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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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  #31  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by mudlark View Post
Another vote for the TDM. I've had an XT600, Transalp and now the TDM. The TDM is by far the better tourer. I find it a very economical, grunty, smooth & relaxed ride on long distance tours.
Thing is, the TDM is physically quite a big bike. The Sprint I have is all of those things (an astonishing 57 mpg (UK) average touring 2-up with luggage, cruising at 90-100 where possible) but I'm looking for something smaller and more manageable. I had a good look at (and a sit on) a 650 V-Strom yesterday, and that is quite big enough for me, I think.

My thoughts have crystallised a bit since my first post. The upright riding position is a must. In fact, I want my XT600E but with another 10-20 bhp, a better seat, and a bit better balance (i.e. less top-heavy) for carrying a passenger and luggage. The 660 Tenere would seem to tick most of those boxes, but I am keeping an open mind. Gotta sell the Sprint first!

Thank you for your thoughts.
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  #32  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
Thing is, the TDM is physically quite a big bike. The Sprint I have is all of those things (an astonishing 57 mpg (UK) average touring 2-up with luggage, cruising at 90-100 where possible) but I'm looking for something smaller and more manageable. I had a good look at (and a sit on) a 650 V-Strom yesterday, and that is quite big enough for me, I think.

My thoughts have crystallised a bit since my first post. The upright riding position is a must. In fact, I want my XT600E but with another 10-20 bhp, a better seat, and a bit better balance (i.e. less top-heavy) for carrying a passenger and luggage. The 660 Tenere would seem to tick most of those boxes, but I am keeping an open mind. Gotta sell the Sprint first!

Thank you for your thoughts.
Is the Teneré that confortable for a pillion? I think that this was a key point for your choice.

It was for me when I rented the V-Strom, otherwise be sure I would have gotten the Teneré, it's a cake, the more I know, the more I love it (well, add that some rentals accepted only 1 up with the Teneré -as the XT660-, but for Southern Africa on rougher roads).
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  #33  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
Thing is, the TDM is physically quite a big bike. The Sprint I have is all of those things (an astonishing 57 mpg (UK) average touring 2-up with luggage, cruising at 90-100 where possible) but I'm looking for something smaller and more manageable. I had a good look at (and a sit on) a 650 V-Strom yesterday, and that is quite big enough for me, I think.

My thoughts have crystallised a bit since my first post. The upright riding position is a must. In fact, I want my XT600E but with another 10-20 bhp, a better seat, and a bit better balance (i.e. less top-heavy) for carrying a passenger and luggage. The 660 Tenere would seem to tick most of those boxes, but I am keeping an open mind. Gotta sell the Sprint first!

Thank you for your thoughts.
Hi again
IMHO:if you travel long distance with passenger and luggage at decent speed and you want some comfort you need at least 70hp better 80-100 hp.
First rule:forget one cylinder.Even some two cyliner bikes have not enough power (Africa Twin...)
660 tenere is a nice bike,even "tourer" if you want but for one person and better for light off road then for motor way.5 hp more then XT600 (and also 40-50kg!) is simply not enough juice for two up,luggage and decent speed.
All big enduros are big bikes but usually not so heavy as real tourers.
TDM has only some 20 kg more then 660 Ten but also 30 hp more.
There is NO "XT600E" tourer with 70 hp,comfort....on the market today.
Perhaps the best numbers has 800GS,only the number before GBP(Eur)is not so good..
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  #34  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
Is the Teneré that confortable for a pillion? I think that this was a key point for your choice.
You are right, comfort is important, but even more important is the overall balance of the bike. Stuxtttr (post 22) reckons it's brilliant for a pillion, but then he's selling his! I would need to have a good look at one first. When I last saw a Ten I wasn't thinking of buying one, so I didn't really pay attention.

