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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 13 Jul 2009
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Your advice is sought, which bike for me?

Hi,
I desperately need some advice regarding which bike to buy.
I am 6' tall 15 stone and looking to use the bike for touring with some trail stuff involved when I get a few more miles under my belt so I do need something with an off road capability.
I will occasionally carry a pillion.
I have a budget of around £4000 +.
Have looked at the Transalp and the GS650.....Thanks in anticipation!
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Old 13 Jul 2009
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one school of opinion goes like this:

you don't desperately need advice, you need experience.
off-road capability is largely down to the rider.
buy a transalp (second hand) and try it
sell a transalp, and buy the GS650 goop-monster (second hand) and try it.
work out for yourself if either of these are what you are after, and if not buy and try something else.

you see, the problem is, given what you've stated, my advice would be to buy a Surly x 2 and use £2000 to go on a tour. But what's good for me, almost certainly isn't good for you.
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Old 13 Jul 2009
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Ahhh my friend.. this question is asked everyday on here..

Ok, where are you going ???????????????
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  #4  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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Going....

Well I intend to start with a few small 'safe trips', mountains roads of Europe and hopefully this time next year doing the Morrocco to Sahara then upwards and onwards! The Transalp looks like a great starting point I'm worried it may be under powered? I've recently sold a Pan Euro so I'm used to the big bike feel and power.
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Old 14 Jul 2009
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What was wrong with the Pan Euro? Where did you want to go where that bike could not have taken you?
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Old 14 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post
Well I intend to start with a few small 'safe trips', mountains roads of Europe and hopefully this time next year doing the Morrocco to Sahara then upwards and onwards! The Transalp looks like a great starting point I'm worried it may be under powered? I've recently sold a Pan Euro so I'm used to the big bike feel and power.
The Transalp is a good bike.... The powder is perfect as long as you are happy at cruising speeds upder 85mph.

Do you like strong fast bikes or do you like to potter about ?? I usedto own an older Pan European and its only good for tarmac as you say.. I would not take one into the Sahara lol.

If your riding is going to be 95% on tarmac and the other 5% just on light trails then ANY bike will do...Literally ANYTHING.

If your a big lad, an Africa Twin maybe a good choice for you but nice ones are starting to get thin on the ground.

I wouldnt bother looking at any of the single cyclinder bikes unless you are actually going to get gnarly at some point in your trips.. If you really want a lot of power then you're going to be looking at the bikg BMW's or KTM Adventures but they are £££££££££ and really too big and heavy off road unless you have some riding skills.
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  #7  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post
Well I intend to start with a few small 'safe trips', mountains roads of Europe and hopefully this time next year doing the Morrocco to Sahara then upwards and onwards! The Transalp looks like a great starting point I'm worried it may be under powered? I've recently sold a Pan Euro so I'm used to the big bike feel and power.

We are all looking for a 150 Kg bike that'll cruise two up at 90 mph, then thrash a Gas Gas on a trail. Please tell us if you find one

The only way to ride anything that's motorway capable off road is to get the practice in. There isn't a bike out there that'll do serious off road with a pillion, the passenger always ends up walking in the really rough stuff. Anything remotely off road suitable (I use a Triumph Bonneville with a bash plate and a sidecar) is going to loose motorway cruise ability for every off road feature. I loved my Yam XT off road (tyre choice) but 40 mph in a headwind stops you getting places in the time allowed and with a pillion forget it.

If you want luggage and a pillion and 90 mph motorway cruise and the ability to get off road, (and I really hate to say this), the logical choice is the BM R1XXXGS. If you go that route you then need to learn to ride a 3/4 ton monster on the loose stuff and deal with it's mechanicals. The Transalp is going to be slower but not such a pig. F650 singles (I've had two) are close to the 50/50 point, easy enough off road and quick enough on the road, but won't do luggage & pillion & motorways. Get to bikes like the XT and the pillion capabilty really drops off.

You can do Morocco on a Harley BTW. I think the Transalp meets your spec, but you've got a learning curve on the travelling light/ cruising slower/ riding a big machine off road thing.

Go for it

Andy
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Old 14 Jul 2009
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I suspect the F800GS is very close to what you're looking for, but unfortunately you won't get one for £4000.

Perhaps a TDM 850 or 900 would do you, as I have seen a few converted to an adventurous spec very well. Check out:

Yamaha TDM Riders - ADVrider

I would have gone that way myself had the F800 not come up at the right time / price for me.
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Old 14 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by dave ett View Post
I suspect the F800GS is very close to what you're looking for, but unfortunately you won't get one for £4000.

Perhaps a TDM 850 or 900 would do you, as I have seen a few converted to an adventurous spec very well. Check out:

Yamaha TDM Riders - ADVrider

I would have gone that way myself had the F800 not come up at the right time / price for me.
The TDM 900 is a FAR superior bike than the 850.. I had an 850 and didnt like it at all..

The 900 has a large tank, great economy on FI and also has a much lighter aluminium frame compared to the steel 850...

Yer, good suggestion that... although it is 90% a street bike !
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Old 14 Jul 2009
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Horses for courses

Hi Wile,

All very sensible advice ,thus far. As has already been said, people can give their own reviews on things like reliability, performance and running costs but ultimately if there was one bike that achieved that Holy Grail of satisfying every rider in all situations we'd all be on it!

Only by riding a few bikes will you truly find out which is best for you, and for what it's worth some great advice has already been given on this thread and elsewhere on the hubb.

Whilst people have so far recommended a single bike/type that might be worth checking out it might be worth just thinking about a bike just for your mountain trip in Europe this summer (which I assume will be all road) and then looking at swapping it over next year for a more appropriate bike when the demands of your next, more adventurous trip is looming. It's unlikely your off road skills be required on this summers ride so a great chance to experiment.

I've got a KTM adv at the moment which is fantastic for 2-up Euro trips but at the end of the summer I'll be selling it for a couple of trusty Yamaha XT's as next year we're riding to Oz and it's too big, too heavy, too complicated, too expensive for such a trip.

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth!
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Old 15 Jul 2009
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Thanks to all...

Thanks guys I appreciate all the help, it's good to talk and get different perspectives and has given me the lead I need, I think the best advice boils down to: buy the bike I want for tomorrow not the bike I may use next year! So I'm off the the Transalp shop, I owe you all a !
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Old 15 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post
! So I'm off the the Transalp shop, I owe you all a !
You want to be careful saying things like that, there are people here abouts who'll want to collect on that .

Enjoy the TA and stay in touch

Andy
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