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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.
Originally posted by Flying Gringo:
Isn´t ABS fun in gravel? IMnotsoHO the V-Twin motor is much more comfortable and user friendly at low RPMs, like you will find in heavy traffic and use offroad, and delivers more usable torque to the rear wheel than that thing sticking out of both sides that propels the GS, and telelever is one of those things people swear by who compare their BMW to their previous BMW, not to other current model motorcycles. It doesn´t suck as much as the previous BMW front suspensions did. There is a reason they call BMWs rubber cows in Germany.
And nothing is easier to manoeuver with a passenger and all your luggage than an extra 50KG of Teutonic iron.
The V-Strom has a race proven engine that will put up with whatever you can think of doing to it, and comes from a manufacturer that isn´t always trying to find and/or invent ways to void your warranty.
Now I will grant you that there are options available for the BMW that you can´t get for other bikes except the Gold Wing, like the chardonnay cooler which doubles as a flotation device if you are riding around the Darien Gap when the tide starts to come in, and the exploding driveshaft which comes standard on many of the new GSes...
The V-Strom is an incredible bike for the money. It´s almost as good as the Moto Guzzi Quota.
I don´t know what the situation is like over there, but recently I`ve noticed Triumph Tigers starting to go cheap in the US. This is another good choice, if cheap enough, and most of them come with luggage.
Also, if you plan on shipping the bike to Brazil at the end of your trip, the Veradero or Africa Twin are good choices.
Well, mr. Flying Gringo is known "nothing beats Guzzi" attitude person here (or just high-ego "lets beat s*it out of Iraq" yank?), and clearly knows nothing about torque then or haven't ridden one. Especially seem to lack two up gravel riding experience and the knowledge that ABS can be turned off while it can be highly beneficial on the road turned on. No offence, but if you ridden them both then you know the GS has better lowdown while Strom V-Twin likes more revving and wakes up on higher revs. I agree the Suzuki twin feels more powerful on high rpms and really starts to fly, but travelling isn't racing and you rarely need the high-rpm power and GS "beats" the v-twin here with more low-down grunt and it certanly needs less gear changing (1100 has 5 afterall) with pulling power for all that mass to carry two up and with luggage.
Telelever - my last 17 000+km trip to Islamic Republic of Iran showed clearly the superiority of telelever front suspension if it comes to two-uping comparing with Honda Africa Twin (solo with full luggage) and KTM950 (two up + luggage) - on dangerous quick braking and quickly maneuvering the regular forks dive madly when all that mass "lands on front" and taking away control which telelever preserves. It makes faster and more stable bike in curves where is lot of braking and accelerating. After these experieces i vote for telelever any time for two uping. For soloing it's maybe not that good solution due masses aren't that high, but for two uping there's no doubt which is better.
Suzuki V-Twin racing proven? Name me one similar enduro competition victory for Suzuki V-Twin on big trailie as multiple Paris-Dakar wins for BMW, Pharaoh Rallye, Paris-Peking etc or just ended 2005 European Cross Country race (oh yes, real motocross track and 80kg more massive two cylinder boxer BMW HP2 taking 2nd place overall - remember the boxer cylinders create lower centre of gravity (COG) thus it's better the maneuver the bike, also the low down torque giving better traction in dirt) where reliability, engine's low-rpm power and maneuverability is are the main keys to vicotry.
Cylinders uncomfortible? Well, it's lower centre of gravity and reason why on the offroad track the GS or HP2 passes any Strom where on quick turns there's fast maneuvering needed. Ask top rallye riders like Jimmy Lewis how (un)comortible they are after he was 3rd on Paris-Dakar rallye on BMW boxer or Simo Kirssi winning European CC. The only big twins who has to show success like that Worldwide are BMW Boxer-Twin and KTM V-Twin if you want to talk about racing-proving the engine on offroad tracks.
Shaft drives - both my 1100 GSes are ridden together more than 100K and none of the problems or any hassle, while other bikes change sets of chains in this time. Having previously owned a bikes with chains i'd never switch back.
Not saying V-Strom not suited or worse somehow (it all depends on everyones personal views acctually, which i'm presenting as well), but the prices of 1100GSes and Stroms are about the same level while you can have technical features (ABS, telelever, shaftdrive etc) on GS. Good place for European second hand bike's market in the web is www.mobile.de and from there search under "Motorrad"
I think the Guzzi Quota is the biggest humor big trailie ever made IMHO. While returning less than 20MPG (or it's for USA market only? Well, they sell the same one in Europe) and having almost no power compared to it's rivals on the similar cc. The pro for it is shaft drive but the suspension soft like bed under it's huge weight making it unstable offroad, high-centre of gravity of fuel tank and engine positioning and some other more serious Guzzi's mechanical and electrical reliability issues. They are selling them now with incredibly low price to get rid of them from the stock here in Europe, but the market need is very low due to their very bad reputation. Some street Guzzis may be good touring bikes, but not the detuned and overweight Quota trailie as practice shows.
