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Bikes


bikes

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Bikes


bikes

We have a lot of bikes

 

Seven at the last count but there is always room for one more ...

Follows is a selection of the bikes use for touring including the Suzuki DL650 VStrom, Honda CB500x, Suzuki DR650SE and a Yamaha MT07. I have chugged around the planet for years on my faithful old 2004 BMW GS1150 Adventure which has served me so well.  Most of our bikes are used for touring - check out the mods section for how we adapted them

 
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DL650


DL650XT

DL650


DL650XT

The DL is a great looking bike. The panniers make it all business and ready to tour. Note the bash plate to protect the vulnerable oil filter and windscreen extension which keeps the wind off.

The DL is a great looking bike. The panniers make it all business and ready to tour. Note the bash plate to protect the vulnerable oil filter and windscreen extension which keeps the wind off.

The Suzuki DL650 Vstrom has been around for years and has an established pedigree as a touring adventure machine. The XT version was released in 2015 and ventures more into the offroad side of touring with wire wheels and a factory 'adventure kit' (with associated eye watering prices). Most of the kit is pretty soft for tougher touring - the engine cowling could stop small rocks but couldn't take a big hit, ditto for the hand protectors. You need serious aftermarket accessories if you want to give it a hard time off road. The bike is a joy to ride with plenty of grunt of road and carrying capacity. You have to watch that power off road though as spinning the wheel is easy. It's a great touring package and lives up to the DL heritage at a great price to boot!

The naked unaccessorised bike. Notice how vulnerable the oil filter is - bash plate is essential!

Hard panniers, bash plate, engine protection, windscreen extender and a load on the back. Definitely on tour.

Hard panniers, bash plate, engine protection, windscreen extender and a load on the back. Definitely on tour.

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CB500x


CB500x

CB500x


CB500x

The CB is a great looking bike. Stand over height is an issue but a modified seat does the job. The windscreen wind deflector is a must.

The CB is a great looking bike. Stand over height is an issue but a modified seat does the job. The windscreen wind deflector is a must.

Sonja's Honda CB500x is the perfect bike for her petite size (five foot two) as stand over height is critical especially when the bike is loaded or you have to get your feet down fast. We had the seat taken ground down to a height of 690cm from the ground which is ideal. The 650cc engine has plenty of power and the brakes are more than adequate. Range loaded is about 450km depending on road conditions. We would have liked wire wheels but the stock alloy ones are ok provided you don't get into really rough stuff. To get the bike ready for serious touring a bash plate, radiator guard, better windscreen and hand protectors are essential. The hard panniers are great but you could get away with soft panniers for shorter trips. The bike is a joy to ride.

The CB does water crossings with ease!

The stock bike in the shop. Love at first sight! 

On the road dodging sheep. We installed hand grip protectors which will protect the levers in a fall.

Showing off the panniers, tank bag and engine protection bars (really important to have these). The bash plate needs to be modified to protect the super vulnerable oil filter on the front of the engine. We've also fitted extra large wind guards on the handlebars - well actually I stole Richard's ones!

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DR650


dr650

DR650


dr650

The toughest touring bike you can build. The Hiedenau tyres are great. Note the melted rear exhaust cover - be careful when carrying large loads the cover isn't pushed onto the exhaust. Get racks.

The Suzuki DR650 comes with a legendary reputation of tough, simple reliability – the design hasn’t changed in the 1980’s!  These bikes are the workhorses of the off road touring and transcontinental travel scene.  They are easily converted into a long distance off road touring machine. This is a 2009 model which a bought for $5000. Long range Safari tank, new tyres, better handlebars, a windscreen (makes a huge difference to wind blast), foot pegs and pannier racks and away you go. The engine is stock and I haven’t gone down the path of new exhaust, carburettors etc to keep it simple and cheap. The only killer is the seat – a gel pad helps a bit but $600 for an aftermarket one…

DR having a rest in the bush. But being both tough and cheap it's ok. A KTM or BMW rider would be crying!

 

The perfect bush touring bike. 

A DR in it's element! 

The way a DR should look. The tyres are the original stock ones and were useless in the mud, no tread or side grip. The big tank makes it tough to throw the bike around and recover.

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MT07


MT07

MT07


MT07

The MT is a surprisingly tough little bike, especially after it's just been crashed into a muddy bank (with no great injuries to bike or rider)!

The MT is a surprisingly tough little bike, especially after it's just been crashed into a muddy bank (with no great injuries to bike or rider)!

For a road oriented street bike, the Yamaha MT07 more than proved itself as a light weight touring bike.  The bike has been given a beating on 400km + of dirt, dust and ruts on the Birdsville Road, baked it in serious heat, rode it hard for 6 – 8 hours day after day, wound through twisty alpine roads and blasted it along 200km straight desert highways and it performed perfectly. It was comfortable to ride (no pins and needles in hands or feet) and the seat was roomy and comfortable. Tyre selection is critical if you want to ride it in the dirt and replacing the stock tyres with softer compound dual sport versions is essential. While it can’t carry a lot of gear and doesn’t have a huge range (but enough for most situations) it’s a great bike. 

Pretty much the stock bike. That number plate / tail unit is hideous - the first thing to go!

That is a seriously loaded bike for multi day camp touring and still goes like a rocket.

 

Out in the desert and well loaded down.

Hammering over 400km of dirt on the Birdsville Road. Remarkable performance for a street bike!