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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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AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

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  #1  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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The ultimate off road tourer !!!

BMW build 2800 HP2's and even though these bikes have incredibly capable suspension, they are really lousy to use for touring, the 13 litre fuel tank does not get you far and the complete lack of fairing does not allow the rider the endurance to carry on riding all day long. It was also not provided with any means to carry luggage.
KTM's Adventure models were probably getting closer but the suspension was compromised to allow for a more comfortable ride height for shorter riders and to cope better with road handling at speeds in the access of 200km/h. The bike is overly complicated and even though the 950 used carbs, a fuel pump needed to be used as the bottom of the fuel tank was lower than the carbs. The same can be said for the BMW's, they are very complicated because of fuel pumps and other electronic components regulating fuel injection etc.

One small manufacturer prevailed though and they are hand-building the ultimate off road tourer based on the R80 and R100GS models from BMW. These bikes fitted with proper off road suspension on reinforced frames allow the rider ease of maintenance in the most basic workshops around the world.
Fuel supply to the carbs is good old fashioned gravity feed and when this brake down you know you are screwed real good in any case.

The following links have lots more info.

DIY your own bike, the HPN way.

YouTube - BMW GS by HPN; RIDE THE ADVENTURE

hpn

Last edited by gsworkshop; 5 Nov 2010 at 00:05.
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsworkshop View Post
Fuel supply to the carbs is good old fashioned gravity feed and when this brake down you know you are screwed real good in any case.

Hehe, nice point!

Yes the bikes are great, the problem is that all other bikes get boring. A few weeks ago I was riding with a guy with a new F800GS and we switched bikes - I longed back to my bike all the time.

Edit: Maybe a longer video next time?
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  #3  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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The ultimate off road tourer !!!

what are the cost of a fully new/ restore HPN . I agree the bike looks great and fun , I never had one but had and still own few BMW (K75,K100,R90,R100,R1200), I am getting organized for a RTW and the choice of bike is still very limited ( 2 up in the US).....
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  #4  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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Doncha badmouth ma 950!

Yes - nice vid!

However, in order to provide a balanced view - it seems strange that you can condemn a bike as overcomplicated because it has a fuel pump when you are using shaft drive on a dirt bike! I wonder how your average basic workshop anywhere in the world would do when that went wrong? Probably the same way they would deal with tearing your bike in half to replace a worn clutch (as opposed to undoing a dozen bolts on a KTM 950)

Incidentally - the KTM 950 uses the same fuel pump as that most unreliable of bikes, the Africa Twin - they are known to need replacing every 30-40K miles, cost 100 Euro, are small and so a spare is easily transported, and can be swapped out in about 15 mins by anyone with the mechanical skills of a bi-polar monkey.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not knocking airheads - I have ridden a few and think they are great bikes -and they undoubtably have some advantages over a KTM 950 from some riders' perspective, such as seat height, and ease of carb adjustment.

It is a shame you need to resort to tenous, criticisms of other manufacturers' bikes in order to justify your own - you didn't mention how much the HPN costs.

And while I'm on a roll, Ali Baba, I assume when you said that other bikes would be boring after riding an HPN you meant other BMW bikes. Other companies make bikes too y'know.

Well that's it - now Ive offended everybody I'll shut up.

Well actually, no I won't. Hendikaf - ultimate 2-up off road tourer available in the US? That'd be the KTM 950 Adventure!
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  #5  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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That's a nice looking machine. Pitty about the tank though, but surely Acerbis or someone will make a bigger job. With the exhaust where it is I can see that conventional luggage wouldn't work, but there must be ways to make your own rack, especially for soft luggage.

As for the lack of fairings - I reckon it's a bonus, less to crack and break, and you don't need to remove it to fiddle with stuff. If it makes it tougher riding then you just need to harden up.
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Old 11 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frinch11 View Post
And while I'm on a roll, Ali Baba, I assume when you said that other bikes would be boring after riding an HPN you meant other BMW bikes. Other companies make bikes too y'know.

I know that there are other brands then BMW and I’ve owned a few (check my profile). There is also a Yamaha in my garage and I might be looking for a KTM again (not road legal).

Maybe it was a bit hard to write “the problem is that all other bikes get boring” because normally I like to test other bikes, all kind of bikes. But right now I find it boring to drive them for a long time. Okay?
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  #7  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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It’s important to understand that each bike is different and built after the buyers need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
That's a nice looking machine. Pitty about the tank though, but surely Acerbis or someone will make a bigger job.
There are loads of different tanks available, up to 43 liters + rear tank (7.5 liter).


Quote:
Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
With the exhaust where it is I can see that conventional luggage wouldn't work, but there must be ways to make your own rack, especially for soft luggage.
Conventional luggage works (both hard and soft), you can get standard racks, custom built or build it yourself. Personally I have a heavy duty rack (and subframe) with stock exhaust and Jesse Luggage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
As for the lack of fairings - I reckon it's a bonus, less to crack and break, and you don't need to remove it to fiddle with stuff. If it makes it tougher riding then you just need to harden up.
There is a variety of fairings, you can find some examples here: High resolution pics - HPN Motorradtechnik GmbH
Lots of HPN-bikes: HPN Owners Club - Fotogalerie - HPN Galerie



For me the cost is much less then a KTM990/R1200GS/HP2.
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  #8  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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No worries - you don't have to justify yourself to me (or anyone else for theat matter). I was just responding to your comment that after riding an HPN all other bikes seem boring.

