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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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Old 18 Oct 2012
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Long Distance Big Tourer which Brands or machine are reliable

Hi Guys

I am currently (latest next spring) looking for a new (in my possesion) Bike to get.

I will need the Bike mostley in West-Europe. But there is a trip in planning next Summer that will take East-Europe and round the Black Sea.
I am not an offroad Person, means as long there is something like a road i will take that and if there is non i will turn around. But something like a road means it is a road, but can be in bad condition too...

In 2014 i hope i can get 4 month of work and intend to do a Trip to Japan. If possible through Pakistan - India - Nepal - China. Well still far away so anything possible ;-)

As wil use the Bike most in the Alps i like to get something with torque.

Currently I am looking at following Bikes:
  • Triumph Tiger 800 (XC)
  • Triumph Tiger Explorer (XC)
  • Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
  • KTM 990 Adventure
  • KTM 119 Adventure

I think all the Bikes can handle the mostly on road and my "off" Road needs as gravel, sandy roads maybe also fire roads.

Which leeds me to my Question. How are youre experiences about the Reliability of the different Brands. Means how easy is it to get a Mechanic to fix these Machines and if needed get the additional parts either by import or better over a local Dealer Network.
Mostly intrested in th Areas for my longer Trip so Iran, Pakistan, India, China

Thanks and hope oyu guys enjoy all your rinding :-)
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Old 19 Oct 2012
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hi well the transalps and the tenere are known to be the most trustfull and long lasting bikes on this planet.
The newer and more high tech the bikes are the harder it will be to repair them in a third world country. Im going to sell my transalp in germany for 999 euro to get a bike in southamerica so pn me if you are interesdet....
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Old 19 Oct 2012
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Brands are meaningless except to feed the voices in your head and any of the bikes listed will have Ferrari like service availability outside of Europe.

I would suggest you are looking for something that you are very sure is reliable in the conditions you expect (I'd say the KTM's might be if they use higher spec parts and the others are untested, but I'm sure owners will come along soon to tell us) or something smaller, more off road based and within your own understanding and that of a back street mechanic (Which is where Tenere's/AT's/Transalps/KLR's etc. come in).

Parts availability drops drastically the newer and bigger the bike is. Plan to UPS bits if you need them and don't fancy using a Chinese 125.

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Old 19 Oct 2012
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For me it would be a trade off between reputation for reliability, ease of repair and brand support (dealer network or spare parts suppliers with experience of shipping parts).

More modern high tech bikes may be more reliable but in the event of a failure can be very complex/expensive to fix.
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Some 'rules'

No bike is 100% reliable.

When the bike brakes down it will be a long way from someone who might know about that particular model.

The things you can do;

Fix it yourself
Try to get someone there to fix it
Have it transported to someone who might be able to fix it
Isolate the smallest bit causing the problem and take that and yourself off somewhere to get a replacement

Depending on where you stop, the local conditions and yourself this may be a very good part of the trip- you get to meet the locals rather than just ride past.


You will need to learn how to fix the bike ... at least that is the best method ... otherwise you are in the hands of a 'local expert' who may damage the bike further.

MESSAGE .. learn the basics of your bike before you leave.
Get a knowledgeable contact who is willing to help by phone/email.
Get a supplier who knows how and has done shipping to the places you are going.

Even if you are fortunate enough to have a local expert, your knowledge at least lets you understand what is going on.


What most people who talk about 'off road' mean is 'off a sealed road'.

Riding a bike off a sealed road with luggage is enough work without making a new road too. Not to say there are not enjoyable bits about the nonsealed roads, getting to places others don't (less people, more room), seeing some magnificent bits of the earth.

Do try and keep the weight down. A lighter bike with less luggage weight does make riding on sand/gravel/dirt/mud easier. Think about what speed you want to cruise at and select a size of bike that will do that speed rather than selecting one that meets some image thing. You'll be happier on the remoter bits of the trip. Good luck.
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ktm, reliable, triumph, yamaha

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