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Old 08-14-2008, 05:31 PM   #31
littlebhatia
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met a guy that just did a world tour....he was on an 07 1200gs. he said the computer went bad in south america. the computer is keyed to the VIN of the bike only in germany. He waited for 5 months in Argentina for the computer...customs for the part into argentina took the longest.

Get a Vstrom 650 and you have the best of both worlds. you have the power of the 800 with the mileage of the 650.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:45 PM   #32
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the klr is half the price,so you can afford to bolt the best of evrything on the bike.better yet buy a couple year old bike with a couple thousand miles for about 3,000 dollars,then spend 3,000 upgrading evrything with top shelf products including the suspension and you will have a bulletproof world class bike,that is what i am doing now.

jeff smith

p.s.-there will be a group buy any day now in vendors forum for klr 650 rear suspension from ELKA if you decide to go with the klr.i will be on that list buying it for mine.good luck.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:02 PM   #33
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by GodSilla
A couple of things to keep in mind about the GS800.
Firstly, as a new model you may well be doing the final R&D for BMW, finding out the hard way what they didn't get right. Secondly, you need to check dealer support for where you're going. One thing about BMW, if you can find communications and demonstrate you have the cash they will get the parts to you somehow, but you will pay.
The KLR is a known quantity, but the dealer support caveat still applies.
Which bike will tolerate crap fuel the best? Always worth a thought.
Does either bike use an odd sized part? Tyre sizes, for example. Chain sizes (the DR650 here in Australia comes with a 525 chain, when most replacements are 520 or 530. See what I mean?). Just have a good look at both and I think the answer will appear. Good luck with your travels.
F800gs is chain drive! I have a F800gs sitting in a warehouse somewhere in America...

I had a KLR and a F650gs DAKAR....I would go with a F650gs Dakar for a world tour - more parts avilable...a lots nicer refind ride. KLR is a mule - F650gs is a Tennesse Walker. Cant really go wrong either way...its all about comfort.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:11 PM   #34
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I also have one in a warehouse somewhere, and I wouldn't consider it for a round the world trip if you are including any 3 rd world countries. In 2 years you will have a better handle on computer glitches, immobilizers, canbus and all the other stuff that could go wrong and only be fixed by BMW.
I would choose any simple, cheap, reliable bike, and KLR would be up near the top of the list. If it disappears some night you won't be out that much, although who would steal one?
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:52 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilClown
Reader's Digest version: Neither.

Explanation: (Disclaimer - have never done what you are preposing to do.) Bought my pre-'08 KLR from someone just returning from a Tierra Del Fuego/Alaska ride. 9 months and 35K miles I think. Bought it virtually sight unseen. First question when we met was "How do you take 9 months off to go for a ride?" Followed by "Are there any openings?" I would take that same bike and do the same trip in a heartbeat if I had the time.

You have 27 months. You're willing to throw a bike away and buy an Enfield to get back so I assume for you this is about the ride and not about the bike.

Consider a pre-'08. Take the 27 months and become familiar with the bike. Use the funds that would have bought brand new and set it up with whatever accessories you think you'll need - (luggage, handguards, larger front disc and doo for example.)

Ride it. Ride it some more. Go on some ugly roads. Pick it up once and a while. Ride it some more. Make some adjustments now and then. Ride it some more. Fix broken things. Ride some more.

Most of all, take your time and enjoy your trip.
Jesus be praised! Right On evil one! 27 months to launch? This guy must be a Jar head or something?

The BMW is a really neat bike for sure, and will kick the KLR's ass on highways. But guess what soldier? Lots of what you will be doing will be small villages dodging goats and Oxen. Greedy police will size you up everywhere you go and that Blue Rondel means the price goes up substantially to get free.

I would try some shorter trial run type warm up adventures first. Like maybe a month in Mexico or something. See if you like this travel thing. A very small percentage of ADV guys ever go anywhere, so I'd ditch this forum and get with some real travelers elsewhere. But on bike knowledge, lots of good info here on ADV. (apologies ... you know who you are)

These days, the way things are going, I'd really think about buying bikes for the continent your on a la Greg Frazier. Falcon 400
for S. America (Honda made in Brazil), Minsk or XR250 for Vietnam/ Asia. KLR, XR, DR or DRZ for Russia, Mongolia, and the Stans.
Fact is, the days of shipping your bike everywhere are coming to an end. Not only will your be priced out but in places, you will not be able to even do it.

But get on a bike and learn how and what to pack. Learn to fix your bike. Take courses if you have to or hire a good mechanic who likes beer and will take the time to learn you good.

best of luck!

Django Loco screwed with this post 08-15-2008 at 12:19 AM
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:01 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMinge
Ok why dont you sell your collection of misfits R1100RT, HD 1200N, Old Skooly CB750 Chop, and buy a used low mileage BMW F650GS and some touratech items and then read the new book by Dan Walsh " These Are the Days That Must Happpen To You". You will then realize your choice of motorcycle is really not that important, your motivation to just do it and get out there is.
Plus One+++ Where did you find Dan's book in the US?
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:11 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpresten
At this point I would not drive a BMW outside of cell phone coverage. My 2008 has been the worst motorcycle in my 35 years of riding. BMW has gotten way too technical with their machines and they need to go back to building something that is reliable before adding bling to it. IMO of course.

