There’s a lot of argument about what is the best motorcycle to take on a lengthy tour, especially for an around-the-world trip.
My feeling is that if people go around the world on foot or by bicycle, almost any motorcycle will be more than adequate. Traveling is the ultimate reality check for westerners, regarding material possessions – what you really NEED. In Africa I had more stuff loaded on my bicycle than most people had in their entire village. Read how Ted Simon, author of Jupiter’s Travels and Riding High (in my books list to the left) chose his motorcycle for his second around-the-world trip in The Return of Jupiter’s Travels. Many of us get our bikes in mysterious ways. Here’s the story of how I ended up in China on a Chang Jiang sidecar motorcycle. Mariola Cichon (Ride of the Heart) says that she chose her dual-sport Kawasaki KLR650 "mostly because I knew this bike well (I rode it for about 30,000 miles on my previous trips)". And finally, Dale Borgenson has some great advice on choosing a touring bike on his very opinionated and useful website, along with a very useful section on motorcycle maintenance.
If you’ve done any serious touring, I’d love to hear how you chose your bike.