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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 4 Feb 2010
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Guys get with the program - and read all the little words.
Very specifically, in every instance that it has been recommended by anyone on this thread, the BMW GS has been suggested as a two up solution.

Imagine two-up on an XT600 (I use this example cos Ive had one and love it) with loaded panniers and a pillion, on a motorway in the wet with heavy articulated trucks doing 70 mph. - pretty much your worst day ever.
Only one bike suitable.

So BMW GS = Two-up can we get past that?

I agree with the DR650 and the KLR 650 as alternative bikes.
For those who can't be bothered to read the whole post, my suggestions and opinions are based around my presumption that they are doing this on the cheap hence suggesting those older 2nd hand bikes.

I have thought about 1 other bike, that is suitable for use on crap roads as well as motorways and in this instance ideal for those looking for a lower seat hight.

THE TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER.



Lastly as these chaps have an adventurous spirit and are concerned about one person not riding and the pillions options have you thought about the venerable URAL?


Cheers G

P.S. As for the BMW reliability issues; the negativity is spread by people who dont and wont own them. They are absolutely rock solid reliable, by comparison to any other bike.
In point of fact, I have had a drive shaft go on me - 130,000 miles and it was very obvious that it was going to go, over the course of 500 miles the drive mechanism got steadily more clunky until it finally severed. They are expected to last 80,000 miles - mine managed an extra 50 thousand - cant complain.
£99 moto-bins sorted it out How many chains is that over 130,000 miles? And how much less dangerous than an exposed chain flinging itself around No other non-disposable issues and I am now on 42,000 miles with the second BMW.

Oh and by the way Nath thought your comments about the lady not carrying much in the way of luggage was rather tongue in cheek, and subject to many generalised jokes - well i thought it was funny!

(The BMW negative is you get fiscally sodomized whenever you go to a dealer for servicing)
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  #32  
Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cameraman View Post
The XT225 Serow production ended in Japan in 2005, when it was replaced by the XT250 Serow. My own 250 Serow's now 4 1/2 years old and covered 73,000 miles. The XT225 continued in production of a few more years in Brazil.

The TTR250 has the edge for heavier off road use, due to it's far superior suspension but I really rate my own XT250 Serow.
wow they were going that long? for sale in this country? i only remember it in showrooms when i was looking for my first bike 12yrs ago and then the seemed to disappear.
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  #33  
Old 4 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
P.S. As for the BMW reliability issues; the negativity is spread by people who dont and wont own them. They are absolutely rock solid reliable, by comparison to any other bike.
In point of fact, I have had a drive shaft go on me - 130,000 miles and it was very obvious that it was going to go, over the course of 500 miles the drive mechanism got steadily more clunky until it finally severed. They are expected to last 80,000 miles - mine managed an extra 50 thousand - cant complain.
A pal of mine (back years ago) - well his dad - had an FJ1100 that was on just over 200,000 miles. So by your reckoning, Yamaha are much better/more reliable than even a (shock/horror) BMW
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  #34  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVSATO View Post
wow they were going that long? for sale in this country? i only remember it in showrooms when i was looking for my first bike 12yrs ago and then the seemed to disappear.
Hi Dave,

they were never offered as anything other than an import, so it's not a machine that you'd see on the floor of a Yammy dealers. Therefore I could see how you'd get the impression they'd stopped production.

