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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 Aug 2006
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Hard to choose,

when you come to this forum, as any other out there, you hope to get answers to your question. the truth is that we might want to hear what we already have in mind, a confirmation if you wish. but, after one year or two, the answer to me hasn't come. what i really find difficult is to understand what motorcycle is best for me.

let me explain, the issues come from experience, finance, and the idea that i might not be the only one, but have a pillion, which in many ways restricts the spectrum of possibilities.

so, the long debate for me hasn't been solved. i would much appreciate if you could guide me and my wife. i am 30, 1,95m and 80 kilos and my wife 28, 1,80 and 55 kilos.

People say, a 1000cc at least, but i am worried first for the lack of decades of experience. A BMW would be good, i would like to own one, but it's pricey. i loke the many features. but then i think at suzuki too, cheaper, but i only know of one (Skillo) who's going from London to Brisbane.

To all those who have experience and knowledge, could you help us? thanks.

I am not in a hurry, but.....i would like to make my mind clear and know why people chose one and not the other models or brands.

thank you,
Daniel
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  #2  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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What and why I think

There is never a perfect bike. If there was I would only own one however that is not the case. The comments I am making here are strictly my opinions and are not even supported by what I ride.

1 - I have found a 750cc bike to be capable of carrying both my wife and I with our gear.

2 - I would look at Honda simply because of their reputation and availability of parts.

The answer you want will be affected by what you want to do with the bike. For example if you plan more off road at lower speeds then you might shoot for say a 650 single or if you plan on more high speed motorways then a 1000cc might be a minimum. The suggestion above is based on finding a middle ground.

As for the Honda part again it is only an opinion. I currently own a Triumph, a Kawasaki and a Yamaha. These are all fine machines however the Honda network is larger if you look at the global picture.

Riq
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  #3  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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depends on the speeds and road conditions you contemplate.
If you trying to do it on cheap bike, buy an older airhead and run it for a few months , sorting out any defects. the pre fuel injection models are easier (and cheaper) to fix. basically any good bike will do it, but it ought to be field repairable. gear it so it can carry the weight , and ride it according to its limits.
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  #4  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon Rust
People say, a 1000cc at least, but i am worried first for the lack of decades of experience.
People say a lot of silly things. Go with what makes YOU comfortable. My dad and I (about the same combined weight as you and yours) did 400 mile day trips on a KZ400 in the eastern mountains of the US. Our neighbor and his wife (again about the same as you and yours) toured the south east US with a few trips to South Dakota on a Honda CX500. My ex-wife and myself did weekend on a Honda CB 360. The Honda CB750 was once considered a good touring bike.

All else being equal, lighter is better (unless "all" your time is major highway with semi-trucks & trailers at 70+ mph). Smaller usually means less fuel.

Any twin 500-750 would be more than enough bike for the trip while still being relatively fuel frugal and easy to repair.
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  #5  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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V-Strom.

Yes, i don't doubt that the Strom is a good machine. it doesn't look that bad either. but it is still a new machine and if you think on visiting some 3rd world countries, do you think they can repair it? it feels like there's a lot of stuff on it, it looks very much like a road bike with a comfy seating position.
so, you are more or less saying from 500 to 750cc is the way to go? i am not planning motocross or crazy fast driving, but you don't want the bike to brake the first time you are on a gravel road.

But then it seems that everyone upgrades everything, so, it is worth it to pay less and add later ot get somehting like a KTM that has already all the upgrades installed?

Thanks for your kind help.
Daniel
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  #6  
Old 16 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon Rust
Yes, i don't doubt that the Strom is a good machine. it doesn't look that bad either. but it is still a new machine and if you think on visiting some 3rd world countries, do you think they can repair it? it feels like there's a lot of stuff on it, it looks very much like a road bike with a comfy seating position.
Daniel
It may become the modern TA. As for being new, define new, the engine is from the SV and has been pretty well vetted via racing. I'd guess it will be as easy to get repaired as a GS1200. The chain drive is pretty easy to maintain. It's a 90/10 bike.
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  #7  
Old 16 Aug 2006
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What's the best bike ?
It's a bit like asking ,what's the best dog ?
Or what's the best ?
Or who are the best cooks ,blondes or redheads ?

Before anybody can give any recomendations one has to know ,where in the world you will be riding and on what surfaces , ie strictly paved roads ,or gravel and rough stuff as well .
A very important question is whether or not you have any mechanical ability .
Also how long do you intend to keep the bike .

If you travel in less developed countries then you should have a sound mechanical and diagnostical knowledge of your bike .
Locals may well be able to weld up a broken pannier and fix tyres but I woudn't reckon on them being able to fix your fuel injection or ABS .
My preference for two up would be for a bike of 750 cc or more .
A twin [no need for more than 2 cylinders ] comfortable seating for two ,of a well represented brand with a good reputation for reliability .
So what are they ?
Look at the bikes that deserve their own discussion groups within HUBB ,by virtue of being popular and capable machines .
What bikes are there ?
New Suzuki V Strom, old and new BMW R80 to R1200, new KTM 950, Honda 750 Africa Twin and you could also include Triumphs as well even though they are in the main triples .
I have discounted the single cylinder bikes and smaller machines because IMHO opinion they are not suited to touring long distances two up and being able to keep up with traffic in the developed world .
If cost is a major criterium then kick out the new BMW and KTM , if parts availablity is a concern ,then kick out the Triumph .
If you have no mechanical ability and don't want to acquire any then kick out the older BMW .
So that leaves the V Strom and the Africa Twin .
On looks I would choose the Africa Twin , but for power I would go with the V Strom .

