Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   Which Bike? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/)
-   -   F800GS or Africa Twin for overland trip to Nepal (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/f800gs-africa-twin-overland-trip-52625)

icarus 11 Sep 2010 02:19

F800GS or Africa Twin for overland trip to Nepal

I'm planning an overland trip from Belgium to Nepal and need your opinion. Which bike would be your choice, the F800GS or AT?
Any other suggestions are also very welcome.

Thanks much!

Niklas 11 Sep 2010 14:34

I think both bikes are very capable of doing that trip.
However, there will be a few modifications to each of them for either durability or comfort, to serve you best.

If all spare parts are still available to the older AT's, I couldn't say.


icarus 25 Sep 2010 00:49

Well... not too many people seems to have an opinion on this... :(

bigalsmith101 25 Sep 2010 02:24

I have found that most people don't care to voice an opinion, as it is generally personal preference on this, and many other sites. You ride what you have got in your garage, or you ride what you want to.

I also found that I received much better results on a very similar question such as this when I provided all of the information that I new about for each of the bikes.

Do you have an opinion on the subject, and if so, why do you feel the way you do. Once you tell everyone what you think, people will be more likely to let you know what they feel about it.

Ride the Africa Twin. Cheaper bike, and capable. I'm personally going to ride a Suzuki Dr650 on my planned RTW. There are three of us, all riding the same bike and we leave the summer of 2012. 6 continents, 65+ countries, 65,000+ miles.

Which ever bike you ride, you'll have a good time. :thumbup1:


Bjorn 25 Sep 2010 02:35

I'd also say it's personal preference. Then again, the Africa Twin is a proven bike for long-term/long-distance stints – the F800 maybe not quite yet.

Couple of questions you should ask yourself maybe:
Fuel consumption?
Weak points (check dedicated forms for those bikes)

My dream bike ever since the 90s WAS an Africa Twin. And in a way it still is. I nearly bought one for my RTW. But when I found a good one that was reasonably priced, the deal fell through. (Especially in Germany, the prices for ATs is incredibly high due to its 'cult' status).

I now got an F650 GS Dakar. Very happy with it, despite its weakpoints (waterpump, triple linkage/shock).
But a bullet-proof engine, just like the Africa Twin. And: the F650 weighs a lot less (still not light-weight though ;) and it uses a lot less petrol (which is not to be neglected – you'll save quite some money on fuel compared to carburetted bikes).

Generally, I'd say: two-up = two cylinders; one-up: single cylinder (don't ask why – maybe it's just me).

pecha72 25 Sep 2010 09:09


Originally Posted by Bjorn (Post 306720)
Generally, I'd say: two-up = two cylinders; one-up: single cylinder (don't ask why – maybe it's just me).

I´ll have to agree on that! More power on a twin (or 3- or more cylinders) with same capacity. Actually you dont need a lot of top end power, but many 1-cylinder bikes still do feel a bit exhausted with 2 people and all their gear. 1-up, the range of suitable bikes becomes a lot wider.

On the original question: I think both bikes you mentioned could do the trip (as well as many other similar models - me, I wouldnt make it a choice between exactly these two, unless I had both of them in my garage, and needed to!) The AT´s are gaining age, as it hasnt been produced for 6-7 years, but its a well-proven overlander. And the 800GS is more modern, probably uses less fuel and with injection may be less prone to problems, if you go to high altitude, for example. Plus it´s got substantially more power.

chris 25 Sep 2010 10:44


Originally Posted by icarus (Post 306712)
Well... not too many people seems to have an opinion on this... :(

The which bike theme has been done to death on the HUBB. Maybe do a search or browse: the answer is here already. Also the BMW vs other brand comparisons has often ended in a flame war or bad feelings. However, this is currently less likely to be the case as the chief rabble rouser is indisposed at this moment.

My opinion:

1. Go with the bike you've got.

2. Remember you'll need a carnet for Iran, India, Pakistan, Nepal. I think India demands 400% of the bike's value: 400% of a cheaper older AT will be a lot less than 400% of a newer f800.


Caminando 25 Sep 2010 11:06

All of the responses have good info, but the post above is the most useful to you, IMO, for this topic has been discussed plenty.

Do some research on HU and you'll have a ton of different views to mull over.

Or, if you want to adopt a different approach, research the kind of bikes that were used for big trips from, say, the 1930s to the 1970s; then realise how fortunate we all are today, with anything from a moped upwards. All worries about BMW or Honda will just melt away......

You say you have a Transalp - what's wrong with that bike? Why agonise when you have a bike that'll do the job?

Best wishes and let us know what you did.:thumbup1::scooter:

icarus 26 Sep 2010 23:53


Originally Posted by Caminando (Post 306757)

You say you have a Transalp - what's wrong with that bike? Why agonise when you have a bike that'll do the job?

My Transalp is the new model and I don't believe this is the right bike for such a trip (19" front wheel, poor ground clearance, small tank, not really a light bike - only 10 kg less than AT, ...). For this kind of trips I consider the current model a step back compared to the older 650cc Transalp.

pecha72 27 Sep 2010 08:55

We did the trip from Europe to India and onwards to Australia on a Suzuki DL650, 2-up, and it wasnt a bad choice at all.

Of course it depends on many things, like which routes you will choose, but in general, there are roads everywhere (well, almost!), and in my view you will not need a bike, that is perfect off-road, unless you plan to do that a lot. Normally, for riding to India, most people need a bike, that can handle roads in not-so perfect condition, can carry you and your luggage comfortably (not breaking under the load) and a bike that is highly reliable, because there wont be a ´dealer service network´ like there is in Europe. The Transalp fits the bill pretty well, I think.

And also, I would not change an injected bike into a carburetor bike, if I was planning to go to high mountain areas. Besides, injection in general seems to work perfectly, even on trips like this, so its not something to be afraid of.

AliBaba 27 Sep 2010 10:07

Both bikes can do it and both bikes have their faults (like petrol pump).

The route to Nepal doesn't require a lot of offroad but it's pretty long and I would have used a twin (eehhh like always).
Personally I would have used the F800GS because I find it nicer to drive and all parts are easily available in Europe.

On the other hand I'm sure the TA will make it.

camnz 3 Oct 2010 01:35

hi icarus ive not ridden a TA but do have an AT,i brought it as my first bike 2 yrs ago and wouldnt swap it for anything else...at least for the time being.ive done around 70000km so far through europe,uk and have almost ridden round oz and apart from a collapsed rear wheel bearing its never caused any problems.as for fuel i changed the front sprocket for 1 tooth bigger and get around 450/500 km per tank(23 litres)cruising round 120kph fully loaded so that fits my budget.im planning to ride either south america or oz to uk next as far as weight goes im only a wee lad and hav no dramas picking it up even with panniers on it only falls half way over so its already half way up again:)jeiger

T.REX63 3 Oct 2010 02:16

Check out Motoedde's trip blog. Around the world on a K75 on street tires... Yup, puts it all in perspective...

As mentioned before, any bike will do. It's all about the attitude :mchappy:

omar mansour 3 Oct 2010 12:32

first how much is the 800 and the AT!
i think the AT way cheaper
then me i will go for AT for many reasons
its a good big bike ,yes heavy ,but you cant take every thing you want on it
i rode from cape town to Alexandria in Egypt ,made almost 22000 km and had no problems ,the bike was orignal ,and was 1996
the only problem is the fuel as AT very thiristy bike ,but its powerfull
also its not injection so no matter how shitty is the fuel you are using
the only thing i will do for the Africa twin is to make it tubeless ,
for sure it a bike to go every where

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:03.