Meet Wallace and Grommit, our 2013 / 2014 Suzuki DR650se's. Although they look a little different now, they are in fact exactly the same make and model. Both bikes have some modifications, many of them are common to both bikes, but a few are independent, more on that soon.
WHY THE DR650SE?
We had to find a bike that suited us both. It makes total sense to travel with the same bike in terms of tools, spare parts and the ability to diagnose problems by comparing two bikes the same.
Some of the considerations were
- Weight - let's face it, the bikes will be heavily loaded for a round the world trip. May as well start with as light a bike as possible.
- Height - We are both slightly vertically challenged. We have to be able to handle the bike comfortably.
- Reputation - A bike where both the ruggedness and known problems are well documented.
- Simplicity - We have to be confident working on and maintaining the bikes.
- Price - We need to buy two bikes and would rather spend our hard earned $$$ travelling than on 'high end' dual sport bikes.
We were after something around the 650 - 800cc range which is a decent compromise between light weight, power and the ability to cruise comfortably on tar.
Bikes such as the Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW F800GS were considered; however overall the DR650 won out on weight, base height, simplicity and price.
After buying the DR650's we realised the massive choice of aftermarket parts and accessories for them. Because the bike is mechanically very simple, any home mechanic with basic hand tools can fit any of the parts themselves.
For further information about the parts and accessories fitted see the gear reviews section.
We have owned the bikes for around 18 months before shipping them to Buenos Aires. We've been on several small shake down trips around New South Wales and Victoria. Jeff's bike had 17,700km and Sally's had 10,000km. So far they haven't missed a beat (even after we worked on them!).