Most likely NO you are not!
YOU are planning a long trip, the Americas, RTW or wherever and you make a post all excited and the armchair adventurers jump in to tell you what YOU should be riding when you didn’t even ask, sound familiar? Chances are those guys haven’t or will never leave to go anywhere, so ignore them
That bike in your garage will most likely take you where you want and how you want, because that’s why you bought it in the first place.
- You could afford it
- It fits you
- You like how it looks and rides
- …and you (hopefully) know your way around it
but is it the right bike, there are three major things you need to know about before you leave, especially a long trip.
Fuel range –
Once you step out of the western world, fuel will become a little scarcer, a range of 250 miles/ 400km is good to have if you plan to venture off the beaten path.
You could increase your capacity with add ons like Rotopax, Fuel Cells from companies like Giant Loop or Desert Fox, cheaper versions like MSR dromedaries and Starbucks coffee mylar bags have also been used. In a pinch, soda bottles will also work.
Just because there is fuel at the gas station you are at, doesn’t always mean there will be fuel at the next stop. A good rule of thumb is to start looking for fuel when you are at half a tank or so…not when your reserve light comes on.
or modify your tank before you leave…haha!
Firstly pack what makes YOU comfortable, be it a credit card and a toothbrush, or your whole wardrobe and kitchen sink. There is no right way to pack, only the right way for YOU…that guy in his armchair has no idea what YOU need, unless you asked
…but one thing to take into account,
your luggage weight ‘might’ determine your route
…once you are in the third world most of the good stuff is down a dirt road. Dropping the bike is easy, picking it up not so much
A KLR, a DR650, XR650 even a CR250 or WR250 can be considered a big bike in a lot of countries.
Big bikes use big tires. Big tires are expensive tires.
most locals will be riding bikes with 17 or 19-inch wheels front and back, skinny tires. Simple fact, big tires aren’t really needed for the majority of riders, supply and demand.
Don’t expect a great tire selection for YOUR bike when you need it, in big cities you’ll find the greatest range, don’t balk at the price, just plan ahead instead of buying when you HAVE to.
If you are on a 1200 and it uses a 150 to 180 rear tire that might cost $150 in the US or Europe, expect that price to likely be as much as triple the cost in the third world, make sure you budget for that.
Don’t wait until the last minute thinking one will show up in the next town…it might not
Title image – AlphaCoders