Choosing a bike for a RTW trip

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Pedrogomezrios, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

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    Hola Pedro y Daniel. By now you know what your GS is capable of (or what you are capable of doing in your GS). If you're thinking of avoiding pavement, go with the lighter bike. My choice would be the DRZ400 or DR650 as they are arguably better on dirt than the KLR.

    If you were to do the trip in different legs you could use different bikes as the typical roads in all the places you want to go through vary greatly.

    As Colombians we can relate very easily to imagining a luxury bike in certain parts of the world and immediately feel unsafe. I'd consider that.

    Mucha suerte con el proyecto!!!
    #41
  2. Pedrogomezrios

    Pedrogomezrios Quiet

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    Hi.

    Actually at Colombia you just can get Yamaha WR450F and suzuki RMX450Z, with a bigger tank and some other mods, what do you think about these options?
    #42
  3. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    Let me chime in here for a sec.
    Bikes.
    I'm not bias to any make or model of bike. I had them all. The best bike out there may not be the best bike for your purpose. KTM are awesome bikes, good for RTW, no.
    The KLR 650 is the best bike out there for your trip. It has weight enough for the freeway, decent off road capability, good carrying capacity, fuel range, reliability, huge following, blah blah.

    Packing.
    Pack light. Get lightweight waterproof camping equipment. This will cost a lot but well worth it.
    Electrical stuff should all work off 12v. Bring a common camera so you have spare chargers or use AAA/AA batteries.
    Pack plenty of tubes in nooks and crannies around the bike. The are bulky and not nice in your boxes. Pack oil externally also. I used bicycle bottle holders.
    If you need more advice, I'll be here.
    #43
  4. wingnut11

    wingnut11 generally strange

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    XT660Z, it's available where you live. Which makes me jealous, since I'd really love to get a ride on one. On paper they look pretty good, if a little heavy. But you seem to like bigger bikes, so this should still feel pretty small. Comes factory with a 23 liter tank, fuel injection, and lots of tire choices.
    #44
  5. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    I'm moving on down to the 400cc class for world travel bikes. The Honda XR400 is easily found here in the States and abroad and can be upgraded with electric start and even reverse using the components out of the Honda trx fourwheelers and besides carnet expenses and shipping expenses drop considerably for cheaper and smaller bikes. The 400 can still run good speeds with the power and great on the smaller roads I like riding, big plus for Africa.

    I think the two best in class would be the drz and the xr, but the xr needs to have an electric start conversion imho. Both of these bikes have the option to have electric and kick start, a standard requirement for myself, solo off road in the middle of nowhere.

    I'm building up an xr for world domination on a cheap 1997 platform for a fraction of what newer bikes cost and the nearly indestructible easy to fix Honda xr engine.

    If you are trying to stay off highway more than on I would stick with a pair of 650s if you must have something larger than 400.
    #45
  6. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    this bike, any day



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Take a gander at the DR350SE, specifically the '98 and '99 year models.

    Just a suggestion....
    #47
  8. trululu96

    trululu96 Adventurer

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    That does not look "practical" at all but I would love to attempt a RTW trip on that thing :wink:

    about the other bikes, as I've said before im a huge fan of the klr, but I'm a bit concerned about it offroad "skills", have you done any serious offroad on one of those things and was it any good ? I mean do you feel like the motorcycle could take the bam in russia without beeing a pain in the a* for us?
    #48
  9. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    [QUOTE
    about the other bikes, as I've said before im a huge fan of the klr, but I'm a bit concerned about it offroad "skills", have you done any serious offroad on one of those things and was it any good ? I mean do you feel like the motorcycle could take the bam in russia without beeing a pain in the a* for us?[/QUOTE]




    It's all down to a personal choice.
    If you want the comfort and reliability of a BMW, you should get one. The 650GS is a great bike.
    A DR650, another great bike, and lighter than the KLR.
    The KLR is not pretty, heavy, but will run forever.
    Off road? really, hOw much off road will you do on a fully loaded bike?

    [​IMG]
    #49
  10. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    And what is deemed a 'fully loaded bike' may very well answer that question. :D
    #50
  11. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigo!!! why not a Falcon? they are like a KLR or DR only a little smaller and maybe lighter. They can be bough here in Mexico and in South America, I am just not sure about Colombia (ARgentina, Brazil no problem).

