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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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Old 5 Feb 2005
indu's Avatar
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Why not the Varadero?

Someone asked this question way back, but it was really never answered: Are there any reasons why one should choose the BMW 11xxGS before an 03 or newer Honda Varadero for two-up Trans Africa? I mean: They're pretty much the same weight, same wheels and tires, the Dero has in its newer design also got fuel injection to lower consumption? Allright: The Dero is somewhat soft in the suspension, but this is easily fixed with some stiffer springs (and an Ohlins damper . You'd definitely need some crash bars etc. But that would be recommended extras on the GS as well.

I know any bike will do - even Sjaak's R1. But between these two - why would you opt for the one and not the other?

Safe journey!

a.k.a "Indu"
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Old 5 Feb 2005
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My reason not getting the Varadero, whitch acctually was one serious candidate, was the excessive fuel consumption, the centre of weight felt strange to me and too much plastic on it, felt strangely too soft indeed, but that wasn't that bad. Touratech and other extras seem to give GS a bit more advantage, altough you can get basic need for both, no prob.

One of the main reasons going to GS was slow revving engine with high torque output on low rpms (no need to stress the engine two up full of luggage, so assumably it dyes slower than others on long term reliability), telelever suspension for addtional driving comfort and shaft drive cuting completely out chain maintenance that i really don't like.

This was my experience/view about it when i had to choose - I was in the price range getting R1100GS, AT or older Varadero or Tiger. I was 49/51 with AT ang GS in the end, just looked for a better offering that came from GS side. I'd be very happy with both i guess.


[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 05 February 2005).]
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Old 8 Mar 2005
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The Beemer carries its weight a bit lower than the Varadero - its cylinders are down low where as the Honda they are up higher making the beemer much more forgiving in the rough stuff off road.
The Honda is unproven where as BMW have used versions of the boxer engines in rally's for years.
The BMW is pretty bomb proof and would be my choice also out of the two- if I had the money !
Like you say though - you can use any bike !

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Old 8 Mar 2005
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I really wanted the Varadero! After riding an Africa Twin for a while (loved it) and then taking a 2004 Varadero for a spin I knew I had to have one.

Then came the 1200GS and for R10 000 ($1600 / £900) more I got ABS and heated grips which the Honda didn’t have. Sorry, I know this post is about the Dero vs. the 1150 and not the 1200 but I just have to add my 2c

I was also concerned with the Honda’s weight (50kg more than the BMW) and those radiators *oh dear* one fall into a bush and the radiators would be pierced! The 1200GS has longer service intervals and BMW were willing to throw in free roadside-assist membership. The Varadero has a larger tank and greater range, which is a plus but the Beemer has a center stand, fully adjustable suspension and stronger sub-frame.

But what really made the choice clear was this: I’d have to spend far more on making the Honda overland ready than the BMW and… during test rides on both I dropped the Honda in loose sand but not the BMW… that all I needed to see, thank you sir.
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