The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
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.
Coil and points ignition is plenty complicated for me , even Hall effect dodads are black magic .
I thought CANBUS was a new public transport system in Toronto .
Back to my cave I suppose , very happy to be stuck in the stone [ flint ] age .
Whatever happened to hot tube igntion, magnetos and acetylene lamps ?
Phew, I thought it was only me - luckily I can say: 2nd that...
(Although I am mighty impressed by the CANBUS insight you guys have. It's strange: Just as I learnt how to disassemble a carb and diagnose a misfire feeling on top of the World I am thrown back into the tar pit just because CANBUS is the new name of the trade...)
A year or two later we hear from disgruntled BMW bike owners that no road side diagnoses/repair can be done as you need the proprietary BMW computers to even get to first base on finding any sort of computer/electrical fault.
Quite a few people have had problems facing the new technology, and sure it can be better but you have more information available in your cockpit then on other bikes.
Originally Posted by mollydog
Some very unhappy owners in the first couple years of CAN bus. Then, BMW jumped in and "corrected" some of the "logic" in the programs apparently. I don't hear about many CAN bus problems now so it must be working better.
I’ve not heard of any problems with the can-bus. But I have heard about people that think a broken fuel-pump or ring-antenna is a can-bus problem.
Originally Posted by mollydog
I love the system in theory .... less wire, less weight/cost (this helps the OEM's more than anyone) and would be OK with as long as the BMW supplied a nice plug-in Black Box in the tool kit to accompany each bike. This along with a manuel for error codes and diagnostic instruction.
I can see your point and it would have been nice if BMW (or others) did it.
On the other hand no bike comes with a multimeter or a torque-wrench…
Originally Posted by mollydog
None of this stuff is very hard to grasp in our computer savvy world, so why not let owners have a chance to repair/diagnose stuff without paying the $100 per hour shop rate many shops are charging these days? They could even offer seminars to "new owners" like a computer class.
The owner has the chance. In few years there will be more owners that are able to analyze electrical problems on their bikes then owners who can adjust valves. Did the shop teach you to adjust valves?
Also, IMO, all electronic components, especially ECU's, should have a 10 year factory warranty, transferable to any new owner. This would prove their commitment to customers and show confidence in the product.
I've heard various descriptions of what CAN stands for. Area Network is a useful description and in the case I heard it Crap And No good was fair at the time
I've not had much to do with cars, but SAE J1939 the CAN standard goes back to the mid 90's. There were simpler versions before that that could get three or four functions on one wire in the late '80's and I imagine the luxury car people were first.
I've not seen one working, but doesn't the new Tenere have a sort of fault code display on the dash or at least an FI mode set up?
Interesting question. I agree Mr. Ron in everything he said because I did everything wrong. And, like a miracle, I am still riding farther and longer. I mean, current bikes are all good and all bad. All of them break down. And it is a mess when happens, but that is the game. Waiting for a spare while stuck in Kazakhstan is part of this business.
I have to confess I’ve been riding all my life and I do not know a s…t about engines and mechanic issues. I am a sinner. I decided riding the world one day and I didn’t know how to change spark plugs. Of course, after few months on the road, you learn how to change spark plugs, tyres, wheels, oil, filters and even money at borders.
I am saying I didn’t know a s…t about Ted Simon, Touratech, Long Way Down, aluminium panniers and all the stuff. I just bought a preowned BMW 1200 G/S with plastic suitcases, no GPS, no new shocks and even no BMW gear, and went to Samarkand. Later I went to a lot of different places but I am still feeling like a foreigner riding crappy bikes and not well prepared for the adventure. But like the big fly who keeps on flying with small wings, I keep on riding farther and longer.
Even BMW found surprisingly riding the World in their standard bikes (not too confident, isn't it?)
I personally have no problem whatsoever with CANbus. Because it is a protocal, there is nothing to fail. It a language, or a program. The components operated by CANbus are what might fail, like micro switches, frayed wires and occasionally the computer itself. These failures are rare, and are no different than broken chains, dead coils and magnetic pick-up failure. CANbus has been around for a long time and is nothing new. The automotive industry has been using CANbus since the 90's, and industry even longer. CANbus is far simpler than the standard wiring system, is cleaner, lighter and has the added bonus of telling you where the problem is as opposed to having to diagnose it yourself. Most people are afraid of CANbus because they don't understand what it is or how it works. Carrying a GS911 diagnostic tool in your kit is no different that carrying the special exhaust nut tool for an air-head, or the right size axel nut wrench for your Suzuki. Like i mentioned before, you need to understand the short comings of your particular bike.