The 2005, XT250 was in fact the 20th anniversary Serow model!
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  #35  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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Hi for a female rider, who's looking to build confidence, I suggest a Suzuki DR350, its got enough engine to keep up, but it's not too heavy. A woman should quickly build confidence with a bike like this, and if wanted to, could trade it in for a bigger along the way. Just an idea.
Enjoy your trip planning.
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  #36  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
Guys get with the program - and read all the little words.
Very specifically, in every instance that it has been recommended by anyone on this thread, the BMW GS has been suggested as a two up solution.
I think everyone here is aware the GS suggestion was meant for two up. That's not the issue. I stand by everything said in post #30. READ THE SMALL WORDS: The BMW GS1100/1150 are too big, too heavy and too complex for a Newbie Student on a budget. It's also too expensive and too unreliable! Two up or Solo, I don't believe it's the right choice. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
Imagine two-up on an XT600 (I use this example cos Ive had one and love it) with loaded panniers and a pillion, on a motorway in the wet with heavy articulated trucks doing 70 mph. - pretty much your worst day ever.
Only one bike suitable. So BMW GS = Two-up can we get past that?
Plenty of better bikes, including the one that several posters here have suggested: DL650. Great two up bike for half the price, none of the BMW nonsense. I'm sure you've owned one, so you know, right? I've owned several BMW's over the years. All had trouble. Over and over. I like the F800GS however and would own one! I'm so done with Boxers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
For those who can't be bothered to read the whole post, my suggestions and opinions are based around my presumption that they are doing this on the cheap hence suggesting those older 2nd hand bikes.
As I said before, the DR650 is, I believe, sold NEW in Austria. No need for a 2nd hand bike if buying in Austria. KLR and DR650 also sold new in USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
P.S. As for the BMW reliability issues; the negativity is spread by people who dont and wont own them. They are absolutely rock solid reliable, by comparison to any other bike.
Most here have owned them or currently own them. I doubt anyone in this dimension would characterize them as "rock solid", except some very eccentric Germans!

Last edited by Mickey D; 21 Apr 2010 at 05:06.
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  #37  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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Is the front wheel hovvering in mid-air in that photo??????
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  #38  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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Popex, as you can clearly see from this thread tastes diver. People will get the brand they like and stick with it.
You still have lots of time, so get out there and find your taste. I think all the mentioned bike are all good candidates in their own right. The important thing is to get all 3 of you comfortable and confident on a bike.
On a trip like this you will have to compromise anyway even if you are all on the same type of motorcycle, peoples riding styles differ.
Don’t break your head about this, by the time you are ready to buy the bike you will do your trip with you would have made the right decision.
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  #39  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by houbie View Post
Popex, as you can clearly see from this thread tastes diver. People will get the brand they like and stick with it.
You still have lots of time, so get out there and find your taste. I think all the mentioned bike are all good candidates in their own right. The important thing is to get all 3 of you comfortable and confident on a bike.
On a trip like this you will have to compromise anyway even if you are all on the same type of motorcycle, peoples riding styles differ.
Don’t break your head about this, by the time you are ready to buy the bike you will do your trip with you would have made the right decision.
yes thats about the best advice on the thread. get your friend to have a few lessons, see if she will even want to ride, then look at as many different bikes as you can before you pick one to concentrate on buying. different styles too, dont think you must have a dual sport to have a good trip
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  #40  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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MickyD,

I visited the Suzuki dealer this weekend... it looks like the DR*** model bikes aren't in Austria... i went on the US web page & sure enough there they are... so it looks like the DR suggestions are out... the other thing about the more dirt specific bike is they tend to be taller... and for the lady, this will be a show stopper I am sure of it... I can't find that Ninja, but I gotta look harder...

I think I've decided that the lady will jsut have to get a different bike than the others... something less than 10 years old... less than EUR 5K... Can be dropped all day long... not so much electronic engine control... with a short seat height... which when loaded with only 1 45L pouch can keep up with whatever the 2 boys get...

Hi Andysr6,

Wow, what a route! I wish I could buy you a & chat about it. I tried to find you on FB... but there was too many people with your same name... could you PM me the email address that you use for FB & then I am sure I could find you!

I'll respond to everyone else when I get back from this meeting that I am late to now...
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  #41  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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DAVSATO & MickyD,

These Yamaha's that you are mentioning they don't have in Austria :-(

What they do have is something called a WR250F... but the seat height kills it even for me... let alone the lady at 990...

