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Old 12-22-2010, 01:09 PM   #61
D-Fuzz
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
I am serious about looking up Austin Vince. His Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa films are the best intro into Adventure travel I've ever seen. His talks and slide shows are fantastic, funny and really down to earth. Nobody better, IMHO. Some may remember Vince and his gang riding their DR350 Suzuki's across EU, Russia, Mongolia and beyond. Its all on film ... very fun stuff and quite inspirational. Five Star rating. If I was going ... this would be my first stop.
The Mondo Enduro/Terra Circa videos are awesome and prove that you can circle the globe on pretty much anything. In Mondo Enduro, they had those DR350s loaded to the nuts and rode everything from freeways to muddy goat paths. The best part of these videos is how they made the trips with no support team, on very limited budgets and had to rely on ingenuity and the bare basics to make it through.

If I was taking a trip into the Great Unknown, I would want a bike that could be fixed at the side of the road with chicken wire and a stone axe, if necessary. I know a fat wallet can fix a lot of woes during a trip, but I'd prefer to avoid needing to air freight parts into some remote country just to get back on the road again. In the end, the OP is going to have to weigh the pros and cons of various bikes to determine what best fits his requirements because unfortunately, there isn't a do-all adventure bike out there yet.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #62
GrahamD
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Originally Posted by mac inger View Post
Ps. this thread went from a guy asking advice to a shouting match.
Hwo'd of thunk it.

I'm shocked!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #63
Bain Dramage
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What's your bike budget?
How handy are you at repairs?
After touring Europe, where will you head off to (sounds like this is undecided, but you really need to consider it over the next 18 months).

Based on your initial post, the V-Strom should be on your short list, along with a DR 650 and KLR. Consider also the DRZ 400. Really, you need to look at almost anything 400cc - 800cc, understanding that big multi-cylinder bikes are better for road/tarmac and 2-up, and smaller singles are better for those "beaten path" places.

As previous poster said - people been RTW on almost everything. Outside USA and Europe, travel is slower and small bikes dominate.

Would it be possible to buy what you think you need now, take some short trips (1 week, averaging 400 - 600 miles a day), and see if what you think you need is really what works best?

Best wishes on your selection.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:15 PM   #64
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by oldturtle View Post
For the old wrench in Tymbucto you have better chance of getting back on road with points ignition. Pack a flywheel puller, plugs, points and condenser. Replace all phillips screws with allen head before you leave. The 70s Yamaha dual sport XT600 with big tank and all bike protection would do job.

Otherwise get the DL650 Vstrom as best modern selection and pack spare ECU. Do yourself a big favor and scratch from list KLR650, NT700V Deauville, and anything with post 1980 German heritage. Tiger 800 might just be great selection but would be too risky for me.
Given the bikes you own ... I'm thinking you're having us on here. Having lived through the "bad old days" of bike in the 70's, I can guarantee you modern bikes need none of the spare parts and tools your suggesting be carried through Africa. The Old XT's were some of the better bikes of the decade but I'd sooner have your DR650 any day. Mine's got 34,000 miles on it, never made a peep. Perfect and tough as Hell.

Hundreds of modern bikes with CD ignition have ridden to Timbucto ... and back with no worries. No need to screw around changing out nuts and bolts. On the DR or Vstrom, just gas and go.

As you may know, your Vstrom F.I. is also pretty bullet proof. Dozens of examples here have topped 100,000 miles, including my old '02. (new owner)

I feel you are wrong about the KLR. It's been the number one bike ridden by US riders in Latin America the last 20 years. Its got it faults for sure ... but if well set up it does pretty damn well ... and its cheap to buy and maintain. I prefer the DR but having ridden the KLR all throughout Mexico I can attest to the KLR's basic soundness. Can thousands of happy owners be wrong?

"With post 1980 German heritage ..." What does that mean exactly?
If you're saying don't take a BMW ... then I'd agree ... but the Japanese bikes have zero connection to anything German far as I can tell.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:54 PM   #65
Bain Dramage
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If you really wanted to do something "different", but still be within a lot of your parameters, take a look at the Ural.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:20 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Hey mate, they let you get drunk at work and fuck off on the net on the bosses time? I've emailed them to check up on you ... just to make sure you're OK.

