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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 16 Feb 2008
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two-up, which bike?

i know this has been discussed before but, which bike to go a lap around south america 2-up with the wifey? we'd have tons of gear. some dirt roads probably. anyone ever used an ST1100? dont really like GS's. parts availabilty? ease of repair? tank size. 2-up comfort? trailer? (see next post) tom in dallas
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  #2  
Old 16 Feb 2008
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For two up ,on mixed quality roads , I'd go with a VStrom [and leave the trailer at home ].

I just got one for that purpose .
It's agile for a big bike and reliable .
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  #3  
Old 16 Feb 2008
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We did it on a GS 1150, but if they are not your cup of tea, then I'd say:....

Go on! Live dangerously!!

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Whilst I offer this suggestion somewaht tongue in cheek, I have just bought opne for overlanding, so I have put my money where my mouth is: they are a laugh, off-roading's a doddle, and they can carry the kitchen sink too, should you really be attached to it...
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Old 16 Feb 2008
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Hello Warthog,

Sorry, I don't get sidecars....
All the disadvantages of a bike . . . . and all the disadvantages of a car

Have I missed something ????
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Old 16 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
Hello Warthog,

Sorry, I don't get sidecars....
All the disadvantages of a bike . . . . and all the disadvantages of a car

Have I missed something ????
'Fraid so!!

Don't get me wrong. I love bikes and if I had to choose, I'd go bike 90% of the time, but combos are a real laugh. Not something you'll understand until you've riddne one, coz I thought the same as you did before having a go.

As for advantages? Well the carrying capacity is huge, and off-road its obviously got an advantage over bikes, stability wise. We did 7,500 miles in Argentina and Chile on a GS. A great trip, but for me, on a bike weighing about 450kg all in, off-road was very tough.

In those circumstances a bike like my 1150 is defnitely a lot worse off than a car or combo, otherwise they would not build trail bikes so light...

Mud, snow, ice: all of these are perfectly manageable on an outfit, whilst on a bike, you'd be stranded, unless you're a very competent off-roader: and I am not...

As for better than a car? Well, I've always loved bikes because you sit there on an engine and you are really part of the world around you: not in a metal coccoon, in much the same way that Ewan described it and Ted Simon before him. I enjoyed overcoming the diffiiculties of a tough bit of off road, but my journeys are not a personal challenge, so if I can see the same scenes without busting a gut, or having a coronary event: woohoo!!

I'm still riding a motorbike. It just happens to have a large bolt-on on one side. If all else was equal, I'd do my next overland trip on two wheels, but its not. I have my other half to consider and her safety was a big worry for me, when I was doing 50mph down a dirt track: always thinking don't bin it. Plus now we have a dog that will be coming with us.

In a nutshell, this combo will make a lot more routes possible for us than would have been the case on a solo.

I don't think solos are better or worse than outfits, and I cetainly am not suggesting people are worse of on two wheels! Just horses for courses. But I would say, have a go if you can you may be as surprised as I was!!

Go on, you know you want to really...

PS Wildlands: sorry this is not a post hijack, but you might find it interesting. The rest of you lot: answer Wildlands' question!! Go'dit?
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Old 16 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
Hello Warthog,

Sorry, I don't get sidecars....
All the disadvantages of a bike . . . . and all the disadvantages of a car

Have I missed something ????
You do still get some of teh advantages, like being outside rather than in your steel box. Also you can carry all your gear easily. Only thing i really have against those is teh fuel consumption. sadly higher than a car. Maybe they would be better with a diesel conversion?
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Old 16 Feb 2008
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i am not a dl owner (but considering buying one 650), but, many people use dl650 or dl1000 v-strom nowadays. feedbacks are quite good. good for 2-up and for a bit of off-road.

many tourer bikes like st1100, bmw rt, etc... are not suitable for offroads...
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Old 17 Feb 2008
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2 up.

