The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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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.
London to Cape Town - KTM 640 Adventure or BMW F650GS Dakar?
Hi, I am contemplating a London to Cape Town/Johannesburg overland trip in March/April 2007 and would like some advice regarding choice of bike. I am 6"5 tall and weigh about 240lbs, and have never ridden a bike before. The two bikes I am considering are the KTM 640 Adventure and the BMW F650GS Dakar - I would be interested to hear your opinions/recommendations.
1) Sac up and just make a decision to do it, dont spend to much time contemplating it.
2) Buy an older bike to learn how to ride before you cross 20,000 miles of Africa.
3) Get the KTM to do the trip, mainly just because orange is such a pretty color. You will probably hear about a 1000 reasons why to choose one over the other and really all of them are as subjective as just likeing the color of the bike.
I would take the Dakar 650 GS,the KTM is too fragile and parts can take forever.Almost all of the companies doing overland tours thro Africa use them,mainly because they are pretty reliable,easy to ride and have "adequate" off road ability,you can also get fitted luggage.The Yamaha XT600/660 is a good bike and you can pick them up cheap,Ive done acouple of long tours on a 600 and it was ace(and easy to fix).650 GSs hold their value but you can pretty much guarantee its never been more offroad than a muddy puddle so should be in good nick.Whatever you pick it will breakdown!dont worry..you can also guarantee that there will be someone who can fix it withih shouting distance.Enjoy
One more question - I like the suggestion of buying an old bike to learn on; in this regard, is it necessary to get a 600cc (this is what I would intend touring on) or would something smaller suffice (350/450?)?
Considering you live in London and can use the bike to commute the smaller capacity bike will be an absolute pleasure. I commute up with my XJ900 every so often and london traffic on a big bike sux. I did once use a TW125 to get through London and it was fantastic in comparison. If you are really stuck behind a car you can just lift up the front end into a gap, jump kerbs etc. Small capacity is more than adequate for city riding especially considering you will never get above 30mph anyway.
I'm not saying get a 125...but get a dirt cheap 350, ride it for 3-6 month to get the confidence/experience and then go ride as many of the bikes on your wish list as you can before making the final decision. You will be surprised at how your dream bike might just feel wrong and a bike you never considered will feel perfect.
Then again if you have no intention of commuting and want to get into serious distances straight off then I would consider getting a bigger capacity mile eater.
Thanks guys - very informative. Frank - nope, no mechanical or electrical experience. Plan in my head has been pretty much as you suggested; get to grips with London traffic and do the BMW off-road course - definitely level 1, hopefully level 2 if I'm sufficiently advanced by then. Also plan on doing basic motorbike repair course to try and get to grips with some fundamentals. The fact that it is a challenge is kind of the point for me; I've never done anything like this in my life before - but please let me know if you feel ther may be any glaring ommissions in the above. As for the bike for sale suggestions - thanks Henryk/Flying Gringo; I'll certainly give it some thought, and do a bit of digging.
You've opened a can of worms. In short though, with the two bikes you've listed, choose the one which moves you the most. If you're unmoved by either, and you are purely pragmatic, the Bimmer is the way to go.
As for experience, I disagree a bit with those that say you need it before you go. In my opinion, although you will be somewhat at a greater risk, you will get plenty experience en-route, and can allways adjust your route and riding to the prevailing conditions and your experience. Besides, none of the bikes you talk about are overly heavy, be careful and you will do just fine. I just read about a New Zeland couple doing 60.000,- km with two children, and the woman rider had no prior experience what so ever, getting her first experience in South American riding conditions. My wife will join me on a trip from Cape Town to Nairobi june 7th. She will only just have gotten her license one week in advance!
You might as well get experience some place exiting and exotic, as in a place familarily boring. You're driving lessons from obtaining the license is all the prior experience you need to do a trip like this. Although an unfamiliar place will pose extra challenges for a newbie, extra caution will get you through just fine. Just don't expect to be doing some hardcore off-roading anytime soon.
I do however agree that getting in as much varied riding as you possibly can before you leave, will serve you well. I also do agree that starting out small, increasing in size as you gain experience, is optimal. But, I hardly feel that it is absolutely necessary, only preferably. If time for departure is in the near future, I think it is far more important to get to know the bike you will be riding on your trip, than to gain all your experience on a smaller bike.
As for choice of motorcycles. In my opinion, the KTM offers the most nosatlgia and centimental value, but the Bimmer will offer you far greater comfort, reliability, longer service intervals, etc. Your heart says KTM, your brain says Bimmer... who you want to listen to is entirely up to you. Both will make it, and both will offer their unique experiences... (You can compare this to Land Rovers vs Toyota Land Cruisers - the first is simply just supposed to be there, but the latter is still the more sensible choice). By comparison, myy wife and I will be crossing Africa on classic Vespa scooters.
My favourite? The BMW F650GS Dakar, by far... and I hope to buy one soon. Overlanding by classic scooters is simply mental, and I'm missing my motorcycle (though I don't like to admit it... so hush).
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