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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 11 Feb 2007
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V-Strom or XT660 R

Narrowed the choice down now really to V-Strom or an XT660.

Places near me are being arsey with test rides though because im still 33 bhp'ed for another 6 months or so, just really want the bike now to get some miles under my belt.

Really intimidated by the V-Strom's weight and sheer size (650cc version). I feel its abit of a beast.

On the other hand don't really like the XT660 R build quality and feel it might lack the grunt i want for motorway miles/fairing for day2day London commuter use. The V-Strom might be ahandful in traffic aswell.

Im almost a little scared of dropping the v-strom and dropping it.

Im crossing North Africa (won't be off off road but more gravel pistes etc) on the bike, followed by Eygpt, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, KKH and home.

Give me some insight!
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Old 11 Feb 2007
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I cannot give you a comparison as I have no experience with the XT. I do, however, have a v-strom 650. I live on dirt road, in a semi-reomte area in Oregon in the U.S., about 50 miles to the nearest grocer. The wee handles the gravel and dirt roads here with relative ease, the weight does not seem to become an issue except in mud or sand, and even then the bike is managable.

My African experience is confined to Kenya and Tanzania, and I think the bike would be fine there. During the rains I would make sure my route did not require too much dirt riding, but I wouldn't hesitate to take the v-strom.

In traffic the v-strom is quite a nice choice.

Just my thoughts

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Old 12 Feb 2007
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Fuel injection and African fuel?

I've heard a lot of great things about the V-strom, but I'm a bit unsure about how the fuel injection will deal with African grade petrol.
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Old 12 Feb 2007
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[QUOTE=mollydog]Very good point Robbert.

In fact the fuel injected Vstrom is actually better with poor fuel. The Fuel injection sensors adjust the timing to deal with low octane fuel. The XT660
with a carb can't do this.

The XT660 R, to which this thread relates, has a fuel injection system.
Mine suffered no problems with low-grade African fuel. There are loads of accessories for it - decent bash plate, centre stand, pannier frames etc.
It regularly achieves 60+mpg, is comfortable and will do 100+mph. It's also light enough to pick up again when you drop it. The plastics are soft and bendy so do not break easily. An excellent bike.
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Old 13 Feb 2007
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Went and bought an XT660 today. Rode nice, was very light and looks a doddle to pootle round on and filter traffic with.

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