Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18 Jun 2008
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Buckinghamshire for now!
Posts: 638
his & hers

New to this place, well, we have spent the last 6 months reading just about every book on the subject so now you guys will have to put up with us on here Hi, I'm Pete and the better half is Caf.
Were off to India and back ( from the UK ) leaving July/August 2009 and have a SMALL problem I married this fantastic cool chic but she has a 30" inside leg and is 7 1/2 stone (which has it's good points ) but can anybody recommend a manufacture/model of bike that at least share some common parts, we were thinking that if I had something along the lines of a 600cc and she had a 400/350/250 that I could carry more of the heavy stuff and her the light and bulky, any advice/help would be warmly recieved, oh I can't find a spell check so if I made loads of mistakes please bear with me it's not something i'm very good at
Looking forward to hours swating up
Pete & Caf
__________________
Buenos Aires to NYC 2012-2013: www.facebook.com/curryhunt

India and back 2009-2010:
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18 Jun 2008
Robbert's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Gent, Belgium
Posts: 486
2 bikes...

Two couples that spring to mind, but none with all the properties you're looking for.

A KTM LC4 400 and 640 are pretty much the same parts wise, but they're both pretty high.

The other would be a BMW F650, a dakar and a lowered version for her and a Dakar for you. But then that's two times the same 650, and maybe on the heavy side.

Alternatively, I wouldn't be bothered by sharing spares to much.

Last edited by Robbert; 19 Jun 2008 at 12:53.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18 Jun 2008
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Buckinghamshire for now!
Posts: 638
Thanks for the reply, the GS will be a bit to heavy for Caf but the KTM route is one we were thinking of,just need to see if lowering one is possible ? ( bit of a KTM fan, riding a SuperDuke R at the mo )
__________________
Buenos Aires to NYC 2012-2013: www.facebook.com/curryhunt

India and back 2009-2010:
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18 Jun 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: cardigan,wales
Posts: 251
As Robert says,i would'nt be too fussed about having both bikes with a lot of common parts either or you vastly limit your options.If speed isn't the issue,try looking at something like a Yam Serrow or TTR250 for her and maybe an XT for yourself?The more basic the bike,the more chance you have of getting it fixed if it packs up on route,so i'd look towards something aircooled,single cylinder,steel frame,preferably with the option of a centre stand.
__________________
Just going for a short ride on my bike....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 173
How about a WRF250 and a WRF450
__________________
Home of the UK Coast 2 Coast off-road Challenge
www.C2CChallenge.co.uk www.4X4Safari.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 20 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Saintfield N Ireland
Posts: 148
I dont know wheather your looking at doing off roading or not (i know sometimes you dont have the choice in some forgien countys) but what about a Honda CB500 or the CBF500. 500cc twin engine so its got enough poke to hold its own any road, is low enough for most smaller people, isnt too heavy (well i think) has plenty of accessories and extra that can be placed to help protect/lower/etcetc.

Both riders could use the Honda CB/F500 which means both spares and tools can be shared and also because they are used very often by couriers/commuters there are alot of spares/cheap alternatives.

Its very hard to find 2 bikes that spares/tools can be used on both. Its normally either 2 totally different bikes or the same.

I would go with the same bike and the more experienced ride (9times out of 10 the male) should take slightly more equipment. It means that both riders have the same power, wiegh etc and one doesnt feel as if they could push on. Also it means both riders find the same problems ie 70mph on somebikes is vibey but 75mph is fine.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 20 Jun 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell123455 View Post
I would go with the same bike and the more experienced ride (9times out of 10 the male) should take slightly more equipment. It means that both riders have the same power, wiegh etc and one doesnt feel as if they could push on. Also it means both riders find the same problems ie 70mph on somebikes is vibey but 75mph is fine.
I agree, go with bikes of different power capability and she will forever be feeling like she's struggling to keep up, not a nice feeling to have. In fact extremely wearing and very tiring after a long day, never mind after months and months of travel. Even if you try to ride slow you'll probably find the bike naturally drifts up to what feels like a comfy speed. That speed might be a vibey, windblown mission for her. The lowered F650 for her and the Dakar for you sounds like a good idea to me. If you aren't off-roading the weight of the bike is less of an issue.

I would suggest that any lass who's thinking about riding to India and back should be good enough to handle an F650 which is widely recognised as a forgiving 'beginners' bike.

PS: personally I think too much is made of seat height. I am a 5' 9" short arse with a 30" inside leg who, due to far too many snowboarding, motorcycling and shed (Don't ask!) accidents is about as flexible as an eighty year old (my physio reckons I'll be needing a new hip before I'm 50!). I have to stand on my left hand footpeg to get on my XT but once I'm on it's fine. I can touch the floor with both toes, and that's plenty.

Hope you find a solution that suits.

Matt
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*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!

