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Old 11-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
Nath87 OP
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best bike for circumnavigating?

This summer I did a cross-country ride on my 1100GS racking up 10,000 miles in 34days. I think the trip may have addicted me to long distance riding, since I got back all I can think about is the next trip. Next year I hope to do an even longer ride. Either Prudhoe Bay -- tierra del fuego or circunnavidating via: USA Canada Russia and Europe. I'm just starting to lay this trip out on paper and the first problem I see is my bike, I feel my GS will be too heavy for the amount of off roading either of these trips require, additionally Having something thats better on gas would be a plus. So I figured I'd take suggestions my price range will be 4- 7k including luggage and anything else to prepare the bike for the trip. personally im partial to German bikes, but I'm not sure how readily their parts will be in eastern Russia if needed.

Nath87 screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 05:50 AM
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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I did 4,500 miles or so on my drz-sm this summer. Mostly on pavement but did some big off road sections, like the white rim trail in UT. Great adventure bike if you do a few add-ons and upgrades. I've never ridden a large bike like your GS, but just offering my opinion. Probably better choices out there, especially if you're a bigger guy, but imo the drz is light, maneuverable, great offroad, and super reliable.

These guys are I believe about 3/4 of the way around the world on DRZ's. Sounds like they've had minimal problems. Check it out:

http://toughmiles.com/
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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I think the biggest thing that's going to hone your search is the budget.

If you were looking to spend a bit more, there are numerous options. Read the first 15 RR's and you probably have 15 different bikes used.

Some will do it with a Harley and not seek the road less traveled. Some will take a lighter, more dirt oriented bike and try to avoid as much pavement as possible.

I think so much will depend on what you seek.


You may also want to try posting in Trip Planning as opposed to Road Reports.

Good luck.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:13 AM   #5
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It's been done on a sport bike, moped, and Harley road bike.
You've got the budget for a well-loved KLR or DRZ
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:35 AM   #6
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I should probably ask a question to those of you who have been through eastern Europe and Asia. how much dirt/pavement is there in Russia Mongolia and Kazakhstan ? And I realize there are many different routes that can be taken that will have more or less dirt so, I'm just asking for a general estimate. My only exposure to what its like out there is the few threads I have read about trips our there, Long way Round and Mondo Enduro. the bikes I have been considering are something along the lines of: DR-Z 400 or one of the larger displacement ktm or Hausenbergs, the KLR is slso in the mix but I have never been a huge fan of them. They have always felt like an old mans dirt bike to me. personally im a big fan of KTMs but I don't expect their parts to be readily available in that part of the world and I also have no idea what type of gas will be available out there I have never tried running anything with that high of a compression ratio on the low octane gas that I expect will be the only thing available out there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
Pecha72
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I dont think even RTW via Europe, Russia, Canada, USA will REQUIRE much "off-road" nowadays. Back in the days of Mondo Enduro it was probably a bit different. Its been done on Harleys, scooters etc. Mongolia is probably more challenging (but not mandatory on that route), and naturally the same goes, if you do a lot of backroads anywhere.

I rode Europe to Iran to India to Australia two-up on a DL650 five years ago. If anything, the roads were surprisingly good all over. A bit bumpy, oily, sandy surface, and potholed for sure, but if you're a careful rider, that route could be done on a streetbike. I think thru Russia to Vladivostok following the main roads would not require to have an off-road bike either.

Edit. There is no "best bike" to do the trip, or there may be, FOR YOU, but most likely no-one else will be able to answer for you, what that bike is, though I'm sure there are lots of opinions.

Pecha72 screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 08:32 AM
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:24 AM   #8
jphish
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I'm a 2 tiger owner, but... my pal has a Versys that he did a 3 month 20K trip, meandering thru Mexico / US / Canada (including Inuvik) last year, with no issues. For a few (but very few) dirt roads, wished he had a 19" front wheel - but made it fine with only 2 spontanious "naps". Found the kawi to be a good compromise between a road bike & dirt road bike. There is NO perfect adventure machine for what you propose - too many variables. But an appropriately equipped Versy's would probably be as good as any. Reliability, parts availability, fuel range, comfort, HP / weight ratio etc. Good luck in your quest...
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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PS: and oh yeah...ability to pick it up by yourself, after a "nap", in inhospitable terrain, off the beaten path. Important!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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I personally think, KLRs if you are on a budget & the 01-06 650 Dakars are the best for solo RTW.

They are similar but the BMW has better brakes, suspension & MPG.

The KLR carries and uses more fuel, but its carb might be easier to work on if you have an issue.