The above is my attempt at a rational process of elimination from data contained within HUBB and from yourself .
HUBB travellers are the most experienced and knowledgable bunch you will find anywhere .
So therefore the above conclusion must be correct .
But if it was a bike for myself ,I would pick a red one .
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  #8  
Old 16 Aug 2006
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Dodger...

What bike do you ride if I may ask? and what made you choose that one.
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  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
I would pick a red one .
me too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon Rust
what i really find difficult is to understand what motorcycle is best for me.
the best bike is for you is a bike that you can handel and are comfy with.
so, go and test every bike that you think suits you.
any bike can be prepared to use for a rtw trip, from clasic ducatie's to an r1. but picking a all-road makes a lot easyer
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  #10  
Old 16 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon Rust
What bike do you ride if I may ask? and what made you choose that one.
Well OK - as you did ask .
I've had bikes for 35 years or more ,British , Japanese and Spanish of all types.
These days I like tinkering and building as much as I do riding and I like simple bikes that I can work on without straining my brain too much .
Hence single or twin cylinders ,with points and coil ignition ,twin shock swingarms and as little plastic as possible .
At the moment I have a Norton Commando and a couple of 650 Yamahas on the road .
The latest bike was a basket case Yamaha and my aim was to build an "adventure tourer" for less than $1000 .
So far so good [thank you Ebay !] and I have a couple of hundred left in the kitty .
It's not a fancy or a fast bike ,but it will go anywhere that I want to go plus I can fix it on the road with locally sourced parts [like for instance a car coil , bearings, shocks of a Minsk/Yam-hon-suki - what have you ].A parts bike at home also ensures that any big chunks of bike that I may need enroute can be forwarded to me .
And if I have it stolen/confiscated/crashed I'm not unduly out of pocket .
My next project will be a large engined sidecar outfit , I've already built the sidecar chassis and now I'm looking for a bike to pull it ,maybe an early GoldWing or a Shovelhead .
So that's what I ride and why .
I have lots of red paint as well .

If I wanted a new bike to go anywhere two up , my two choices out of the popular " Adventure tourers " would be the KTM [with a custom saddle] or the V Strom .
But I love Moto Guzzis as well !

You see once you've become hooked , buying a bike is not like buying a hairdryer.

PS , my reference to red , has a lot to do with a song by Australian [songwriter ? ] Kevin "bloody" Wilson - "Living next door to Alan". Not politically correct these days ,but funny all the same .And as Canadians say " Red one's are more better !"
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  #11  
Old 17 Aug 2006
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My 2 Cents

I notice in your specifications (personal dimensions!) that you are both rather tall, yet light. Based on that I would suggest that power is not the main criterion for your decision but size. At 193 cm I find that a lot of bikes are rather cramped in the legs. I've taken passengers who weren't as tall as your wife who have fallen off the bike in agony after a short ride because their legs were folded double. For my dimensions an R1150GS works really well and the passenger accommodations aren't too bad. It seems to be the most common two up adventure bike and I would guess that size has something to do with it.

Someone above said it: do some test rides. And take your wife along! That will tell you more than any opinions on this website will about your own comfort. Once you've found a bike that works for you both come on back and I'm sure you'll find people on the HUBB who think you made the right decision and others who think you couldn't have got it more wrong.
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  #12  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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Thank you Patrick.

I have decided that i will go and try to bikes next week. The dakar and the DL650.

After that i will let you know which is the better option. But by what you're telling me, and hope this helps everyone in the same situation, the Suzuki is the "New" way to go.

Thanks again,
Daniele
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  #13  
Old 24 Apr 2007
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Hey Daniel,

What did you end up buying? I am going through the same sort of thinking as you did then at the moment.
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  #14  
Old 10 May 2007
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Bmw 1200gs

Well, sorry for not reply earlier. been around with my wife. so, we ended up buying a bike that is bigger than we were going to buy. since november. it's big, yes, it's tall, yes, it's comfortable, yes, but it needs a better windscreen, better seat. and like all the bikes out there, there's more you can do to improve comfort for long distance travelling. if you have the money, it's a great bike. otherwise wait to see if the so long waited 800gs comes out.

Daniele
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  #15  
Old 10 May 2007
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Well, I can only tell you one thing:

Travelling with a passenger sucks no matter what bike.
I decided to get my wife a set of wheels of her own as I just could not figure out which way to go two up (there is no way as I do not want to limit myself to tarmac and 2x4 routes).
Now she's got a Suzi Djebel 200 waiting in the garage to build her confidence into two wheeled transport as soon as she's passed her test.
I can get back onto my favourite mode of transport (DR650) which is barely suitable for passenger transport. Down to the beach, yes. Maybe.

IMHO two bikes is the better way to go. Especially when travelling in remote regions. Very unlikely for two on two bikes to see their wazoo at the same time or two bikes to pack up simultaneously (unless they're Italian )
And definitely more fun! IMHO

BMW will probably send a letter bomb
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