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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 26 Sep 2004
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What is the best bike for serious travelling?

I am fairly new to this forum and most writers seem to be well informed and experienced.
If money was no object, what bike would be favoured by the big mileage traveller? Would it be a BMW1200 - big, powerful yes, but perhaps too cumbersome and delicate for the rough stuff? An XT600RE, basic, simple but slow and not particularly comfortable. A Transalp - reliable and capable, but not particularly powerful? etc, etc, etc. Everyone would have their favourites and have different priorities, but could a consensus emerge, which would conclude that ????? really IS, by common concent, the best bike for serious travelling.
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2004
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Hi all,

I think everyone has different ideas or priorities, so will choose different bikes. We have just finished riding around Australia, 20000km, on an F650GS and a Dakar. Both bikes were fairly new with less than 10,000km on them. We wanted reliability and reasonably comfortable bike with the option of some dirt road capability. The GS has a very low seat height which was ideal for my partner.Comfort is something that is quite often overlooked, but I think people who have travelled long distances do not take it for granted. We have no regrets, and will head off to Asia on the same bikes.

All the best in your search!!

Andrew and Wendy

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See u soon!!
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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try a variety of bikes, pick the one that fits your character.
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  #4  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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I've just put a deposit down on a 1200GS. It's a great bike to ride and seems like an improvement over the 1150 in terms of weight, power and off road abillity. However, I think this model is a bit too new and therefore, a bit of an unknown quantity with regards to reliabilty and availability of spare parts to be considered as a serious overland tool at present.

The F650GS is a good bike as they've been around for a while and most of the initial problems (I bought one of the first ones imported into the UK and it was a nightmare) have been sorted. There a good choice for riders travelling solo who are a little short in the leg and are light enough to be picked up when dropped. OK they don't have loads of excess power but, how much do you really need. If the idea is to see what your riding through your better taking your time and enjoying the view surely.

The 1150 Adventure is very comfortable, has plenty of power, shaft drive, good load carrying abillity and a huge tank range. There heavy but, carry there weight well, although I wouldn't like to try a lift one that's fully loaded on it's side. People who've ridden them off road say there up to the task. They are great for solo or two up treks.

The KTM 640 Adventurer is another out of the box overland bike. They also have a huge tank and a rugged construction. Not recommended for long two up trips though as I discovered a few years ago when my wife had had enough after two long hours in the saddle, en-route to the Horizons meet in Derbyshire, and wanted to get the train home.

Airheads beemers, Teneres, XT's, DR's, XR'S, XRV's XLV's the list is endless.

Everyone has a favourite bike and their own reasons for it being their favourite bike. Power, weight, height, comfort, brand, simplicity of construction, price etc.

If I were planning another long overland trip my choice would be an Africe Twin, no question. I've had a couple of these and they've been hugely reliable, comfortable enough and tough. They have adequate power for two up travel and aren't too heavy to pick up when dropped, even fully loaded. I'd carry a spare fuel pump as that's the most common fault but, thats about it. There are probably better bikes but, that would be my choice.



[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 26 September 2004).]
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  #5  
Old 29 Sep 2004
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I would go for a BMW F650 GS Dakar.

Great comfort, great reliability, great all-round capabilities, good fuel-economy and easy to drive.

The only minus I can come to think off is the 17,5 liter tank, but you can either buy the the expensive and rather complicated 27 liter Touratech-kit, or just carry a spare jerrycan if you think you will need it.

Personally, I think I should be awarded with a record in Guiness Recordholder Book, as the person that have been riding the longest distance with a full full Jerry-can and not using it. Alway nervous about not finding petrol, but with range around 500km(on tarmac), I,ve never needed it.

Another thing... in the early preparation phases, I always think I will do a lot of off road, but usally I end up doing a lot more gravel and tarmac than I thougth.... on knobbies with heavy duty inner tubes. Embarrasing.

Anyway, the BMW F650 GS Dakar is a good allround choice....... for me :-)

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 30 Sep 2004
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Thanks for the replies. Lots of good information. I recently bought an XT660R (so far-4000 miles-it has proved to be a very good bike) and I have been bitten by the travelling bug. The jury is out on whether the XT has the ability to do a BIG journey - hence my question.
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  #7  
Old 30 Sep 2004
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Agree with Dougie above. Find a bike that fits you, not the trip.

Few things are certain, but I am 100% sure that all of us, when we started out travelling , bought a massive rucksack, filled it with what we thought we would need.......then either threw the lot in a bin in Singapore or shipped it back home and carried on in bliss with a little but neat item and 90% less clothes.

If the XT fits your riding style, is comfortable and you like it, then there's no reason you cannot use it for a long trip.

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  #8  
Old 13 Oct 2004
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for me I have found the Kawasaki KLR650 is a reliable and economic all around bike. It has been around many years (since 87) without significant change, thus there is many aftermarket products to customize to suit one;s needs....

but then again, I just rode a Transalp today....a 89 with 6,600 miles on it ....yeah I think it should go int he stable too!
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