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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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  #16  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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I don't know why KTM riders feel they need to defend their noble steeds so heavily, maybe I needed to elaborate more on what I meant about the KTM's complications.
1st I must point out that I have never even taken a 950 or 990 around the block yet and have never worked on any of these bikes before.
I am just revering to what KTM riders them-self have told me; Doing basic services his a nightmare because fairings etc need to be stripped of to fit one of the oil filters, why does it need more than one.(640 Adventure) Then the biggest complaint from most KTM riders in South Africa is the time it takes to get basic repairs done. Dealerships are sparse and you sometimes can't even buy oil filters over the counter as it have to be ordered.
KTM have grown immensely in the last years since launching the 950 and I am sure this problem will get better.
As far as the pump issue is concerned; I am using it as one example to compare the differences and because I have heard of many bikes brought to a standstill on account of this. (Not every rider carry a spare pump.)

Besides all of this I would like to add that the KTM 990 is by far the most capable off road tourer of all the bikes in this class and coming straight of the factory floor!!!!

HPN is like having a Super enduro's suspension and chassis fitted with the fuel range and fairing of the 990 combining the best of both worlds in one bike fit for long distance touring where road conditions is deteriorated badly. HPN uses exactly the same forks as fitted to the 990 except the travel is 75mm more on the HPN, the wet weight of the HPN is less than the dry weight of the KTM.

The bike on the video clip can be fitted with the 43l tank and HPN adventure fairing in less than an hour. The small tank and fairing was fitted to give the bike its retro looks and currently it is used only for weekend rides and short trips.

HPN is hardly perfect but I find it to be the most adapted for my style of riding which often take me on the roads less traveled into areas where I need to do my own maintenance and repairs.
1st gear is very short, it allow you to go at a walking pace with enough revs to get up steep inclines.
Carbs is a real bonus here too as they give you much more control of idle, none of the snatchy character of riding a fuel injected bike.
In difficult off road riding the 1043cc Mahle motor let you do your riding keeping revs around the 3500rpm mark where you will find most of the torque, check the video clip again and listen to the motor.

I do not want to compare bikes here or start a mudslinging contest.
HPN for those who personally know the owners and people working at the company and know their designs and engineering philosophies will also know that when you get involved it is far more than just mechanics but you will find a certain soul that is alive in all of the work coming out of the HPN workshop. These guys are so passionate about their work and they are not driven by sales. They have more work lined up than what they can handle.
Their products are often criticized because it is based on old technology and their concepts are often missed or overlooked because they have invested no time or money in designing products that will blind their customers with flashy looks and trimmings and gadgets making it more appealing.

I have discussed HPN on so many of these threads that I thought it is about time to start a thread of its own.
HPN is not about whether you can afford it but rather if you can afford to go without it. For those that are searching for the ultimate off road riding experience, only a small handful will ever discover HPN but once you do you will find a way to make it possible.

You can start your own project for less than 10 000 Euro but if built by HPN to full specs it can cost up to 35 000 Euro and even more. 25 000 Euro can get you an amazing bike fully fitted for touring with the basic Mahle motor.
It all depend on how you want the bike done and the original condition of your donor bike.
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  #17  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsworkshop View Post
You can start your own project for less than 10 000 Euro but if built by HPN to full specs it can cost up to 35 000 Euro and even more. 25 000 Euro can get you an amazing bike fully fitted for touring with the basic Mahle motor.
It all depend on how you want the bike done and the original condition of your donor bike.
I'm not disagreeing with you here, but 35.000 Euro gets me around the world on a crap bike.

That beeing said, HPNs are sexy (at least to me), but in the decadent hobby of motorbike travel, using a fully kitted HPN probably takes the crown.
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  #18  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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I must agree that the journey must take president over the mode of travel, I just get so much satisfaction of riding on a good suspension and chassis on really bad road conditions that it in itself becomes one of the most alluring parts of the trip experience. If your bike is only a means of getting from one country to the next then it does not really matter what you ride.
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  #19  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Hi Guys!

Fun with KTM's: my brother has a '03 Lc4 Adventure NICE BIKE i loved it !!

