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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 6 Aug 2008
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Why MC and not a car ? Honest, no troll!

I like bikes and have 2 racing bikes but feel that a car would be better suited for long distance travelling as its safer, you can lock in all your stuff, sleep in it, be out of the weather etc.

I've heard the "feeling free" thing, but I thinkk its mostly a marketing stunt (invented by a MC company, that didn't have anything good to say about their bikes, HD). Honestly, are you not more free, when its raining and you still wear your normal clothes in a car, listening to the radio, talking to your girlfriend and sipping a soda ?

What are your main reasons for choosing a MC over a car ?
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  #2  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Bike vs car?

you'll know why the bike is better than a car when you come across that perfect stretch of road.
It makes up for all the wind and rain in an instant. I've just done 16,000km ( England to England via Europe, Middle East and Eastern Europe), and as someone once said, seeing all the sights from a car is like watching a movie..... seeing it from the back of a bike is like being IN the movie.
People are far more receptive to motorcyclists.
Cars are for going shopping, bikes are for touring.
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  #3  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Our Danish friend makes a good point,

Last edited by mollydog; 25 Mar 2009 at 08:38.
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  #4  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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racing

I took up racing to enjoy bikes but take me off the road (after a bike crash). I raced for 4 years and everytime I tried out a roadbike I hated the handling, the restrictions of the road systems and the dressing up for all seasons (here in the uk).

When I stopped it was a few years before I bought a road bike, for the fun of being back on a bike and not having to pack the van to go racing everytime I wanted a ride. Now, having just got back from a UK to CapeTown trip I now know why I love bikes and it has nothing to do with the calculated trade-off of rain vs good roads. It's about the feeling of freedom and, as mentioned earlier, it's the feeling of actually 'being there' rather than just seeing. Society puts alot of emphasis on 'seeing' places rather than actually 'being' there. The rush of speed leaves few lasting memories whereas a saharan sunset or busy african city stays with you a lot longer.
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  #5  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Very interesting

This is a very interesting thread, and one I will follow. Before I start I should admit to not riding a bike (since a c90 20 years ago), and only thought about overlanding in the last 3 years.....so, gulp, heres an additional thought ...

If being in a car is like watching a movie, and being on a bike is like being in the movie, surely that is still a sped up movie? Stretching the analogy, surely being on a PUSH bike would be like being in the movie at the correct speed?

Are you still not an alien in peoples world on a motor bike?

After our trip in our 4x4 is finished, perhaps after 5 years, we are considering contiuning on a push bike, or a BOAT. Obviously this isn't overlanding but there is never a mention of this here. Why not? In a boat one can get to all the beautiful island cultures. Is this just a rich man's game?

At the end of this, let me say I think, if I was to start again, back to age 18, I would love to be a motorbike overlander It looks great

Just my thoughts ....
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  #6  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
I like bikes and have 2 racing bikes but feel that a car would be better suited for long distance travelling as its safer, you can lock in all your stuff, sleep in it, be out of the weather etc.

I've heard the "feeling free" thing, but I thinkk its mostly a marketing stunt (invented by a MC company, that didn't have anything good to say about their bikes, HD). Honestly, are you not more free, when its raining and you still wear your normal clothes in a car, listening to the radio, talking to your girlfriend and sipping a soda ?

What are your main reasons for choosing a MC over a car ?
It's all in the head and down to the individual. Why anyone would want to go in circles as fast as possible I fail to see. I get no adrenalin rush as I've fallen off (and crashd other people's cars & Trucks) in plenty of places and know tracks are not such bad places to do it (IOM/Ulster are exceptions, but still don't see the point of trying to kill myself). I'm a sales rep and drive something like 40,000 miles a year by car as fast as possible but safely with the aim of getting from A to B in comfort. I hate flying (actually the airports, the going up and coming down is just a fast bus where you spend less time trying to ignore the horrible bloke crammed in next to you) but as a means of getting places sometimes you have to. I've been a test driver for a brake company and skidded army trucks and fire engines, that's mostly hours of waiting for defective instruments to work. None of these is any fun IMHO but other disagree.

Now, put me on a snow covered road or desert track where the road and outfit together and going to fight me and it's interesting. After that let some guy or girl from a completely different culture try and talk to me about what the heck i'm doing there and it's better still. Finally I'll wave two fingers at the people in the posh hotels (that's like work again) and sleep under the stars or at least in a plastic bag.