I say get a KLR and "suffer" through it. I am considering one myself at this point believe it or not and I have no budget and am mechanically inclined. I am just tired of needing my mechanical skills all the time on the BMW and I am tired of returning it to the dealer for warranty issues (Final Drive, oil leaks, EWS failure, fuel guage strips).
Wow! I'm surprised you haven't been crucified by the BMW zealots around here!
(they mostly live on Jo Momma! Poor bastards!) Funny, I read about problems
and see some interesting drama's from time to time on rides I go on with BMW
guys, but everytime I bring up the idea that BMW may not live up to its
reputation, I am positively strung up. According to local dealer salesman,
nothing ever goes wrong. What say you?

I do really like the F800GS, but I think a semi-expendable bike would be best on a
RTW ride. Low investment, less to lose. Less to worry about.

But Dan Walsh DID buy a used F650 Dakar from a dirt bike school in the UK Good luck Dan!

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Old 08-15-2008, 09:18 AM   #38
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Well you've mentioned two to 3 different styles of bikes, each with specific advantages in many areas. I'll try and advise you regarding some of the differences.

Geometry -- the KLR bascially has enduro geometry while the bmw has adventure touring or could be argued UJM. I believe that for world touring a more UJM street bike style geometry is vastly superior. You will be more comfortable on long stretches of tarmac as well as gravel. The enduro geometry really won't help much in the knarly stuff when you have a fully loaded bike. In fact, a low seat height can be an advantage over ground clearance when horseing a loaded bike through 4wd ruts, deep sand and river crossings.

Simple vs complex, parts availability etc., You mention three levels, a computerized fuel injected bike, a carburated simple design, and local bikes. Simple bikes are much likely to be fixable by yourself or any old roadside mechanic if you don't need parts. Computerized bikes tend to stay in tune over a wider range of conditions and for a longer time.

When it comes to needing parts, there are three levels to consider. With local bikes there is a good chance of finding parts locally or within a few days. With others, it bears consideration if a parts distribution infrastructure exists at all, not just for your bike but for your brand. In fact, I think you'll find BMW to be more widely supported in many parts of the world than you think, they have parts networks set up due to car dealerships and such that you can get some parts in strange places. The best choice for world wide parts distribution would be a Honda, followed closely by Suzuki, next Yamaha, Kawasaki less so. I don't think I saw a single Kawasaki in China, Nepal, India, or the stans. Next to none in S Am as well. If you go enduro consider a Honda instead of a Kawa.

On my recent 15 month trip, Idecided to go with local bikes. There is a certain adventure/romance about crossing Tajikistan on a Ural, China on a Hotian 150cc and India on an Enfield. Some places it is easier to buy a local bike than enter on a foriegn bike (China), others it is easier to enter on a foriegn bike than to buy local (most of S Am, excepting Chile).

For a true around the worlder, for me it'd be a FI transalp or a strom, followed by a the 800gs, which I believe to be the best World tour design to date, but Japanese reliability would likely win out. If you want something simpler along these lines, go for an Africa twin. A truely inspiring design, very common from Europe thru Africa and in Latin America as well.

Also, don't dicount the need for some power, many developing countries have some very good central highways that you'll be on for good shares of time and the power can make a long day on a little bike into a pleasure cruise.

Good luck.

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Old 08-15-2008, 09:53 AM   #39
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I'd take neither of the two, but would take a pre 08 KLR anyday. Have heard a lot of crap about the new KLRs. And I would not take any post 1150GS Beemer anywhere (too much electronics).

I would either buy a Suzuki DR650 and put on big tank, better seat, windshield and rack for more offroad oriented touring, or get the DL650 Wee-strom for staying on tarmac. The DR is wonderfully low tech, the DL not so, but apparently bulletproof.

However, any bike will do an RTW, from 50cc Scoot to R1 to softtail, it has been done. Take the bike that you love, that "speaks" to you!
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:42 PM   #40
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Take whichever bike you're willing to leave behind if circumstamces dictate. Be it theft, deportation, destruction of the machine, etc., it's always a possibility that you could leave a country bikeless. Losing a KLR would hurt quite a bit less than a new BMW.

I agree with those who've already recommended buying an '07 or earlier KLR and getting it ready. You've got more than enough time to do the necessary work, and your learning curve has the possiblity to pay big dividends later on. The aftermarket support is mind-boggling, and you're more likely to be able to fix a KLR with less-than-Teutonic methods.

Most of all, plan on enjoying the journey.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #41
Django Loco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasswave
Well you've mentioned two to 3 different styles of bikes, each with specific advantages in many areas. I'll try and advise you regarding some of the differences.

Geometry -- the KLR bascially has enduro geometry while the bmw has adventure touring or could be argued UJM. I believe that for world touring a more UJM street bike style geometry is vastly superior. You will be more comfortable on long stretches of tarmac as well as gravel. The enduro geometry really won't help much in the knarly stuff when you have a fully loaded bike. In fact, a low seat height can be an advantage over ground clearance when horseing a loaded bike through 4wd ruts, deep sand and river crossings.

