A Travellerspoint blog

January 2019

Bike fitout commences

Time to start sorting out the essential requirements versus the nice to haves. Gear Indicator, USB Ports, Touring Pegs, Headlight Protector, Radiator Protector, Auxillary Lights, Risers, Tank Bags, Seat Upgrade etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Zamiam 17:00 Comments (0)

Still bikes!

David has been watching the second hand market and has various options he is keeping an eye on including V-Strom 650 and 1000's, F650GS (800cc) and a couple of Versys 650's (non LAMS). Many of these options have much of the required accessories already fitted.

Discussions around what to do fly back and forth between David and Steve. New V-Strom 650's or second hand 1000's for similar money. Meanwhile there are some full power 2016 Versys 650's available with less than 6000kms on the clock complete with panniers, top box, hand guards and crash bars at a very good price ex a tour company.

David emails Steve - "Versys - It is hard to look past this value and being really sensible my Head says we should be grabbing two of these (actually it says WTF are you doing!). I've emailed him to see what he has and what deal for 2."

Steve replies - "I agree. I would have liked to have ridden one but….".

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It's a risk buying something we haven't ridden although we have tried one on for size but the deal is so good that it is worth taking a punt buying them, getting them to Auckland (they are more than 1,000kms and a ferry trip away on the West Coast of the South Island) as we can always on sell them if we don't like them so a deal is done.

After a quick plane trip down country 10:30pm on a Friday night sees Steve and David taking delivery of the Versys's in Nelson after the owner brought them more a couple of hundred kms North to meet them.

6:00am see Steve and David departing Nelson heading for the Ferry and on to Auckland. Other than one bike having a slow puncture (new tyre had been fitted before delivery) which resulted in multiple stops to air up the introduction to the bikes goes well with both riders being impressed with the performance, general comfort (although some fine tuning will be required) and fuel economy. Some 16.5 hrs including the ferry and 830kms of road riding later they arrive back in Auckland with their mounts for the Russia trip.

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At around 50% of the retail price if bought new it was a "hell deal".

Steve's facebook summed it up well "Very favourable first impressions on the 650 Versys after ride from Nelson to Picton this morning. Smooth, plenty of grunt, easy to throw around, great brakes. Knees are a bit sore from the unfamiliar riding position but that's what getting used to it all is about. Need to install optional gear position indicator, both David and I kept looking for another one."

Posted by Zamiam 17:00 Comments (0)

Bikes, bikes and more bikes BUT which BIKE!

The trip has stretched out to 6 weeks being the maximum John can be away which allows time for some side excursions and more sightseeing. David continues to look at options for shipping bikes from Auckland to Vladivostok and Helsinki to Auckland.

Steve and David return to Barrys Point Road, Takapuna to try out a DR650. None in stock. After talking to the same very helpful salesman some more and talking about the route and roads which we now know more about the suggestion is to try V-Stroms, either the 650 or 1000. Steve and David take a demo DL1000 and an older DL650 out for an extended test ride. On arrival back at the dealership David is thinking he enjoys the roll on power of the DL1000 whereas Steve is saying the DL650 is the go. This is a complete swap of what they had been thinking up to this point. They then had a quick visit to the Kawasaki dealership to look at the Versys where they were told all the NZ 650's are LAMS (reduced power for learner riders).

After some reading online from various sources it is evident that there isn't alot in it between the Versys and V-Strom 650's with the Versys being slightly more road orientated and the V-Strom slightly more offroad. The decision is made that V-Strom 650's are the best choice. Some shopping around shows that new DL650x's V-Stroms are on special and can be had for $11,995. Some online searching has all the "required" bits priced up at around $4,000 for the "must dos" excluding freight and fitting costs.

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David's pinning for a certain Moto Guzzi Stelvio but ...

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Posted by Zamiam 17:00 Comments (0)