Planning my RTW trip

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Olivier81, Jan 18, 2021.

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  1. Olivier81

    Olivier81 n00b

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    Hello Riders,

    I am a new member of this forum and I have some questions that I hope you guys can answer.

    Im an experienced tarmac rider (private Harley-Davidson, work yamaha tracer 700 & BMW F650gs) but unexperienced off-road and im planning a rtw trip in 6 months from the Netherlands.

    Roughly im planning to exit Europe through Turkey, cross the Caspian Sea (by ferry), the Stans, Mongolia, Russia, (south-korea), Canada, US, Europe.
    I did some research on the internet and almost everything I can find is people heading east.

    Is there a specific reason for that?

    Im also looking for a motorcycle that is suitable for this journey. I need a solid bike that doesn't need allot of maintenance and is (almost) from standard good to go. I don't want to make allot of modifications.

    I am focussing on these bikes:

    -Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L
    -Yamaha XT 660 Z
    -Yamaha 700 Tenere

    Any advise? What are the pros and cons?

    that's it for now... but for sure ill have some questions later on about shipping the bike by air or sea.


    #1
  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    I helped an English couple who were doing a RTW trip on two Yamaha XT 660 Rs which just so happened to be a bike that is not sold here in the USA. Our local Yamaha shops could not get parts (spokes & a swing arm bearings) as Yamaha USA didn't carry the parts. We ended up going to a Bearing House and using a bearing from a Caterpillar tractor and had the spokes (including spares) custom made. Paul & Angie started their trip by flying their bikes from the UK to Canada (St Johns?) and then south through Washington DC and then did the TAT across the USA. After reaching the Pacific coast, they turned south and spent a week with me going over their bikes before heading into Baja and mainland Mexico. They have a blog http://www.twobikesrunning.co.uk/index.html

    If you do make it around to the Los Angeles area, look me up I've got spare rooms and a garage. We've hosted several RTW travelers and really enjoy having them stay and helping if needed.
    #2
  3. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    Did you post on the HUBB? I think I replied to a different question there, nothing wrong with any of those bikes but I personally would take something smaller like a Honda CRF300 or CB500X but then I am a fairly small person. These bikes need little or no modification to make this trip, my signature might be a little tongue in cheek but it is also a serious message, a standard bike with some luggage and a decent engine bash plate is perfectly capable.
    That does not mean that something like a more comfortable seat or bar risers to suit your own riding position are not worthwhile but upgraded suspension or brakes are simply not needed, a fuel range of 300-350km will also be sufficient in most parts of the world.
    #3
  4. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    How tall/ what is your weight? Since you are inexperienced offroad a nice small 250 would make your travels a million times easier and more enjoyable.
    #4
  5. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    If I lived in the Netherlands with those questions, I'd contact Noraly of Itchy Boots, in Utrecht, or Nora and Jojo of Adventurism, in (I think) The Hague. You have some very experienced world travelers right in your backyard, so to speak. I understand from what others have said that they are open and helpful.
    #5
  6. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    Neither of the bikes you listed are suitable for off-road riding (too heavy), they will work fine on gravel roads/tracks though.
    Going east makes it easy to avoid riding into the setting sun.
    As for taking advice from "influencers", I'd personally avoid that. There's plenty of folks on hubb (and advrider) with knowledge to share.
    #6
  7. GravelTravelRocks

    GravelTravelRocks n00b

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    Hi, I'm new here as well but also planning a RTW trip starting Oct 2021 ( Covid permitting). I'll be riding a Yamaha Tenere 700 and it's capable of tarmac, dirt roads and off-road if you are a capable rider. I'd get as much seat time in rough terrain between now and your departure as possible though. With limited off- road experience you are setting yourself up for a big challenge. I chose the T7 for reliability, parts availability and capability. I can't speak about the 660 as they weren't available here but I've ridden AT's and, for me, the simplicity of the T7''s made it the right choice. (I had a GSA..)

    I'll be heading from Atlantic Canada to South America, then Africa and eventually back through Asia to the UK and then home. That decision was based on meeting a couple riding buddies in Baja. I think in your case it may involve less backtracking.

    Good luck!
    #7
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  8. JasonFL

    JasonFL Been here awhile

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    I did some research on the internet and almost everything I can find is people heading east.
    Is there a specific reason for that?

    On evenings you’re running late to your destination ‘tis better to have the sun to your back than in your face.
    #8
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  9. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    You're a bit late to the show :lol3
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  10. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    If you head east from Europe in the summer/early autumn it is possible to hit the good riding weather right through to Australia if you take around 8 to 10 months to get there.
    #10
  11. JasonFL

    JasonFL Been here awhile

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    Ah just saw your previous reply. That’s what I get for reading the OP and nothing else. Sorry.
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  12. George Hanson

    George Hanson Long timer

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    Have you considered the new Honda CRF300 Rally? Looks nearly perfect for this kind of thing.
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  13. Natgeo14

    Natgeo14 Long timer

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    Here is a review of the Tenere from a guy who took his bike down to Africa.



