The Bike

Here’s why we chose the Yamaha XT for a RTW motorcycle ride, what we think of it and how we prepared it for the journey…

Yamaha XT660R Round the World

We’re using a 2009 Yamaha XT660R for the trip. The reason we opted for the XT is because we already owned it!

Andy bought the bike brand new in 2009 and used it to ride from the UK to Iraq in 2011. It’s a tried and tested bike that’s been battered, bruised and abused. It has endured sandstorms, snowstorms, melted in +40C and froze in -15C, been up and over mountains, through deserts and covered around 70,000 miles so far.

Crating a motorcycle in South Korea
Adventure Motorcycle Travel in Mongolia blue skies

Our review

The Yamaha has handled two-up travel, but it has also struggled. But to be fair to the XT, all of the problems it’s had have been due to aftermarket accessories, such as the 2 into 1 exhaust system and aftermarket shock etc. The bike itself has proved bullet proof. You can read about the bike in more detail in our Yamaha XT660R Review. 

Bear in mind, the 2009 single-cylinder bike, has carried two-people, overloaded, ridden hard, off-road (a lot) 50,000 miles from the UK to Japan and then through SE Asia without a single internal problem or anything original breaking. That’s impressive. 

Why we’re on one bike

We estimated our trip to take around 10 years. The plan was to spend one or two years riding from the UK to Japan on one bike. Then, we’d buy a temporary second bike throughout SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. After, we would ship the XT to the US, buy another bike from the UK and also ship it to the US and have two bikes for the remaining 8 years.

We decided to do this because it would save a miniature fortune on shipping two bikes from Vladivostok to Japan, Japan to South Korea, South Korea to Cambodia, Malaysia to Indonesia, Indonesia to Australia and then onto NZ… that’s a lot of shipping! So, we’ll be on two bikes as soon as we start the Americas section of our RTW trip. 

Yamaha XT660R with full luggage system

Here’s a selection of articles on how we prepared the bike for a RTW trip…

And here’s a few articles on choosing your bike and gear for your next adventure…

The Yamaha XT in action