there either. But boring.

Have done some track days since then. It clearly shows how much more a rocket can do - on a track. In the real world they're mostly unable to leave me behind. Sure, they shoot off in a cloud of dust on the straights, but I always ride their their tail lights in the next set of twisties. The nimble, amply suspended and grunty bike is actually a big asset on any road of less than good standard(all fun roads in my book).

It's dead stable as a road machine, good enough for 10000km's in five weeks last summer without a single complain(with taller seat and windscreen). And you get the benefit of enjoying the gravel roads along with your XT friend. The standard GS is not as capable in the dirt as the Dakar, but it's more than good enough for some light off roading and in the right hand a worthy tool for most any adventure.

This may sound like a huge overstatement for a small bike, but I believe you can't go much wrong with the GS. Beginners and experts fall in love with it once they get used to the less than stellar straight line performance. It's not the best bike for any purpose, it's just so surprizingly capable of doing just about anything with graze.

I'd stick with the hornet if you love it, get the tiger if you like it better, but if you want a bike with no fuel consumption (550km's on the 17 liter tank), almost no maintenance, ability do just about anything, ABS brakes, good comfort etc etc - have a look at the GS.

No, I'm not sponsored or anything, just deeply in love with my bike! =)


Andreas / Norway
(some pics and stuff at http://www.bergenteknomafia.com/pics/mc/ )
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Old 10 Sep 2004
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Had to misspell something really wrong, didn't I? Grace, not graze!
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Old 31 Oct 2004
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Recently did a quick trip to Alaska: in Anchorage rented the BMW 650GS and rode it for 5 days/1500 miles or so.

Prior to that I thought I would need a big bike for long distance, but the GS surprised me: the Rotax engine is super smooth, does not feel as a single at all. Speed up to 95 mph no prob, won't go over 100. Handles fine.

It made me thinking my adventure bike could be a thumper: I pretty much decided on getting the Honda XR650R and modifying it for long distance. It is quite a bit lighter than the beemer, more power and cheaper. Just my $0.02

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Old 31 Oct 2004
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F 650 GS would do the job - much smoother for European roads than XR (not much extreme offroads in Europe, and XR is a dirt-machine-only for me).

But when you really want to travel fast on the autobahns and at the same time enjoy the Alpin twisty roads and some gravel there - sure get R 11xx GS. I really recommend to test it before, but for me - it's unbeatable by any rival (Capo, Strom, Tiger, AfricaTwin etc) in the mountain passes. It turns into absolute complete fun-bike on those conditions!

Bit used R1100GSes are at the same level of price as a bit used F650GSes or even cheaper.

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Old 2 Nov 2004
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Poor quality on the Dakar? Don't think so...great bike.
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