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-   -   Transalp or V-Strom (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/transalp-or-v-strom-39660)

PaulD 24 Dec 2008 02:14

Transalp or V-Strom
:welcome:We are in the early planning or a trip London to Cape Town, leaving 1st Nov. 2010 arriving Cape Town end Jan. myself and a friend will be on bikes with our better halves, we want to go on the same bikes and have narrowed it down to a V-Strom or the Transalp, we have ruled out BMW's:thumbdown: due to parts issues in Africa & Sth America (Phase 2 of the Trip) I am about 5'5" and weight about 75kg the misses is 5'2" and 50kg, The other Bloke is 6'1" and 85Kg his wife is 5'6 and 65kg, now you have the statics (wives will be pleased) the Transalp is only a 680cc will my mate & Co be to big for it, if so we will have to go for the V-strom 650 for us and the 1000 for them. Opinions appreciated.:smartass:
I ride a Triumph Bonneville but have ruled it out of this sort of trip.:thumbdown:


loxsmith 24 Dec 2008 04:26

My current ride is a DL1000 and in a couple of days we are heading down for a slow lap of Tassie. A great bike but I know feel I could live with the 650 version. These bikes are excellent value for money and have had no known faults that will leave you stranded. I have just completed a trip to Cape York on a CT110, that's probably why the step down to a 650 from a 1000 now appeals to me.

I seem to remember the Transalp has a small capacity fuel tank? Just checked 17.5 litres! $12000 +ORC
Honda have only recently started to import the XL1000V Varadero again, looks the part but would need to check the overall weight. Fuel capacity 25 litres, $18000 + ORC
DL1000 22 litre capacity $13500 + ORC
DL650 22 litre capacity $9990 + ORC

That's my 2 cents worth!


HendiKaf 24 Dec 2008 12:59

Vstroom or Transalp
My friend is doing a RTW 2 up on a 650 with luggage and he seems to like it, the only issue were room for the leg of the passenger and a small tank( no option to upgrade)OK for South America but for Africa I am wondering if you will have to carry couple gallon as reserve. The clearance is smaller on the Vstroom but in the US many rider are doing very well with the bike off road, with a passenger you will certainly stay on good road or gravel piste.
Good luck

mollydog 24 Dec 2008 18:28

I do know Vstroms quite well ....

pecha72 25 Dec 2008 10:14

If you were going 1-up, there would be many very good options. But when going 2-up, that narrows it down considerably. Personally, I would put the DL650 (or 1000) in front of the Transalp (and I own a Wee, so I am biased!)

All 600/650-versions of Transalp felt very exhausted, when having that much weight on board (never even tried with the amount you´re likely to carry on a trip like that, but didnt feel like its made for that!)... and even the new 700 is about 10hp down on power compared to the DL650. And when both engines run as smoothly as they do (the Transalp vibrates a bit more in higher revs, though), use about the same amount of fuel, and are both as bulletproof as they get, the Transalp´s engine doesnt really offer anything the DL650 doesnt (ok, it maybe runs a bit smoother at very low revs).

The Vstrom frame is another thing that suits 2-up so well. Many allround-bikes, when loaded to the limit or beyond, feel like they´ve suddenly got a hinge in the middle, but the Vstrom doesnt. Take the tank off, and you´ll see, its almost like a GSXR frame. May not make it a perfect offroad-bike, but helps a lot, when carrying a lot of weight.

The Transalp 700´s fairing is okay, not perfect, but neither is the DL650. Transalp´s stock seat was better than DL. And its headlights were a joke compared to the DL (which is known to have one of the best headlights in the business).

Me, I would choose the tubeless wheels of the DL over the Transalps spoked wheels&tube tyres, too. Quicker to fix flats on the road, and DL´s cast wheels, while not unbreakable, are still very tough. Your pillion probably doesnt want to ride with you, if you try to go at such speeds, when its possible to dent them.

Both are good choices, though, very reliable, and one of the few bikes I´d consider taking on a trip like this, 2-up. The decision really comes up to your personal preferences.

