Bike for RTW

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Sp4Mike, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley On my way

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    Nicely put, I get rather annoyed with people who say I am lucky to have travelled like I have on a bike, no I have worked 50-55 hours a week, not gone out on Saturday night, not had all of the latest gadgets or a flat screen telelvision, rented out my spare room sometimes to people I would sooner not have. There was no luck involved just a lot of bloody hard work and going without what others consider essentials, something any of us lucky enough to be born in a developed country can do if we put our minds to it.
    #21
  2. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    In the current economic crisis, having cash to do trips like this is harder than before for many people.

    From Europe to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, then freighting the bike across the Pacific to perhaps Anchorage, then riding west to east across North America to maybe New York, then once again freighting across the Atlantic... this would be a RTW-trip, would it not? And on that route plan, you don´t even go near Africa, or South America. Using main roads to calculate, I would expect that to be around 22-25 thousand kms. You could easily get higher mileage, when crossing just one continent such as Africa. Do-able on 10.000 USD? Don´t really know, but depending on the person, maybe it could be. Freighting twice across the oceans would be among the biggest costs.

    But maybe you´re thinking about a trip to include all continents except Antarctica (or maybe even making an expensive boat trip to there, too?) Then it´ll surely cost lots more. And you´ll need lots more time to do it, too. I think it´s also important to understand, that you cannot see the whole world on one trip, if that trip has any reasonable duration. You always need to make decisions on where to go, and what to skip. Sure, there are a few people, who spend years or decades on the road, but it´s more like a way of living for them.

    FWIW, I made a trip with my girlfriend from Finland to Australia 5 years ago, we spent 6 months on the road, about 34.000 kms. Costs including absolutely everything (flew home from Sydney, and the bike got back on a boat) were about 8 k Euros each. But since we were two-up on one bike, we were able to split fuel and other bike-related costs, as well as accommodation costs. We didn´t even carry a tent or any real camping/cooking gear, so I guess it could be done cheaper, too, although I would not bother camping or cooking in countries, where you get accommodation for 4-5 dollars, and meal for 1-2 dollars. The difference in costs (mostly fuel, accommodation and food) in different areas was really big, Europe and Oz were by far the most expensive places.

    And did the price of the bike matter? For us, yes, it did, although we didn´t buy it just for the trip. But for one thing, we put in the trip more or less everything we had at that time, so returned home basically broke (lucky for me, work was still waiting here, actually this was why 6 months was maximum)... but anyway, had we spent any more on the bike, would probably have meant, that we cut the trip shorter. We actually thought about going home from Indonesia, but finally decided to do Australia, which I do not regret at all, though it was expensive.

    About the trip here:
    http://www.moto1.fi/blog.htm
    #22
  3. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Regards fuel, I did keep some records on the trip and they showed that our DL650, loaded to the fullest (2 people, stuff for 6 months, spare set of tyres and everything!) used some 5.2 liters of gasoline per 100kms on average... (what US/UK mpg is that, somebody wiser than me please calculate?) So that meant, that we used some 1770 liters of fuel during the whole trip. The price of fuel varied wildly, and once again Europe and Oz were by far the most expensive (topping off at Turkey, just about 2 dollars a litre!) But luckily we did most of our mileage in MUCH cheaper countries, so I think 1 dollar per litre of fuel is not far away from the average price, and that could actually be even a little bit cheaper. But to say we payed 1000 dollars (or 650-700 Euros at the exchange rate of that time) each for fuel is not far off.

    So while fuel was an important cost, for example all shippings that we had to do (India to Thailand, Malaysia to Indonesia, Indonesia to Oz, and finally returning home), plus our own flight tickets to those legs, were much more. I believe those cost all in all about 6000 euros. But leaving the last country, Australia, out would have dropped that number significantly, to 3000-4000 euros.

    Worth noting here also, that had we spent all 6 months in Europe, for example, doing exactly the same mileage, fuel costs would have at least doubled. So it´s really hard to make any generalisations, that would be valid world-wide. Even if two people did two separate RTW-tours at the same time & following the same route, the trips probably would not cost them exactly the same. And our trip was 5 yrs ago, before the whole economy _hit hit the fan, so all prices mentioned are most likely well out-of-date, I put them here only to give some very rough idea of the order of different costs.
    #23
  4. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley On my way

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    That is 54 mpg UK or 43 mpg US, either way pretty good under the circumstances.
    #24
  5. daveburton

    daveburton Been here awhile

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    I have a S10, BM GSA and DL 650.

    Although I'm sporadically making my way thorough SA on my GS because I like the ride I reluctantly believe the DL 650 is the best starting point for an adventure tourer 2 up.

    I don't have huge mileages but I have 30K miles over the last 2 years on the 3 bikes.

    Can anyone advise on what I should do regarding filtering fuel as it is pumped in SA countries. My GSA is basically standard with hard luggage and some extra protection, ie no additional filters etc.

    Should I be doing something to help water crossing capability, if then what.

    thanks
    #25
  6. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    For your criteria I would recommend one bike - and ONE bike only: the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere! Unfortunately they don't sell it in the US.

    A bit on the heavy side (459 pounds), but bombproof motor (48 horses from 660ccm sounds very healthy!) build by the thousands for different models, big tank (5.8gallons), low fuel consumption (60MGP possible!). But: the current ABS model has lowered suspension travel, which will limit offroad capabilities, but in some countries you will still be able to get both versions with and without ABS.

    Big tank, sufficient power and low weight don't get together. 250cc sounds a bit weak for a RTW trip! Unfortunately you can't get the Tenere in the US, so you might consider starting your trip here in Europe!
    #26
  7. Sp4Mike

    Sp4Mike Been here awhile

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    I thought about including that in the criteria, but what do you do when you are done with the trip? I suppose you could sell the bike, but after that long on the road I would think you become somewhat attached to the bike.

    I thought about starting my 4x4 trips in Germany so I could buy a Defender, but the same problems went with that as well.

    Not to jump off topic, but I find it strange that the few years they did import the Defender 90 to the US they couldn't keep them on the dealer floor, and they are selling used for more then they were brand new.
    #27
  8. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Plenty of good choices for a RTW-bike available in the US, and at prices, that almost make me cry... :lol3

    No way in hell would I fly over to Europe from the US to buy a bike. Fly from here to the US to buy and then go, that one I might even consider, but just keep in mind it's always easier to buy back home, do all farkling and necessary paperwork well in advance, get familiar with the bike, and sort out any possible problems well before your trip starts. If it's your first big trip, get the bike AT LEAST a year before you plan to start.

    If I could buy from the US, and could not get it regoed back home after the trip, with those prices for used bikes, I could probably afford to just hang that bike on my wall.... :lol3
    #28
  9. bigalsmith101

    bigalsmith101 Been here awhile

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