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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 5 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
It went on the bike for about 4 hours , put it on for the MOT , it passed then went home to take it off , can't complain about 99p !.
LOL. Jobs a good'n !
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  #17  
Old 5 May 2009
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Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Don't get me wrong, the XT is VERY capable of doing the job.. It will just take more skill and strength. There will be more sweat and tears but there is always going to have to be a compromise somewhere..

I rode light off road on my XT and I never felt like I was in control, it was too heavy and the suspension did me no favours... I've then done some very technical and fast offroading on a unloaded WR450 and I've felt like I could win the Paris dakar on it.. Full of confidence and control. I've had a similar experience on a DRZ400S.

I did South America on my XT600E and although it never ever let me down (even when I crashed it twice - OFFROAD), I wouldnt use one again.

I , like yourself am planning a trip from Liverpool-Capetown and im looking for a bike to do it. I currently have an Africa Twin which I know I wont enjoy riding offroad at all...

I'm probably going for a DR650SE or a DRZ400S.. It all depends on my route. The DR650 for a more tarmac based route or the DRZ400 for the offroad route..

If your route is going to be more offroad, then I would go for the DRZ400 or a Yamaha 250 Serrow if the DRZ is too tall for your missis.

The Serrow is very under rated... Nice and light, reliable and will cruise at 65mph. Lois Pryce used one for her Africa Trip.

Seeing as you're taking your girlfriend, she has to be just as happy as you are or your trip will be MISERABLE !!
Great info, thanks, that is the reason why I posted this question. We have recently done a couple of days in the South of Spain on TTR 250s. (torotrail.com highly recommended by the way)

If TTR250's were available here in Holland I would check out one of those, cheap as hell, nice to ride, and durable.

My GF is (probably rightly) worried about having to pick a heavy bike up after a fall. Also, I know from experience that bikes in their element make it easier for their riders.

Dammit..
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  #18  
Old 5 May 2009
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best of both

I don't know what your budget is but I thought I might throw another bike into the mix.

Have you tought about the BMW G bikes? With the engine from the old f650gs they are reliable and have the ability to cover the miles without having to rev the nuts off them like the drz. Compared to the f650 they have been put on a serious diet though, and don't weigh much more than a drz-s. The weight is also carried quite low down and the power delivery is very smooth so they are surprisingly easy to ride off road. The Xchallenge is definitely capable of serious off-road while still being reasonably comfortable over distance. It is quite tall though.

The Xcountry has lower suspension and a lower seat and 17/19 wheels rather than 18/21. You will be able to get tyres in the smaller sizes which will cope with hard surface off-road but not full on knobblies. This shouldn't be an issue as knobblies wouldn't do the miles you are planning either.

One criticism some have of these bikes is the small fuel tank but they are amazingly good on fuel. Over Easter I rode mine down through France then took in a load of off road, ending up at Santander for the boat home. Off road over the mountains, loaded with camping gear etc for a week away, the bike was perfect and gave over 75 mpg. That gives a range of 140 miles.

I got my Xchallenge last year for just over £3k from Vines of Guildford. They get the bikes from the bmw off road school which they sell on cheaply. One advantage of these bikes, if you are planning to go off-road, is that they come with off road scratches so have already taken the depreciation hit that this brings.

Iain
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  #19  
Old 5 May 2009
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Originally Posted by rossi View Post
I don't know what your budget is but I thought I might throw another bike into the mix.

Have you tought about the BMW G bikes? With the engine from the old f650gs they are reliable and have the ability to cover the miles without having to rev the nuts off them like the drz. Compared to the f650 they have been put on a serious diet though, and don't weigh much more than a drz-s. The weight is also carried quite low down and the power delivery is very smooth so they are surprisingly easy to ride off road. The Xchallenge is definitely capable of serious off-road while still being reasonably comfortable over distance. It is quite tall though.

The Xcountry has lower suspension and a lower seat and 17/19 wheels rather than 18/21. You will be able to get tyres in the smaller sizes which will cope with hard surface off-road but not full on knobblies. This shouldn't be an issue as knobblies wouldn't do the miles you are planning either.

One criticism some have of these bikes is the small fuel tank but they are amazingly good on fuel. Over Easter I rode mine down through France then took in a load of off road, ending up at Santander for the boat home. Off road over the mountains, loaded with camping gear etc for a week away, the bike was perfect and gave over 75 mpg. That gives a range of 140 miles.

I got my Xchallenge last year for just over £3k from Vines of Guildford. They get the bikes from the bmw off road school which they sell on cheaply. One advantage of these bikes, if you are planning to go off-road, is that they come with off road scratches so have already taken the depreciation hit that this brings.

Iain
Thanks, I did consider them, but they are over our budget. no big tanks could be a problem where we want to go.