Maybe one day we will meet, and we will swap bikes, and you will confirm how boring my bike is compared to your HPN (when I first posted I didnt realise you were an HPN owner), then I will buy you a , you can drink yours and I will cry into mine....

...then I'll turn on the ignition, hear the reassuring tick of the fuel pump, and ride off with a smile on my face content in the knowledge that I have the perfect bike for me... which is surely what it'a all about!
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  #9  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frinch11 View Post
...then I'll turn on the ignition, hear the reassuring tick of the fuel pump, and ride off with a smile on my face content in the knowledge that I have the perfect bike for me... which is surely what it'a all about!
Yes, that’s what it’s all about!
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  #10  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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The fact is I can adventure tour one up on my $4500 DR650 (includes most farkles) and keep pace with any HPN ridden by a rider of equal skill. After seeing the video on the link what I see is very stodgy and unwilling partner that I would never take dirt riding.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 19:48.
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  #11  
Old 11 Nov 2008
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Have you tried a HPN Mollydog?
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  #12  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Everything I know about HPN's I've learned from you Ali!
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Old 12 Nov 2008
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Which bike?

Well guys, seems like we are still broaching on this subject yet again? It does get some airtime doesn't it? Maybe I can put my 50 cents worth in (inflation)!

Firstly I do own several BMW's and have owned other bikes in the past but never a KTM so I can't say much about them. At present I have 2 x R50's, 1 x R100GSPD, 1 x R100S and 2 x R1200GS. I haven't rode a HP2 but do like the look of them but too tall for my stumpy legs!

Anyway, I have just completed a 14 mth trip from Muscat, Oman to Bali, Indonesia via Yemen and East Africa, Sing, MY, Sumatra, Java etc. I used the 2004 R1200GS for this trip as I wanted to ride it home.

I would like to mention right now that this bike is marvelous on the tar and big hard surfaced roads. It has the power and weight to just sit there and thunder along. But! Take it to the soft stuff or tight stuff and you get a bike that will make you work your guts out to push it through. My main problem is the front suspension, small front wheel and mainly the weight of the thing. Another big let down is the high 1st gear! I am an ex trials rider so do ride on the pegs a lot so with this bike you are forever slipping the clutch even to get up 10% grades. I know that BMW have lowered 1st gear on the later models but they have been doing this for the last R1100, and R1150 models as well. When will they find their happy medium? When I left Oman and through Africa I did carry too much gear, around 40 kg. I finished the ride with about 20kg which is more than enough for this bike or any bike in my opinion. But that is up to each person, what they want to carry.

The bike has failed parts namely both suspensions and the alloy front wheel after I lost the front suspension. BMW changed the shocks but wouldn't send them to me and said I had to visit a BMW shop to have this done. This is kinda difficult when you in the middle of Tanzania and the closest dealer is in Nairobi and they were still killing people there during the election! So I purchased Ohlins for both ends, only 3000k for this!!! They would not even look at the rims and said that this bike is not meant for off road? I thought that was what GS meant? Anyway as you could only get this bike with these wheels in Oman I must have bought the wrong bike? An ON ROAD ONLY R1200GS!!! I did finally get new shocks for the bike in Sth Africa once I arrived there in September. I must say that the dealer here was much friendlier and more helpful then in Nairobi and Germany. Thanks to the guys at Donford BMW for all your assistance and help and the crate as well.

So once in Indonesia, this bike gets way too much attention! Every time you stop people want to touch it, sit on it, ask questions about it, ask where your going, where your from endless bloody questions! So best way to fix this is don't stop! Indonesia is a very spectacular country to see and if you speak some Bahasa it helps a lot in the out of the way places. Big problem here is that there are way too many small motorcycles on the road. 50% of them have unlicensed school kids on them so there are no rules and anything goes! Just remember, if you are in any kind of accident here don't stop, just keep riding! You will know why if you have ever been here.

So back onto the bikes, For my opinion I would not ride a 1200GS or even an 800GS again for his kind of trip. You have to remember the price of these things and therefore the cost of a carnet as well. Also Mongolia, the Stans etc don't have BMW dealers! And also remember that BMW make their money from cars and these are the high end of the market. They (BMW) don't like to have dirty, smelly travelers in their nice clean showrooms. This is why the bikes are targeted to the people who want to ride to the coffee shop on Saturday mornings etc.

I would be looking at 2 models of bike, an Africa Twin if you can get one? They weren't imported to Australia so it's hard for us there. And failing this I would ride a basic Suzuki DR650 with soft luggage on it. Fancy me saying this when I am now planning a "Round half the World" trip on a R50/3 but at least I can repair this old dear and I don't need any BMW workshops to keep me going.

Ok guys, whatever you plan to ride enjoy and watch out for the "Sepeda Motors" I had 4 hits in 2 weeks by them here!

Cheers
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Old 12 Nov 2008
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Ahh Dingo, never a truer word spoken. Why I am not surpised by your comments on suspension and alloy wheels?

Garry from Oz.
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Old 12 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Everything I know about HPN's I've learned from you Ali!

Then it looks like you have a lot to learn Mollydog, your list proves that (again).

Maybe a longish trip will do you good, get some fresh air instead of wasting energy on this BMW-stuff (both here and on Advrider). It’s funny when I read my first post from Django Loco I recognized you before I had finished the first line.

Happy travels!
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