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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 8 Feb 2009
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Is brand important?

Hi all,

I am an Australian currently living in London but plan to ride home: UK-Australia.

I currently ride a Tiger 1050 and love it for touring Western Europe. However I have always thought I would need to trade it for something like a DL650 Vstrom for the ride home due to issues of reliability, access to spares & service on the road, 19" front wheel etc.

However I have begun to wonder if my trusty Tiger would be fine for the trip considering: 1) I would stick to major roads through the Middle East and Asia, and also, 2) considering the Tiger 1050 is proving to be very reliable.

My question is: does riding a major global brand bike like Suzuki or Honda give a significant advantage in places like Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal? i.e. if Suzuki parts have to be ordered internationally anyway, I figure I can just as easily have Triumph parts sent from the UK.

Your advice and experience is gratefully appreciated
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Old 8 Feb 2009
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If you can service your bike yourself and you stay within the bikes limitations, why not?

Like you said, if you have to order parts anyway it doesn't matter much which parts you take...

If the bike with the most local knowledge would really be the best, everybody would ride rtw on 100cc honda scooters
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  #3  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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You have a modern bike that you know and enjoy..... sounds like a great combination to me....

On top of that, although not a full-on crosser, it has the suspension travel and riding position to make it an acceptable if not race winning off-roader if you decide to go off the beaten track once in a while...

By all means sell, trade it in if you want a lighter, smaller bike but, otherwise, why not ride the sprockets off it and enjoy every mile?

If you genuinely don't trust it in terms of reliability, then perhaps a different bike is a good idea for peace of mind. Question is, is this in your mind or a real concern? It's a lot of hassle if it's the former rather than the latter...
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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And I totally agree

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 23:04.
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I'd be interested in the outcome as I'm currently looking for a Tiger 1050 myself. Don't see why it couldn't do just fine .... especially if you stay on the main roads. I have heard of new Tiger owners doing dirt roads and doing fine.
Very few problems I've heard of.

And I totally agree about sending for parts (Hopefully you won't have to).
Even if you found a Suzuki dealer, they wouldn't have the part you need most likely, so you'd be waiting anyway. So contact your favorite Triumph dealer and set up an account so one email gets your parts on the way.

Best of luck!!

Patrick
Brilliant bikes; I'd go for it; take a sensible assortment of spares and as Patrick says set up a system for FedExing urgent ones to you. Limited off-road capability but so what.

It will, however, be worth a fraction of what it is now by the time you get home....

S
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  #6  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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I would basically say east of Istanbul, there is no difference whichever brand you got.

I base this on the 250cc limit in Iran, the general availability of bigger bikes (about non existent) and the horrendous import tax in india.

The difference IMHO is the reliability and basic design of your bike. (sorry, I am a carburetor fanatic. Die electronics, die.)
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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In my opinion the Triumph Tiger will be fine for that purpose. If it works then don't fix it.....

Besides, it's a British bike!
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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It'll do!

Hi SDR

The Tiger's a great bike and I have an 04 955i Tiger that has been faultless round Europe, but I haven't been off road so don't know what they are like. However, the 1050 is much lighter and more compact then the 955i and must be easier to pick up if you have to then an R1200GS.

Just found this post (on the other channel!) by meltdownman:

Hi,

I sold everything I own and bought a Triumph Tiger 955i to live the dream. It's my first time traveling so it's a steep learning curve! I've been riding four months from London UK across 22 countries in Europe, 10.000 miles across Russia with a friend and am now riding alone. I've made it to Portland Oregon on my last leg across the USA. Not bad for a rookie!

A Triumph should be fine and as Kentfallen says, it's British!

Anyroads, Ted Simon made it round the world on a Triumph Tiger 100 in the seventies and it did more then 64,000 miles, so I'm sure yours will do the job, but without the rebuilds and of course with the distinct advantage of this century's 24 hour worldwide courier service just a mobile phone call or a laptop enter button away. You lucky people!

As with most bikes, and especially the earlier Triumphs then yours, just make sure you use the best oil and don't thrash it from cold.

Hope you have a great return home.

Cheers


Chris
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Hey mate.
If it has proven to be reliable then you are all set. Parts (off the shelf) for any bike western bike will be a issue anywhere off the beaten track, so it makes no difference if you order from Triumph Uk or Honda UK.. it all has to come via the post.

Global brand does not always help anyway. What I mean is that even when you get back to OZ, you will find it easer to get parts for your triumph tiger then i will for my honda africa twin. Tigers are imported into Oz the ATs arnt, so even when we get home I will have to order bits and bobs that i cant cross match to other bikes.

The only other thing is that you want to get the paper work done for the bike before you get to oz.. or else there may be trouble.
Importing Vehicles to Australia
they generally dont alow you to import a bike once it has touched oz soil (with out it leaving again first).

good luck
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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[quote=DukeXTZ;227638]I would basically say east of Istanbul, there is no difference whichever brand you got.quote]

I'd agree with this. Servicing aside which I did myself, I found sod all places where I could buy parts for a DR650 outside of Singapore and that included B'kok and KL. Ended up getting a friend in Australia to ship some parts out to me in B'kok. All I was after were brake pads & oil filters etc. Getting tyres and inner tubes for larger bikes is also trying in these areas though it can be done if you don't mind using a 110 Korean Goldenboy rear tyre instead of a 140/150...

So no, unless you are riding a Honda Hero to Oz, I don't think it would make much difference what you ride, just make sure you take what spares you think you'll need.
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Ooer Missus!

Hmmm, not sure if I'd like a Korean Goldenboy gyrating around my rear end!
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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No, it was fine, my rear end actually stopped gyrating once I'd fully broken in my new Goldenboy, though I'd have prefered if it were a bit thicker but beggars can't be.....no stop it!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by welovebikes View Post
Hmmm, not sure if I'd like a Korean Goldenboy gyrating around my rear end!
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  #13  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Hi SDR, I've had my 1050 for nearly 2 years and apart from some early problems that should have been picked up on the PDI it's been reliable. I've done 18k now and been on gravel a few times. It performs well on smooth gravel roads on normal road tyres once a certain momentum is reached. I've done one very rocky trail, luckily down hill, of about 5 miles and I wouldn't want to repeat it but I got through without incident. I would say that as long as it's dry and not too technical it will be fine. There's no point in putting TCK80's on it though as it's too top heavy for anything serious. There's no need to worry if the tarmac runs out, as it has a habit of doing, as long as it's not mud. Here's a link to a vid I shot 18 months ago in the south of France...

YouTube - Tiger 1050 the rough with the smooth

I've also got an XT250 Serow and if I was going RTW that's what I'd be riding. Simple and light wins every time.

The bottom line is you've got the tiger and you know it. You've probably already got some luggage, just go.
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Lol

Very good, I like the Frankie Howard impression at the end! Strange though, as I heard him tell the same tale and thought, he's not a biker!

Right, better end this swiftly now before we get barred or receive an (another!) invoice from a Korean Street pimp.

Anyway, I'm a bit tyred of this topic now!

Cheers


Chris
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  #15  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Great info. Thanks everyone.

FlyingDoctor: Great video. Gee I love the Tiger.

To Xander's point on Aussie red-tape; it seems that on arrival in Australia I need to pay 10% GST (tax) on the bike's original UK purchase price. Since I bought new this will be painful. There appears to be the possibility of getting a valuation at customs on arrival, however it doesn't seem clear I can do this. I'll call Oz customs and see if I can get some clarification on this.
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