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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 23 Jul 2011
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Trying to find a bike to suit both of us... advice?

Hi everyone,

So. My boyfriend has owned a motorbike in the past, he isn't an expert however, so we are looking for some advice because he is looking at purchasing a new one. We have a few necessary requirements, and a few that are aesthetic based (or rather, flexible 'wants' rather than 'needs'). Can anyone give us some bike models that might fit the bill for the following very random restrictions?

1) First and foremost, because I have never ridden a bike (and it is for both of us) it needs to be a bike that qualifies for the Learner Rider Scheme here in Victoria, AU. The list of bikes that qualify can be found here.

2) My partner would like a bike that is 500cc+

3) Needs to be able to take a pillion passenger

4) I am 170cms, 60kgs. My partner is 190cms, 100kgs. Not sure if this makes a difference but I thought I'd supply the info anyway.

5) Aesthetically, my partner prefers wider tires and a body that doesn't have too much of the coloured 'casing'. His favourite bike as far as appearance goes is the Hyosung Aquila range. I think he is into the cruiser style but is also open to the more road bike style as well.

6) We would be looking at buying secondhand; something that you would buy new for about AUD$10,000 but we would look at buying a used model for about AUD$7000.

7) Riding intended primarily on-road; we are looking at doing some long distance motorbike travel in the future depending on how I go on the bike.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated if you know of anything that might fit this bill. We are going to scout some stores and try some bikes out soon but would like a basic idea of what we are looking at before we go in.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 23 Jul 2011
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First of all: I´d take at least 2 cylinders for 2-up touring.

And I´m a Suzuki man, so from that list, I´d go for either a GSF650 Bandit* (inline 4-cylinder) or an SV650S (which is a v-twin; the space is not very good for 2-up but it can do it, and the engine is a peach). But whether you like an I-4 or a V-2 engine more, is your personal decision, on that one I cannot help. Usually I prefer a V-2, but that´s just me.

Too bad there ain´t a DL650 on that list, because it has basically the same engine, but (a lot) better space for two, and would probably be my #1 choice. The SFV650 also has this engine, but it´s a naked bike, and doesn´t offer much space for two.

* At least in Europe we also get GSX650F, the same technique as the Bandit, but with a full fairing.

Do note, that with Suzuki the U-models are restricted, and there´s a difference in how that is done technically. Generally bikes with FI (fuel injection) are better off when restricted, because it is done with a different ECU (engine control unit) and it lets the engine run just like a full-power engine, until it reaches the legal limit, so for example in town riding, you may not even notice that it is restricted. With carburated models, there are several ways to restrict them, but often they´ll feel restricted all the way thru the rev range. Might actually make a big difference especially when loaded 2-up.

I used to be a Honda-man in my previous life, though, and if you like the big trailie style, the Transalp ain´t a bad choice either. Too bad the newest FI-version (XL700V) isn´t on the list, because it´s more punchy than the 650 or especially the 600 (both carburated models).

All bikes mentioned above have proven to be about as bulletproof as they get, if maintained properly.

Sorry I´ve never been so much into cruisers myself, but I´m sure someone else can shed some light on them as well!

Hope this is of any help.
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Old 23 Jul 2011
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Thanks Pecha, we will definitely look into all of those options.

Just some additional info - the pillion is necessary for when we are in our home town however when we do some Europe touring in the future we plan to have a bike each. So for the moment it doesn't necessarily have to be a wildly comfortable ride for the pillion passenger as it will usually be short distance.
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Old 23 Jul 2011
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transalp and africa twin

If you're going each on your own bike you might also have a look at transalp 600 and africa twin 750. There both very reliable bikes and we did all kinds of terrain on it. My boyfriend is 2 m and was looking for a big bike and went for the africa twin. On tarmac its also fine for me, but to do other stuff I find it a bit too stiff and heavy so I chose the transalp which is light to handle. Extra plus is that both bikes have almost the same engine and spareparts (even the same workbook) which makes it more easy on a big trip for maintenance and taking spareparts.
We did almost 40.000 km now on a lot of different terrain in asia and africa and are still very happy with them!

have fun and happy travels


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Old 26 Jul 2011
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A few thoughts.

Hyosung, out of South Korea, are using the Susi SV V-2 engine in the UK. Could be the same in Oz?

There are a few versions of the Transalp listed and even though your official list is dated July 11 perhaps it will be updated for the latest, 700cc (actually 680cc), version.

Take a look at other threads in here, as many as you want for a range of opinions. For instance, try looking at what is said about the Kawasaki Versys, but that is not listed for Victoria; again, an update of the list is possible? It is often known as the "KLE", same as the earlier 500cc bike.

The fuel injected F650GS is restricted simply by a small gizmo placed on the throttle linkage which limits the range of movement of the throttle; riding this bike with and without this "power restrictor" I could not feel the difference, except for the obvious lack of the final twist of the throttle!! So the top speed was a bit restricted but not the horses on the way to that top speed.
It costs pennies to fit and costs nothing to be removed later.

Anyway, try as many as possible. Where you can't then look around your home area and see what is popular and ask the riders why they own their bikes.
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Old 26 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Hyosung, out of South Korea, are using the Susi SV V-2 engine in the UK. Could be the same in Oz?
That engine is actually Hyosung´s own design, and not made by Suzuki. A common mistake, though.
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