Weird isn't it. I guess it's just different challenges and interactions that different people like.

Actually, if you want really nice long distance travel try a train. You get to read or listen to music when there is nothing to do, move about, talk to either your travel companions or other people on the train, you don't get felt up by the metal detector ****s, someone else has to deal with mechanical problems and so on. Only hassle is you can't decide to go left where the track goes right.

The "wear our branded jeans and jackets like all the other Dentists and Accountants and be free" advertising is a scream isn't it. Now followed up with the "look like the Actor and his Special Friend at a cafe 3 miles from home" thing, plus the all time classic "green bikes and one piece green leather baby suits make you faster and attract women with umbrellas". I'm lucky in that I sell parts that move because they do something. People trying to shift stuff that's actually just to make the owner feel good have it harder. Who can blame them for trying to make a Disney Walmart version of overland travel.

For every snow covered alpine pass taken by foglight and followed with a warm (free) brandy in a nice Italian resort full of very smart-set people who queue up to talk to the scruffy English bloke, there is the hellish day dealing with some Austrian ****wit in Uniform who say's your tyres are illegal and you've got to pay a toll every 3 miles. If you took a nice 4x4 you'd see neither.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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of course

It is true that cycling (or even walking) are even more involving but we're not talking absolutes here just, "why a bike rather than a car".


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  #8  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Its been said before but I'll say it again, if a bit differently: I feel far more part of the environment I am travelling in on a bike. Having a dognow means our trip bike is a Ural side car, but for me the feeling is the same. We recently toured for a few days on the the rig, followed by a few more days in the car to give th pooch a break from the Ural (its still new to her). The difference in the experience was palpable for me. I just feel few more relationship with the environment I am travelling through if I can feel it hear and smell it, rather than just see it (open windows are not the same IMO). Add to that the note worthy rferenbce to a fabulous piece of road: and its bloody amazing!!!

Mollydog:
Don't go propagating myths and stereotypes, please. That's not what this site is about...

I may be running an XR400R and a Ural, but up until last September I was one of those "adventure wannabees" with a BMW 1150 GS. Only I've actually used it as an overlander in Europe and S America, as have many bonafide bike traveller on here. No 5 Star hotels for us and no Ewan idolisation even if I enjoyed the programme: I decided on the GS long before LWR, even if I could only afford it afterwards....

Other than missing top end speed: probably the best, most competent all-round bike I've ever owned and I've owned 19 over the years, from sports to Supermoto... Maybe not as many as some but enought to form an informed opinion.
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  #9  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Moto v Car

Yeah!
Cars are, more sensible, safer, more room ect.
So when you look at it like that, why ride a bike at all? Or jump out of aeroplanes, climb mountains, sail when there are motor boats, cook when there are restaurants, travel when you can stay in one place?
The answer is a simple one!
Because!
If you prefer cars then great!
But for me, and I'm sure most other HU users, a major part if not the biggest part of a bike trip is RIDING the bike!
The getting there somehow takes second place to the act of riding your bike through wherever!
All of the negatives (not that they are really that aparent to me) seem to fade somehow and I have on many occasions felt sorry for folks I have seen overlanding in 4 wheelers and have very often seen the look on their faces telling me what they'd rather be doing.
If you were to ask a moiuntaineer why they climb mountains they'd probably shake their head and look at you like you'd gone mad.
So, this wonderfully diverse world of ours is full of equally diverse people. So fill yer boots folks on whatever floats yer boat!
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  #10  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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I got put off reading the lengthy responses, so this may have already been said (essentially it's a straightforward resolution):
If you're looking for an objective answer (to an subjective question), or to be convinced by a means of transport then it is not for you. If you find the security and comfort of doing things by car then do it by car.
Personally I don't see why people would want to walk, or even ride a bicycle around the world, yet they do it too.

There are plenty of answers, as we all have our own. However, I think it's to do with the subjectivity of the transport means to each individual.
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  #11  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
it's the feeling of actually 'being there' rather than just seeing. Society puts alot of emphasis on 'seeing' places rather than actually 'being' there. .
Thats exactly my way of travelling, but I think its in your head more than in the means of tranportation.