    The year before he took his 2019 Honda CRF450l down to Africa and he fell a lot less on that bike.

    I rode a motorcycle from the States to Argentina.

    My advice is to take something in the 400-500 cc range.

    The biggest factor on a rtw trip is weight. You want a light bike.

    I think the Suzuki DRZ400 S is probably your best option. They weigh 145 kg and have a reputation for the engines being indestructible. They made them for almost 20 years so aftermarket parts are easy to find and inexpensive

    My advice is, spend a good amount of money on the aftermarket protection parts. Buy good metal radiator guards, a good aluminum bash plate, case guards, barkbusters, good pegs, good aluminum or soft luggage.

    If you must buy a newer motorcycle then you should get the 2019-2020 Honda CRF450l, but one thing I would think a lot about is the desirability of someone to steal your bike on the trip. One negative aspect to RTW or long distance moto traveling is that it is sometimes a nuisance when you want to do things besides riding it. You are constantly worried that it will get stolen, so by taking a less expensive bike I think you will worry less about it and have more fun.

    I'm not sure of the availability of the BMW G650 x-Challenge in the Netherlands but that would also be a good bike for you because it is light at 145 kg. It is a more rare bike though, so parts are going to be harder to find and more expensive.

    The BMW f650 and xt660 bikes are 180 kg which will be too heavy off road. I think the Tenere is a 200 kg bike!

    The 400-500 cc will be big enough that you can still ride on the highway pretty fast. In my opinion, with your experience, it is kind of dangerous going with an adventure bike over 500 cc. My friend has also rode sport bikes for most of his life and recently switched to a bmw F650 and started riding trails with us. He broke his collarbone and also had a serious crash a few months later on his F650. The 650 and above size is not ideal for off-road. They are a hand full off road even for the guys with lots of off road experience.
    #13
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  14. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    plus 2 in regard to gaining experience by riding on dirt, gravel, mud and water crossings.... with a fully loaded bike, before you set off. No doubt you'll be faced with all of these kinds of riding surfaces.. All work on your choice of bike prior to departure should be done with only the tools you'll be taking with you...
    There's an inmate starting his RTW trip on a CB500X Honda... check out his RR as he spends some time talking about his setup of the bike. So far, the only mechanical issues are OEM sprockets and chain.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/rtw-the-jamie-z-way-wandering-yucatan.1478110/page-56#post-41719931

    This is a great forum to gather insight, ideas and sage advice.
    #14
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  15. Coffeeman

    Coffeeman Coffeeman

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    I don't want to crap on this idea, but I can't see covid clearing up in most of Europe before the end of 2021 enough to allow cross border travel and Hotels/camping to be permitted. We are just about totally shut down for as far ahead as I can see. This won't leave vaccines or recovery times for much of Africa, Asia, South America for some time after that, say 2022. Good luck and keep us in the loop.
    JMO
    #15
  16. jbhowat

    jbhowat n00b Supporter

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    Is Europe really shutting down again / more? I have travel scheduled there for late March. I understand testing/vaccine proof may be required but damn, that sucks if borders are still going to be closed up tight.
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  17. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    It is difficult to predict what the situation will be in six months but at the moment just about all non-essential travel has been stopped in all countries and whilst the UK seems to be doing a good job of getting vaccines done the situation in the EU is not good at all, hopefully they will catch up sooner rather than later.
    #17
  18. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    Late March? Highly unlikely. Maybe next fall. My daughter lives in France - - curfews and travel restrictions are in place, have been, and are expected to continue well into the foreseeable future....


    Back to the OP’s original question. I agree with the earlier suggestions to choose a smaller bike.

    I own an F700GS. It is fantastic for my purposes. But if I was planning an RTW, the Honda CB500X and the new Honda CRF300 Rally would be at the top of my list for this trip.
    #18
  19. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    As for Europe shutting down, I have a BIL in the UK, and travel is very restricted. You are only allowed to food shop and stay near home. Noraly (Itchy Boots) has been silent since last month, and today she posted on IG that she has applied for a visa to move elsewhere (don't know where, maybe the US?) because NL is on complete shutdown and evening curfew. Presumably most of the EU is similar, or she wouldn't need a visa.
    #19
  20. djays

    djays n00b

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    Likewise I am planning to head to the east after spending a long time there, with a route fairly similar to yours.

    Maybe a lot of people ride towards the east from EU is because you can ride a vast area without having to 'transport' your bike...

    As for the bike, I would just go with what you are happy to ride! I am heading out on a Multistrada, and will ride what I can with it.. but I know each day I will have a smile !
    #20