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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 18 Apr 2007
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A Suzuki Savage in Europe? Need advice!

Hi guys, I've been reading the forum for a while now. I plan on travelling eastern Europe by motorcycle in about a year's time and am looking to get started early. Recently, my first bike (an old '86 Rebel) kicked the bucket and put me in the market for a new (used) bike. Prior to its passing I had planned on buying overseas, but its untimely death has given me the opportunity to research and select a bike here in the states that is capable of handling European roads. I have tentatively been entertaining two options:

a 2000 Yamaha 650 V-star classic

and a 97 Suzuki Savage 650.

Both bikes are in my budget (under $3000), have low miles (under 14k) and look garage-kept and well maintained. I have noticed that the tendency of international travelers is to choose/ride a dual purpose bike like the KLR or BMW FS and was wondering if a low riding cruiser could handle the off-road conditions that camping would necessitate. The Savage is a good deal at under $2k and I am looking to buy soon, so any input would be GREATLTY appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 18 Apr 2007
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Low riding

If "off-road conditions that camping would necessitate" are traveling on a dirtroad to a camping or traveling on the grass, there is no problem.
Any bike will do. I don't think it will be worse then the Rebel you had before.

I've been traveling in South Africa on a Harley Lowrider and had no problem with dirtroads and campings but don't think about serious off-road riding ofcourse.
Jan Krijtenburg

The bikes I ride are a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
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Old 18 Apr 2007
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Thumbs up Go for it

The Savage, if that's the bike that suits you, will get you most places. There is a NEw Zealand couple who have done two NZ-UK trips on 2 Honda VT600 Shadow customs, and I'm sure they came across some pretty gnarly stuff through Asia.


Nigel in NZ
The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with . -- 2200 BC Egyptian inscription
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Old 18 Apr 2007
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As the last couple of posts, you will find the roads in Europe to be very similar to those you are used to in the States; so no need to worry about this basically.
In West Europe, everything up to & including major Motorways (Interstates). Further East, the roads may not be so well developed and/or surfaced but still passable.

As is commonly said you can go around the world on any bike, so enjoy your trip in Europe riding whatever takes your fancy!!

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Old 19 Apr 2007
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which bike

The 650 yamaha has two cylinders, a roomy chassis, 5 speeds, a shaft drive.....you got to be kidding if you don't take it over a 4 speed single cylinder belt drive savage. Maybe if you are under 5'5" the savqge would be better. After a rebel either one will be delux.
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Old 19 Apr 2007
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v-twins generally feel more relaxed than singles, also some of the early savages put out such little horsepower it'll just get frustrating.

all jap bikes are very reliable, but shaft drive is the ultimate for touring.

also, where would you ever get a belt for a savage if it broke? it doesn't help that a belt will go with no warning at all, it only takes one stray stone!

go for the drag star, no competition

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Old 20 Apr 2007
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I used to have a Savage and toured on it a couple of times. It was okay, but perhaps a bit slow. I'd take the V-Star over a Savage also...
Bruce Clarke --- 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (black)
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