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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 30 Oct 2007
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honda xr600 good????

hi
i know the honda XR650L makes a good RTL bike if you plan to keep off road a bit. but there hard to get in the uk.
would an old XR600 or the newer xr650r be as good???
the 600s are cheep and i meet 2 people in africa last year on them and said thay were great. what do you think???
how would a XT or KLR compear with the honda?
thanks
its for a trip from the uk to OZ via iran, india. i hope to keep off the main roads and get on the dirt asmuch as poss.
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Old 30 Oct 2007
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Smile Welcome

Hi the XR 600 is a great off road bike but I think the XT 600 is better suited to the trip you describe. The XT has less power but is a smoother ride. If you do go the route of the Honda have you considered the XR 400 which has also been well proven. I recall a guy called Alex rode one down Africa a few years back. The article was in TBM and if I remember correctly when he made it to SA he stripped the bike down and used it in Competition. Also a good austalian dirt bike mag reviewed the XR's and other good bikes when the 400 came out and said what a great bike it was. You may want to stiffen the rear subframe for an extended tour.

Anyhows whatever you decide enjoy you're trip.
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  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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i was looking at the XTZ's but there a bit more money and hard to find and the XTE's would need a bit of work to make it what i need i think. as for the 400 im not sure it would be up to pulling me and all my stuff throw mud and up hills that was why i thought of the 600.
the KLR650's sound good but i had a 250 and it was crap.

im was hopping to get a bike for around £1500 and spend £500 and getting it up to scratch. my mate im going with is a sheet metal worker and we will make the side boxes and frames so there free. just dont wont to start swopping bit over and getting to much after market bit so would like somthing that will be almost there when i get it.

thanks
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Old 30 Oct 2007
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After many years with an XR600 inc a couple of UK - West Africa trips my conclusions with it are:

good points - great suspension that just floats over potholes etc.
Good engine characteristics for dirt roads.
Relatively light, although you loose this once it's loaded up.
Good range of bits (tanks etc) available.
Tough and crashable.
Capable of excelent mpg (I got 90mpg in Western Sahara).

Bad points - weak subframe that needs quite a bit of reinforcement before it will take much weight and even then is a constant concern.
Rudimentary electrics that you'll need to modify substantially.
No battery, so no lights when it stops.
Kickstart only. This is a real pain in the a$$ after a while and probably the main reason I stopped using it. When you're hot and tired and you've just dropped it in sand for the 20th time you really wish you had something with an electric starter.
Seat height. If you're under 5' 8" or got short legs it's trickey to touch feet down which makes balancing awkward.
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Old 30 Oct 2007
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Fuel economy

Yeah I see your point with the lugging of you and youre gear. I dont think there is much of a power difference between the 400 (30hp) and 600 (38hp) but with the 400 being a more modern engine it has the better mpg.
I also have home made boxes and they work great and saved loads of cash. I also made a screen for the price of the plastic and it really helped on the long road miles.
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  #6  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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im hopeing to keep the bike light and take as little as poss but every one does. il still have the camping bits.
will the frame need much bracing???
how does the xr compear to the KLR?????
the XR600 must have a lot more torque then the 400 thowe??
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  #7  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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Another day, same question

And then there are these discussions to much the same question:-

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ong-trip-29817

So, what's it to be?
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  #8  
Old 6 Mar 2010
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most likely would need the subframe reinforcement. I'm 5 10" and I've a hard time wrestling the XR6 seeing how it's like a tall as a tower. Offroad it's been a great ride but once it's loaded up with stuff it's just another heavy pig (+ subframe failure possibility).

I had quite a mixed experience with getting mods for it as well. Needed to custom the pannier rack and rear rack with a welder. That aside, it is a wonderful ride when it's on the move, quick off the line, not too bad with highways, feels great offroad (unless you drop it, then it hates starting when hot).
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  #9  
Old 6 Mar 2010
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honest look around for a bike with a electric start.
life's to short to be left kicking a XR to death.

look for a KLR a XT6 or 660 or maybe a DR650 all nice big engines and will drag you and your gear.
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  #10  
Old 6 Mar 2010
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Like Brian say's

A button make's life easy

However If Like me you spent many years riding british bike's or even old Harley Davidsons then you won't have any problem kicking a XR

I have tried most of the above bike's, and must say that the motor on the XR's for me...is the best
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