Last edited by Matt Cartney; 20 Jun 2008 at 15:48.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 20 Jun 2008
maria41's Avatar
The franglais-riders
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South West London
Posts: 853
Ktm 650

I met a german girl in south america on a KTM 650. She was small (like me about 1.62 around 5"2' I think) So it is possible to lower this bike considerably. Suggestions for this: scoop out the foam, lower the front fork, cut the rear shock spring, replace the 21' front wheel by a 19' wheel etc....

I did found very useful during my trip that my husband had the same bike than me. Everytime something went wrong on my bike, we were able to look at his to compare! And God did we use his bike as template, as my bike kept breaking down over and over again!

KTMs are nice but without wanting to offend anyone, not the most reliable for what I've heard? Yamaha, honda or suzuki seem to be toughest bikes out there.

I found the most difficult on my trip, from a woman perspective, was the weight of the luggage. Your partner is very light, with the luggage at the back, the front wheel would hardly touch the ground. A a result the bike is very hard to handle off-road. So be a gentleman and carry the heaviest stuff for her. Get as much weigh on the front of the bike as possible.
Also, being able to put BOTH feet flat will make a massive difference on dirt roads. How many times did I stop, put one foot down, to find that suddenly the ground was sooo much lower than I could reach, and drop the bike! And then the husband had to pick it up offcourse !
__________________
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Back in Asia
Posts: 342
2 x DR650

Why not go this way? This is one of the best bikes that I have seen for touring, cheap (carnet too), reliable, get parts anywhere, ride height is very forgiving, and easy to sell after your trip. I ride a BMW 1200 and have met a few people on these and they all say that they are not the fastest bikes but are great for traveling!

Ask Beddhist, Germany to NZ and all in between.......haha

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The 'Gong,Australia
Posts: 38
I'm looking at a bike for my mrs as well.She's only 5ft or 5'1/2'' if you ask her and we've narrowed it down to an XT225/250.It light,has a strong subframe and parts are plentiful.It's also very reliable and can cruise at 100kph without a problem and when it's not touring makes an economical commuter.We plan doing a reasonable amount of dirt riding so this bike suits my wife.



Here's a couple of sites.
XT225 Home 2006

XT225 Serow Riders in the UK/USA

The other bike we looked at is a Honda SL230.Still a nice bike but no longer available in Oz and less comon so parts are rarer.
Both are 6 speed as far as I'm aware.


Cheers
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Coromandel
Posts: 13
What about a V Strom 1000 for you..
and a 650 for the missus..
lot of bike for your dollar..
great touring bikes.....
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Buckinghamshire for now!
Posts: 638
Many thanks for all the replys, our first choice was 650 GS's but she feels that the weight may be a problem off road, well, broken untarmaced roads.
She has no off road experience although rides in the fast group on trackdays on her Triumph 675 Daytona.We are swinging towards XT660R for me and a XT225 for her, with her carrying all the light stuff and me loaded to the hilt.
Visited the local BMW dealer but they didn't have a secondhand 650GS for her to try out, we'll keep looking but her eyes lit up when she saw the spec of the little XT
__________________
Buenos Aires to NYC 2012-2013: www.facebook.com/curryhunt

India and back 2009-2010:
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: watford england
Posts: 174
I would really recommend taking the same bike, another factor that may make it easier than you think for the lady is that most bikes are set up for 75-80 kg rider, so most ladies with luggage will be around this mark, the luggage will sink the bike on its suspension a little making the ground closer. My wife is 5 foot six and rides a Yamaha TT600RE, she struggles to touch the ground with no luggage but is fine without,
Taking the same bike makes a lot of sense from tonnes of angles, some already mentioned but the main for us was the cruising speed sweet spot being the same, a big factor on a long trip.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 21 Jun 2008
maria41's Avatar
The franglais-riders
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South West London
Posts: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
Many thanks for all the replys, our first choice was 650 GS's but she feels that the weight may be a problem off road, well, broken untarmaced roads.
She has no off road experience although rides in the fast group on trackdays on her Triumph 675 Daytona.We are swinging towards XT660R for me and a XT225 for her, with her carrying all the light stuff and me loaded to the hilt.
Visited the local BMW dealer but they didn't have a secondhand 650GS for her to try out, we'll keep looking but her eyes lit up when she saw the spec of the little XT
Make sure she does an off-road course before you start travel. She will be glad she did.
Even if you do not buy a BMW, (and God knows I do have a dent against them by now and would never buy anything with that logo on!) I do recommend the BMW off-road course. (see my review of it on my website: Post "BMW Off-road course")

It is very well designed and will give her a lot of confidence on dirt. Also their bikes are low and they have women only days, which might be a good option for her.

They are lots of other off-road courses around, but bikes I think tend to be a bit too tall, and falling off all the time is not fun!
__________________
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 21 Jun 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 92
V-Strom

Good suggestion earlier - a V-Strom 650 and 1000. Lots of bike for dollar and lots of utility.

IMHO, Height is a bigger issue than weight - Motorcycle Judo - You don't have to carry the weight just manage, balance and ride the thing. If it is dropped, usually because it is too high, others are around to help.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:50.