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Originally Posted by endurofly View Post
Hi again
IMHO:if you travel long distance with passenger and luggage at decent speed and you want some comfort you need at least 70hp better 80-100 hp.
First rule:forget one cylinder.Even some two cyliner bikes have not enough power (Africa Twin...)
660 tenere is a nice bike,even "tourer" if you want but for one person and better for light off road then for motor way.5 hp more then XT600 (and also 40-50kg!) is simply not enough juice for two up,luggage and decent speed.
All big enduros are big bikes but usually not so heavy as real tourers.
TDM has only some 20 kg more then 660 Ten but also 30 hp more.
There is NO "XT600E" tourer with 70 hp,comfort....on the market today.
Perhaps the best numbers has 800GS,only the number before GBP(Eur)is not so good..
Sadly, you are right - my 'Super XT600' doesn't exist. Huge distances and speeds aren't really a concern. If they were, I would be keeping the Sprint, which does this very well. I'm more interested in keeping off the motorways and exploring, so the XT's ability to do a feet-up U-turn on loose gravel (which is what I do every day when I get home on it) is more important to me than bahnstorming across Europe. I take your point, though - around 70 bhp would be ideal. I guess the whole exercise is a compromise. I haven't written off the TDM by any means, but since I have been looking I haven't seen a single one on the road ...

(I'm even thinking of not replacing the Sprint but using the money to restore/refurbish the XT and make modifications that will bring it closer to what I need from a tourer. But that would leave me without a bike while I was doing the work, so it's probably not going to happen.)

Thanks again for all your thoughts - this thread is really helping me.
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  #35  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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the perfect bike

BlackDogZ,
Yes, the train of thoughts are helping me also; but it is quite old ground for me, and there is still no perfect solution.
Yam stopped producing the TDM around 2010 but there are still a few new ones for sale - this kind of tells us that they were never a big seller here in the UK, but overseas would be a different matter.

Anyway, the discussion about the perfection of 70 HP, and the other attributes of bikes, is pointing, increasingly, toward the BMW F650GS twin model.
Now that Beemer have announced the F700GS, the prices of the 650 version may drop a bit and make them better value.

Your super XT600 was produced as the XTZ750 twin of course; they come up on ebay now and again, usually with a few miles on the clocks (and who knows how many more that are not showing on the clock??).
And, when the engines are knackered some folks have fitted .............. wait for it, a TDM850 engine!!
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Last edited by Walkabout; 25 Jul 2012 at 10:22. Reason: TDM 850 engine info
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  #36  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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I did about 60k miles on a Suzuki GS500 on my own and about 10k two up and I am now riding an XTZ 750 two up. More power means more fun but I have to say the 48 something bhp the GS had was just as good for long term touring. All I can see is with the more bhp chain and sprockets, tyres and brake pads won't last too long. Comfort is much better but I could have just as well raised the handlebars on the GS. Plus I find a new problem almost every week... bearings gone, cable connectors melted, exhaust broken in half. Slowly, part by part I restored it now but I would have hated to find out about these things in Mauritania.

I would say, if you like your XT then get a better seat made for it, change whatever you don't like on it. You can do a complete overhaul instead of buying another bike and then you won't have to worry about hidden problems. Or get a GS500
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  #37  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by barothi View Post
I would say, if you like your XT then get a better seat made for it, change whatever you don't like on it. You can do a complete overhaul instead of buying another bike and then you won't have to worry about hidden problems. Or get a GS500
I agree. You seem to love that XT. I bet you could get a seat from a breaker and have a seat with a more generous pillion pad (maybe with a step) made relatively inexpensively. Indeed, you might be able to do it yourself.

More power would be good 2 up but more and more people are swearing by smaller bikes these days.

Personally I don't ride 2 up, but I'm with you on the XT. Mine is quite simply my perfect bike.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #38  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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Oh, I love the XT all right! I bought it as a drudge bike for winter and bad weather, but these days I ride it in preference to the Triumph (and the Bonnie before that, and the Pan before that, and the Ducati before that).

The problem is that the XT is tired and in need of a good deal of TLC. Tyres and chain need replacing, wiring loom is very flaky, frame and rims are rusty, engine is rattly and down on power ... the list goes on. It could be the basis for a great tourer, but it will need taking off the road and giving some proper money and attention. If I sell the Sprint to fund all of that, I would be without a bike until the work was done, and that can't happen.

