BMW and Silk Road Trip

On my recent Washington State trip I met Roger Hansen. On a couple of occasions, we pulled Roger from his trusty (and beautiful) Harley and forced him to ride a couple of sportier bikes – a Honda ST100 and the Yamaha FJR1300, while at night filling him with stories of other dual-sport steeds and global motorcycle trips. Yesterday I got this email from Roger, with the subject line: Buying a BMW

Steve,

I have to say I have the bug for some more adventure touring. I have been in contact with Helge Peterson and I am trying to get on their Silk Road Adventure 2007. I am now #2 on the wait list.

I have test ridden a R1200GS and found it very comfortable. I sat on a R1200GS Adventure but felt that it was too big. I think that I could ride that bike but I can’t quite put my feet flat on the ground. What do you think? Are you familiar with Globeriders? Their website is www.globeriders.com. It looks like they know what they are doing. I also have to buy all the clothing for this ride. What do you suggest for suits and helmets? I must be crazy but I have always wanted to do a ride like this.

Hope that you are having a great fall and getting some riding in. I have sent for my subscription to Motorcycle Consumer News. I am sure that will give me some of the answers to questions that I am asking you.

My response is below, but as always, I’d encourage any of you who read this with additional helpful comments to Roger to please jump in:

Roger,

Great to hear from you. I like the 1200 GS for you. I spent 10 days on it in Turkey and loved it. It is tall, but once you get on it the suspension drops quite a bit and makes it quite liveable. The Adventure is quite large and I’d not recommend it for anyone under six feet. Given your Harley experience, I think you will adjust to the riding position on the 1200GS, too. Even before you buy it, and certainly before heading out on the Silk Road, there are two off road riding schools I suggest you consider:

  1. The first, and the one most oriented to riding big off-road bikes such as the GS is Jim Hyde’s Adventure Camp. Contact info and more info as follows: RawHyde Adventures, PO Box 244, Castaic, CA.91310 www.rawhyde-offroad.com
  2. The second is Gary LaPlante and his ride-in ranch near Temecula. I’ve written about Gary as a riding coach a couple of times. Here is the most recent article I published on him. Here is his website.

I don’t know much about Globeriders, but do know some folks that do. I will check for you. If you remain wait-listed, here is another outfit that does a Silkroad tour on BMW’s. I don’t know about them either, but a friend of a friend in Taiwan is leaving on one of there adventures next week. I’ll see if I can find out how it goes.

Check back here in the comments area in the next few days or so, I think I’ll have more info for you by then.

Steve

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