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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 6 Mar 2012
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Africa on a Yamaha DT175???

What's everyone's thoughts on the DT175?

I've been living in Malawi for 2 yrs now and never had any problems with it. Aside from fuel capacity, that is, and of course fuel availability here in Malawi

After lots of thought of what to move up to for a trip around Africa, I'm wondering if it could be done on the 175. Obviously it would need some mods, but the fact that parts are available in almost any town in africa has to count for something.

Some more info for you, I'm 5'8, 150lbs with a 30" inseam. I've done some touring around Canada on a Honda Shadow 750, and have a YZ125 that I use for dirt fun, unfortunately both are in Canada sitting in storage

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 8 Mar 2012
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In the past I've done quite a bit of touring round Europe on small two strokes. Never had a DT175 but used a DT125 and a similar TS Suzuki. Of course Europe isn't Africa and my trips were done back when the bikes were reasonably current, but they covered thousands of miles without much more than routine maintenance.

If the 175 is in good condition and you're not planning to take huge amounts of baggage I would have thought it would be a good bike to use. It's light, the engine isn't that highly tuned and you're unlikely to be running at high speeds.

Two stroke oil availability would be something that might need some thought but if you're using it there at the moment you'll know what is and isn't available.
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Old 9 Mar 2012
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I met a chap in Zambia a few years ago who was touring on a DT175 without too many troubles but he was carrying a spare 5 litres of petrol, it was the fuel range not 2 stroke oil that was a problem.
The only thing I would say is check your travel insurance, it often only covers up to 125cc so if that is the case see if you can get hold of a DT125 instead.
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
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Old 10 Mar 2012
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Whilst helping out in Uganda at an orphanage I used a Chinese 50 and 125 and 2 stroke oil wasn't a problem nor petrol. The pushbike repair shack sold 2 stroke oil and petrol could be had by the 1/2 litre in coke bottles from the most obscure shed.
The closer you are to what the locals ride the easier it is likely to be. Gives you more interaction with them which is what most of us travel for, rather than dealing with some Fed-ex guy in Germany for that doobry for your GS.
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Old 10 Mar 2012
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Back in about 1972 my father rode a Yamaha 175 dualie across Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax. I've seen a couple of photos of it: he had all kinds of camping gear strapped to the back. Mind you, highway traffic would have been lighter and less hectic to deal with back then, but a 175 was up to the task.
Bruce Clarke --- 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (black)
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Old 11 Mar 2012
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Thanks for the insight guys.

The biggest problem I've had is the fuel consumption. It's fine around the city, but if I run up north, 400+km's one way, I'm stopping along the way to fill up and that's including the extra 5L I carry, which by the way has now been banned in Malawi.... !

I'm wondering if that alone would become a big pain in the arse. Keep in mind I keep it around 60k, not that I mind the slower speed. I'd rather go slower and see the country rather than zip through it.

Thanks again,
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Old 17 Apr 2012
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I agree with the above...don't take too much stuff with you and take an extra 5 or maybe 10L of gas with you. Then it can even be done on a DT50!
And take it slow and see more is also my motto. Also, the smaller the bike the bigger the adventure, is.
Have a good trip!
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Old 18 Apr 2012
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Larger tank

You do get aftermarket larger fuel tanks for the DT. For example the link below is for Clarks.

Universal Tank [11366x] - $218.00 : Clarke Manufacturing, Master of Plastic Fuel Tanks

Gives you an extra 5 liters of fuel in the tank. Add to that the extra 5 you carry with and your well on your way. Thats if you are will to part with $218.

You could try to find a local or African manufacturer perhaps.

Safe riding
To those who say it can't be done - stand aside for those who are already doing it.
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