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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 23 Jun 2005
SDR SDR is offline
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Why are we ripped off in the UK?

I am planning to travel to Spain soon and spend a few weeks travelling on and off road. I have recently moved to the UK from Australia and am keen to get a bike and start adventuring again. I immediately thought of getting a KLR650 (cheap, reliable, fixable – perfect). But a quick visit to Kawasaki’s website informs me you can’t buy them here. OK then, how about a nice XR600L? Also no. OK well how about a nice little DR-Z400? These are available but cost 4200 pounds – they sell for US$5500 (3,050 Pounds) in the US! (some of this may be taxes – but surely not all of it)

Can anyone help me understand why so many good trail bikes (practical and cheap bikes) are not sold in the UK, and then those that are are quite expensive? Is it possible to buy one of these bikes elsewhere in Europe, at a competitive price, and ride it back to the UK (perhaps Spain)?

Thanks
Seth
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  #2  
Old 23 Jun 2005
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USA and Canada have the same problem with availability - Transalps, Africa Twins and a few others aren't available there. And can't generally be legaly imported either! (A few have sneaked in, but it's very difficult.)

As for prices - it's all relative - one model is a little more, another is a little less in a particular country. Remember the manufacturers/distributors have one focus - making a profit. In order to do so, they don't bring in bikes they think won't sell - remember they HAVE TO stock parts for what they do bring in, and that costs megabucks.

Frustrating but that's the way it is. Adventure motorcycling is growing, and the R1200GS is the biggest seller in the UK now, first time in many many years it's not a sport bike, so I'm sure the manufacturers have noticed, and hopefully we can lok forward to seeing more of what we want in the future.


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  #3  
Old 23 Jun 2005
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Don't forget too that the UK is sports-bike obsessed and that's what's sold the most over recent years (until the 1200GS anyway). We don't have the culture of the big-traillie like they do in Europe.

And, of course, we get ripped off in the UK on most things because, being British, we accept it.

Try eBay for cheap deals.
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  #4  
Old 23 Jun 2005
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Rip-offs by manufacturers are permitted by the government, or in fact, the government themselves are the ripper-offers (nice new word, hey).

It's been said: "The people get the government they deserve".

IMHO

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Old 27 Jun 2005
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It may be worthwhile remembering that you can haggle the price in Britain - quite substantially, too.

Having said that, I have often scratched my head at our prices. Bland ( but solid ) bikes like the Deauville, Transalp are WOEFULLY overpriced ( around £5,000 ), yet you can pick up a BRAND NEW Suzuki 1200 Bandit for £4,200 at the moment, or a SV650 for £3,900.

You may well be able to get a low mileage, one year old bike at almost half price over list, too.
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Old 28 Jun 2005
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Have a look on Ebay.There are usually quite a few adventure type bikes on there to suit most pockets/sizes/mechanical abilities.If you're not an Ebay regular i'd advise you to find someone who is to avoid the odd shyster(usually not too hard to spot),and remember that you only get what you pay for.If it is'nt attracting many decent bids on the last day of sale,there may be a reason.Saying that though,my car and 3 of my bikes have come from there,and all were real bargains.But then i'm a mechanic so i knew what i was looking at mechanically! In my opinion some of the Italian imports are very good deals(the 3 i mentioned before all are) due to never having seen salt/wet mud/cow droppings like the Brit models have had to deal with for ages.

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  #7  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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It could well be worth importing your own from Spain - hassle with legal modifications, import duty and whatnot, but it could be worth it. Check prices in each country because they do vary. I had in mind to buy BMW from Germany (still cheaper than the UK despite the Teuero), and might still do that if I ever have the money! I suspect it helps to speak the language - one reason for me looking towards Germany.

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Old 29 Jun 2005
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Thanks for the comments guys.

Is it possible to order a UK spec'd bike from a Spanish dealer?

If not, does anyone know if the digital speedo unit that comes on the DRZ400 can be easily changed to Miles/hour from Kms/hour?

Also, what adjustments/mods need to be made to the headlight to make it UK spec? Are there any other modifications needed to import a Spanish DRZ to the UK?

Many thanks
Seth
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  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2005
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I've seen a new DRZ400S or E for £3995 in the UK, this years model. I would be interested to see how much the new advertised price is in other countries, so if anyone has time to compare please do so. I think the UK on the road price works out at euro5668.53, is this a rip off?
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Old 2 Jul 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by SDR:
Thanks for the comments guys.

Is it possible to order a UK spec'd bike from a Spanish dealer?


Also, what adjustments/mods need to be made to the headlight to make it UK spec? Are there any other modifications needed to import a Spanish DRZ to the UK?

Many thanks
Seth
Yep , its perfectly possible. you buy it in Spain and ride it back to UK . Even with all the hassle It will be definately much cheaper.

The headlamp lenses -however- is different. Here , in SP headlamps light a bit higher towards the right (where the hardshoulder is over'ere) and that would be a problem in a UK MOT test. you need to replace the lenses or the whole headlamp.

Other than that .. Id wouldnt worry about the speedo being in Kilometers (indeed is a plus , as most of the world uses kilometers .. so you can use the odometer, etc.. with the natural units.

If you dont speak Spanish you can go to Marbella -where a huge UK expat comnunity lives there , and there are shit loads of motorbike dealers at spanish prices , but managed by britons , so you can deal your price out in English .

Hope this helps .
Javier.

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Old 2 Jul 2005
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If not, does anyone know if the digital speedo unit that comes on the DRZ400 can be easily changed to Miles/hour from Kms/hour?


It's easily done - push the button on the right of the speedo unit! This cycles between mph and kph.
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  #12  
Old 2 Jul 2005
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I thought you need to be resident in Spain to register a bike there?

"Don't forget too that the UK is sports-bike obsessed"

I think the UK is fashion obsessed. And the 1200GS is just another fashion item, rediculously promoted by the UK bike press as a RTW bike (how many journo's have crossed a border with one, or tried filling up on low grade fuel, picking it up in sand, fixing a puncture?). The UK press hyped the R1, suddenly top seller. The GSXR Thou, top seller. Fireblade, top seller. 1200GS, top seller. Enfield, ...er no. They say that's rubbish and won't get further than the distance you can push it.

I wouldn't get too excited about manufacturers churning out 'adventure' bikes. Just bikes that look the part, but need extra $$$$ if you want to ride anywhere outside of dealer range.


[This message has been edited by DougieB (edited 02 July 2005).]
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Old 2 Jul 2005
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Dougie,

Just one question - have you manged to get past 60 on that Enfield of yours yet???

I can't wait to see how she handles on the Moyale - Isiolo road!
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  #14  
Old 4 Jul 2005
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It's not what you do nor how fast you do it, it's that you can do it! The best RTW bike with the largest tank, digital instruments, quality suspension and 100 + bhp is a waste of time and money if the 'big trip' never happens.....

It's been said many times on this forum, and it's worth saying again; you can do it on anything, just do it!

Now to follow my own advice. Hmm.

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  #15  
Old 4 Jul 2005
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I suppose bikes are more expensive in GB since they have to be fitted with a LHD steering wheel ;-)

But the lens of the headlight will have to be exchanged because you're driving on the wrong side of the road and will blind oncoming traffic with your spanish import :-(
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