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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 2 Mar 2008
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long-term-trip through south america - why not use a quad?

Hi everyone,

we (me and my partner) are planning to go on a trip through south america for maybe about one year. All along we thought we would do this trip on one bmw f 650 gs (two-up). Now we got the crazy idea to use a quad, but in the internet I couldn't find anything about someone who tried that before. That's why I want to ask this question to you... Why not use a quad?
You can carry more baggage on it than on a "normal" bike and I think the lower speed should be second-rate on southamericas roads...

Thanks for your answers,
Andrea
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  #2  
Old 2 Mar 2008
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Horses for courses

I can't think of any definitive reason why "not". Apart from obvious stuff like you can't get it in your hotel room or winch it onto a small boat, you have to ask yourself whether it would be your choice as a ride in Germany. If you find yourself saying "no", then that rationale will apply to South America too. Remember, there are some very good roads in SA, not all are tracks!
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  #3  
Old 2 Mar 2008
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for the love of god - NOOOO!!!

There are a lot of reasons not to use a quad.... Firstly they are very dangerous compared to a bike OR a car. They handle badly, you can't get them inside and you can't easily secure them, you can't really use major highways (which you WILL encounter now matter how 'third world' you think your destination is). If you want 4 wheels and not a car have you thought about customising or building a sand-rail? I really wouldn't want to crash a quad, would be much happier stacking a bike.

All of the bad bits of a car and a bike in one with none of the benefits if you ask me, does your partner ride? Two bikes would be the most versatile IMHO
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  #4  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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I already said it... it was only a crazy idea. Yesterday, we went to a motocycle exhibition and viewed a quad booth, and we asked us, why nobody used a quad for such a trip before. There are so many tours with quads offered in the internet (most are 14 day-"fun"-trips, of course) but I couldn't find anyone who used a quad for a longer distance and I asked me, why?

The only benefit to use a quad, who occures to us, is that you can carry much more load on it. But I think if you are planning to use one vehicle for two people that is a very important benefit.

Thats why we asked for the disadvantages of using a quad...

@Henryuk: what do you mean with these two phrases: "I really wouldn't want to crash a quad, would be much happier stacking a bike. Plus even the female pillion might not be enough to stop people questioning your sexuality..." Sorry, I haven't understand

Greetings
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  #5  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Comment one - Quads have a nasty habit of landing on you when you crash, the most common quad crash is the front wheel locking/ducking down in a hard corner and throwing the rider over the front corner - quad then lands on rider, bikes are a lot easier to jump away from/backwards off. Plus if the bike does land on you it will weigh less than a quad. I also find quad bikes quite uncomfortable over distance compared to a bike for some reason

Comment 2 - should have been deleted, but was posted twice instead(?).

In Sheffield we have quite a few people who have bought road legal quads with loud cans and full MX race gear for the purpose of posing round town, so my friends and I (who are snobby bikers) tend to laugh at them quite a lot, cannot see why anyone would get a road quad unless they wanted a bike but didn't have the balls or balance to ride one. Sure this doesn't apply globally, but is an attitude you may encounter on a quad
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  #6  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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There are quads and there are quads

Novro,

Just a few thoughts on the topic:

There seems to be quite a variety of quads appearing on the market nowadays, here in the UK at least - I get the impression that they are growing in popularity.
Everything is available from "toys" through farmers' utility vehicles (you don't see many farmers riding bikes in the UK nowadays) to the more off-road, distance-capable vehicles.

Lots of manufacturers out there, including the major Jap names for two wheels.

The 3 wheel variety (1 wheel at the front) are now illegal in the UK, which is just as well because they certainly behave as described by henry - I agree with the premise that "bailing off" a bike when crashing is easier than with any other form of mechanical transport.
The 4 wheel design can be easy enough to turn over on side slopes, just as tractors can do, and this has been a common way of injuring/killing (d)riders. (you can have a roll bar fitted of course).

Accidents with them get quite a bit of publicity as well: novelty value perhaps, combined with the ubiquitous celebs who have been known to kill or seriously injure themselves while riding a quad, here in the UK anyway.

There is another thread somewhere in here about a proposal to take a ride on quads in Africa - there were quite a few posts in there IIRC.
There was also some comment about whether quads should appear in here at all (but not a patch compared with the subject of sidecars!) - therefore, you may find other posts on this topic in the 4 wheel section of HU.

I have read a webpage (sorry, I don't have the url) about some Canadians who are riding quads from there north to south across the USA, all off-road: IIRC, they are using Polaris quads and they have some sponsorship - nice if you can get it!
My guess is that there is still some novelty value to possible sponsorship of quad riding, whereas it seems to me that sponsoring bike riding is pretty "old hat" now.

