Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 2 Dec 2006
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: France
Posts: 9
Transalp new or F650 Dakar

I've been waiting 10 years to get a decent bike and that day should finally come in a week or two! Beyond that excitation I still have no clear answer as for my definite choice... should I got for a Transalp (650) or GS650 Dakar (both new models)? I've been RTWing in the past on a 125cc and will do another trip in the future with my next bike. However in the meantime that bike should be able to take me to work and also to cover fair distances on the highway until...I finally take it for what it has been designed for! I understand throughout the web-site + the press that :

F650 Dakar: good for my height (1m85), small fuel consumption (+ longer range that Transalp), pretty decent off-road abilities, modern built engine + seems quite fun to ride... + I LIKE IT VERY MUCH... But how will this single cylinder engine look like in 3 to 4 years time when I decide to take it for long term travel?

Transalp 650: probably one of the most reliable trail bike still on production, no injection which is good for repairing etc... but a hell lot of plastics on new models, a small ground clearance and pretty unexciting to ride (?)...

Furthermore, what if I was considering long term duo travelling?

As anyone faced this exciting choice?? What did you finally go for? I would highly appreciate any recommendation from owners of either models or...both!

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 33
What about the KLR?

Patrick,

You don' mention it below??? You've stated previously that it's great...have you changed your mind?

Here's a nice summary from this link:
http://multisurfacemotorcycling.com/msm.htm

Kawasaki KLR650

Pros:
- Roomy seating ergonomics (long seat for 2 people)
- Moderately powerful smooth running water cooled engine.
- Longest range in its class
- Easily serviced compared to others in its class

Con:
- Heavy
- Marginal stock front brake
- Weak suspension for serious off road riding or loads
(Can be corrected)
- Poor fit & finish* (varies from bike to bike)
- Balancer system prone to failure (Can be corrected with aftermarket parts)

Suzuki DR650

Pros:
- Peppy air/oil cooled engine
- Low oil consumption*
- Good front brake
- Excellent fit & finish
- Adjustable seat height!

Con:
- Tall 5th gear
- Harsh rear suspension
(Can be corrected)
- Short cruising range
- Cramped seating ergonomics for some riders
- Rear suspension linkage difficult to service
- Early models prone to blown base gaskets

Hope this helps!

Sig
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sig Taylor
................
Con:
- Tall 5th gear
..............
I really don't understand this as a complaint.
The bike's 5th lets you run at speed. Heck, I love it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 33
Vstrom - cast wheels

Patrick,

I loved the VSTROM but it was recommended that spoked wheels are the way to go RTW. In fact Hedge Peterson's tours won't "qualify" your bike (let you come) unless your bike has spoked wheels. It's for that reason only that I've been exploring other possibilities, none of which are "ideal" when compared to the Vstrom. Apparently, it just isn't realistic to change the wheels on the Vstrom to spokes. Too expensive, time consuming, etc.

Anyway, I'd love to do my adventure riding on a Vstrom! But...the cast wheels...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 33
Oh and by the way, there's the DR350...

Here's what Eldon Carl has say to say about the DR350. Your thoughts?

http://multisurfacemotorcycling.com/...ltisurface.htm

If I had to pick the best all around weight category for a medium distance multi-surface motorcycling, I'd have to pick Light Heavyweight. My DR 350SE weights 335lbs full of gas, but with light wheels and good suspension at 11 inches of travel, the chassis doesn't get bumped around much. I was bothered by front-end push, but by increasing rake & trail slightly and installing D606's I now have the best all around light-heavyweight I've owned. If you want a great Multisurface Motorcycle, find a 94 to 99 DR350SE and get it set up correctly. Nothing new will match it in its category.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 33
Vstrom 1000 or 650?

Interesting that the 1000 weighs only 30 lbs. more. Why not buy the 1000 although the 650 is plenty of bike for me. I assume it burns a little more fuel. How much?

You've not doubt address this question before.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3 Dec 2006
indu's Avatar
Motorcycle Addict
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 440
Interesting how a thread where a guy wants opinions on F650 Dakar vs Trans Alp ends up with a comparison between DL650 and 1000... ;-)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 3 Dec 2006
MarkLG's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by indu
Interesting how a thread where a guy wants opinions on F650 Dakar vs Trans Alp ends up with a comparison between DL650 and 1000... ;-)
Well spotted.

Alex, of the 2 I'd go for the Honda. Better engine, better build quality and proven reliabilty. Like all BMW's the F650's are over-priced for what you're getting. If you're going travelling in 3-4 years then choose the bike that will better suit your needs now - you can always change it in a couple of years time. If you like the look of the Honda and like the way it rides then that's the one to go for - it may not be the most modern bike out there, but if you enjoy owning it then that's far more important than having the latest thing.

Never seen the point of those 650 VStroms - didn't they just drop the smaller engine into an identical chassis to the 1000? That way you end up with a bike the size and weight of a 1000, but with an underpowered 650 engine. I suppose they're OK if you needed a smaller bike due to the cost if insurance on the 1000, but otherwise why bother? Has anyone else noticed that those 650's weigh the same as a KTM950, or a 1200GS?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: France
Posts: 9
Thanks for pointing this out Mark, and thanks to you Patrick as well,

I have been seeking for some info about the V-strom since the first message but I just find it to odd-looking to figure out myself owning it as my first dreamt real bike... Probably very stupid since the look remains very secondary for that type of use, I am aware of that and by the way... the Transalp is not very sexy either (but still much nicer!). Sure that I will avoid going for the BMW after both your comments. This makes me somehow happy as the dealers in Paris were not very welcoming. I won't be the next marketing victim and probably will go for a much more simple bike. If I was to get a Transalp and since Patrick mentions no need for new models, do you think 600 models are more appropriate than recent 650 for unsealed roads?

