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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 17 May 2012
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Life after the Africa Twin

Hi all,

I had the use of a late (2000) AT for a year, and finally gave it back to my brother end of last summer (2011)

Now during that time, I would regularly go for ride outs, and one of my good friends was on a BMW F 800 GS. I think it was a 2009.

The same vein of adventure bike that the AT was.

However, it always felt the BMW was so much more advanced than the AT, as good as the AT was, it never had any where near the power the BMW had.

So where to next, I have never really liked the BMW's but maybe times are changing?

Has any one had direct comparison between the AT and the 650cc BMW or the 800cc BMW and the 750cc AT.
I get confused with the newer BMW F650 which is actually an 800cc, (why did they do that )
Please post your opinions, findings, call them what you may.

I know the smaller engine BMW is a single cyl, which many have said is a vibratory monster, and to opt for the twin.

Most, if not all my riding is on tarmac, with possible some hard compact gravel roads.

vette
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  #2  
Old 17 May 2012
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If you ride mostly on tarmac, get a road bike. Buying a large enduro bike for tarmac doesn't make sense at all. You will get far better cornernig, top speed, comfort and even fuel consumption with a road bike. I rode on pretty bad roads, sand and rocky trails with my Suzuki GS 500.

Just my opinion, get a Kawasaki W800 or Triumph Bonnie, or maybe a Triumph Scrambler. Sure, you won't look like Ewan or Charlie but they will be way more stylish and practical on tarmac.
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  #3  
Old 17 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi all,
.....

I get confused with the newer BMW F650 which is actually an 800cc, (why did they do that )
Please post your opinions, findings, call them what you may.

I know the smaller engine BMW is a single cyl, which many have said is a vibratory monster, and to opt for the twin.

Most, if not all my riding is on tarmac, with possible some hard compact gravel roads.

vette
What about the Triumph 800 ? Seems to be a great bike, but not cheaper than the Beemer 800GS. I suppose nobody knows why the F650 is named this way. The F-series all have the 800cc parallel twin. Probably the F650 has the frame of the old 650 enduro, but comes with the 800cc engine. To make things even more confusing the old F650 thumper is now called G650.
Personally I'd prefer the enduro type bike to any road bike. The enduro is IMHO much more comfortable for travelling. No need to fit knobblies if you're only riding tarmac.
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  #4  
Old 17 May 2012
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Hi all,

I have had the road bikes in the past, and some really fancy point and squirt stuff. > 260km/h
I am happier on an Enduro / adventure type bike hense the AT and the BMW.

One bike that has crossed my mind more than once is teh Yamaha TDM.
My friend had the early TNM 850, an I was quite impressed with it.
Now of course thay have moved up to 900cc and I think there is a gearbox change also?

So how is the TDM fitting into my picture, 850 or 900 like I said, mostly tarmac.

vette
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  #5  
Old 17 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi all,

I had the use of a late (2000) AT for a year, and finally gave it back to my brother end of last summer (2011)

Now during that time, I would regularly go for ride outs, and one of my good friends was on a BMW F 800 GS. I think it was a 2009.

The same vein of adventure bike that the AT was.

However, it always felt the BMW was so much more advanced than the AT, as good as the AT was, it never had any where near the power the BMW had.

So where to next, I have never really liked the BMW's but maybe times are changing?

Has any one had direct comparison between the AT and the 650cc BMW or the 800cc BMW and the 750cc AT.
I get confused with the newer BMW F650 which is actually an 800cc, (why did they do that )
Please post your opinions, findings, call them what you may.

I know the smaller engine BMW is a single cyl, which many have said is a vibratory monster, and to opt for the twin.

Most, if not all my riding is on tarmac, with possible some hard compact gravel roads.

vette
It's interesting that after a year of using the AT you don't seem at all interested in buying one for yourself. I guess you have your reasons.
Certainly, they are over-priced in the UK, being something of a cult bike, especially after a bike magazine ran a test report a while back which recommended the AT as the best bike of a crop of so called adventure bikes.