Before10TKM -the Batterie was dead(within 5 month!!)
-the engine was open 3 times (start problems)

Before 20TKM - Stearing headbearing ****ed( this bike had seen a bit of Marokko..400Km gravel)
- the engine guard fall off on the highway
The dealer said is acommon problem...after get it off ( a few times) for oil change the screws are ripped somtimes they tight it with cableties......sometimes the mecanics just forget that

finally with 24TKM the engine was close to complete ****ed! Doesn't matter just another 15ooEU!! Keep Throwing Money he still loves that bike;-)))



Friend's of mine just enjoying the breakdown;-) XTZ750 Supertenere powerfull nice bike

They know allready 4!!! Blacksmith's from 3 shorttripps to Maroc! I'am very envious on the their pictures!!!



But after all i wouldn't change my HPN against one of the other beauties!!

We left Germany in 2006 and did till now 62TKM in across Afrika and OZ and the bikes are still running well! (mine has now 160TKM on the odo with the the orginal engine)

Yeah..you're right that driveshaft is a pest...but have you ever seen a chain working for 60TKM (mine broke down with that millage) and the price was in 2003 400EU.

My chains on Streetbikes were usually done after 20TKM...


The price.....i had my R100GS worth maybe 2000EU and than i spend around 10000EU in the rebuild of MY HPN

I think the new 990 is a bit more expensive .


I love my rubbercow;-))) but there are defintly other bikes they will suit to other guys!!!!!

Greetings from OZ Werner+Claudia


p.s. have you ever seen someone searching for the sparkplug on the 990Adventure???

Great fun ,take a and enjoy!!!
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  #20  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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The ultimate off road tourer !!!

Thanks for the price answer, to me 35000 Euro for a 400+ pound bike and 20 years old tech is a bit too much , lets face it the bike look like a dream of adventure but a 3000 Euro XR650R will go every where faster better without as much complication and in my experience of off road driving in really rough condition and pick up the bike few times a day I will go for a lighter bike anydays.

Still love the look of the HPN and appreciate driving confort of my GS
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  #21  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Hi Hendi!


Just to get it right :35000EU is a bike made complete out of NEW parts!!

If you own allready a GS and you get only the frame done (maybe 1100GS swingarm +WP Frontend) than we talk about 6000 EU (send the frame and get the rolling chassies back)

It is still a lot of money but in relation to a new 2cylinder Offroad bike not to bad!

Greatings from OZ Werner
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  #22  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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When I was looking for something new a few years ago I found that the HPN-conversion was cheaper then KTM or BMW (twins) – for me.

It was quite fascinating because I had always wanted a HPN but I thought it was expensive.

But I guess it helps that I live in a country where new bikes are expensive…
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  #23  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsworkshop View Post
1st I must point out that I have never even taken a 950 or 990 around the block yet and have never worked on any of these bikes before.
So what's the problem? What's wrong with just talking about what you know and avoiding misleading people by not criticising (or praising) what you have no first-hand experience of?

Or better still... why not go and ride a 950/990, do a service on one (I'll email you a copy of my service manual if you wish), or sit in with someone who services their own? - Then you will be in a position to do a real like for like (albeit subjective) comparison which I'm sure we will all be interested to read. Who knows - you might convert a few KTM owners to HPN.
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  #24  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by frinch11 View Post
What's wrong with just talking about what you know and avoiding misleading people by not criticising (or praising) what you have no first-hand experience of?
Aaaah, I liked that one!
Should have been my sig-line!

BTW: I've tested a KTM950...
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  #25  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
Aaaah, I liked that one!
Should have been my sig-line!

BTW: I've tested a KTM950...
Smug, self-righteous and patronising? That'll be me then.....
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  #26  
Old 12 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I think what we're seeing here on the HUBB are more travelers going to a low budget, small, lightweight single motorcycle. More and more folks are buying a bike in Thailand or Cambodia or India and going. Or buying a small bike in Brazil or Chile and re-selling before leaving and moving onto the next continent. A different way to travel.
I see your point and I agree that quite a few people do it that way.
The idea fits to some continents, and more important to some peoples mind.