My thoughts on Fuel Injection: I recently purchased a Suzuki DR650. Excellent bike! Tough, solid low compression engine, air cooled and anvil like reliability. BUT... if there is one thing i could change, it would be binning the carb and installing fuel injection I hate carburetors! They suck in altitude change and are innefficient. They are a pain in the ass to work on and IMHO are complicated, filled with moving parts and have far more components that are prone to failure. FI on the other hand is far simpler, consisting of a pump, an injector, an oxygen sensor and a controll box. The only weak point is the pump, which is easily packable. FI is OLD technology!! Every diesel engine in the world has it. It's easy to fix, clean, and diagnose and rarely fails. I have NEVER read about a FI failure, never! I have read about pump failures, just like you read about much more common coil, condenser, spark plug and chain failure. It's cleaner, more efficient and over all better IMHO. People should not be affraid of FI!
People talk about being able to fix everything in the middle of nowhere. In fact i used to think this way, until i started travelling and realised that packing absolutely everything was futile! Why?? The world is full of people, over 7 billion of them if i recall! If in the event you have a severe breakdown in the middle of nowhere, instead of packing with you absolutely everything including the kitchen sink in the unlikely event of using it, i would rather take the chance and deal with the problem when it arrives. There will always be someone around who can help. There will always be a truck or a car that can tow you, and the world is filled with cities with even more people who are capable to fix anything. There is always a way and an answer. Now i pack only my essential tools and spare parts that are absolutely show stoppers in the event of failure, thats it. Your best defence is learning how to use your resources, which the world is full of!
+1 to that. The MZ gives me no hassle and if it does I have a whole spare carb that I could either fit as it is or strip off one of the six or seven bits that actually do more than hold it together. Same went for the Enfield although the AMAL was very poor construction wise. I dare say you can get bits for these anywhere in the world in three days. The Bonnevilles twin, diaphramed, linked, heated things on the otherhand would be well replaced with a simple pump and squirt set up (and will be once the small matter of about £5000 is sorted).
I had BMW R1100's and disliked only two things about the FI. One, It was pointlessly set up for a few extra HP or marginally flatter torque curve and so was no more efficient than carbs (41 mpg no matter how you rode them). Two, the loom started to wear at five-seven years old and the parts (Bosch relays etc.) weren't standard and off the shelf. Compared to the Triumph carbs it was no better or worse. Now the Tenere system (when they finally get the map right) looks promissing at 70 mpg. The hardware is 30 years old, but the bike software has IMHO only caught up in the last few years as the Euro regs are killing off carbs and they can't just sell a carbed bike to those of us who complained about surging and stalling etc.
Both big enough, and small enough.
i would like to retract my suggestion of the Yamaha XT350
In its place I would go for the bigger, more reliable Africa Twin.
It is heavier than the XT 350, but also has a lot more carry capacity.
If you are going solo, then the Africa Twin, will be your excellent companion.
You could probably load it with about 80 kg of baggage, and she would not complain.
I have had both the XT 350, which was good, make no mistake.
But now i have the Africa Twin, 750 Adventurer, I can say the AT is a more fuller and complete machine.
I think almost everything has been said about the different bikes.
It ALL depends on what you want to do, and where you want to go.
1- light = better
2- simple = easy to repair anywhere
3- technology = more problems that nobody in the world can solve
I had the same questions when I left 20 months ago. I long hesitated between a 250MZ with side car, and the bike I had for everyday. I chose to keep my bike and see what happens. So I went opposite the obove recommandations, but it does not prevent me from enjoying the trip:
- A k100 RS is heavy, very heavy, and to put it back on its wheels is tough, very tough, particularly with the wheight of luggages (three 45 litres Givi paniers)
- A k100 RS does not go off road that easily.
- The engine is bullet proof
- since I added a side car, I don't hesitate to go off road
- You can't find parts, but you don't need parts (well, almost...).
Now, we're two of us travelling, and the side car is kind of helpful...
I have a master in Philosophy, and was a philosophy teacher for few years. So you can imagine that using my hands was not part of the job requirements. But maintaining a bike is just about nuts, bolts, screws and sometimes more complicated stuff. But it is something you can easily lear, if you want to.
Buy the bike, buy the technical manual, completely dismount the engine, try to put it back together (if possible, with all the components you took off the bike), and that's it! Do it three times, you'll know your engine.
Good luck, and enjoy yourself!
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.