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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 11 Nov 2004
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honda xl600r dakar 1985 model

hi fellow travellers

i have a 1985 honda xl600r which i plan to ride through africa north to south, it has a dakar tank 22 litres.i beg of some advice from some of you seasoned travellers,the oil change interval in the book is 1000miles,shit that would mean carrying shitloads of oil.at present im using synthetic oil changing at 1600kms is there anyway i can extend this by increasing oil tank capacity or fitting a oil cooler?

ive heard these bikes are capable of this journey,i plan on sticking to main routes and dont plan on any fancy off roading. i would also appreciate any advice regds tyres ect,im using trailwing bridgestones at moment.my greatest concern also being finance,any idea what sort of min amount would be needed to travel uk to south africa not in any hurry and need to do as low budget as poss.i am a experienced mechanic so can do all my own repairs.

lastly do i need to fit a centre stand for ease of punture repairs.appreciate any advice to a novice with big plans.

safe travelling

regds the makiwa
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2004
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Wow, I would like to be the one selling you oil if you change synthetic oil every 1600km. Hondas I have run in 40C temps run four times that long before they get a change and that is with mineral oil. I would worry more about my cam chain and tensioners. Check out the tire comparisons. Take the trip...enjoy.
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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2004
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Hey Makiwa,
I had an 1986 xl600 (with an oil cooler) that I bought used and it ran to about 46,000 miles before the engine siezed. The oil filters are tiny and the bikes hold less oil (as I remember about 2 quarts?) than similar air cooled 600's so I always changed the oil and filter every 1,500 to 2,000 miles, but I never used synthetic. If I were you I would fit an oil cooler for Africa, and change the synthetic oil (and filter) every 2,500 miles. That is if you can even get synthetic in the remoter parts of Africa?
Obviously, I have no way of knowing if these frequent oil changes had a big effect and I don't know how often the previous owners changed it. One thing about those old xl600s: the o.e.m. stator coils are suspect, I would carry a spare (if your bike still has the original). But overall I still think they are great bikes, a bit better off road than an xt600 (in my opinion of course!) and almost perfect for your trip. I had very few problems except for the stator.
Best of Luck,
Nate
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  #4  
Old 12 Nov 2004
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I did 7,000km on an XR400 with semi-synth and no drama - book says oil every 1,000km

I then did 35,000km on a dominator engined XR650L with oil changes every 6,000 and no drama

1) you won't get even semi-synth out here
2) mineral oil is fine and its all there really is outside south africa
3) even 20W50 is hard to find and you may have to use 40W. I don't know much about 40W and didn't like resorting to it, but it didn't do any obvious harm

PS my mate Tim changed the oil in his XR650R after 15,000km yesterday. it was black, but still duly viscous
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  #5  
Old 12 Nov 2004
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hey guys

thanks for all your replies and advice im now quite confident on doing this trip on the xl..
nate its funny you should mention the problem with the alternator windings as i had an xl600lmf which had charging problems and i had the field coils rewound,the 600r was a hard starter,weak spark,low and behold another rewind job on the field windings at £120 a hit ,i think you are damn right that is a problem area alternators and indeed worthwhile taking a spare set which i would not leave without.

confirm you guys weld a centrestand to these bikes when you go walkabout for punture repair ease? any ideas from you veterans on what sort of budgets anybody has done similar trips through africa on, just to give me a rough idea how much clam i need to muster up before i attempt this?? im not scared of living hard,no hotel stops or high life on the way.

much apreciation for the advice.

happy travelling

regds the makiwa
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  #6  
Old 25 Nov 2004
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hi guys

has anybody got any ideas on budget ie how much? anyone done any similar trips and at what cost?

ive heard funny stories bout havin to pay substancial deposits to take bike into some countries temporary import permits ect ect,can anyone shed any light on these issuses.

thanks,happy riding

the makiwa
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  #7  
Old 27 Nov 2004
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also heard something bout certain countries not letting vehicles in more than a few yrs old? anyone out there with any ideas on these issues

thanks
makiwa
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  #8  
Old 28 Nov 2004
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is there anybody out there?????????????

surely some of you guys who have done transafrica trips could give me some insight as to cost, roughly what it cost you ect,border crossing formalities with the bike,temp import permits ect?????


thanks

happy riding

makiwa
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  #9  
Old 29 Nov 2004
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Makiwa, many of your questions have been answered and discussed many times in the appropriate forums, have a good look round and you'll be surprised how much info there already is.

A big tip on getting answers to questions - make it a simple, single question or two at most, in the appropriate forum. No one has time to write a long story, especially when the answers are often already here.

"Budget" for instance doesn't belong in the "which bike" forum.

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Seek, and ye shall find.

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One world, Two wheels.
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