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Old 07-30-2010, 10:32 PM   #31
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There have only been a couple '08's with the fuel pump issue. Carry a spare and you're good to go.

I've got an '08 that is just coming up on 13k miles. Every one of them has been completely trouble free.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:37 PM   #32
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All I would say is Do Not Take The yamaha. I have never been to a friendly dealer and have had huge problems getting parts from them. They do not care about you at all. That being said, The Honda or Suzuki would be a fine choice. Not sure which I would choose. But I repeat do not get the yamaha. Good luck. I really envy you. I'm 21 and would love to do the exact trip you are doing. My wife has said I have to have a steady job and a nice house for her before I'm allowed to do this.I doubt I would ever be able to swing 20+ months though. Make sure you give a Ride Report.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:38 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by bigalsmith101
The goal for these bikes, is to keep the upfront cost below $4000.

The less expensive the better,

We'd prefer the bikes to be less than 4 or 5 years old the day we leave. We hope to purchase these bikes this coming winter when prices drop as they always do.

Our total budget is significant enough to travel the world for 25 months.
Are you knutz?? You intend to ride around the world, for two years, on used equipment?? Use your heads, buy 3 new DR650's (with someone's aftermarket seats) and ride til yer butt falls off (after putting 2 or 3 thousand break-in miles on each). I have 17,624 miles on my 2004 without a hick-up (Corbin seat). And I'm still on the original 525 chain (lubed after every ride, somewhere around 125 miles). New, the DR650's are about $5,000, used they're about $3,000. That's only $6,000 difference between new and used, for all three of you. This is a once in a lifetime adventure; DO NOT try to save money on 'cheap' bikes.

Sure, you should probably switch to 18" rear wheels and a 520 chain, which are available worldwide (stock is 525). Parts are available everywhere. Personally, I don't care for the KLR650, whose parts are also available everywhere. IMHO, YMMV, yada, yada, et.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:51 PM   #34
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Good comments from everyone. This is becoming more informative all the time.

Does anyone know just how much stronger the sub frame is on the Dr650 compared to the xr650l? Does the Dr650 simply have a more robust subframe? Sturdier welds? Thicker tubing? What is the difference in subframe construction between the DR650 and the XR650L?

As per the Wr250r Fuel pump. Yes their were a few 2008 models that had a faulty fuel pump, but only just a few comparatively. From what I understand, this was completely negated in 2009. No more faulty pumps.

If we consider that a Lower compression ratio means the bike can run on lower quality fuel, ergo, the xr650l is the winner with the dr650 as a close runner up with the wr250r falling behind. I am certain that poor quality fuel will exist somewhere along the trip, and I would hate to have that somehow affect the motor of the chosen bike.

From Markhas (over on Horizons Unlimited)
Recommended service intervals sometimes don´t really relate to what your bike needs. I change oil at 2-2500 miles because by that time it has sheared and doesn't work well (as determined by people who have had their used oil lab tested and also by the fact that my bike stops shifting properly). On the other hand, I go much longer between valve clearance checks (because no one, including myself, finds them necessary at the manufacturers intervals). Again, it is easy to get all worked up about service intervals when you are sitting at home reading the manual, but your trip takes place in the real world, not within the confines of your service manual (which is often the product of a bunch of fantasizing by engineers or corporate lawyers anyway).
YoungStunt: I'm not a fan of formality and am not biased against shops. Sorry to hear that your experiences with yamaha shops have been low quality events! No bashing allowed unless you own the bike or have ridden it. Thanks for the well wishes, and yes, a ride report will follow in the future, along with updates on bike purchases, gear choices, modifications, and so on.

All my life, my father has always told me to go and see the world while I am young, and to never let anything stop me along the way. For, it is not worth your time to wait until you are old to achieve the dreams that were dreamed while you were young, for they are no longer your dreams then, but the dreams of a younger man. This trip is my dream, and Kristi, my girlfriend of 3 years, and probably my wife before we leave for this adventure, had two choices. #1, Come along for the most amazing experience of our lives, or #2, stay at home and hear about it from the forums, emails, photos etc. She never has been one to make bad decisions though. Henceforth, she's coming.

As I see it, people down owe anyone, anything. Not a nice house, or a steady job. We owe it to ourselves to surround ourselves with pepole who compliment us, support us, and share our goals, dreams, and ambitions. We owe ourselves the time to turn our own dreams into realities.

Ask her to come with you youngstunt, because then, you see, you wont have to manage to swing 20+ months away from her as you would never have left her in the first place.

If you can find time, you're invited. We leave 24 months from now.

bigalsmith101 screwed with this post 08-01-2010 at 01:57 AM
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:59 AM   #35
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Sooo.. a DRZ is smaller than a WR250R

Another vote for the DR650
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:37 AM   #36
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Having ridden all three, owned two of them (Honda and Suzuki) and done some bike touring on the Honda and Suzuki, I have some thoughts:

Go Huskies! But I like Bellingham as a city a lot.
The Honda is better for trail riding
The Suzuki is better for road riding
The Suzuki has a larger aftermarket for touring accessories
The Suzuki is a pack mule. The Honda subframe gave me concerns, especially loaded on rough roads
The Honda has a higher center of gravity and will feel more tippy for your female rider
The Suzuki is far easier to repair on the road

