RTW... Which Bike Stays Home?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by etingelefunts, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Oct 25, 2004
    India Wharf
    If you are going to be gone for years, you may as well buy the exact motorcycle you want new. Whatever you ride won't be worth anything when you are done, so what's a few grand in the scheme of things?

    You should read Jupiter's Travels (both books). You'll learn a lot, such as:

    1. You have to be able to pick it up out of the mud by yourself.
    2. Hard panniers break legs.
    3. Travel light.
    4. Have a reliable parts source.
    5. Plenty of cash accessable to buy your way out of jams.

    I rode a 950A for seven years and some 60k miles. All over the continent and Great White North. I bought your little 250r last year and rode the CDR, Pony Express and scouted some of the GWT in AZ and UT. The 250 is equipped to travel the same places I rode the 950. I recently bought a KTM 690R because it is as light as my 250 and some 150lbs lighter than the twin. I equipped that bike for travelling as well, since it replaces the 950.

    Here is what I learned:

    1. Smaller is better
    2. Comfort is important.
    3. Reliability is important, but they all have had issues that delayed me
    4. Roadside servicability is important and will be tested
    5. Handling rock gardens and mud will define rider and bike's potential
    6. Fuel range is very helpful. 200 miles range seems the minimum.
    7. Know how to operate a trail oriented GPS and make tracks on laptop

    I would not hesitate to take my 250 RTW. I would not take my old twin. The KTM 690R is great so far, but fairly unproven and parts may be an issue.

    If I were doing it, I'd look pretty hard at the new Husqvarna 650 Terra. It is a more powerful and lighter version of the BMW single. It has Sachs suspension, a wide seat and a 58hp bulletproof fuel injected motor that has been proven for years.
  2. etingelefunts

    etingelefunts retem-odo

    May 21, 2012
    Southeastern U.S.
    The 690 almost got my vote. The ONLY way the R2 wins in my mind is parts, service, and reliability.
    I have a Zumo 550, which needs (will be) upgrading to meet your suggestion
    The Husky weighs almost as much as my 990. Nice bike though.
    At this rate my 990 might be for sale soon... or trade for a similar condition 690! :hmmmmm(link to bike ; http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=793070 )

    Very grateful for your input. Sounds like your trips, and subsequent bike choices mirror what brought me to this fork in the road. Thank you for the wisdom.
  3. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

    Jul 14, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    I guess im surprised that with a RTW thread everyone is suggesting the WR without at least considering that its supposed to have premium fuel.

    Some of the fuel you get in foreign countries is super low quality (low RON or octane) and since the WR doesnt have a knock sensor, I would imagination pre-detonation is inevitable. There is a guy on the WR forums who shared a trip he took from the US all through south america- he made it back to either central america or mexico (cant remember) before the bike stopped working- needed rings and a piston. Of course, this could have been due to his air filter maintenance, or who knows- but about 30k and that engine needed rings and a piston. If you go this route, you might want to have a piston and rings ready to ship? Its amazing to me it made it 30k in those conditions and using the fuel he must have used- considering its compression ratio, that distance traveled is pretty incredible.

    The WR is definitely a reliable bike, and dont misinterpret me- if you read some of my posts around here youll see i REALLY REALLY want a WR250R but cant afford new and no used units exist in my area. The 990 seems too big to me, especially if you want to take two-track or even single track to get somewhere unique.

    I would suggest a DR650 which I think has the capacity to be perfect, but honestly the third gear blowups scare me- I should know as I own one.
  4. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

    Aug 24, 2010
    Currently - Canada
    WR250 or DR650.

    You can't rely on mail delivered items. They are last resorts and often tie you up for weeks (if not months) on end.

    Any bike will have to built for the ride. I did a 24000 KM, 4 month trip through Latin America on a XR650R. No complaints and I'm thinking about taking it to South America next. 50+MPG, and more then enough power.

    And for God sakes, don't consider a bike by how much it can carry. Use the smaller carrying ability to widdle down all the crap you don't need and want to take. WAY too many people, especailly those with monstrosity of bikes take everything under the sun and it only hinders nearly every aspect of the ride. I had about 65-70lbs of gear, spare parts, tools, first aid, laptop etc. I will reduce my weight further next trip (offset it slightly with a warmer sleeping bag and sleeping pad)