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Author Topic: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline Jacobsroodt

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2020, 11:16:56 am »
Michnus: - If I was to change my current motorbike I would chooseÖ Husky 701, it is less than 200 kg weight with good suspension and Fi and a good reliable bike. Although it costs a bit to convert to overland travel form.

My advice for choosing the best motorcycle for an expedition?

From our website an article I wrote ďWhich bikes, hard parts, equipment & gearĒ suggesting which bike to use for a long-term travel:

Probably always the one you have plus a healthy dose of adventure spirit.
Basically any dual purpose bike but depending on the terrain some motorcycles perform better than others with regards to suspension, carrying ability, reliability and cost of repairs and parts. As example riding Africa off-road is a whole different ball game than Cape to Cairo on tar. Having to carry a pillion limits choices but needs careful consideration on type of roads and weight.
Your budget for a bike.
The route planning and what the motorbike can handle is very important.
Maintenance, reliability, and cost of parts.
Donít let people convince you otherwise, weight and size does matter. Lighter & smaller = better. Even skilled riders struggle with a +200 kg bike loaded with 30-40 kg luggage in sand tracks and mud. Ask yourself if you would be prepared to walk away from a mega $ bike if something serious happens that you have to leave the bike in a country. Accidents or instances like in Peru where you donate the bike to the state for a day over your visa.
Try and keep the ego in-check. Just wanting to look the part on the new BMW 1250 LC to impress people and hit the likes on Instagram is not a wise decision. It is your trip, your money, be sensible about the brand and bike.
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2020, 01:00:39 pm »
There are many factors that influences the choice. At the top of that list, whether we like it or not is time and money.

Second is where you plan to go which is again influenced by time/money. Most casual travellers do not actually have time to go off the main roads because they need to get from Cape to Cairo by a certain date.

If you have unlimited time, youíll want to explore more off the beaten track. However, you will also not be too phased by any delays.

In my opinion, the third consideration is how you intend to travel. This is often influenced by money. If you plan to sleep in brick & mortar lodging all the way, you carry less with you which affects what bike you need.

Finally, are you traveling in a group, with or without support, pillion or no pillion?

There is no one perfect bike. Most often itís the bike you own simply because you already have it and are probably comfortable riding it. Itís also a very personal and subjective concept.

In the end, what is more important is that adventure spirit as Michnus said, a healthy dose of it and the desire to travel. When you have that, almost any bike will do because itís about the journey, not the destination.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 07:30:20 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2020, 01:26:08 pm »
Exactly.. well said  :thumleft:
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2020, 08:38:11 pm »
Apparently big bikes, especially expensive BMWís are not for Africa...


http://latg.pl/ Look around the globe - Lukasz & Marta. Two up on a BMW F800GSA recently did Poland to Cape Town and back again. They are now in South America.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 08:38:33 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 

Offline Fudmucker

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2020, 05:20:48 am »
https://www.worldvespa.net/home/

You can even do it 2 up on a Vespa 2-stroke !
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2020, 06:12:14 am »
https://www.worldvespa.net/home/

You can even do it 2 up on a Vespa 2-stroke !
I met them last year and found their story most inspiring. Whatís more, they are not traveling light either...but they have the luxury of time. No rush to get anywhere fast.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2020, 08:58:26 am »
Time and money.

Say you have both, then what use is time if you are on a 400KG package trying to plot only good roads?  Do you travel some of these roads twice, because you have time? :pot:

If I had both time and money, my choice of bike would be a maximum of 160kgs. It seems stupid to start with a 200+KG bike and add onto that with luggage.

Fact is that even if you plan a tar road trip, a lighter bike will give you the on-the-spot option to explore.  With a big bike you may feel too intimidated to venture into tight spots.

I believe one big problem to be that many of those deciding on an overlander, is already on huge bikes and find the needed mindshift to a smaller bike, especially on shortish notice, too big an ask.

And be honest with yourself, if you choose an R1, or GSX-R1000, you are not going to do a technical tour, you will be forced to stay on better roads.

The advantage the superbikes have over big D/S bikes for touring, is lack of weight.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 09:00:22 am by 2StrokeDan »
 

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2020, 03:18:04 pm »
Time and money.

Say you have both, then what use is time if you are on a 400KG package trying to plot only good roads?  Do you travel some of these roads twice, because you have time? :pot:

If I had both time and money, my choice of bike would be a maximum of 160kgs. It seems stupid to start with a 200+KG bike and add onto that with luggage.

Fact is that even if you plan a tar road trip, a lighter bike will give you the on-the-spot option to explore.  With a big bike you may feel too intimidated to venture into tight spots.

