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.


LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 24 Jul 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA USA
Posts: 1

For a novice rider who currently rides 250 dirt bikes and is thinking about more of an adventure dual sport bike, I have looked at the KTM 450 exc but now it seems the KTM 640 or the BMW f650GS might be more suitable. I am hoping to start taking long desert rides and progress to cross country, world travel. Any thoughts on these bikes?
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Jul 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
Having owned a f650 I will offer this advice. it is extremely heavy
and would be a pig in deep sand and such -- for world travel
it would be OK -- very comfortable plenty of power, pretty reliable
reasonably enough BMW dealer garages worldwide - strong sub frame
to load, it but It is restricted when it comes to more technical off road
tracks due to the weight and suspension would need work. For the money and alternatives involved - I wouldent reccomend this bike.

The KTM would be excellent for the sand and off road but I would not choose KTM for world travel mainly for the reliabillity issues
and sourcable parts.

I have just been making similar enquiries having sold my f650gs for a new bike.

and I have narrowed it down to DR650 and DRZ400 both great bikes
solidly realiable easy to maintain etc..
also worth taking a look at would be honda's XR range.. again very solid bikes.

I'm sure some one else will chime in with better advice
but until then..
Good luck with your choice!
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Jul 2007
Nigel Marx's Avatar
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 755
Thumbs up

BMW F650? Long desert rides??.....no..., cross country, world travel??.. yes. I have an earlier Funduro and a later F650GS, and I really like them, but there are many reasons that these bikes are not trail bikes. Too big, too heavy, too wide at the seat. But they are very nice comfortable bikes to ride, on the road or on moderate 4WD tracks. They can carry a big load, and the ones I have had have been as reliable as a stone. The Funduro has done 144,000km, with the only maintainance being oils, filters, wheel and steering head bearings, 1 cam chain, lotsa fork seals until I fitted gaiters and a waterpump. The later F650GS seems to be as good or better in every area (especially the motor in terms of smoothness and economy). http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...s/thumbup1.gif
If that's the sort of bike you want, then I would also look very carefully at the DL650 Wee Strom. Personally I think that's probably the bike that would take my money in this market.
Having said that, if you're more into a trail-friendly bike, take a good look at the DR650/400 Suzukis, and the XT600/660 Yamaha range. Also very strong, reliable and more trail-ready but perhaps a little less comfortable on the open road.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ
The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with . -- 2200 BC Egyptian inscription

Last edited by Nigel Marx; 24 Jul 2007 at 07:08. Reason: Forgot to give an up to the Wee Strom!
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Jul 2007
spooky's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Utopia/Germany
Posts: 280
trevel lite

riding a LC4 640 my self.... my advice... travel lite... as you are know from scrambling... a liter bike is easier to handle in sand...

well the BMW are heavy, the 650 Dakar is heavier than a LC4, a XR650 about the same as a LC4 but you can get a 2nd hand XR650 cheap for about £2000 in very good condition with a 28L tank on it a KTM that size will cost you twice as much. My mate is riding a XR250 with a big tank and he is very well on the road and off road his body weight is 110KG and a short ass consider beefing up your seat with a lot of padding on any bike you go for, just recover it with new vinyl and lots of foam and you are as comfortably riding as the big heavy bikes, have a word with your local car trimer. And you may upgrade the rear spring for heavier load one grade up.

OK yes the service parts for a XR is may easier to get than for a KTM, one more I don't know any thing about the DR650 but will do as many bike travelers recommending it, know not much about the Honda XR650 but get your self the one with kick-starter as well is it the XR650R or the XR650L
On my LC4 the electric starter gave up working so I'm very happy to be able using the kick-start. Put it like that, a electric starter is nice, but a kicker always works.
on the other hand forget any bike with a dry/empty weight of more than 120KG if you have to pick it up in the heat with a extra load of may 40Kg or more.... well unless you are Arnold consider traveling as lite as possible, spread every thing you think you want to take with you on the floor, and start meditation on what is a toy and what is worth having, do that a few times over the next few weeks again and again and you can drop the weight of your gear by half by finding the minimum you really NEED only !
At my last trip I started with a gear list of 45Kg and ended up with 30Kg, when I came back I was able to drop it down by another 5Kg for gear I didn't need on the trip. try to drop that thought: "oh yes I may can use this and that" you probably wound.

Well small bikes do the job but the 600-class is better for long hauling roads

The trouble is that he was talking in philosophy, but they were listening in gibberish.

Last edited by spooky; 24 Jul 2007 at 11:37.
Reply With Quote
Old 25 Jul 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turkey
Posts: 53
KTM 640 LC4's saddle height are much more higher than F650. F650 is better for height challenged people. (Like me. 5'10" and 31"-32" inseam and my KTM's saddle height is ~36") But the ground clearance of F650 is nearly 5" less.
Reply With Quote

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
BMW - HPN Adventure Frame F/S Capetown South Africa gsworkshop TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 15 30 Apr 2009 09:12
BMW 1150GSA or BMW 1200GSA desertdweller Equipment Reviews 9 13 Jul 2007 00:08
F/S: BMW F650 GS - Sydney Australia only 15500kms jrbenson TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 12 Jul 2007 11:39


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

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


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 00:20.