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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 20 Nov 2009
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
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Talking Singing Praises: XL600V Transalp

Well, after a BMW 1150GS, although a fine bike that met my every need, the little Honda XR I bought with the write-off money seemed a great find: light, relialbe, economical and good off-road, but horribly frequent oil changes and no pillion option were just the start: a habit of destroying my lower back after only 30 mins was the final straw...It had to go.

So what now? Well, I collected a Transalp XL600V from England, and I rode it back to Estonia, via the Rostock-Helsinki ferry last weekend.

Basically, I did 1000km on a single saturday on that bike and I must say that if anyone is looking for a comfortable, reliable, and pretty economical bike, on a budget, you could do a heck of a lot worse than a TA!!

For overlanding, despite being water cooled (another potential system to go wrong), I feel these are sadly overlooked bikes.

Despite all the talk of off-road this and off-road that, most overlanders know that the lots if not the majority of miles are on tarmac. For this reason, I think this an excellent choice of bike. Nimble, quick enough, comfy and still able to negotiate a dirt track/pot-holed trail, should the need arise. At 183kg dry it is no where near as light as the XR, but once on the move, it feels as light as a feather.

So if you have less than €2000 to spend (or have more but prefer to spend it on petrol and memories): give these a serious thought!!
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Old 21 Nov 2009
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Gotta agree with that, the good old Tranny´s still a good option, even for long-distance.

We were doing a trip with my girlfriend on a DL650, and in Malaysia we met 2 Aussies, who had bought two XL600V´s from the UK, and ridden them through the Stans, the Karakoram Highway, India and Nepal. We actually stumbled into them several times also in Indonesia. They were heading back home (to Perth), and said they´d paid less than 1000 pounds each for the bikes. The machines looked pretty beat up, but they´d still done the job quite well.

None of us had no insurance whatsoever to cover the bikes in case of crash, theft or fire, so I must say their risk was much smaller than ours! On the other hand, I think the DL650 2-up and fully loaded on a motorway does much better than an XL600V would - even the new XL700V is a bit down on power.

I´ve actually owned several Africa Twins, that´s also a very nice touring bike. Too bad Honda decided to quit making them - and used ones seem to be too expensive, I´d rather get a Transalp or DL650.
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