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Old 3 Apr 2006
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: sheffield,Yorkshire,UK
Posts: 18
Harley Davidson MT350

This is also posted under 'Other Bikes'..


My wife and I have just completed a 3 month tour of West and North Africa on 2 MT350's
We trailered them down to Banjul in the Gambia as part of the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge , then unloaded them for the return journey through Gambia , Senegal , Mali , Niger and Algeria.

We covered about 8000km on all kinds of road , good bad and downright non-existent. We dropped the countrless times , we flogged them hard in soft sand , we overloaded them , we threw them off rocks.

they survived remarkably well, the only serious things that broke were:

ignition coil (heat failure)
clutch cable (snapped through wear)
indicators x 2 ( erm... dropped repeatedly)
rear brake seized ( sand in master cyl , fixed at roadside)
tyres and chains destroyed. ( whadda you expect?)
1 weld failed. ( and it was one of mine...*sniff* , but on the jerry can holder, not the actual bike )

The bikes performed brilliantly in the sand, and hauled their excess baggage well on the road. The only niggle was the gearing was wrong for good tarmac - a different front sprocket with a couple more teeth would be a good idea for road miles.

We worked the bikes hard in the Sahara, we took 8-foot drops onto rocks at about 60kph ( no we didn't see it comimg , yes we should have bee more careful, and no we didn't fall off....) the bikes handled it all with good grace. The washboard corrigations were horrible until we got above 40kph when the suspension just soaked them up.
We survived 6 hours or more in the saddle day after day without massive bum cramps ... try that on your KTM

complaints:
The bike is still too tall for the wife , even with the forks lowered, the seat slimmed and the rear shocks wound down. It was fine for me , but I'm 6 foot 5.
The little 350 was a touch underpowered. It's fine solo, but would be too weedy 2-up.
The fuel tank is MUCH too small for touring. We carried a 20L jerrycan in a frame on each bike , this gave us a range of about 450-500 km each , but a bigger tank would have been a much better option.

all in all we were very impressed with the little MT's . We really put them through the mill and they didn't miss a beat. It's also worth pointing out that both bikes came from Witham as ex-military surplus , and mine is still marked 'u/s' across the rear mudguard from the army.

Ray
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Old 22 Nov 2007
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Location: Scotland
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Ray

my wife & myself are looking to travel from Capetown to Nordcapp in 2009.

We were looking at HD MT350's as well.

Would you be able to contact myself please email

jimscott6@talk21.com

Cheers

Jim
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  #3  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 398
These are superb bikes for touring on rough roads or off the beaten track. They are not as light as a proper trail or enduro bike and don't have the agility, but they are much more comfortable, stronger and more durable, whilst not being as heavy and unmanageable as most of the bigger bikes. The Rotax engines are bullet proof. Genuine spares are easy to obtain and they can be virtually stripped and rebuilt with only a few tools. They could do with a bigger tank though.
If you want more info the MT Riders Club is a mine of information on these machines.
MT Riders Club Forum
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