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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 3 Oct 2007
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Single vs Twin?

XT660Z Tenere Yamaha's XT 660 is undoubtedly a fine motorcycle and very capable off road. Possibly the only disadvantage is that it's a single and it makes hard work out of long sections of sealed road.

A 650 - 750 twin seems like it would be better at long straight sealed roads.

The new XT660Z Tenere weighs around 180Kg and carries 22 litres of fuel, so far so good.

A Kawasaki Versys, (650 parallel twin) weighs 180Kg, 18 Litres of fuel, fit it with a 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel and the weight would be similar to the Yamaha but it would be a bit smoother and feel more relaxed at higher speeds

Am I missing something here? Why do none of the manufacturers offer a 650, twin cylinder, 160 - 180 Kg adventure bike?
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  #2  
Old 3 Oct 2007
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What about Honda Transalps (600 - 650cc), Suzuki VStroms (650cc), and or Kawasaki KLEs (500cc)?.. They are all twins of the category you've mentioned and they are just a little heavier. And It's reasonable if you double the cylinder - motor - exhaust components.

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  #3  
Old 3 Oct 2007
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Not to mention the BMW 800GS, due any day soon!
If the 800S and 800ST are any indication, this will be a very interesting bike indeed. (there are lots of rumours about it in another thread in here).

Not to mention the Triumph Bonneville - another twin that has been prepared for long-distance riding (another thread on the HUBB).

Or, not to mention the Yamaha TDM - a very capable 900cc twin which is vastly under-rated, if not completely forgotten.

So the choice of twins is increasing, especially in 2008.

I completely agree about the potential of the Versys, BTW: perhaps 2009 will see this 650cc twin (KLE650?) replacing the KLE500?

Whatever way things go, the choice of dual sport bikes around 600-700cc is going to increase greatly in the near future.

ps The new Transalp is heavier than the old TA according to info gleaned from the Paris bike show - what sort of progress is that? (nothing against Honda, I've owned a few and I still have one).
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Old 3 Oct 2007
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Once you get on the motorways even a 2300cc Triumph gets tedious, even more so if you like to keep your licence and drive at legal speeds ( in most places).

The answer is to have a comfy bike that will allow you to go for as long as you want. As having to stop to find fuel every two hours can be as much of a PITA as anything else. Besides why rush? you are not going to interact with people on motorways, you may just as well fly somewhere nice and rent a monkey bike for a week or two.

Once you have the mindset that takes the byways and stops when you see something interesting, and not just to expensively service your thirsty bike you will start enjoying yourself.
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  #5  
Old 4 Oct 2007
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Interesting comments and all very valid, I already own a couple of singles, a Yamaha DT 230 which is amazing capable both off road and on road, the 120 Kg weight makes it a real joy to ride when the going gets tough, it is perfect for trips where there is a lot of un sealed rough roads where there is a lot to see in a short distance. My KTM 640 LC4 SM is better on trips where the distances are greater, the 150 kg weight makes me think twice about venturing into the really rough terrain. I guess I am looking for a smaller and lighter KTM 990 Adventure or BMW 1200 GS, something that can comfortably cover bigger distances yet still be light enough to encourage some serious off road adventures. The Transalp, KLE, Bonneville etc are all very old tech, meaning heavy and a bit on the slow side. Surely with modern designs and advances in manufacturing methods a 160 – 170 kg twin cylinder adventure bike is entirely feasible. I have a number of specialised bikes from my 230 cc trial bike to a 1000 cc sports bike but what I want is a midsized adventure bike that combines the best qualities of all of these, light weight, comfort (it’s a personal thing but “Oldbmw” has it right, the ability to take your time and enjoy the whole days riding without having to stop for fuel often) and some performance that will make you smile want you are in the mood to go a bit quicker.

There are always lots of rumours about bikes like this but they never materialise.
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Old 4 Oct 2007
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Hi KiwiBruce,

"A lightweight KTM 990" - that will be the 690 single then.

