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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 28 Jan 2003
Poa Poa is offline
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Which is the common dual sport in Africa?

I'm looking for a dual sport that will get me around many countries (in Africa) over a long period of time. My debate is weather it is worth paying the big buck for a more quality machine or go with the more widespread bike (easily to find parts). If the later is the case then which bike would that be? I'll be in East Africa most of the time.
Thanks, Pete
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  #2  
Old 29 Jan 2003
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Hi,

Sounds like a good idea. But I'm afraid that spares for any big bike are rare in Africa. With probably more chance on finding anything for Japanese bikes than European ones. Anything more than tires and chains (if you're lucky) you will have to order from home.
On the other hand, going with a more quality machine will often means a modern bike with lots of modern electronic components and engines so complicated it will drive any bush mechanic mad.
In my opinion (but thats just me...) take a bike thats proven reliable and easy to fix with simple tools.

Peter
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  #3  
Old 29 Jan 2003
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I agree with PeterKirk. When I was I was in Africa I found that in a lot of countries the police or army had used the old Beemers and they have a lot of spare-parts and spare-bikes.
Most countries also have a BMW-car shop and it looks like the ordering-system is the same. They have a computer with the software and can order the parts for you. Then you don’t have to worry about customs, shipping and so on that might be a nightmare.

Good luck
AliBaba
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Old 30 Jan 2003
Poa Poa is offline
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Thanks for the input,
I was actually thinking of a KTM Adventure since it is more off road then the BMW GS650. Although they are both beautiful bikes! After speaking with a dealer he said the BMW is fuel injected meaning better gas milage, harder to fix, vulnerable to bad fuel... lots of +'s and -'s. On the other had the KTM (carborator, not injected) is easier to work on and better off road. I'm torn. Then, I also read about the Honda XRL650. Sounds like a proven machine too. Aghhh what to do? Your advice helps, thanks.
Pete
p.s. Isn't this web site excellent!
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  #5  
Old 30 Jan 2003
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Pete,

Have you ever tried to work on a KTM? I would not say that they are easy to work on ;-) Regular services like oil changes, valve adjust, and spark plug replacement are time consuming since everything is so compactly positioned.

And it's my opinion that the KTM needs more regular maintainance and service than the BMW or XRL. The KTM will easily out perform either of the other two bikes offroad, but there is a trade off. Not a knock against the KTM, just my observations from many miles riding with and wrenching on these bikes.

Story
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  #6  
Old 31 Jan 2003
Poa Poa is offline
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No I haven't ever owned a KTM, just had friends with them. I'm simply a beginner so this kind of advice helps a ton. Since I'll be in the middle of no where (Iringa, Tanzania) for a while I would like either a bike that will need few repairs, or I can repair (with some training) on my own should something happen. I'll be on the dirt abou 40% of the time.
Again thanks y'all for your advice.
Pete
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