Go back and read post #38. It's all there, then read up on the grim reliability reports of the F650 BMW's, especially from around 1998 to about 2006. And speaking of heavy! The F650 is the true PIG in class, 60 lbs. heavier than a DR650 Suzuki, heaviest of Any 650 class dual sport single.

Trust me mate, you've no credibility here regards trying to piss on the Vstrom. Its reputation is very well established. Since it's obvious you've never ridden either Vstrom, its clear you're talking out yo ass.
There are already hundreds of thousands of posts and ride reports praising it all over ADV rider ... been that way for ten years.

You are an obvious ignoramus like your other Brit buddy here. Bike sales twits wouldn't know adventure riding if it bit you in the ass. You live in a closed fucking country after all with a few stinkin' muddy green lanes run by the Horsey crowd, and even those are being shut to bikes. YES ... I've ridden there. We've got riding areas you could fit two England's into. Wide open with a huge variety of terrain you can only dream of.
And then of course ... there's Mexico.
I think i love you.........
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:44 PM   #67
andyhol
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Hey mate, they let you get drunk at work and fuck off on the net on the bosses time? I've emailed them to check up on you ... just to make sure you're OK.

Go back and read post #38. It's all there, then read up on the grim reliability reports of the F650 BMW's, especially from around 1998 to about 2006. And speaking of heavy! The F650 is the true PIG in class, 60 lbs. heavier than a DR650 Suzuki, heaviest of Any 650 class dual sport single.

Trust me mate, you've no credibility here regards trying to piss on the Vstrom. Its reputation is very well established. Since it's obvious you've never ridden either Vstrom, its clear you're talking out yo ass.
There are already hundreds of thousands of posts and ride reports praising it all over ADV rider ... been that way for ten years.

You are an obvious ignoramus like your other Brit buddy here. Bike sales twits wouldn't know adventure riding if it bit you in the ass. You live in a closed fucking country after all with a few stinkin' muddy green lanes run by the Horsey crowd, and even those are being shut to bikes. YES ... I've ridden there. We've got riding areas you could fit two England's into. Wide open with a huge variety of terrain you can only dream of.
And then of course ... there's Mexico.
you refering to me as the other brit ignoramus? and we've not even met, how kind of you. i thought this thread was recomending a suitable bike to a new rider, not slagging people off for their opinions or where they live. slagging bikes off however i think is fine as they dont have feelings. maybe youd like to remember that the op (dennisthemenace) is a brit too and you may make him think that dl650 riders are all twats that hate british riders and britain. maybe that would put him off buying one. for what its worth our country is small, you're correct on that, but i can be in continental europe in 1/2 a day, north africa in 2 days and asia in 1 week.
i understand you love your bike and your country but you are sounding like a dick.

back to the original question....
dennisthemenace why dont you wait untill you get to the country your gonna be sent and buy a bike there? get the most appropriate local market bike. no hassle from customs, shipping blah blah
i do ok over in indo on my 200cc honda, even 2up with luggage and it will go off the tarmac better than any dl/ trans alp/ bmwgs etc. just change the tyres. and you know what the local mechanics find the easiest to fix? thats right the local bikes
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:40 AM   #68
GrahamD
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:15 AM   #69
Pecha72
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Originally Posted by lukasteam View Post
Transalp 600 , for the reliability and simpicity or Africa Twin RD04 both are proven to be absolutely bullet proof million times and thats what I would need especially in the middle of nowhere .

Both are good choices, and even the ATīs few known issues can be practically eliminated before you set off. Iīve actually owned several Africa Twins in the past & still love the bike.

The downsides are the good old 600 Tranny is just that - very old - and by todayīs standards, underpowered, and really suffers 2-up. The AT has a bit more punch, but also weight, and thereīs no denying its age is also starting to show. Being carburated machines, they use a bit more fuel compared to todayīs FI-bikes, too.

And you must not forget, that you cannot buy them new any more, and every single part in those bikes is gaining age. That becomes a factor some time, even though their basic construction is very tough, and might be somewhat easier to work on, than modern bikes.

