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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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Old 28 Jan 2004
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Kawasaki GT550 to India?

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to India, and am seriously considering taking a GT550.
I used to ride one everywhere acrros the UK in comfort with no breakdowns, so can anyone think of a good reason not to take one (assuming I don't go off-road!)?

I also have a dommie kitted out with crash bars, hard luggage and an uprated shock, but am still reluctant to take it 'cos its sooooo uncomfortable! I really don't think hacking the seat about will make that much difference. Any ideas?


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Old 29 Jan 2004
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Depends on the roads you take. I don't know much about the route but can imagine that there must be long stretches of non-paved roads.

If taking a GT, I'd ditch the air assisted (& linked?) shocks, replacing them with something a little more robust. Uprated fork springs may be an idea also. I work in the courier business & am quite familiar with GT's. I have seen a couple that have rusted out around the top shock mounts. You'd need to double check yours if adding a lot of weight i.e. luggage & travelling on crap surfaces! In addition, some older Jap bikes suffered from rusted out swingarms.....

Some sort of screen also but not so big that it blocks out a cooling breeze & traps the engine heat around your legs ala my K100LT.

Are you choosing the GT because you already own one? If not, there are more suitable bikes around but you could do it on anything really.

BTW, I'm in Oxford also.

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Old 1 Feb 2004
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Just to confirm, you can ride to and around India etirely on paved roads.... and personally think a road bike is a good choice for the trip.

Have fun....


Some day so soon....
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Old 2 Feb 2004
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Take the GT if that's what you're happy with. I did it on a CX500 towing a one-wheel trailer. It's been done on bigger bikes.

As Grant says: any bike will do, as long as you're happy with it.

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,


Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 23 Feb 2004
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The GT550 has an incredibly strong engine, is comfortable as you know, and has shaft drive.
Another bonus is you can pick up good used spares for fair prices, so you should be able to leave with a decent selection, although if you keep the GT serviced, it shouldn't let you down.
Keep the oil changes coming ( the GT's low state of tune will help when you have to use cheap car oil )and you should be laughing.

A very good idea to get the valves checked before you go, as the cams have to come off - a time consuming and tricky service. The good news is that once correctly shimmed, the gaps tend to remain solid for thousands of miles, especially if don't go mad on a cold engine.

The gaps are dead easy ( but you'll need time )to check, so you can just wait for the dealer ( if you can't do this yourself ) when necessary.

Great bike.
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