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A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to ride around the world (in a few years). I’m just in the beginning of my research right now and I’m trying to figure out if we can actually do this trip on regular sport-touring bikes. I’m thinking that there has to be a paved road that can get us in and out of most counties. Europe for sure, but what about the rest of the world?
Does riding around the world mean that you have to get a dual-sport bike? Problem is three of the four riders that want to do this trip are short and there isn’t a lot of dual-sports that we can reach the ground on.
There is that guy that rode the R1 around the world? He did it on a sportbike, of course he rode across the desert with that thing and I’m not that nutty.
So my question is, can North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa… can a ride like that be done on a regular sport-touring bike? Is there enough paved roads to get us around this planet?
'05 Ducati ST3, '02 Honda 954RR
[This message has been edited by VIVID1 (edited 31 January 2006).]
I’ve read the other threads and I know that we are limiting ourselves by choosing a bike that can only travel on paved roads. I know that we could get BMW F650GS, there is even an option to lower those bikes.
We don’t ride dual-sports or adventure bikes now, I’ve never really ridden on dirt before. So why would we buy a different kind of bike just to do a ride around the world, if it can be done with a regular sport-touring bike?
'05 Ducati ST3, '02 Honda CBR 954RR
Take my opinion for what it is, i have never done any extended touring, and i've always been on the street (i have had 2 r6's and started on an old honda nighthawk).
That being said, before you discount a bmw 650, ride in the dirt (on a full fledged dirtbike if you can). Its lots of fun, and will teach you some things about riding on a street bike as well.
Eventually i plan on some extended touring, and i will almost definitely be getting the bmw F650gs the dakar version if i can find it . and my reasoning behind this is that they seem to be well suited to pavement or dirt, so why not have options when planning a 25000 mile trip, chances are that you will end up off road eventually (hell i even have to drive the r6 on the grass every once in a while in the city!).
why not get a bike that is well suited for going off road and on road. Also sports bikes (i know you said sport tour) seem to require A LOT of maintenance, sport touring bikes would be the same i would imagine. If you are going really far, it is likely that you would save money on maintenance if you went with something like the bmw that is built for the task.
Originally posted by VIVID1:
We don't ride dual-sports or adventure bikes now, I've never really ridden on dirt before. So why would we buy a different kind of bike just to do a ride around the world, if it can be done with a regular sport-touring bike?
Why would you ride a motorcycle when a car gets you to work safer and more comfortably?
Why do people climb mountains?
also see the thread "why a motorcycle" in the "Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else" forum, may help.
The easy answer is "because you'll see a lot more".
'funklabs' comment "It's lots of fun, and will teach you some things about riding on a street bike as well" is also very true. I HIGHLY recommend off-road riding to all who want to be good riders - you will learn a lot and become a better street rider. (the average person I've said that to over the years doesn't believe it - but a few think - maybe - and try it. And then say "you're wrong" - I became a MUCH better rider!
All the top road racers ride and practice off-road as well.
I would recommend taking what ever you feel comfortable on. I have travelled by van, car and motorcycle and managed to get just about everywhere I have wanted to go.
On occassion I have had to take a side tour by mule or boat and have done so to enhance my trips. I would have had to do this no matter what means of transport I was using, except possibly a really strong swimming mule.
I would concern myself more with such items as reliability and fuel range.
And yes I did spend the first ten years of my riding on an old DT400 however I now ride a sport touring bike for wich parts are not easy to come by, Triumph Trophy 1200, and this takes my wife and I everywhere we want to go at the minute.
To me bikes are transient and I will own others in the future however none will ever be all things that I would like.
Drag out some maps, electronically speaking, and plot a course. If this works out for your bike go for it, if not maybe go for it anyway.
[This message has been edited by Riq (edited 01 February 2006).]
Riding a road oriented bike doesn't necessarily preclude you from from going to out-of-the-way places, just makes it more difficult.
I slogged through some pretty awful conditions in western Kazakstan on an R65. The bike wallowed like a pig in the mud, but I came through it eventually.
I think most people would spend the majority of their trip on the tarmac.
Congratulations! What a wicked decision! Plenty of happy hours of planning ahead of you.
If you do end up going for sports/road bikes,
you may just need to narrow your trip down to countries, get some good maps, and pour over them for a while. Compare your thoughts with any experiences on the HUBB and then decide on routes to possibly take. In most places, you will have a choice - 'regular' roads (degree dependant on country), or those that are less accesible. It may be that you have to cover more distance in order to get to roads that suit your bikes and riding abilities, but who knows, you may end up capturing some completely different memories to those on dual bikes who can disappear into the gravel.
(remember that it is your trip, so cater for your preferences)
[This message has been edited by Shells (edited 09 February 2006).]
If you're going Africa, it will be very difficult to avoid dirt (I don't know the east route to well, but the west route is definatly short stretches of road at both Mauri borders and longer stretches between Cameroon and Namibia).
My advice is to take an off-road course. I ride a BMW Roadster, and was paranoid of gravel...until I took 2 off-road courses last summer.
The practice, experience and knowledge is just about priceless!
I don't go looking for dirt roads on the Roadster, but if I find myself and the 'end of the pavement' I have the confidence and knowledge to continue on the gravel/dirt (until I hit the pavement again!).
I will take another off-road course this summer. The handling skills/theories apply to almost any 2-wheeler. You actually get to experience bike behaviour in a number of situations (and the bike isn't yours!!).
Also consider that, although a streetbike can traverse the 'dirtier' roads, with some added caution (here's where the course teachings enter the picture), you should be aware of (among other things):
a) roadbikes generally have more plastic and fancy bits that will break in a fall
b) There is a very limited selection of tires (due to rim size) that you can use that even come close to a dual-sport style of tread
c) very limited suspension travel (1/2, and even less in many cases, of that of a dual sport)
But as Grant, and other have said, you can RTW on any bike. Choose your routes carefully.
[This message has been edited by tor1150r (edited 09 February 2006).]
Vivid, you have a pretty good website, definately a motorcycle enthusiast.
My advice, dont count on other people following through, allot of people talk and say they will actually do it but when it comes time to stand up, well put it this way I would guess 80% of the people on this website started with someone else saying they would do it with them, but when it came time to go, off they went by themselves.
So with that said I would recomend going on a dual purpose bike. I love sportbikes and have owned several and my favorite hobby is still doing track days on my 600RR but after doing 30,000 miles through 4 continents the dual purpose was they type of bike to have.
There are loads of 250's and 600's out there which you will fit on no problem. Truly the best sights are the ones that are on the dirt roads.
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