Planning The Bike

Choosing a Bike

Having read many other experiences of different bikes, my initial leaning toward the BMW 650GS has changed. The BMW seems to be pretty bullet proof but when things do go wrong it gets very expensive very quickly. I have read reports of electrical issues, waiting for parts, difficult diagnostics etc. The other issues are the high value of the bike which effects the cost of the carnet and the weight of the bike and tool kit needed.

The other favourites seem to be the Suzuki DR650 and the Yamaha XT600 or newer XT660. As I am in the UK, and the DR650 is not sold here, I will probably go for the Yamaha so I have a better selection of bikes to choose from.

Not a good paint scheme for riding through Iran
Yamaha XT660 – Perhaps not a good paint scheme for riding through Iran

Getting a carnet looks like a major expense. They are only available from the RAC in the UK and are very expensive. They act like a passport for the bike entering and leaving a country and avoid you paying import duties and taxes. It may be possible to get one from Germany much more cheaply but I have read conflicting opinions on that.

Whatever I get, it will need some prep work such as uprated shocks, panniers and carriers, fitting inner tubes etc. Doing this work will be part of the fun and will allow me to get intimate with it mechanically before I leave. I would imagine I will be spending a lot of time on the road maintaining and fixing the bike.

One reply on “Choosing a Bike”

The bike has arrived !!

I have bought a 2012 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere with about 9000 miles on the clock. It is in near perfect condition and came with Yamaha panniers and top box. The bike is standard so there is no use taking pictures of it yet. I will put some photos up here once I have it prepared to go.

I am busy sourcing spares and add-ons for it at the moment. Apart from the using spares (tubes, filters, bearings etc.) I am putting on a Scottoiler, waterproof box and charger for my phone/gps (Samsung Galaxy S3) and a centre stand to make working on the chain and wheels easier. I have got a small 5L jerry can and a water carrier to mount on the panniers so will need to get some brackets made for that.

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