    Also, engine aside, my friend yesterday said best, "I once drove a vulcan for about 80 km and I was ready to get of and leave it on the side of the road!!! The klr I drove it for 3500 km and IT FITS ME LIKE A GLOVE" So before you invest in a new bike, make sure you can ride it for hours at a time, there is no point in having a GSA or Adventure and not being able to sit on it for long periods of time.

    Also, after you buy the bike, make adjustments to fit your needs!

    When you come to Baja (and yes YOU HAVE TO) look me up! and some beer and cerveza will be on me!

    Adios y buena suerte!!!

    Damasovi
    #51
  12. Renaissanceman

    Renaissanceman DON'T PANIC!

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    #52
  13. Forde

    Forde Been here awhile

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    If I was going round the world I would buy something like a Honda wave, simple reliable can be fixed anywhere by anyone and think how much gas money you will save and also the cheapest purchase price. Imagine trying to get a fuel injector or ecu or something for a brand new ktm in the middle of Africa or something, also would be less of a target as you would blend in more and the money you save will let you travel further and for longer
    #53
  14. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    this is one of the bikes you could consider if you have a lot of time, it is what I would like to do it on! Also consider getting stuck in the sand somewhere all alone! well you could just push it by your self, maybe some issues with range and been blow off road but other than that I do not see a problem.

    Damasovi
    #54
  15. worldrider

    worldrider Adventure & Discovery

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    I spent three years on a F650GS Dakar.

    I'd run into people in South America and Southern Africa on big bikes, the serious travelers all agreed that shoulda had a bike like mine — or smaller.

    If I coulda loaded my gear on a 240 or 400, in retrospect, I woulda chosen even smaller.

    Though I did run into two groups, each riding two-up on 650 V-Stroms, and will add a vote to that bike as I know you can get them in Colombia much cheaper than the Austrian or German adventure bikes. In South America, many Colombians I met on the road had V-Stroms.

    I love my 650 and pushing 100k miles I haven't had any major problems.

    But go smaller. The big bikes will only help you in those long pavamiento distances of British Colombia and Patagonia, and unless you're spending a lot of time in Western Europe, there's no need for anything bigger than a 650. Africa? 400/450 would be ideal.

    I know this is a late post to this thread, but I thought I'd chime in anyway.
    #55
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    outstanding results if one's has a budget $$$$ for the mods !!!
    does anyone know what total costs of prep when professionally done like Colebatch's BMW Xchallange?
    #56
  17. trululu96

    trululu96 Adventurer

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    about the x challenge, they are REALLY dificult to get in Colombia, I mean they brought very few bikes, so they are difficult to get and also expensive as hell.

    about the f650gs how was your experience with the bike? was it hard to find parts ? was the fuel injection a problem ?

    greetings ! and thanks
    #57
  18. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    Friends with BMW 650 singles are not experiencing problems. Fuel injection systems (fuel pumps, filters, injector nozzles, ECUs) with modern electronics and manufacturing are, so far, proving as reliable (if not better) than older and simpler systems (electronic ignition and wear-prone carburetors). My new KTM 500 EXC has received rave reviews for reliability and fun. Mine mirrors that opinion. Would it work as a RTW bike? For me, yes. I know its design limits (made light for better racing characteristics so you have a light sub frame, for example). If I were not so familiar with this bike I would probably choose the 650 BMW single.

    Parts? They are going to be equally difficult to obtain for any brand in most remote parts of the world. BMW singles are not known for needing them. Neither are the other bikes mentioned repeatedly (DRs, KLRs and the 690 KTM). I mentioned in another RTW thread that my cousin bought a very used and abused Zundapp 175 c.c. two stroke in India for about $100 and rode it without trouble to the outskirts of Berlin before it had a terminal melt down. Just pick a bike and GO!! I'm older now and am having friends die that never made the trip of their dreams. Don't let that happen to you.

    Stu
    #58
  19. snikrepn

    snikrepn n00b

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    One area you need to consider regards wheels and tires when it comes to maintenance. However, Wheel or tire size depends on your motorcycle. There are some which require specific sizes of wheels or tires. Another thing that matters is compatibility. You need to check on how compatible the tires/wheels are with your motorbike brand. This should take care of the future of your wheels and tires after a significant period of use since some also tend to lose their fitting...
    #59
  20. DonVulpes

    DonVulpes Adventurer

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    #60