Warren
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After the sale of my FJR1300 in Japan I wanted to get a bike in Australia but wasn’t 100% sure about any new model or if I will stay in Australia long term. I decided to get something inexpensive for awhile.

Thinking about bikes I have enjoyed on my overseas rides the Yamaha XT660R and the BMW G310GS stand out. I also looked at the refreshed Kawasaki KLR650, it being one of the less expensive new bikes and considered a Royal Enfield since I enjoyed riding them in the Himalayas.

I nearly bought a tidy XT660R. The bike I rode in Turkey was very easy touring and great on dirt roads, but tube tyres are a big negative for me. A flat with a tube is a hassle, and tubes can occasionally blowout which is dangerous.

The KLR 650 at $10,000 is twice the price of an XT and whilst I really like it, doesn’t add much for me over the XT. And again tube tyres are a big negative.

The Royal Enfield 500cc Classic also has spokes but the 350cc Classic can be had with alloy wheels. They want about $8000 for one which seems good for a new bike but the 350 engine is underpowered for our highways.

Of all the bikes I have rented around the world none impressed me as much as the BMW G310GS and so it came to be I purchased this low km example at a good price.

I rode a same colour 310GS across South Africa and down the difficult Sani Pass. With dual purpose tyres this is very capable bike off the tarmac. It weighs just 159kg yet it has enough power to do 140kph on the highway which equals sufficient to pass caravans.

My plan is to explore the tablelands and national parks of the far north in a month when I have replaced all my rider gear after Australia Post couriers “lost” (stole) two registered mail tea chest cartons enroute from Sydney to Townsville 馃檨 Then if health permits I will do a tour south to ride a little bit of dirt.

Whilst possible, I don’t foresee the baby GS being a stepping stone to me owning it’s big brother. I prefer bitchin bitumen to dusty gravel. Dirt doesn’t scare me, but I’ve been there done that already thus I suspect once I ride the few unsealed routes on my list I will more likely return to a big tourer.

But you never know. Much depends on how my cancer is which dictates if I stay living in Australia, a place I like but find insanely expensive. Most things here are 3 or 4 times the cost they were in Japan yet of a lower quality. But anyway I am alive in 2023 and I now have a bike! 馃檪

4 Comments

  1. Good to see you got a new bike mate. I bet you will enjoy riding it much more now.
    Glad that your recovery is coming along nicely.
    Stay safe my friend.

  2. Lockie Fogarty

    Warren

    I have been a fan of yours for many years, your site is great. About 20 years ago I spent 3 years living and working in Japan and loved it. I’m lucky enough to be going back first week of December. I’m going to have 2 weeks on a bike, pick up and drop off in Osaka. Thinking of Shikoku and Kyushu. What would you suggest? I am a little worried about the winter cold but that cant be helped. Congratulations on your improved health and new bike. I have a GS1200 but am seriously thinking of changing to the 310 with the view of riding from Brisbane to Korean in a year or two! Ride safe. Lockie

    • Hi Lockie,

      Thanks so much for kind words.

      December will indeed be cold. I think you should try take the ferry from Osaka to Kyushu and then focus on riding Kyushu as elsewhere will be too cold and many higher roads already will be closed or risk of black ice if open.

      If not taking the ferry down then blast down the expressway to Kyushu and come back by ferry which might be even better.

      Be sure to have very good winter gear, thermal liners, thermal base layers, goretex boots and ski/snowboard boot socks, very warm gloves that are goretex or similar, neck gator. It might be mild, I have seen it very mild first week of December but best be prepared for the odd day that could be rain and 5 degrees.

      South Korea has been on my list for ages. I was going there via the ferry from Japan but did not make it. It’s tough destination with motorcycles banned from highways and some places there is no alternative road to use (ie the southern coast) but I will ride there in coming couple of years I hope.

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