But even the newest 700 Transalp weighs more, has about 10 hp less power, a smaller tank, bigger fuel consumption, not as good wind protection, less space for a pillion, and worse headlights than a DL650. I do like the 700, however, itīs a great bike in its own, and might be a marginally better off-road (though its stock suspension is very limited).... but the DL650 was introduced in 2004, and the XL700 came out in 2008, so I find it strange, that it is so clearly behind in some very important areas. Surely Honda mustīve been aware, what Suzuki (or BMW, or others) had been doing? So although the XL700 is a nice bike, in the end it does not offer one really good reason, why I should consider switching my DL650 to it. Thatīs kinda lame after 4 years of development from worldīs biggest mc-manufacturer.

I simply donīt get it, why Honda dropped the Africa Twin. A developed FI-version couldīve been a killer, and exactly what many adventurers are looking for. And now they come out with what - a VFR800 with a taller (ugly) fairing, and claim that itīs an adventure bike?!?

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Old 12-23-2010, 02:47 AM   #70
jtw000
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Vstrom owners love their bikes. Like christians, the more adamant they are about the virtues of their own machine the more you know it's because they're unconsciously aware of the failings. The Strom... sell it be zealot. Suzuki agrees with me but keep pulling your arguments out of your arse and backing them up with entirely no evidence. I don't own an F650gs but it is the right bike to go anywhere, especially for a noob. Yes it's heavier than a melt-in-your-mouth low fuel capacity DR650 which would have to carry an extra 100lbs to make it viable. The DR might be better in a woods but much less use on a motorway. That's my point. it's capable in any environment without carrying enough weight to make it useless. Of course if you want a full faired tourer with unprotected exhausts going under the engine, cast wheels and road biased suspension then there are better bikes than the strom.
I haven't owned a strom but have laughed at them many times. Your ignorance in being able to identify the basic (BASIC) needs of an adventure bike is baffling.
Some people are clearly too used to the sound of their own voices. Vstrom is simply not an enduro. End of argument. If you say it is you are deluded or possibly mentally ill.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:36 AM   #71
Pecha72
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Suzuki agrees with you - on what?

"Vstrom is simply not an enduro" - that is true, and has someone claimed otherwise? Is the OP looking for an enduro? In fact there are few enduro bikes with 2 or more cylinders.

But on the other hand, it can go, where most people want to take it. And can survive more than its looks would suggest. Plus it has comfort for 2-up, is quite easy to maintain, and is known to be right up there with the best regarding reliability. And itīs relatively cheap.

But Iīm not saying itīd be the OPīs only option, just wanted to tell him these valid points. Youīre free to disagree, but personally I do not understand the slagging of other posters, or their views.

You can have your own view, like everyone else, and I do not necessarily share that same view. But I still respect yours, and do not try to walk over it.

In the end, many many bikes are capable of doing big trips these days, and what is "best", is highly relative - it depends on your personal preferences.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:59 AM   #72
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you refering to me as the other brit ignoramus?
Elnota - I don't think he's referring to you. Read the the other posts and it will soon be obvious which Brits are competing to see who can be the bigger ignoramus...


But I agree Adv Grifter's comments are coming off a little harsh. I'm sure he has nothing against Brits per se, just that we happen have 2 on this thread that seem to be intoxicated.

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Old 12-23-2010, 12:59 PM   #73
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by elnota View Post
you refering to me as the other brit ignoramus?
Not you mate, your countrymen, read the thread, I think you know who they are and I'd like to hear your comments on their credibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnota View Post
what its worth our country is small, you're correct on that, but i can be in continental europe in 1/2 a day, north africa in 2 days and asia in 1 week.
i understand you love your bike and your country but you are sounding like a dick.
I apologize for lumping all Brits into my rant. I realize there are many English who've lots of experience on a variety of ADV bikes and gone RTW doing it. But the two Wankers Trolling this thread, shit stirring and simply trying to get a rise. I was stupid enough to fall for the Troll bait. Once again, apologies for being so broad in my rebuttal. Mistake.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #74
andyhol
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Not you mate, your countrymen, read the thread, I think you know who they are and I'd like to hear your comments on their credibility. I apologize for lumping all Brits into my rant. I realize there are many English who've lots of experience on a variety of ADV bikes and gone RTW doing it. But the two Wankers Trolling this thread, shit stirring and simply trying to get a rise. I was stupid enough to fall for the Troll bait. Once again, apologies for being so broad in my rebuttal. Mistake.
dont get upset mate, i'm not offended honest. it does take a big man to apologise on a forum like this though, i am impressed. as to my fellow countrymen... its not for me to say wether or not they are credible is it? their opinions are theirs, like them or not. if you cant resist taking the bait go ahead.

