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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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Old 8 Aug 2010
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Two up will mean that you need a beefier chassis and suspension to cope with the weight of another person, plus those extra clothes and camping bits needed for an extra bod in the tent. It should also be relaitively powerful for the same reasons.

Generally, those two factors make for bigger heavier bikes.

We travelled 2-up on a R1150GS in 2006: it did very well, but South American terrain is probably, on the whole, more forgiving than African bush

Another popular option is simply travel on two identical bikes: half the load per bike and half the spares as they can go on either. Not always more expensive either...

PS: this is a bit of an old thread: you may want to start one afresh, giving as much detail as you can to help people make relevant suggestions
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Old 9 Aug 2010
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I've owned 3.... I've done a full engine rebuild on one and complete restoration (minus engine) on another...

I've also done some big trips on them..

In a nut shell:

They are very very reliable. They keep on ging with regular oil changes/valve clearance inspections.

They have their weakness like all bikes. Swap the fuel pump and carry a spare reg/rect and you're ready to go. Also keep the chain loose and keep your choke plungers clean and greased up.

They ARE NOT easy to work on. They are fiddley and have lots of plastic etc. WAY more aukward than an XT600 (I've also owned 2) You have to displace the rads to check valves, remove the exhaust to take off the clutch plate etc etc. Your AT is spread out all over your garge just for a 12 month service ! Not well thought out IMOH.

200-250 fuel range, trip counter , proper bash plate and robust design is also in its favour.. It's very hard to break one !!

Negatives are that its VERY HEAVY and Top heavy at that. Its no fun loaded up and the suspension from stock is pretty crap. The brakes are also crap too for what IS essentially a road bike. You can take it offroad and I have, but it's no fun !!

The stock seat is an arse killer and it's not happy doing more than 80mph on the highway with standard gearing.

The AT's are also expensive. I just sold my 45,000 miles tatty one for £2500. I don't think they're worth that kind of money but they do have a cult following which keeps prices high. You will also potentially end up spending a load of cash getting it right for you.

Getting a low mileage one which hasnt been around the world can also be tricky. Those which havent been abused go for £3000 plus which for a 10 year old plus bike is rediculous.

The XT600E has crap suspension and brakes too but its way cheaper, simpler and lighter. Personally, i'd have a look at the XT660R or the DR650SE !

All the best, Ted

P.S. I will probably end up getting another one at some point !
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

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Old 9 Aug 2010
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We did a similar trip on a BMW R100GS which carried two of us plus 90kg of luggage for 30k miles around Africa. most of the 'off road' on route is just gravel and if we wanted to go anywhere truly off road (eg Fish River canyon) we'd take most of the luggage off the bike.

The bike is certainly simple and easy to work on with no unnecessary tech. but as with the AT has some weak points.

In my opinion most single cylinders are too cramped for long term two up riding.

The AT is a good option as well.
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Old 12 Aug 2010
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Thanks guys. Truth is I am somewhat intimidated by these really big bikes being more of a scooter man in everyday life but it looks like I'll have to get over that!

AT or big BMW100GS or Tenere seems to be the way to go but looking at ebay, they all seem to be very expensive. Is it possible to get something around £2k without having to go to Germany or join secret societies?

Last edited by Mande Mande; 12 Aug 2010 at 20:18.
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