Probably the most difficult decision whist preparing for the trip was deciding on which bike was best for us.

Furthermore, some of us are unfortunately blessed with a more petite specification, making the decision on an engine that little more difficult.

We considered the ever reliable Honda XR, then Chris nearly bought a Yamaha XT (without telling Chloe) and others  like the Yamaha Serow 250cc or the Suzuki DRZ 250cc. The KLR 650cc was the outright choice for Chris from day 1, but even with platform shoes Chloe probably wouldn’t get both feet on the ground.

If our time off-roading in Cambodia on XRs taught us anything, getting two feet on the ground comfortably are a must for us both.

The list of bikes above, by their very nature, are off-road trials bikes, so a ‘lowered off-road bike’ would be an oxymoron in itself.

As time moved on it was evident that hard-core off-roading wasn’t our priority, but a versatile, intermediate hybrid/touring bike was the likely candidate.

Yamaha Tenere and KLM Adventure, yet again proved too large or in the case of the KLM it proved terrifically heavy.

We eventually settled on the BMW650gs and went about the search with vigour and in good time the bikes presented themselves to us.

Chris picked up a F650GS DAKAR from Colwyn Bay Honda complete with a Metal Mule rack and a 2 x 30ltr pannier set.

We fitted an auto-communication system to allow bike to bike arguments and way-finding.

The bike is fully fitted with crash bars, and heated grips for those high altitude chills we are expecting across the Andes.

 Soon after our first purchase, we came across a factory lowered F650GS which Chloe duly jumped at the opportunity of sitting on. Following a successful test ride in the snowy roads of Glasgow and both of Chloe’s feet firmly on the ground, it was shipped to Manchester.

A bespoke pannier rack is being welded together by Gabriel Bolton of Zen Overland – this will pick up the soft Expedition Panniers we elected to fit to Chloe’s lighter more nimble set up!

The auto-com system was extended to Chloe’s bike to allow maximum potential for hen pecking and pestering of the ‘slower!’ husband.

Engine bars have been added and both bikes are due to have front fork gaiters added in due course.




3 Responses to BIKES

  1. Sherrie says:

    Love your bike choice! 🙂 Your blog is making me want to hit the road again NOW! Or maybe more like yesterday. 😉

  2. jamessibson says:

    Cool shit. But is it as cool as my Gravitar?
    Thanks Chris

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