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Old 12-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #1
Sp4Mike OP
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Bike for RTW

I was thinking about what bike I would take for a RTW trip. So, I wrote a blog post about it.

Might help some people choose, or maybe I'm just a crackpot. Either way, it's a good way to kill a few minutes...

Clicky Clicky
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:40 AM   #2
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Ok. I bit. You forgot the part where the BMW breaks down 25 times during the trip.






















If range is a problem with the DR---> Safari tank. Problem solved. The WR is great, but id like to see more about how it handles cheap gas- its a high compression motor and is supposed to have premium gas. A guy took his from the US through all of South America, and then ended up destroying the piston and rings by Mexico- could have been maintenance or the bad gas throughout his trip. It has no knock sensor, so... Im really not sure what Id take RTW, and I own a DR650. I know I wouldnt take a KTM or a BMW though..
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
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I also own a DR.

It's not like there haven't been a few hundred RTW trips done on BMW's though! Brand bashing aside, pretty much anything could make it. Just depends on what you want to deal with along the way.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:55 AM   #4
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I reckon a DRZ400 (just the fact it has E start and is nice and light) with a cutdown/widened/gel padded/sheepskinned seat, the 28 litre tank and some cloth panniers + a nice pannier rack are the way to go.. however if you have a passenger, then it's either a the GS Beamer or the Africa Twin (they'll both need to be correctly sprung at the rear at least though)
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sp4Mike View Post
Might help some people choose
Ok, let the slagfest begin...

Seriously though, there is no one bike, that is the perfect choice. It depends on the individual, as well as the trip. Where do you want to go, for how long, and what kind of routes do you prefer. One-up or two-up is also one important factor. Or should I put it this way: a long list of bikes would be a good choice, if you´ll ride solo, but if you´re gonna take a passenger, then that list narrows down considerably.

For various reasons, smaller and cheaper is in theory better than big & expensive, but it does not mean you should take the smallest and cheapest bike you can find. And is the bike´s purchase price important or not, depends first and foremost on how well off you are financially. So some people can afford to go on a more expensive bike than others. Some people are also more experienced riders than others, and also may be physically big enough to handle a heavy bike in tough terrain better than most.

Opinions really are like a**holes, everybody´s got one, but when you´re planning your RTW-trip, you should only care so much about other people´s opinions. Go with the bike, that you can fix&maintain on your own (that´ll be needed, at least on some areas), and the one, that you feel comfortable going with. Many new bikes are fully capable for big trips, even ones, that aren´t marketed as “adventure” bikes.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
Ok, let the slagfest begin...

Seriously though, there is no one bike, that is the perfect choice. It depends on the individual, as well as the trip. Where do you want to go, for how long, and what kind of routes do you prefer. One-up or two-up is also one important factor. Or should I put it this way: a long list of bikes would be a good choice, if you´ll ride solo, but if you´re gonna take a passenger, then that list narrows down considerably.

For various reasons, smaller and cheaper is in theory better than big & expensive, but it does not mean you should take the smallest and cheapest bike you can find. And is the bike´s purchase price important or not, depends first and foremost on how well off you are financially. So some people can afford to go on a more expensive bike than others. Some people are also more experienced riders than others, and also may be physically big enough to handle a heavy bike in tough terrain better than most.

Opinions really are like a**holes, everybody´s got one, but when you´re planning your RTW-trip, you should only care so much about other people´s opinions. Go with the bike, that you can fix&maintain on your own (that´ll be needed, at least on some areas), and the one, that you feel comfortable going with. Many new bikes are fully capable for big trips, even ones, that aren´t marketed as “adventure” bikes.
From the first paragraph...


Quote:
The question is often asked what the best bike is to ride around the world. Well, that depends on so many variables that nobody could answer that question for you.
It was more thinking outloud about what bike I would take, rather then what bike you should take. All your points are valid though.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by olionel View Post
I reckon a DRZ400 (just the fact it has E start and is nice and light) with a cutdown/widened/gel padded/sheepskinned seat, the 28 litre tank and some cloth panniers + a nice pannier rack are the way to go.. however if you have a passenger, then it's either a the GS Beamer or the Africa Twin (they'll both need to be correctly sprung at the rear at least though)
I will say this- I think the best RTW bike if money is no object is a heavily modded DRZ400S. It would cost as much as a KTM, but it would be more reliable. The key is a really good seat and a Nova Racing wide ratio gear set (over 3k just for the gearset ). Take care of the primary nut, add all the protection bits, add some wolfman expeditions with cargo nets, take as much weight off the bike as you can (shorai battery, swap reflectors for reflective tape, exhaust, headlight assembly, etc etc), and go. The S has a strong enough subframe, its reasonably light, the gearset would make it easy to gear for dirt and street, carnets would be cheap since the bike isnt worth much, it will run on shit gas, and its a pretty decent dirtbike for a RTW mount. We are prolly talking 10-12k by the time the bike is done though...

Of course, this setup is a mount aimed at taking whatever dirt roads/singletrack are/is thrown at it, and others would prefer a cushy BMW for tarmac..
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
I will say this- I think the best RTW bike if money is no object is a heavily modded DRZ400S. It would cost as much as a KTM, but it would be more reliable. The key is a really good seat and a Nova Racing wide ratio gear set (over 3k just for the gearset ). Take care of the primary nut, add all the protection bits, add some wolfman expeditions with cargo nets, take as much weight off the bike as you can (shorai battery, swap reflectors for reflective tape, exhaust, headlight assembly, etc etc), and go. The S has a strong enough subframe, its reasonably light, the gearset would make it easy to gear for dirt and street, carnets would be cheap since the bike isnt worth much, it will run on shit gas, and its a pretty decent dirtbike for a RTW mount. We are prolly talking 10-12k by the time the bike is done though...

Of course, this setup is a mount aimed at taking whatever dirt roads/singletrack are/is thrown at it, and others would prefer a cushy BMW for tarmac..
agreed. Bloody passengers though.. ruin it for everyone they do....
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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agreed. Bloody passengers though.. ruin it for everyone they do....


You can tell im a single guy- I completely didnt even consider a passenger. I really have no grounds to make a call on 2-up. I think Id rather have 2 DRzs farkeled and have her ride Prolly a beemer or maybe a 650 vstrom- i really dont know..
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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All you need to travel around the world (cheaply), is a KLR and a milk crate.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:10 AM   #11
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As a matter of interest the two most travelled bikes by number of countries visited are a Harley Electragilde and a Honda Goldwing, but I am not sure I would discribe either as the most suitable.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
As a matter of interest the two most travelled bikes by number of countries visited are a Harley Electragilde and a Honda Goldwing, but I am not sure I would discribe either as the most suitable.
Source?
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #13
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Peter and Kay Forwood on their Electraglide http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/

Emilio Scotto on his Honda Goldwing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emilio_Scotto

I was always puzzled as to how Emilio Scotto came to visit more countries than I thought actually existed and when looking for these links found that others have asked the same question and struggled to answer it.

Either way epic adventures on an unusual choice of motorcycle.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:09 PM   #14
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buy a lightly used DR650
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:00 AM   #15
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The original post was intended for a "money isn't an issue" trip. So it included Europe (i.e. the Autobahn) so comfort and speed would be an issue. I remember getting passed when I was going 125 mph by old guys in Mercedes station wagons. Not fun on a low powered bike.

I'll do another article about low cost options. I still wont get into used though. Some guys have no problem taking an old pos around the world. But if I'm going to be 20,000 miles from home I want to know the history of the bike. And even a cheap RTW trip is going to push $50k, so whats another $2k to get a new bike over a used one?
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