Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 21
It's the Which? Bike thread!!

I've just started learning (and planning my trip!) and wondering about what bike to get once I've passed my test - I'm looking at traveling to the following;

Start - Scotland

England
Wales
England
France
Switzerland
Liechtenstein
Austria
Hungary
Romania
Bulgaria
Turkey
Syria
Lebanon
Israel
Egypt
Libya
Tunisia
Sicily
Italy
Vatican City
Italy
France
England
End - Scotland


As far as I've been able to find out, most of the roads are good, so am looking for a bike that is happy on the road and offroad so I'll be able to keep using it as I gain experiance riding, but is easy enough for a newbie to start with - Any suggestions??

I had looked at;

buell ulysses adventurer
Yamaha XT660R
Suzuki Vstorm 650A

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Matt
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 178
Hi Matt,
It really depends on the kind of off roading you want to do.
The V-Strom is a good allrounder but is limited off road to firm green lanes or forest tracks, it doesn't like sand or mud with it's Trail Wing tyres.
Comfortable bike to ride on road and will do 44 mpg with a 22 ltr tank,plenty of power and easy to ride.
I think the Buell would be too much for your experience with it's 1250 motor that likes to pull a wheeeelie.
Don't know about the Yamaha so can't comment but there are plenty of folks on here that like them.
Cheers
Ian

Last edited by Dessertstrom; 2 Jan 2008 at 13:14.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2 Jan 2008
sanderd's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the netherlands
Posts: 163
Hi Matt,

I would leave the Buell for what it is: a Poser bike ;-)
(also, HD/Buell has no decent dealernetwork in some of the countries you want to go...)

Based on the assumption you don't do serious off-road, i would go for the Vstrom, if budget allowes. Otherwise XT660R. Both are good and solid bikes.

cheers,
Sander
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
Buying new? I'd take a close look at the new Yamaha Tenere.

Matt
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 761
saltire suzuki (Dundee Terrace) have the v-strom (not the A though). but they have some second hand 650's, you could Adventure-ise one of those. I had a 650 over a weekend, and it was pretty good. 650 will cruise at 80 mph easier than an XT will. for a solo ride better than the 1000 I have now.

I would personally go for an XT though, as I'd give up motorway comfort for some off-road ability. I think the XT would be cheaper to drop as well, if it's your first bike.

Doesn't the 650 v-strom have ABS that can't be switched off?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougieB View Post
I would personally go for an XT though, as I'd give up motorway comfort for some off-road ability. I think the XT would be cheaper to drop as well, if it's your first bike.

Doesn't the 650 v-strom have ABS that can't be switched off?
There's a lot of plastic on the wee strom compared with the XT and some other bikes; I have wondered about taking off the fairing plastic and replace it with some damaged second hand ones from a breaker for "serious travelling", if I was to own this, or similar bike.
The "poly" plastic (or whatever it is correctly called) type of stuff on more offroad oriented bikes is much more robust of course.

I would like a definitive answer about if the DL650 ABS is switchable; the dealer could not tell me, after which I walked out.

officialslacker,
Best do some reading into the multitude of threads in here as well; there are lots to go for.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 178
Abs

The ABS is not switchable http://11109.rapidforum.com/ but I think you can put a switch in the line or pull the fuse.
Cheers
Ian
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 21
Thanks for the advise so far guys! I'd like a new bike, but being a newbie I think I'll end up with a 2nd hand one that way I won't be as heart broken if/when I drop it and brake something!! although never say never, could get a new one if I've got the money or get a good deal!!


Dessertstrom - would I not just be able to swap the Trail Wing tyres for something more at home in the sand/mud?

I don't think I'll be doing motorcross or anything - just a bit of soft offroading - would like to be able to go through sand and mud if needed.

DougieB - What would be needed to sort the bike out for Adventure-iseing a bike?

I'm more used to cars & 4x4's - I know you can change the suspension for more hight, better tyres etc - guessing it's the same sort of stuff for a bike?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 761
250/300 mile fuel range (normally means a new plastic tank), ability to put on some trail tyres, comfort for all day riding (a fine Scottish sheepskin on the seat), space to carry your gear without it falling off (hard luggage/rack or soft bags), space to carry plenty of water without it falling off. crash bars if you've a tendency to drop the bike. So, you're potentially up to £1000 and still have to get the bike, and your riding gear. Getting something (older) as suitable as possible to your needs will hopefully means spending less on extras.

depends what you're doing, and what type of person you are. the above is probably somewhere to start with, that would be a general adventure touring bike. by off-road, be realistic. you could change suspension in a v-strom to make it more off-road, but it's never going to be a real jumping off-roader.

an XT is a more capable off-road bike than a v-strom, but you still need to look after it off-road. You could also think about an old transalp. probably somewhere in between an XT and a v-strom, and likely to be cheaper.

buy a copy of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, it's got everything in there you'll need. The trip reports are good for seeing what people go where on, and what broke: Adventure Motorcycling ~ the website of the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook

Matt's bike is a pretty good example. his blog is in his sig. read through the blogs (link on the left side of this page), and you'll get an idea of the types of bikes people use.

Last edited by DougieB; 2 Jan 2008 at 20:24.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Officialslacker View Post
Thanks for the advise so far guys! I'd like a new bike, but being a newbie I think I'll end up with a 2nd hand one that way I won't be as heart broken if/when I drop it and brake something!! although never say never, could get a new one if I've got the money or get a good deal!!


Dessertstrom - would I not just be able to swap the Trail Wing tyres for something more at home in the sand/mud?

I don't think I'll be doing motorcross or anything - just a bit of soft offroading - would like to be able to go through sand and mud if needed.

DougieB - What would be needed to sort the bike out for Adventure-iseing a bike?

I'm more used to cars & 4x4's - I know you can change the suspension for more hight, better tyres etc - guessing it's the same sort of stuff for a bike?
You can change the suspension but you can't change the frame geometry and weight very much .
You'll have to decide what kind of riding you will be doing and choose a bike accordingly .
Any of the 650 singles [KLR, DR650,XT 600 ,650GS ] would be good for very rough roads and for mainly highway and gravel roads the 650 Strom would be great . Pure highway? well there are hundreds of bikes you could pick ,but for an inexperienced rider a 650 like a Bandit would be just fine .
Try some bikes out , test rides or borrow friend's bike , read as much as you can on the internet and gain an idea about the reliability of certain models .
Don't get a big bike for now, 650 or 750 should be fine .
Bigger machines are more specialised and when you've gained a bit more experience , you will know exactly what you want !
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
If you are looking at second hand stuff then have a look at the XT 600E (produced up to 2003). I have one with a plastic tank (23 litres), bash plate, luggage racks etc. For genuine 1 up adventure touring in the third world I reckon you'd be hard put to do better. They are insanely reliable and tough as nails, if slightly unsophisticated. The old carburetted single pot technology is simple enough for self maintenace and not without the skills of mechanics in the more remote parts of the world. It's got enough poke for cruising on good roads while being just enough of a dirt bike to cope with off road. The only situation in which it struggles is motorway cruising where the relatively low cruising speed combined with lack of weather protection makes it a bit of a chore. As for dropping/crashing etc. I've had some quite spectacular tumbles which have resulted in little more than a few scratches. Would be worth buying some stronger bars like Renthals though as the stock bars bend quite easily.

As for tyres, Continental Twinduros seem to be a good compromise between off-road and tarmac use. Be careful not to overload them though as they disintigrate as I found out to my cost!

Matt
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 3 Jan 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,191
knowledgeable owners.

Good luck with the L Plate.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 07:27.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 3 Jan 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,191
So don't under estimate the Ulysess...a super good bike...just not for everyone and not for begginers. (too tall)

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 07:28.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 3 Jan 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
...don't buy someone's Adventure bike that is all set up and been to Africa or something. No matter how many nice bits its got. Avoid! Buy the bits....leave the bike.
At the risk of offending anyone on here who's trying to sell their bike post trip, I have to agree with this. 'Adventure' miles on harsh roads, tough environmental conditions, poor fuel quality etc. are much harder on a bike than the 'ordinary' miles your average punter will put on a bike. With absolutely no basis in scientific research I reckon 'adventure' miles are at least twice as damaging to a bike than 'ordinary' ones.

Matt
__________________
http://adventure-writing.blogspot.com

http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!

Last edited by Matt Cartney; 3 Jan 2008 at 13:28.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 3 Jan 2008
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,027
Forthcoming BMW F800GS is worth a look, UK launch is Saturday 8th March 2008. Based on the reliable & cheap to service F800S & ST.
__________________
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Customs impounded Bike in Argentina skip South America 11 30 Nov 2006 16:17
Buying a bike in America kitcross Trip Transport 2 19 Feb 2006 02:52
Clearing bike at Buenos Aires Airport Fritz Trip Paperwork 2 3 Nov 2005 05:48
UK citizen on Australian bike to NZ & S America ribspare Trip Paperwork 7 11 Mar 2005 14:27
Bike missionary to Hungary needs information. TresMon Make a Difference 3 26 Feb 2005 19:59

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:47.