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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 27 Apr 2008
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Sydney-London: Aprilia Pegaso 650 Strada - Up to the job, or buy a Dakar??

Hi

The plan is to spend around 9 months riding from Sydney to London starting Jan 09. Planning on riding up to Darwin, through Indonesia, then up to Thailand. From there will fly the bike to Bangladesh and head back to Europe via the 'Stans, Iran, Turkey etc.

The question is...should i buy a BMW 650 Dakar, or stick with what I have, a '06 Aprilia Pegaso 650 Strada with around 3000km on the clock (Recently bought it with only 1000km, so pretty much as good as new).

I'm sure the Dakar will be more capable when the going gets tough, but it would be far cheaper to stick with what I have. What are your thoughts?

If I were to get firmer shocks and knobbly tires, do you reckon the Aprilia will do the job well enough? Anything else you'd do to it? Or would you just shell out for a Dakar? I could afford it, but would rather not if i don't need to.

Are parts easy enough to get for the Pegaso, or is it going to be a nightmare? It has a Yamaha engine, so i guess likely to be fairly reliable?

Any advice much appreciated!!

J
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  #2  
Old 27 Apr 2008
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Have heard of people doing it on a BMW, havent heard of anyone done it with an Aprilia... but doesnt mean it couldnt do it. Would be good to be very familiar with the bike, as there will be many countries, where you will not find any mechanics who have specific training to fix it. And finding spare parts will be hard. The same goes for almost all modern big bikes, though.

Correct me if Im wrong, but I believe thats not a Yamaha engine, its made by some company in Europe (dont remember which) and its used by both Yamaha and Aprilia?

I dont think you will need knobbly tyres, unless you plan to do side roads most of the time & happen to be in the northern or southern tropics during their rainy season. Thats when going might get real tough - and then you would need LOTS of time, too, because it would be real slow going. If you got 9 months, then sure you may have enough time to do that.

If youre leaving Sydney in January, you will hit the southern hemisphere rainy season, so conditions in northern Australia and in most parts of Indonesia may be quite bad, could seriously take the fun out of biking. (I went to Indonesia last February, and it really affected the journey quite a bit - but I still wouldnt skip Indonesia and freight from Darwin to Singapore, because Indonesia was a big experience!!)

If following the main roads (mostly) then its not such a big problem. But for that it would be much better to fit something like Tourance / Anakee, which will give way better mileage than knobbly tyres. Hard to find specific tyres in, for example, Indonesia, India or Pakistan. Consider carrying spare ones, if you can.

All in all, you can ride between Australia and Europe without needing a machine thats capable of going thru the real bad places... but surely you can find those on the way, too, depending on your choice of route. It will easily be something like 25-30.000kms altogether, so I think how the bike suits the open highways, will also be important.
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  #3  
Old 28 Apr 2008
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i thought those two bikes (the bm and the aprilia) had the same motor anyhoiw, or am i wrong? if i am right, they probably share strong and weak points too. should be plenty in that regard on the hubb.
anyway as long as you know the bike well (maybe take a manual). i agree with pecha's comment about tyres - don't go to hard on the knobbies unless you really want to go high and wide. good riding, right pressures and good bike setup more important anyhow. a good dual-purpose tyre choice will get you better tyre mileage. might get you all the way.
grouse plan, enjoy.
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  #4  
Old 28 Apr 2008
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Cheers for the replies!

Re the engine it looks like the older Pegaso had the Dakar engine and the newer ones have the same engine and gearbox as the xt660r...not sure who makes it though....could be wrong.

I was dead set on the Dakar, but thinking seeing as I have the Pegaso already would be much easier to stick with it. Love the bike too, so reckon I'd be happy to ride it round the world.

Anyone know about panniers etc? Is it is easy enough to get aluminum ones for it - looks like Aprilia only do soft luggage.

Any thoughts on what I'd need to get done to it? Just shocks and tires....dual purpose by the sounds of the posts, or anything else?

Changing the subject a bit....how bad is bad in Indonesia in Feb? An experience that you look back on afterwards as an adventure, or a bloody nightmare?

Thanks for your replies....

Anyone else with any thoughts?

J
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  #5  
Old 28 Apr 2008
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Indonesia in February

We rode from Belawan (Medan) in north Sumatra to Java and on to Bali. Entered February 5th, and exited March 3rd. The original plan was to continue onwards to Timor, but then several factors turned against us. Weather at seas was one of them, with many ship departures being cancelled... another was that we should´ve got 60 day visas before entering, but thought the 30 day visas-on-arrival would be enough (they were not). And the president and prime minister of East Timor had just been attacked, and the situation there remained unclear. So we decided we have to ship from Bali to Australia.

