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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 Post By PaulD

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  #1  
Old 3 Jun 2013
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Xt660R vs F650GS Dakar or even something else?

Hi all,

Sorry another 'which round the world bike' thread, but I would really appreciate peoples opinions and suggestions.

My partner and I are planning a Round the World trip commencing late next year / early 2015.

I have ridden for many years but she is fairly new to biking, currently on a 125 but looking to get something a bit bigger in the coming months.

We are trying to decide which bikes to take around the world. We plan to take one each but would like to both take the same make / model bike to cut down on spares etc. The key criteria are:
  • light
  • relativley easy to get spares
  • reliable
  • not too high a seat height (she is 5'4" ish or 163cms)
  • suitable for both on / off road

And finally we don't want to break the bank!

The bikes I have looked at so far are the Yamaha XT660R and the BMW F650GS dakar (the older single cylinder model).

What are your thoughts? Does one of these stand out as 'the one to take' or maybe there is something else we haven't even considered?

Thanks in advance,

Simon
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  #2  
Old 3 Jun 2013
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Bikes

Simon,

In my opinion there is to much put into the fact that if you take 2 bikes then take the same, usually when this happens one rider is severely compromised,
I think the trade off of having bikes that you really are comfortable on and the small price you pay for carrying a few extra tools is minimal. When my wife and I started out our planning, we were going to ride 2 F650gs's. I could see it was going to be to big & heavy on an ongoing day to day type trip. She loves her BMW but opted for an XT250 & was the best thing she ever did. I rode an F650gs twin & she kept up with me nearly everywhere & often I struggled to keep up with her (Cairo to Cape Town) So if your wife is slightly built I really think both those bikes will be to big for her & you want her to wake in the morning to look forward to the days ride rather than dread fighting with a fully loaded 650cc.
Only my thoughts tho !

Cheers
Paul
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  #3  
Old 3 Jun 2013
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The bank balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
Simon,

In my opinion there is to much put into the fact that if you take 2 bikes then take the same, usually when this happens one rider is severely compromised,
I think the trade off of having bikes that you really are comfortable on and the small price you pay for carrying a few extra tools is minimal. When my wife and I started out our planning, we were going to ride 2 F650gs's. I could see it was going to be to big & heavy on an ongoing day to day type trip. She loves her BMW but opted for an XT250 & was the best thing she ever did. I rode an F650gs twin & she kept up with me nearly everywhere & often I struggled to keep up with her (Cairo to Cape Town) So if your wife is slightly built I really think both those bikes will be to big for her & you want her to wake in the morning to look forward to the days ride rather than dread fighting with a fully loaded 650cc.
Only my thoughts tho !

Cheers
Paul
Here here!

Since you don't want to "break the bank" then look in the HUBB about riding 125cc bikes - cheaper on insurance, transportation of the bikes, fuel economy, etc etc and that's just taking the £/$ view. There are quite a few ride reports about such bikes + a number of threads about the other advantages of 125cc that I haven't mentioned here.
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  #4  
Old 3 Jun 2013
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My wife rides a F650GS rotax engine model, she is about 5'7" and has done the BMW off road skills course and is well suited to the bike, I ride a Vstrom 650 which she doesn't like as it is more top heavy than her bike.

I have ridden her bike a lot and really don't like it for the seating position, hand controls and engine style, I like the V over the Thumper. My wife loves everything about her bike.

This is just our example illustrating what PaulD advised.

good luck

cheers
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  #5  
Old 3 Jun 2013
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I suspect the F650GS Dakar may be too high at 870mm seat height.

Non Dakar F650GS is a little lower.

May be worth a read here if you haven't seen it before - Lowering Kit FAQ for the GS
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  #6  
Old 5 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
So if your wife is slightly built I really think both those bikes will be to big for her & you want her to wake in the morning to look forward to the days ride rather than dread fighting with a fully loaded 650cc.
Only my thoughts tho !

Cheers
Paul
.
.
Sorry I can't agree.

The XT660R that his wife would be riding could be very lightly loaded, with him taking the bulk of the weight.

the XT660 can be lowered, and in my opinion, would be the "pair" of bikes to use.

vette
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  #7  
Old 5 Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
.
.
Sorry I can't agree.

The XT660R that his wife would be riding could be very lightly loaded, with him taking the bulk of the weight.

the XT660 can be lowered, and in my opinion, would be the "pair" of bikes to use.

vette
XT660r Dry Weight: 165kg (lightly loaded ie:15kg) 180kg
XT250 Dry Weight: 130kg (lightly loaded ie:15kg) 145kg
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  #8  
Old 8 Jun 2013
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Hey,just got my 2006 Dakar bout a month ago and ehs a heavy bike unloaded,im 5.10 and pretty strong but ive tipped it over once already and it wasnt easy getting back up.I can hardly imagine a lady handling this bike,i let my mom(5.4")get on and it was a joke,seat height was way too tall for her,why not a normal GS?
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  #9  
Old 14 Jun 2013
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Hi all,

Thanks for your responses and sorry for the belated reply I have been working away trying to save some cash for the trip!!

Sounds like although two identical bikes have their advantages in terms of spares etc it is better to have something of the right fit / weight.

Maybe an XT 250 or similar is the next step and take it from there.

Thanks again,

Simon
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  #10  
Old 14 Jun 2013
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On a separate note I am still looking between an XT660R, an F650 Dakar and more recently a new G650 GS.

The G650GS has only just come to my attention but looks like it ticks a lot of the boxes, what are peoples views of the G650GS versus the other options? I think I could get it at a pretty reasonable price on a pre registration deal....

Thanks,

Simon
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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It's basically a Rotax engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by sja90 View Post
On a separate note I am still looking between an XT660R, an F650 Dakar and more recently a new G650 GS.

The G650GS has only just come to my attention but looks like it ticks a lot of the boxes, what are peoples views of the G650GS versus the other options? I think I could get it at a pretty reasonable price on a pre registration deal....

Thanks,

Simon
Here's a fairly recent G650GS thread - it contains a range of opinions and even a few wrong "facts", but there is some information in there from those who have owned them:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...h/g650gs-61816

As you say, it is priced very competitively.
Also, from a recent thread about BMWs, it is their only current model that does not have the CANbus technology.
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