So seriously...if you could only have one bike....

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Bigemf5, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Bigemf5

    Bigemf5 Adventurer

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    Sooo, my job has had me living abroad for most of the past 20 years, in various countries. Whenever I move, I can generally only ship one bike. I currently live in the U.S. and own a Triumph Tiger 800XC and a Suzuki DR200S. I'll likely be moving to South Korea for the next 2 years followed by several years in the Philippines. I hope to begin a slow slog around the world, 3-4 months riding at a time, after moving to the Philippines. I can't import either bike to the Philippines so would have to store it along the way. I hope I illustrate the complexity of the situation. If you could only have one bike to explore the globe on, what bike would it be?
    #1
  2. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Prolly the 690.

    I like my 990 because I ride everywhere I go and it's great on the slab. And not too bad at all on the trails.

    Yeah, I'd like a smaller bike (525 or so) for the fun off road stuff, but the 690 would handle everything I get myself into.
    #2
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  3. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

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    Oh you fooled me.
    I thought you were going on an epic ride.
    And I dont see it as a complex situation.
    Take the bike that suits your needs.
    And if you cant import your own bike then its obvious that you have two choices....rent or buy.
    #3
  4. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

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    For that area of the world I don't see any need for a big bike. Heck even having a small twin like the CB500x might be pushing it in an area where 90% of the locals ride on 200cc and less.

    My pick would be a DRZ400. Decent suspension for crap roads, stone axe reliable, there are very few long high speed freeways in SE Asia so the 5 speed isn't an issue, lots of luggage options, and pretty cheap to buy. Now whether or not you can get one in the Philippines I have no idea...
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  5. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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    Might be this:

    [​IMG]
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  6. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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    Or this:

    [​IMG]
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  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

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    I would definitely choose a KLR. Kawasaki has had a much longer presence around the world than many brands and the KLR model has market penetration, commonly sized parts and much prior use as you intend.
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  8. ArmyStrong

    ArmyStrong 6F

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    KLR agree. My one bike is a R1200GSA and I ride many miles/places but not remote or technical off road. Its why i bought my bike, swiss army knife capability.
    #8
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    DR650 or KLX250S. Buy the KLX overseas and you can possibly get EFI. Upgrade it to 351cc if you want more grunt.
    #9
  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    What time is it?
    How old am I?
    What hurts, how bad, and when?
    What's fun in life at the moment?

    Ad infinitum...
    #10
  11. MotoChron

    MotoChron Got Dirt?!

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    Well, I really like my 1200GSA, but I wouldn't want to ride the world on it. It's great for the things I like to do around here. I take it off pavement, but nothing to gnarly. If I were to travel the world probably a KTM690 would be my first choice, but parts availability would factor in. So probably a DR650.
    #11
  12. muckntruck

    muckntruck Adventurer

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    Drz400 just for size, ever seen the 650's+ try to split round these parts?
    #12
  13. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    Only one bike... Well, where I live we do not have many off-road options so I would personally stick with street bikes. And then it would be something practical and fun. But also something with good dealer support where I live. So something from Honda or Harley most likely. Roadster Sportster with good luggage, or maybe the NC700X from Honda. I would probably lean towards the Harley...

    Then again, having only ridden about 3-4 bikes my sample size is small. My opinion may be invalid :D
    #13
  14. DirtMedic

    DirtMedic Intrepid Explorer

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    Add my vote for a DR650. Plenty of power for highway, enough off road manners to get through the less than civilized roads, easy to repair, and fairly comfortable with an aftermarket seat.
    #14
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I'm not a huge fan of the KLR650, but for something like this I think it's the best choice. They are cheap, so if something happens to it no big deal, and you won't look like a rich tourist. They are reliable, so you can focus on riding instead of wrenching. You can get all sorts of racks for them, pile on whatever you need, and go. They'll probably run on kerosene or whatever fuel you find along the way.

    Most importantly, you can find parts on every continent.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. ineptizoid

    ineptizoid I'm scared hold me

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    DR650, no question. Versatile, simple, cheap, durable, low-maintenance, good aftermarket support.
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  17. motoracer51

    motoracer51 Been here awhile

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    Love my DR650
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  18. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    DR650 or KLR650.

    DR gets the nod due to rockers with screw adjusters and being air/oil cooled.

    Either one would get a better seat.

    Caribou cases as pelican/storm cases can be easily replaced and or taped up in the event of a crash and they have a smidge of give to help distribute the crash load.

    Both would get better springs and the valving played with up front {damper tubes holes welded or opened up whichever needed, oil viscosity and levels}. Both would get a quality shock correctly sprung and damped.

    Both would get ergonomic mods if needed.

    Dr would get the larger Acerbis tank.

    Dr "might get a aftermarket, bar mounted windscreen. Maybe.

    Both would get aux fuse blocks and 12v assy plugs for GPS and heated gear.

    Both would get LED head and tail lights to free up some wattage in case of heated gear and a plus is that they are brighter and should last longer.

    Done.
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  19. Kiba

    Kiba Dances With Huskies

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    I'll second (Third? Fourth?) the KLR650 or DR650, I've ridden both but owned neither. Both lived up to their rep in the short time I tested them out (both were late model ish). For a vintage but still reliabile ride, Yamaha's version is cool too (XT600 and XT600E). I owned an XT600 which ran for a year, dirty enough to cover a cracked head, through every kind of abuse... didn't even see the huge engine problem until I shined the bike up. Unbelievable durability IMHO, even if it was a fluke.

    If you wanted to go old-school but reliable... a weathered 1990+ HD Sportster. Dead reliable, lazy motor, excellent fuel mileage for its size, parts everywhere (though not sure about South American availability versus Japanese brands), easy to modify and/or fix if something does break. Downsides would be heaviness and the need to modify for real off-road.
    #19
  20. CJ3Flyer

    CJ3Flyer Long timer

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    Wow, the DR and KLR seem to be winning in this thread. For some reason I have soft-spot for the DLR and V-Strom 650... Assuming we are not talking an Apocolypse scenario bike and roads are fairly good those are great choices.

    For me, my reality involves less need for serious off-road capabilities but would require some off-pavement, reliable, easy to work on, comfortable and cool so I guess I'd want my old '12 GSA. Hard to beat that thing for a 'one bike'.
    #20