All the way through Sumatra the weather was actually quite ok at the time, some showers (and it does rain a LOT, when it rains) but nothing too bad. Some stretches of the road were damaged, and very slow to ride, but manageable (we were riding 2-up with a Vstrom650 and with lots of luggage, so very heavy bike).

In Java it got worse, there had been big floodings near Jakarta and I think the airport was closed periodically. Going thru the more mountainous sections wasnt too bad, again some places where the roads were damaged. Plus you couldnt really see anything, because the clouds obscured view most of the time. Wouldve loved to see the big volcanoes there, but could only see their lowest parts.

On the nort coast of Java, between Semarang and Surabaya, the plains were badly flooded and very nearly un-doable, because there was so much water on the road. In fact it wasnt just standing there, a river had bust its banks, and it was running quite fast. And its murky, so you cannot see the road at all, and there are plenty of holes, etc. And this went on for quite a while. NOT fun to ride!! Finally made a detour inland, and managed to escape the flooded areas, but a lot of rain there as well.

Most unpaved roads in the flooded areas of Java would have been totally unrideable for sure, they were just pools of wet mud.

The same continued in Bali, with huge thunderstorms almost every night (they were a sight to see!)

Keep in mind that many ships sink there each year, and its largely due to their bad condition plus the fact that they want to make money transporting people & goods as much as they can, so they may not stay in the harbour even when they should. Someone living in Bali claimed there had been 35-foot waves between Bali and Lombok around the time we were there. The seas are at their most dangerous during the rainy season.
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  #6  
Old 30 Apr 2008
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Hi J,I can't see a problem with travelling on the Peg,especially now that it has the Yamaha XTZ motor in it as they are popular and parts should be easy to source.Also being screw and locknut valve adjustment makes it easier to service while on the road.I'm not sure what luggage and accessories are availale off the shelf for the Strada though.I knoe there is'nt much for the earlier Pegs.

Cheers
Andrew
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  #7  
Old 30 Apr 2008
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I would keep a bike you know and are comfy with over a bike you don't any day. Especially as the difference would be minimal.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #8  
Old 30 Apr 2008
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Thanks again....

Indonesia sounds....interesting....at that time of year. Not going to stop me going though!!

By the sounds of things sticking with the Pegaso is probably the way forward then. I think you're right though Matt that there isn't a lot of kit around. Aprilia make a tank bag and bash plate that I'd probably get from them if I can't find better/cheaper elsewhere and they do semi-rigid panniers which would probably be a last resort, sure someone must do aluminium panniers for it. Other than that, I guess new shocks and tires would be easy enough to find.

Anyone have any ideas where to find the panniers (preferably in Oz)??

Cheers

J
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  #9  
Old 1 May 2008
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Try here.
noRRus

Andrew
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  #10  
Old 3 May 2008
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Nice one...thinking maybe Hepco&Becker pannier rack and Touratech panniers could do the job.

Hepco&Becker make crash bars and a centre stand too for the Pegaso - do you think they're both worthwhile getting, or not entirely necessary?

Cheers

J
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  #11  
Old 4 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J1mbo View Post
Nice one...thinking maybe Hepco&Becker pannier rack and Touratech panniers could do the job.

Hepco&Becker make crash bars and a centre stand too for the Pegaso - do you think they're both worthwhile getting, or not entirely necessary?

Cheers

J
I put both crashbars and a centrestand on my Pegaso.If I were to pick just one then the centrestand would be the go.Be careful if using TT panniers and B&B racks as the H&B racks are a smaller guage than the TT ones and you may find that the pucks supplies by TT won't fit the H&B frames.TT/17mm racks and H&B/15mm racks from memory.

Andrew
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  #12  
Old 4 May 2008
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Thanks for the advice mate. Been looking over the weekend and may go for H&B panniers too - they're more expensive than the TT ones but it seems to work out cheaper to get it all from H&B as the shipping is far less...

Probably will go for the centrestand and the crash bars. Did you do anything with the shocks?? Also, any idea if the windscreen is worth getting? Guessing it won't make a huge amount of difference?

Thanks

J
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  #13  
Old 5 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J1mbo View Post
Thanks for the advice mate. Been looking over the weekend and may go for H&B panniers too - they're more expensive than the TT ones but it seems to work out cheaper to get it all from H&B as the shipping is far less...

Probably will go for the centrestand and the crash bars. Did you do anything with the shocks?? Also, any idea if the windscreen is worth getting? Guessing it won't make a huge amount of difference?

Thanks

J
No worries.My Peg is a 2000 model so I'm not sure how the windscreen is on your model.I do need to upgrade the spring on the rear shock though ( or go on a diet).I've got TT panniers on a BM and find them good but the H&B panniers are stronger in a crash.A mate wrote his GS1150 off but the H&B panniers survived and he now has them fitted to a GS1200.Strong units.The other good thing is the water storage in the skins of the H&B panniers.The down side is they are a bit smaller internally.

Andrew
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