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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 26 Sep 2005
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gt550 vs klr vs xtz750

hi, i'm riding to samarkand & back from the uk next april. i'm going to see one of each of the above bikes at a dealer tommorrow (gt550-1996,14000miles. klr-1998,13000miles. xtz-1995,34000kms), and was wondering if anyone had any idea which would be most suitable for my intended route. factors to bear in mind r that i'm 6ft6inches tall!, have hardly any mechanical knowledge & plan to use hard luggage. Also although the roads r paved for most of my route, they might aswell not be - such is the state of their disrepair! - or so i've heard. Anyway, any input would be greatly appreciated as this is 2 be my first big adventure & i want 2 start as i mean 2 go on, if u catch my drift!
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Old 26 Sep 2005
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-sorry, forgot to mention their all a similar price - at the limit of my budget!(£1500)
-also i'm planning on travelling for as long as i can (6 months minimum) so i need a bike which is really going to last.........
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Old 26 Sep 2005
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is the XTZ a super tenere or a 660? The GT550 is shaft drive yes?

I would take the one you think is most comfortable and in the best possible condition.

The roads are sealed but bumpy at times and the long travel suspension of a KLR or XTZ would be nice. Helps when parking inside hotel lobby's as well, you can ride them up the starirs.
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Old 26 Sep 2005
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At 6'6", you'll find a GT550 quite cramped. I'd go for the XTZ although an Africa Twin would be a better choice if one's available within your budget (engine's easier to service?).

In last weeks MCN there's a 1997/P-reg AT for sale at £2,000. Comes with only 16,000m on the clock & some extras. Bit of haggling could bring it down it £1,800-£1,850?
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Old 26 Sep 2005
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the xtz is the 750cc super tenere (liquid cooled twin) and yes the gt550 does have shaft drive - how much of a plus point is this? Surely a decent quality chain/sprocket set and a scottoiler will be almost as efficient?
An Africa twin (or transalp) has always been high on my wish list, cheers for pointing out the example in mcn - i hav previously thought they were well beyound my reach. Unfortunatley Lincolnshire is too far to travel, but it did show me that u can get them.
Also i wondered what sort of mpg/running costs to expect with these bikes?
is the super ten really that difficult to work on? is this because it's very high tech or just that the engine is hard to get to?
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Old 26 Sep 2005
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Africa Twin & Transalp have screw & locknut adjusters for the valve clearances.

Super Teneres are basically a twin cylinder FZR engine, shim under bucket etc. Probably has similar valve clearance intervals to the FZR (27,000 miles?). If going on a long trip, get them checked & adjusted beforehand, not the sort of thing you can do by the roadside unless you're carrying a bucket of shims.
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Old 27 Sep 2005
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had a look at the bikes today. the gt550 is an immediate right off - i'm far too big. The xtz750 looked a bit tired but is not yet out of the running. the klr was mint aestically - it had obviously never been off-road or been ridden through winter. the only thing that slightly concerns me is it's had alot of work done to it in it's short life - wheel bearings replaced, new chain and sprockets and already had the valve clearances done. on the one hand it's good that the works been done, but is this a normal amount of work to of been done on such an unused bike? the other thing that sets alarm bells ringing - is that it's had 6 owners since new! is this normal 4 this sort of bike?
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Old 27 Sep 2005
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I think there are different types of KLR 650, american and euro or something. Take a look at Adrian Scott's link on the travellers links page, he is using a KLR650 and is about 7 feet tall, currently in Uzbekistan or something. He has done a clutch and a few other things so far on his trip from Magadan.

6 owners is a lot, I wouldnt be surprised by a new chain and sprokets at 13,000 miles ..20 K kms. The valve clearances should be checked regularly anyway. The wheel bearing is surprising given its not seen dirt!

Have you looked at the XTZ660Tenere Yamaha, good reputation and lots of fans on the hubb. Twin headlights and decent tank size. Ones for sale on the Hubb in the "bikes for sale" section at the moment near your price point.


alec

[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 27 September 2005).]
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Old 27 Sep 2005
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had a look at the 660 very interesting, but a bit too far to travel. i'm sure this has been asked before, but which is the best 600 jap single - in terms of engine longevity?(or just generally) - dominator,klr,dr or xt. Any opinions would be gratefully recieved.....
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