So new I still have that lemony smell, in need of advice

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Christopher King, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Christopher King

    Christopher King n00b

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    Time for the first post, where to begin. Basically next year in July I'm headed to Romania for 3 months to stay with some very close family friends, and after that I'm headed to Vietnam to do the same. Since I'll be staying in a rural part of Romania I'm planning on buying a motorcycle and shipping it over with me. My only issue is that i have never ridden so much as bicycle in my life and am hoping to use the next year to learn how not to get myself killed. I figure I'll buy a Ninja EX250 to learn on, and buy a more trip appropriate bike a bit later. My question is, what do you guys recommend for a trip like this? Obviously the first instinct is to buy something that looks cool, like a sportsbike, but I'll be touring around several eastern European countries, and south east Asia, I'm just figuring the roads will be quite unforgiving. Any advice would be immensely appreciated.
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  2. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Hey Christopher!!! WELCOME!!! first of! and now some questions I did not understand from your post. You will ship the bike twice? from where you are not to Romania and then to Vietnam? Make sure the bike you buy is allow in the country, for instance Indonesia has some very strict laws regarding maximum cc for bikes. So I have never been in the countries you are mentioning, but in Czech Republic (eastern Europe) road where good.

    Now to answer your question, first, any bike will tour the world, it all has to do with what you want in a bike. A guy did a RTW trip on an R1 and he said "i did it on this because is the bike I like" others have done it on Cubs from honda and all of it's 50 cc, so what ever rocks your world. OF course it is easier on DP bike such as a KLR650, DR650 or GS, why? because they have better suspension, more travel have 21" front tires that will help you go over bumps better. I would also do it on 250 cc bikes, if I had more time, it all depends on what you want and need from a bike!

    Cheers

    Damasovi
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  3. Christopher King

    Christopher King n00b

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    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I just get so excited thinking about this that my mind sort of starts racing lol. Long story short, yes I will ship from my home in Kentucky to Germany(nearest place I can get delivered according to the people I've spoken to) then ride to my friends home in Romania over the course of several days. After my 3 month stay there I plan on shipping the bike to Vietnam for the next 3 months and finally back home. It will be expensive in shipping costs, but cost of living will be low due to staying with my friends and having locals as guides.

    As for my bike choice, I was initially planning to buy a 250cc to learn on before buying a 1 liter next year for the trip. I was however recently swayed by a thread I started on another forum, that due to my size, I should start with a larger bike and they recommended a SV1000. I'd assume due to it being a recent bike and the popularity of the bikes it's based on, that parts would be available world wide so that's less of a concern.

    When you guys go on these expeditions, how do you prep your bike? What brands of parts do you recommend for reliability? How much luggage can you realistically transport on a bike with side and rear bags?
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  4. bymbie

    bymbie Adventurer

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    I don't know how tall your are, but I would not recommend a 1000cc bike to learn on...

    The roads in Romania can be bumpy... If you are going for the "rich American" look, you will enjoy your SV1000 there. However, with an American plate and a big bike you will have a hard time blending in. In Vietnam (never been there... so this is just my guess) a big bike is a terrible choice.

    For the price of shipping the bike, your buddies can get you a decent small displacement bike in Romania. You can sell it after three months and do the same thing in Vietnam.
    #4
  5. Christopher King

    Christopher King n00b

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    Yeah I thought the 1000 seemed huge too, but more and more people are telling me to go that route and I'm utterly clueless about everything as it is. I'm 6'1.5 and 250lbs. Hopefully by the time I get overseas I'll be down around 230-225 but I have a large frame, anything below 225 and I'd look emaciated. I'm not exactly going for the rich American look, as that I would assume would get me robbed in some of the rougher areas of eastern Europe, but I'd like to look respectable at the same time. I had initially planned to buy a Ninja EX250 for cheap as a beater and then buy a liter bike later on, but a lot of the guys on the Ninja forums are telling me that an EX250 will be like an undersized moped for me.

