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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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  #16  
Old 21 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barothi View Post
Suzuki DL650
Yep. AT is clearly better off-road (quite heavy though) but Suzi does more or less everything else better, especially the newest 2012 version. Goes the same distance with much less fuel, too, so much so that you see it on your wallet after a long trip. I've owned 5 Africa Twins, still love the bike very much, but these days theres no way around it, it's an old design. Honda should've developed it, not quit it!
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  #17  
Old 22 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
Yep. AT is clearly better off-road (quite heavy though) but Suzi does more or less everything else better, especially the newest 2012 version. Goes the same distance with much less fuel, too, so much so that you see it on your wallet after a long trip. I've owned 5 Africa Twins, still love the bike very much, but these days there's no way around it, it's an old design. Honda should've developed it, not quit it!
.
.
Hi Pecha, The AT is frighteningly heavy in the soft sand.
The front really has a total mind of it's own.
So really, the AT is a tarmac or gravel track bike only.

This is where the TDM or teh Varadero will live, tarmac or gravel only.


Thanks for your comments,

Vette
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  #18  
Old 29 May 2012
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Yes I had!

You asked: "Has any one had direct comparison between the AT and the 650cc BMW"

Between 2000 and 2005 we lived in Bolivia - I had a wonderful Africa Twin (Frank on AT) and my wife had the F650GS.

The Africa Twin is an unbelievable robust bike, which I would always buy again.
The F650GS was a total desaster. The motor died around 14000 km in Brazil. I drove from Rio de Janeiro (where the BMW garage said because it was a german BMW I had no warranty) to the head office of BMW in Sao Paulo. They said, if I repaired the bike with BMW garage Rio (double price compared to the Suzuki garage offer) and the repair would fail, they would send the parts to Bolivia and repair it there. No warranty if I had chosen the Suzuki repair. Ok.
The repair did not last, a dying bike reached La Paz and although we claimed the written warranty in Brazil and Germany several times - we never got it....
The bike never drove again - my lesson: Never buy a BMW. Never trust even a written warranty. Repairs are double expensive than in rice-cooker-garages.

The Africa drove through all the worst you can imagine and had only minor failures - the worst was a contact in the sidestand, which connected "secretly" and made the engine ran unround. I drove at least 4 times to a garage until a smart guy in Iquique found it out.


Now:
After being without bike for five years I just had to decide what I wanted to buy. I knew what I wanted: A brandnew Africa Twin please!
But there is nothing on the market like that. So I just ordered a Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere.

Why?
Life-Rule number one: No BMW!
The Honda Crosstourer told me directly: "Don't you even think about driving me through anything but best roads!"
The Triumph - a friend told me "too much plastic" - but I liked her somewhat.

But in the end I wanted the Tenere. I could not find so many gimmicks on her, the test bike drove perfectly (even thru a german forest) and a BIG reason too was the price.
BMW and Triumph are crazy expensive compared to a Tenere.

I live again in the Latin Americas now and I need a robust bike with simple and proved technic. I do not need a showbike. I need a bike I can lose and get on again - and if the Tenere is not as robust as I hope at least I paid 30% less.
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  #19  
Old 17 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank on AT View Post
You asked: "Has any one had direct comparison between the AT and the 650cc BMW"

Between 2000 and 2005 we lived in Bolivia - I had a wonderful Africa Twin (Frank on AT) and my wife had the F650GS.

The Africa Twin is an unbelievable robust bike, which I would always buy again.
The F650GS was a total desaster. The motor died around 14000 km in Brazil. I drove from Rio de Janeiro (where the BMW garage said because it was a german BMW I had no warranty) to the head office of BMW in Sao Paulo. They said, if I repaired the bike with BMW garage Rio (double price compared to the Suzuki garage offer) and the repair would fail, they would send the parts to Bolivia and repair it there. No warranty if I had chosen the Suzuki repair. Ok.
The repair did not last, a dying bike reached La Paz and although we claimed the written warranty in Brazil and Germany several times - we never got it....
The bike never drove again - my lesson: Never buy a BMW. Never trust even a written warranty. Repairs are double expensive than in rice-cooker-garages.

The Africa drove through all the worst you can imagine and had only minor failures - the worst was a contact in the sidestand, which connected "secretly" and made the engine ran unround. I drove at least 4 times to a garage until a smart guy in Iquique found it out.


Now:
After being without bike for five years I just had to decide what I wanted to buy. I knew what I wanted: A brandnew Africa Twin please!
But there is nothing on the market like that. So I just ordered a Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere.

Why?
Life-Rule number one: No BMW!
The Honda Crosstourer told me directly: "Don't you even think about driving me through anything but best roads!"
The Triumph - a friend told me "too much plastic" - but I liked her somewhat.

But in the end I wanted the Tenere. I could not find so many gimmicks on her, the test bike drove perfectly (even thru a german forest) and a BIG reason too was the price.
BMW and Triumph are crazy expensive compared to a Tenere.

I live again in the Latin Americas now and I need a robust bike with simple and proved technic. I do not need a showbike. I need a bike I can lose and get on again - and if the Tenere is not as robust as I hope at least I paid 30% less.
I own a Africa Twin RD 7A and love it as well. Good choice on the 1200 Tenere !

BD
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  #20  
Old 17 Nov 2012
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Ok, we are now on the road with our AT for some k´s and a lot of it in sand... At the moment we are in Down Under and here is a lot of sand... the only thing you have to do is not to go too slow About the front and his own mind it hardly depends on the tires, bearings and front shocks (or springs in there), we changed ours to the Wilbers progressive ones (one of the first things we did when we bought it, its only some bucks but made a big difference) and it’s much better.. But I really don’t want to start a tire discussion here and now... there are too many already...

"So really, the AT is a tarmac or gravel track bike only." For us I can say that it isnt... But for everyone and every purpose it is different.

As a second bike, not for travelling, let’s say to have a bit fun at the weekends, I think whenever we stop travelling (and get a decent very good payed job) I would get the 800GS. Not to go too far away from home though... Or better not too far away from the next BMW garage... On our trip I was more helping beamer guys to fix their bike than the regular maintenance on our AT....


cheers
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  #21  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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Always roll on a reliable yet easy to repair bike, if you get a BMW or a Triumph, not many dealers around the world with qualified professionals to attend your needs, but if you choose a Japo bike, you would end up with a much more reliable bike and fix it with a clip.
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  #22  
Old 7 Dec 2012
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Hi All,

OP back here again.
I have looked at a few bikes, and also decided more just what I want from my next bike, after the AT RD7A.

I am 90% sure it is going to be the 1000cc Varadero.
It's a tarmac "2-up" mile muncher, and it will do gravel to a degree.

But I am never going to be taking it near any sandy trails.

The next decision is, well it's two fold actually.
The earlier bikes were carburetor and 5 speed.
The later bikes are injection and 6 speed.
I think the change was around 2000 or 2001 year. ?

I am expecting the same reliability as the AT.

vette
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  #23  
Old 7 Dec 2012
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi All,

OP back here again.
I have looked at a few bikes, and also decided more just what I want from my next bike, after the AT RD7A.

I am 90% sure it is going to be the 1000cc Varadero.
It's a tarmac "2-up" mile muncher, and it will do gravel to a degree.

But I am never going to be taking it near any sandy trails.

The next decision is, well it's two fold actually.
The earlier bikes were carburetor and 5 speed.
The later bikes are injection and 6 speed.
I think the change was around 2000 or 2001 year. ?

I am expecting the same reliability as the AT.

vette
I'd get the six speed, eFI bike, for sure.

Carbs are so, yesterday.......
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