Advice needed: Lightweight adventure bike for riding across countries

I’m not too technical mechanically. I want something simple, very light weight and reliable.

BHPian four.bytes recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I have been following this YT channel- c90adventures. It’s just a simple dude riding around continents on an old Honda c90. I want to do something similar probably at a lower scale initially. For the next 5 year I plan to ride across different countries and towns.

I’m not too technical mechanically. I want something simple, very light weight as I’m a thin 5-6″, 36 yr old man. It should be easy to maintain, should have decent tank capacity, good chances of spare-parts availability internationally, something not very expensive. Easy to repair etc.

The terrain will be mixture of tarmac(preferable) and off-roading.

Also can someone guide me into how do I go about getting the paperwork(visas etc done)

Thanks in advance.

Here’s what BHPian GutsyGibbon had to say on the matter:

I follow c90 adventures as well, very inspiring. If I was on a budget, I would get the Hero XPulse. Next step, a Himalayan, then a KTM ADV 390. Assuming you want to start with a country connected by land. If you are going to start in South Africa, or Argentina, you would have very different options.

Does Nepal count as international travel? A 30 day tourist Visa and a 30 day temporary import permit is all you need.

You will need a temporary import permit (TIP) for most countries.

Here’s what BHPian Nilesh5417 had to say on the matter:

If the your wish is to ride across the world and not exactly a world tour, it’s much simpler to pick country, continents one at a time. And rent a bike locally.

I do that usually – have ridden in Europe, Australia and Thailand / Malaysia on locally rented motorcycles for 1-2 weeks. First two were on my stay for work and the last one I & a friend planned as a trip. Next goal is to start from Morroco do Spain/Portugal. America / LATAM /CEE Europe some day…

Far easier to plan and execute.

Here’s what BHPian Haroon had to say on he matter:

Its nice to know you have this dream to ride across the globe and want to put it into reality. My best wishes to you to fulfil your dream.
However, as someone who has ridden in many countries across 6 continents, let me give you some perspective on what you are looking at and the challenges:

I also follow C90adventures and what he is doing is absolutely incredible. But let me tell you its not everybody’s cup of tea. True, people have ridden around the world on all kinds of 2 wheeled bikes from a 50cc moped to an R1 supersport to R1250GS Adventure sport bike and even the huge Harley Davidson Electraglide. Our own Bharadwaj Dayala who did a RTW back in 2007 on a HH Karizma. But there are lots of compromises and adjustments to be made depending on the bike, your riding style/comfort zone and more importantly the type of terrain you are going to ride (and enjoy riding). If your ride involves a lot of off roading, then the best weapon of choice would be a Honda CRF300 or something similar as its light, has 21inch front wheels for better maneuverability, enough space to carry & hook luggage, easy to lift alone when you drop it, rock-solid reliability etc but sadly its not available in India and those can be forgotten. The Honda CB200x sure looks it part, but its really not built like those bikes I mentioned. The Versys 300 looks suitable for the job, but not sure its as rugged as a CRF and can take that level of beating.

Now if you are going to spend a lot of time on tarmac and some reasonable time on dirt, in the Indian availability perspective, the 2 bikes that are going to be easy to fix, maintain, run and pick up (when it falls!) are either the RE Himalayan or the Bajaj Dominar 400 (yes one has spoke wheels and the other alloy, but they both have their merits and demerits). They have dealers in many parts of the ‘remote world’ like Africa, South America etc, so parts availability is going to be relatively easy besides, they are not over engineered bikes so most mechanics should be able to fix them as well. You will still need to carry some basic set of spares like clutch plates, cables, chain and sprocket, levers etc. The important part is that when needed you could cruise on highways at about 90-100kms comfortably without fatigue which is not going to be case on a ‘fully loaded’ 50-100-150cc bike.

I will personally give a miss to the other two really nice bikes in this category the BMW 310GS and the KTM 390 Adventure coz European bikes need a different level of care & understanding, and parts availability (and cost!) across the world can sometimes be a major issue.

The present rockstar of motorcycle touring on YT, Itchy Boots has toured extensively in many countries with the RE Himalayan that she bought in India and she had very few technical issues. Similarly, my buddies Deepak Kamath, Deepak Gupta and Candida Louis have combined done couple of lakh kms on some amazing inter-continental rides on the Dominar 400 with almost negligible technical issues. Btw, both these bikes have also been ridden in Antartica, albeit for theoretical purposes!

So its upto your priorities. Anyways, if its solo riding, with a reasonable mix of all that you need, a 300-400cc bike is a very good choice as a RTW touring bike. If 2-up, although I do mostly tarmac on a 1200cc bike, the 650 and upwards are very good choices for 2-up RTW rides. Personally, I would pick the V-Strom DL650.

Anyways, good wishes with your search and final decision.

Ride safe and invest in good touring gear and functional touring accessories. They make a big difference on your rides.

Here’s what BHPian RedLiner had to say on the matter:

I highly recommend you really ride across India first on any motorcycle you buy for the world tour. Understand the bike, fix it yourself, figure out everything that can go wrong in our country, speaking our language, and with access to our money and people and service centers. Ofcourse, dont forget domestic insurance for yourself which can come in very handy.

And i am not talking about a kanyakumari to Kashmir road ride. Ride every single state and explore the heck out of India. And yourself.

Then you might be better qualified to ride around the world. Confidence is good, but back it up with logic.

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