This is like a study in contrasts, BMW R1100GS on one side, Kawasaki 650 KLR on the other. 90/10 rode/off-road tires on mine, TKC 50/50 tires on Barb´s. Both bikes do the job perfectly. I call it a tie.
I did a practice ride in Mexico on my old R1100RS of about 1000 miles last spring. Then I went home and made a list of exactly what I wanted for this ride. I bought a clean and basic 1996 R1100GS. The only nice things it had when I got it were ABS and heated grips. I added a few things: touratech 11 gallon tank, aeroflow wind screen, touratech hard parts and steering stop, wunderlich foot guards and oil lock, piaa head lamps, zega cases, givi top case, and an RID from beemer-boneyard. Between us we´ve got two garmin 60CSX GPS units, a SPOT tracker, a satelite phone, a PLB, a laptop, and three i-pods. We´ve got several contradictory maps, a lonely planet guide, and some notes from friends and this here internet thing. We wear enough goretex to make a space suit (and we still get a little wet). We carry warm sleeping bags and strong tents, iodine tablets and water filters. We´ve noted every precaution you can read about in Outer Darkness. We need better boots. We need bigger side-cases. We need we need we need...
Actually we are both completely satisfied with our bikes and equipment. There are times when Barb wishes she had the power of my big BMW, and there are times when I wish I had the nimbleness of Barb´s KLR. In the end, it's a personal decision, but we both wish we could have the best of both. Could someone please call BMW and ask them to fedex us two 800 GS's?
Barb´s KLR is almost stock. She added a custom seat, a bigger windshield, aluminum side cases, and a lowering kit. Her idea is to ride a bike that she can get fixed anywhere in Latin America. My idea is to ride a bike that doesn´t break (ha ha) but just-in-case, I´ve got a fully-stocked BMW shop (and parts department) in my side cases.
bananaman screwed with this post 01-15-2008 at 02:08 PM