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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 George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #1  
Old 22 Feb 2024
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Bike weight conundrum

Folks, recently a number of medical issues have warranted a re-examination of the bike choice for my RTW trip, due specifically to knee and hip injuries (67 years old). Apparently the Afrca twin (2016) I have is 22 kgs lighter than the latest Yamaha Tenere 700 models (210 kgs). I would not consider a change if I was commuting or doing short trips only but for a trip in excess of 12 months, riding much more frequently, it seems to me that over a long trip particularly the lighter bike may be a distinct advantage. The payload is virtually the same for both bikes. Comments welcome.
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  #2  
Old 23 Feb 2024
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Eh…The Africa Twin 2016 is 22 kilos lighter than the Tenere 700???

https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/mo...0twin%2016.htm

According to this specsheet the AT manual is 232 kilos and the DCT model is 242 kilos. That means the AT is considerably heavier than the Tenere 700.

I rode around the world on a +200 kilo bike and if I were to do it again I would never ever choose a bike over 200 kilos! Remember in most parts of the world the road standards, the traffic intensity and such things predicts an average speed easily kept by a 250-300 cc bike.
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  #3  
Old 23 Feb 2024
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I concur with Snakeboy.

After many bike tours riding solo on rented bikes, if I were to travel on my own bike it would be a bike less than 200kgs curb weight.
With the weight limitation set, the engine capacity would not be more than 350cc I reckon.

I would reconsider the choice of bike for your RTW trip.
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  #4  
Old 23 Feb 2024
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Bike weight conundrum

Hold everything! I have made a mistake!! Of course the Africa twin is heavier than the Tenere 700! I was just checking to see if you were all paying attention! Well done. You have all passed the test! Seriously, I meant that the Tenere is lighter than the A /T ( by about 22 kgs for the non-DCT and more for the DCT version. My question still stands though... for a 1-2 year trip across various terrains, is the weight reduction important enough with the Tenere to warrant selling an A/T (2016) already set up with stiffer front and rear suspension, custom - made seat, improved screen , better headstock bearings etc. Anyone done the 'swap' or similar? How did it go? Apologies for the boo boo previously.
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Old 23 Feb 2024
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Am thinking good fuel economy , spares , don't need more then say 80 mph tops........then add ur luggage . Think the other fellas are about right 250 - 300 cc
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Old 23 Feb 2024
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This is where a C90 / CT110 or similar comes in - easy to get on and off, and about the lightest bike that can cruise at 50mph. Also, they look damn sexy.

Having run into wiped out roads on my 105Kg Tango, I've said I don't want to go to remote places on anything heavier than that ... my other half once pushed it 8km to get petrol without problems, wouldn't want to do that with a bigger bike, lol
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Old 23 Feb 2024
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Bike weight conundrum

Yes, lighter bikes if suitable are the way to go. I once pushed a KTM 950 adv. 6 kms to obtain fuel. Hard work! I need the higher payload though and a smaller bike probably won't provide that. Also, I need decent highway speed as most of the trip will be on tar. The Tenere 700 wasn't available when I bought the A/T, so at the time it was the bike for me. I'm 105 kgs so a fair margin of the weight allowance is gone before I add a tent, camping supplies and other gear. I appreciate the comments though.
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Old 23 Feb 2024
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Good point, gotta cut the purse to suit the pocket and all that ... one thing I would say is that I found the new Ténéré (and the old XT660Z) to be very top-heavy so although it's got less weight over all it might not be any easier to handle than your AT ... my other half currently has a Himalayan 411 and with it's low CoG it feels less unwieldy to pick up or park than the Ténéré, though it'd be a tad slow for your tastes since you only get a cruising speed of 100kph or so (riding two-up with luggage doesn't phase it though).
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Old 23 Feb 2024
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There's a balance to be struck IMO. Heaver, more powerful bikes do well at road touring, and small ones are better off road. The converse is true and frankly in a RTW trip where you could encounter all sorts of road conditions, I'd err on the lighter side. You don't want to be picking up a monster on your own in the middle of the Gobi. Equally 1,000 road miles on a 250 trail bike could get a bit wearing.

As a 68 year old bloke with a recent metal hip I can't speak too highly of KTM's 790 Adventure. Good tank range, low CG and reasonably low seat height, capable on or off road. My only reservation is that it carries a lot of electronics and from personal experience if something sparky does go wrong you need dealer diagnostics to sort it.

