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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.
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca

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Old 8 Oct 2023
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Big and heavy bike for RTW

Hi all,
Looking a new bike for trip from Europe to Nepal (through Pamir highway and all other tourist spots). Everyone mentions that the advantage would be a motorcycle as light as possible. But it will be a problem if I go with heavy adventure bike? Which I prefer and will be useful for Euro trips.
My choices:
  • BMW R1200 GSA oil cooled (81kW);
  • BMW F800 GSA;
  • Yamaha Super Tenere 1200;
  • Honda CRF1000/1100 or old one;
  • also considering about the Tenere 700;

One more thing. Are the frames of all +- 6 year old motorcycles coated with water-based paint? I saw a few post of owners in the Honda Africa twin group whose frame was affected by corrosion. Adding a photo.

Thanks for the replays. And sorry for my English, it is not my primary language.
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Old 8 Oct 2023
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Reliability says get a Yamaha, convenience says super tenere (shaft)
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Old 24 Nov 2023
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Location: france
Posts: 32
Bmw gsa

I did the Pamirs with a GS 1200 2016 without mayor problems (except an accident in Kogur, Tadjikistan). Nothing broke down!
Coming home the suspensions front and rear were worn out. Probably better to install a quality more rough, more for the dirt. I did have ESA. Very practical and comfortable but probably less on a rough overland tri. (NB: this bike and suspension did also a 18.000 km trip in west Africa including a rally in Marocco). In central asia as well as in africa I nearly was always riding in a standing position. And that was very good to manage the bike.
When you travel alone a heavy bike might be a problem when you fall but I always succeeded in putting it on his two wheels again alone or with help from other overlanders or locals. You just wait and people will pass by and help you. In more heavy circumstances - like some parts of the Pamir Highway - it is very advisable to join-up other overlanders.
They BMW always accepted the low octan (80-95) fuel.
I made these trips at an age of 60 and 63. I lighter bike can be more practical and takes less energy of the driver, sure. But you can make yoour trip with a heavy bike, why not, but take as less baggage as possible.
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Old 24 Nov 2023
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Location: Devon, UK
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The biggest reason people advise not to take a big heavy bike is that if it falls over when you're alone, particularly with a full tank and luggage, you could have a problem getting it upright again. In some parts of the world that could mean a very long wait, like days. A heavier bike is also going to be heavier on fuel and harder to ride on rough terrain. If you intend to stay on road in populated areas then those aren't very big problems though.

I would definitely say go Japanese. As much as others have their merits, once you're outside the dealer network you have a problem if something goes wrong. Don't count on shaft drive either, they have been known to break unpredictably and are harder to fix than a worn chain. Modern sealed chains are very good in any case. Of those on your list I'd say Tenere 700.
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Old 24 Nov 2023
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Those big bikes are wonderful to ride. Powerful, comfortable, solid, room for huge amount of stuff. On suitable roads there is nothing better. The question is. Will you be riding on suitable roads?
Lighter weight is better for bad roads. Will you possibly have to push your bike uphill, in the rain? Lift it over an obstacle?
It's your trip, and your decision.
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