Simple vs complex, parts availability etc., You mention three levels, a computerized fuel injected bike, a carburated simple design, and local bikes. Simple bikes are much likely to be fixable by yourself or any old roadside mechanic if you don't need parts. Computerized bikes tend to stay in tune over a wider range of conditions and for a longer time.

When it comes to needing parts, there are three levels to consider. With local bikes there is a good chance of finding parts locally or within a few days. With others, it bears consideration if a parts distribution infrastructure exists at all, not just for your bike but for your brand. In fact, I think you'll find BMW to be more widely supported in many parts of the world than you think, they have parts networks set up due to car dealerships and such that you can get some parts in strange places. The best choice for world wide parts distribution would be a Honda, followed closely by Suzuki, next Yamaha, Kawasaki less so. I don't think I saw a single Kawasaki in China, Nepal, India, or the stans. Next to none in S Am as well. If you go enduro consider a Honda instead of a Kawa.

On my recent 15 month trip, Idecided to go with local bikes. There is a certain adventure/romance about crossing Tajikistan on a Ural, China on a Hotian 150cc and India on an Enfield. Some places it is easier to buy a local bike than enter on a foriegn bike (China), others it is easier to enter on a foriegn bike than to buy local (most of S Am, excepting Chile).

For a true around the worlder, for me it'd be a FI transalp or a strom, followed by a the 800gs, which I believe to be the best World tour design to date, but Japanese reliability would likely win out.

Also, don't dicount the need for some power, many developing countries have some very good central hiways that you'll be on for good shares of time and the power can make a long day on a little bike into a pleasure cruise.

Good luck.
This is a great post. I think in future more and more travelers will be buying or renting per continent or country. Border hassles, shipping, costs and corruption all are forcing riders this direction.

Anb it ain't so bad really. I've only done it in a few places. In Thailand and Cambodia I rented 125's and did just great. Just to cheap worry about buying. I also kept a bike stored in Europe for a few years, and made a couple long trips.

I know lots of bikes are for sale in Chile and Argentina, but getting the paper work straight can still be tricky but is possible.
Buying new, no problem. Brazil is good for this.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:41 AM   #42
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Valmis,
It looks like you are looking for a combination of utter reliability + comfort/speed.

I think there is a huge gap between the KLR and the F800GS that is very neatly filled in by a vstrom 650. I havent yet read a single report about the Wee strom that indicated any mechanical weak spots.

I would seriously NOT consider the F800 for the additional reason that it makes you look like ca$h rich in 3rd world countries. I'd rather melt into the background and look like a grungy backpacker than a rich gentleman traveller.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:12 AM   #43
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BMW is a great bike and the $$$ is there but one small thing that may be a slight risk ... it is the 1st year of production The Beta Test. The F800 S/ ST have been putting around for couple years and europe has used it for a year so far. So maybe YES, IMHO Buy the F800gs, perfect on/off compromise!! Fuel economy is fantastic and farkel is strong.

KLR is a good bike but I think its time has come and gone. The 'redesign' was more flash and more weight. Also the 'redesign' did NOT include fixing the "Dohicky".

KISS cat. , if thinking about the KLR (cheap, reliable, simple...) way-of-thinking, check out the DR650. Light, aircooled, and reliable!! Autin Vince (mondo enduro) loved the DR350. All thumpers after a long mile day fatigue me so the F800gs would be my 2 cents.

I saw a F800gs from mexico at the BMW MOA rally this year. The bike looked like it had done a ton of off road, but made it the rally okay. Unfortunatly I did not see the rider to talk about the bike:(

Good luck
Chas
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:33 AM   #44
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As the guy who would runs the F800 site, I'd say don't take an F800GS - but not for the reason that you think.

If I were going around the world, I would want to minimize the possibility of stuff braking. The F800GS (and most of the other bikes mentioned here) are just too complex in my opinion. Your best steed of choice would be from a simpler time - something like an R80GS. Think about it - legendary reliability, ubiquitous parts supply, decent gas mileage, good farkle availability.

I'd also subscribe to the Ted Simon philosophy of world riding - more isn't always better (i.e. the R100GS/PD and it's heavy gas tank) and it's best to travel as a 'real' person - not a kitted up, aluminum panniered, rolling symbol of brand new bike + Touratech-ism.


Just my .02 - and it's from a guy who has an F800, and has one of the new GS's on order too.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:44 AM   #45
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yamy

what about a yamaha TDM? there's support for that bike everywhere but the US, and who cares about the US? i have a close buddy that's been riding for 35+ years. just bought his first TDM and told me straight up, it's the absolute best bike he's ever had. he's a bit of a loon, but he says after eight hours in the saddle he feels just fine... ready to do it again. infact, he won't shut up about it, the bastard.

then he tells me he's leaving in december to spend 4 months going from georgia down south america. he calls me up "hey, were going to south america!"

lord help us all.
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