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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 13 Feb 2009
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suggestions for a 33bhp overlander, help!

The missus will soon be doing her A2 licence which restricts her to 33 bhp.
Can anyone fill us in as to what her options are for a descent overlander for europe and beyond?

I've heard of the honda falcon nx4, but in the UK they seem to be a bit thin on the ground.
A restricter kit for a bigger bike is'nt an option 'cos its the size and weight that scares her.
The full on trail/motocross bike is also not her cup of tea.

Is it just gonna be a case of compromising on comfort/performance etc or is there something out there that'll fit the bill?

Thanks for paying attention to this little rant (and possably saving a marriage ;-))
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  #2  
Old 13 Feb 2009
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Hi Yahoo
I'm looking to sell my wife's Honda Transalp. It usually (allegedly) develops 50hp, but still has the 33hp restrictor kit on it from when we fitted it 2 years ago. Reason for sale: It's physically too big for her and we're looking for something lighter. This could be a big hurdle for you too. Drop me a PM/email if you might be interested.
cheers
Chris
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  #3  
Old 13 Feb 2009
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Go look and try Royal Enfields. They weigh about 160 Kg and have a low seat option. their 20 litre tank ( about £130) gives about a 500 Km range.
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  #4  
Old 13 Feb 2009
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The F650GS single comes in a 33-bhp restricted form and I believe the 2008 onwards F650GS twin (actually 800cc) also has this option.

Tim
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  #5  
Old 14 Feb 2009
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Thanks guys!

I think the restricted 650gs might be the way forward (just have to make her see that).

Sorry chris, I've got a transalp myself and it scared the missus.

I was looking at an enfield but itll be me who will have to fix it...
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  #6  
Old 14 Feb 2009
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Or a 250, say a YamTTR or HondaXR. Small, light yet fine for non-Motorway speeds. Available, too.
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Old 14 Feb 2009
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Have her ride a few bikes and see which one really works.

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 22:58.
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Old 14 Feb 2009
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[quote=Yahoo;228606

I was looking at an enfield but itll be me who will have to fix it...[/quote]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Y

Wise words about the Enfield.

M/Dog's comments are relevant IMO, especially with the example of Lois Pryce's bike. Get 'er indoors to read Lois's last book on Africa. That should do the trick. MDog rightly refers to the luggage issue - I say, employ the backpackers philosophy and carry little. I admit I only say that after years of carrying too much.

So-called "smaller" bikes are wonderful. They power half the world. And how many motorways/autoroutes/autostradas will you encounter outside of the EU/North America. Some, but not a lot. And why go fast? Why miss what you came to see? That's exactly what you don't want. You don't need BIG.

Anecdote: I just met a couple in South India, on 500 Enfields. Admittedly the Indian roads are an Edouard Munch nightmare, but the woman was deeply exhausted and very, very unhappy on her bike...it was too much for her. I could smell divorce. If she'd had a more suitable bike, he would've be the one to be exhausted; she'd have been on top of the world. A 250 - 450cc would have been perfect.

Buen viaje

Last edited by Caminando; 15 Feb 2009 at 09:00.
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  #9  
Old 14 Feb 2009
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Question: is the A2 licence honoured and recognised outside of the UK/EU?
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Old 14 Feb 2009
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Nice trip KT. Is the 5th photo down on your blog taken in Oxford, near Broad St?

Great to see you took "small" bikes
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Old 14 Feb 2009
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As the Oracle Mollydog says - a DRZ would be a good choice, being low and quite light. But i believe they're rated at some 39hp so would need a restrictor kit. A DR would be a fine choice but as they're as common as Rocking Horse Poo they're not worth considering here. A lightly-laden 250 should cruise mainroads easily as long as you don't plan on overtaking much...
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  #12  
Old 14 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Y

Wise words about the Enfield.

So-called "smaller" bikes are wonderful. They power half the world. And how many motorways/autoroutes/autostradas will you encounter outside of the EU/North America. Some, but not a lot. And why go fast? Why miss what you came to see? That's exactly what you don't want. You don't need BIG.

I could smell divorce. If she'd had a more suitable bike, he would've be the one to be exhausted; she'd have been on top of the world. A 250 - 450cc would have been perfect.

Buen viaje
OK get a 350 Enfield

Or is it not really a question of engine size ?
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Old 15 Feb 2009
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The slow pace can really open up the whole trip in so many ways.

Patrick

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 22:59.
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  #14  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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If you are ristricted to 33bhp then why not make the most of a small light bike thats easy to handle. By picking a bigger bike then restricting power it seems a strange way of doing things. What happens to fuel economy etc ?

I have a TT250R, its a great bike and more than capable of carrying all the kit needed for a solo overlanding trip. If you are traveling as a pair then your loads can be reduced as spares and kit can work on both bikes. Better still use the same make and model and things get even easier. See either of Lois Pyrces books for what can be done on smaller Yamahas.

The joy of a smaller bike is being able to travel light and keep things fun.
Also consider Dr350 and Xt350's plus Beta Alp.
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  #15  
Old 15 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
OK get a 350 Enfield

Or is it not really a question of engine size ?
They say the 350 Enfield is the better of the two and the new versions I've just seen in India certainly appear to be much improved. Yet the point is well made, perhaps, that repairs are an issue - this seems to be widely accepted. It's not so much an engine capacity matter, but reliability. IMO. It's hard to better Japanese bikes for dependability. The huge number of Honda Heroes in India may testify to that.

IMO.

Having said that, I think Nick Sanders (Saunders?) did RTW on a diesel Enfield, and Gregory Frazier on a petrol model.
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