Bike for long distance commuting and a cheeky bit of offroad?

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by Ravers, Sep 28, 2011.

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  1. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Righto chaps, I'm looking at getting rid of my Chinese made supermoto and getting a bigger and more reliable machine. A change in circumstances has meant that I will soon be doing some big motorway mileage up and down the M1/M6 most weekends and I don't fancy doing it in my big thirsty 4x4.

    I like offroad style bikes, partly because I'm quite tall but also because it's what I'm used to, I also live on a farm and the ability to cross the odd field or shallow stream would be handy. I also find that when riding around town, I like to be able to see over the tops of cars. I'm not interested in Harleys or any other homo magnets and I don't fancy a megazuki 10000 which can break the speed of sound.

    Just to clarify, whatever bike I end up with, I still won't be joining any gangs or clubs or wearing any of those gay leather waistcoats or dressing up as a Power Ranger, it's just a mode of transport.

    The following bikes have crossed my mind, anyone have any experience of any of them? Max budget is probably £4500.

    BMW GS650 Dakar.
    Honda Africa Twin.
    Yamaha XT600 Tenere. (The old Paris Dakar ones)
    Yamaha XT750 Tenere. (Likewise but bigger)
    Yamaha XT660 Tenere. (The new one that looks like Robocob)
    KTM 640 Adventure.

  2. There's a couple of nice(ish) Honda's on the MOD disposals page here Not too flimsy and good for long motorway runs.

    And you still get to dress up as the bike cop from the Village People too which must be a bonus? :)
  3. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    They look alright but I'm not sure their offroad credentials are quite in the same league as the Tenere. ;)
  4. What about BMW? Not my cup of tea but might suit your needs.
  5. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Indeed the GS650 Dakar, is looking like a very sound option at the moment.
  6. Hmm I would never touch a BMW out of warranty, had a GS 1150 Adv a few years ago (sold it for a profit after the Ewan and Charlie program came out :) ) The 650 Dakar is not brilliant off-road, but if you can find one the GS850 is a hell of a capable bike (better than the 1200 IMHO)

    The Africa Twin is too big but if you can find a Transalp it is excellent, cheap and will do everything you want.
  7. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Cheers for the tips, I didn't realise they did a GS850, that could be a good bet. I'm surprised that you wouldn't buy a BMW out of warranty, are they considered unreliable? I assumed they'd be typically German and go on for ever.
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    You might find the GS650 a bit small, only girls ride it in Germany ;-)

    The 1150's second hand are a giveaway over here since the 1200 came out, but a mate (on his 5th GS in 12 years) swears the 1200 is the muts nuts.
    I guess its a case of test riding what you can to confirm, then looking for someone offloading a little used toy in the recession.....

    ...and what is wrong with looking like a power ranger? I think its rather dashing :)
  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    aprilia made he f650 for bmw and its a good bike well rated, the aprilia is cheaper but get spares from bmw as they come in cheaper for those oddly enough.

    if you wanted comfort then you could go for a maxiscoot
  10. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'm not sure I'm into the massive GS. It might be a bit too much of a step up from my pokey little 125. The biggest bike I've ever owned was a 400. It also needs to usable around town, I reckon one of those beasts is gonna be a bit of a handfull in traffic? I do quite like the 650 Dakar though, I prefer the looks of the old Teneres but I've heard the Dakar is an easy bike to live with.
  11. The warranty issue is down to BMW's strategy for parts procurement, they by components for cars and bikes from the same places so you often find stuff that just isn't "bike" quality stuffed on their bikes. Gearbox and final drive is a particular issue on the Boxer engined bikes, My GS 1150 Adv was in for warranty work a total of 5 times in the 12 months I owned it :(
  12. I looked at the sporty 1300 thing as a replacement for me R1 thinking shaft drive was the way to go

    Apparently not ;and that was from the shop the bike was sat in .Also isnt there a thing of them using a lot of specialist ie expensive tools to service the beasties ???
  13. Bmw 800 series type bike would suit or go retro and have a bit of triumph action bonneville se.The triumphs are cheap hardy and have large service intervals. I've got one and I'm cool as fcuk in a 60's throwback way.
  14. 12k for a valve check isnt large by any stretch
  15. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Another thought that has just sprang to mind, what about a Honda XR650/Kawasaki KLR650/Suzuki DR650 (they is all basically the same innit?) and whack a Paris Dakar style fairing and a long range tank on the ******? I'm thinking in terms of cost here. I can get a decent low mileage XR, which I know are capable of surviving nuclear explosions, for about £2500 and then for another £500 worth of bits, I've got a serious machine.

    Something like this:
    Or this: