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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 9 Feb 2006
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Yamaha xt opinions

I am after a bike for a trip round north and eastern Europe. I will be aiming for a bit of trail riding as well as roads. i am only 5'8, is the xt likely to be too big like the transalp? or are there any other ideas for a sub £1500 bike for this trip?
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  #2  
Old 9 Feb 2006
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Since I'm metric I wouldn't know your size from 5'8 (guess: 170 cm?) but what I do know is: the Transalp seat height is lower than the XT's.
Choice of bike for the rest would depend on how much off-road you intend. The XT is better off-road, but less comfortable on-road. And, some not-too-rough offroading should be possible for the Transalp.

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  #3  
Old 9 Feb 2006
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Hi,
I ride an XT600E and am a bit over 5'9". It's a bit of a drumroll and gasp moment getting on but not too bad. Although I have an inch on you, I am an extremely infexible type who hasn't been able to touch my toes since they were in Clarks Commandoes.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 9 Feb 2006
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Alvins/Motocal have a Dominator for sale. Can't remember the details, something like 20,000 miles, looks a bit beat up and is a kick start. They were asking £1650 I think, but I'd expect they'll take a bit less than that.
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  #5  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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right by the sounds of it they are both looking too big. I had a look at the dommie in Alvin's Moto Cal. looks ok i thought just a bit too much, although at least my toes touch the floor. Mat is there any inside info into places near Edinburgh to find bikes of this nature? or groups who ride them?
robin
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Old 10 Feb 2006
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Robin,
Unfortunately I probably know no more than you. I just kept checking the bike trader website for a bike nearish to me. In the end I got my XT from BMW Motoradd! (the one near Glasgow). They generally don't have bikes in your range though. (Although a F650 might be a good choice for you, being a bit lower than the XT, if you can find one for £1500.)
Edinburghs a bit sparse of decent motobike shops. They're all very road based and like Alvins tend to be a bit 'enthusiastic' about their prices!
You could try phoning 'Forth Gear' in South Queensferry. They're an accesories shop only but specialise in off-road motorcycling so might be able to point you in the right direction. (0131 331 4442)
You'll probably find it hard to get a decent off road traillie suitable for touring up here, theres always far more in the Bike Trader down South. Me and a mate ended up driving down to Manchester to buy when he was looking for a F650.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #7  
Old 10 Feb 2006
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2 wheels at cameron toll are always a bit over-priced, but normally have a good selection.

Sandy Bloy in Perth is another one I've used, small selection but occasionally has something.

Cupar Motorcycles are normally good for price, but don't usually have much off-road.

Drysdales in Perth are a KTM dealer and may have something that's been traded in.

There's a Honda dealer in Perth as well, plus another branch of Cupar Motorcycles.

I find that in Scotland bikers are less fashion-led, so the bike market less active. If you go back into Moto-Cal and ask for Darren Lough (pronounced Lock), tell him I sent you, and ask him about the best places to pick up a cheap off-road tourer.

Just remembered there's a guy that does off-road/mx at Knockhill, www.funinthemud.com. He might be able to give you some pointers as to places to pick up cheaper bikes.

The Scottish Bike Show is coming up soon isn't it? March?

Another option is to look up the Edinburgh IAM and email them for recommendations or to see if any IAM members are selling their winter hacks now the sun is out again.
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  #8  
Old 11 Feb 2006
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I'm 5"10 and took my XT 5500 miles in 3 weeks down to the Sahara and back, however on dismounting I occasionally had to get one of my fellow riders to hold the bike. But on the plus side what a great machine I bought mine for £850 and she never gave me any problems although I am rebuilding her as a precaution for the coming winters trip! Go for an XT you won't be disappointed and you can always hop at junctions!!
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  #9  
Old 14 Feb 2006
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As a more general comment on the XT600 Yamaha; I have about 20 or more travellers a year at my place and you get to hear a lot of stories about a lot of different bikes. The most reliable bikes, it seems, would be the XT600 Yammie, closely followed by the Honda V-twins and BMW singles. The least reliable has to be later model BMW twins, from the bikes that have come this far. Several owners renamed their bikes B M Trouble-You. The other thing you hear again and again is that they have too much gear and are too heavy, and often also say they should have had a smaller bike.
Kind regards

Nigel in NZ

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Old 15 Feb 2006
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thanks guys that is really interesting. i shall be headed round scotland soon on a bike searching mission.

robin
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  #11  
Old 2 Mar 2006
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Hi guys been reading your comments, big singles are out of fashion here in Belgium. Plenty for sale at decent prices. You can even take the over night ferry from Edinburgh to Zeebrugge.

Just to give an idea try www.2dehands.be and select moto.......

Importing the bike into the UK isn't difficult, you'll need a trailer or van to collect it.. stick to the Flanders region and you'll be surprised how many people speak English.

I'm happy to forward on links to dealer if you're looking for something specific..

Cheers
Matt
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