One I'd also consider is the new Honda 775 Transalp. A fair bit lighter than the AT and similar power. Or the (also new) T700 Explore - shorter suspension than the standard Tenere for a lower seat, which I thought was too high on the base model when I owned one.

I'm not sure there are any "real middleweights" I'd recommend right now. They all seem to be "adventure styled" with cast wheels and low exhausts.

All things being equal I'd go for a middleweight if I could, as it probably gives the best of both worlds. As it stands my trip this year will be on a 10 year old XT660Z. Awesome tank range, bulletproof engine, fairly electrically simple. Still a bit tall and heavy but sadly there are no unicorns.
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  #10  
Old 24 Feb 2024
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Always a compromise

Weight is important.

The rest will always be a compromise. And we have all different things that are important.

Only you can make that compromise that fits you best.

I am also old and have operated hips.
=> I do not want high bikes and I do not want heavy bikes.
But I want bolt on luggage system.

My friends in Colombia thinks that Honda XRE 300 is the best travel bike.
https://www.honda.com.br/motos/adven...ail/sahara-300
But it is not available in Europe

I prefer Himalayan. Heavier. But the weight is low. (Center of Gravity)
It can handle almost everything.
And it is ready as it is. No need for major modifications.
Including Aluminium luggage system.
OK. 20 kg less would make it even better.
I only wish it had tubeless tires. (comes as option for the new model)
(So much easier)

I did 31 000 km on mine in South America
My friend has done 40 000 km
No issues.

My wish list.

  • 400 cc
  • 30 hp
  • 150 kg
  • Tube less tires
  • Max seat hight 825 mm
  • Bolt on aluminium panniers + top case

Not easy to find.

===
Alternative ???
https://youtu.be/HM05mJaCGYs?si=VZh_uRkPHIJgSPuS
==

Last edited by Erik_G; 24 Feb 2024 at 20:17.
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  #11  
Old 25 Feb 2024
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Hello

I've only had a short tarmac testride on the Africa Twin and it felt like inbetween my XT660Z (208kg) and XT1200Z(263kg?).
For my taste to big for sandtracks.

But as said on previous posts, the weight on paper is only one thing.
Today I have a KTM890R adv, a few kg more than the XT660Z but a huge difference on sandtracks due to the low centre of mass.
(KTM 790/890adv are great concepts, but would never recommend for a RTW due to the quality of KTMs today)

Location: Maitland Australia
If you are still living there, you have all the roads/tracks one will find on a RTW within a week long trip.
Can you still handle(have fun) the bike on the roads/tracks you want to ride?

If not, go smaller/lighter, T700 or DR 650 still available?

I know that on smaller bikes than that I have no fun at all, then I rather take my bycicle.

cheers sushi
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  #12  
Old 25 Feb 2024
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Travel

"I know that on smaller bikes than that I have no fun at all, then I rather take my bycicle"

Well, we travel for different reasons.
I want to see places. see fantastic views, learn about countries and cultures.
See how people live, work and eat.
Learn about the history.
And maybe get my own people to better understand other areas.
I like to interact with the local people
And learn more about myself. Pilgrimage.


Nothing of this is dependent on the amount of cc or horse power.
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  #13  
Old 26 Feb 2024
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Thanks again for all the ideas. I will research some of the suggestions folks and see where I end up. By the way, a jack is available to lift a heavy bike off the ground, so that might help people who can't lift their bikes without help. Another item to carry I know!
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  #14  
Old 26 Feb 2024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernbrook View Post
By the way, a jack is available to lift a heavy bike off the ground, so that might help people who can't lift their bikes without help.
I've seen those. There's a couple of different designs around but tbh if we've got to the stage where we need a jack to rescue a fallen motorcycle then there's something seriously wrong with our approach. In my opinion of course.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi2831 View Post
I know that on smaller bikes than that I have no fun at all, then I rather take my bycicle.
A bicycle! Way too heavy. Dump it and buy some running shoes. Nothing beats running through the countryside. Become part of nature rather than frightening it off with all that day-glo lycra
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Old 27 Feb 2024
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Prior to this trip I have never considered using a jack but with arthritis in back and knees as well as a worn out knee (67yo) I have no alternative. I may not have anybody around to help you get it up, so a jack goes with me unfortunately.
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