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Author Topic: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2020, 10:08:52 am »
I would use a KLR if I didn't have an R80G/S. :biggrin:

What ever you do, do not take the BM650 singles. They are too soft. They are road bikes.

LOL - not entirely true, many have been on many, many RTW trips on BM 650 thumpers, and Walter Kolbach used a G650X for MANY trips across Russia etc., so if they are set up properly, they are a great bike!! The trick is that you do have to spen money on suspension for something like this - but you would have to on just about any bike, with the extra weight being carried.....
Having said that, I have a G650X and I would tour with it anywhere, at the drop of a hat - I also had a G650GS Dakar and absolutely hated it.....
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Offline fixit

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2020, 09:48:50 am »
I would use a KLR if I didn't have an R80G/S. :biggrin:

What ever you do, do not take the BM650 singles. They are too soft. They are road bikes.

LOL - not entirely true, many have been on many, many RTW trips on BM 650 thumpers, and Walter Kolbach used a G650X for MANY trips across Russia etc., so if they are set up properly, they are a great bike!! The trick is that you do have to spen money on suspension for something like this - but you would have to on just about any bike, with the extra weight being carried.....
Having said that, I have a G650X and I would tour with it anywhere, at the drop of a hat - I also had a G650GS Dakar and absolutely hated it.....

A G650X is a whole different bike. Not sure how reliable the motors are though?
As for the Gs650 Dakar road bikes, we had a guy come with us on a Wild Coast / Sani...5 province tour a few years back. He started off with a new bike that looked 30 years old when we finished. Had to weld up his frame a few times. The whole tail section eventually fell off from vibration. It was also terrible to work on. The frame snapped off next to the left footrest at one point. I managed to weld it up, but didn't last.
The motors seem to be good, but the body assembly is not very tough.
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Offline NickTheGreek

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2020, 10:16:43 am »
I would pick a DR 650 with comfier seat and bigger tank.

+1
 
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2020, 11:23:58 am »
I would use a KLR if I didn't have an R80G/S. :biggrin:

What ever you do, do not take the BM650 singles. They are too soft. They are road bikes.

LOL - not entirely true, many have been on many, many RTW trips on BM 650 thumpers, and Walter Kolbach used a G650X for MANY trips across Russia etc., so if they are set up properly, they are a great bike!! The trick is that you do have to spen money on suspension for something like this - but you would have to on just about any bike, with the extra weight being carried.....
Having said that, I have a G650X and I would tour with it anywhere, at the drop of a hat - I also had a G650GS Dakar and absolutely hated it.....

A G650X is a whole different bike. Not sure how reliable the motors are though?
As for the Gs650 Dakar road bikes, we had a guy come with us on a Wild Coast / Sani...5 province tour a few years back. He started off with a new bike that looked 30 years old when we finished. Had to weld up his frame a few times. The whole tail section eventually fell off from vibration. It was also terrible to work on. The frame snapped off next to the left footrest at one point. I managed to weld it up, but didn't last.
The motors seem to be good, but the body assembly is not very tough.

Motor is pretty tough - I bought mine with a "heat seized" motor - ripped it open, piston & barrel were still well within spec after 60,000km, so i added new rings as a precaution, only known issue with the 650 Rotaz motor is the water-pump that needs replacing every 50,000km or so - they wear and fail, resulting in overheating. the motors are used in the Bombardier 650 quads, all the 650 single bikes, a whole range of Bombardier Snow-ski-bike-thingy's, also Pegaso iirc? Anyway, lots of applications, so spares are readily available - the shims are the same as the KTM as well, so available. The downside of the XC is the rear subframe is aluminium (there was a steel non-OEM available) and the design tends to crack at the joining with the main frame under the seat (fuel tank is in the subframe under the seat) - I had mine re-designed and a mod done to strengthen it at the weak point, no further issues. The standard Dakar I am not a fan of, but thats just me I think - my cousin crashed one in Namibia, it was serverley damaged, but the frame was dead straight! the rest was messy tho....  :biggrin:
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2020, 02:23:54 pm »
  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=246651.0

Check this KLR out. Extremely low mileage which is genuine. Doo Hickey just been done as well.
 

Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2020, 04:00:15 pm »
  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=246651.0

Check this KLR out. Extremely low mileage which is genuine. Doo Hickey just been done as well.

