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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 27 Jun 2004
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Which Bike? Some stats for you...

I’ve been doing some analysis of the World Trip Reports sent in by adventure travel riders from all over to my AM Website over the last 7 years or so. Guess what the most popular bike is? Wrong! but while you’re working it out you may like to know the popularity by brand in the Trip Reports (that is not so surprising):

BMW 26.2%
Honda 25.6%
Yamaha 17.4%
Suzuki 8 %
Kawasaki 8.4%
KTM 4%
Others 10.6%

Among the BMs the ranking is:
100GS (including GSPDs) -23
1150 (incl Advs) -22
650 Funduro carbs -19
1100GS - 18
80 GS (not incl.G/S) 14
EFI 650s 11

By far the most popular Honda:
Africa Twin (32) of course
Transalp (18)
Dommies (14)
Wings and XR650Ls (6)

Yamahas, no surprise here:
XT600E (some Tenerised?) 18
Teneres 17
XT500s 14
XT660 6

Which brings me to currently the most popular bike on the AM Trip Reports:
33 KLR 650s beating the Af Twins by one - and with of course no other Kawas in sight. Only still available in North America (mostly) but that’s what you get for sticking to one model for 17-odd years!

Note: some riders put in a few reports and not all of them (eg: Wings…) are truly AM-ing to the ends of the earth, but it’s interesting to mull over.

Hope that makes your choice easier ;-)

Chris S

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Sahara Overland ~ the book and online resource and Adventure Motorcycling ~ the website of the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook

[This message has been edited by Chris Scott (edited 27 June 2004).]
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Old 27 Jun 2004
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What no xt's 225 i,m disapointed after the lois on the loose report? and what about the xr250's there must be 100's of them out there my choice would be the tw200.....

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Old 27 Jun 2004
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Greetings, Chris!

Can you be more speciefic: my english is not good so i didn't understand the statistics well here - you mean the BMW is the worst bike available? And KLR is the best?

And one forth of the BMWs will brake down anyway? I mean the precentage is calculated based on how many bikes go on the road and how many of them brake down?

Regards, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 27 June 2004).]
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Old 27 Jun 2004
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I was a bit confused but now see what you mean by 'breakdown" (it can be another another way of saying 'analysing' or 'taking apart' to make things clearer.)

I have changed my words to make it ..... clearer.

Ch
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Old 27 Jun 2004
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Thanks a lot. That makes a whole new viewpoint.

But it would be seriously helpful to collect the statistics of real breakdowns of the (RTW) bikes. It could be calculatible from how many bikes departure, how many miles ridden, average road conditions as a weight (1 to 10 for example) in sum and how many breakdowns/technical failures. Just four parameters that should do the job. (Weakest point would be riding style witch is very subjective and almost impossible to include in calculations... just to assume that RTW riders don't go for speedracing on their tour ).

Those statistics based on facts would give a greate overview of the quality and reliability of different bikes and manufacturers and sure gives a good recommendations witch bike to choose for those who don't want to brake down because a nasty technical problem in the middle of nowhere.

Regards, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 28 June 2004).]
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Old 1 Jul 2004
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What does the "Tenerising" process of a XT600E mean? Suspensions, front springs and shocks? Tanks?

[This message has been edited by Pedro Rocha (edited 01 July 2004).]
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Old 1 Jul 2004
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Well, tank, rims, bashplate, oil cooler, steel brake lines and maybe suspension

Ch
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Old 1 Jul 2004
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Well, tank, rims, bashplate, oil cooler, steel brake lines and maybe suspension

Ch
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Old 2 Jul 2004
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That stutter is getting worse Chris

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  #10  
Old 14 Jul 2004
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Hey Chris

It would be interesting to get secondary information like reasons why rider would/wouldn't take the same bike again vs bike brand/model. These factors could include

Reliability
Comfort
Weight

all crossreferenced to Make/model of bike. Eg whats the betting that most riders reject the KTM on Comfort and BMW on weight?

Now, where are those budding yr 1 Uni students looking for a Stats project...?

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Old 2 Aug 2004
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.... you thougth this would make the ever returning question of choice of bike easier.... to me it looks like you just opened another can of worms Chris :-)
Happy replying!


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Old 22 Oct 2004
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Hello Chris,

I read your book (Adventure motorcycling) some time ago and if I recall correctly - in the section about suitable bikes for adventure touring - you said something to the effect of "never buy a KLR 650 for adventure touring - not even if it is very cheap"

But then, when I go to your website I see you give the same bike quite a good review and even use it on your "Call of the Wild" trip - DVDs and all.

As you mentioned in your posting above, the design of the bike did noy change significantly for 17 years, so did your opinion perhaps?

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Old 22 Oct 2004
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Chris could you also include the number of gearbox rebuilds for each make I am sure I know the winner!
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Old 25 Oct 2004
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by kawa_klr650:
[B]Hello Chris,

I read your book (Adventure motorcycling) some time ago and if I recall correctly - in the section about suitable bikes for adventure touring - you said something to the effect of "never buy a KLR 650 for adventure touring - not even if it is very cheap"

Actually Chris said to avoid the earlier KLR 600 no matter what, and that the KLR 650 was a pretty decent pick if your a North American.

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