Originally Posted by Maverick75
Walter, I'm interested in your current perspective on the suitability of the BMW for a trip like this. As a mechanical engineer I fully understand the concepts of 'design life'and 'fit for purpose'. Your bike has done well but in all fairness, this is the type of riding it's supposed to have been designed for. Cracking brackets (especially aftermarket) I can understand, but bolts loosening and going missing rings extreme alarm bells. This is usually an indication that the material that holds these bolts is undergoing stresses beyond it's original design criteria (and not just the bike getting too old for the job).
This is not a brand bashing post (I owned a BMW for a very satisfactory 6 years as well) but considering your first trip on the Honda 400 twin, which was relatively trouble free, I can't help to think that the consumer driven weight reduction in heavy off-road capable machines, coupled with a stagnation in engineering fundamentals, has created a class of bikes which are a little too weak to 'get flogged to hell and back' and keep on riding.
What I'm really trying to say is; twenty years ago you could take a stock machine, put a set of bags and some crash bars on it, and literally ride the world. Even though the technology in modern bikes is awesome, how much prep do we need to consider on the current crop of machines?
HI Maverick. Appreciate what you're saying but if you want to take a bike with a 20 year old design, stick your bags on and ride on the terrain we rode-feel free but have something to carry the bag of bits back...because that's what you'll have.
The MAIN roads in and across Mong are brutal, less than 10% (W?) of those roads are sealed- most with endless heavy corrugations and as you'll see on tomorrow reports some with enormous and endless holes....5 metre wide and 3 metres deep-I kid you not.
Truly-I'd defy any bike to cover these roads and not need watching for loose bolts and broken bits. They just get battered to pieces.
Paradoxically the "country" roads are much better due to the light use they get with small vehicles.
Regarding the suitability of the modern bikes I think we've established that most modern mounts are developed more for the wannabee adventurer with budget suspension and cycle parts to match (plastic bashplate anyone?)-the true adventure market is just too small to merit the R & D, tooling and marketing, dealers carrying the stock etc.etc so we have to take what we feel most appropriate and upgrade accordingly
I've had bikes since 1970 and I don't want an old one thanks..apart from a '71-'74 CB750 if anyone has a peach
...... I couldn't afford one then.