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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 11 Jun 2007
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Post Suzuki DR's for RTW.... Advice?

After a bit of a non-starter about a year ago, my savings for a RTW trip are now getting somewhere.
I've umm'd and ahhh'd about bikes for a long time, and looked at all sorts of things. Thought an F650 was the way forward, and changed my mind in favour of a smaller, more trail type machine.

I accept that there is no perfect bike for this, generally it's either it's too heavy, or not powerful/strong enough.

I'm now looking at a suzuki DR, but I don't know much about them. I took a 650 accross Canada very soon after passing my bike test, and it was great for that trip.

Is the new (ish) DRZ400 a viable option, anyone know anything about these? Otherwise I'm cut between the 350 and 650. Dual start is appealing, as it light weight, and reliability.

The trip is accross from UK to Eastern Russia, then from Alaska to Argentina. Possibly then up through Africa. Two people, one female. Both want the same bike.
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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. A very relaxed riding experience on a long days ride.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:08.
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  #3  
Old 12 Jun 2007
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It's good that you're planning to use two of the same bike, very smart.
Buy 2 DRs several months or more before your trip starts and put some miles on them. Become comfortable with the maintenance, minimal as it is. Make a decision on what gearing (sprockets) you will use, although you can easily carry and change an extra front sprocket. Load the bikes and go on some short trips. In other words, know your mounts before you leave.

1,000 yards of Hell can be a lot worse than 10,000 miles of uncomfortable highway.

Personally, I don't like hard luggage for off road use.
You'll need seats, larger fuel tanks, possible spring upgrades (she may not), handguards, maybe wind screens (very personal things), and rear racks.

Add an inline fuel filter. Not the little 'stone' thing, but a real paper filter.

If money isn't a stopper, you could go to 18" rear rims as 18" rear tires are more available in some places you plan to travel.

IMO, the most important thing might be beoming very familiar with your bikes before departing on your 'big one'.

If money wasn't a limiting factor in my choice of bike for RTW trips, I would suggest....the Suzuki DR650.
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Old 21 Jun 2007
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go for the DRZ 400 ... loads of aftermarket bits available, and it must one of the most widely available bikes in the world. If you walk into a motorcycle dealer in Bolivia or Kazakhstan or anywhere else like that, there will be brand new DRZs on the shop floor.

I also prefer the water cooled engine for big trips ... when you are riding in conditions from -5 degrees to +45 degrees (as you will) then its good to keep the engine at a steady temperature. Austin Vince swears by his simpler air cooled DR350 theory, but then again he has to rebuild his engine 5 times every trip.
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  #5  
Old 21 Jun 2007
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Both are great bikes, ride
'em and decide.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:09.
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  #6  
Old 24 Jun 2007
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Thanks for advice

Thank you for your input folks. I think what I'll do is get a 650, and give it a bit of abuse for a few months here in England as a trial period.

I'm a pretty keen off-road rider, but as Charlotte (the girl I'm travelling with for much of the trip) is not, I think the important thing will be getting ability to get from A to B, as apposed to racing around Baja or Mongolia.

I think that the 650 is certainly the best bike in terms of comfort and load carrying, but I'm not sure how easy it will be for her to ride through the more technical bits? Practice is the key I suppose.

I've been looking at panniers, and come to the decision that I'll build my own. All the good ones are frighteningly expensive.
The ones I’m most keen on are made by a bloke in England called Vern, who sells them via a website ::::.ProjectVND.com.:::: and he’s kindly offered some help with this.

Thanks again with the advice, I’ll keep you posted with my progress.
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  #7  
Old 25 Jun 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Bolton View Post
...........I'm not sure how easy it will be for her to ride through the more technical bits? Practice is the key I suppose.
...........
Her being able to touch the ground without a problem can go a long when getting through nasty stuff - her confidence.
The bike can easily lowered, if that's needed.
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Old 1 Jul 2007
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Two more things I'm interested in..

1- How does the DR650 compare to the Honda Dominator, and the Yamaha XT's? In terms of reliability, and suitability for a long overland trip?

2- I was thinking that if they use many of the same spares, it might be viable to take one DR650 and one 350. Does anyone know how many of the spares are common to the two bikes?

Thanks again for all the info..
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Old 1 Jul 2007
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Levers, maybe cables? Some common nuts and bolts?

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:09.
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Old 2 Jul 2007
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Thumbs up DR 350 or DR 650 SE

If it should be a Suzuki, i recommand DR 350

or DR 650 SE(the last model)

both are very tough!

I know a guy in Costa Rica they use them as rental bikes and they go everywhere!!! ANd they are very tough - I have a friend she rode Alaska - Tierra del Fuego on a 350 - no problems at all! normal speed of course....

For faster travel I recommand the Dr 650 SE

Have fun!

I ride a XT 600 Tenere - not to bad, but already a little old....

I also have a F 650 BMW, first model, very reliable but for real tracks/Jungle etc... to heavy...
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Old 2 Jul 2007
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I do.

I know a guy called Bruno Bonizzato, Italian. He has done over 1,000,000 on bike trips, ridden through the Gobi desert and China........
He probably likes DR650's.
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  #12  
Old 3 Jul 2007
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Which Bike

Hey Baron if you are serious about the GF riding her own bike get the bike she can ride X 2. The old saw about only as strong as the weakest link is really true in that muddy dusty track in the middle of nowhere. Stop in when you come thru north america, i'm just outside of yellowstone park.
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  #13  
Old 6 Jul 2007
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Cheers Bill.

We're just in the process of getting a DR650 now, so we've got a good while to trial it off-road, and get to know the bike.

Be good to meet up with you when we're passing, interesting to bridge the virtual HUBB / reality boundary..
Can't wait to get on the road and make this real.
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  #14  
Old 26 Jul 2007
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Hello Baron, I couldn't message you back as I don't have enough posts on the board yet... good to see you found one in the end, I went for a TT600R which shapes up rather nicely, good luck with it all, sure you'll have an awesome trip!
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