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  #1  
Old 4 Jul 2005
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KTM 250 GS

A friend of mine and myself are planning to do Southern Africa next year. 2-3 months of slow pace on lightly packed bikes. We have discussed to get ourselves a couple of 600/650 cc thumpers, but the more we talk to seasoned travellers, the more it seems like a smaller displaced thumper would suit fine - probably better.

I came across two of these:
http://www.finn.no/finn/mc/object/;p...22&pos=4&tot=6

This is a Norwegian military dispatch rider version of a 1987 model KTM 250 GS. Low mileage, hardly used, and they seem well maintained.

Now - the ultimate question: Reliability. As I understand, older KTMs aren't exactly reputed for their reliability (I might be proven wrong, of course :-) But they seem ideal to muck about with in Africa. However, getting spares in Namibia or Botswana for these KTMs might be a hassle.

Any inputs?

TIA!

Rx
Hans
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Old 5 Jul 2005
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Hi Hans,
Looks like the bike in the link is a 2 stroke from the height of the cylinder head and the exhaust front pipe.Looks very,very similar to the Can-Am (or Rotax) 250cc which is a 2 stroke,disc valve motor.They were used by the armies of many countries for ages and are still available from surplus vehicle sales.Good old work-horses,although not that powerful and a bit heavy/agricultural.Anyone else agree?

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Old 5 Jul 2005
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I’m not sure if you need a carnet for South Africa but if you do the price of the carnet (4000 NOK, maybe more) and the freight of the bike one way will probably exceed the price of buying a cheap bike in South Africa which you can sell after the trip is over.

Both Namibia and South Africa has excellent dealership for newer bikes.

Namibia is, except for some Saharan countries, the best country I know for driving a bike in Africa.. I clocked over 6000 km there, and personally I would have chosen a bigger bike :-)

BTW: If you choose to take the KTM you should consider painting it..

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Old 5 Jul 2005
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Thanks guys.

Jon: I can't seem to find any useful info on the KTM when googling it. Do you have any more detailed specs, given that you are right about the engine?

AliBaba: Yes, we have considered buying 600/650 thumpers in SA and sell them once the trip is over. Actually LuckyStriker from this forum is currently checking out available bikes in Cape Town (thanks again, LuckyStriker!). We'll see what he comes up with. In the meantime we are looking at other options, just to have something to choose from. If we go for the KTMs, we would certainly paint them. How about Kalahari Yellow? ;-)

BTW: The route will cross into South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi - and maybe we'll be throwing in Zimbabwe for good measures.

Thanks again, guys. Other inputs are also welcome.

Rx
Hans
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Old 5 Jul 2005
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I would also suggest going for a bigger bike i ride with a few chaps on 250s and they do struggle on the longer trips

regards dave south africa
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Old 5 Jul 2005
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Yes I know a lot of people like small bikes (I have one myself, used it for 30 minutes last year) but cruising the gravel roads in Namibia in 120++ km/h is as close to heaven as you can get!
Can’t wait to get back there in a couple of weeks!

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[This message has been edited by AliBaba (edited 05 July 2005).]
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