Anyway, the F650GS name was retained by BMW when they marketed the F800GS so as not to lose the brand of that name; I got this opinion by speaking with Beemer sales staff at that time - it was also a means for BMW to meet their earlier commitment to bring to their showrooms at least a couple of new models of bike (or variations/developments of bikes such as the new water cooled 1200GS for next year), each and every year. Most recently they have gone into the large-engined scooter market for instance.

Regarding the single cyl, BMW have gone full circle and are now selling the G650GS, and the related Sertao, which are direct replacements for the earlier twin spark F650GS/Dakar range.
BMW publicity at the time said this was done because of the market demand for the single cyl engine which is still, to this day, one of the most economical engines available (mine does about 75 MPG - UK gallons that is, easily). It is also one of smoothest running singles and no way would I call that engine a vibratory monster - look to KTM 640s for that!!
Power output of the twin spark engine is nearly 50 HP which is close to the output of a 750cc AT I believe (of course, the AT is a much heavier beast).

There can be no doubt that the BMW market changed immensely, as outlined above, about 10 years ago; just ask those enthusiasts for the airheads and those who run loads of older models, or get hold of a copy of the BMW club magazine.

I hope this is of interest/use to you in your thoughts.
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  #6  
Old 17 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi all,

I have had the road bikes in the past, and some really fancy point and squirt stuff. > 260km/h
I am happier on an Enduro / adventure type bike hense the AT and the BMW.

One bike that has crossed my mind more than once is teh Yamaha TDM.
My friend had the early TNM 850, an I was quite impressed with it.
Now of course thay have moved up to 900cc and I think there is a gearbox change also?

So how is the TDM fitting into my picture, 850 or 900 like I said, mostly tarmac.

vette
I've never owned a TDM but I have been on a friends' 850, quite a few years ago, and I do think that this bike remains very under estimated. It has not been a big seller in the UK but, again, it has a following and they come up at very attractive second hand prices quite regularly.
It is still in production and I saw a new one just yesterday in a dealer with an asking price of £6600. Of course, all Yamaha new bikes are very expensive at present in the UK - this has been ascribed to the Yen-£ exchange rate but I am not so sure; certainly the dealers are prepared to do deals! £1000 off for a new XT660Z Tenere for instance.

The list price for a Vmax is £21,500 by the way; just thought you would like to know that.
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  #7  
Old 17 May 2012
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In Switzerland you can have TDM 850 for dirt cheap, around 1500-2000$, nobody wants them. And I can tell you why. I have one and did around 40'000km with it. The bike I disliked the most to any other bike I rod, but then I was not very experimented and thought it looked good.

First it's very heavy, the center of gravity is very high, and in comparaison with a good old BMW R100GS, it seems much heavier. Then, then engine. it's personnal but I prefear to have an engine that vibrates, that some some noise, rather than something that seems to be an electric engine, with no noise at all... Absolutely not exiting. After that I got myself a Dominator, and was much happier riding, even with almost half of the power.

Then. As soon as you need to do something on this, bike, oyu have to take of all the fairings and the tank, even to access the battery.
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  #8  
Old 17 May 2012
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AT versus F650 (funduro)

Hi there I had a 91 AT and loved the look the ride basically everything except the weight and the height I am 5'7 with a 28" inside leg so when I swapped for a single cylinder 650cc BMW funduro (97)I was amazed at the difference in height and weight. FWIW I think the single cylinder thumper is fantastic its got plenty of torque and cruises comfortably at 80 contrary to what everyone else says I have no problem with vibrations and regularly travel on the motorways. Nearly all my riding is on tarmac with a little gravel and dirt tracks and the funduro copes, no not copes thrives on both surfaces. I personally do not like the new F650 (800cc) probably because I havent actually ridden one but they arent singles so as long as mine keeps doing all I ask of it I wont be changing lol Try an old funduro with easily 65 MPG and soooo comfortable.
Keep Upright Bill
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  #9  
Old 18 May 2012
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Hi all,

The AT was OK, but I think it was top heavy, or maybe i was expecting to chuck it around more than what I was able to.
Any way, the AT is back with my brother, who also has a Pan European.

