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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 3 Dec 2007
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250cc for around australia

Hi I'm Planning a trip around Australia with my partner . I was going to do it 2up on a 650 vstrom But my partner really wants to ride a bike as well. This creates some questions I need help on.
1. My partner is only 5.2ft so what bike would be good for highway and a bit of dirt. She also only has a license to ride up to 250cc
2. what would the top speed and fuel range of a suitable 250

So if anyone can give a novice some advice it would be much appreciated
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Old 3 Dec 2007
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From my experience...

give it a try to the xt225 or the new one xt225, they are wonderfull bikes, they would do a top of 130km/h probably more depending of the model and country regulations regarding manufacturing, and an average of 140kmpg. (note I am referring to kilometers and US Gallons)

I have heard lots of good comments of the honda tornado xr250cc i have never tryed it though.

But if you can lay your hands on a couple of bajaj pulsar 180, 200 or 220, they are dirt cheap and perhaps the most bike you can get for the price, I own one and it is a wonderfull bike, the strom has asked for quite a lot of maintenance and the little one just seems to keep going and going... it does 135kmh, and it shurely get 150km/g.

look for it on youtube, " Encuentro pulsar Bogota " some 1000!!! bikes from all over the country, some people did over 1500 kms just to get to the 3 day meeting, the videos are quite impressive for the amount of motorcycles of the same brand..


I hope it helps you, I had to make the very same desition a while ago and probably will do a Colombia to Alaska next year on a pulsar.
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Old 3 Dec 2007
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Thumbs up

May be best to get two bikes of a similar size, otherwise one of you is always wanting to go faster/slower. You will always have to go at the pace of the slower - being the 250 on road and the big bike off road. That's my experience anyhow, in your situation. Maybe you are made of finer, more tolerant, stuff than me.

With similar bikes no one has to compromise, and the trip becomes more of a joint enterprise, planned around the bikes' common strengths. So for example, with two smallish dual sports, you would both be attracted to a route on dirt road stretches, rather than tarmac (surely the reason to be on a bike in Australia?). On the hard stuff you would share the same urge to get back onto dirt, the same buffeting by trucks, and so on. You'd be drawn to the same lines on the map.

I would add, you have the whole of your life to whizz around the continent on a road. This is the only time you are going to do it on dirt.

You also get the advantage of carrying only one tool kit, one set of spares, one body of repair knowledge, interchangable everything.

We did it with a Transalp and a KLR250. Both were fine, but I would recommend electric start over kick start.

Any dual purpose 250 will do the job. My choice would be a Yamaha 250 like Lois took across Africa:

Lois on the Loose - The Bike

Maybe with a different luggage system though. I thought Rachel's was good:

Lois on the Loose - Rachel on her KLR250

But finding the right system for yourself is part of the fun.

With a small gerry on board, a 250 has a much greater range than a big bike. Top speed, well, Rachel could keep up with the transalp fine, but not necessarily always in comfort. Fit some aftermarket windscreens.

There are some other threads on the advantage of two bike rather than one - well worth a read (in short, they say yes yes yes).

Anyway round, on any combination of two and four wheels, make sure you do it.

Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 3 Dec 2007
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Whoops, the link for Lois' bike above is for her Americas trip. This one here is for Africa:

Lois on the Loose - The TTR250 - ready to rock
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 9 Dec 2007
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why dont you get 2 bikes the same that cuts down on the spares you need to carry and like above means you will have the same power. The TTR gets rave reviews over in OZ. Keep it Light
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Old 9 Dec 2007
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Slightly alernative perspective...

1) Australian states now work on a power2weight ratio so most 650 or less trail bikes are learner legal in Australia.

2) I have ridden small bikes (RXZ125 and Bonus 125 Sth East asia 5000ks) DR200 Mexico to Chile 26000ks... but recommend a bigger bike for Australia, because...
a: Our roads (even the trails) are easy riding to any mapped city, however the DISTANCES ARE VERY LONG...
b: For pure enduro riding, hire bikes are available for about $160AUD per day if you wanna splash out...
c: Small bikes won't handle any reasonable luggage amount for long distances... by resaonable I mean 1 50litre backpack; the bare minimum; will have you down to 70km hour up hills on roads that everyone else is doing 100kmh on.

I suggets you get the bikes when you get here, second hand. That way if you change your mind you can easily change only losing a couple of hundred dollars. Australian prices are similar to most of Europe, cheaper than UK dearer than USA.

My suggetsions: DRZ400/XR650 if you want sore butts, TransAlps or Dominators for mid range, Pagaso or KTM Adventure 640 for a bit of style.

If you are certain you wanna do it hard on a 250 KLX 250R is the best value for money ($6,200 NEW or 1 year old $5,000) and can be kitted up to a 300cc for $600 including re-jetting and new valves.

Aus sites for bikes: bikesales.com.au; bikepoint.com.au; ebay.com.au

Happy travels, Get in touch when you get ehere if ya like.

"Of course I'm lost, how else could I find somewhere no one esle has ever been?" Barbarossa Pirates Of the Caribbean 3 ))
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Old 9 Dec 2007
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Oooops amendment...

Sorry didn't see the 5'2", grilfriend. Lol, pocket rocket for a pocket rocket???

This makes most dual sports that will carry luggage and maintain a travellable speed difficult. Possible a 250 cruiser (al la CB, GPX, with dirt tyres) would suit her height but not fun trail speeds. A dual sport is gonna be a nightmare for her on towns with traffic lights unless you dampen the suspension way down to the point that its gonna handle like a cruiser anyway, but without the speed or comfort.

I still reckon you should make your decision when you get here, test ride some bikes and see how you go. QLD is head and shoulders the cheapest state to buy a bike in Aus, also has the best riding (Great Ocean Road notwithstanding), scenery, weirdest people, best beaches and cheap booze. (I'm not being parochial I'm actually from the south.

Cheers again,
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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GAS GAS Pampera or hobby 250 or 400

I just read some reviews, this is reviewed as the best "short person's bike
" and still has strong off road capabilities. About $7500 USD new price for the 450 cheaper for the 250.

Second hand you'll get on around $3500 uSD in great condition.

I suggest the 400 for a bit of strength in touring conditions (bit of weight and a long way to go ur gonna need a bike that will travel good speed with a load on)
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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Hi Mitcho,

returning to your original question re fuel range etc, I ride a 250cc Yamaha Serow and when cruising along at a steady 95kph, I get a tank range of 250km, without using the reserve.

In normal everyday use, topping out at 85kph, including stop start commuting, the range is around 235kms.

Top speed's 131kph but the engine's far more comfortable at 95kph.

My bike's now 2 years and 2 month old and has covered almost 60,000km's.
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