We are looking to spend under 3000 euros with mods and all.. (older DRZs could fit that bill, XT's definitely do) BMW G's start in at 4500 in Germany, with tax etc. that comes to over 5500..
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  #20  
Old 6 May 2009
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Originally Posted by AadmanZ View Post
Thanks, I did consider them, but they are over our budget. no big tanks could be a problem where we want to go.

We are looking to spend under 3000 euros with mods and all.. (older DRZs could fit that bill, XT's definitely do) BMW G's start in at 4500 in Germany, with tax etc. that comes to over 5500..
BMW F650GS is NOT a reliable bike in any respect... !! A quick search of the hub will reveal pages on the topic and many a furious, frustrated and out of pocket owner.

Water pump, reg/rect, head bearings, shoddy build quality and electrical gremlins are just a start...
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  #21  
Old 6 May 2009
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Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
BMW F650GS is NOT a reliable bike in any respect... !! A quick search of the hub will reveal pages on the topic and many a furious, frustrated and out of pocket owner.

Water pump, reg/rect, head bearings, shoddy build quality and electrical gremlins are just a start...
I was not considering an F650..

That's a bit like a Porsche Boxster: I really want a 911, but this is just as good..
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  #22  
Old 9 May 2009
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And it's still not getting any easier, while out and about today, we passed a couple of full on Desert XT's in Amsterdam, with all the dust still on them...
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  #23  
Old 21 May 2009
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ever though about the honda nx250 ?
low weight, low height, low power (26hp), low fuel consumption (1L:30km), low tech and easy maintenance.
in africa there is no need to drive fast, you are on holiday
the only down side is the small fuel tank.
with 3000 in the pocket, you will be able to buy the bike and the ridinggear and a custom lugage rack
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  #24  
Old 25 May 2009
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Originally Posted by beat_ View Post
ever though about the honda nx250 ?
low weight, low height, low power (26hp), low fuel consumption (1L:30km), low tech and easy maintenance.
in africa there is no need to drive fast, you are on holiday
the only down side is the small fuel tank.
with 3000 in the pocket, you will be able to buy the bike and the ridinggear and a custom lugage rack
Thanks, not a bad idea, but a small tank is a definite drawback.
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  #25  
Old 26 May 2009
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Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Having ridden the XT600E off road, I've say it was SHITE ! AWFUL suspension and just never felt planted.

Whatever you're doing.. If you want it to work offroad then you have to keep the weight down and keep it balanced.
I think it's all relative Ted. I rode down through the Sahara in '77 on an aircooled peaky two stroke RD350. Altogether I rode close to 3,000kms on sand with the longest stretch being the 900km between Tamanrasset and Agadez.

From In Salah down to Tamanrasset I teamed up with a French rider on a then new XT500. His bike was a dream by comparison with the RD - especially considering I was carrying 50 litres of fuel in a plastic jerry can BEHIND the rear axle on my packrack. Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh!

A lot of the desert is now tarmac - it wasn't in those days. Yeah, the XT may not be perfect, but sometimes part of the fun is taking an imperfect vehicle into the wrong conditions and just doing it anyway.

Garry from Oz.
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  #26  
Old 26 May 2009
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
I think it's all relative Ted. I rode down through the Sahara in '77 on an aircooled peaky two stroke RD350. Altogether I rode close to 3,000kms on sand with the longest stretch being the 900km between Tamanrasset and Agadez.

From In Salah down to Tamanrasset I teamed up with a French rider on a then new XT500. His bike was a dream by comparison with the RD - especially considering I was carrying 50 litres of fuel in a plastic jerry can BEHIND the rear axle on my packrack. Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh!

A lot of the desert is now tarmac - it wasn't in those days. Yeah, the XT may not be perfect, but sometimes part of the fun is taking an imperfect vehicle into the wrong conditions and just doing it anyway.

Garry from Oz.
Amen to that, I have been thinking of getting an old NATO Guzzi and putting knobblies on.. Just for the sake of taking cool piccies.

My girlfriend (even though she is a natural and probably more gifted than I am) has limited riding experience (and only two days offroad) so she would probably be better off on a bike that is suited to this kind of environment. (and that she can actually pick up if she were to drop it)

And having something that would actually be half decent off road gives you a lot more options than something underpowered and overweight.
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  #27  
Old 31 May 2009
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So, one bike down... We scored a DRZ400S for the missus..

Looks pretty decent, current owner is a nice guy, seems to take good care of his stuff.. Apparently the bike was used on the road for 20000km and only offroaded for the last 1000.. That's what he says anyway and I guess, looking at the bike, it could very well be true.

So, now to lower the seat, (she hasn't even ridden the bike yet, as it is too high at the moment )
Put some allroad tires on and she can get cracking to get used to the bike. Then to score a massive fueltank and we are well on our way to having a decent desert travel bike..

The question remains, should I get the same bike so we can share parts or not..
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  #28  
Old 3 Jun 2009
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And the second DRZ is a fact..

on with the preparations..
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