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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 16 Dec 2004
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What bike continued


Following on from the last topic (and I aplogise if it's been asked before). Which would be the best bike for day to day use in Britain (including motorways) plus excursions abroad and far afield. No passenger, just me. Some off road but probably no humping over dunes.

Also it would need to be one I could work on if needs must. I have narrowed things down to Transalp, Africa Twin, GS1100/1150. F650GS, and perhaps older BMW Dakar versions.

I understand on some of the later models I would be limited to the nature of repairs I could actually perform with limited tools.

Any advice gratefully recieved.

Scoobie Doo
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Old 16 Dec 2004
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If you do twoupping often and on travel then boxer 1100GS would be the best choice in my point of view - stock-comfortable for both riders and powerful. 1150 stays out of this selection because the highest price i guess(?) Africa Twin can be proper twoupper too, but certanly needs better seat than stock.

If you do only solo and like more offroading, then F650GS would be the optimum choice i think - Transalp may be cheaper, but with singlecylinger fuel injected GS takes less fuel (cheaper to run) and 650 Dakar model has a sensibly better suspension. Africa Twin is something between 650s and 1100s - a powerful (solo) enduro, not that fully offroad able as 650GS but a bit better than 1100 on offroad i think because of 21" front wheel. Both 750cc AT and 1100GS are too heavy for serious offroading anyway and i doubt there's any serious offroading on travelling with full of luggage, so re-question everyting - fully depends on your needs.

Motorways - R11xxGS is a winnter without any serious competition from others in this selection, wheaher you do solo or twoupping full of luggage. ABS for emergency braking and tonz of pushing torque from engine side makes your dynamics enjoyable.

Repairing - all the bikes are doable with a little technical aknowledge with proprier repairmanual (Haynes, Clymer manuals).

Do testdrive them all!

Good luck whatever you go with, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 16 December 2004).]
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Old 17 Dec 2004
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Personaly I'd go for a twin if you have any motorway mileage in mind.

The transalp is a great little bike, but lacks a little power especally if you intend to carry luggage.

For the purpose you have in mind, IMHO, the AT or GS are your best bet.

I love Africa Twins. There very robust and have enough power for solo or two up riding with luggage and have a decent tank range. They are mechanicaly fairly simple, being carbed but, it can be a bugger to get at various components. Having said that, the fuel pump in generally the only thing that can course problems. They are very reliable machines.

GS's are robust, comfortable, have bags of power and torque and have a reasonable tank range. You can load them up with luggage and you won't notice it's there. The shaft drive is a distinct advantage as you don't have to carry chain lube and oil the chain every day.

The best thing to do would be to get as many test rides as you can before you part with your cash and go with the bike that you enjoy the most.

Keep us posted as to which bike you choose.
\"Bon Chance\"
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Old 19 Dec 2004
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Also consider the XT660R. This bike has had excellent reviews v both the TA and the F650GS. Much lighter than both, with better brakes,as much speed and more comfort. I have found mine to be a truly excellent all round machine. The only question mark is its long term reliability, as it is such a new model.
Mine has been 100% for its first 5k miles apart from low speed EFI rough fuelling which has been addressed by Yamaha. This made an already terrific bike even better.
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Old 19 Dec 2004
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Cheers All,

All the replies much appreciated.

Would anyone be able to steer me in the right direction re: the pitfalls (mechanically and reliability)of the models, and what to look out for?


Scoobie Doo
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Old 19 Dec 2004
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I think there's no direct answer to that question. All bikes are actually quite simple mechanically if we don't count electronics.

Reliability: absolutely depends on your riding style primarly. I have seen many boxer GSes have more than 300 000 km on the clock with no major problems, and at the same time there newer and older GSes that have broken down in first 3000 kilometres from newly bought. That means there's always small but realistic probability you get the bike may have defect on it since it was born and needs to replace those parts sooner-or-later. About the same is to all other bikes, well, but i must add i haven't seen that much mileage on other travel-enduros than boxer GS. Some ATs have come close, but not that massive highmileage on their side too, only few. Maybe it's because there's lot of boxer GSes around that may rise it's seeing more high mileatge examples around, but i doubt there's that much expensive GSes produced than XTs or KLRs, not sure acctually...

So don't bother yourself about the reliability issues - get the bike you like the most on your short test drive, then do few testride-like travels near to your home some weekends. If it will hold first 10K and you're not racing it, then it very probably holds another 30K without any major brakedown. (life's full of surprised and irony though..., but that's what we call travelling full of adventures )

Good luck!


Originally posted by Scoobie Doo:
Would anyone be able to steer me in the right direction re: the pitfalls (mechanically and reliability)of the models, and what to look out for?
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 19 December 2004).]
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