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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 23 Mar 2012
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The 2 up Choice

My wife and I are looking at a semi Round The World trip in the next year or two. (North & South America, southern Africa up to Kenya/Ethipopia, then Europe including Turkey and Eastern europe) She has no interest in riding her own bike, so we would be 2 up. I'm starting the research on which bike to get, so we can spend a year or so with it here in the states getting comfortable with it. The trip would be mostly pavement, but some packed dirt/gravel roads, but you know we'll face some dirt, we are just not setting out to a major sahara sand ride. I'm a tall guy 6'7" 230 lbs, she's 5'4" 120.

The choices seem to be coming down to
BMS 1200 GS
KTM Adventure 990
Suzuki V Strom 1000
Yamaha Super Tenere
Triumph 1200

I've yet to sit on the Tenere or the Triumph. So far the BMW is the most comfortable, but I think with After market seats the KTM or V Strom would be good. The V storm seems the cheapest.

I think I'd prefer to buy something that is in the 2004-2009 range, if for no other reason the savings in the purchase price. I'm a intermediate skill level on the mechanic stuff, but I'm learning more and more.

In the end, I know it will come down to my/our own preference, and any bike we choose will work. But, I wanted your thoughts. Comfort and reliability would be our two highest priorities,and of course cost is in there too.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 24 Mar 2012
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If your looking for 2-up, comfort and reliability, I don´t think you are limited to 1000cc/+ bikes these days. 650-800cc could also do it (I do admit though, that 2-up is the part, that´ll narrow the choices down in the middle class considerably).

There are other points, like weight, fuel consumption and fuel range, that might be in favor of a smaller cc bike. Power & torque is not really a problem with them any more, as engine management systems have evolved so much.

Plus it´s very hard to find any comprehensive insurance, that´d cover your bike everywhere in the world, so you risk losing it completely, and without any compensation, on a trip like this. Its value might also be meaningful, it you will need the carnet on your trip (this depends on your choice of routes). And it´ll gather new scratches at an alarming rate on a trip like this, so price depreciation will be rapid, even if the worst doesn´t happen to the bike. All aspects, that are against buying the newest, shiniest, and most expensive tourer you can find (but you probably weren´t going to do that anyway - will leave out at least the Tiger1200, because it´s new for this year).

edit. But bikes do not cost the same all over the planet, over here they´re pretty much as expensive as they get, so getting wear and tear quickly, or the possibility of losing the whole value of it might not hurt you the same way.

Last edited by pecha72; 24 Mar 2012 at 11:51.
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  #3  
Old 24 Mar 2012
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Broadly I agree with Pecha72 but you can also consider road bikes in my opinion, for instance the Honda CBF1000 or the very new model Kawasaki 1000 Versys; the world is pretty much covered in bitumen now, at lowish altitude anyway, so it kind of depends on just how much you aim to go "off road" and how much you actually do that while travelling - there are a few people have pointed out in here that the plans never really work out in this regard.
But, you will be two-up and your pillion is going to let you know when she has had enough.

Also, I agree with your concept of buying a second-owned bike, but get one with low mileage, as new as possible and with a known history (which ties in with the newness aspect); that way, someone else has carried the initial depreciation and you are less bothered about adding to the scratches on the plastics!
Have a look at what "underboning" is writing on here at present; he/she are riding separately but it would give you food for thought and a complete contrast to your plans.

ps If you go back through this forum you can find related discussion such as http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...e/two-up-59873 and talk about other contenders such as the M Guzzi Stelvio bike.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 24 Mar 2012 at 13:16. Reason: ps added
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  #4  
Old 24 Mar 2012
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Comfortable,strong,fast service and spare parts availability..
Certainly HondaAfrica twin for 2up, and Transalp or Yamaha for 1 up..
To get the reply of your why in mind,please compare the bikes on these 2 blogs.
Both are my friends.You can ask for their advices also with a selam from
İstanbulBikersClub.

1-
One World One Journey | Traveling The World By Motorcycle
2-
https://www.facebook.com/groups/216890218358979/
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php...713210&sk=wall

Wish you happy and safe trips.
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  #5  
Old 24 Mar 2012
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My wife and I did a one year/30,000 mile trip from the UK to South Africa on our BMW R 100GS. This is one of the most comfortable bikes we've used, most modern bikes we've tried are more cramped and have high pillion footrests. The bike also carried 90kg of luggage no problem. Other important factors which are just as relevant these days are the very simple mechanics and readily available service parts even in Africa.

We still have the bike which we use for shorter trips around Europe but we're planning to get away for a longer trip soon.

Rider 1.85m/95kg, Pillion 1.75m/60kg
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  #6  
Old 24 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
My wife and I did a one year/30,000 mile trip from the UK to South Africa on our BMW R 100GS. This is one of the most comfortable bikes we've used, most modern bikes we've tried are more cramped and have high pillion footrests. The bike also carried 90kg of luggage no problem. Other important factors which are just as relevant these days are the very simple mechanics and readily available service parts even in Africa.

We still have the bike which we use for shorter trips around Europe but we're planning to get away for a longer trip soon.

