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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 15 Jun 2008
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Which first bike for a long trip from EU to North Africa / USSR / West Asia?

Hi!

This is my first post here so let me introduce myself. My name is Artur, I live in Poland and I'm going to start my first long moto adventures as soon as possible. As many new adventure riders I have a huge problem concerning my first bike. I read almost all post here and on ADVrider but I'm still confused...

So maybe I will present my profile here and someone will try to help me a little bit. I'm about 80kg weight, 180cm height, 89cm legs. I'm going to travel from Poland to north Africa or east USSR and east Asia. So I need a bike which allows to drive about 120kmh in Europe on highways or other fast roads and then just relax in that part of Africa or Asia. Europe is so boring for me.

My friend bought an Africa Twin some weeks ago. It's a wonderful bike but feels to heavy and the seat is to high for me. The bike performs well on roads (comfortable ride) but I have a lot of problems when off roading. Mud, sand, bad roads etc. are not so easy due to the height and weight of the machine. I couldn't pick up the bike alone when it fell down while stopping. I'm not experienced.

So what to chose? Any tips?

Greetings!
Artur
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Arthur
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  #2  
Old 15 Jun 2008
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Hi Artur,

Welcome to HU.

I think there are many suitable bikes for your trip.

What about a Yamaha XT600E? Cheap ish and many modifications available.

Cheers,

Frank
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  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2008
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I read a loot about XT600E but I don't know how it performs on highways / fast roads. I will have to drive from the Central Europe to Africa or more eastern Russia, Turkey. We still do not have too much highways here in Poland but we have a lot of fast roads with speeding trucks, cars and riding under 100kmh seems to be a disaster here.
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Arthur
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2008
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Since there are so many Yamaha singles (xt600) around I think it would be a good choise for your trip. The bike is lighter than an africa twin. Better in the dirt. But a bit less comfortable on the highway.

I just drove a KLR 650 (similar to the XT) from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires and highways sucked. Bike doesnt feel really comfortable, BUT who cares!?

Having a bike that can do dirt well is far more important than a bike that can do tarmac well, if you prefer dirt that is (-:

Also you can pick up cheap XT600 in germany and many onther countries.

Dont worry too much, just get going! You wont find the ideal bike until you really try it, so just go with something that feels ok and that you can afford.

Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 16 Jun 2008
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Thumbs up

A comfortable 120kmh in Europe, then good on dirt....hmmm... we would all like one of those.

It is all about compromise I am afraid. If you want your comfortable 120kmh then you'll be needing more than one cylinder, and that puts the weight up.

But you are not going to be needing the speed outside Europe. So why not accept that things will be slow here (if you can call 100kmh slow, a bizarre notion)? No hurry. Poland to north Africa is only a few days - a week? - and your prospective trip is months. So get something that'll be good for asia and africa - the bulk of your trip.

I would say a 650 single would be your biggest option and a 250 your smallest. Everything in between would do just fine as well. I would point you in the direction of the XT250 as an option.

2008 Yamaha XT250

Forget about your days in Europe and concentrate on what's best for the asian and African months.

You say you are new to biking - "I'm not experienced" - all the more reason to get something smaller rather than larger.

If I am not mistaken there was a Polish guy who set off a couple of years back on a similar route with an XT250 and made a video - anyone know the link?

Simon
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  #6  
Old 17 Jun 2008
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Thanks for your posts!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kennedy View Post
But you are not going to be needing the speed outside Europe. So why not accept that things will be slow here (if you can call 100kmh slow, a bizarre notion)? No hurry. Poland to north Africa is only a few days - a week? - and your prospective trip is months. So get something that'll be good for asia and africa - the bulk of your trip.
That's it! I do not like speeding but driving less than 100kmph here is not safe. It's a paradox but you have to drive this average minimum here. If not - overtaking cars and trucks!!! nonstop. We have usually only fast one line roads here in the Central Europe (apart from Czech, Slovakia and part of Hungary).

So maybe there is a bike which is a little bit more stable at 100-120kmph but still off-road enough? I checked KLR650 (should be better than XT600E, but still not so comfy as peter-denmark wrote) but its seat is too tall for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kennedy View Post
I would say a 650 single would be your biggest option and a 250 your smallest. Everything in between would do just fine as well. I would point you in the direction of the XT250 as an option.
250cc is like a for me. I used to ride scooters in France and Italy. I can say that we had also some "scooter off-road" trip. We climbed the Etna Volcano and some other hills with our lovely Vespa ))

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kennedy View Post
If I am not mistaken there was a Polish guy who set off a couple of years back on a similar route with an XT250 and made a video - anyone know the link?
I suppose that you think about Mac Swinarski & Co. They used TT600R Afryka 2005 and the last trip KTM LC4 640 Adventure http://motosyberia.com
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  #7  
Old 17 Jun 2008
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what about xt660r, can cruise 120kph, not bad for offroad..
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  #8  
Old 17 Jun 2008
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Considering your scooter history, your route and your current off road skills...the Suzuki Burgman may be the ride of choice!
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  #9  
Old 17 Jun 2008
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heheh... I was considering also Honda NPS50 which is much more off-road oreinted:

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Old 18 Jun 2008
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If you rocked the Burgman/NPS50 on your trip, Grant may have to start a new website just for the scooter freaks! Yes!

I can completely see Molly from Human Resources rocking her Vespa
on the Atlantic route on Holiday!

Do IT!!!!!
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  #11  
Old 29 Jun 2008
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It would be something opposite to Sjaak Lucassen R1 RTW
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