I believe one big problem to be that many of those deciding on an overlander, is already on huge bikes and find the needed mindshift to a smaller bike, especially on shortish notice, too big an ask.

And be honest with yourself, if you choose an R1, or GSX-R1000, you are not going to do a technical tour, you will be forced to stay on better roads.

The advantage the superbikes have over big D/S bikes for touring, is lack of weight.
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2020, 04:54:56 pm »
Time and money.

Say you have both, then what use is time if you are on a 400KG package trying to plot only good roads?  Do you travel some of these roads twice, because you have time? :pot:

If I had both time and money, my choice of bike would be a maximum of 160kgs. It seems stupid to start with a 200+KG bike and add onto that with luggage.

Fact is that even if you plan a tar road trip, a lighter bike will give you the on-the-spot option to explore.  With a big bike you may feel too intimidated to venture into tight spots.

I believe one big problem to be that many of those deciding on an overlander, is already on huge bikes and find the needed mindshift to a smaller bike, especially on shortish notice, too big an ask.

And be honest with yourself, if you choose an R1, or GSX-R1000, you are not going to do a technical tour, you will be forced to stay on better roads.

The advantage the superbikes have over big D/S bikes for touring, is lack of weight.
2SD, Iím not promoting large/small, Iím merely pointing out the factors that influence decisions of those that actually got on with it and crossed continents.

Some prefer large and others small, some like new and others old. There is no one perfect bike for such a trip because we all have different needs based on our own experience and resulting perception.

According to forum wisdom, most successful overland trips seems to be undertaken with the wrong bike. However, when you ask those riders they almost always say they wouldnít do it any other way.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2020, 07:14:23 pm »
Time and money.

Say you have both, then what use is time if you are on a 400KG package trying to plot only good roads?  Do you travel some of these roads twice, because you have time? :pot:

If I had both time and money, my choice of bike would be a maximum of 160kgs. It seems stupid to start with a 200+KG bike and add onto that with luggage.

Fact is that even if you plan a tar road trip, a lighter bike will give you the on-the-spot option to explore.  With a big bike you may feel too intimidated to venture into tight spots.

I believe one big problem to be that many of those deciding on an overlander, is already on huge bikes and find the needed mindshift to a smaller bike, especially on shortish notice, too big an ask.

And be honest with yourself, if you choose an R1, or GSX-R1000, you are not going to do a technical tour, you will be forced to stay on better roads.

The advantage the superbikes have over big D/S bikes for touring, is lack of weight.
2SD, Iím not promoting large/small, Iím merely pointing out the factors that influence decisions of those that actually got on with it and crossed continents.

Some prefer large and others small, some like new and others old. There is no one perfect bike for such a trip because we all have different needs based on our own experience and resulting perception.

According to forum wisdom, most successful overland trips seems to be undertaken with the wrong bike. However, when you ask those riders they almost always say they wouldnít do it any other way.

Because they know no other way?  Seriously, for you to be able to say which bike is personally the best overlander for yourself, you'll have to do the trip repeatedly, each time on another machine.

I think it stands to reason that a lighter bike will ALWAYS be more manageable, and free the rider up to more adventurous/spirited riding.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2020, 07:39:08 pm »
Also wanted to say that while many do trips on bikes that they had, or thought would be the best, or what they could afford, it is nowadays entirely possible, with the wealth of knowledge  and experience on

this topic, to determine which bike would work best.

 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2020, 07:54:16 pm »
Time and money.

Say you have both, then what use is time if you are on a 400KG package trying to plot only good roads?  Do you travel some of these roads twice, because you have time? :pot:

If I had both time and money, my choice of bike would be a maximum of 160kgs. It seems stupid to start with a 200+KG bike and add onto that with luggage.

Fact is that even if you plan a tar road trip, a lighter bike will give you the on-the-spot option to explore.  With a big bike you may feel too intimidated to venture into tight spots.

I believe one big problem to be that many of those deciding on an overlander, is already on huge bikes and find the needed mindshift to a smaller bike, especially on shortish notice, too big an ask.

And be honest with yourself, if you choose an R1, or GSX-R1000, you are not going to do a technical tour, you will be forced to stay on better roads.

The advantage the superbikes have over big D/S bikes for touring, is lack of weight.
2SD, Iím not promoting large/small, Iím merely pointing out the factors that influence decisions of those that actually got on with it and crossed continents.

Some prefer large and others small, some like new and others old. There is no one perfect bike for such a trip because we all have different needs based on our own experience and resulting perception.

