Recommend me a bike!

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by jlparsons, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. jlparsons

    jlparsons n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5
    Bike required for 6 week tour of Europe, 5 hours in the saddle a day max and plenty of rest days. Mainly eastern Europe. All road riding, staying in hostels, so luggage kept to a minimum. Want list:

    1. Low key. Don't want to look like obvious tourers. Ideally look like commuters.
    2. High reliability, obviously.
    3. Good mpg - ideally 600cc.
    4. Cheap!

    Go!
    #1
  2. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,971
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    If you're talking motorcycle, your probably on the wrong thread. :deal
    #2
  3. Tucson Jim

    Tucson Jim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Probably a used jap bike. Honda (Shadow) has the best dealer support as is usually the most reliable. Then Yamaha and Kawasaki. E-bay and craigslist.com have some helpful search options or just go to your local dealer and tell them what you want. Good luck.
    #3
  4. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,760
    Location:
    NEPA
    [​IMG]

    You might be lost. But here is an answer anyway. If you are buying here, then a VStrom or a KLR650. Both get good mileage and are great to ride all day. If you are buying there I would consider and XT660 or the 660 Tenere as an option on top of the VStrom and KLR. A KLR can be bought used for cheap all Farkled out. Say $3000-$4000 loaded with hard bags and all if you look hard enough. With a 6.1 gallon tank you get almost 300 miles to a tank. I am 350 pounds and I was getting miles to a tank. It all depends on how much you like off road. Either bike will be nice. THe VStrom will be fastest. Buying there could be an awesome chance to buy a 660 Tenere and bring it home. Trust me you will have no problem selling it for a profit. Call me first.
    If you are asking about a Scooter. Then the safe answer is a TMax, Silverwing or Burgman. There are a million of them. Finding a nice clean used one for < $4500 should be easy. And when its done you can sell it for almost the same. If you throw shipping costs in to the mix, buying there might be the best option. Unless you ship one way and sell it when you are done. Then who knows.
    #4
  5. jlparsons

    jlparsons n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5
    Some nice ideas for my shortlist, thanks.
    Chap recently suggested a CBF600s. What are your thoughts?
    #5
  6. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,788
    Location:
    NorCal
    #6
  7. Sportsman Matt

    Sportsman Matt Xtremely Bad Example

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Central New England
    Seeing the OP posted his question in the scooter section, try a Vespa or Piaggio or if you can find one, a Silverwing or a Burgman.

    Looking for a motorcycle, BMW, URAL, Harley-Davidson. They all are decent for riding over there.
    #7
  8. jlparsons

    jlparsons n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5
    Ooops... yes I need a bike not a scooter!
    #8
  9. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    502
    Location:
    Belton, KY
    #9
  10. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,062
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    I own and ride four Suzuki GS500E motorcycles.They are plentiful in EU and fairly cheap to buy.Dead simple 500cc aircooled bike.They're not the most powerful but I have had no issues carrying me(220lbs) and 120lbs of gear.Keep the weight low in panniers/saddle bags/side cases.If you're going to be doing it in the dirt,I recommend a DR or DR-Z.Not sure what they maybe know as in EU.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_GS500

    Just started a blog about my bikes.I built up my black bike over five years ago.It's my fun bike.I am working on a GS entitled "Lite Tourer". http://maniccycles.blogspot.com/

    Even tho my bike is modified,I still get between 45 and 55 mpg.
    #10
  11. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley On my way

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Back home in the UK
    The Honda CB500 twin is a pretty understated but reliable bike, you should pick one up pretty cheaply and get 60 mpg (imperial).
    #11
  12. castle-of-teck

    castle-of-teck DL1000 A

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    South of Germany
    Sorry, for Eastern Europe a commuter bike is IMHO not adviseable. Low profile would mean some chinese 250cc crap or Ural Boxer stuff from WW2.

    KLR, as told before. V-Strom 650 is pretty popular and you can get decent tires ( TKC 80, Heidenau K60 ) for that thing. Even BMW 650 GS is OK.

    Budget is ?
    #12
  13. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,674
    Location:
    The Palace of the People, VT
    +1. Most of the GS series are as reliable as a hammer. Even the old GS400 - 425 - 450 twins had plenty of pep for most conditions, and the six-speed trans helps on the slab. They are subdued looking, and get good mileage. They generally do not scream "steal me!"

    Fitted with some 80/20 tires like Shinko 705s, they are competent on gravel. Something usually needs to be done to the suspension, as the front fork springs can sack out at 20k or below, and the rear dampers were never anything to write home about. They are comfy to ride, fairly light, cheap, and get 50-60 mpg.
    #13
  14. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,062
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Fairly cheap to update the suspension on a GS500.I had $100 in new fork springs,heavier fork oil,and a better rear shock.I have since completely replaced my suspension.My first build, including the bike purchase, I spent about $1200.It was a reliable ride.Still is.
    #14
  15. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,674
    Location:
    The Palace of the People, VT
    It's also a good idea to replace the voltage regulator on many of the GSs. Not a terrible expense or a particularly big job. They are reputed to have bad stators, which is not the case. The VR is a poor design, and will fry a replacement stator as quickly as a stock one.
    #15
  16. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,062
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Out of all four of my GS500s,I have only had two bad regulator rectifiers.I have never had a bad stator.A new universal reg/rect is about $50 and a new aftermarket stator is about $130.Not to bad,it could be worse.The universal FH12 mosfet based rectifier kit ranges from $90 to $140 and will stop the issues with faulty reg/rects burning out the stator.Some people I know have bought used ones off ebay for around $30, and wired them up themselves.I'm not to sure how much I'd trust an ebay unit.

    Here are the kits and they can be had cheaper.http://roadstercycle.com/Shindengen FH012AA Regulator upgrade kit.htm
    #16
  17. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,674
    Location:
    The Palace of the People, VT
    Another thought on this would be to pick up a Jawa 350 somewhere over there. Jawas aren't bad bikes at all, will blend in with the scenery, or at least provide their own smoke-screen to avoid detection. When they were available here, they had a small but deeply disturbed following. Downsides are only 23hp and only 4 gears, but I could see worse ways of doing the trip. Recent production looks GS-ish.

    They offer a faired model that I'd like to throw a leg over. It's fairly light. Given the hassle and cost of motorcycle shipping, you may come out ahead of the game money-wise.

    Most of the roads I was on in the Former Sov were prudent at under 60 mph. In certain places, they'd cut whopping big holes in the road surface (no cones or the like) and up and leave. If you hit them, it was your problem. Oh, yes, and there was the town where someone had stolen all the man-hole covers. That was exciting.
    #17
  18. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,842
    Location:
    sanity?
    Yamaha Tenere? 660cc:

    [​IMG]
    #18