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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 31 Jan 2004
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The most high mile resistant motorcycle?

Like in the eightyes the General Motors Opel did the record ride of something 800 000 kilometres without any brakedowns, only oils, tyres etc were replaced. As far as i know it hasn't been beaten by any other yet - should be in Guiness Records(?).

Has something similar done on motorcycles too? Some kind of resistance/reliability test?

A bit though question, but would be absolutely interesting to know about the lifetimes of motorcycles, on different types and manufacturers.

Kind regards, Margus
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  #2  
Old 31 Jan 2004
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I feel that the the BMW K series has one the best records for high mileages.

100k miles is no problem & is the norm rather than the exception. My chassis is on 188k miles & the engine is on 120+k miles. I have four or five friends with similar mileages. All of the K's in question were bought cheap having already covered high mileages. Like mine, many are ex-Police & Courier bikes. I bought mine with 173,000 on the clocks in early 2001. I still use it for work most days & and am selling it tomorrow for £500.00 & buying another slightly older bike for £1,050.00 that's only covered 69,000m - plenty of years life in it. The bike I'm selling still returns 45mpg with a pillion & luggage at a constant 85mph on the motorway. It once returned 60mpg on small roads in eastern Europe.

There are plenty for sale here from £1,000 to £1,500. I paid £800.00 for two whole bikes & another in pieces. I sold one for £400.00 & kept the broken bike for spares, which I've not actually needed.

They're easy to service, the EFI is very reliable & does not suffer any of the surging problems that affects some oilheads. In the UK, there's a massive second hand parts set up with good prices.

The only problem with a K is that they're a bit bland & not really suitable for off road use without a lot of modifications, something that appears to be popular in Australia?

The 1100's have more grunt & speed than the 1000's but are a little harder to service as they are 16v & I believe the cams have to come out to do the valve clearances. on the 1000's, the shim is on top of the bucket, which you dpress with the correct tool to allow shim exchange. It takes a couple of easy hours to change all oils & filters & to check & adjust the valve cleances, assuming you have the correct shims to hand.

Steve
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  #3  
Old 31 Jan 2004
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hi
hi I am courier and use k100lt for work I generaly buy them at 40,000 miles use them for 3 years then sell them up to 150,00 greta no problems about 80,000 replace starter motor brushes and alternator brushes
150,000 new clutch and main engine oil seal that about it change the oil every 4.000 and just ride.
I sold one of my bike's to another couier who used it for another two years he bike must have done 450,000 miles when the bevel drive broke and he's now breaking it for spare's
My pleasure bike r100gs p/d done 150,00 but I have just rebuilt it I owned the bike for seven years its like new now looking forward to the next seven years

cheers nobby
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  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2004
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I have had my K100RT new since 1988, now with 180,000km (110,000 miles) on it. Other than fluid/filter changes, tyres, fork seals and greasing shaft splines (important), the only additional work has been-

Rear shock replaced with Ohlin at 60,000km
Clutch renewed at 130,000km
Clutch cable renewed 160,000km.

About 20% of my riding is on fair to good dirt roads with the rest sealed roads. I could not ask for a more reliable bike.

Rgards,
Richard
Cairns, Australia
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  #5  
Old 1 Feb 2004
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Yes it seems true. For example when i look at the used motorcycle markets i see BMW K-series with incredible mileages and their technical conditions are stll good! It possibly is the most resistant one existing from commercially available bikes...

But what would be next to BMW K-series? BMW R-series or from some other manufactures - japanese bikes for example, Honda Goldwings or STs maybe?

And the subject that seriously would interest me is the enduro-touring motorbikes side: i mean can it be sayed that the BMW GS enduros are the most resistant ones available in high mileage? And do Africa Twins, Trans Alps, V-Stroms, Capo Nords come even close in engine resistance side?

Margus@a_bit_tough_question_again.com
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  #6  
Old 2 Feb 2004
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A few years ago I bought a Transalp with 23,000 miles already on the clock. I'd bought the bike to keep the mileage down on my other bike.

I used, or should I say abused, the Transalp on the daily commute to work and 3 years later having covered 138,00 miles I gave the bike to a friend.

The bike still ran perfectly and the only thing other than normal service items that needed changing were the rear wheel bearings. I had done all the servicing myself, changing the oil every 5k instead of the recommended 4k as it was easier to remember 5k increments! and the filter every oil change. Both the clutch and the cam chain were original.

Unfortunately he only had it a couple of months and it got stolen. six months or so later, the insurance company having paid out, he was contacted by the police who had found it in the alleged thiefs garage. To cut a very long story short he bought the bike back from the insurance company and it has now covered 142,000 miles.

Sure it looks a bit tatty, but it is ten years old was dropped a couple of times by the thief.



[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 01 February 2004).]
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  #7  
Old 2 Feb 2004
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Collected the K100 as mentioned in my earlier post. Paid £1,050 for it. Found that it also came with a K&N filter, Progressive Suspension, later type panniers, SuperChips ingition mod & genuine BMW low seat conversion & a Bagster combined tank cover & tank bag. The above mods cost over £600.00 alone. Although it's 18 years old, it looks half that. I was surprised to find that it has only covered 60,700m, not 69,000 as stated above.