I was never a fan of GS's.
Till I took a test ride.
And bought one!
So 2 up, with gear, south America.
Hmmm! Take a test ride! Why not?
Dave.
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  #9  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Only thing i really have against those is teh fuel consumption. sadly higher than a car. Maybe they would be better with a diesel conversion?
Don't know about other outfits, but the Ural can deliver 40-45 mpg, which is as much as my GS did, and more than many modern twins and fours out there. Only down side is a realistic constant top-speed of 60mph.

Wildlands:

As djorob just posted, don't discount the GS out right: have a look, have a go. Having done a very similar trip I can tell you I cannot think of another bike I would have done it on. Varadero? Linked brakes, side radiators. V-strom? vulnerable oil cooler. Both chain driven. Don't get me wrong DL owners...I'm sure they are very good bikes: Indeed I saw some out there, but these are the reasons I had for not considering them.

Weight will be an issue, but you sentenced yourself to that the second you decided to go two-up (as did we). This means an extra body and all the equipment for that extra body, too. All on a single bike that you will have to point up crappy mountain tracks, or muddy trails.

One option that I did not have but is now available is the 800GS. Its lighter, more compact, has conventional forks and a 21" front wheel (IIRR), so all this is better off road. However, the jewel in the crown is that it has that sweet 800cc lump from the S and ST models. That motor makes more power than my oil-head 1150, and is not far behind the 1200, all in a lighter frame.

You'd have the power to carry two, but not all the weight of the bigger bikes. Also economy on those engines is supposed to be very impressive.

If you budget can stretch, have a look into those...
I would have loved to.
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  #10  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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As a 2 upper on a 650 Vstrom having crossed central america just recently & currently heading south & in Peru ...

The vstrom is a good bike but the saddle needs some sorting to be comfortable on long days or you get hard ars3 used to it - we're the latter

All in we're probably around 400kgs incl bike, and the 650 is sound & solid for reasonable roads, good for poor roads, but off road the clearance is an issue; I let the tyres down a little to get more traction on the canyon del pato & stuffed my aftermarket centre stand - fixed now tho due to top Peruvian mechanic

The Vstrom is a fraction of the price of a BMW [like half but unfortunately still sounds like one] & spares are reasonably available throughout central & south - great in Guatemala, like 24hr turnaround, but longer elsewhere - 2 weeks in Mexico near the border with Belize !

Hope this adds to the maelstrom of confusion ... but if I had tons of dosh & lots of time I'd ride a BMW big mother GS & suffer in the really tough bits due to weight, and chill out waiting for spares to be shipped in

Scouse
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Old 17 Feb 2008
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[QUOTE=Warthog;175012]Don't know about other outfits, but the Ural can deliver 40-45 mpg, which is as much as my GS did, and more than many modern twins and fours out there. Only down side is a realistic constant top-speed of 60mph.

They are claiming 37mpg on their website and a maximum speed of about 60mph. Still much cheaper than taking two bikes I have seen a couple of combos, withthe sidecar arranged as a little caravan.. Great for one traveller as no need to carry/erect a tent. One of them erected a little fishermans bivvy to cook in

but my old 2.1 litre estate car would return about 45mpg at 80mph.

What does a diesel landrover do?? is a question, because I have no idea.

My friends diesel enfield does 160+mpg at 60mph

I think I would enjoy ridingthem in the rough, but maybe a tad boring on the better roads (read motorways)

Last edited by oldbmw; 17 Feb 2008 at 22:21.
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  #12  
Old 18 Feb 2008
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whats an 800gs?

never heard of one. probly George wont let 'em be imported into usa i'd bet.
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  #13  
Old 18 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by wildlands1 View Post
never heard of one. probly George wont let 'em be imported into usa i'd bet.
Have a look here:

BMW F 800 GS - webBikeWorld

I hope you're wrong about importation 'coz they are said to be good bikes...
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Old 18 Feb 2008
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Two up and loaded I would up grade suspension, a minor expense and well worth it.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 08:27.
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Old 18 Feb 2008
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Landy mileage

oldbmw,

"What does a diesel landrover do?? is a question, because I have no idea".


My old 110 2.5 diesel returned around 18mpg and was pretty much flat out at 50mph. I didn't keep it long...!
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