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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 29 Dec 2005
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Would love your thoughts on doing my RTW on my CBR600FX

Hello all, I'm brand new to this site ... and hooked !

I've only been riding 6 years (rode my first motorbike on day 1 of my 4 day direct access course, aged 35). Having passed I went and bought my first and only bike - a brand spanking 1999 CBR600FX. Was bitten badly by the biking bug and have put on 82,000 miles in those 6 years.

Took my bike into europe for 1st time last year to attend a wedding in Hungary - then back again this summer for a 4 week, 6500 mile tour of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Best 4 weeks of my life and now I'm in the earliest stages of planning my round the world trip. Thats how i happened across this website.

I know most RTW trips are not done on sports bikes. But I've "bonded" with my CBR and have no experience of upright, offroad style
bikes. I'm also a bit of a speed freak and am happy cruisin the autobahns at 130mph for hours at a time, chasing the occasional Aston Martin down at 150mph etc etc (if anyone was in europe this summer and came across a guy with stick on doggy ears, riding in t-shirt and carrying rucksack - no hard or soft luggage - that would've been me).

I'd really like your thoughts on my idea of taking the CBR round the world. Will it severely limit where i can get too and getting to the most spectacular sights ? Will I have to rule out certain countries because of road conditions (or lack of them) ?

Be really interested to hear your opinions / any advice.

Thanks
Peter
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  #2  
Old 29 Dec 2005
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I suggest you start reading the travellers' stories on this site, link on the left. You will find that people take all sorts of bikes around the world, including a big sports bike on mud tracks. It's not my sort of fun, but...

Once you have done a bit of reading you will get an idea of where you want to go and how. You can then make up your own mind.

Just bear in mind that in some countries you will spend a lot of time going very slowly in great heat. Also, the bike will very likely fall over at some point and get damaged (fairing).
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Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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  #3  
Old 29 Dec 2005
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Sjaak Lucassen, a Dutchman, is doing a RTW trip on a Yamaha R1. His previous RTW was on a Fireblade.
Look at http://www.sjaaklucassen.nl/
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Jan Krijtenburg

The bike I ride is a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and sometimes a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
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  #4  
Old 29 Dec 2005
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Not round the world but 8k on a k1200rs from wyoming usa to mexico city. rode it because i have been riding k´s for 15 years and some of the reasons you mentioned. What do i think now? it was great in the usa especially the interstate to san diego. once i hit the border it slowly and inextricably became evident what everyone is saying over and over.. smaller, lighter, cheaper, .. now that i am in mexico city i REALLY lust for a f650 or the little hondas that the police use.. it is called a twister i think.. it is about 250 single and i see lots of them in private with hard trunks and some with panniers and they look great for traffic and i have seen some out on the highways and they look like they do pretty good. i think if i was going rtw i would really consider one..
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  #5  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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I saw Sjaak Lucassen on Speedvision (US cable tv channel that now mostly talks NASCAR). Watching him cross the mud on the R1 was great. He said the short wide tires helped better than a riding partner with knobbies.

------------------
Random attempts have
been made at RTW on
a '65 Ducati 250cc
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http://nokilli.com/rtw
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  #6  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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What a freak....RTW on an R1!

Havýng had the mýsfortune to accýdentally take my R1 on a dýrt track ýn Oz once and seen nearly every bolt výbrate loose, I have the utmost respect for thýs crazy guy. Even more respect (or admýratýon at hýs crazýness?)for the fact that he appears to be wearýng leathers.

I would say though, do your self a huge favour and make your trýp a lot easýer by choosýng a slýghtly more approprýate dual sport orýentated býke, otherwýse anythýng resemblýng mud or sand wýll be an absolute nýghtmare.
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  #7  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by beddhist:
I suggest you start reading the travellers' stories on this site, link on the left. You will find that people take all sorts of bikes around the world, including a big sports bike on mud tracks. It's not my sort of fun, but...

Once you have done a bit of reading you will get an idea of where you want to go and how. You can then make up your own mind.

Just bear in mind that in some countries you will spend a lot of time going very slowly in great heat. Also, the bike will very likely fall over at some point and get damaged (fairing).
I know JUST what you mean about dropping my bike - unfortunately. It was off the back of the of a flat bed breakdown truck in Hungary last year. My own fault entirely. I was taken to a "gummi" (tyre) shop to repair a puncture and in 38°C sunshine I was too hot and lazy to do a 20 point turn and drive the bike down the narrow car tyre ramp. I thought I could just walk it down carefully backwards. Of course my foot missed the ramp and me and the bike tumbled off. Cost me one day, a clutch lever, mirror and a lot of egg on my face. No damage to me luckily - I managed to jump clear and had full leathers on. Only good thing it taught me was NEVER be lazy when it comes to the bike.

Have spent about 6 hours reading peoples stories on this site. Its compulsive reading and I know this site will help me big time when it comes to doing my RTW. Suddenly its all becoming more "real" and I cant wait. I dont have a planned kick off date yet. But I get a feeling it might happen this summer !
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  #8  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by jkrijt:
Sjaak Lucassen, a Dutchman, is doing a RTW trip on a Yamaha R1. His previous RTW was on a Fireblade.
Look at http://www.sjaaklucassen.nl/
I took a look at this site and it raises more questions. Ok, yes this guy is travelling on an R1 - but look at the way he's carrying his luggage ! I'm sure everyone will think its a neat solution and he can carry a years worth of spares, food and has probably got a DJ in there ! But i dont want to travel like that.