Quote:
seeing all the sights from a car is like watching a movie..... seeing it from the back of a bike is like being IN the movie..
I can't understand that argument. I once rented a small Mazda in Qatar and took it on small sandy roads .
When I was out of town, I turned off the aircon and opened the windows, so I could smell the hot desert. When I reached the beach I stopped and got out in the strong 35C wind and let it blow straight through my clothing.
I didn't have to undress first, remove helmet or gogles.
From the car, I saw and smelled the desert more clearly than through a dirty visor or gogles in a helmet

After crashing your bike the tenth time that day on the loose sandy track in Mali, wouldn't you rather have 4 wheels ?

I've bicycled through Morocco and from Saigon to Singapore and thats simplicity/minimalism. Its easy to put a bicycle on the train/plane/bus, one man can carry it, it stays with you in the hotel room, there's not much to go wrong, you can bring as much stuff as on the MC as you don't have to bring so many spares, you can ride without thick protective clothes or fullface helmet, can stop at a whim etc., good contact with the locals, although many will ask you, being a "rich" westerner:" Why not take car?" :-)

As said, I like MCs a lot, especially bikes like the HPN BMWs or other Paris-Dakar lookalikes, and might buy one some day, but couldn't even use it for skiing trips to the alps where I just sleep in the back of the car and bring 2-3 pairs of ski or a summer trip to the South of France with my son and a ton of diving- and windsurfing gear in the back and still the possibility to sleep on top of the heap, going trhrough Germany on the Motorway.

the PROs I can find for the bike are:
1. Cheaper to buy, than a car of same standard
2. Easier to watch in hotels etc.
3. More fun on the road (but that is marred somewhat by a ton of luggage)
4. Easier to repair
5. Better mileage

the PROs I can find for the car are:
1. You can sleep in it
2. Can be locked.
3. No need for special clothing
4. You can talk to cotravellers while driving
5. You can listen to music (even local radio) have a drink or snack while driving
6. Safer in a crash
7. Enough room for all your toys and bought souvenirs
8. you can close windows in rain- or sandstorms and turn on the heat in the cold
9. Won't fall over, no need for help to raise it up after a fall over.
10. Soft seat, you can ride all day
11. Long tankrange, which can be modded to more than 1000km
12. No insects in your mouth or clothing
13. No luggage rack to break down

I'm still struggling to understand. I think the motorcycle industry has succeded in fooling us, with their "freedom of the road".
For some hours riding a summers day on a twisty road, I'd prefer a MC any time, (but probably regret it, at the first red light, sitting in my full leathers ;-))

BUT, as there of course is no definite answer to this question, I will let it rest here.

Over and out for my part.
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Last edited by pbekkerh; 6 Aug 2008 at 11:27.
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  #12  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Yep.
All subjective - every individual is different. I ride a bike and drive 2 cars. I own a bicycle but I wouldn't want to ride it around the world. I don't own a sailboat but I would love to sail around the world.
I'm in my forties now and the lure of picking a laden bike out of the mud and sleeping in a tent night after night in the rain and cold is slowly, but surely, waning.
I love my bike and I love the feeling I get after having a good ride on it.
I not so sure I would use it to travel around the world though.
I've just finished Lois Pryce's new book and was engrossed by her descriptions of travelling through DRC and Angola - the mud and water and the feeling of despair each time she got stuck. A great life-changing experience, of that I have no doubt, but I think that as we get older most of us start to want a little bit more luxury and this is where a car/van/4x4 comes into its own.
Does it really matter how you get round the world? Doing it is the main thing.
Enjoy your day wherever you are!
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  #13  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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[QUOTE=pbekkerh;201249]
I'm still struggling to understand. I think the motorcycle industry has succeded in fooling us, with their "freedom of the road".

I think perhaps you should just leave yourself struggling to understand my friend as I can't see this thread turning anything useful.
A bickering match about cars and bikes perhaps but what a wast of HUBB space!
All the best with your car.
Dave.
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  #14  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Answer to djorob:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
BUT, as there of course is no definite answer to this question, I will let it rest here.

Over and out for my part.
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  #15  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Quote:
In a boat one can get to all the beautiful island cultures.
Overlanding in a boat? Wouldn't that be called "Overwatering" or something?

Anyway - for a compromise between 4 wheels and two, why not a convertible car?
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