You might end up anywhere in the world: what would you get?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by denisthemenace, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. denisthemenace

    denisthemenace denis the menace

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    Hi all,

    my first post here. I posted this message on another website and was recommended to ask here too.

    I've got a conundrum. In about 18 months I'll be leaving London for some unknown country, where:

    - roads could be great but equally awful. Think NY or Timbuctu.
    - there might be thousands of fantastic affiliated garages for all bike brands, but then again there might only be a sole 70-year-old dude with a screwdriver.

    I've been riding the Vanvan for a while, and am now hurting to move up to a 600cc+ bike in order to do some touring in Europe before I go and also enjoy biking a bit more.

    Because of all the unknowns about where I'll get sent, a tall-rounder is probably the best bet. Fine by me as naked bikes are lovely but no dot offer good touring ability, and I like the tall-riding position.

    What I need I guess is:

    - good ground clearance (solo and 2-up).
    - reliability.
    - low-tech (bye bye Multistrada).
    - easy 'repairability'.

    What I've been thinking of:

    - Versys.
    - Tiger 800.
    - Deauville!

    The Tiger has 160cc more than the Versys, but is a Triumph and therefore might be a bit of a problem in remote areas in terms of servicing.

    The Versys seems to have it all, bar ground clearance and engine power when 2-up maybe?

    I know all about the Deauville being dull, but coming from the Vanvan it'll probably feel like an F1 so am not worried about that. I like the integrated panniers, the comfy position, but ground clearance and the short suspension might be problematic on poor quality roads. That said it's got shaft-drive and is uber-reliable.

    I have been looking at GSs too, but I do not need the 1200, and the 800 would be tempting were it not for the price of options and the fact that BMW is not everywhere either. Kawazaki and Honda being Japanese and widespread, I would expect them to have a garage in more countries.

    So my question to you is this: in my position what would you get, and why?

    Thanks in advance and happy riding,

    Denis
    #1
  2. BIWOZ

    BIWOZ n00b

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    Given your parameters, I'd be looking at the Suzuki DL650 (V-Strom). My wife and I have done a couple of thousand km on them two-up, fully loaded, and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law have ridden theirs around Australia -- twice -- with no problems.
    #2
  3. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    You named the Dullville, sorry, Deauville. Take away the short suspension and the vulnerable plastic, and what do you get? A Transalp or Africa Twin. If 2up is important, go for the Africa Twin. Tackle the known issues before you take off and it will get you anywere and back.

    Lots of info here and on xrv.org.
    Downside: if you're located in the US, it might be difficult to find one.
    #3
  4. denisthemenace

    denisthemenace denis the menace

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    Thanks both for the feedback. The V-Strom is somewhat tempting, were it not for it looking quite ugly to me.

    The Deauville appeals a lot, but yes, ground clearance is an issue.
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Not in Ride Reports... :baldy Moved to Beasts.
    #5
  6. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

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    Where are you located? (complete your profile please, makes thing easier for evrybody).
    If you have the chance, go for a ride on both. You won't see how ugly the Strom is when you're riding it. But AFAIK, you'll be surprised how well the engine performs.
    #6
  7. wolftrax

    wolftrax Been here awhile

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    Get a pre 08 KLR and drop some $$ into the suspension. Dull, slow and reliable.
    #7
  8. andyhol

    andyhol volcano rider

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    hi mate, judging by the name i guess your in the uk like me. firstly everyone will trumpet for their own bike, just like opinions and somethig else everyone has got one

    the bikes you mention are all new(ish) and that 70yr old with a screw driver in mongolia anit gonna be able to fix one of them...
    seeing as your moving from a 125 why not consider something older.
    older = lower cost, easier maitainance and more money to ride. not to mention cheaper insurance and repair costs.