If I got a bike that could double as a daily driver and a modest 2-up tourer capable of tracks and mild dirt, I could retire the XT to the garage and do all that work in my own time.

I'll never sell it, obviously.
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  #39  
Old 26 Jul 2012
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What about buying a second XT? Hehe
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  #40  
Old 27 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by barothi View Post
What about buying a second XT? Hehe
Another XT600E? That had crossed my mind!

If I sold the Sprint I could get a really nice one ...

Stop it, stop it, you're not helping
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  #41  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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I think I may have found a solution.

The Sprint has proved very hard to sell. I put it on eBay three times but it didn't reach what I thought was a reasonable reserve. I was on the point of trading it in against a BMW K75 with a dealer, which would have fulfilled the 2-up 'slower' touring role, and left the XT to be rebuilt as an overlander. But then on the last day of the third auction attempt a guy contacted me and offered me his BMW F650GS (the 652cc single) as a straight swap. Given that I would have been lucky to get £1500 for the Triumph, and the F650GS seems to sell (2004 model) for £2000 - £2500, I reckon that's a blinding deal from my side of it. The GS has a full BMW service history and factory panniers, and 20k miles in 8 years.

I haven't even seen the bike yet, and it may all fall through, but I think I may have found something close to my 'super XT' - similar size and character, but more power and better for carrying a passenger. I'll post pice here if/when I get it, but I have a few other irons in the fire and I am not letting those go until the GS keys are in my hand.

I plan to run it as my daily rider for the rest of the year. If it doesn't suit, it should be easier to move it on than a sports tourer. Every dealer I spoke to said that the market has dropped out for bigger, faster bikes, and these days everyone wants middleweight dual-purpose bikes.
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  #42  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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Fair enough, but my experience of owning more than one single cyl bike is that one of them is the favoured ride and the other(s) are neglected in that they don't get used; this can happen in any circumstances when owning multiple bikes but when there are machines of very similar design and engine capacity available to you then one of them will become the machine of choice.
In this case you will be seduced by the smooth single cylinder F650GS
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  #43  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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I'm happy to be seduced in any way, shape or form

Yes, I am aware of the dilemma of owning two similar bikes. Even with bikes as dissimilar as the XT and the Sprint (and the Bonnie before it, and the Honda before that) I was always neglecting one, and it wasn't the XT.

I have resolved this in my head by planning to take the XT off the road for perhaps 6 months to a year and having the GS as my daily drive. I'll need to clear all the cr@p out of my workshop first, but then I am going to do a nut-and-bolt rebuild of the XT from the frame up. Final plans are yet to be decided, but she will be reborn either as a weatherproof lightweight super-commuter, or a proper overlander with some serious mods. Which I choose will depend on how the GS fits into my riding life.

That's always provided that the deal goes through. I haven't even seen the bike or met the seller yet
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  #44  
Old 22 Aug 2012
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Hi guys, hope you don't mind me intruding on this thread but I'm in a quandry over what to buy in Oz when I go in December. My background is mainly road bikes.... Yam XJ600, XJ900 Diversion (found that too high for my stumpy legs) and I'm currently riding a Kawasaki VN900 Classic.

I've seen a Kawasaki KLR650 which, having read a bit about them, thought would do me for touring down under. It comes with panniers, top box and tank bag and hits my budget especially with resale at the end of ny trip. My aim is to circumnavigate with the odd diversion down to the likes of Alice Springs thrown in. I thought the KLR would be ideal for both the sealed and dirt roads but I've been told that they are prone to breaking.

I have to make a decision fairly soon but I'd appreciate it if anyone can give me an indication on the pros and cons of the KLR and possibly an idea of an alternative bike. I'll be on my own and travelling light!

Thanks,

John
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  #45  
Old 22 Aug 2012
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No problem, although a new thread (with a more specific title) might bring you more repsonses.

I have no experience of the KLR, although I know of people who have done a trip like yours on them without any drama. I can put in a vote for the XT600E being reliable, easy to work on and pretty much bombproof.
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