    What about the big bike in Vietnam would make it a bad choice? Road quality? road congestion? people pointing and throwing rotting fruit?
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  6. bymbie

    bymbie Adventurer

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  7. everready

    everready Been here awhile

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    Go to the Ride Reports forum and search for Romania and Vietnam. Those reports should give you a pretty good idea about what kind of bikes are available. Are you going to be touring in each country or will you have a home base. How much stuff do you plan to carry on you bike, (tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc) or are you just taking clothes and staying at hotels?
    How long do you plan to stay in each country, 3 months, 6 months, a year?
    Personally I wouldn't ship a bike. I'd just buy one when I got there. This will also give you the opportunity to try different kinds of bikes. But like I said, it depends on how long you plan to stay in each country.

    You really should consider creating a posting in a text document like notepad. Work on it for a few days so you can cover every aspect and then copy/paste it. I think you'll get much better and detailed responses.

    Good luck,
    Al
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  8. Christopher King

    Christopher King n00b

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    Thank you for that link. It is extremely useful.
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  9. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    The people, who recommend beginners to buy 1000cc, usually have no clue, what they are talking about. Talk to some riding instructors, they should have some faint idea about beginners. And there are plenty of smaller cc bikes, that can accommodate bigger people.


    And assumption, well that´s the mother of all f__k-ups... :lol3

    But seriously, you will not find parts for a 1000cc bike widely available, once you go outside Europe, North America, Australia, and a few other countries on this planet. You can order parts anywhere via DHL or other courier companies, but that costs money, and once your shipment arrives, getting it out of the customs can be interesting in some faraway countries.
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  10. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    Well for gods sake learn to ride first. Second they have motorcycle dealers in Romania so why by the same bike here then ship it over? Learn to ride. Buy some cheap bike that you can drop without crying over and get some practice. When you finally start getting an idea what you might like then go to some dealers and try a few bikes out. You can contact a dealer in Rom and have a bike waiting for you if you end up wanting a new one.Now my understanding is foreigners cannot own bikes in Vietnam so you would either need to ring one in temp or have someone there "own" the bike and to have a bike over 175cc requires a person to be a member of a motorcycle club. My understanding is as a foreigner you don't want a "New" bike as that makes you a big target for cops and locals. Instead by a used honda for a few hundred and normally spend some money on repairs then ride the crap out of it till you give it away. Technically you must have a vietnamese motorcycle licence and without the cops can impound your bike, or take a bribe not to, thus having to nice of a bike and being obviously a foreigner is a bad thing. If you are staying with someone then have them get you a bike but realize it's not for the faint of heart, traffic is crazy there.
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  11. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    and by the way you will get much better responses if your title has some real info about your thread. Most people will just skip past "Lemony" because they have no idea what your thread is about and won't bother to look.
    #11
  12. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    Oops, posted in wrong forum.

    I agree with whoever said to visit Horizons Unlimited. I may be at Nakusp this year. See ya there.
    #12
  13. haileywilliam

    haileywilliam Adventurer

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    Obviously the first instinct is to buy something that looks cool, like a sportsbike, but I'll be touring around several eastern European countries, and south east Asia.
    #13
  14. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

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    Here is where you need to spend some very serious time. Good luck.

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/
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  15. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    1. Take the MSF. Top notch training, cheap, right here at your doorstep.

    2. Buy a bike and practice. Try to get quality riding in, not just grocery store runs. Hit some twisty roads, etc. Work up your comfort level.

    3. Forget this bike-shipping business unless you really like to waste money. They have motorcycles in Romania, too, and with your Romanian contacts, it's going to be 10x easier and cheaper to buy a bike there.

    4. For Vietnam, they won't even let you import a high CC motorcycle unless you have some powerful connections or ridiculously good luck. Do it the way that most people do it: rent a motorcycle there. It will costs you $10-$65/day and it's going to be a piece of cake logistically.

    The thing about a place like Vietnam is that it's very crowded and roads are very low quality. Even if you have a 1000cc sportbike, you won't be able to go faster than a small motorcycle/scooter in most situations and most roads. Everyone is limited by road conditions. That said, because of your size you do need a bigger bike for comfort... not necessarily bigger engine size, but bigger shaped bike. Something like Honda XR250 or Yamaha Serow 230cc. If you are staying for a few months in Vietnam, you can cut long term rental deals or simply buy/sell back these bikes with relative ease as well.
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  16. DirtDancer

    DirtDancer Slidin' Downhill

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    ask your friends to do some research for you, I wouldn't ship, buy cheap local bikes or rent or take public transport, whats your goal in the visits?
    #16