You will find hereunder my latest bike a Minsk 125 brought back from Hanoi to Paris (taken in Iran)...I can only be happier with the next one!

Cheers
Axel
Attached Thumbnails
Transalp new or F650 Dakar-dsc00174.jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 998
For power:
The Wee-Strom will make the F650 seem like it's tied to a fence post.

Ground clearance on the Wee sucks. It's not designed to go up and off of curbs, nor deal with healthy stairs. It's one of the most maintenance-free motorcyles currently made.

How do you weight the scales...the compromises...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Dec 2006
MarkLG's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Mark, are you comparing a Transalp with a Vstrom? While the Transalp is
reliable, you are flat wrong on the "better engine" and "build quality" comments. You have no idea what a Vstrom is, do you? Go ride one when
you get beyond your L plate. Not even Honda make a better motor than
the former SV650 motor, from which the Vstrom motor is sourced.
Better build quality and better engine than the BMW, which was the comparison being made in the original post, before it was hijacked by a Vstrom owner.
According to Suzuki specs the dry weight of the 650 Vstrom is 197kg, compared to 198/199 kg for the KTM/BMW. Yes I know they're more expensive, but I was just pointing out that the Vstrom is a big bike with a little engine.
When I get beyond my L-plates!! I'm currently riding a KTM 950 after a long line of 600-1000cc sports bikes, hence my comment about the vstrom being underpowered. If I've got a bike with the weight of a 1000, then I want the power of a 1000 to push it along!
Are the pictures you posted supposed to somehow prove the Vstrom's off road ability? All of those tracks could easily be ridden on a CBR600.
If your happy with your Vstrom then great, but to try and claim it's some sort of super modern, cutting edge bike with real off-roading abilty is a bit short sighted.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: N.Yorks UK
Posts: 79
Hi Axel,

While I have no first hand experience of the F650 (not keen on singles for longer trips), I have had much experience of Transalps, having owned 2 600's and currently own a 650, while in many ways the bike may not be cutting edge technology or power output, carbs and screw adjustable tappets have a certain appeal!

Alp's are good value, reliable, comfy, cheap to run & maintain and fun to ride, fuel economy/range on the 650's is moderate at around 48mpg/200miles but a couple of simple mods gives better throttle response, grunt and economy of 55-60mpg/250 mile tank range.

They are capable of pretty much anything you care to throw at them, whith perhaps the exception of serious offroading/mudplugging! Powerwise, they have enough but a bit more would be nice, they will sit at 95 all day luggaged, up so what more do you need?

The 650 has a little more grunt than the 600's and have useful underseat storage, the 600's are still a cracking bike with easier access for maintenance than the 650's.

Check out; www.xrv.org
and
www.techtransalp.co.uk

for more info

Of course there are many bikes out there and everyone has differing criteria!

Phil
__________________
650 Transalp
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 21 Dec 2006
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel
F650 Dakar: good for my height (1m85), small fuel consumption (+ longer range that Transalp), pretty decent off-road abilities, modern built engine + seems quite fun to ride... + I LIKE IT VERY MUCH... But how will this single cylinder engine look like in 3 to 4 years time when I decide to take it for long term travel?

Transalp 650: probably one of the most reliable trail bike still on production, no injection which is good for repairing etc... but a hell lot of plastics on new models, a small ground clearance and pretty unexciting to ride (?)...
I have ridden a 1993 TA from Tokyo to London and a 2002 F650 across South America ...

The F650 is a bit more pokey (being fuel injected) and has a vast range of aftermarket bits for it. The injection also doesnt need to be adjusted for altitude, which may be handy if you are planning a lot of high altitude riding, whereas the TAs carburettor may need to be rejetted as you go up and down.

The TA has a lot fewer aftermarket bits available for it. So it depends if equipping a bike to the max is part of your overall philosophy. The TA is beyond peer for reliability. My Tokyo to London run took 6 months, 25,000 klms and the bike didnt need anything but routine checking and the odd oil change, all on a 2nd hand 400cc TransAlp. Read the link below for more detail.

My experience with the F650 (also second hand) was of a less reliable bike. Maybe it was in worse condition when I got it, but I had electrical issues. Several days it needed to be clutch started (a bitch on flat terrain); batteries didnt charge properly; engine power varied from day to day ... some days were good days and some werent.

I think if you were going to get a new bike, I would go with the F650. If you want a uber reliable solid second hand platform and are not too worried about accessories and "decorations", then go for a pre 2000 600cc TA. It will be cheap, reliable and easy to work on.

There are few if any people who had done a long trip on a TA who will have bad words to say about it (apart from it could use a touch more power). F650 owners opinions are much more mixed.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"



Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2 Jan 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: France
Posts: 9
Thanks guys for these good info. I finally went for a new Transalp and already love her. I think I made the good choice and can't wait until taking her for its first long ride. Happy new year to all, especially those on the road.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 7 Jul 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 2
Axel,.. good for you. The most suitable bike for traveling the world is the bike your most comfortable with. Lets face it, any choice of Bike is a compromise; though some are more 'compromised' than others. Now, .. just get on and enjoy it. All the Best
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
F650 Dakar - two-up - opinions? davidmc BMW Tech 18 9 Jul 2007 00:07
F650 GS vs F650 GS Dakar whats the difference funklab Which Bike? 10 1 Mar 2006 03:27
F650 tank size and Dakar or GS dotcaf Which Bike? 1 18 Feb 2006 00:48
Michelin Desert & F650 Dakar Dizzie BMW Tech 4 26 Sep 2005 03:58

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:48.