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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 Post By John Ferris
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Old 26 Oct 2011
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Two up

Hi there,hard decision again.I'd like your advice for a bike trip Montana,usa to Alaska,prudhoe bay rtn two up.Stay in hotels,workers accom further up.Leave it at my bro's place in Montana for future trips.Experianced ex dirtbike racer,previous bike trips u.s./Canada,australia,southern africa, on road and offroad bikes,solo then,thx Ron.
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Old 26 Oct 2011
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Look at the big "Dual Sport Motorcycles", 900 - 1200 cc.
The major brands are BMW, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, KTM.
Ther are a couple of reasons for those,

(1) Carrying capacity, check the wet weight of the bike then subtract that from the maximum weight to see how much you can carry.

(B) Horsepower, you want enough so you can keep up with traffic on the Interstate Highways at the Max load of the bike.

(*) Accessories and tires, on most of the brands listed above you can get many different kinds of panniers, boxes, soft luggae to fit your needs.
Good long range dual sport tires are available for all of those bikes.
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Old 27 Oct 2011
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My friends ride a Suzuki Vstrom 1000

I first met my friends in Mexico, and they are in Argentina now. 2up, the entire way, Kansas, USA, to Ushuaia.

Ty, the rider really loves the bike, and Jill his gf and pillion, really likes it too.

It's got 100hp, and they have two 45liter side panniers, and a 45 liter top box. On top of each pannier is a 20liter stuff sack. They are LOADED, and have been known to carry a second rear tire as well.

He has a Russel Day Long seat, and swears by it.

He has Jesse Panniers, and swears by them.

He likes it so much, he's refusing to sell it, and will rather ship the bike home.

--Alex
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Old 27 Oct 2011
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I have to agree with the big V-Strom. When I got mine, I had a friend loan me both a 650 and 1000. I was engaged at the time and riding 2-up a lot... The 650 was a great single rider bike and 2-up on non-highways. On anything with a speed limit of 65mph or greater it was a little wee... The 1000 is a heavier bike, and not nearly as nimble as the 650 but there is no replacement for displacement!

The bike itself is simple and straight forward. Mechanically sound, no gotchas as far as maintenance beyond having to remove plastics for just about everything. I neglected to mention I am not a little person. If you and your pillion partner are smaller than the average Texan, the 650 might be a viable option...

Good luck in whatever you choose. Montana, western Canada and Alaska are all full of amazing riding....
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Old 27 Oct 2011
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two-up

Hi there,thanks a lot for the advice,just trying to find maximum bike weights now,the suzuki sure sounds it can haul lots of gear.Ron.
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Old 27 Oct 2011
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There are different opinions on what is "enough" for 2-up, and nobody´s wrong, but can only answer for themselves.

The DL650 naturally has much less power, but does surprisingly well - considering it´s only a 650 - and it´s got a couple other points going for it. Like being a bit lighter, cheaper to buy, and possibly insure as well, using less fuel (giving better range, as they share the same tank volume; 2007 and newer 650-models have even bigger advantage, as economy was further improved on 650), being available with ABS (again from K7 onwards), and being not so sensitive about having the throttle bodies perfectly on sync.

For me, the only place where the 1000 would really have a clear advantage, would be on the big highways, fully loaded, and at sustained high speeds. Still the 650´s been able to do even that at 90-95 miles per hour all day, so that´s been good enough for me. But like I said, people value different things, and the 1000 surely would not be a bad choice, either.

Our little trip 2-up on 650:
MOTO1 - Matkalla

edit. but if your looking for a bike, that can be fun outside the tarmac, and to do long tours with a pillion, you´ve got a wide variety of other choices, too, and they´ll all have their ups & downs. For example: Varadero, Transalp, Versys, Caponord, big BMW GS, Yamaha Tenere 1200, and various versions of Triumph Tiger.

Last edited by pecha72; 27 Oct 2011 at 18:36.
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