Any suggestions for a great travel motorcycle that could carry me to Mexico or Alaska or anywhere else on Earth I might want to ride to?I'm looking at everything from KTM to KLR to v-Strom, etc.
Depends what type of riding you expect to do and what type of performance you want, reliability, fuel range, mileage etc.In addition to the KTM (I'm assuming either 690 or 990 adventure.......?? personally I'd put these lower on my list due to cost & some reliability issues) KLR and V-strom(both good choices & much cheaper to buy & huge aftermarket support), there's;Suzuki DR650 & Honda XR650L(reliable and dirt simple air cooled)Suzuki DRZ 400 - will do it all once known bugs are addressed & it's setup properly. (huge aftermarket support)Yamaha WR250 - smaller but will cruise at highway speeds all day long & is nimble, reliable, versatile and fuel efficient. Needs some setup to do long trips.These cover much of the smaller end of the scale, which personally I prefer, as I'd rather have a lighter, more nimble bike.On the larger, heavier, more expensive end, there's;BMW F800Honda VeraderoYamaha Super Tenere (new to the market, less aftermarket support & unknown reliability)If you haven't already, I'd set aside about 300 hrs and go to www.advrider.com and poke around the ride reports, regional forums, bike discussions etc. Well worth your time, quite entertaining and good info to be found.Also- if you're riding in a particular area- it doesn't hurt to check out the local Dual-sport and trailrider websites/forums for local info etc.. Many states/provinces and countries have them ie.www.odsc.on.ca (Ontario)http://www.dualsportbc.com/ (British Columbia)http://www.dualsport-sd.com/ (San Diego & So Cal area)Just some examples......
3BeeJay3, awesome input.That's the range I was looking at (~650cc). I looked up the KLR and I think they weigh about 100 pounds more than they did pre 2007ish...and they supposedly are a little tall. I'm average height, but would prefer an average height bike over one considered tall and heavy.For range, I can probably get an aftermarket supertank for most of these bikes?The riding would be on pavement as much as possible, but I'm sure I'd hit some dirt trying to cross Mexico or 3rd world countries. Something reliable that requires little maintenance and easy-to-find parts would be ideal, which might rule out the BMW. So that narrows it down to Suzukis DR & Vstrom, and a Honda, and maybe an older KLR.Do you have any personal experience with any of these machines?Been to advrider a couple times, very overwhelming! Your 300 hour estimate might be a little low:)
Actually the KLR's weight hasn't changed much in many, many years. Even the ones from the mid-late 90's weighed something like 375# or so fully gassed. That's quite a bit lighter than a V-strom (which is actually a street bike that a few guys discovered can do light off road stuff. That in turn spawned an after market for offroad accessories) The only one of the KLR line that was a bit lighter was the KLX650, which was only built( or sold in NA) for about 2-3 years in the late 90's I think.I owned a DRZ400 for a few years, but also have some familiarity with many of the the other bikes listed, as I've been heavily involved with the DS & offroad community for 6 years now & have lots of friends and acquaintances that ride them(KLR's, DR's, XR's, V-Stroms, WR's etc.).As far as the F800 goes- it may be more reliable than you think - or at least this one was OK(the KTM on the other hand......) :http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=653492&h...If you plan on doing a lot of pavement - a 650 V-strom would probably be ideal & they are priced right.Here's a good ride report thread done by a friend of mine on a V-strom:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=538108&h...
After market large tanks are avail for most DS bikes. Not needed on the KLR & Vstrom, as they both have 300km + range.If you get one of the smaller DS bikes and want a larger tank- go with Clarke, Acerbis or Safari. IMS also makes them but has some QC issues that haven't been fully sorted yet. They have great support, but that doesn't help you much with a leaky tank 1000 miles from nowhere.
Totally delinquent reply!Well, looked through the advrider KTM thread, and that shoots down whatever little chance there was at buying one of those for my trip.Still, your post and other things keep pointing me to the KLR. A friend told me how reliable they are, how they're pretty easy to maintain and find parts for, no matter where I might go. They're even good enough for the military to have purchased for many years. And the price is right.Thanks much for the expert input!
I would second the KLR recommendation. There are a number of KLR-specific websites that can guide you through the handful of modifications you might consider for long-range adventure travel. They are simple and a reasonable compromise between a street bike and a bushwacker. Choice of tires will dictate how pleasant a turnpike cruiser you make it, but several lines of dual-sport tires will give a decent ride on pavement while still digging in a bit on dirt roads and tracks. I believe, of the bikes that do everything acceptably but nothing exceptionally, they are the cheapest and simplest, and seem to be known all over the world. Go for it!
johnsfolly49, that's a good endorsement if I ever heard one! Thank you and happy riding
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