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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 28 Jun 2005
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Wonderbike

Hello all,
I was just thinking which bike would be most suitable for long distance travelling. Instead of going after a particular type, I would make up a list and see which bike is nearest.

1. Should have at least 50hp.
2. Four stroke.
3. Weight, max +-200kgs.
4. No chain, either belt or shaft. If not possible, the chain should be fully enclosed.
5. Large fuel tank or aftermarket tank available.
6. Good brakes.
7. Good reputation for reliability.

Ooops, this cancel out most bikes on the market.
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  #2  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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You really don't want belt drive for any sort of overland travel. Stones catch easily between belt & pulley, snapped/chewed up belt is the result.

You have a reasonable chance of finding a chain & sprocket kit locally & no chance of finding a belt & pulley set.
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  #3  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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hello,

i would go next for a small jap 125 cc messenger bike !

10-15 hp, max speed 80km/h, chain, light, can go over 200 000 kms without problems, parts and competent mecanicians available everywhere + little luggage on it (for solo i mean).

maybe put better forks and suspension. road or mix road off road tyres, what you find locally :-)

cheap to buy, cheap CPD if needed, you re not always worried about you bike (getting stolen or whatever).

slowly but surely :-)

you look "simple, cheap" compared to a big metal mule bmw in the eyes of the "locals" :-)

or xr250 or same style/range.

(i was travelling before solo with a bmw r100gs pd)



[This message has been edited by vincent danna (edited 28 June 2005).]
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  #4  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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Yeah, I agree. Fifty hp not needed. A robust 250 will do the job.

You don't really need a big tank either. The occasional jerry can fillup will do it. And small bikes get good milage.

I did my trip on a Transalp. Great for two-up, as I was half the time. But for one, something between 250 and 400 is just fine. Not highly tuned. I fear the XR range is wound a bit tight no?

There are a few bikes that fulfill these criteria: the DR350, KLR250, NX250, XT225.

Hardly what springs to mind when you say "wonderbike" and "round the world bike" now is it?

Why is this? Because the marketing men want to convince us that twenty thousand dollars of metal brings adventure cred. They spend tens of thousands on this deceit. And give away bikes to anyone who'll help spread it for them.
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  #5  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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I would say reliability first definitely! 200kg on the weight is really heavy, no fun on difficult terrain. Especially if you add the weight of you luggage and the fuel in your extra large fuel tank! My next trip is going to be on a really small bike 200/250cc. Light and cheap, no need for power and high speed if you just want to enjoy the view and take it easy. I think it will be a completly different experience to the bigger bike on my last trip.

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  #6  
Old 28 Jun 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Simon Kennedy:

Why is this? Because the marketing men want to convince us that twenty thousand dollars of metal brings adventure cred. They spend tens of thousands on this deceit. And give away bikes to anyone who'll help spread it for them.
Where can I sign up to get one? :-))
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  #7  
Old 29 Jun 2005
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Change your name to mr Iwan McGreggor,then go and tell BMW that you want to travel the world and that they're gonna give you a bike to do it on!

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  #8  
Old 29 Jun 2005
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An Aerosmith song comes to mind!
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  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2005
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Also see http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000182.html
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  #10  
Old 30 Jun 2005
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ive spotted a honda this year that i'd never heard of, it was at least 10yrs old, a large 750cc v-twin traily with shaft drive. apparently it was popular on the continent but not so much in UK (surprise surprise) so they gave it a rest for a few years then came out with the bike they thought we all wanted, the varadero.
if they'd developed the other bike then by now it would be giving the GSs a hard time?

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  #11  
Old 30 Jun 2005
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You're referring to the XLV750 - aircooled v-twin (52 degree?), red painted engine & an external oil filter mounted next to the base of the front cylinder. Shaft drive & drum rear brake & 20 litre tank (approx?)

Engine was originally developed from the RS750 Flat Tracker. I've been aware of them for years, saw one for the third time in the UK at last weekends HU meet.
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Old 30 Jun 2005
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that was it steve, XLV750. with a bit of imagination and 10 years to play with, what would you have turned the bike into by now if you were mr. Honda?
i certainly wouldnt have come up with the varadero, although its a nice enough road bike.

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Old 30 Jun 2005
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Maybe Mr Honda and Mr (or Ms?) Wonderbra should colaborate? They'd probably end up with an R-series Beemer...
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  #14  
Old 1 Jul 2005
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XLV750R........cracking bike.

I had one for a good few years and went all over on it. Road trips around Europe and many a dirty weekend trail riding around Wales. Alas, I sold it as the fuel tank was resembling a teabag and leaking from several places and requiring immense repair work.
It was originaly from Australia and was an extremely versatile bike.
I'd have another if they weren't all so old and knackered!
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  #15  
Old 1 Jul 2005
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Hello all,
thanks for excellent feedback! My post was not intended as a BMW ad. The reasons for my choices are the following:

1)50hp, been riding a Yam SR500 for years done 185000kms on it, it`s now been retired. Then I bought a "new" bike thinking about the SR`s strong and weak points. 33hp is in my opinion to little with two passengers and luggage.
The main roads in most of the world are suitable for relatively fast riding. 125cc and 10hp is boring and slow, bikes are about passion. Good enough perhaps on small jungle roads in Africa/Asia, but imagine cruising at 50km/h behind a large truck in the desert in Iran/Australia etc. and you don`t have the power to overturn it. If 125cc is dull at home it wouldn`t be more fun taking it along on the adventure of your life!

2)4 strokes, a personal choice really. Don`t like the smell and sound of two strokes.

3)Weight. No matter what bike you chose you need to bring tent, sleepingbags, tools etc.etc. A small bike, say 150kgs, handle worse than a 200kg bike with the same bagage and passenger load.

4)Chain. Adjusting the bloody thing every time it has rained (with luggage and sidestand), spraying it, bringing chainlube.
Try to get chainlube outside western countries. In addition to all that, the muck and gunge that sticks to your sidebags and everything else that you take into the tent etc. And driving in the desert or on non asphalt roads, you now have a machine element covered in grinding paste. Really! Spare me. No more chain for this dude! You could add a Scott oiler, but I believed that total loss lubrication was a theme of the 1920`es.

5),6) and 7 are obvious.

So what did I get? An R80GS (surprise) + a Moto Guzzi LeMans. But an NTV 650 engine in a dual purpose bike would have done nicely, or the XLV 750 or similar. Or of course the Monster S4 or MV Agusta Brutale, sometimes you need to compromise.

Regards
John
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