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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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  #31  
Old 9 Sep 2008
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Re. BMW Bashing

Hello everybody,

I've taken in this thread with lots of amusement by the high pitched controversy re. BMs reliability.

Not wanting to put any oil into the flames and admitting that you CAN be lucky to ride an airhead without any failures, my personal experience is another one

I've had an R100GS, rode it for 4 years from 30k to 100k kms, mostly in europe on tarmac, with some, but not much travels on gravel and sand. In this time I needed to replace/overhaul gearbox twice, shaft twice, alternator twice, starter motor twice, diode board twice, ignition switch once, hall sensor once, front wheel once (leaking air), rear shock once (snapped literally), brake rotor once (coming loose from the hub), to name just a few. This gave me some unpleasant situations in the libyan sahara, eastern anatolia, christmas day in southern spain and so on. three times it was a show stopper, vehicle to be towed / trucked. Total cost of spares (without consumables) 3500 Euro. Now thats impressive....contacted BMW, they wouldnt want to know about it, telling me I was the only one to experience all this...warranty? Nope.

After this I was absolutely fed up with the BM, sold it and, as my wife got a 89 transalp with absolutely nothing going wrong on it in all this time, 2004 went for a 99 Africatwin with 40 k km.

Now, after many travels and a 9 months trip all over South America the AT is at 100 k, the Transalp at 130k and all we had to change after the trip was the head bearings.. Oh, I forgot, the AT's speedo worm gear wore out in Patagonia...

So, for me also BMW is finished. Altough I would not use all the bad language used in this thread so far, there were times when would have ranted the same way or even worse....

Its unlucky as the BMs are made in my country but for me Japan rules...and that is not second hand opinion but bitter experience...

Martin
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  #32  
Old 9 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Really? I've had five ten litre cans in the Ural chair I've got bolted on (not even the dog as passenger though, just travelling stuff). The Triumph will use the petrol in about 500 miles (road) or 400 if pushed (stopping a lot, roads like that one) and the ten of water hopefully means I won't die of thirst (and can save the Jamesons for on a night!). Without the cans inside I get about 300 miles range. Not enough for Russia? I wouldn't have thought the Bonneville was that much more efficient?
Without wanting to take this thread too off topic, I will respond to your post Andy.

Firstly, I do think that the Bonnie will be more efficient. The Triumph engine is way more modern; running a lot more efficiently, IMO. After all the Ural engine is bascially a mildly refined 1940s design, as you are probably aware given your woes with it!! So, as such I think the Bonnie would get better MPG. Then there is the chair. A fellow Ural rider once told me, very solemnly, that a brick really was more aerodynamic than an outfit!! So that won't help much.

The very best I have had from my rig is 45mpg, and that happened only once, riding alone, a steady 50-60mph on a straight road for an hour or so. At all other times, its more like 33-35mpg. That does not take into account my girlfriend, the dog, kit for 8 months, fuel and water as you say, not to mention off-road. I hope you are right and I'm wrong, but so far I think 30-35mpg is realsitic and that is not far with a 19 litre tank (130 miles or so). Add to that the 20 litre Jerry can and I can hope for 250-280 miles? I may try and squeeze a bit more here and there, but the chair cannot be filled with stuff or the dog will have perching room only, and I would feel a bit ashamed if she only had 40 litres of unleaded as a bed-fellow!
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  #33  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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Sjaak Lucassen | travelling the world by motorcycle | Yamaha YZF R1

YouTube - R1 Travelling The World


it has all been done before it will be done agen

A R1 not my first choice but it has been done.
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  #34  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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I've just stumbled onto this thread - what a can of worms.

My advice would be to not consider which bike, but as a primary concern consider reading up about what an 'average' bike requires at each service interval (new oil, clean/new oil/air filter(s), valve clearances, etc etc). Forums such as advrider.com (others are available) are ideal for reading up on the how-to guides.

This is how I approached my recent trans-africa trip and in doing so found my KTM to be 'bullet-proof'. I did 20k km's and not a single engine problem.

I reckon the golden rule is to service regularly yourself because you never know what other mechanics do or don't do, and also perform a mini 'inspection' service yourself between each major interval.

Just my two cents.

Mark
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  #35  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Warthog View Post
Without wanting to take this thread too off topic, I will respond to your post Andy.

Firstly, I do think that the Bonnie will be more efficient. The Triumph engine is way more modern; running a lot more efficiently, IMO. A fellow Ural rider once told me, very solemnly, that a brick really was more aerodynamic than an outfit!! So that won't help much.

!
The Bonneville-Ural runs at something between 38 and 45 mpg so a fair bit better. I'm surprised, I always thought my Ural-Ural was better, but I guess runningh as a 325cc single it could have been

I'm trying to work out if it's weight or aerodynamics that really effect range. I think in my case it's the nut on the throttle that needs changing

Andy
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  #36  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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This one - MINE! The venerable and legendary XT600E
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  #37  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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air cooled singles!!

