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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 3 Sep 2007
Crusty's Avatar
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V-strom or TA

I currently ride a 600 TransAlp, which I'm very happy with.

However, as I usually ride two up, I'm thinking maybe a little more room would be nice.

Also, we're planning an Americas trip in about 18 months(ish). I was thinking of shipping the Alp there and back again but reading the threads here it would seem to be less hassle and expense to buy a bike in the US then ride South, either shipping it back home at the end or back up to the states to sell on. Any thoughts on this?

As for the V-strom, again from the posts here, the DL650 sounds like the tool for the job. More room than the TA, newer and readily available used for a good price.
Two up we won't be doing any hardcore off-road riding but it sounds capable of going anywhere there is "some road", as someone put it.

If I go down this route I'll have to sell the TA before we go, by which time it'll be around 10 years old and have a few miles on the clock.

Now for the dilemma:

A local dealer has a low mileage '05 Strom for sale at a tempting price. If I sell the TA now, I'll get more for it than in 18 months. I could then buy the Strom, get used to it, find out what mods would be good, any issues etc so when we start our trip I'll know these bikes really well and hopefully have no no surprises. When we're ready to set off, a 4 year old Strom will be worth more than a 10 year old TA, thus bringing in more cash towards the bike in the US! Obviously it's going to cost me more initially but maybe worth it no?

Or am I desperately trying to justify spending money on a bike I want but could do without?!

Should I just keep the trusty TA to the last minute and save as much as possible?

Help me out here!
Beware the dark, mechanical bird.
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Old 3 Sep 2007
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Hells teeth Crusty, that is, in part, a description of the classic dilemma concerning depreciation on vehicles in general combined with bikes in particular.

If you want to ride a DL650 now then go and get it - it is becoming a good time to buy now that September has arrived but, if you wait a bit longer, the asking price could be even better!!

On the other hand, you will trade bikes twice and it is the bike trade only who make money on bikes - the more you trade, the more you will realise, in hard cash, the depreciation on your bike (up until when you sell it, the depreciation is theoretical and shown in paper in the trade guide books).
So, invest your savings at a good rate of interest and save toward the DL650 that you will buy in the States.

No charge for this financial advice!!!!!!
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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Sounds like two separate questions, function vs. finance. As for buying the bike and getting used to it, great idea. Will allow you to tweak it just so. The financial part works in the opposite direction. Selling your current bike now will maximize your value from that bike but the rate of depreciation on the strom would likely exceed that on your transalp as the annual depreciation typically declines over time. There is always a way to rationalize buying a new bike though
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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Financial advice

Financially you will be better off keeping the TA. If you plan on going to the states in 18 months and it will be 10 years old it must be about 8 1/2 year old now (you have to trust my financial advice now - I've proved I can do sums). Any bike that old is almost worthless, so the deprection over the next 18 months will be 1.5/8.5*not a hell of a lot = less than not much. If yoy get the DL it will cost more than you TA is currently worth (I doubt the dealer has offered a straight swap - if he has rip his arms off and ignore everything I've said) and it will depreciate further. What you do not want is to play on the DL for 18 months and find the cost has put the trip out of reach!

Of course if you just want a new bike and can afford it, GET IT! You do not need an excuse unless buying it means the kids starve (and even then there may be ways).
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Old 4 Sep 2007
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Tough problem and one only you can solve.
The Added expense of :
1.Paying an inflated price for the Vstrom in the UK figures in. (you didn't post the dealers asking price...probably find a cheaper used Strom here in California? Dunno).

2. The Cost of shipping/Flying your bike to the US will cost what? Maybe
800 ukp?

The difference here buys a lot of tires, gas and Omlettes.

Probably get a used Strom for 3 to 400 UKP less in the USA (roughly) Even more savings on a NEW Vstrom in the US from what I've seen? The UK pound is So strong now....you are very lucky.

800 UKP Shipping saved?
400 UKP saved buying in USA?

Total: 1200 UKP give or take a couple hundred pounds.

I agree that a 8 or 10 year old TA won't bring much. Maybe even less than
you've counted on? Think realistically about what you can really get.

Plan B

Another way is to buy the UK Vstrom NOW....BUT....leave it at home and buy your travel bike in the USA when your ready. Farkle up your UK Vstrom during your 18 months and hand carry "must have" aftermarket items when you fly over. Or not. Your travel bike will mostly be junk by the time you finish, not worth shipping it home perhaps? Sell in US or in S.A.....much easier paper work if sold in US.

Lots of travelers come to the US and expect to INSTANTLY find a bike and ride away on it. Fitting the bike out takes time and money. You may be lucky enough to find one already set up....actually there are many like this. Keep in mind the expenses you will incure during your bike hunt in the USA. If you have a free place to stay and transport....this will save a ton$$

But if you have to pay motel and rental car...costs can go through the roof, quickly erasing any projected savings.

Best to try to arrange the deal BEFORE you arrive, leaving a credit card deposit. Dealers are best suited for this but you will pay more for the used bike. A good trade off IMO.

This way you KNOW ahead of time what the bike requires and can have it fitted by the dealer...or you can bring what you've already bought for your UK Vstrom with you. Doing all this means not much lingering around, you can get on the road quickly and start traveling.

Trust me, hanging out in L.A. or other big US City and trying to find used bikes is NO fun. Things are really spread out in most cities, dealers far apart. And remember....we essentially have NO public transport.

So buy the Vstrom....you've got 18 months to save up for the US one. If money is tight...sell it before you leave (keep all farkles) and use the money to buy one in the US. But don't count on your travel bike being a minter by the time you've finished your trip.
S. America hammers bikes hard....even V-Stroms.

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Old 4 Sep 2007
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S. America hammers bikes hard....even V-Stroms... been riding down there lately? They have plenty of pavement these days.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world..." L.B. Armstrong. www.davesgreatescape.net

Last edited by hook; 5 Sep 2007 at 11:46.
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