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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 1 Dec 2009
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What bike would be most recommended for a first time atw trip?

I am very new to the idea of taking a bike around the world but the very thought of it gives me chills of excitement. I have had some experience riding an R6 for the last couple of years but never any experience on a heavy touring bike fully equipped or dirt riding experience, besides mountain biking, but I do not believe this really counts.
I have been doing some research on various bikes and I have come up with two that I think would be great for the job; the BMW F650GS and the F800GS. I realize that the F800 has had some problems lately, but I imagine within two years time (at which point I will be ready to embark) BMW should have ironed out the kinks. Yet again I will say I am very new so I am still very naive to the RTW dos and don'ts, so any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Happy trails.
Do the thing you are afraid to do and the death of fear is certain. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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Hey NickAdo, It really depends on what you feel comfortable with. I got a scrambler/city bike to tour around UK while I work towards my licence and its been a doddle to ride, easy to repair and maintain and even goes off road (once in a blue moon!). Nick Sanders went around the world on an Aprilia R6 and some have done it on C90 Honda Cubs. Theres no right or wrong bike; just test a few and choose one. And remeber, BMW dont own this market, Yamaha/Aprilia/Moto Guzzi/Buell/Honda are big players too....

All the best, Tom.
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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RTW Bike

Hi Nick,

As has been said already you can go around the world on any bike. You really need to look at other factors and then identify which bike best meets your needs, and not choose a bike first.

By needs I mean, where are you planning on going, on what type of roads, are you riding solo or going 2-up, what's your budget - not just for the bike but for the carnet you may require (which could be up to 800% of the value of your bike).

Also the simpler, older & more common the bike the easier it's going to be to fix, find spare for etc.

We're leaving next year on our trip and have opted for Yamaha XT's as they're cheap, reliable (not always the case with BMW's) single cylinder bikes that will always be more likely to have an availability of parts no matter where we are which can't always be said for the more 'exotic' european marques.

Just my two cents worth....
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Old 8 Dec 2009
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I dont think you can go past the F650twin I think it is a tad lighter than the F800 and are just about the same and it is cheaper I have one and have not had a single thing go wrong with it yet. Bin the seat or get a Air hawk or get a Corbin seat if you are 2up that stock seat is cruel, my wife loves the corbin seat and with hi-way pegs is very comfy bike to ride. But do not rule out the DL 650 they are very very good bikes.

....rather Die Living.....than Live Dying !
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Old 8 Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by NickAdo View Post
I realize that the F800 has had some problems lately
NO! Some early bikes had problems, as with all completely new machines, but the vast majority are fine. Mine is on 14000 miles, with nearly 12000 of those being done in Africa.

BMW have carried out recalls to the various things which have been identified, although my bike had never suffered from any of them.

Check out:


To see how few threads there are about reliability, and how many about fitting extra crash bars / better seats! I did over 800 miles in a day on my Touratech seat, and almost 2000 miles in three days from the south of Morocco to the UK in just under three days. It is a brilliant bike and never missed a beat.

However! It is more complicated than a carb fed, old school bike like the DR650. If you are going well off the beaten track you might like to consider something with less gizmo's, as although modern they are very reliable, they are more likely to leave you stranded if they did fail.

When all's said and done, no-where in the world is so far away you can't get parts fed-ex'd to you, and part of the trip is meeting people anyway!

Personally I have faith and would take the 800.
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