what do i think of the wee strom? i've ridden one, its a road bike isnt it? but you can take road bikes to interesting places so why not...( i'm waiting with interest how the te-610 front end conversion goes and i'm suprised many more havent gone down that route, easier to mod supension into a sound engine and chasis than put a big engine into a crosser) i'll keep my xtz750 supertenere though, it does highway just as good as your bike but does off-road alot better (paris-Dakar?) and it cost me 500 quid or about 750 usd.

back to the op, for a new rider who currently rides a vanvan125, i'm not sure any beast (maybe a couple of exeptions) would be a very good choice, even if he was choosing a bike to upgrade to in the uk.
but the hypothetical is any country in the world, a bit of 2-up, some off-road, fixable anywhere in that country (within reason).
after evaluating my current method of travelling i think dennisthemenace would be best off getting a bike IN country, wherever it happens to be. most suitable bike for him will already be there, no customs, fixable anywhere, appropriate for the road conditions, realisticly priced

to dennisthemenace,
people love their bikes whatever they are, i'm sure you love your vanvan. i'm quite sure everyone here is an ok bloke; when its faceless its easy to get the wrong end of the stick or wind someone up for a laugh. i'm also quite sure everyone here would help out anyone else if they were really in the shit. so dont be put off by the banter.

because people love their bikes they recomend them, i did. the bike may not work for you.
ride as many bikes as you can/dare before comitting to buy. when you find out the country where you're going do the research- the conditions, the laws regarding import and licsencing (you and the bikes), the bikes available there and test ride them here,
you may find something YOU like and feel is appropriate/fun/reliable.

take it easy, i'm riding around on a borrowed bike moddified with parts i found in a rubbish skip. not to mention i've still got to find a turkey and something for the misses...

merry christmas and safe new year everyone from a sweaty indonesia
Andy (elnota) and Shinta
pic is kintamani, bali

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Old 12-23-2010, 06:44 PM   #75
Adv Grifter
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The "Bloated Whale" in Action! What can the Vstrom do?

Cheers Elnota!
I like your idea of buying a small bike locally. More and more RTW travelers are doing just that. You don't need a big bike to see the world. I toured Baja in the 60's on a Honda 50 and later on a CL175 Honda dual sport. Also toured Cent. America on a Jawa 350 two stroke and have ridden all over Thailand on rental 125cc Hondas ... and Cambodia too (on step through Honda 90's)

Here are a few more pics of some Vstroms on the road. Bloated Whale? They are lighter and ride better off road than a R1200GS (half the price).
With crash guards and bash plates they crash pretty well. Not a dirt bike, no question, but fine of even rough dirt roads.


Vstrom meet up in Germany. Over 200 Vstroms I'm told. Those Krauts know value and performance. They bought Suzuki instead of BMW. Now why is that?

Vstrom in Baja ... on street tires and no bash plate. 5000 miles in Baja and Mainland Mexico, this trip just one of three major rides into Mexico.

Copper Canyon

Vstrom's in the Sierra Nevada. Rocky, steep fire roads not a problem even on street tires, but with TKC80 tires much easier.


Copper Canyon ... Funny, we made better time than the kLR.


Dirty and beaten on ... but not broken. Lost two days in the Sierra Tarahumaru. Made it out.


My buddy and his new GS. He liked my Vstrom but is a Beemer guy in his heart. He bought an extended warranty (based on my advice) So far, two final drives, two broken panniers and a failed Stator and ABS trouble. That Vstrom is an '02, now has over 100,000 miles hard miles. One link bearing needed replacing. Not one other problem.
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