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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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AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Ground clearance two up

I am planning my RTW trip and looking at Africa and maybe even SA I am wondering what if any of you had problem with ground clearance while riding 2 up. I am planning to try to stay on decent road but sometime there is no option. I own a 1200gs but consider buying a DL1000 . The DL is already low so once loaded and equiped with a bash plate I wonder what will be the real clearance.
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Old 15 Sep 2008
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Angry Basic suspension set up!!

You need to adjust the suspension spring preload so that 30% of the available travel is used when you, the pillion and luggage are on the bike. If less than 10% of the travel is used by just the bikes weight .. then you need a different spring - one that compresses less per unit weight. Any good suspension tuner should be able to set this basic setting up for you.

It is essential that this is done - otherwise you will have very poor performance from the bikes suspension system. You may (probably will) have shock absorber failure ..
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Old 15 Sep 2008
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ground clearance two up

I agree and do plan in upgrading the bike supension to be set the way it should be but this doesn't change the fact that the clearance is way lower on some bike esp DL1000 ,while we will be riding two up I am a bit scared to see the skid plate bumping on every rock on the road.
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Old 15 Sep 2008
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Then your question should not be related to the pillion/luggage .. simply the bikes ground clearence. Indead where the 'road' is most difficult some pillions prefer to walk ..

If you find ground clearence a proplem it is usually not too difficult to do some 'road building' to ease the problem, or simply pick another line. Simply be awre of the bikes limitation and alow for it.
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Old 15 Sep 2008
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We did a trip to Australia on a DL650. It had a stock suspension. Yes, it was very short on ground clearance. We did bottom the skid plate many, many times, but mostly on the big speed humps.

But even if it had one meter of ground clearance, we probably still wouldnt have gone much faster on the bad bits. The weight on the bike 2-up was a much bigger problem. Actually it wasnt such a big problem, as long as you didnt even try to go fast.

You can modify the suspension, and get some more clearance. In fact I would do some of that, if I would go again, the stock suspension is too soft, and sits too low with a heavy load, that means it cannot function properly. The 1000 might have a bit better stock components, though.

If you change the hydraulic unit(s), make sure you get something that lasts like the stock units do. You dont want to do much work on them during the trip, and they will be under stress riding 2-up.
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Old 15 Sep 2008
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ground clearance 2 up

thanks Frank and Pecha between the two of you I start to have a better understanding of the situation, I went accross Africa years ago solo and now that I will do it with a pillon I wanted to make sure that we will be OK on dirt road , the fact is we certainly stick to normal road as much as possible.
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