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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 30 Apr 2004
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London to NZ bike , £1500, some rough roads and no idea

Hi all
I have tried reading through the info on these boards but as i dont know much about bikes myself it doesnt mean much to me.
Two friends and myself are riding london to NZ next year and are about to start looking for bikes. Our budget is about £1500 each for the bikes including any modifications and extras but not including protective gear. We will be on some rough roads but also spend some time on highways, we wont be doing many big days riding but would still like semi comfortable bikes. We are looking around the 500 - 600cc range.
Any suggestions or personal experiences with bikes that would fit this kind of trip would be greatly appreciated so i can narrow my seach.

Thanks everyone
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  #2  
Old 30 Apr 2004
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Your budget seems a little low if it's to include all modifications as well? Some people spend that on luggage alone.

You might do it if you're competent at making or modifying parts yourself & have access to a good selection of tools.

I hope I don't come across as pessimistic? Have you checked out the cost, new & second hand, of luggage, larger fuel tanks, decent suspension, overhauling & servicing the bike etc?

Good luck

Steve
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  #3  
Old 30 Apr 2004
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You should probably pool your money and go round some dealers and say you want a good deal as you're buying three bikes. This might get you some money off.
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  #4  
Old 1 May 2004
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Yeah we will be able to do all the work on the bikes ourselves and through some contacts i can get any tools i need.

[This message has been edited by ryanclark11 (edited 30 April 2004).]
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  #5  
Old 9 May 2004
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I think one of the best bikes you can pick up for your budget is the Yamaha Diversion 600. There are some low mileage examples often advetised in MCN.

The Suzuki GS500 is another bike which can be cheap to buy used, as is the Yamaha Virago 535 - which has shaft drive.

With all these bikes you get a simple but very solid engine, easy to service as there are no rads and plumbing - less to go wrong.

Of the three I say try to get a Divvy. Quite a few of these were bought by the 'born agains' as their first 'big' bike, so if you can find one which has been used little by a mature owner, you are onto a winner!
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  #6  
Old 9 May 2004
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Personally I'd go for the GS500. Slightly cheaper, v.important bearing in much your budget. Also, the GS has screw & locknut tappets for adjusting the valve clearances, something that can be done by the side of the road wirh minimal tools - this is just a personal preference of mine.

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  #7  
Old 10 May 2004
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I'd go for the GS500 too. They have been around for a very long time, having evolved from the GS400-GS425-GS450 first made about 1978. They have plenty of power for the trip you are planning ( in fact more than you will need, see my posting in the Suzuki section about our experiences with many travelers and bikes http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000016.html and also the "Do it on a 250cc" topic in this section.) They are still being made (and sold here in NZ), they are air cooled to water pump seals etc are no worries, they are cheap but most importand of all, they are light. You will love them when you are pushing them into that guesthouse hallway in Kathmandu. But last of all and most important of all, make sure you are all riding the SAME TYPE OF BIKE. I can't stress this enough. Not just for the spare parts, but for diagnostics and ease of repair. We have had travelers stay with us half way thru their world trip who have sent one bike back home and bought another bike in NZ to match. It really is that important, and the more bikes you are traveling with the more important it is. Finally, be sure to drop by and visit with us when you get here!
Kind regards

Nigel in NZ

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  #8  
Old 27 May 2004
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Ok, after a bit more research i do realise this is a little on the low side, i like the sound of the diversion, can anyone give me a ball park figure on what their bikes cost to get ready for there trip(doing it on the cheap) after the purchase of the bike, from what i can see £1200 - 1300 should get me a tidy recent bike to start with.
Do the parts taken off the bike, fuel tank, shock etc do anything for offseting the cost of the new parts?

Thanks
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Old 27 May 2004
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If you buy a good Jap bike cheap..but well kept, you shouldnt have to do anything other than give it a service and carry some spares. (levers, cables etc.)

I have seen panniers made from large plastic containers with screw on lids..the things bulk dog food is sold in. They were bolted to a simple rack, two each side, water proof and about 10 dollars to make. They were locked with a padlock through the lid.

You shouldnt need an extra large tank for your route. Its only in south western Pakistan that I've heard of fuel scarcity. Its easy to buy a Jerry can in Iran for that leg then toss it when youve finished. Strap your spare tyres over the back seat with an Okey strap.

cheers
alec

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  #10  
Old 27 May 2004
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looked at a dominator (honda) easy ish if you have little experience and are commo0n all over as thy have been around for years. not much would need to be modified either. stick a backpack on the back and off you go. another thing is they have a bit of ability on rough ground and you can pick a half decent one up for £1500.
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  #11  
Old 27 May 2004
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i agree with martyn. get a jap bike like a dommie, strap a couple of bags on the back and go. the ride through asia is technically easy. you definitely do NOT need a 1200gs, with gps, touratech goodies etc. some people think they do, but their budget allows them to prop up the bmw share price.

you'll need a carnet de passage. this is based on the value of the bike. 400% (for india) of 1000 quid is a great deal less than 400% of 15k.

every mechanic everywhere can fix a japanese single with a carburettor, be it 125 cc or 600cc.
my grain of salt.
cheers
ChrisB
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  #12  
Old 28 May 2004
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thanks, all this info is helping heaps, i am swinging towards the Diversion as it looks like a bike i could use once i get home.

Is there any problems i should look out for when buying one of these?

What is everyones thoughts on changing the shocks, worth doing? and i am probably looking at making my own luggage. is it worth going with the hard or will packs and racks to attach them to work?
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Old 31 May 2004
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For another alternative take a look at Rich and Lisas set up..they have a blogg on this site. They have back packs that sit either side.
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