IMHO this idea works best if you can travel with what the locals do and you travel places where there are parts (and maybe knowledge) available.
If you want to go some places where the locals don’t ride motorbikes, or there are no locals at all you have a problem. If you want 500 km fuelrange you have a problem and so on.
But if you want to go from town to and help never is far away it might be a good option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The days of shipping your old air head BMW that weighs 1000 lbs. from continent to continent may be over, or in it's waning days.
Okay, let’s say I want to go to Australia, and buy a bike. To buy and sell the bike I have to extend the trip with one week (at least) in both ends.
A friend of mine shipped his bike to Australia for 1000€, if I work hard one of the two weeks I can ship my bike, pay for the carnet and still have one more week for traveling.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Many others are simply buying old Jap singles for a few pounds and going RTW. If the bike dies, they just leave it. Walk away. Small investment.
Yes this idea fits if you travel in crowded areas, walking 300kms in the desert is not my style.
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  #27  
Old 13 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsworkshop View Post
BMW build 1800 HP2
...
KTM's Adventure models were probably getting closer but the suspension
...
ultimate off road tourer based on the R80 and R100GS models from BMW.
...
Or you could spend $2,800 on a used Kawasaki KLR-650, add soft bags or hard bags for under $1,000 more and about $500 worth of crash protectors, swap out the balancer adjustment lever, and ride around the world. Dirt-simple 1980's technology, gravity fed carb, can be repaired with a big hammer, duct tape, and baling wire, pretty much indestructible once armored up.

There is no need to spend $20,000 on the "ultimate" off road tourer when there's plenty of used cheap bikes that can be beefed up to do the same job, whether we're talking about KLR's, DR's, or whatever. I've taken a KLR with full touring load into places where, once I got there, I looked back down at the way I'd need to go to get back home and said "oh ****, how the **** did I do that? And how am I going to get back out of here?". I did not need two cylinders and all the weight, cost, and complexity of shaft drive to do this.
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  #28  
Old 13 Nov 2008
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There are all sorts of options - you could do this or that - depends on your budget, time and many other things but this thread is about the ultimate off road tourer.

In my opinion the KTM adv. is the off the peg solution but I would still rate an airhead G/S with HPN improvements above the KTM. The airhead may be old technology which means it has proven reliability, no unnecessary complexities and good spares back up (in most countries or by mail order). The suspension can be made close to ideal for your own needs, shaft drive is not a complication but a maintenance free bonus, although I think the paralever arrangement is not necessary. I have a monolever and paralever and apart from a slight rise at the rear when pulling away on the R80, I can't really tell the difference on the open road or off road. HPN improvements have all been tested over many years in arduous conditions so you're not travelling on a prototype. For me, using HPN and other tried and tested parts and building the bike up yourself means that you the know the bike well which is a real bonus when travelling.

With regard to airfreighting, the bike I drop the fork legs out and take the back wheel and suspension off which reduces the Volumetric weight to about half and only takes an hour at either end. I've done this Athens to Nairobi and Johanasburg to Frankfurt and it was very straightforward and cheap on both trips
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  #29  
Old 13 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgreen View Post
and complexity of shaft drive to do this.
You have obviously never owned a shaft driven bike and you must replace your chains and sprockets every 4000km due to lack of maintenance. On top of that you must have been very lacky never to get a flat tyre on the back wheel.

One good reason for owning a shaft driven bike is that it is far less complicated, no maintenance required on newer models and a 150ml oil change every 15000km on the older mono lever models. In dusty conditions you need to lube your chain nearly every 250km if you want it to last and you need too keep up with the wear so you can keep on adjusting it as it wears otherwise the wear rate will increase rapidly. Then fixing a flat getting the back wheel of and back on having to hold on to greasy chains!! thanks that's not for me. The major drawback of shafts are this 1-Extra weight of the shaft and final drive add to the unsprung weight of the swing-arm reducing the suspension performance under tough of road conditions.
2-When they fail, swing-arms and final-drive casings are also damaged adding to the cost.
Km for km drive-shafts is still cheaper than chains & sprockets even if they fail at every 50 000km which is more the exception than the rule.
The R80-100GS's fitted with the first paralever suspension were the 1st models where BMW experienced real problems with premature shaft failures.
The problems were mostly taken care of with the introduction of the 1100GS.
HPN only use the mono swing-arm(simplest and most reliable) and the 1100 or 1150 swing-arms and drive-shafts for their modifications.
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  #30  
Old 13 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HendiKaf View Post
XR650R will go every where faster better
Are you sure about this?

The bike in this video feels and handle like a 250 scrambler but has the acceleration of a 1200GS. YouTube - BMW GS by HPN; RIDE THE ADVENTURE

The bloke riding it is myself and I am a bit of a wimp so do not let the speed in the video clip fool you, I was going real slow.

The XR650R is a great bike but for touring it might be difficult to go to the outback and beyond without luggage.
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