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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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  #16  
Old 16 Dec 2012
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by realmc26 View Post
Just wondering what percentage of overlanders are actually buying these behemoths for their big trips and would they do it again?

I think people who have no idea about traveling only watched the movie "long way round" bay this expensive bikes. Other people rather spend the money on the trip. I went around Africa on my 500 Euro Transalp and aroud Southamerica on a 125ccm Honda:

Adventure Motorbike trip around Southamerica: Chile and Argentina part 1
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  #17  
Old 17 Dec 2012
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The bike matters a whole lot less than most people think. Get something you're comfortable sitting on, ignore the self-imposed limitations on displacement, and take whatever floats your boat.

Most people thought I was crazy to move from Maryland to Alaska on a WR250R, carrying everything I owned on it, but for me it was liberating. No room for clutter, easy to handle on less than ideal terrain, good fuel mileage, superb reliability. Only time I wished to have more displacement was crossing the Great Plains running in to 35-50mph gusting headwinds, but really what I was wishing for then was a car...
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  #18  
Old 17 Dec 2012
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I was thinking today about how I would have probably turned back this morning when I got to this jeep trail if I had been on a big BMW like I used to ride in Guatemala:



While I enjoy the light weight, fuel effieciency and ability to filter through third world cities with the pizza delivery bikes that a 250 Super Sherpa allows me, most people carry more stuff and ride bigger bikes. Nothing wrong with that.

The worse the roads, the nicer the people. You get to meet a lot of nice people on a little dirt bike.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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  #19  
Old 17 Dec 2012
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by John Downs View Post
The worse the roads, the nicer the people. You get to meet a lot of nice people on a little dirt bike.
Thats so true. If you travel on a small bike sometimes even the local people own a simular bike and invite you to stay but they will treet you like money on legs and start begging if you arrive on a fancy big bike...

Travel save
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  #20  
Old 17 Dec 2012
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I'm a recent convert of the WRR which is my first 250 and it still doesn't stop to amaze me. It's less vibey than my BM 650 and heaps more fun to ride. Looking back all my trips I reckon it would have been more fun on it. Less is most definitely more.
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  #21  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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bike size

For me bike size depends on continents and roads , I loved my 250XR in SE Asia ( mostly off road) but if you talk long distance in Australia or USA a 690 is more fun for me , for my next RTW I will most likely take a DR650 for Africa and some small bike for the rest of the world . My 1200GS was a superbe bike but after 7 month in South America on a 650 DL I don't see the need for big CC, what I needed was better clearance but never more power. I drove the DR350 for few hundred mile and this is also a great size for on and off roaf .
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  #22  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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I just switched from a Honda XRV750 to the new CRF250L.
We are going RTW on the CRFL's next year.
Will miss the comfort on the highway, wont miss the weight in all other cases.
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  #23  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Hi,


I think people who have no idea about traveling only watched the movie "long way round" bay this expensive bikes. Other people rather spend the money on the trip. I went around Africa on my 500 Euro Transalp and aroud Southamerica on a 125ccm Honda:

Adventure Motorbike trip around Southamerica: Chile and Argentina part 1

They have their place. Those of us who at most get three weeks off work need to cover the boring bits that are just like home but with different ASAP. When you only have one bike for a daily commute on a UK motorway, 7 HP isn't enough. Dry sumps and oil changes every 12 hours are no use when you plan to go to work for a week, head to Russia and back and go to work the first week back.

I've been down as low as 500cc/20 HP (Enfield) which barely works and as high as 1085cc/90 HP which is a waste unless you ride on a track as well but 15 years ago you could cruise at three figure speeds on UK roads. For RTW with no time limits I probably would go well below 650cc/70HP but with limits and non-long distance use thrown in the Wee/F800/Tiger XC/Tenere class suits. They could make a better 400cc version, but splitting the usage 40/60 instead of 60/40 isn't going to happen or is going to give a higher lifetime cost as the design won't be shared with the weekend warriors.

