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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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Old 22 Sep 2002
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XJ 600S vs GPZ 500S

I have heard that Diversion 600 is quite good bike for touring(on paved roads of course). But on the other hand the GPZ 500S is cheaper to buy(compared to XJ 600S)plus insurance is cheaper (at least in central Europe where I come from). Did anyone travel with GPZ 500 and if he/she could please share some experience?
I was also thinking about buying KLE 500 but it has quite big fuel consumption(around 45 mpg)for a bike of its size. Any comments?
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Old 23 Sep 2002
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There is little to choose between the bikes as such, but if you are going to ride far, the simple air-cooled Diversion is best, I feel. Very easy to service, whereas the GPZ has the extra worry of water cooling, pumps and plumbing, and, if I remember correctly, you have to change the coolant just to service the valves. ( If you are really split, check this as I may be wrong ).
The KLE has the same GPZ500 engine. I wouldn't worry about the fuel figures you read in mags, as journalists ( especially British ones ) are loathe to admit they didn't thrash the bike " knee down this, knee down that " on test. Swift but gentle throttle use should give you at least 60 m.p.g ( 90 kilom to 4.5 litres ) AT LEAST.
Keep the speed around 65 mph/100kmh and cruise and you are looking at 70+.
Your choice, but I'd go for the Divvy!
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Old 26 Sep 2002
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I have toured quite a bit on the USA version of the Yamaha XJ-600, called a "Seca-II"; including long loopy tours: San Francisco to Cabo and San Francisco to New York City and can recommend this bike as a simple yet effective ride. Things I have learned to watch for when you really pile on the miles day after day:
1. Two chain failures at high speed (on a 9,000 mile ride; fortunately coasted to a stop each time with no additional damage; never happened again). The bike seems to have greater trouble than is usual in keeping the proper chain tension on hot, long trips (like as in adjust every 200 miles???) and once the sprockets degrade it becomes a no-win situation until you replace the entire lot.
2. Certainly expect Stress Cracks to appear in this bike's simple fairings if you drone along at high speed day after day. The mounts are simple and invariably vibrate themselves to a point where they transfer too much stress to the plastic.
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Old 29 Sep 2002
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Thanks for the info. I know that XJ would be the best choice and I will go for it if my budget will alow it
Despite that I really wonder how would the KLE behave on long journeys. I know that it is not a true overlander, its more like a street bike with enduro looks(and better suspension). Did anyone actually owned one(KLE) and if so, could he/she share some experience (of the bike..especialy consumption) with us (or me ?
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Old 3 Oct 2002
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i learned to ride on a ER5, like a naked GPZ500S, and liked it so much i bought it from the riding school!! it was a satisfying ride,comfortable enough for tankful after tankful of fuel, a good small tourer but not for adrenaline junkies.
reliability wise, i had no problems in the year i had it,even though my bike was bit of an old dog. but if you are planning to go RTW im not sure i would trust it,i would want a "tougher" machine.
i agree with johnZ about the coolant, but for different reasons.if your doing those sorts of miles, you should change the coolant regularly anyway, but wont that get a bit expensive in the long run?and it means another can/bottle to carry?

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Old 28 Jan 2003
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The gpz500s was my first bike and I happily toured Europe, visiting my friends in Southern Spain and riding back through Andorra and France.
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