(Thanks in advance for reading and replying if you do! I know I’ve written a fair old amount but due to my friends differing interests I don’t get to talk bikes often! And you wouldn't be reading if you didn't like bikes too
I currently ride an 2001 SV650s. Now, I know that it’s possible to do the trip I’m going to do on my present bike (Nick Sanders did a much harder trip on an R1 after all) and I know that people have gone pretty much everywhere on everything from Vespas to Harleys to a free GS1200, however I think that just because my SV can do the trip, doesn’t mean that it should, and it’ll probably end up limiting me in what I can do, or at least what I feel comfortable doing, which seems like a good enough reason to change for me!
That said I haven’t ruled out the SV, many people say just go on what I’ve got, and to some extent I agree, why mess around? In fact it says “any bike will do” in the subtitle of the “which bike” group of threads! But primarily my thinking on this one comes down to money.
The resale value of my SV will drop far more sharply after being put through a trip like this then bikes that are made for the job, and resale and money is something I have to be aware of.
I intend to go off-road, and whilst I have some small experience in this area I’m hardly an expert (yet... give it a year or twenty). The thought of having to heave my SV up out of dirt, water, mud and gravel when I inevitably fall off isn’t a pleasant one, not when there are bikes out there that would breeze over terrain that will grind my SV to a crawl, and bikes that will be much easier to move if it all goes wrong.
Add to that the ease of getting parts, actually being able to fix it et cetera, as much as I love the big yellow, thing the odds stack up against the Suzuki.
I’ll be spending most of the time on roads as the planned trip is Europe-Russia-Iceland but I want to spend as much time off road as possible. So for this first trip, I need a bike that’ll mainly be on roads with some (hopefully a minimal amount of) motorways but is well prepared go off road as often and as dirty as possible.
Baring this in mind, and as strange as it’s been to stop gazing lovingly at bikes like the Ducati 916 (oh!) I’ve turned my eye to more practical machines - I like the look of these so far:
Suzuki DR650 (my favourite so far... read good things, from many people on here)
Kawasaki KLR650 (I like the look of it, but have never previously been a Kawasaki fan...)
Suzuki DRZ400 (engine to small for motorways and fast open roads?)
Yamaha XT660 (seems popular, there’s usually good reason...)
I’m a little concerned that they’re all single cylinder; heard about vibration on the road and restricted motorway cruising speeds. It’s probably just me being wary because I’m so used to having to endure long motorway commutes and know what a pain they be without a good high cruising speed and good comfort, another worry on those narrow seated bikes. But I suppose I won’t be doing much motorway cruising on this trip... (still if anyone can recommend a twin that’ll do the same as the bikes above, I’d love to hear about it haha)
It’ll hopefully be at least 25-35% off road but the better the bike can cope the more off road I’ll probably do. I’d like to do as much as I can!
Reckon I can sell my SV for around £1650 to £1400 based on other priced bikes out there at the moment. Hoping that’ll cover the cost of a solid bike, can spend a little more if I need. Then about £200/300 on some basic gear... have to be basic though, the length of the trip is more important then panniers...
Any suggestion on bikes not mentioned is welcomed as I’m pretty new to the whole dual-sport thing! Any suggestion on anything really...
To be brutally honest I know I should probably just get a DR650 shut up complaining and get on with it... But I don’t leave for 11 months, and these decisions are keeping me occupied, it's this or my dissertation!
There, done! and thanks again!