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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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Old 1 Jul 2007
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Honda SLR650 ?

What is the general opinion of the Honda SLR650 for a European tour, I do not anticipate any real off roading but maybe some gentle trails, niether do I intend to do much motorway riding.

I am quite short so the seat height is an important factor.

The only down side I can see is the fairly small fuel tank.
I have owned several Hondas and am keen to stick with them.
Thanks for any comments.

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Old 2 Jul 2007
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Thumbs up Good choice!

Hi, the SLR 650 is a very good everyday bike, no problems at all! Maybe it is not so nice looking....But the engine comes out of the Dominator, we have thousands in Europe, but taller.... Another good thing - it is quiet cheap! Not a lot of people like it - Perfect for you!

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Old 2 Jul 2007
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Smile SLR's rule

Good bike and fun about town, I wouldn't consider one touring about europe though due to traffic speeds even on back roads too quick for the bike.
The SLR will be at it's limit on open back roads and will be an uncomfortable ride - i know ffrom past experience

You can do the trip no problem but when I had a dominator (same bike essentially but lower etc..) cars and bikes wizzing past sometimes put the wind up me.

If i were you I'd get a suzuki bandit or hornet, there cheap as well and faster to stay with traffic, you will have more fun too on the back roads and if you have to do some motorway work it won't kill you. Just get a Givi screen before going on any of your choices. i did a europe trip on a TDM and man did thewind blast get to me when on the motorways.
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Old 2 Jul 2007
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The SLR would be reliable enough, and will cruise at 60+ mph all day, but the wind blast will make it a little tiring for prolonged long distance touring as it has no wind deflection at all at the front and you sit upright on the bike. From memory you should get 130-ish miles per tank, so touring Europe with the easy availability of petrol shouldn't cause a problem.
Depends how many miles a day you intend to do, 200 a day would probably be all you would want to do on it.
You could get an after-market screen which would help protect you from the wind-blast, that would make for a more comfortable ride.


Last edited by Bill Holland; 3 Jul 2007 at 00:05.
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Old 4 Jul 2007
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2 cents more

Just to add to the small tank thing; if you are riding along with another bike with much greater range, that rider gets really pissed off at stopping every 100 miles or so to get fuel - you might stop anyway for photo shoots etc etc but, psychologically, the other rider(s) do get this pee'd off feeling when you dictate the stops!!

After that, well a small tank is just that and you may get brassed off with it as well - From your post, it doesn't sound as if you have the bike yet, so why not the Transalp or Dominator or whatever Honda has a bigger range? (CBF600?).

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Old 4 Jul 2007
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Thanks for the advice so far.

Walkabout's suggestion of a Dominator or Transalp is a valid one but I'm on a tight budget and for the money available to buy the bike an SLR650 would be a good bit newer, lower mileage and all round better condition.

As I will be travelling alone there is no one to upset by frequently stopping for fuel ( only myself )

I will have to try to blag a test ride from a dealers I think.
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Old 4 Jul 2007
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Go for it, a test ride is a must.
My friend had a 650 SLR, and used to ride 2-up for weekends round Wales ( Iwas on a Dominator), I rode it several times. I think it has slightly less BHP , 39-40?, but felt little different to my Domi for power, slightly different handling as it's a smaller front wheel, (19"?), narrower bars which you only really notice when you are on gravel or clay as the steering feels quicker. Still a fair choice of tyres for it. My friend ended up putting a domi front wheel and mudguard on, as he seemed to prefer the feel of the Domi on loose stuff.
Think they were made in Spain.
The rear frame is different to the Domi, so if you are getting panniers, check that they fit first, and I've heard that the rear shock can be a little weak, so check that out as well.
Think that the gear change lever is solid, might be worth getting a Domi folding one.

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Old 6 Jul 2007
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What about a KLE500? Being a twin, it's a bit smoother & faster, low seat height and relatively cheap? I think they have 21" front wheels which makes offroading more viable? I've seen one ridden offroad a couple of times, surprisinly capable, possibly more capable than the rider concerned:

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Old 11 Jul 2007
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Having owned a couple of SLR650s, i think you would be OK. The rack is handy, but panniers might be more difficult to fit due to the 2 high level exhausts. Cruising speed of 60 to 80 MPH, with a top speed of 100 MPH, but with great acceleration should be fine ? I hit reserve around 100 miles (50 MPG), but you should have another 20 miles on reserrve. A small aluminium "fuel" can from a camping shop or a Hein Gericke plastic fuel can as emergency back up to give you another 5 to 10 miles. A good tall screen will relieve wind pressure at 60 MPH plus. A good new-ish battery should prevent any starting problems. The Kawasaki KLE500 is a smoother, but heavier bike. It has a small fairing and screen,but the screen might be too small for long distance work ? Otherwise, the SLR650 is just a potent, reliable, quick handling bike !! I hope to be taking my SLR650 to Scotland and Norway in the near future !!
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