Photgraphisafaries,
Thanks for the ideas on the XT600 & Tenure, the bummer is one is older than I would like and as you said the other is too tall for us at 890... whereas I'm still a good 2-4 cm from getting my heels down on that Vstrom at 820 & TransAlp at 841...

And that Kawasaki KLE 500 they also don't do in Austria!? I guess Austria just isn't where it is at...

Now on to the Triumph... not to sure how many we get out here in Austria... but i love where you are going with this... i forgot about them little old school bad boys... unfortunatly the Scrambler has an 830 cm seat height...

However the Bonneville is sitting pretty at 740cm... but is a beast at 200kg... are there any Triumphs that were made in the alst 10 years that can take a beating with a low seat height? I forgot how much I like Triumph bikes...

I think I will also kill the idea of the 1000+ BMW GS's due to cost & seat height...

ta-all-the-way,

thanks for the idea, I think that bike the size of a DR350 is also the right answer... but they don't have them out here in Austria... :-(

-
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  #42  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Current thinking...

So here is my rant (half way to help me figure out what is going on in my head) about what I am thinking now:

2 Guys: The 1 coming from the US will just have to buy a bike on arrival and take the best price he gets on departure... however, he should be on the same bike as the guy in Austria... The bikes currently under consideration (given what is available in Austria):
- Suzuki Vstrom (post 2006 to get the ABS breaks) (820mm)
- Honda TransAlp (I don't know enough about them to say a certian year range, but still I'd like one 5 years old max with low Ks) (841mm)
- Yamaha XT660R... probably way too tall at 865... were the older ones shorter? but worth a test drive
- BMW F650GS... I don't like the idea of how electronically controlled & full of sensors & so costly to maintain... but again worth a test drive... I think I would lean to the newer twin... but that gets pricy...

As for the lady, I am still as confused as ever... but the idea is put her on a smaller bike & the guys take 90% of her luggage/gear...
- something that won't feel toooooo slow on the motorways (and can mostly keep up with the above bikes when they are loaded)
- Less than 10 years old
- preferably less than 3 or 4 grand... preferably
- Easy enough to work on (in case something goes wrong)
- One that can be dropped over and over...
- A REALLY low seat height

The bike that comes to mind (from reading all the other forums...) would be that KLM 400 Military bike... but it seems only available in Germany... & it seems that it has doubled in price in the last 2 years... Germany is close enough to Austria & we could register it in Germany no problem......................... ideas on where to find one?


Comments are... as always.... welcome!
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  #43  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popex View Post
DAVSATO & MickyD,

MickyD,
I visited the Suzuki dealer this weekend... it looks like the DR*** model bikes aren't in Austria... i went on the US web page & sure enough there they are... so it looks like the DR suggestions are out... the other thing about the more dirt specific bike is they tend to be taller...
Sorry to hear that. I thought maybe it would be there. I would contact LukasM, an Austrian member here on HUBB and on ADV rider. He is a bike expert and owns a DR650, among many other bikes. Maybe he can help you out finding a bike? He is in Vienna. Go to "Travelers list" to PM him. He is very experienced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Popex View Post
These Yamaha's that you are mentioning they don't have in Austria :-(
I only mentioned the DR650 Suzuki, not the Yamaha. How hard is it to buy a bike in another EU country outside Austria? France, UK and Germany all have tons of good used bikes.

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Originally Posted by Popex View Post
What they do have is something called a WR250F... but the seat height kills it even for me... let alone the lady at 990...
The WR250F is quite tall. It is a Race Bike, not street legal.
But there is another Yamaha Dual sport called the WR250R. The "R" model is a good street legal dual sport bike but no doubt also TOO TALL for your girl friend. Also, The "R" model is very expensive. So OUT for that one.

The Yamaha you should look at is the bike Lois rode: TT250

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popex View Post
whereas I'm still a good 2-4 cm from getting my heels down on that Vstrom at 820 & TransAlp at 841...
Have you actually SAT ON a DL650 Vstrom? I have a friend who is only 5'4" and does just fine on his Vstrom 650. (DL650) This bike you could go two up or Solo.