HendiKaf 25 Dec 2008 14:30

DL or Transalp
Hi Paul,
Did you look at the fuel range situation, the DL1000 look like less frugal that the DL650 and while loaded two up carrying fuel maybe a bit of a problem.In Africa fuel range is a very important factor . I am myself preparing a RTW 2 up and after looking at the DL I couldn't find anywhere online selling a bigger tank , I went to see a HD maker and he wasn't very hot in building a tank for the bike, still consider the DL but the older 1150GS are with less electronic and bigger tank,maybe a good option. I still didn't buy my bike for the trip due to the only fact that I can't yet made up my mind, now if you are in europe ,there you will find more option .

AliBaba 25 Dec 2008 14:51


Originally Posted by PaulD (Post 219977)
: we have ruled out BMW's:thumbdown: due to parts issues in Africa

But you expect to find parts for TA or V-Strom? Good luck!

PaulD 25 Dec 2008 23:08

Yeh, fuel will not be a problem as my daughter and her other half will be doing the trip in a 4x4 so we will carry plenty of fuel spares etc.
Also I have spoken to people who have BMWs they usually love there bikes but a few have admitted that the parts and service problems they encounter, make them more trouble then they are worth, I have just returned from a trip to Egypt, Jordan, Oman, UAE, India, Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore. The one thing I noticed that all these countries have in common is lots of Suzukis now they are all smaller bikes, but knowing that the dealers are plentifull is half the battle. I do not think there is Beemer outfit between Egypt and Namibia, I do not know how many there are in Sth. America but from reading all the gripes on these forums I get the impression, there as rare as a clean shaven face in Mexico.:D

PaulD 25 Dec 2008 23:10

Merry Xmas
By the way,

I hope everyone had a Merry Xmas and enjoy safe riding in the New Year!!!!:Beach:


PaulD 25 Dec 2008 23:26


The 1150gs is a very nice bike with a big fuel tank, but I am only smallish and my wife is also. I think by memory (not sure tho) that they are quite a bit heavier than the ones that I have narrowed down to. Fully packed 2up I was trying to get a lght a bike as possible and still carry the load. As the Sth. America leg we will be on our own.


AliBaba 25 Dec 2008 23:26

You will find a lot of “Suzuki-dealers” through Africa, but they will not have parts for bigger bikes, normally they don’t have many parts at all but they are good at improvising.

BMW have dealers in most countries, they aim mostly at cars but they might have some parts and if they don’t have they have a network to order it.. I’ve got service-parts in Kenya (oil-filter, air-filter ++), a rotor and a battery in Zambia (huge BMW-dealer) and a shock in Namibia. I’m not saying it’s trouble free, but comparing to people I have met along the road (with other bikes) it’s not bad.
The police and army often drive BMW and that makes it a bit easier.

But after what I’ve read on this forum you will hardly need parts for the Suzuki, keep us informed!

HendiKaf 26 Dec 2008 01:16

DL or transalp
Hi Paul,
Agree with you about the weight of the BMW( with exception of the 1200GS) , they are at least 100 pound over the DL and as far as performance the DL has plenty of power.I travelled in Africa and you may not find the proper dealer but they are great mechanic and they pretty much will fix your bike if its not electronic.In south America you will find plenty of dealer and even if they are not suzuki they will greatly work on your bike, I never own the DL but had plenty of suzuki and they were all very reliable,the DL have a great reputation and if you do protect it well it should take you anywhere, the carnet for Africa should cost a bit less than the BMW. Too bad no one built a bigger tank for it.

PaulD 26 Dec 2008 02:40

Speaking of canets we will ship our bikes to the Uk, can we organise our canets for all of Africa in OZ before we leave or does it have to be done over there, this is our first (of many I hope) motorcycle adventures and we are a bit uneducated on many facets of this way of travel.


HendiKaf 26 Dec 2008 12:33

DL or Transalp
I don't know the law in Australia but my experience is you have to do it in the country of origin of the bike or your residency.

PaulD 27 Dec 2008 11:17

Thanks for all the information, I have gone thru everything that was said and everything that was not ! Based on this info I have decided to buy the V-Strom, also my wife feels a little more comfortable on it. Now one remaining decision should I get ABS or Not ?

Then let the fitout begin !!!!

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