When I spent my month in europe I carried NO paniers at all ! I took everything I needed in a single rucksack (pretty heavy) and carried a spare crash helmet on my cargo net. The whole weight of the rucksack rested on the crash helmet and it worked brilliantly ! If i was travelling up to 90mph I sat upright and let the helmet take the load. If i was cruising faster with my chin on the tank the weight was spread over my whole back and i could do this for hours happily.

This had another advantage. When I was off the bike a short time (taking photo's, filling up etc) I took all my gear with me - no worries about having it stolen. When I was away from the bike longer I'd stop and ask someone like a cafe/shopkeeper to hold onto my rucksack while I did my tourist bit - and this was a great way of breaking the ice with new people.

Ok, that was for 1 month on the road. My RTW I'm expecting to take 1 year. I'm planning to use the same technique again. Do you guys think its feasible to carry it all in a rucksack ? I dont want hard or soft luggage - am I being stupid ?
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  #9  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by wyomex:
Not round the world but 8k on a k1200rs from wyoming usa to mexico city. rode it because i have been riding k´s for 15 years and some of the reasons you mentioned. What do i think now? it was great in the usa especially the interstate to san diego. once i hit the border it slowly and inextricably became evident what everyone is saying over and over.. smaller, lighter, cheaper, .. now that i am in mexico city i REALLY lust for a f650 or the little hondas that the police use.. it is called a twister i think.. it is about 250 single and i see lots of them in private with hard trunks and some with panniers and they look great for traffic and i have seen some out on the highways and they look like they do pretty good. i think if i was going rtw i would really consider one..
I know what you're saying is "sensible". But I WANT to go fast, sometimes (well, most of the time).
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  #10  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave_Smith:
I saw Sjaak Lucassen on Speedvision (US cable tv channel that now mostly talks NASCAR). Watching him cross the mud on the R1 was great. He said the short wide tires helped better than a riding partner with knobbies.

I did some off-roading on my CBR600 in Hungary to get to an out-of-the-way restaurant that had been recommended. It was about 5 miles on very bumpy, rocky, dirt and although I made it in one piece (it was height of summer and dried mud) and did get an enourmous sense of achievement its not what I'd want to do many times.


This is the nub of my original question - how much will I miss by taking my race rep ?
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  #11  
Old 30 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Roach:
What a freak....RTW on an R1!

Havýng had the mýsfortune to accýdentally take my R1 on a dýrt track ýn Oz once and seen nearly every bolt výbrate loose, I have the utmost respect for thýs crazy guy. Even more respect (or admýratýon at hýs crazýness?)for the fact that he appears to be wearýng leathers.

I would say though, do your self a huge favour and make your trýp a lot easýer by choosýng a slýghtly more approprýate dual sport orýentated býke, otherwýse anythýng resemblýng mud or sand wýll be an absolute nýghtmare.
Can you tell me which countries I would have to avoid ? Or does it just limit where I can go in a particular country ?
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  #12  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Fast is relative. On the motorway 120km/h can feel very slow. In India 70 will be too fast, most of the time.

I don't want to be patronising, but I think if you want to travel fast then perhaps you want to stick to Europe. I remember spending long weekends with my old bike club racing through the Black Forest in Germany. At the end of it I realised that almost all I had seen of it was tarmac. Did I have to go to all the expense and trouble to go there only to go fast?

For me travelling is about making time to see pretty things, meet people, smell the flowers, wander through a bazaar.

Having said all this, you can ride RTW almost without leaving tar seal, so you CAN take any bike. Different bikes will give you different opportunities.
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Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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  #13  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Actually, I couldnt agree more with you - and made exactly that mistake on my first trip to Hungary. I stayed at hotels (comfy but quiet), raced round everywhere (seeing nice places - but not stopping to catch my breath), not taking time out to ENJOY THE JOURNEY (although it was bloody good anyway).

But I learned a lot and did things differently this summer.

1. Found places i wanted to see en route (Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria was awesome - if you dont know it do a google image search).
2. Found a website that tells you when/where Festivals are in Europe (Linz in Austria was awesome - also Montreaux Jazz Festival).
3. Stayed at hostels (cheap and often in central locations) and met loads of really nice people that way.
4. The best thing I did (and will do same on my RTW) is arranged to meet loads of people off internet all along my 6500 mile route (ok - yes - they were all female - lmao). I made some friends for life - and some errr ... more casual acquaintances ;o)

It made it a completely different experience. I met so many wonderful, kind and generous people, and it was THAT that made the trip for me.

BUT ! ....... i still enjoyed travelling fast in between places/friends, whether it was autobahn from Berlin to Munich, or hacking down Stelvio. Thats why I still think the CBR (or similar) is the right bike for me.

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  #14  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Then what are you waiting for? Get your affairs and paperwork in order and get on yer bike!
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Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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