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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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  #31  
Old 21 Dec 2005
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Just bought a Honda XLV650 Transalp
It is awesome ..half the price of the R1200
and just as much fun.
Runs on unleaded petrol etc etc
Honda quality
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  #32  
Old 21 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by ozbiker:
Just bought a Honda XLV650 Transalp
It is awesome ..half the price of the R1200
and just as much fun.
Runs on unleaded petrol etc etc
Honda quality
More reliable too, I shouldn't wonder. LB.

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  #33  
Old 21 Dec 2005
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Check this site http://www.ratbike.org/
Lots of possibilities
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  #34  
Old 4 Jun 2006
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Ktm400/450/525 Exc

How about a KTM400/450/525? They are light, strong, have great components and build quality and are excellent off-road bikes. You can get large tanks (24litres that will get you over 500km). They are road-legal with good lights etc. If you pack light, then you can ride trails rather than road-bashing the whole way.
I've read articles that say it is no use riding a competition bike because once you load them up, you'll never get any benefit. I agree that bikes get worse as you load them up but if you start with excellent handling then it might only be degraded to average. If you start with an over-weight poor- handling bike then it will become abominable.
I've owned 3 KTMs over the years and despite riding them hard, they have proved reliable. The engines are works of art internally with things like split-shell needle rollers on the gearbox main shaft and twin oil pumps/filters. Counterbalancer means no vibes at any speed. Electric and kick-start (still works with a flat battery).
Don't be put off by the short service intervals (recommended 20 hours between oil-changes). these are for competition, not for trail-riding or transport.
The seats are too hard of course but over all they are made for tough going not pretend trail-riding like the dual-purpose bikes from Japan. I recently rode a tough wet event in NZ with a full 23 litre tank "just to see what it was like" and found it manageable.
I see that there is a company that runs tours in Morocco that uses the KTM450. Is this the beginning of a sea-change?
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  #35  
Old 18 Jul 2006
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Does the perfect bike for overlanding exist? -- Not that I have seen so far.
What, are you German? ;-) (we need some smilies here)

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:11.
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  #36  
Old 18 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
...........Most I've met just want to make it through. Its just not that complicated.

Patrick
You're feeling pretty spry.... Good post.

What are you going to do with the bike? Where are you going to take the bike...and yourself? What are your comfort requirements...for your plan? What weight will you accept for your travel plans? What level of self-maintenance are you willing to accept? Is improvisation in your plans or will you depend upon dealer/shop support?

I will refrain from commenting about some of the new bikes being marketed for 'world travel'.

Your comment about having basic mechanical ability is right on. but, you know, anything can be fixed now-a-days with enough money...

A 49cc moped, fat-tired chopper, DL, DR, XL, R1, etc...'can' all do it.

What wins in the end, after all the crying and best laid plans are put to bed....enthusiasm and percerverance.

Ride on......
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  #37  
Old 12 Sep 2009
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Back in '03 I talked about a "Rooney Special". I have since done about 100,000kms on a bike Paul Rooney built. Australia to the UK via Asia and the KKH, etc, and back via Norway, Finland, Russia and Mongolia etc. to Japan. Many trips through the desert in Australia as well. Have I had problems? Yes. Will I get another bike for my trip through the "Stans" next year? No bloody way!! Want one, ring Paul on +61266828557.
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  #38  
Old 5 Nov 2009
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Whilst we are talking bikes and fixing them. Being a newbie to overland trips I thought I would do a motorcycle maintenance course first, this has changed my mind about what I can and can't fix and although I love my R1200GS I think I will have something a lot simpler. Leaning towards the 200-400 single cyclinder trailies. I reserve the right to change my mind once Ive finished the course. For those new West London Merton College run the courses.
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  #39  
Old 5 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashtel View Post
Whilst we are talking bikes and fixing them. Being a newbie to overland trips I thought I would do a motorcycle maintenance course first, this has changed my mind about what I can and can't fix and although I love my R1200GS I think I will have something a lot simpler. Leaning towards the 200-400 single cyclinder trailies. I reserve the right to change my mind once Ive finished the course. For those new West London Merton College run the courses.
That looks to me as you jump from one extreme to the other !?

10 years ago I had the same thought: I sold my r80 and I bought a yamaha tt 600. I just went from Italy to Turkey, less than a week after I came back I gave it back to a garage for an AT.

yes a single is much easier to fix......... but it is really a pain to your bum
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  #40  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Is this the archeology thread? Seems it started a while back

I'm of the firm belief there is no right answer. Your perfect bike is the one you know. An R1200GS shipped direct from the dealer to Touratech Germany to me would be just as much my idea of hell as a C90 I picked up from a seller called Pizzaguy on e-bay.

My perfect bike is a Triumph ( I've seven years experience of the exact model) that's had the benefit of 12 months use and mods. Sure, no paralever, multilever or flushlever, but I can swap that chain in my sleep. 21-inch front wheels and carbs versus FI, a lot of it is just games of top trumps for the arm chair warriors, it's what you carry in your head on your trips that counts.

I've seen an Africa twin that produced something that looked like tea. Might have tasted a bit oily/anti-freezy though.

Andy
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  #41  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Talking

no idea how this "archeological" thread was "discovered"
I do agree the knowledge of your bike is the best medicine for any mechanical foult....but you need to experience a long trip on a single versus a twin to understand the issue. To ride a Drifter or GoldWing is not the same thing

I love Triumph scrambler....but think there is no point in discussing in details about liquid leakage as fixing the bike is considered part of "triumph experience" just like ducati
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  #42  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Quite simply, there isnt one !
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  #43  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by AT.it View Post
no idea how this "archeological" thread was
I love Triumph scrambler....but think there is no point in discussing in details about liquid leakage as fixing the bike is considered part of "triumph experience" just like ducati
Not this century. I'm talking Hinckley, not some lump of iron cast in Meriden by a brut wearing, medallioned, flared trousered workers collective ****ed on cans of super-5, babycham and liebfraumilch. Hinckley deliver what BMW say they do IMHO, while Meriden went bust 35 years ago because they were hopeless.

Actually, that is another requirement for my pefect bike. Must not be named after ancient machinery that'll attract people who'd be just as happy with a mechano set and an observer book of trains! There again ThreewheelT790 doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Andy
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  #44  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashtel View Post
Whilst we are talking bikes and fixing them. Being a newbie to overland trips I thought I would do a motorcycle maintenance course first, this has changed my mind about what I can and can't fix and although I love my R1200GS I think I will have something a lot simpler. Leaning towards the 200-400 single cyclinder trailies. I reserve the right to change my mind once Ive finished the course. For those new West London Merton College run the courses.
A BMW is a fairly basic engine design. Its not much more mechanically challenging than a single - its just got 2 x pistons. OK, it has a shaft, but odds on it shouldn't need touching (although recently they do seem to be a bit dodgy). Main criteria is to choose a bike that'll suit your needs (& pocket). What riding you aiming to do and how do you want to approach it - hard & fast or at a gentle pace?
Go and take a few "test rides" - only way to be sure
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  #45  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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If Hinkley bikes are so wonderful, why don't I want one ?

It is sad, as I have fond memories of three ultra reliable Triumphs that took me well over 100k miles yet I view Hinkley as Japan(UK) Ltd.

It wasn't until two years ago That I had my first ever electrical fault that hindered my progress, and that was on a BMW. So far on my Enfield the only part that has failed has been a Japanese (Denso) starter solenoid). No doubt I will learn more as time goes by. At least it caused me no problems as the bike usually starts first kick

Last edited by oldbmw; 7 Nov 2009 at 20:31.
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