You're right about one thing though - Triumph Tiger - it's cost effective bike and inline 3 cylinder engine is very smooth and pulling well from midrange till redline. But also has reliability a bit questionable. They say the "outdating" Triger may be updated with the Triumph's new improved EFI engine in the end of this year, also some modifications on frame, so competition may go serious again for BMW GS and KTM 950 who currently are undoubtably the leading bikes in their class, all others - Triumph, V-Strom, CapoNord, Varadero are inferior - more plastic and street oriented (It's the same like comparing real desert Land Rover with street Jeep Cherokee), though Triumph is certanly the closest to them. And you certanly can't beat the Triger with the price - it's a proper bike for it's relatively low price. But it doesn't seem to hold the market price as BMWs and KTMs do if you want to sell it later.
Now back to original thread:
I can say one thing for sure - if you aren't planning to visit here to Eastern-Europe where the roads are bad then in the rest of Europe you don't need a big trailie or enduro at all! Any street touring bikes such as Honda ST, BMW RT etc will do it if you want to ride longer distances in comfortible way two up - most of the roads are in very good condition. But if planning to go to East-Europe and Baltics then certanly a big trailie would be considerably more practical choice.
I just edited my first post to be more certan what i acctually ment to say (the problem of non-native english speakers).
Location: A Brazilian couple living in Cambridge, UK
Right guys, that's exact what I'm after...Different sorts of info!!!
how is your 1100, did you have it repaired?
Anything from the polish %$^&^*(*&???
Hope you and your girl are well and on the road again...
Anyway, We are indeed going to eastern Europe (BTW that's suppose to be the best part of the trip) so a trailie is needed...
I've dropped the African T from the list because I dont feel very confident with it...
Tiger is an option, but there're loads of people saying that it's a bad choice, not very reliable and difficult to get someone to fix it out of UK, but who knows, I might be lucky and get a good one...Ohh, and they look very nice!
I have £ 4000.00 to get the bike, and that must include luggage (if I spend more than that the mrs kills me).
It's a 4 months trip, ALL around Europe (clockwise from UK, including Russia and Turkey)
Thanks very much for the inputs about the DL, how do you think it would cope in gravel??
Thanks a lot
[This message has been edited by fcasado (edited 12 January 2006).]
I'm with Margus, for fuss free continental touring in Europe, I'd go for a BMW 11XX of some sort.
For £4,000 you're realistically looking at an 1100GS. If not venturing off road, you could just as easily choose an 1100R or RT. I've been selling BMW's for a living for a couple of months but have been riding them for 5 years. I have a very tidy low mileage 1150R in yellow with all black engine, gearbox and transmission for £4,895. It comes with Heated Grips, System Case panniers, small screen, 12 months BMW warranty, minimum of 6 months tax and MOT.
If you want to know more about this bike or BMW's in general, call me at work on 01865-319000, I can arrange a test ride on any of the 25 bikes in stock on our insurance. Note that I work for a large BMW car & bike dealership with full facilities.
Stroms are good bikes, the problem is that they don't sell well, new or used. Much better than a Varadero IMHO. Residual value on 3 year old Stroms are frightening if you bought an early bike when new. Second hand, they're a lot of bike for the money.
TDM's are pure road bikes, not good off road. KTM950 feels a bit buzzy & highly tuned to me?
Also consider service intervals and ease of servicing, one of the points in favour of the BMW oilhead series. STX1300 Pan - 4,000 mile intervals on a fully faired V4, no thanks. 11XX series: 6,000 miles between services, easily accessible air & oil filters, screw & locknut valve clearances, integral Heated Grips, ABS, Luggage, good dealer network, awesome aftermarket support........
Note that although the BMW's are no faster than Stroms etc, the larger capacity engine is in a lower state of tune and provides more midrange grunt. A downside of the GS range is that the Telelever front, whilst excellent on the road, feels a little wooden when ridden offroad i.e. lacking in feedback if ridden fast. For greenlaning & hard dirt roads, they're fine though. Realistically, how fast are you going to be riding any 250kg+ behemoth off road anyway?
[This message has been edited by Steve Pickford (edited 12 January 2006).]
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