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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 7 Jan 2011
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Question Which bike is best for a long trip

At present i ride a truimph tiger 955i , i wishing to do a trip later this year UK to OZ, but is unsure which bike would be more suitable. I am 6 foot tall about 15 stone.

kp
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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The usual answer to this question is ride wot you got. Especially so in your case. The 955 Tiger is a good all round bike and as you're 6 foot you'll have the inside leg for it too. Spend the money on the trip not a new bike.
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  #3  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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Age old response question, dirt or tarmac?

I'd say take the bike you've got. Or a Cagiva Elefant! My experience of Tigers off-road is that they are crap, not just too heavy but the weight is in the wrong place, it's too high up. That said I am a short-arse and anything bigger than a Serow is probably 'too heavy' for me!
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  #4  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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Hi,

I crossed Africa two times on a 600er Honda Transalp and onely met people doing the same on Transalp, Africa Twin or GS 650 from BMW or Toyota Landcruiser and Landrover Deffender :P

Travel save, Tobi
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  #5  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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Anything from a C90 step through up to an R1 (if you're a head case!). I choose a BMW F800GS for my long distance stuff, but the possibliities are endless.

a few questions:

Do you want to ride off road?
Can you fix it if it breaks down?
How old would you consider?
Can you afford it? - bear in mind carnet costs which are related to bike value.
Are you camping? - adds a lot to the weight of stuff you need to carry.
Are you taking your time or blitzing through?
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  #6  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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If your bike is later than 02 then Triumph stiffened the suspension and made this into a touring bike, previously it had softer springs and was better offroad. Reliability is not great on these, I have had 5 Triumphs and all let me down and I was chatting with a guy who toured on an 04 on heavy fire roads and had to be rescued by a Caponord which might be the biggest insult I can imagine.
The fuel pump fittings on earlier bikes were plastic and guaranteed to break, at one point alloy fittings were available for a free upgrade but otherwise they run to about £30. Well worth fitting them. The cable connectors were needlessly complicated and can separate just from vibration. There are various other common flaws but check out the Triumph forums for more info and just check yours out.
My overall opinion is that it's as comfortable as a BMW R1200gs but not as good (handling, usefulness offroad, torque, build quality). It's about equally reliable though.
I have had 4 BMWs and reliabilty and quality is a serious issue with them. I would say I am larger and heavier than you and currently ride a 650 single for long range touring. I have gone for reliability over the extra performance but there are times when i miss the extra power. I would steer clear of the F800gs. I had 2, both had a host of problems, none of which would have stopped it running and all were warranty issues but it shook my faith in the bike. My brother had one, same issues. Also the seat is very uncomfortable after about 50 miles but the ride is good, it's good offroad and the economy (and therefore range) is top notch. It's a great bike flawed by some irritating quality control issues and cut corners in production.
As commented earlier, I am also a big fan of BMW singles. I have the G650 X-country now and it's been a top performer. It does feel a little small but it's very reliable and cheap to run. It has flaws so factor in extra costs in getting it trip ready. If I didn't have this I would be looking at a Dakar right now but although it's very comfortable you might find it a bit breathless after a Tiger, it's not as powerful.
As I said, I had a Tiger but it let me down within the first 2 weeks so I got rid and bit the bullet, bought myself a 1200gs. That is a great bike but it's not reliable. In the end I gave up on "nice bikes" and bought a small, functional, reliable and usable machine. Others in the class, if you're thinking offroad are the KLR 650 (reliable, old fashioned, easy to maintain, slow, tricky to get upgrades for in the UK), Yamaha Tenere 660 (good, over-priced, slightly heavy for power but easy to tune). I have a soft spot for singles, I have had dozens of them and of all the kinds of bikes I've had they are the least troublesome and around lanes and twisties they still tend to be good fun.

Sorry... I ramble...
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  #7  
Old 7 Jan 2011
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Have you read Alan Wheelan's African Brew Ha ha. He was on a tiger down through west coast of Africa. It was hard going but he made it.
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Old 8 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpnut66 View Post
At present i ride a truimph tiger 955i
Yea you got a nice bike for the trip. It's a known quantity.(or should be)
Do a little maintenance and go for it.
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  #9  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Tiger off road

Thanks for the reply, I beleive you right that the tiger would be bad off road, so planning the route mainly on tarmac is essential. I looking at a 600 honda at present.

Keith


Quote:
Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
Age old response question, dirt or tarmac?

I'd say take the bike you've got. Or a Cagiva Elefant! My experience of Tigers off-road is that they are crap, not just too heavy but the weight is in the wrong place, it's too high up. That said I am a short-arse and anything bigger than a Serow is probably 'too heavy' for me!
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  #10  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Honda could be the answer

Tobi

Thanks for the reply, i have started looking at a Honda, this look a better option than the tiger

Keith

Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Hi,

I crossed Africa two times on a 600er Honda Transalp and onely met people doing the same on Transalp, Africa Twin or GS 650 from BMW or Toyota Landcruiser and Landrover Deffender :P

Travel save, Tobi
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