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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 10 Jun 2010
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What sub £4500 bike should I use for riding to Asia 2up?

Hi there,
My partner and I are planning to ride overland through Turkey, Iran to India and then Thailand and Indonesia. We are travelling 2up so what bike would be best placed to take us there? We have a budget of £4000-4500. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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Hello NOLRCEG,

I am curious to know what NOLRCEG means? As to your question, most people with your budget prefer 660 Tenere, Africa Twin, BMW F650. You will be shipping it from India to Thailand, so smaller is cheaper. I just finished reading a ride report from a fellow who rode with his girlfriend from Beijing to Europe on a Yamaha YBR 125. It got great gas mileage and the fuel injection made crossing the passes in Tibet easier. So anything is possible I guess. Of course his girlfriend was Chinese and used to suffering in silence I imagine.

Cheers,
John Downs

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  #3  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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You really can do that journey on any bike you choose. I did it 33 years ago in reverse (from Australia to the UK), two up on a Yamaha RD350 2 cylinder 2 stroke - probably one of the most inappropriate bikes one could choose - but it did well and then took me down to South Africa solo.

My current travelling bike is a Suzuki AN 650 Burgman maxi scooter. It has taken me through the Australian desert and 2 years ago I rode it from Korea to Italy. I found this a very sensible choice as it is comfortable, has excellent weather protection, large luggage capacity, more than capable of handling high speed motorways and slow speed offroad and is very economical to run. My bike was 5 years old when I took it to Russia and you can easily pick up something similar for around £2000 in the Uk.

There are many options - all will do the job, dependent only on your specific riding preferences.
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Old 11 Jun 2010
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As others have said you can do it on anything but when we did our UK to Cape Town trip 2 up, after several cramped touring holidays around Europe on smaller bikes, having a bike with sufficient space became the priority - we choose a BMW R100GS which seemed to be the only big/spacious trail bike available at the time. I'm 6'2" and not a stick insect and my wife is also quite tall so the space issue may have more important to us than others. The R100GS isn't perfect but we have tried other trail bikes XL 600, DR 650 and XTs of all shapes and sizes and they are all very cramped and dive fiercely when braking which, with an already slippery sloping seat that is too short, makes life hell for the pillion.

Just my view on things!
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Old 11 Jun 2010
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You can get the new style 660 tenere for around 4k now and they are a cracking bike so Iv heard but maybe a wee bit sluggish 2up, You would not go wrong with a Suzuki V-strom, I have the 650 version which has plenty of go and has a reputation for being bullit proof and will do 230miles on a tank easy enough, mine cost £3000 and is an 2007 with 7,000 miles. If the power of that is not enough then there is the 1000 version of the same bike, a little more thirsty on fuel but just as reliable and have plenty of go.
Hope this helps
Cheers
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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Thanks for your comments. I considered the v-strom as it seems like a lot of bike for the money but i heard the 1000 would be a better choice 2up and that as you say its a bit thirsty. I was also unsure about how well it would fair off-road.
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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You mentioned setting off in October 2011. This might be too late in the year for getting through Eastern Turkey before the snows.
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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Yes, that it a distinct possibility! We are going to try and leave the UK earlier if possible, perhaps last week of September.
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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A bit long in the tooth and perhaps a little underpowered, but a late ('99 or so) Transalp 600 could be a great bike. It would cost a lot less than 4500. I'd guess about £2-2500 for a tidy one, if not less. That leaves lots of money for prep, and/or petrol money for the trip.

Less power than the DL650, and can't remember if it is heavier or not, but in it's favour it has a 21 inch front allowing for knobblier tyres if trails take your fancy. Will still cruise well, though.

I suspect economy on the Suzuki would be better thanks to the FI, but I don't know what tank size the 'Strom has so don't know about range. My early '93 TA600 will do about 55mpg on the open road, perhaps a bit more. Theoretically, that should equate to about 220 miles, give or take.

The only bike I have had extensive experience of 2-up was our late BMW R1150GS. Very comfy and capable with more than enough power for two. A decent tank range with a 24 litre tank, shaft drive, air/oil cooled boxer. Admittedly, not the most suspension travel and only a 19" front, but the wheels are spoked and yet tubeless too. Heavier, and less manageable in the dirt than the two above (although still very capable, if you're not trying to break speed records...), but on more open roads, it would have the edge over the smaller bikes, IMO. A tidy one would eat you budget whole, though!

£4500 is a nice, flexible budget, though: you should have LOTS of choice out there.

Sure, narrow/widen the list with other people's suggestions but, as always the best way is to test ride as much as you can!

Have fun: window shopping for bikes is great!!
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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As I said i have the DL650 and I think she is ok off road.Well I think it is good enough for my trip which takes me through South America and includes a lot of gravel/sand.
the DL 1000 is in line with other 1l bikes on fuel, no worse and no better I guess. my mate rides a DL650 2up quite a lot and finds it has more than enough power, will happily cruise at 80-90mph.
Both bikes have 22l tanks and we were both getting 65mpg whilst cruising through the Alps last year.
i have never ridden an old transalp but Had a go on the new 700 and was 2 up over the course of a weekend and loved it... only has a 17l fuel tank thhough. Felt lighter than the strom off road but weights are same on paper.
Could you get a KTM 950 ADV for 4.5k? If so they are gorgeous bikes! I'd have one in a heart beat.
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Old 13 Jun 2010
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Dl650

I have the K7 DL650 & it will do 55mpg
whether two up or solo,I got it so I could travel two up & it has so far (2 years of touring,12000 miles) done me proud,though I will be upgrading the suspension this year as it does struggle two up over uneven terrain,just do not get the Suzuki luggage as it is not great.
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Old 13 Jun 2010
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Hi Andy, does your K7 have the twin spark engine? I wonder if that is what makes the difference? as ours are a k5 and k6 single spark. Or maybe we were just cruising slower than youI did manage to get it down to 40 mpg on my was back from London, it was late at night and I sat at about 110 all the way home.
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Old 13 Jun 2010
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Thanks for your comments. The KTM 950 Adventure looks like a pretty solid machine too and seems to have good reviews. Has anyone got experience of riding it 2up on/off road on any lengthy trips?
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Old 13 Jun 2010
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you should find quite a few answers in HU's own KTM section here or more in the KTM forum or read this

From blogs I have read, your bums will not thank you for that choice of saddle and the fuel pump is known to break. Strangely enough, just like beemers' all singing all dancin' F800GS
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