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Discussion Starter #1
PHP:
A good evening to all of you here :)

I'm new to the forums and really in neeed of some advice/experiences. I'm looking to get my first adventure/giant traile bike, I've done some homework and read and digested what I can about the XRV650/DR'S/XT'S etc and could do with some insightful views :) 

I've only ever ridden a couple of bikes even remotley similar (dt125,a dominator) as everything else has been a road bike (been riding for 10 years now on the road all year round-never bothered with cars)

sorry for the background blurb, but to those still reading here's my quandry: I like the looks and specs of the 650AT, but A) it's a swine to find one and B) i'm wondering if it's as capable as some of the competition in say snow/ice conditions. I've looked into DR600/650's and DR Big's and also the old XT Tenere's. The bike has to be capable 2 up and able to cut it in bad weather.
So what's the verdicts? what's good/bad about the above 
:toothy10:
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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Hello you cant go far wrong with the 650 Transalp they are good reliable and are year round 2 up ride-ability.:thumbright::thumbright::thumbright:
 
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Giving advice is always tough. One man's meat and all that. The first question to ask yourself is 'what exactly do I want the bike for'. Africa twins and Transalps are really good tourers and whilst many people on the forum do take them off road there are more suitable bikes for that. Well that's what I think. Having said that I'm sure they cope very well on good trails and gravel roads. I like singles and have an FX650 Vigor, in fact it's my second and the only bike I have bought two of. It's not as refined as an Alp or AT but it's that that attracts me to it. Don't forget these bikes are quite tall and require a good leg swing to mount them. You will have lots of replies telling you the best bike of the bunch but my advice is to look at lots and try them for size. I think one of the forum guys has an AT up for sale at the moment and very nice it looks too. There are loads of Alps on e:bay plus the odd SLR650 as well as Vigors (what on earth actually is a vigor?). I think I'd be looking at a TransAlp if I were you.
 

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one of the lost boys
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PHP:
A good evening to all of you here :)

So what's the verdicts? what's good/bad about the above 
:toothy10:[/QUOTE]
 [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Nothing bad about the above, might be something more suitable to what you need or want though.
I took my DR650 through all weathers, it was a bit of a bitch to start in very sub zero temps but with the seat off you looked at the airfilter and with a squirt of cold start I'd be on my way. I dropped it a few times on the ice, once putting the gearlever through the engine casing, that only needed welding. When I rode out with a mate on his AT the DR suffered a bit and was a tad gutless, I used it mainly for commuting and if I had kept it probably would have done a motard conversion. It was a great bike very easy to throw around and easy to pick up. would I have another, probably not I'd go for a twin instead[/FONT]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for getting back to me guys :) especially the extra views from a DR owner as I'd seen quite a few of these for sale in the price range I'm looking at (£1200-ish). It's a surprise to hear a recommendation for a transalp for abillity in bad weather/snow, but certainally an option reliability wise.
@ twistgrip:- Wow, never heard anybody stick up for the naked Dommies :) Glad to have another point of consideration.

I agree whole heartedly about trying them out, but securing a test ride on anything i'm after locally is not simple-northwest england-there's a few transalps so may check one out, but the only other is a DR600 but the dealers not keen on test rides.

cheers again guys.
 

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Wing Commander
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All rounders are jack of all trades and master of none. But I have ridden my @ to Italy on the motorways of France and then gone off-road to do the stella. I've gone two-up to France and to Pembroke several times. Realitically it is to big and too heavy for off-roading and too weak for the roads. And it's brakes etc are 20 year-old technology and size.

I have ridden a new BMW GS800. It is lovely. It goes faster and stops faster, is lighter and uses less fuel. But I'm doing up my 20-year-old RD04.

If you want to travel on it, I'd go for a twin not a single, rather than a thumper, so the Transalp as your entry level.
 

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got to agree with Whealie Transalp...

also depends if you are handy :) the transalps and AT are great when sorted and dont take much to sort ( all can be found on the forum )

cheap entry level would be an old 600 alp.. but you may need to do a bit to it or it may be sorted..

I have a 600DR 19Lt long range tank.. will do every thing an at / alp will do and better off road... but the trip on road to get you and you there will have your teeth loose :)

the v twin is great.. alp is better off road.. as its lighter

the AT is a hand full in the mud but superb on fast loose tracks

the super 10 is a great bike too.. but long in the tooth like the DRs and the 600alp

the 650 alp is a good start too as its a lot newer...


if new

700alp 800 BM... plenty of reviews

but it sounds like your looking at older bikes so 600 alp or the super ten

if your going offroad alot.... the single

if your on the road... twin your pillion will appreciate it :)

as said.. horses for course..
 

