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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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Old 24 Feb 2009
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figure an elegant way to fit panniers.

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 23:00.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Get her a CB500, it'll do anything.
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Old 5 Mar 2009
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Modern diesel cars

Interesting thing I noticed here just in the last couple weeks, Mercedes, for the first time, is pushing their new generation Diesel cars. Sure, they've sold Diesel cars here in very small numbers for 30 years, but they've never pushed them at all.

Introducing American's to modern Diesel cars is long over due, IMO. I was sold after a few rides while in France and riding all over France behind them (with the new low Sulphur fuel can you barely smell them) Reading road tests in Euro mags is further revelation not new to you Euros, but us Yanks are in the dark on this 100%.
Even I'm not a frequent writer here and even though it's OT I couldt stop myself from stepping in.

Patrick, you are soooo right with this. Being a test engineer with Mercedes for 15 years now with frequent interactions with US suppliers and the (ex ) colleagues from Chrysler and having done several test trips in the US I'm still flabbergasted by the fact that in the US the Diesel has such a bad image with the public and nobody cares to market modern, sophisticated, environmentally friendly diesel cars there. Aside from the sulphur problem in US Diesel fuel (which can and will be solved) I can see no reason not to go diesel across the board. Todays Diesel is FUN to drive (the low end torque has to be experienced to believe it & the "turbo lag" is almost nonexistant anymore), uses a fraction of the fuel the US gas powerplants do, not noisy, not smelly - Go Diesel! Here in Europe there are countries with 70% diesel cars - and for a reason. For those who are interested in digging a bit more deeply, I strongly recommend to read

AutoReport » Blog Archive » New Generation of Four-Cylinder Diesel Engines from Mercedes-Benz Leads the Way: Taking Performance, Consumption and Emissions into a New Dimension

A 2,2 l 165 kW 500Nm powerplant that goes 250km/h in a C Class sedan and uses approx 6 l/100km in combined traffic...

It's a press release so there's a bit of marketing blabla but still the facts are impressing.

Oh boy I could enter in a debate about the reasons for the big three to hit the wall, the energy problem, peoples attitudes and so on but this would be completely , so I let it be. But just one quote from an US supplier's representative to my question why in the US so many people drove around in those big new but anachronistic V8 gas guzzler SUVs burning half of their fuel in the gearbox's converter: "Because we can do it" ...Sad but true - and this was not long time ago.

Excuse me but that had to be mentioned. Now feel free to comment

Martin (who sits at his desk and tries to work instead of daydreaming to go back to south america)
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Old 6 Mar 2009
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I may be wrong but isn't the A2 licence slightly more complicated than 33bhp in that there is a max power to weight ratio as well.

I am sure i read elsewhere that sub 33bhp enduro bikes are too powerful for an A2 holder.


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Old 6 Mar 2009
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You're right 38

A standard motorcycle licence (category A) will restrict you for a period of two years to riding machines with a power output not exceeding 25 kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. After the two year period you may ride any motorcycle.

( copy and pasted from the DSA website )

I've been following this thread because my wife has just got a Honda CLR 125 and is doing her CBT tomorrow - then hopefully going on to do the category A test, next year we plan to go to India,the DSA told me she can then ride in the European Community, but advised us to check with the AA or RAC regarding India. I'll post when I get a reply.

Cheers Mike
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Old 12 Apr 2009
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I did my direct access and my wife did her restricted when we were in the UK. What an expensive and drawn out pallava.

The rest of the world doesn't know what a restricted license is. Either you have a bike license or you don't. In most cases it's related to the riders age vs engine cc's.

So the day before you hop on the ferry to abandon the island, remove the restriction kit and head off. Nobody will ever ask you about, let alone understand, the <25kw. And if they do you simple explain in great detail how the restriction kit is the little knob on the carb, and casually show them how to adjust the "power" by playing with the idel screw or something. They will simply laugh and say "Oh you silly Ingaleesh with your silly rulz!"

My wife's license was restricted when we left and one month into our trip she hit her 2 year "unbanning". Not once did anyone look at her license.
If there's a will there's a way so I will anyway!
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Old 12 Apr 2009
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I agree it's a total farce! The restricted licence doesn't make sense if you're over 30 and hold a car licence, 1 year of restriction I could understand but not 2!

I'm on a CBT at the moment and will need to borrow/rent a 500cc bike for the main tests (or a bike deemed to be of the correct power to weight ratio -turbo charged CG 125 anyone?). By the time I get a full licence I will have taken 3 practical riding tests and a 2 theory tests, I have to take the theory tests depsite having a full car licence for 25 years! Total cost about £300.00. However, a 17 year old can pass 1 theory and 1 practical car test and drive a BMW M5 on his dads insurance, that's crazy. The government hates bikes that what it tells me.

Er, back to the original question, I think the KLR 250 would be a good choice. Not too heavy, good mpg and nippy enough judging by mates bike.

Originally Posted by Bossies View Post
I did my direct access and my wife did her restricted when we were in the UK. What an expensive and drawn out pallava.

The rest of the world doesn't know what a restricted license is. Either you have a bike license or you don't. In most cases it's related to the riders age vs engine cc's.

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Old 30 Apr 2009
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done and dusted

G'day all!

Thanks for all the bits of wisdom and advice, you guys are great!

Weighed all the options and in the end a mint condition drz400s came up for sale. Apparently he is called bumblebeast.

Anyway after an over eager mrs yahoo put some new scratches on him, we (I) dropped the preload and slapped a lower seat on him.

Result: a broadly grinning missus and a trip closer to actually happening.

So thanks again guys!

Next payday we'll be in the market for a bigger tank so, anybody with a dusty 18+ liter suzuki drz400s petrol tank hiding in a cupboard somewhere, drop me a line and i'll get my people to call your people.

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Old 30 Apr 2009
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I thought about getting my A2 instead of my full licensebefore I went overlanding as I was planning on getting an enfield, and was told I would have problems riding in europe on a restricted license, not sure how accurate this is but it might be worth getting her full license anyway, would leave a wider choice of bikes and a DR350/Serow 250 or similar might be a good option.
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Old 26 May 2009
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Another vote for an F650.

I took an F5650 dakar (that had been restricted for the previous tester and the mechanic didn't want to change it back just for me) for a test ride and I'm a big bloke and it was nimble and fast enough even restricted.

We say things like "only 33bhp". My mums car has "only 50bhp" and that weights close to a ton.
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