According to forum wisdom, most successful overland trips seems to be undertaken with the wrong bike. However, when you ask those riders they almost always say they wouldnít do it any other way.

Because they know no other way?  Seriously, for you to be able to say which bike is personally the best overlander for yourself, you'll have to do the trip repeatedly, each time on another machine.

I think it stands to reason that a lighter bike will ALWAYS be more manageable, and free the rider up to more adventurous/spirited riding.
And thatís my point...if you ask 10 people youíll get 10 opinions. And thatís all it is, opinions. Not everyone has the same priorities and preferences, we all perceive reality from our own personal perspective and unless you can reference the pros and cons of using your recommended bike on a trip of similar nature following a similar route, you are simply speculating and applying your own preferences.

If I choose to take on a trip using a 300kg Harley, thatís my choice given itís my trip, my money and only I truly know what works for me. Itís rather presumptuous to claim that someone whoís actually travelled several continents over many years did it in a specific way because they didnít know better.

In this discussion it appears we are debating theory and ignoring practice! I find it curious that when I talk to intercontinental adventure motorcycle travellers, they all agree there is no one brand, type or engine capacity uniquely suited for this purpose. Itís only amongst those that has not done it that the merits of a specific type and capacity bikes are argued in such absolute fashion.
 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2020, 10:41:39 pm »
Also wanted to say that while many do trips on bikes that they had, or thought would be the best, or what they could afford, it is nowadays entirely possible, with the wealth of knowledge  and experience on

this topic, to determine which bike would work best.
Exactly! Thatís why after 13 years of traveling non stop Simon & Lisa Thomas (2RideTheWorld) changed their bikes for newer versions of the same.

Thatís also why Lukasz & Marta(Look around the globe), after traveling through Africa twice in one year, took the same F800GSA to South America for the next leg of their world tour even though they can afford to buy any other bike.

The answer to which bike works best, can only be answered by the person riding it! There is no golden rule that applies universally even though some may believe there is. The truth is, we donít use the same yard stick so even when presented with the same wealth of information available today, you and I will not make the same choice.

That is why there are so many brands offering a diverse range of different bikes all equally loved by their respective owners and used however they see fit. Critics and supposed experts be damned!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 10:43:16 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 

Offline Blikkies1

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2020, 10:50:24 pm »
Can clearly be done on varying scoots but you did say 'ideal'.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 10:54:28 pm by Blikkies1 »
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2020, 11:06:37 pm »
Can clearly be done on varying scoots but you did say 'ideal'.
This just proves my point. Thatís not a bike I will ever buy and definitely not to ride 10k kmís through Africa.

I can however see something like that strapped to the back of a unimog to be used to explore around camp from time to time.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 11:08:20 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 

Offline Blikkies1

Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2020, 11:18:35 pm »
Yeah look,  that would be the dream - just because it's a brilliant piece of engineering. My real world choice would be a 690 ala Poskitt.
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2020, 04:01:36 pm »
This thread reminded me of a conversation I had with my 3 year old son about 20 years ago. He had just returned from visiting his grandparents. My mom, in an attempt to keep things interesting, had him watch her make oats every morning and explained every step in detail. After a couple of weeks he could recite the recipe.

Upon arriving home there was much friction in the kitchen one morning. He had asked his mom for oats and was now refusing to eat it. His argument was that she made it wrong. With blind ambition I attempted to convince him to first try the oats and consider the taste instead of refusing on principle. I lost that argument and conceded that at least as far as he was concerned, thereís only one correct way to prepare oats and any deviation from that exact method renders it inedible.
 

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2020, 04:15:50 am »
How can you possibly agree that your mother made oats better than your wife...?  ???

PS: How long you have to go without conjugal relations ?  ::)
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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2020, 06:49:27 am »
How can you possibly agree that your mother made oats better than your wife...?  ???

PS: How long you have to go without conjugal relations ?  ::)
Well, in hindsight I now realize, nearly 20 years!
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Ideal size motorbike for an Africa trip
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2020, 07:55:33 am »
 :laughing4:

But back on track, and my 2c....

I traveled to mid-Kenya and back to SA many years ago, with my cousin, bith on XT500s - we wanted R80GS's, but didnt have the cash for them, so we settled for what we could afford. We didnt know what we didnt know, we didnt know there was such a thicg as "Adventure Biking" - we just wanted to ride bikes through Africa, o we built some steel pannier racks and planned for years, got fed up with planning and left. We were gone for 10 months on the most perfect bikes available - that we knew of anyway. We both still have our XT's, 26 years after we returned....

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