What are the most popular RTW bikes built today?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by djroszina, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    Say someone wanted a bike for distant travels including remote areas with very poor roads, what bike sold today would be your pick? Also, this would be for solo adventuring completely unsupported.
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  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Depends on your physics, skill level and definition of "very poor roads".. alot of people travel on GS and wouldn't wanna anything else. Others had built DR650 into adventurer.

    Personally I would pick Versys-X 300 and farkled it for trip. Light, cheap, reliable. Enough power for highways.

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  3. AndyBoundy

    AndyBoundy Adventurer

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    I’m going to throw-in F800 GS Adventure based on no actual experience. Great dealer network, solid, well-tested bike with good spares availability, go-anywhere capability (better than 1200), mucho fuel, great highway bike as well with loads of luggage options. I have a 700 but would step-up for RTW I think. Not sure about low-octane fuel usage - good point by Seth650. I would run Tubliss or get no-tube tires I think. I just think RTW on a 200 would get gnarly - but I’m old and tired.
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  4. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Air Cooled.

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    It would depend greatly on whether your idea of going RTW includes mostly paved roads in developed countries, with only a few very bad roads thrown in for spice. I think you can have a very civilized ride on every continent with a GSA, or full-on touring bike. Some dude rode an R1.

    On the other hand, this is ADV, where pavement is almost a mortal sin, so... take your pick of the single cylinder 250 dualsports, or the DR650 or KLR650. If you like dirt and plan to ride it heavily, in third world places where a lot of the brands we take for granted hardly exist, the cognoscenti are fairly unanimous in recommending a small Japanese dualsport. Capable enough, extremely reliable, easy enough to fix with improvised parts in an alleyway in Peru or Kenya if necessary, and not so expensive that if things get dire it would bankrupt you if you had to abandon the bike for some reason.
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  5. JustBob

    JustBob Uh...who me?

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    Noah Horak rode a KTM690ER until he got bored and came home. He has wrench skills but I think any bike will need to be attended to.
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  6. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    OP failed to mention where he lives, budget, physical statue, so most of comments from cheap feeble US rider point of view. In other countries something like XLE300 or RE Himalayan could be an option. Africa Twin if you are big boy with money.

    CRF250L Rally would have been a great if Honda had put CB300 engine in it.
    I have heard guys prefer 800 over 1200 for unlikely reason: it fits through hotel door.
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  7. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    I would take a versys 300 or maybe a rally 250 I think. Smaller bikes are easier to park in corridors etc to keep safe Tyres are a problem in a lot of countries on big bikes.

    If you have months the difference between going 120 on a freeway rather than 100 is moot because you won't take a freeway unless no other choice
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  8. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    Hahaha,I’m an old white guy from Wisconsin. Right now my go to bikes are a 650 Dakar and 09 Standard GS. The 650 is for now the go anywhere bike and is set up for AK this June.
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  9. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    How quick do you need to go? How much will you be packing?

    I'd recommend an Africa Twin. William Gloege just returned from a RTW on one. He has a youtube channel.
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  10. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Are you going to Dowson for D2D too? I'll be there. Check Versys-X thread there's a guy who owned both 650 and Versys and ended up selling 650 Dakar after the season. Per what he says little VX3 was doing everything and he didn't need 650 any more.

    BTW if it's just for Alaska roads there aren't that bad; we were there with son and his Ninja did fine. As long as you have good tires and chain taken care of.. maybe a bash plate for Dalton potholes if you plan to fly there.
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  11. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    Air cooled, carb and simple. Lots of DR650's going RTW.
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  12. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    I’d take a DR650. Air cooled and carbureted, if you can’t fix it with a rock and stick you’ve got a serious issue. Quick and easy to change oil and clean air filter. No shims required for valve adjustments. Steel subframe will hold more crap than you need.

    I’ve found on longer rides (1,000 miles+) that ease of maintance on a bike is a nice plus.

    Wait...why am I selling my DR again? :lol3
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  13. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    That’s the thing. There are some awesome DRs, 250s, GS Adventures and everything in between. All awesome and capable bikes, fully setup and on the auction block. I’ll be at D2D, my first time, but I’ve been up 3 times to AK on a K1100 LT, a Honda XR650L, and an 1150 GS. And while I agree any bike on decent tires will do just fine, it’s when your out on them roads and there’s torrential rains, washouts with barely adequate repairs or long streatches of road rebuilding that the right bike on the right tires increases the chance of success. For me, I bristle at the prospect of a challenging road either near or far from home.
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  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    The downside is altitude performance due to carbs and need of extensive preparations. I had looked into adding EFI, big bore kit, tank, suspension, etc.. too much work and even if parts are cheap it ends up not that cheap at the end.
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  15. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    Do you think the Himalayan could be a viable choice? I know its's new and unproven, but it is simple, but with a little bit of tech as in EFI. I wonder where the fuel pump is on it, in the tank, or external? If external, then fitting a bigger tank would be a breeze for the aftermarket.
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  16. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    I’d run a pumper carb. I ran one from sea level to over 12,000ft and never touched it. Adding a bigger tank, luggage racks and tweaking the suspension can be done in a weekend.

    It’s certainly not perfect for everyone though. Just what I would take. :beer
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  17. Junyah

    Junyah @ the speed of plaid

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    I'm partial to the WR250R. 32,000mi and just entered country number 18. Weak point is the fuel pump, but they're small and easy to carry. It's been to 16,000ft, dumped many times, and been down the hardest goat tracks I could find in Latin America. Very durable machine. Though at, what?, 24hp? you won't get there fast like a 650, 800 etc. I once went from Chile to Lima in three days with the throttle literally pinned the whole way, still purrs like a kitten with 45,000mi on it. Very under appreciated ADV bike.

    ETA, it's also the 6th one off the production line. And the WRs have an on board diagnostic where you can manually actuate spark plug, injector, rad fan, servos, and gives a sensor feed back to check if they are in spec, takes the guess work out of the equation.
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  18. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    How about higher? Altiplano, Roof of the World, high passes? And price-wise:

    DR-650 $6499
    CRF250L $5199/5499 abs
    CRF250L Rally $5899/6199 abs
    BMW G310GS $5699
    Versys-X $5399/5699 abs
    RE Hymalayan $4499

    It's about time for Suzuki to update DR and while it bring Freewind back.
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  19. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Lots of people have toured the world on BMW 650s, what's wrong with your Dakar? One of the best features any bike can have on a longer trip is an owner that knows it's quirks & understands the basics of how it works.

    You need to throw a few $ at the suspension on most things if there's a few rough roads on the menu.

    It's probably a bit harsh to judge a bike without having seen one in the metal, but I would struggle to see what a Himalayan could offer over a BMW 650 - just as heavy, less power, crappier suspension, Indian vs German engineering... Lower seat height maybe?

    There's a lot to like about the DR650, nicely lighter than a 650 Dakar, again, spend some $$$ on the suspenders for rough road travel.They're a similar focus to your old XR650L but with a lower seat & more reliable motor.

    Given many of the smaller engined machines being considered are nearly as, or even more heavy than a DR650, with similarly basic suspension, I find it hard to to get excited about them as travel machines. WR250R is the pick of the 250's by a long shot but my lady's one has not been very reliable. Next up on the list if you are serious about performance on rough roads is the KTM 690/ Husqvarna 701.

    Cheers
    Clint
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  20. ColoradoBC

    ColoradoBC Shpadoinkle

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    My 80s xt 250 ws a deathtrap on the interstate, i couldnt even pass the semis. Maybe the newerr ones can go above 65
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