Last year I was traveling in South America with my F800GS. Personally I was very happy with the bike. I'd take it on another trip any time, although I'd upgrade at least the rims & hubs and probably suspension too. Also I wouldn't mind if I could shed a couple of pounds which proves to be difficult though.
Anyway since that trip I have been inspired to do a RTW some time in the future. If I'd go just by myself I'd consider taking my current bike, but I'd like to take my girlfriend along with me. 2up is no option for us, so we need a second bike. I'd like us to ride the same bike for obvious reasons. Getting a second F800GS is no option though as it's too expensive and too high and heavy for my girlfriend (to be honest I find it difficult to put it on the center stand when fully loaded).
So after some research I was thinking in the line of DR 650 SE (maybe sell my 800 and get two of those instead) since it is the lighter bike, goes for a good price, has good reviews, and can be lowered easily. I'd do the most common upgrades (tank, suspension, seat, maybe rims). Couple of questions though.
- In Germany we can only buy them used as the current models are not being imported. What's the max mileage I should opt for? Bikes with 20-30k (kilometers not miles) go for about 2.500-3.000 Euros (before negotiating).
- Will it be a huge difference in regards to power compared to my BMW? It's basically half the horsepowers. Related to that question, would you recommend a big bore upgrade? How does that mess with the reliability of the bike?
- How big is the difference from fuel injection to carb? I quite liked the fact that with my BMW I could ride at any height without any significant powerloss for example.
- How much kilometers do you get per liter? Before and after a big bore upgrade? Question is which tank would be suitable and which one is over the top maybe (I think the biggest one would be the Safari). Fuel bladder could be an option.
- I yet have to aquire some mechanical skills...
Is it an easy bike to get around with without any previous experience? Maintenance effort onroad compared to the BMW? Only thing we needed to take care of was with the BMW was tires and chain really and then the regular 10.000 kilometers check up.
- In regards to weight, I think it's about 40 kilograms less than the BMW, so is it reasonable to assume that when fully loaded I should be maybe just of 210, 220 kilograms maybe? Also with the big tank?
By the way I've also looked at comparable Hondas and Yamahas (don't like the KLR too much), but the Suzuki seems to be the easiest one to get a hold of for a reasonable price.
Thanks in advance for your input,