Fokken fake news  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
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Offline zebra - Flying Brick

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2020, 04:06:39 pm »


Quote from: ClimbingTurtle on Today at 11:23:58 am



>....only known issue with the 650 Rotaz motor is the water-pump that needs replacing every 50,000km or so....
Water-PUMP, or water-pump IMPELLER? Down here, in CT, it's usually only the impeller that normally needs replacing (60K km to 80K km, roughly...) usually, just curious...
Cheers
Chris


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Offline PapaDragon

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2020, 06:07:36 pm »
  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=246651.0

Check this KLR out. Extremely low mileage which is genuine. Doo Hickey just been done as well.

Fokken fake news  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
t
@Casting from Turd , what is fokken fake news? Doohickey done, or low mileage?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 06:12:47 pm by PapaDragon »
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Offline Lars

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2020, 06:37:58 pm »
I don't want cause a shit storm but I had a 2007 KLR 650. And then some other bikes and now a BMW G650 X Challenge. I spend a gazillion Rand on the KLR and it still disliked corrugations, sand, loose rocks. And it was rather underpowered and I am not a fast rider by a long shot. The X Challenge on the other hand uses the same amount of fuel, has a good suspension from the factory and weights a lot less. If I look at asking prices for KLR's these days (legend tax) I would any day take a BMX. All round better bike for similar money and engine parts are freely available. Just my 2 cents...

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Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2020, 08:29:38 am »
  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=246651.0

Check this KLR out. Extremely low mileage which is genuine. Doo Hickey just been done as well.

Fokken fake news  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
t
@Casting from Turd , what is fokken fake news? Doohickey done, or low mileage?

The link takes you to the Covid-19 thread  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2020, 08:30:42 am »


Quote from: ClimbingTurtle on Today at 11:23:58 am



>....only known issue with the 650 Rotaz motor is the water-pump that needs replacing every 50,000km or so....
Water-PUMP, or water-pump IMPELLER? Down here, in CT, it's usually only the impeller that normally needs replacing (60K km to 80K km, roughly...) usually, just curious...
Cheers
Chris


Impeller is correct - I refered to it as the water pump, which I suppose implies the housing as well - its actually just the impeller and the seals, fairly simple fix, preventive is better than waiting for it to fail.....
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Offline PapaDragon

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2020, 10:15:39 am »
  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=246651.0

Check this KLR out. Extremely low mileage which is genuine. Doo Hickey just been done as well.

Fokken fake news  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
t
@Casting from Turd , what is fokken fake news? Doohickey done, or low mileage?

The link takes you to the Covid-19 thread  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

 :imaposer: :laughing4:
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2020, 11:58:07 am »
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=250902.0

I copied the Corona virus link  :lol8:1  :lol8: :lol8:
 

Offline LukasB9

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2020, 02:19:28 pm »
nicoleb on the forum and her riding partner took a[ b] 250 (Zook Djebel)[/b] & 650 (XR) up to Kenya before they had to come back to ZA for lockdown  :ricky:
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Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2020, 03:12:15 pm »
Being in the backpacking industry we have had our fair share of trans Africa travelers

I would say around 70% of them are on 650 cc bikes or smaller.
A lot are starting to use the little Honda CRF 250
Interesting fact. I was so impressed with a 2014 CRF250L that I bought another. The fact that they are affordable and capable means that there are many good used examples to be found. Because so many are sold, they are well supported spares wise.
I have not seriously considered riding it from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape - top speed in SA might be an issue - but my children has. And when you start riding gravel (or in Africa where top speed is theoretical) the options start opening up. In short it will go where my 1090 will most probably not go.
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2020, 03:24:14 pm »
Do some research on the Horizons Unlimited Forum. Everyone there are long distance overlanders, many have crossed continents and some circumnavigated the globe. The bikes used range from Vespas to sport bikes. When asked why, the standard answer is either that's what I could afford or that's the bike I owned when I started.

https://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/

A couple of extreme examples of people who rode whatever they owned:
1. https://teapotone.com/  Bruce aka TeapotOne rode a Superbike 74,000 miles solo around the world, through 54 countries in 442 days. Over a beer Bruce explained that he owned the GSX-R 1000 at the time his journey started and couldn't afford to buy another. He traveled the world on this bike wearing leathers.

2. https://www.worldvespa.net/ Alexandra, Stergios and Kitsos their Vespa scooter, two up from Greece through Africa and across to South America and still going. It is incredible what they load on that Vespa! If you ask Stergios why the Vespa he explains that he sold everything he owned when the Greek economy tanked and kept the Vespa he used to ride to work and simply started the journey.