Steve

The only thing that needs doing is a minor service - oils, filters & valve clearances (slight ticking noise). Should provide me with a good few years of cheap biking.
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  #8  
Old 3 Feb 2004
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The R-series beemers are right up there with the k-bikes.The 1984 R80RT I bought had 225,000 kilometers on it before we took it RTW.
It now has over 300,000Kms and is still going strong.If I can't find a decent R80GS,or Trans Alp,Or Africa Twin,It will be used for a South America trip. Peter

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[This message has been edited by Cameron (edited 02 February 2004).]
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  #9  
Old 5 Feb 2004
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my dr200 from 95 has 39658 hard miles on it and still going.
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  #10  
Old 5 Feb 2004
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I have heard good things about the Suzuki DR 650. They are not flashy or overly popular, but seem to go on forever. I have never ridden one, but there are some members that have went around the world on one, and I don't remember them having any major problems.

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  #11  
Old 5 Feb 2004
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No disrespect, I drove one myself but not quite the same league as the Beemers...

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  #12  
Old 6 Feb 2004
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I don't want to spoil the party but, in my experiance, the reputation BMW motorcycles have for relibilty is completey misplaced.

I have recounted these experiances elsewhere on this site but they are relevant here.

I bought one of the first F650gs machines to be imported into the UK. The bike was everything I needed at that time, lightweight, comfortable and economical. The build quality was the first thing to cause concern. Whilst fitting an alarm one of the lugs on the side panel snapped off as the plastic was too brittle. The dealer admitted that his mechanics had managed to break a couple of them whilst working on the same model, so it can't have been all down to my cack handedness. To my delight and suprise the dealer replaced the panel free of charge.

A fault occured each time I rode the machine in heavy rain. The oil pressure warning light would illuminate. The first time it happened was very worrying as I took the warning at face value and cut the engine. I made a frantic call to the dealer and explained what had happened and in the course of the conversation mentioned the weather conditions. He told me that he new of other BMW models on which this occured during heavy rain, but that it was the first time he had heard of it happening on this model.

The most serious fault however, was dangerous and could not be rectified even after several visits to the dealer. The engine would cut out, without warning, usually on the over-run in the middle of juctions and on the last occasion I rode the bike in lane 3 of the M25 in fast moving traffic. I was eventually offered a replacement bike or my money back. I took the money.

A few months later I read an article in 'Motorcycle Sport & Leisure' by a guy who had had the same problem.

The last BMW I owned, and will own, was an R100GS which I bought to travel RTW. Whilst this machine had no faults other than the most stupid sidestand ever devised, a subframe made of chocolate and a gearbox from a tractor, it required constant carb balancing, every 1500-2000 mile, to make it accepable to ride.

Despite all this (I'd had the subframe braced and a new sidestand fitted) on my return I wanted to by a new 1150GS. I went to my local BM' dealer and test rode a demo bike. I also rode tested a bike that was for sale privately. Both bikes suffered from noticable serging. On a constant throttle settings the bikes would speed up and slow down.

I also made contact with a friend who had had the same problem who has old his bike due to this. The dealer had told him that is was a common fault and most people learn to live with it.

For a bike costing £10,000 in the UK this is ridiculous. I've read that many owners have changed exhausts and constantly have the throttle bodies balanced in order to sort the problem out, again ridiculous. The later bikes have twin spark heads which are supposed to cure the problem, well it's about time.

OK, the GS has shaft drive, well whoopee do. Personally I'd sooner adjust and lubricate a chain than ponce around balancing carbs every 1500 miles. And on an overland trip, in the middle of nowhere, when the BM shaft knackers out your stuffed. With a chain you have some hope of fixing it.

I ride a Pan's at work which are shortly to be replaced by BM's which presumably are cheaper. No one wants them but we don't have choice.

With what I buy and ride I do have a choice. I buy jap, ride it get it serviced and don't have problems. See post above re; the Transalp.



[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 05 February 2004).]
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  #13  
Old 28 Mar 2004
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The Honda Helix 250 scooter has racked up hundreds of thousands of miles with little maintenance.

There are many 150,000 mile and up examples out there. The bike is simple, and the engine is bullet proof.

Glyn
Shreveport, La. USA
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  #14  
Old 1 Apr 2004
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My 2000 model Africa twin is just about to click over to 100,000 miles. I've had it from new. Original parts include the rear shock,forksprings, rear disc,fork seals, suspension bearings all going strong. I put new camchains in at 70k as a precaution.

Problems have been fuel pump giving up the ghost (you can still limp home though) and one regulator went awol at 80k. It is still returning 55mpg. It is only on it's 3rd chain(scottoiler). I have heard of a european AT with 150,000 miles on the clock.
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  #15  
Old 3 Apr 2004
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I'd go along with the K's. Although as has been mentioned they are getting a long in the tooth. I have a friend who leases K's to London couriers and has half a dozen K100's on the road with over 200K on the clock.

I think the best of the K's is the 750 though. Not quick, but much smoother than the fours. We took the motor apart on a retired ex despatch 750 with 320K showing and the honing marks were still visible in the barrels. Just about everything else had fallen apart but the motor was still good.

My own experience is in commuting and European holiday touring. I got rid of an oil head Boxer (R1100S)just before Christmas with 80K on it. The bike had been falling apart almost from the day I bought it brand new. Every oil head I see that gets used on a daily basis is in a shocking state. I think BM realy are trading on a reputation that they can no longer live up to.

I went looking for a low mileage used bike with a high mileage reputation that wasn't a BMW and could only find one machine that fitted the bill. Dont' laugh, I bought a Fierblade. Four months into ownership, 80 miles day and a February trip from London to the west of Ireland, this bike rocks.
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