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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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  #1  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Transalp v 650 V-Strom

Hi,

Does anyone have a strong opinion on either of these two bikes? I'm looking for a bike to do the Asia-Europe trip through Pakistan and Iran, 1-up.

One of the major differences is carb vs EFI. Is one preferable over the other when you are out in the stix?

Is there anything else I should be thinking about? Wire spokes vs cast alloy? Range of accessories?

Any opinions appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick

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  #2  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Both will do the job. Indeed, a Goldwing would be fine.

Transalp is a bit better on bad-roads/tracks, but this route is wholly tarmac road. Having ridden one of them on the route, I know it to be tough and reliable.

It used to be the case that EFI was considered less good for overlanding - hard to repair if it goes wrong, parts not available. It's not said so much now - things are much improved. And fuel injection is nice at altitude.

Have a look here for various reports:
http://www.adventure-motorcycling.com/trip/index.htm

And, of course, there are loads of experiences on this site.

Any reason you are not going for a single?

Simon
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Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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  #3  
Old 31 Dec 2005
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Thanks Simon.

That's an interesting link. Haven't seen it before.

I have a single at the moment. I haven't exactly ruled one out, but I would prefer a twin for smoothness and reliability. Singles are fun though!
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  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Hello.

I´m from Portugal and have owned a Transalp for slightly over a year now, bought it new. As expected it doesn´t have any problems at 10000 miles. I don´t abuse it on the road, don´t rev it hard, but do like to try some tracks, and things do get hairy sometimes. It´s not an offroad bike, but you know that already.
I have added a Givi crash bar that made it more resistant, I had a series of tumbles on a steep rocky climb two weeks ago, on of which made her slide for a few meters and it didn´t fare too badly, scratched bars and a couple of scratches on the fairing, held better than I thought it would.
First gear is too tall for trail use, and a bigger front sprocket is important not to abuse the clutch, I didn´t change mine not to overstress the engine at motorway speeds.

If you´re planning on touring two up, you´ll probably find the Strom´s extra power a benefict, along with it´s lower fuel consumption. The Transalp starts to drink a bit more at sustained high speeds or if loaded up. However, it´s a very relaxed engine, a pleasure to ride around on, encouraging you to take in the sights.

I have heard of a few people having problems with the Strom´s turbulence behind the screen, so a high speed test might be usefull, it obviously isn´t the same for all riders, although it´s said to be a lot comfier than the Transalp regarding the passenger seat and body position.

I never rode a Strom, but my evaluation is this, regarding what you might consider more or less important:
- Reliability and sturdiness: choose the Transalp
- Fuel economy and power: Strom
- Off tarmac handling: Transalp
- Road handling: Strom (from what I´ve been told a few times)


One other (uncalled) advice is: if you´re going to tour two up for a long time, maybe the best choice would be to arrange for a ride on each one, along with your wife/girlfriend, and let her decide, lots of points earned right there, hehehe
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  #5  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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so, back to the point of which mid size motorcycle, the strom is coming first.
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  #6  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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I am on the Europe to Australia route right now, two up on a Transalp and I think that Simon hit the nail on the head. The Transalp is a very, very reliable bike and comfortable in a lot of conditions. And its a great two up bike.

But the TA's heavy and so is the V-Strom. Fine for two up, but for solo, I think its a bit big for the Europe to Asia route. You will have a lot more fun on a lighter single, as it will be much easier on the rough stuff and you will have more confidence off the beaten path.

You will have no idea how big your bike is until you ride in a developing country...

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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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Thanks for the info Pedro. That confirms what I had already heard. I think I'm leaning towards the TA at the moment. Although to be fair, I haven't ridden a V-Strom before. I might have to arrange a test ride.

David, point taken. Small bikes do have a lot going for them. I learnt to ride on dirt, so I'm not too concerned about my ability on the rough stuff. But, I'm not looking forward to tackling the traffic on any bike, let alone a tourer. Unfortunately, I'm not buying this bike for the sole purpose of traveling through Asia. It will have to do a number of jobs, one of which is cruising on the highway. Unless I can find the cash for two bikes, I'm afraid it will be a compromise. Thanks for your input though.

Nick
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  #8  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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Nick, I have been reading your posts, and also the topic that i've started, which i appreciate your help for. I think as everybody says, there is not such perfect bike, we all have to use what we can afford, so if it means one, single 125cc bike, we have to do it with that. I like the Transalp too, i can send you the link of the guy here in brisbane that has all the touratech parts. Have you look on bikesales.com.au for a XTZ tenere? they seem to be around $5-6000 for a 96-98. Let me know.

Last edited by Falcon Rust; 8 Feb 2007 at 14:03.
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  #9  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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Thanks Daniel,

The link would be great, can you post it?

I'm not quite ready to buy my new bike yet. I need to, um, liquidate a few assets...

Also, check out www.bikepoint.com.au.

Nick
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  #10  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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Hi Nick,
nice to hear from you, here is the link
http://www.motorcycleadventure.com.au/

The guy told me he can order everyhting, but you need to look on the internet for the parts, he doesn't have catalogues, they are expensive, he says.

ciao,
FR

Last edited by Falcon Rust; 8 Feb 2007 at 14:03.
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  #11  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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AzBill,
i know that in the states you do not have the new Transalp, so, how could you compare?
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  #12  
Old 6 Jan 2006
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The "new" trransalp is not much substantially different from the bike imported to the US in the early 90's.

Mostly cosmetic changes with some
minor upgrades here and there. Same basic engine, chassis, specs.

The Vstrom 650 is streets ahead of the Transalp. Any quick test ride will verify this. It is also lighter weight than the Transalp. 415 kgs. dry vs. 420 kgs.

The SV650 based motor has a fantastic
relibility record, both on the street and track. This since the late 90's.

The Vstrom wheels are tough as Hell. I've taken my DL1000 twice to Baja and to Copper Canyon. I've hit embedded rocks
at 70 mph plus with only a minor dent to
show.

The DL650 of course is 40 lbs. lighter than the 1000. It feels quite small, really nodifferent than a KLR or other single.

Its actually much better than you think off road. Once you acclimate to it. Ground clearance is limited though so so easy
in very rough terrain. Skid plate needed.

I would also fit a Wilbur's shock with added additional ride height, a linkage dogbone to raise it up a bit. Someone here even fit a 21" front wheel. In fact that
bike is for sale on ADVrider.

As mentioned, a sinlge on a long trip is a pain in the ass. I've ridden KLR.s, XL-R Hondas, DR650's, none can compare with the smoothness, comfort and power
offered by the DL650.

The Transalp is a good, solid bike but its
10 years overdue for a total remake.

[This message has been edited by mollydog (edited 06 January 2006).]
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  #13  
Old 7 Jan 2006
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Yes, but i would never take a 420kg bike anywhere
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  #14  
Old 9 Jan 2006
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Aw, come on Falcon Rust...you should know everything is bigger in the USA. Even Transalps!

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  #15  
Old 12 Jan 2006
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I love when we all have fun.
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