There is another website about a guy who is driving around south America with a beach buggy, based on a VW beetle (made in Brazil no doubt).

Cheers,
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Last edited by Walkabout; 3 Mar 2008 at 17:49. Reason: Roll bar comment added
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  #7  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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I think a quad is probably not a good choice for the reasons stated above, including riding one on a highway particularly.

If you want to carry lots of kit, but still have that 'open air' feel, why not buy something like a jeep wrangler or a soft top land rover. You could probably get the former at least in the States. I'm afraid i've never owned a four wheel drive of any description so I don't know what the Wrangler is like but it might be an option.

I'd also suggest if you decide to go with the bike, get something bigger than an f650 for two up. Maybe a 1150 or 1200GS if you like BMWs. They would also be able to carry more gear.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #8  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novro View Post
@Henryuk: what do you mean with these ... phrases: ... Plus even the female pillion might not be enough to stop people questioning your sexuality..." Sorry, I haven't understand

Greetings
Oh man, I nearly cried laughing! Curse them people who quote your unquotable deletions in the next post, eh Henry!?

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #9  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post

I'd also suggest if you decide to go with the bike, get something bigger than an f650 for two up. Maybe a 1150 or 1200GS if you like BMWs. They would also be able to carry more gear.

Matt
Hi Matt,

unfortunately, a bigger bike is no option for us, because I'm only 1,60m (I think it is about 5'2") and the f650gs is the ONLY Travel Enduro, on which I can reach the ground with my feet. All others are to high for me , we have tested a lot. To buy a bigger one would mean that we have no second driver if my partner is injured ore someone else... stupid situation
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  #10  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Other problems

Novro,

There is other problems with quads:

(1) They pick up nails like nobodies business, and there are ALOT of nails on roads in SA from paros (strikes) etc. Too much surface area on the ground. And then very few of the by-the-roadside tire repair places will be able to get the tire off the rim to patch the tube (unless you adapt a split-rim). YES, you'd better run tubes!!!

(2) The tires, although they act as additional suspension, they are not controlled by a damper (shock) and you can hit a short series of bumps and be completely out of control (usually landing with the quad on top of you!). You could run some of the race tires that are more like small car tires to control this...

(3) With a bike you only need 4" of good road to get by. A quad needs MUCH more and the worst thing is that the wheel spread does not match cars and trucks so you will often have to have one wheel in the rut and one out of it (or straddling a rut, which always ends up with the rut winning!)

(4) The most common vehicle in SA that could give you and your bike a ride is a Toyota Hilux pickup whose bed is not wide enough for a quad. Big American pickups are rare! And bigger trucks are loaded to the gills 15 feet high, so you would be out of luck....

I have lived decades in SA and owned (and raced) quads there, but I would NEVER take one on more than an afternoon trip.....

Toby (charapa) Around the Block 2007 |


You CAN do it. Heck I've seen a Honda CT-90 go Alaska-Ushaia-Alaska, but DO YOU WANT TO???
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  #11  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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Question Suitable place to travel by quad?

Interesting and good feedback in that last post.

It does make you wonder if there is better value in using a quad on another continent i.e. is there a place that is more suited to quads than others: the PD race comes to mind - general lack of roads, the particular applicability of low ground pressure tyres + other factors.
If I understand it correctly, the nail "thing" is a result of political activity/strike action - it could happen anywhere, but it seems to be especially likely in south America.
So, quads are more suited to, say, Africa or Oz?

Toby,
The PD race is coming in your general direction - how do you think the quads will fare compared with racing in the open desert? (I imagine that the new course will have more tracks in use, but who knows as yet!?).

And, how about those trucks?
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  #12  
Old 4 Mar 2008
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Andrea,

There's a couple quadding across Africa, I think as we speak, they're on here too, Quads Across Africa.

If you want to go one up from a quad then a buggy might be the answer, like this one.


http://www.youtube.com/v/YNECruKUbQs

They're available all across Europe so you're sure to find a dealer near you. E-mail me if you'd like to know a bit more, I've got loads of sites bookmarked in all sorts of languages.
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  #13  
Old 4 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Interesting and good feedback in that last post.
Absolutely agree with walkabout. I never imagined this obvious problems... very interesting! Thanks@charapashanperu!
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  #14  
Old 4 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Andrea,

There's a couple quadding across Africa, I think as we speak, they're on here too, Quads Across Africa.

If you want to go one up from a quad then a buggy might be the answer, like this one.

They're available all across Europe so you're sure to find a dealer near you. E-mail me if you'd like to know a bit more, I've got loads of sites bookmarked in all sorts of languages.
Very interesting site... thank you for this link.
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  #15  
Old 4 Mar 2008
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how about the ariel atom instead of a quad:

Ariel Motor Company
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