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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 30 Sep 2008
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Opinions needed on which bike to choose!!!

Hi all!

In December this year I will leave for Australia to start my travels. I've decided to at least do my Australian section on a motorbike for various reasons (which I'm sure I don't have to go into!) from Australia I'll possibly look at taking the bike into Asia with me, but we'll see when that happens.

I'll buy the bike in Australia, however for one year after I arrive I will be restricted on my provisional motorbike licence, so there are some restrictions on what bike I can choose. However I've found a loop-hole in the LAMS system which means I can ride most bikes up to 660. But the list is so long I've got no idea where to start! So here's a list of what I can choose from (sticking with the big brands as easiest to repair etc.) can anyone offer opinions on what would be suited for me? Keeping in mind that I'm a 176cm, about 62Kgs female that's going to be doing it alone! So I think that any of the bigger engine bikes are going to be a bit too much, but maybe not?

The list:
Any 250cc excluding Suzuki RGV250 Kawasaki KR250 (KR-1 and KR1s models) Honda NSR250 Yamaha TZR250
Plus:

HONDA
600V TRANSALP
BROS
CB350
CB350F
CB400
CB400F
CB400N
CB400T
CB500
CB650
CRF450
CX500
GB400 **
GB500 **
NT650v DEAUVILLE
NX650
FT500
REVERE
RVF400
SHADOW
SILVERWING
SL350
VF400F
VT500
VT600C
XBR500
XL350
XL500
XL600
XL650 vTRANSALP
XR350
XR350R
XR400M
XR400R
XR500
XR600
XR600R
XR650L
KAWASAKI
EN450
ER500A
ER500C
EX400
EX500A
KL600
KL650A
KL650B
KL650C
KL650E
KLE500A
KLR 650
KLX300B
KLX400B
KLX450A
KLX650B
KLX650C
KZ400
KZ440
KZ500
KZ550
LTD440
Z600A
Z650B
ZR550B
Z500
SUZUKI
AN400
AN650
DR350
DR350S
DR500
DR600R
DR650R
DR650RE
DR650RL
DR650RSL
DR650SE
DR-Z400E
GR650
GS450E
GS450S
GS450SX
GS500
GS500E
GS500K
GS550
GSX400E
GSX400F
LS650
RE5
XF650
YAMAHA
RD400
RT350
SR500
SRX600
SZR660
TT350
TT600
TT600E
TT600R
TX650
WR400F
WR426F
WR450
XJ550
XJ650
XJR400
XP500
XS400
XS650
XT225
XT350
XT500
XT550
XT600
XT660R
XT660X
XTZ660
XV535
XVS650
XVS650A
XZ550
YP 400
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  #2  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Do you have any experience on road, off road, is fuel mileage an important factor? Can you do your own repairs? These would really affect any decision that I would make.
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  #3  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Hey Nicky,
The DR650SE is selling very cheap in Melbourne at the moment, see here:

2008 SUZUKI DR650SE - BikePoint

It's a big bike but cheap and ultra-reliable, much cheaper than you'll get any equivalent for (if I wasn't going overseas soon I'd get one myself )
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  #4  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Print out the list ,pin it to the wall and throw a dart at it ,whichever bike the dart hits is your bike.

No seriously ,you will have to shorten your list quite a lot.
Go to a few bike shops and get your bum on some seats and see what feels good .
Erhmm, I did not mean it to sound like that .

If you are going to go off road or on rough roads ,a dualsport type machine of 400ccc should be great.
For pure road riding a 600 class bike like Suzuki Bandit,Vstrom or SV 650 would be fine.

Visit the forums that cater to the various models and read about the problems that the owners have with their machines .
Do not buy a bike that you cannot pick up on your own ,or the first time it tips over youwill be in trouble.

Best of luck .
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  #5  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Yup the list is way toooooo long - but half of them aren't going to be suited because they're sport bikes etc. I just haven't gone through and googled everyone of them yet so was seeing if people particularly recommended one or the other...!
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  #6  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickyb88 View Post
Yup the list is way toooooo long - but half of them aren't going to be suited because they're sport bikes etc. I just haven't gone through and googled everyone of them yet so was seeing if people particularly recommended one or the other...!
What is your route?
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  #7  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Which bike...

....it is your choice. Get on them, test them, see whether you feel comfortable or not.

I owned 2 on-/off road bikes. My first was a Kawasaki KLE (400ccm due to license restrictions over here in Japan) and I was very pleased with it. Had to sell it because of health problems.

2 years ago I got a 400ccm Honda TransAlp and I got to confess that this bike is what I really wanted! Great gas milage, easy to maintain, engine more or less indistructable, and, as in my case, bought used you can get them for a very decent price.

Also parts are always available as well as "add-ons". I got a set of Hepco&Becker panniers (junior, the plastic stuff) with all the fitting material from Germany (cheaper than here in Japan!) and that's actually all I needed (so far).

For more information about MY bikes, check my homepage, lots of pictures....
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  #8  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Location: Tallinn, Estonia
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That is a BIG list!!

I'll say what I always say: test ride as many as you can, but you'll have job trying to mentally comapre all those models.

I guess first choice would be bike type. Dual sport, road, cruiser etc. I see that you are looking at 400cc road bikes too. One that is not on your list, that I still miss is the CB-1, NC27. A naked road bike from Honda, that ran a Baby-blade gear-driven cam 398 lump.

It was such a fun, versatile, easy going bike to own. Good choice of tyres, easy on fuel (50-55mpg?) Decent top speed (120mph), so motorway cruising was comfortable. Light, and not tall. Nice seat, and tidy lines.

Sorry I sold it, but there are only so many bikes that I can hold on to!!

Either shortten your list to 4-5 bikes and then test ride or just test ride the first ones you can from your list and see which you enjoy....
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  #9  
Old 1 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickyb88 View Post
Yup the list is way toooooo long - but half of them aren't going to be suited because they're sport bikes etc.
Ok - so what are you loooking for?

Single or twin or more cyclinders?

road, road tourer, adv tourer, trail biike, enduro, mx ...?

Or what .. don't bother about brands and such (nor my list!) .. list the requirements you have .. like seat height for instance? And preeferably in the order you want .. first prioity first .. that kind of thing ..
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