I'm off to Tokyo this summer via Iran, the Stans and Mongolia. Was planning to take an AT but have found its just a bit too top heavy and porky for my liking, so looking at changing the bike. Ita also immaculate and I don't wan to ruin it! I reckon I'll have around £2k to spend give or take a few hundred and would like to get something back at the end...
So...much of the riding is on roads but then again roads may well deteriorate after Iran (Mongolia!?). I believe that the F650 Dakar could be up to the job but the question is, is it really? My concern would be the water system going on me and leaving me stranded or waiting a long time.
So here's some questions about some potential options
- How bad is the water pump / system problem?
- Can it be made reliable before you go and is there an aftermarket fix that improves things? I've heard it can go at any point.
- What other nasties are there?
- If buying one with 30k on the clock (my budget), what checks should I do to see its not knackered.
At the other extreme there is the TTR250. David Lambeth recommended this bike on simplicity, reliability and handling (when packed light). I am going minimal and lightweight and this idea quite appeals to me.
I would set up much like Lois Price: Trans-Africa - The Bike
- Would the lack of power be horrible down to Istanbul?
- Is there even a lack of power? I heard they are quite pokey, at least compared to older 250s.
- What might it be like at altitude - The Pamir and Kyrgystan are high! Think the beemer might be much better here?
- Does 'protection' i.e. a faring really make a big difference apart from on the motorway?
- Can it cope with crap fuel - it has a highish compression ratio. Think the beemer might be better here.
- Anyone got any experience with the TTR250??
I guess a compromise would be an XT600E. Its a bit vanilla though and I might as well go for the BM and get the comfort no?
I'll be solo so want something reliable. Also I don't really have much time to hang around for parts etc if things go wrong. That said, I don't want to be miserable crawling along for half the trip...
I'm inclined to pack VERY light and take the light bike. Thoughts?