3. https://www.2ridetheworld.com/ Simon & Lisa Thomas who initially planned a 16 month trip have been overlanding since 2002. They started with a BMW 1150Gs and an 650GS and in 2016 traded for two new 1200GSAs after 14 years on the road. Apparently BMWs are not a good choice for this kind of trip! These two have traveled through 80 countries on 6 continents.

There are pro's and cons regardless of the choice you make. Smaller is not always better, especially when riding solo and carrying everything you need. New is not always bad. Many examples of modern bikes filled with electronics crossing continents. It will come down to what you are comfortable with given what you can afford considering where you want to go.

Here's a most interesting article on lessons learnt: https://www.madornomad.com/sam-manicom-8-lessons-from-8-years-on-the-road/
Lesson one: Pick a bike you love and go!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 04:46:27 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 
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Offline BOZO

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2020, 09:15:20 pm »
Probably one of the best answers I have read on any thread in a long time. I salute you sir.


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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2020, 05:56:30 am »
Just for some perspective, from someone whos been around Africa.

Yolandie Rust on why she picked the BMW 650 Dakar?

I decided on the BMW Dakar as I wanted a bike that was reliable and easy to maintain. I started out on a different bike and that bike proved to be very unreliable as its engine seized at only 3 500 kilometers. Then I got my DAX. I am soooooo grateful for that change as its the best thing that couldve happened. In the end the BMW was just the absolute perfect bike for this journey! I never had any mechanical issues and mostly serviced the bike myself. Its never let me down! The ultimate in reliability! For a year and a half and thousands of kilometers this bike was my sole constant companion. My bike is the only entity that bore witness to my journey. That means were bonded for life. Its been a reliable companion.

PS: The first bike she mentioned in her answer was a KLR650 that she bought on advice obtained from this very forum!
 

Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2020, 11:12:08 am »
Michnus Olivier and his wife have been traversing the globe for years. He is in two minds about the BMW F650 Dakar - I know they had issues in Africa:

Ive been traveling on a motorbike since school days back in the 1980s.

So far Ive traveled on a motorbike through Africa, Europe, North and South America.

For my journeys Ive chosen a motorbike: BMW Dakar 650 GS (2004) & Suzuki DR 650 (2011)

Why this motorcycle?

Various reasons and purposes. BMW has a very good back up and service in while Suzuki is a great cheaper bike to use. In the end the Suzukis are the more basic and easily repairable and serviceable bike to use.

I am on the side of the group that believe there is a bike for a purpose and we own different ones for different purposes. In and around South Africa and Southern Africa depending on the trip we will use the BMW 1200 GS or / and BMW HP 2. For local nice off-road trips we will use our Suzuki DRZ 400s. The overall good average can do all is the DR 650s and BMW 650 Dakar at the time. The BMW 650 Dakar is a good bike, but eventually too costly and heavy to use over long periods of overland for us. We have been using the Suzuki DR 650s the last 4 years and they are good but also have some draw backs.

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Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2020, 11:14:25 am »
Michnus on the DR650:
 
What are pros and cons of Suzuki DR 650 in terms of long journeys?

Pro's
  Lightweight.
 Easy to maintain and run with parts readily available in most countries.
  Loads of customising options to match a riders riding style and ergonomics.
  Oil cooled, no need for radiators and water pumps that get damage.
  Simple old school design and basic as a LandRover Series 1.
  Much less tools to carry with to do maintenance and repairs than our other bikes.
 Purchase price is affordable. Also if ever need to abandon a bike in a country for some reason it won't hurt the pocket too much. As for Carne and shipping the lightweight compact size allows for less freight cost.

Con's
 No Fuel Injection, yes I know some people still have nostalgic and romantic ideas about carburettors and that they can repair them in the bush. I hate carburettors and most of my issues ever with cars and bikes have been carb related. Never had a FI system failed me except for fuel pumps which is easy to replace and compact to carry a spare. Not to mention the benefits of Fi with self adjusting fueling at high altitudes.
  The DR650 is as slow as an Oxwagon at best and as underpowered as an overloaded Tuk-Tuk in India.
  Ergonomically it is not made for two up travel where the BMW 650 Dakar does a much better job.
  In standard form it need some minor additions and work to make it dualsport and travel ready.
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