I am really thinking about the BMW F650GS (800cc) and the Yamaha TDM 900cc.
The older pre 2002 TDM was a 850cc with a 5 speed g/box
the post 2002 is a 900cc with a 6 speed g/box

Strangely it seems the newer 900cc is a bit down on power as to the older 850cc, perhaps some emissions control thing ?
74 hp for the newer and 79 hp for the older.
However, as the newer has a 6 speed box, it gets more range out of a smaller ( 1 liter less) tank, ie, newer gets 170 miles, older 155 miles.

If any one can give me some more actual experience on riding the TND's then please chime in,.


vette
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  #10  
Old 18 May 2012
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I think it all comes down of what you are expecting from a bike.

I test ride the new F650GS and G650Gs, they feal really light and easy to drive, I didn't like the parallel twin for the same reason I hated it on the TDM, no character at all, no noise, nothing. The single cylinder is much more fun to ride.

If you go for a TDM, test ride it first.

If you can affort it, the 1200GS is the best in his class, I really like it, but it's too expensive for me.

At the moment I have a Cagiva Gran Canyon 900 (ducati 900 engine), and I must say, it's by far the best dual purpose bike I ever owned. I feels really light, the engine is incredible, the bike looks much nicer as many nowadays bikes, and the handling is fantastic.
Of course, the imagine of Cagiva is pretty bad, but on ebay on can find all parts, and the engine is very common ducati, so parts are available easily.

Good luck ;-)
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  #11  
Old 18 May 2012
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In 1999 I sold a 1990 R/W/B RD04 @ to help finance the bmw r100gs I thought I had to have for my RTW trip.

We all make mistakes.

In 2009 (long after my trip ended) there was a 1995 R/W/B (flames) RD07 @ for sale locally, so without thinking too long I bought it. I sleep much better now. My bike life has gone full circle.

So, Life after the @ = realise you made a mistake and buy another
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  #12  
Old 19 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi all,

The AT was OK, but I think it was top heavy, or maybe i was expecting to chuck it around more than what I was able to.
Any way, the AT is back with my brother, who also has a Pan European.

I am really thinking about the BMW F650GS (800cc) and the Yamaha TDM 900cc.
The older pre 2002 TDM was a 850cc with a 5 speed g/box
the post 2002 is a 900cc with a 6 speed g/box

Strangely it seems the newer 900cc is a bit down on power as to the older 850cc, perhaps some emissions control thing ?
74 hp for the newer and 79 hp for the older.
However, as the newer has a 6 speed box, it gets more range out of a smaller ( 1 liter less) tank, ie, newer gets 170 miles, older 155 miles.

If any one can give me some more actual experience on riding the TND's then please chime in,.


vette
If you can get hold of a copy of the UK "Ride" mag for July 12 it is running an article about buying second hand TDMs - both engine sizes.
It seems like a useful read with a lot of basic information; there are not many downsides listed - those mentioned relate to the usual generic Yamaha thing of furring fastenings (they all do that sir, especially when you ride during the winter) and some issues with electrical connections.
Apparently, production ceased in 2010 but they are still available, new.
The 18 inch front wheel is a limitation but you can fit other Yam wheels.

It is quite a detailed report with too much to state here but you could look at their recommended webpages:-
www.carpe-tdm.net
http://jbx9.free.fr/tdm

The article also suggests a google of "master brewer tdm".
Hope this helps!

ps just done the search and masterbrewer is all one word:- http://masterbrewer-adventureriderep...rer-specs.html
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  #13  
Old 20 May 2012
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Hello all,

I was thinking,,,,,,,,,,,

As i will move up a "size" from a 750cc At, to the 850cc / 900cc TDM, would it be too much to throw another good bike into the ring?

I was thinking the Honda Varadero ?

I guess the Varadero is the replacement Africa Twin?
Africa Twin 750cc off set V twin (behaving like a big single) Varadero 1000cc, also a big V twin.

Any one any thing to say on the 900cc TDM versus the 1000cc Varadero?


vette
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  #14  
Old 21 May 2012
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The Varadero is comparable to the 1150GS Beemer. Fairly heavy, but very comfortable for travelling and absolutely reliable. IMHO highly recommendable.
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  #15  
Old 21 May 2012
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Suzuki DL650. Might not be the biggest, fastest or strongest dual sport on the market but I think it's a great bike. Very economical, fun and reliable.
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