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Discussion in 'Europe' started by Boredsurfer, Oct 24, 2019.
No worries J,
we’ll be in touch.
I've been riding a DR650 around Europe for the last 7 months, and have rarely wanted for more power. I avoid highways/motorways/autobahns, and generally average about 180 miles (300km) a day on the road. Rarely in a hurry, usually on pavement. The suspension soaks up all of the shitty roads in the Balkans/Italy, and the nimbleness makes it easy to carve up the hairpins in the Alps.
The DR650 must be THE most applicable bike to ride anywhere on the globe.
While not owning one, we rode them extensively (and over + over) as rentals in the Euro Alps, Western US, New Zealand and around home/ Australia...and ALWAYS had a ball of a time with an absolute minimum of fuss/ breakdowns.
Scoffed at by many who just don't know better...and valued dearly by many, many more who DO know!
The DR650 is a great bike, but newer ones are rare as it hasn't been sold over here for a couple of years. I met a Brit who imported one from the US for this reason. NSFW's Europe ride report is a great read, if you want to see how a 650 feels in Europe.
Each year a German motorcycle magazine tests 20 new bikes (from Duke to Road Glide) to vote on the best bike for the Alps, looking for an agile bike for touring and corner carving. You can argue whether that's objective or that aging jornalists lean towards comfort, but anyway:
2005 650 V-Strom
2006 650 V-Strom
2012 R1200GS / Tiger Explorer
2014 1190 Adventure
2016 CRF1000 Africa Twin
2017 R1200GS Rallye
2018 R1200GS Rallye
I had a GS for seven years and rode it to Norway, Iceland, Spain, Turkey ... and while I was never a BMW fanboy, I have to say that it did very well, including tight switchbacks in the Alps. A lightweight single opens up more options, but only if you also pack very light. If you're traveling with big panniers and a topcase/duffle on top, I'd look for a twin in the 700+ccm range.
Depends a lot on what your expectations are.
Most people organise their flight to land at most a couple of hours away from where they want to be, avoiding the need to use motorways at all. A day riding a heavy bike in the Alps etc, does get tiring. A light to mid range bike is sufficient to do anything you are likely to - except racing with the squids doing up - but mostly they are living an hour o two away and just having yet another weekend bash.
Many of the lesser known and IMHO nicer passes - and routes in general are more fun on a smaller bike - again IMHO.
My own trips start and finish with an 800mile trek from the channel to where I choose to be. I try to make sure that is part of my enjoyment and holiday not two days wasted. Easy enough even across the flatter parts - just have a range of interests that can add spice to where ever you are.
Or consider a Triumph Tiger