Pushbike is immortal....
but air cooled singles, and Japanese ofcourse
"Im sure you guys remember about the guy who got his bike stolen somewhere & I think its either Yamaha or Honda had replaced his bike with a new one f.o.c !!!"
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  #38  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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BMW r100gs road test: Results = mortal

Having undertaken the following road test:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...mw-r100gs-7766

I now own 5 bikes: Unsurprisingly none are made in Germany.
Furthermore, upon taking advice from people who have also been there and done it, none are made in Austria, Italy, India or the USA either.

4 are made in Japan (3 x singles, 1 x twin) and one in England (triple).


BMW = Bring Mir Werkzeug (the German for "bring me tools")

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  #39  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Osama Radzi View Post
Pushbike is immortal....
but air cooled singles, and Japanese ofcourse
"Im sure you guys remember about the guy who got his bike stolen somewhere & I think its either Yamaha or Honda had replaced his bike with a new one f.o.c !!!"
this was a honda africa twin. stolen in united arap emirates (i guess in dubai) and honda give him a same bike -even the color-. then his bike has been found but it was not in a travel condition.
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  #40  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Having completed a trip from the U.S. to Argentina I would also not recommend taking a BMW. Finding parts and tools is a major PITA. The guys that do best imo are the ones with Africa Twins, Transalps, V-stroms, DR650, and KLR 650s.

These bikes still break down once in a while but are a lot easier to fix and can be frankensteined a lot easier then a German bike can.
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  #41  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by gatogato View Post
can be frankensteined a lot easier then a German bike can.
Hehe... Nice expression. Maybe frankensteinability is far more important than brand.
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  #42  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Quote:
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Hehe... Nice expression. Maybe frankensteinability is far more important than brand.
I would agree with this statement 100%, it would also mean that age is very important as well.. Once any bike has gone mainly computer controlled ignition ect... Frankensteinablitly is gone.

In 3rd world (I hate this term but have no better). People regularly "make do", they simply make the part they need from something else.. it is amazing what someone can make from a old tyre a tin can and some duck tape this is why I prefer the term MacGyverable.

The one thing that they can not make is a new computer controlled icky for your microchip assisted ABS.. So go old and simple and you will be happy.
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  #43  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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I reckon that's bullshit myself. What do you really need to keep an FI rolling? The same as a non FI. Fuel, air and electricity. FI's have a 'get me the f out of here' program. If something fails, it still goes, you just don't get the performance it's designed to give. So what. If you're carby isn't jetted right, you get the same result. I haven't heard of a failing FI system yet.
If your ABS goes, you don't have ABS. Does that matter? You still have brakes.
What else electrical is there that we can go into?
Local mechanics may be more suited towards mechanical things, but that's just evolution. In the future they'll have to get up to speed with electrical engineering. And I'm sure they will. For them it's survival. You find the latest Mercedes cars in the most unusual places and I'm pretty sure that the people at Mercedes don't bring out a 'third world' design without electrical components.

A friend of mine drove converted trucks through South America for tourist groups on Toucan tours which were the latest around. Think your typical late fourties old fashioned trucky. At the time I had an old bike and used that argument to him but he rebuffed it by saying that when his trucks went in the middle of nowhere, you just push all that shit aside and you'll be dealing with the same of cogs and shaft as before.
I've now been working and preparing and FI bike for months now and I've started to agree.

I've taking the much revered XTze 3aj around half the world, and couldn't find parts for it outside Europe. And that things was nearly 20 years old. It's not like parts gets distributed further the older it gets.

It's all about the preperation like Mr Ron and other said before. If you don't do your homework, you get bad grades. That principle lives on after school.
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  #44  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
In 3rd world (I hate this term but have no better)
How about "developing countries" or "in countries like [insert]"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
[...]this is why I prefer the term MacGyverable.
I think "MacGyverable" lacks the classic touch that "Frankensteinable" has. Frankenstein did a fair bit of the at-the-time equivalent of duct taping, hence one might argue that "Frankensteinable" has all that "MacGyverable" has - and then some.

(BTW: I realise that my posting is off topic to a near-Biblical proportion. Sorry for that. But I couldn't let "MacGyverable" prevail, now could I?)
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  #45  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
I reckon that's bullshit myself. ...Snip.... If something fails, it still goes,
Ahh not necessarily.. LAST MONTH: A friend has a BMW GS.. We went for a ride the other day, stopped for a coffee. When it was time to ride again, he gets on turns key and gets nothing but error light saying something about ABS not working. BIKE WILL NOT EVEN CLICK . My mate calls Dealer road side help line.. Mainly to see what to do...(i.e turn something off, discontct battery... Attach lightining rod so that: "its ALIVE! ) (PLEASE NOTE: my nod to indu, and Frankensteinable.. but i still like MacGyvering better) They tell him that "the bike will not run until the computer has been reset by a dealer"... 200£ later it was something to do with the "ABS Servo" going bonik (e.g send an error msg.. I dont really know what this is (or care).. so i can not explain any further). I did not want to mention the brand cus i did not want to get involved in the which band is better debate... Iam sure this type of thing can happen with other computer controlled bikes but I have seen it first hand with my mates(more then once too) (note he happens to be my only friend with a new bike)...

Incontrast.. I rode for 3 weeks in Romania with out rear brakes on my old honda..

Quote:
How about "developing countries" or "in countries like [insert]"
Good point and well made...
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