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Now on a BMW R1100RS.
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@ twistgrip:- Wow, never heard anybody stick up for the naked Dommies :) Glad to have another point of consideration.
Well here's another one! :thumbright: They aren't perfect but they're nice bikes and sit at 70mph without much trouble but yes they do vibrate a bit. But they have very nice torque and acceleration at low-mid rpms, good in town too and they are quite light and pretty good off road. And if they fall over or are crashed at low speed then they don't get damaged much if at all, I like tough bikes :) And I find it to be a good bike for taking a pillion with those nice wide bars and good stability. Maybe not the best bike to do long tours on but it would do it. Can't comment on the Transalp as I haven't ridden one but from what people say it could be a better bike for lots of long distance rides. Depends on what sort of riding you will be doing a lot of. :thumb:
 

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Of all the bikes I have had though out my biking life, I would class the Transalp as one of the best for entry level into big bikes.
It is very forgiving and very capable.
 

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You will really have to specify what you want the bike for( two up and good in snow ice dont mix).. If you want a bike thats good in ice and snow then a 250 will be plenty . AT,Trans, DR 600 . S10 etc are awful in them conditions. If you wanna cruise on the blacktop and take in a bit of green laneing then AT, if you got the money , or Yam S10, if you aint. they both do the job . Owned them all and the only big capable one is 950 KTM.
 

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There are quite a few of us round the North West. With @'s & Alps where about are you?
 

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Identical to mine :) same colour too :) centrestand is an option, and this one has one I got mine for £100, there is also a lazer pro endcan ( runs better with it fitted and its lighter )

rear wheel should be a gold rim so it look like the dreaded corrosion got that original one and some one fitted a latter wheel

worth a punt if you want a decent Alp...

Looks like the exhaust fitted to the bike is a Mivv item - similar shape to the Honda standard item, but subtly different.

That's the Train Spotter in me coming out...........:D



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Looks like the exhaust fitted to the bike is a Mivv item - similar shape to the Honda standard item, but subtly different.

That's the Train Spotter in me coming out...........:D

geek :) ( spotted that too but doid not know the make.. mine had the laser.. its nice :) pais £1250 for mine in 2004 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey all, wow that's some serious amount of info to think about! I do agree I need to be more specific about what I expect out of the bike, so I'll try and sumerise below :)

1) I'm near Lancaster, in Galgate to be exact :)
2) I've currently got a VFR750 F-R that I use ALL year round, yes including the recent spate of snow we've had (and yes I did crash it trying to get home on the snow,was doing great on it till I caught up with slowing cars near a roundabout and had to brake!) and the poor old gal has taken more than her share of winter damage.
3) regarding the above point, i'm in need of a bike to cope with the worst of the weather as not turning up to work isn't an option, the bike is my only form of transport for me and the missus, hence my mentioning two up, but it's not going to be used to tour on, just trips of about 30 miles each way every day.
4) I assumed a lighter low power machine (dr350 etc) would be good on ice/snow with the correct tyres, but due to pillion space kinda ruled them out.

I know the Transalp has had a lot of good recommendations, but as I'm going to be using my VFR during the good months, I can't see it being enough of a shift towards offroad capability.

seriously thanks for keeping the thread open and replying guys, your one of the most helpful bunch of bikers I've come across :)

Oh and I'm pretty ok with mechanical work, i'm used to wroking with my VFR now, and nt much scares me after that lol! (cept the carbs....V4 carbs are a nightmare!!!)
 

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Hey all, wow that's some serious amount of info to think about! I do agree I need to be more specific about what I expect out of the bike, so I'll try and sumerise below :)

1) I'm near Lancaster, in Galgate to be exact :)
2) I've currently got a VFR750 F-R that I use ALL year round, yes including the recent spate of snow we've had (and yes I did crash it trying to get home on the snow,was doing great on it till I caught up with slowing cars near a roundabout and had to brake!) and the poor old gal has taken more than her share of winter damage.
3) regarding the above point, i'm in need of a bike to cope with the worst of the weather as not turning up to work isn't an option, the bike is my only form of transport for me and the missus, hence my mentioning two up, but it's not going to be used to tour on, just trips of about 30 miles each way every day.
4) I assumed a lighter low power machine (dr350 etc) would be good on ice/snow with the correct tyres, but due to pillion space kinda ruled them out.