Rider 1.85m/95kg, Pillion 1.75m/60kg
That is a great choice, but I was concerned about what 6ft 7in equates to in the inside leg measurement.
Nor is it easy to find one in really good condition nowadays that does not cost silly money, here in the UK anyway. That goes for the Africa Twin also, more or less ever since a UK bike magazine here in the UK wrote a test report that compared the AT with a BMW 800GS and a Tri Tiger 800XC; the AT won that competition.

Sure, the backside to footpeg to handlebar positions are important, as are those dimensions that apply for the passenger.

Could the Kawasaki W800 bike be a good contender as a modern follow-on from the 100GS?? - it's a twin, simple design, big comfy saddle & reliable (based on the earlier W650).
Another "low-rider" type of bike would be the Triumph Bonneville.

You can see that I am still thinking street oriented bikes (but fitted with some dual tyres).
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Old 27 Mar 2012
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Thumbs up

GRTS from Thailand, just passed the Cambodian boader... 22.000km on our Africa Twin, RD07, ^93. NO problems with spare parts, electronics, suspension etc... we travel 2up (450kg) on sand, street, stones, on and off road. no problem except we need to weld constantly our panier holders... but no problem, in SEA you find a welder every 50 meters (true! everywhere).

if you would need any new controlling unit, original spare parts etc... would be less fun (for us) and you need more time (perhaps). we met a lot of people on all kinds of bikes, even they did the RTW using a bicycle, skateboard or a scooter (300cc very funny to look at with the TT paniers attached) and said that this was the best solution for them, and it was...

for us the best choice was our AT, we had it already, we knew it, 100% relayable, strong enough (could be a bit more though ...). Everybody here loves it, "NO REALLY IT IS A HONDA???"

have a look at our blog, there are some pictures from our last 20.000km

anyway the most important thing is that you just do it, not the bike...

cheers Sascha and Kerstin
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  #8  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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Hi Jim,

Good selection of bikes there, Id certainly add in the Tiger 800, F800GS, Honda Varadero and as Walkabout mentions, a few road bikes would do the job too, having done lots of 2up riding on 650 singles Id say the frame will be too cramped for you guys 2up given your height and you will be pushing most 650's AUW with gear. As you are going to be riding around 75,000 kms you want something comfortable with some room.

Throw a leg over as many bikes as you can and see what fits and make sure your wife gets on the back too and is part of the decision making process - or you will get nagged for each one of those 75,00kms!

Each of these bikes has strengths and weaknesses, you will have to compromise in certain areas and at the end of the trip the bike will be worth very little - to everyone apart from you and your wife.

I am personally keen on theTiger 800 for 2up - and they are currently designing a 30L Safai tank for it, but see what fits you guys.
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Old 27 Mar 2012
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i think thats a job for a V-Strom !!!!

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  #10  
Old 4 Apr 2012
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bmw

I have an option to buy a 2006 BMW 1200GS with only 5500 miles for about $9500. It seems in great shape, and the price and miles seem good. Anything I should look at as I check out the bike?
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Old 4 Apr 2012
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Check out the 1200GS section on here . Don't be put off too much because for every one report of a reliability issue there are probably 10 owners who've had no problems at all. Also similar information can be found about any bike model on the internet.
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  #12  
Old 4 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhazelwood View Post
I have an option to buy a 2006 BMW 1200GS with only 5500 miles for about $9500. It seems in great shape, and the price and miles seem good. Anything I should look at as I check out the bike?
I agree with Magnon's post here; most people will only provide feedback when they are not happy, it's just human nature.

But, what I would look for is what has that bike been doing to complete so few miles in 6 years.
What's its history basically, both the written version (which according to BMW should be an annual service no matter how many miles are done) and the informal version from the mouth of the current owner.

Not to everyone's taste are the CANBUS electronics/"wiring loom" which is fitted on all 1200GS I think.
Mechanically, the drive shaft has had problems - either small issues of weeping seals or much bigger ones with complete failure.
Some problems have occurred with the gearbox also but the UKGSer site in that link will show you more about these.

It has oft been said by UK BMW riders that the bikes are "hammered together" in the factory and then BMW rely on their outstanding after service warranty to sort out the issues within the dealer network; personally I believe there is some truth in this, and I would rather buy a 1200GS that has been maintained well by a good BMW dealership than one with low miles covered and a general lack of attention.

Just a few thought for my 2 cents.
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  #13  
Old 4 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhazelwood View Post
I have an option to buy a 2006 BMW 1200GS with only 5500 miles for about $9500. It seems in great shape, and the price and miles seem good. Anything I should look at as I check out the bike?
Be sure to take it to a BMW dealer and have the VIN checked to see that all of the recalls and service bulletins have been done.
The EWS (key signal Antenna ring) should have been replaced.
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  #14  
Old 6 Apr 2012
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vstrom

After much debate and testing I've decided to go with a Vstrom 1000. Found a good deal on a 2009 with very low mileage. I know I'll be upgrading the seat, but I think this is the way to go. Thanks everyone for you help.
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Old 6 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by jimhazelwood View Post
After much debate and testing I've decided to go with a Vstrom 1000. Found a good deal on a 2009 with very low mileage. I know I'll be upgrading the seat, but I think this is the way to go. Thanks everyone for you help.
Please let us all know what solution you have for the wind blast around and over the standard screen; at 6ft 7in you are sure to be experiencing that!
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