All in all, in consideration of your budget and the factors mentioned so far in this thread, I would vote for three DR650's.
Snohomish County, Washington USA
2012 Suzuki DL650A as the current bike
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:55 AM   #37
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I would go with the dr. Simple tech and well put together. The honda is ok too, but has a sensitive head/cams. I own a wr250r and it is a great bike and really does everything well, but the number of miles you're going to do and the load, you'll be happier with the extra CCs
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” (Coelho)
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:01 AM   #38
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DR and XR have both been around for a couple of decades. Parts and info are readily available. Simple and reliable. Xr would need and oil cooler and a stator rewind and some bracing on the subframe. Baja Desings will rewind the xr stator to 250 watts. You don't need high tech for a sightseeing tour.
------------Personally I would get an XR 600 with a DS kit. It has a kickstarter and will run with a dead battery. Simple reliable motor. It has better, smoother, easier to ride power than ANYTHING. It is geared a little lower than the others, makes it easier to ride. And it will run on crappy gas. Go to and see what you can find. I have seen low mileage XRs go cheap.--I owned a 600 for years. I could go from here (near sea level) to the top of pikes peak (14,000 ft.) without changing jetting. It just ran a little slower, but it started and ran fine. ANY of these bikes would most likely be fine, but for simplicity I would take the XR 600.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:18 AM   #39
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Just an extra note on the Carbs vs FI

The WRR has only been around for a fraction of the time & miles than the Honda & Suzook which are thoroughly tried & tested (for good and/or bad).

Fuel quailty is a real key point - a make or break factor in many countries

Simplicity is also a major plus item, for so many miles in so many strange places !!!
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:51 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Pigford
Just an extra note on the Carbs vs FI

The WRR has only been around for a fraction of the time & miles than the Honda & Suzook which are thoroughly tried & tested (for good and/or bad).

Fuel quailty is a real key point - a make or break factor in many countries

Simplicity is also a major plus item, for so many miles in so many strange places !!!
Pigford, I'm defintely not picking on you here but :)

This Carbs vs FI thing lives on across the forums of the internet. How many more bikes will get FI before this one is put to bed?

Fuel quality (mixed up with octane ratings) doom-mongering a close second.

Oil change intervals - come back all is forgiven.

[I'd rather have reliability than simplicity]

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Old 07-31-2010, 09:09 AM   #41
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check out THIS DEAL

CHECK OUT THIS DEAL! WOW! If I wasn't working (and therefore living in Juneau, AK right now, I would go buy this thing!)

This one isn't too bad either!
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:07 AM   #42
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For your travels I would go with the dr-650.
If you add larger gas tanks on the bike, it puts more weight on top, which makes it harder to control off road. It may be better to have spare gas in a
container. If there is trouble you could easily give the gas to one rider to get help.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:39 AM   #43
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Of the three bikes posed, I think the DR is the best one for your trip. However, I also think the DR isn't the best choice. You're 6'6" and your buddy is 6'2". The DR is a great bike but is pretty smalI and you'll be very cramped (where is the bear riding a tricycle emoticon? ) . For a 2+ year trip, comfort ought to have major consideration. Will you be able to ride two-up if the need arises?

The KLR has been suggested and you have concerns over liquid cooling and weight. I think active liquid cooling is much better than passive air cooling and adds to the long term reliability of the bike. In particular, the KLR with 9.5-9.8 compression ratio and liquid cooling is overdesigned. Most liquid cooled bikes have much higher compression. Regarding weight, 2007s and earlier weigh 410lbs curb weight and 2008+ weigh 432lbs. By the time you update a DR (seat, big tank, rack, skid plate, and wind protection) what is the curb weight for comparison?

Just something to consider...
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:14 PM   #44
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I would seriously think about the super sherpa. Not as much 'fun' as the others, but stone cold reliable. It has a lot going for it, WRT range, MPG, carrying ability, weight and simplicity.

And I mean, in all honesty, is this a 70 MPH drive around the world tour of the interstates/autobahns, or is this a 30mph lackadaisical tour of back roads?

And if you wanted to go nutso, the X challenge is a contender too, I'd call it a 'proven' design after this RR It could be done under 6k, but it would be tough. Nearly impossible to find three good deals on that one though.

Maybe even a husky 610, but I'd be hard to find a used one that's not racked out, new the 630 is out of the price range (but not by much)

Since there are three of you, I'd be tempted to have a heavier bike like a KLR, but definitely not a KLR. I'd pick a f650 and two Dakars over that in half a heartbeat.
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Oh for ***k's sake Aaron. Please link us to my fascist, racist or homophobic posts.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:47 PM   #45
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Rated Issues of importance

I thought I would take some valid advice and rate some issues of importance. They are valued on a scale of 0-1 with 0 being a non issue, and 1 being of high importance. I'll start with some that were provided for me.

Reliability of operation, first and foremost -- 1

Starts with dead battery by bump starting -- 1

Runs on bad\low octane fuel -- 1

Local availability of parts (how common the bike is worldwide) -- 1

Ease of flat tire repair -- .8

Frame can be Welded with electric or gas -- .75

Simplicity of mechanics -- .75

Comfort -- .75

No special tools required -- .5

Overall weight -- .5

Given these priorities, there are a few easy deductions to make. The motorcycle needs to be ubiquitous, everywhere around the world. I don't have any urge to ride a KTM, nor a Husaburg, or a Husqavarna. The Kawasaki Super Sherpa is a good bike when traveling light, but is it going to hold up under 270 pounds of man and gear, 65,000 miles, and a 6'6" frame squandered over it?

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