What bike for Earth journey

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Finniqan McRyder, Aug 29, 2021.


What bike around the world?

  1. BMW F650GS

    0 vote(s)
  2. Yamaha XT660z

    5 vote(s)
  3. Suzuki DL 650 Vstrom

    5 vote(s)
  4. Honda cb 500 xa

    7 vote(s)
  5. Kawasaki KLE 650 Versys

    2 vote(s)
  6. Aprilia Pegaso 650

    0 vote(s)
  7. Triumph Tiger 800

    1 vote(s)
  8. KTM 640

    0 vote(s)
  9. BMW R 850 GS

    0 vote(s)
  10. Other

    12 vote(s)
  1. Finniqan McRyder

    Finniqan McRyder n00b

    Aug 29, 2021
    Hi everyone,
    Short story: I had a work accident in 2012 and had my vf 750 c put on grass. Fought myself out of a wheelchair for 6 years and today I can go short walks. My knees, shoulders and back are injured, so I have to stop thinking about driving my heavy Honda around the world. I was at my local dealer to sell my Honda and figured it was over with adventure on a motorcycle. But he suggested after a long talk, a test drive on a BMW f650gs. After a very long ride on it through different surfaces I was sold.
    Much better driving position and I could drive on gravel and the tar without my back felt like a hell of a pain. But I am 2 meters tall and I could feel the knee did not like the low sitting height on the BMW..
    The dealer called one of his customers who came with an older Africa Twin. Much better for the knee and back. The dealer also suggested that I look for a Tenere xt660z. The dealer does not think I should "settle" with a Versys, cb500x, Suzuki DL 650 VStrom etc.
    And avoid machines with carburetor from before the year 2000 as our petrol prices in Europe are insane and I have a low budget. For some reason you can not buy KLR in my country.
    So now I have to decide if I should not go on adventures again, now that I have the time for it, in a larger part of the world..
    Ship the bike and go on adventure

    One of my adult children does not have a motorcycle himself due to education time, but would like to take part in some of the trips and also would like to borrow the motorcycle to drive where the tarmac is almost impassable. I live today on a small pension from the work injury compensation, so a new machine can not be considered due to the world's highest taxes on motorcycles in my country. eg. a Harley-Davidson Pan America ™ 1250 Special costs $ 47,095.92..

    Which machine should I buy in exchange for my old Honda?
    I can do minor repairs myself and more.

    1) I can not pick up a heavy machine
    2) The machine must be the most reliable on the market
    3) The cheapest in spare parts
    4) Long range on gasoline and long service intervals
    5) Do not leave me stranded on a deserted country road due to overcomplicated electrical components
    6) Must be able to run on poor quality gasoline
    7) ABS must have?
    8) What did I forget to consider ??
    daveindenver likes this.
  2. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

    Dec 18, 2012
    A Versys X300 might be worth considering also, since it’s even lighter than the bikes listed. The CB500X is probably the most fuel efficient. Good luck with the decision.
  3. daveindenver

    daveindenver Adventurer

    Jan 18, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Welcome back to the sport Finniqan! I have an x-300 and a v-strom 650. For a long trip there’s no comparison. I would definitely go to the 650 if you think you can pick it up. Both really nice bikes.
  4. Adanac rider

    Adanac rider O.S.T.R. 62 Supporter

    Dec 5, 2006
    Honda 300 Rally .:thumbup
  5. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2012
    Monroe, GA
    The one you have already is the best regardless of what that is.
  6. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Long timer

    Nov 12, 2012
    Western Canada Dream
    What is your plan with your Earthly Journey ???


    No one will steal it any where in the world and you won't be afraid to dumping garbage gas or used burnt oil in it too keep going...

    We learn this when traversing countries that don't have very good quality controls or infrastructure...

    A peace of junk bike that burns oil and runs on garbage gas is the ultimate world traveling unit...

    What would I know about this stuff...

    Good luck finding your ride...

    The ruffest bikes on Earth are normally the best...

  7. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

    Jun 1, 2004
    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    Since you have a lot of compatriots who did or are planning to do similar world trips, maybe you should look them up and compare notes. I realize your situation may be a bit unique, considering you are recovering from a serious injury, but the trip isn't. Having said that, @Don T to the white courtesy phone please... :type

    I would think that if you are going to ride on a world tour, think outside the box. You don't have to buy the bike in Denmark. Maybe if it survives the long trip and it's still in good shape, you can import it in some years time when you are done. Or buy something completely different at that point, because the riding you will be doing is different.

    I second the suggestion of the CRF300L Rally. It's roomy, it's light, reliable and if you are on a world tour that includes non paved sections (or simply badly paved roads) power is not an issue outside major highways.

    Don T likes this.
  8. SilentSoaring

    SilentSoaring n00b

    Sep 21, 2015

    For solo RTW my first choice would be RE Himalayan (Fuel injected model) with Honda Crf300l Rally as close second option.

