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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 18 Jul 2006
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India. Big bikes - Short people and GT550's

Hey all this seems to be the most popular area on here. I can see why with some many bikes to choose from and so many considerations. I've been riding for a number of years though unfortunately (haven't been able to in the last 2 years (23 started at 16 on an MT50). Anyway, i'm kinda a short ass probably about 5"7-5"8. Sports bikes I dont have a problem with but I'm kinda wandering about the long haul enduro kind of bikes.

Planning on going to India next year (hopefully by motorcycle). On a bit of a tight budget. So I'm either gonna fly there, buy a 2nd hand enfield and ride that back to the UK or ride there and back.

Thinking that a GT550 might be suitable or something similar. If not and I decide to go for something like an XT or DR how will I find the height. I dont know anyone thats got anything like that so I can have a go on it. Though I might try and blag a go on my mates DT200

Any problems with riding a GT550 to India?

Final destination will be Dharmasala in North India.

Any advice would be appreciated

Regards

Hutch
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  #2  
Old 19 Jul 2006
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No worries - much more comforable than a trailie.

Have a nice trip!
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  #3  
Old 19 Jul 2006
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doesn't the GT550 have poor (air damped) rear shocks, and cast wheels? mine did. there was a thread about them on here ages ago, try a search.

you could probably get a cheap UK enfield, and ride it to India. I expect at a similar price to a GT550. of the two I'd take the enfield (having ridden both lots).
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Old 19 Jul 2006
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Hey doug and parkie.

Thanks for your replies.
Yes the bike does have naff shocks, I was thinking I might be able uprate them. Cast wheels yes, will this be such a problem? (Can always bend them back no?)

The Enfields in this country are still quite expensive compared to the GT550 prices. I'm on a tight budget. Did think about flying over and riding back on an Enfield assuming theres no hidden charges and such.

The trip wont be for another 6-9 months yet so I've got a little time to decide which bike to use. Also I wander if the Enfields lack of power may be problem....

Any other bike suggestions would be appreciated. Thought about a DR650 but have heard bad things about reliability...

Bike budget is definately no more than £1000! (preferably less)
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Old 19 Jul 2006
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Hey doug and parkie.

Thanks for your replies.
Yes the bike does have naff shocks, I was thinking I might be able uprate them. Cast wheels yes, will this be such a problem? (Can always bend them back no?)

The Enfields in this country are still quite expensive compared to the GT550 prices. I'm on a tight budget. Did think about flying over and riding back on an Enfield assuming theres no hidden charges and such.

The trip wont be for another 6-9 months yet so I've got a little time to decide which bike to use. Also I wander if the Enfields lack of power may be problem....

(btw, if anyone knows anything about enfields, do you know if all models produced after some time this century 2001 maybe have the gears and brakes right way round. Or is it only models produced for the UK market i.e. not imports)

Any other bike suggestions would be appreciated. Thought about a DR650 but have heard bad things about reliability...

Bike budget is definately no more than £1000! (preferably much less)
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  #6  
Old 20 Jul 2006
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Having owned and travelled with Bullets twice I wouldn't dream of riding one that far, however plenty of people have - it's very much a personal choice as to what you feel most comfortable with.

You can stick to pretty much sealed roads all the way to India so don't really need a trailie, however the 'seal' is often in dire condition - broken, potholes, large humps, etc, so you want something that can take a bit of a beating...

You will be covering plenty of miles though so to my mind comfort is a prerequisite..

I wouldn't be too concerned about cast wheels - My TDM has them and has never caused me grief. Plus it has the upside that you can run tubleless tyres with Slime or Ultraseal in them and not have to deal with punctures.
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Old 20 Jul 2006
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Hi Parkie

Your comments on Slime interest me - have you used it and if so, how do you rate it ?
I like the idea of pro-actively avoiding punctures.
Also, do I take it that you can't use it in spoked wheels ?
Cheers
Howie
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  #8  
Old 20 Jul 2006
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Slime

Slime is magic stuff.

Used it riding from UK - NZ and only had 1 puncture it did not deal with - a 1cm square steel rod that I picked up in Delhi.

When I changed my tyre in Bangkok I counted 9 nails in it yet no puncture thanks to the Slime.

They also do a tubeless variety but haven't tried it so don't know if it works as well...

Do a searh on Slime & Ultraseal - there are a few threads on the gunk.
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