The linked thread deals in rumours, but it prefers those which have some substance; for KTM, it is much more than rumour - the KTM financial planning up to 2009 is in there and the Adventure version of the 690 will be here next year, from memory.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...n-suzuki-28587

My comment; If I owned as many singles as you now have, I would definitely want some variety, like a twin!

So many choices!
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  #7  
Old 4 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Hi KiwiBruce,

"A lightweight KTM 990" - that will be the 690 single then.
No, it will be a HP2 :-)

HP2 175 kg / 77 kw / 115 Nm
KTM 990 199 kg / 72kw / 95 Nm
KTM 640 158 kg / 40 kw /55 Nm
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Old 4 Oct 2007
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Nice suggestion, how far will the HP2 go on a tank of fuel, is it just less or just more than the distance you can cycle in a day
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Old 4 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiBruce View Post
Nice suggestion, how far will the HP2 go on a tank of fuel, is it just less or just more than the distance you can cycle in a day
Well it goes a bit further then I can cycle in a day :-)
Standard tank is around 200 km, HPN tank about 400 km..
If you drive carefully you can add 20%, but it's not easy to drive slow on a HP2.
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  #10  
Old 4 Oct 2007
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KTM models

138- 148 Kg for the new(ish) 690 in various trim.
So the Adv version should be a light weight and still be pulling 60+ BHP.

KTM Present new LC4 models in Paris - Detail - News - KTM.com - Ready to Race

I looked at the BMW HP2 SM in a dealer a couple of weeks ago; their asking price was £12500 (and they had a straight face!).
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  #11  
Old 5 Oct 2007
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The HP2 SM is a very cool bike but it's nowhere near as cool as being able to keeping a straight face asking a modest inheritance form one, poor old granny would turn over in her grave is she knew. It's outrageous don't you know
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  #12  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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Have recently been riding some new bikes, Kawasaki Versys, Yamaha XT 660 and also had a test ride on a KTM 690 SM and a Aprilia Shiver.

All very good bikes and quite different, the Versys wasn't me at all, it was stunningly smooth and capable but it just didn't make me grin, thinking about it, it was just too refined, it was like it had no soul, sorry Mr Kawasaki.

XT 660, a bit of a favourite for many people and rightly so, it made me smile, single are just cool, it's a bit on the heavy side but it does sit on the road nicely at 70 - 80 mph, very nice. It’s easy to see why they are so popular, solid engineering and a great reputable for lasting forever.

690 SM, it is light years ahead of my 640 SM, much smoother, much more flexible and has a sixth gear, just magic.

The Shiver is huge fun, it is very mild mannered at low revs and will very happily putter though town with very few revs. It has a true Jeckle and Hyde personality, open it up and it’s a real blast.

Apparently a picture is worth a thousand words . . . . in that case test ride must be worth a million words.

Which bike is best? That’s a very good question, my pick would be buy the Aprilia and the KTM 690 Enduro when it arrives
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Old 7 Nov 2007
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So much choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiBruce View Post
Am I missing something here? Why do none of the manufacturers offer a 650, twin cylinder, 160 - 180 Kg adventure bike?
Hi KiwiB,

Thanks for the feedback - you haven't made up my mind in the slightest though!! Nevermind.

KTM 690 Enduro - that's marketed already I believe, along with the SM. The next one due for 2008 is the Adv version.

For your quoted question: BMW F800GS = 178Kg dry, 207 Kg with all fluids and it's a twin of course.
The new F650GS is very similar with a lower spec.
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Old 7 Nov 2007
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Good point about the BMW, the local KTM (UK) shop told me the 690 enduro want be availble until March 08
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Old 7 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiBruce View Post
Good point about the BMW, the local KTM (UK) shop told me the 690 enduro want be availble until March 08
Thanks for the update; I have been giving the KTM dealers a miss for now, until they are nearer to announcing the Adv version - I suppose it won't be anytime soon as that is the delivery date for the Enduro.
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