    The pros of Himalayan:

    1) Cheap to buy and maintain.
    2) Easy to fix anywhere.
    3) Good ergonomics and load carrying ability.
    4) Good range.
    5) Less appealing to thieves.


    I do not think anything else today comes close as true RTW machine.
  9. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen Long timer

    Dec 5, 2015
    Cypress, TX
    It'd be a difficult tossup between a 300 Rally and DR650 for me. Both would require substantial modification for purpose. Primary difference I see is that the Honda is less likely to have an issue, but it's harder to work on compared to the more mechanical DR. Also substantial power advantage to the DR, but that's not relevant in much of the world.

    I understand the argument for the Himalayan, but I test rode one and didn't really like it personally. I preferred my friend's 250 Rally. Both the Rally and the Himalayan have a lack of power issue in my opinion, but that's not going to be much of an issue on a real world tour. Only an inconvenience in the USA and Western Europe.
  10. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

    Mar 18, 2008
    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    As saving money is important to you, it doesn't make much sense to buy a bike in Denmark and then spend a small fortune shipping it around the world.
    It would be much cheaper for you to fly out and buy a bike locally where you want to travel - bikes are cheaper abroad, you save the shipping costs and you will be riding a bike that are common at your destination.

    Only by doing test rides will you learn which bike is best suited for you.
    daveindenver and Vikingtazz like this.
  11. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer

    Oct 27, 2005
    All respect to you for not giving in. How about a Maxi scooter, like a Yamaha Majesty? Lots of leg and knee room. You give up some versatility off road, but gain in comfort and fuel mileage.
    breakm and daveindenver like this.
  12. Kaiowas

    Kaiowas n00b

    Jun 4, 2021
    Hello from Greece dear friends. A real world travel bike, I think should be a bike that goes everywhere, doesn’t break, have large fuel capacity and is easy to service everywhere. I think that Xt660z tenere is a proven world bike. It just doesn’t break under any circumstances or. conditions. If you have decent height that can control it, I can’t find a reason not to go with it. We ve done thousands and thousands of kms with just an oil change. Greetings.
  13. BikeBrother

    BikeBrother Motorisch gestoord...

    Jan 5, 2008
    At the edge of the Veluwe
    I think the best bike for long travels, is the bike you feel comfortable with. Its gonna be a part of your daily life. Its for everybody different. I know guys that go with racebikes, choppers and ofcourse adv- bikes. Bike of choice can be adjusted to your wishes with other seat, footpegs,handlebar etc, to make it perfect comfortable for you. For me its a drz400s for our long trips outside europe. Put bigger fueltank on it, home made rack for softbags an a few others changes. Cheap to buy, low maintenance, low on fuel ( even with carburator) and 400+ km range. With complete camping gear, 5 l water, food, tools, still a light bike. Good luck. Www.bikebrothers.nl
    MotoChris521 likes this.
  14. breakm

    breakm Been here awhile

    Dec 9, 2015
    Get a used CRF250 Rally, they go for about 5000€ in normal taxes parts of Europe. You might not even need bar risers, but if you do 24mx has them for 20€. If you cant get correct sag in back get a replacement spring for 100€ and you are done. You would not be nearly the first, and not the last to use CRF250 for RTW.

    1) I can not pick up a heavy machine - 157kg or so with full tank of gas
    2) The machine must be the most reliable on the market - one of the most reliable, many took it RTW, steph, itchy boots and many others without issues
    3) The cheapest in spare parts - very expensive if parts bought in Europe, very cheap if bought from bikerzbits or partzilla websites (same original parts, Honda Europe charges extra)
    4) Long range on gasoline and long service intervals - 300km on tank, 12 000km oil, 24 000km valves (not many check valves at 24, they usually stay good for much longer)
    5) Do not leave me stranded on a deserted country road due to overcomplicated electrical components - electronics are the same from Honda cars of the 90ties, how reliable where those? - very, stuff like sidestand switch can just be shorted in case of trouble (some modern bikes need specific resistor placed in circuit...)
    6) Must be able to run on poor quality gasoline - itchy boots ran hers on gas from some old guys backyard in Africa, worked.
    7) ABS must have? - has it, can be turned off for back wheel
    8) What did I forget to consider ?? - doesn't need to have a lot of power as you are riding solo and have the time, it will do 120 km/h on highway, but its happiest (less vibes) up to 90-100 kmh.
  15. Kaiowas

    Kaiowas n00b

    Jun 4, 2021
    Yes , crf250 is a good choice if you have so much time to spend driving slow but be careful, if you drive in south summer ( Europe or Asia) conditions and you change oil every 12.000kms it will be a disaster. These numbers are marketing numbers and in extreme hot can be very misleading and dangerous for the bike.
    Adanac rider likes this.