Andy
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  #24  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
This is who Larry is http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-lar1.htm

and this is the English sense of humour falling flat on its face
I ran into Larry and, yes, he was miserable. But his uncle Bob seemed quite cheerful.
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  #25  
Old 3 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavis cruet View Post
i traveled london to capetown on my r100gs, and yes it was a handfull at times, but it was never stressed out, always (sort of) kept going and never minded how much fuel/water/food/usless rubbish you carried. a big plus was it was dead easy to pick up being so low with sticky outy cylinders (my first rule of choosing a bike is u should be able to pick it up fully loaded) and im not a big person. i did another trip on a xt 600 tenere which used about 2/3 the amount of fuel, was more fun off road, struggled a bit on the windy hils and was a bugger to pick up, even though it was a lot lighter. i think ease of maintenance, how much you have to modify it to get it usefull and comfort are all the important bits. some people will always ride big bikes and some will allways ride little-uns. try a few, c what you like best.
That's an interesting point, it's something I like about my old R80 ST, it goes over so far but no further. But I will be buying a lighter bike for touring as my possible route has some poor roads and I find the BMW's 210 kg a lot without adding luggage.

A good 400 or 500cc road trail would be about right and bearing in the above tip about lifting flat sided bikes, I think a couple of BMW style crash bars so that it doesn't fall all the way over !
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  #26  
Old 3 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realmc26 View Post
I went to the Melbourne Motorcycle show a week or so ago.

Getting up close to a fully kitted out BMW 1200 for the first time I was astounded how huge this beast was.
Lisa Thomas and her husband from "Two ride the world" fame had their bikes there as well (unfortunately missed their talk) and again thought how the hell do you get these monstrosity's around the world without constant hassles associated with the sheer size and weight of the things.
I agree with you. The current crop of 1200cc bikes are just OTT IMO.
BUT, I came to the conclusion years ago that any bike is a compromise. In a fantasy world we'd have a "morphing" button so that we could have a Goldwing for the boring motorways, an R1 for the twisty tarmac, a WR250 for the dirt passes etc etc. But we can't do that so you go with what you have or what you can afford or what you think will be suitable but there'll always be a situation where that bike isn't the best for the job.
I think the 800 class is a good compromise which is why I bought a Triumph 800XC. It's turning out to be a great bike.
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  #27  
Old 4 Jan 2013
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I suppose I have been downsizing in bikes for years.

When I was into my sportsbikes and streetfighters I moved from a 1216cc down to a 600cc.Same with my dual sport bikes, I used to have a Bmwr 1150 GS adventure which was a cracking bike, but got written off in a smash....bought an old Bmwr 100gspd ( still owned,now retired ) and currently have a bmw g650gs.

My bike is used for every single day of the year for commuting, pleasure, work and touring so I will not go any smaller than a 650/600. Its economical and has enough grunt to get me to where I need to be.

Very tempted to get a new Husky Terra though.
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  #28  
Old 14 Feb 2013
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I have to agree with BlackTiger. Unless you are traveling two up on the pavement all the time and fully loaded for two, I would stay away from bikes 1000cc or larger. You will thank us later.
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  #29  
Old 24 Feb 2013
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I haven't left Europe on a bike yet, but for me the bike is one of the main parts of my tour.

I'd break my tours down as 50% wanting to see stuff, meet me new people, get drunk and party, and 50% about riding and enjoying my bike of choice.

So far I've toured on a GPZ500, ZXR750, and ZX9R.

The ZXR750 was the most fun to ride despite it being the heaviest. The GPZ500 was great fun, but was gutless when I needed to make good progress (two up). There's not really anything to say about the 9R. It did everything I wanted easily, but was a bit generic/bland.

I currently own an Aprilia Falco, that I'd take touring if only the MPG was better.

As it stands I'm in the market for a bike around £2000, at least 80bhp, with a decent altanator output, that is happy all day long a 80mph, 200 mile range, and less than 220kg wet.

As you can imagine i'm struggling.
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  #30  
Old 24 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd View Post
The bike matters a whole lot less than most people think. Get something you're comfortable sitting on, ignore the self-imposed limitations on displacement, and take whatever floats your boat.
Completely agree. I like little bikes. I travel more slowly, see more, meet more people, have more fun when I am on the 250 instead of a bigger bike. I will also admit most of the advantages of the smaller bike as far as MPG and such disappear if you have to be somewhere in a hurry (though I never got less than 60mpg unless there was something wrong).

It's way better to bike a motorcycle you like to travel on, and then go traveling than worry over what bike is right, spend lots of money, and never get around to leaving.
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