    for what its worth i got my xtz 750 super tenere for 500 quid and spent another 400 getting it thourghly sorted. it then took me faultlessly to mauritainia and back. my mate and i had less money in both our bikes (he on a kle500 kawasaki) than a guy we meet on a bmw 1200gs adventure had in just his lugguage system...and guess what when we all got to mauritainia bmw said dont use the fuel there or your warranty is no longer valid, it was the end of his trip. our bikes didnt care what the fuel was like. xtz's and kle's both pop up on ebay all the time in the uk. an xtz will be a bt more, but its faster and better off-road than the africa twin and about 60% of the price

    by the way why new? is it though the company you work for?
    if you realy need super-reliable,fixable and crashable maybe a xr600 with a big tank... not nice on the road or two up though but will do it

    good luck mate, if you fancy going for a ride somtime let me know
    #8
  9. Forseti

    Forseti Long timer

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    Well... Bang for the buck I would have to suggest the Dl650 as it is among the most reliable and has a ton of aftermarket available to allow it to do nearly anything you might want it to do. Plus they are fairly cheap to aquire. They work well on most any road surface and carry a pillon with aplomb. They are not the best looking bike out there but you dont look at it while riding it. They are not the most inspiring to ride either however that is part and parcel with the lack of specialization that makes the bike so good at nearly any riding you may end up doing. No I do not own one anymore as I sold mine a couple years ago.
    #9
  10. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    F650 Dakar

    I do not have one.

    If I were going to have one bike and I needed it to be reliable without dealer support I would pick that model. It will work in all conditions.

    If I were on more of a budget I would get a KLR650 or A DR650..........also two bikes I do not own.
    #10
  11. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    Forget injection, high compression engines and liquid cooling.
    Get a suzuki freewind, re-lace a 21" rim on the front, put shorter dog-bones on the back to compensate, add a high fender and you are good to go anywhere in comfort, light weight and dependability.
    #11
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    #12
  13. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    +1, and looks should be WAY DOWN the list of priorities, Seriously. :deal
    #13
  14. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    Best bang for the buck, TW200 10" of ground clearance but 31" seat height. Go anywhere but slowly, so what?
    #14
  15. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

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    If you can DIY service, then I would recommend the Tiger 800 sight unseen. The Tiger 1050 was the easiest bike to work on I ever owned, not that it needed anything.
    #15
  16. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Plus One on the Tiger 800 ... but not my first choice for a noob RTW rider. I say put him on a Vstrom and let him get over his hang up on looks!:lol3 And suffer down at the cafe' ... cause that's probably as far as he'll get anyway. Everyone knows the only way to go is on a dual sport single. He needs to go hear Austin Vince's rants for a reality check.

    1050 Tiger?
    Have you done a valve adjustment on your 1050? I have not ... but it looks like a bit of a chore. Any tips on doing a DIY on that job? I've only done basic oil change/tires/ service on mine.

    I did pull out the rear stainless brake line ... it was a B I T C H ... to get at to change out due to ABS accumulator and other ABS steel lines ... lack of access a concern.
    #16
  17. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    If the battery is dead, can the bike be bump-started? That seems like a desireable feature in remote places. A lot of modern bikes will not push-start with a dead battery. It may be hard to find out in advance which will and which won't.
    #17
  18. R3B

    R3B Lazy Motorcyclist

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    My guess is any bike with injection will fail, you need the pressure of an feulpump, so it will be pushing quite a wile to get the generator push enough to compress the fuel
    #18
  19. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

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    I checked the valves, didn't need adjustment at 20,000+. The valve cover was a bit of a puzzle to get out of the frame (tight fit).

    Didn't have ABS. Less stuff the better! Didn't have none of that stuff on my MX bike in the 70's. LOL. :evil
    #19
  20. mrpete64

    mrpete64 Been here awhile

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    Buy an '07 KLR. You can get it fixed anywhere...simple...dependable.
    If you do not want one...then find a good used v-strom 650. They are like having an "ugly" kid. You learn to love it!
    #20