Dahon Speed TR

Searching for a perfect folder for touring my first attempt was the Dahon Speed TR. I purchased this bicycle in 2010 and even though I wanted to like it and wanted it to be the easy solution to traveling by bike again it turned out to be not as successful.
The positive of a very comfortable ride, gear options and already fitted racks that can take standard panniers were hindered by the fact that the handlebar stem folding system turned out to be very unreliable. After about one year of not a lot of use the steering started to feel strangely hard and a visit to a bike shop in London confirmed that parts inside the steering wheel were damaged. Believing it might just be bad luck I visited several shops in the last two years trying to figure out how to permanently fix this but instead realised that this is a well known limit affecting several Dahon bikes and not uncommon at all. They never encouraged to change the parts as it seems the mechanics itself of the handlebar folding system are not well thought through and I would probably experience the same in the future. This means that every few months when I feel the handlebar developing some slack or getting hard I bring it to my local shop and they just botch fix it and this usually keeps me going for a few months. Recently I was told by a mechanic that the best thing I can do is never fold it, hardly a good sign of a functioning folding bike but I must say now that I just use it as a standard bike the handlebar is working ok.
This unreliability of course meant that in four years I have never contemplated touring on it.