If you insist on getting your feet flat on the ground then you will end up on some 250 Cruiser bike. Trust me! You do NOT need to be flat footed. As long as the balls of your feet can touch (both) you will adapt no problem after a couple weeks of riding. Not that hard to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Popex View Post
However the Bonneville is sitting pretty at 740cm... but is a beast at 200kg... are there any Triumphs that were made in the alst 10 years that can take a beating with a low seat height? I forgot how much I like Triumph bikes...
Only the early TT600 or perhaps the Street Triple? Neither are good touring bikes. Scrambler and Bonneville may be too expensive, and heavy, as you discovered.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Popex View Post
thanks for the idea, I think that bike the size of a DR350 is also the right answer... but they don't have them out here in Austria... :-(
"Not having in Austria" seems to be a underlying theme here. You really need to contact LukasM to find out how to find a good bike there.

Safe riding!

Last edited by Mickey D; 8 Feb 2010 at 22:47.
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  #44  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Hi guys,
I've just looked over this thread and couldn't stay away. I own a motorcycle rental station in Romania (Transylvania), last year two US bikers came and rented 2 BMW F650's for a similar adventure, unfortunately they just managed to reach Sinop (Turkey), they had a nasty accident, one of them was killed by a stupid Turkish driver, the other one managed to get home, my bikes were totaled, still in Turkey. I just want to say TAKE BIG CARE!!!!
On the other hand I have 5 BMW F650GS and 2 F650F bikes in my fleet, one of F650F has lowering kit, so is low enough to reach the ground for a 40 kilo Japanese girl, also the bike is gentle enough for a novice girl to handle but can cope with lorries on main road and handles rough terrain as well (I rode this bike in forest just last year with off-roader mates). So far this bike was rented almost for female riders. So consider this.
Another thing to consider is the fact that last season one of the BMW F650 GS's went to Ukraine and Russia than back with side cases, and extra luggage, 2 up, had no problems at all. All the bikes are making at least 10000 km/ season and so far had no any problems, just 2 flats a day.
F650GS is a gentle bike ideal for beginners, just enough for adventurers.
If you reach Romania on the trip call me, if you need help. You can find me at Home. All the best.
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  #45  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Popex View Post
What they do have is something called a WR250F...
whoa there, thats a full on MX bike and an animal, you will have great fun though, for an hour or two!
i still say the suzuki drz400 is a great bike, but if you cant get them in austria, well........
if you like yamahas look at the TTs, 250 or 600.
or honda XL400?

Quote:
Originally Posted by attila View Post
Hi guys,
I've just looked over this thread and couldn't stay away. I own a motorcycle rental station in Romania (Transylvania), last year two US bikers came and rented 2 BMW F650's for a similar adventure, unfortunately they just managed to reach Sinop (Turkey), they had a nasty accident, one of them was killed by a stupid Turkish driver, the other one managed to get home, my bikes were totaled, still in Turkey. I just want to say TAKE BIG CARE!!!!
On the other hand I have 5 BMW F650GS and 2 F650F bikes in my fleet, one of F650F has lowering kit, so is low enough to reach the ground for a 40 kilo Japanese girl, also the bike is gentle enough for a novice girl to handle but can cope with lorries on main road and handles rough terrain as well (I rode this bike in forest just last year with off-roader mates). So far this bike was rented almost for female riders. So consider this.
Another thing to consider is the fact that last season one of the BMW F650 GS's went to Ukraine and Russia than back with side cases, and extra luggage, 2 up, had no problems at all. All the bikes are making at least 10000 km/ season and so far had no any problems, just 2 flats a day.
F650GS is a gentle bike ideal for beginners, just enough for adventurers.
If you reach Romania on the trip call me, if you need help. You can find me at Home. All the best.
perhaps a good idea?
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