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jez 25 May 2001 07:12

off/on road
I am looking to buy a bike in
australia for 3 months travelling.I have little money [$2500aussy for bike]and am trying to decide between road- for more comfort and milage ability - or a trail bike - for better durability in the outback
any comments appreciated

Grant Johnson 29 May 2001 20:47

Hi Jez,

I think it comes down to just how much "off-road" you plan on doing, and your skill level. A good rider can do wonders on a street bike off-road, but an inexperienced rider will be much better off with an off-road bike, but must plan on taking a little longer to get there on the pavement. If you're not in a hurry trying to cover a lot of ground, no problem.

Used trail bikes are often much cheaper that street bikes, so that may be a factor. Perhaps just a good look round your favorite dealers for anything with a $2000 price tag on will help make the decision for you. Plan on a few hundred for a good checkover and fresh tires and maybe saddlebags etc.

Good luck, and have fun whichever way you go!

Grant Johnson

Share the Dream!
at: Horizons Unlimited - THE Motorcycle Travel site

kalaharigeorge 2 Jun 2001 13:54

Gotta agree with Grant. But, also consider where in Aus. you'll be travelling, how much of the land you want to see and the time of year you'll be travelling.

My experience is that a favourite with travellers over here (I live in Brisbane) is the XT600. An average condition one with high mileage and over 7 years old could be had for $2500 (private sale). Then, there's tyres, battery, seals, etc. There are a few Australian websites for secondhand bikes.

I've also found that travellers initially want to stick close to the main highways, but when here realise that fairly remote places (e.g. Cape Yorke) are accessible in the dry. Invariably this means dirt work, a healthy fuel range, etc. But adds substantially to the experience.

Even an XT250 would do the job - but slowly and without much luggage.

Any questions, feel free to drop me an email.

Andy D. 2 Jun 2001 23:04


George pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Many travellers to 'Oz' start off on the main routes here and then discover there's better to be had off the beaten track as it were.

A big single is the way to go as suggested if you have the money, otherwise 2 - 2.5K will get you a fairly decent 250 out here, and there's plenty of folks circling the continent on 'em. In a country where Honda's WR400 is the biggest selling bike you'll have no problem picking up a good used dirt bike.

Some of the more major dirt highways such as the Oodnadatta Track are easily negotiated on a road bike (I took a GTR1000 up there), however anything more then that will require at least a 'trail' bike (dual sport), some areas only negotiable on a full out dirt squirter.

$2500 will buy you more dirt bike then road bike in Oz, dirt bikes de-valuing at a much quicker pace...so you'll probably get a more recent bike for your money. My advice would be to go for a 4-stroke single..250cc or bigger and travel light.

Hope that helps,


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