I think both are really relaiable, as long as your KLR is not one of the "smokers"

I'm sure the DR650 crowd will chime in. Good bike, I'm sure very capable as well, I just do not have any personal experience with it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #11
Wolfgang55
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For one up, look at the wr250r or x. Add a bigger tank & nothing can touch it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang55 View Post
For one up, look at the wr250r or x. Add a bigger tank & nothing can touch it.
I also have one of those, yes better off road than a 650 Dakar, but I would hate to do hours & hours above 65 MPH, it would wear you out.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang55 View Post
For one up, look at the wr250r or x. Add a bigger tank & nothing can touch it.
I did 5000 miles last summer on my 250x with shinko 244 knobbies, safari tank and wolfman bags - did the CDR and most do the UTBDR

No problems on the dirt sections including some moderate technical stuff, strugglers a bit going uphill at high altitude, but can go 70 mph all day on the flat stuff. If your trip is mostly paved with some dirt roads I'd look at something else, a wee strom sounds like a good fit, but if you want to do more offroad the wr250r/x deserves a look.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #14
PeterW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
I dont think even RTW via Europe, Russia, Canada, USA will REQUIRE much "off-road" nowadays. Back in the days of Mondo Enduro it was probably a bit different. Its been done on Harleys, scooters etc. Mongolia is probably more challenging (but not mandatory on that route), and naturally the same goes, if you do a lot of backroads anywhere.

I rode Europe to Iran to India to Australia two-up on a DL650 five years ago. If anything, the roads were surprisingly good all over. A bit bumpy, oily, sandy surface, and potholed for sure, but if you're a careful rider, that route could be done on a streetbike. I think thru Russia to Vladivostok following the main roads would not require to have an off-road bike either.

Edit. There is no "best bike" to do the trip, or there may be, FOR YOU, but most likely no-one else will be able to answer for you, what that bike is, though I'm sure there are lots of opinions.

I would point out , this is the one reply from someone who's "done it".

(As compared to the posters who suggested a bike they personally like that probably could do it .....)

Pete
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:12 AM   #15
Pecha72
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Note, that I have not done the route, that the OP is planning to do. Will most likely be a very different experience in many ways. Would be useful, if you can contact someone, who has actually done the Europe to Russian Far East bit.

About the bikes in general, a 250cc enduro-type will be very capable in a challenging environment. But exactly how much of this will your trip include?

That depends on you, as for some people itīs okay to just follow the main roads most of the time, while others want to explore the more remote places. Time is also an important factor right here – how many weeks, months, or years is your trip gonna last?? Because itīs a simple fact, that going around the planet, doing a lot of exploring along the way, will take you a LOT more time, (easily 2 or 3 times more time), than just following the most straightforward route. It is good to have lots of time of course, because then you may get to know the people and culture better, and enjoy the places you like for longer, but not everyone has all the time in the world for this.

Things to also keep in mind, if planning to go with a 250cc, are your own weight with all riding gear, and the weight of your luggage, as well as the space that your luggage requires. Those bikes donīt have lots of space to fit luggage, and they arenīt very well suited for “overloading”. For one thing, their handling may suffer, and there may be even problems with subframes, they arenīt made to carry a lot of weight. The 250 certainly wonīt be the best choice for long days on the highway, so once again, what do you plan to do.

A 250, however, will naturally have an advantage, if youīre gonna have to lift the bike into a boat, or the backyard or hallway of your accommodation (doing this seems quite common all over Asia). And also, when you need to ship it across the oceans by freight, itīll fit into a smaller and lighter box than, say, a 1000cc bike, so sending it should be a bit cheaper. But there are also many, many other variables at play, when shipping bikes.

About spare parts in general, if you go on any "big" bike (Iīd say over 250cc is considered a big bike in most parts of the world) then you can be almost certain that parts, or even tyres, will NOT be widely available except in Europe, North America, Australia and a couple of other countries. Only when you ride a bike, that is very similar to what the locals use, then you may find parts easily. So if youīd go on a modern Japanese bike or a BMW for example, and then you need parts in eastern Russia, you might have a problem. Though it could probably be solved somehow. Shipping parts in by DHL/Fedex can be done, but will cost you, and some countries have high import taxes for such shipments. And those shipments seem to have a nice tendency to be held by the customs. But I have been lucky enough to never have needed parts sent to me anywhere (I usually carry some smaller parts with me on longer trips). And also I do not know, how problematic Russia is in that respect.

(maybe this whole thread should be moved to Trip Planning?)

Pecha72 screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 01:48 AM
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