I know the Transalp has had a lot of good recommendations, but as I'm going to be using my VFR during the good months, I can't see it being enough of a shift towards offroad capability.

seriously thanks for keeping the thread open and replying guys, your one of the most helpful bunch of bikers I've come across :)

Oh and I'm pretty ok with mechanical work, i'm used to wroking with my VFR now, and nt much scares me after that lol! (cept the carbs....V4 carbs are a nightmare!!!)
The Transalp has a better two up ability, it has the ability to absorb knocks and look used rather than crashed.
Being a twin it is better on the longer trips than a single, also it will look good in the garage next to the VFR.
 

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A Transalp would be a good bike to start with. Consider the TA as more road/touring biased than the AT (Africa Twin) but to be honest, I've seen people from this forum throw Transalps at things I had to think twice about with my AT.

They're all pretty similar, but the early Africa Twin frame is probably a bit stronger, and obviously the looks are down to personal choice. Either bike will carry two people easily for 30 miles in most weather I reckon.

I've had a few 650 Africa Twins, and they are a fantastic bike. You should know if you've been doing your homework that they were never officially imported into this country, so any 650 (RD03) you see for sale in the UK is a personal import from Europe or maybe even Japan. RD03's (XRV650) do come up on eBay (there's one on there now I think) but go armed with the right information when looking at any bike. All AT's and TA's suffer from the same major gremlins if they haven't been cared for properly, like stripped output shaft or welded front sprockets, corroded wheels, corroded brake calipers. RD03's can be temperamental if either of the two CDI's is fouling the underneath of the seat. All bikes respond very well to carb balancing, and a badly out of balance carb setup will show itself with vibration from 4500-5500rpm. Don't expect superbike brakes (they would be too powerful off-road) but if they're working 100% they will stop the bike OK. Obviously, the RD03 and some Transalps only have one front disk, so condition of the brake/caliper on these ones id worth taking special note of.
You may find that buying an Africa Twin will start a bit of a passion for them, as they are such great all rounders, and if you buy carefully, there's a good chance you won't lose a penny when you sell it. Expect 50mpg for earlier RD03 and RD04 bikes, and more from the later RD07 and RD07a. Not sure about Transalp economy.

The XRV650 RD03 Africa Twin does enjoy a bit of a cult status, and most parts can be found with a bit of patience, and bits from other bikes do fit in some areas. There are also a few aftermarket companies that do parts.



Good Luck, keep us posted on what you do



Bob
 

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Take your height into consideration. I looked at the TA but being 6 foot 5 it seemed a bit on the small side for me. I opted for the @ and think its a great machine, on and off road.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Funny you mention the height aspect....I went to a local dealers i'm friendly with who had a TTR 250 raid and an F650GS in, thought they'd be interesting to gain a feel for height.
I managed fine to get on both, but this brought to mind a further issue...weight! I'm a husky guy (16.5 st) and the TTR deffinitely sagged, though it was expected with it being spec'd for a wee japanese rider ;)

@ Bob: Thanks for all the @RD03 info dude, I did know a fair bit form researching the bike, including the prospective CDI, but shocked to learn there's 2 CDI units! christ what an expense if they both blow! It's much appreciated though regards their additional problems and what to look out for :iconbiggrin:
I love the appearance of the RD03/04 @'s, that dakar styling was one of the big attractions along with the rugged look to them, there's a guy who parks an RD07 near my work in Preston, got plenty of time to check that out up close.
Import motorcycles are really my bread and butter, i've only really ever owned import spec bikes (cagiva planet,aprillia rs125,kawasaki xanthus,zxr400,rvf400 and my vfr750-all imports) only had 4 uk bikes (rd350,gsxr750,sv650 and dt125) so i'm pretty used to some of the differences.

My biggest issue is finding the right bike for the right price-the @'s are at the top end of what i'll pay, whereas the older thumpers like the XL/DR's etc are found for aconsiderable amount less.

Whew! sorry for the long winded reply, but this is taking up some considerable amount of my thoughts trying to find the ideal soloution :) Any further information or experiences you guy's may have had with these types of bikes will be greatly appreciated!

Really glad i've joined this forum :thumbright:
 
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