Choosing Bikes

A crucial step in the journey towards this trip was to choose and acquire our motorbikes.

From the outset we all agreed that whatever type of bike we chose, we would all buy the same one. This had massive benefits in that we could all buy the same bike gear, all buy the same spare parts and tools and all learn how to do maintenance on the bikes together. But which bike to get?

After a lot of research we began to create a shortlist of possible bikes that would suit the trip. This included:

  • BMW R1200GS

  • BMW F800GS

  • BMW F650GS

  • KTM 1190 Adventure

  • KTM 990 Adventure

  • Kawasaki KLR650

  • Suzuki DR650

  • Yamaha Tenere

  • Yamaha Super Tenere

  • Honda CT110 (AKA a Postie Bike)

From this list we had to take into account price, power, weight, maintainability, spares and whether we would look like a knob riding it (this ruled out the BMW 1200 haha). No offence though. BMW – if you would like to sponsor us with a bike like you did for Ewan and Charlie we would both remove this part of the post and be thrilled to be riding a Beemer.

In the end we chose the KLR although in truth we would have had an absolute ball on any of these bikes. Basically three main factors stood out in this selection: it was cheap, Alex already had one, and if it broke down in Tajikistan and we needed a goat herder to fix it he could probably fix the KLR. Not so the more advanced bikes with their tricky fuel injection and electronic systems.

So we all have KLR650s and are loving it.

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Side note. I was recently on the phone to a bike store looking to get a new bike chain and sprockets. The guy asked me if I wanted the same chain but in gold which he thought would look sexy. I told him if I was trying to look sexy I wouldn’t have chosen a KLR. He nearly did a double take. “Mate” he said, “never underestimate the sex appeal of the KLR650!”

I’ll let others decide. Does anyone else think the KLR is a sexy bike?


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