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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 21 Oct 2009
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Baja vs TTR

Hello - first post on the forums! I've enjoyed reading and learning, hopefully you can offer some help...

I work in Northern Uganda. A few friends and I are purchasing bikes locally and planning a tour around East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda - then back to Uganda).

My budget and location restrict me to the following two choices:

98-2001 Honda 250cc Baja
95-2000 Yamaha 250cc TTR Raid

I am wondering if any of you can give me advice regarding these two bikes? (I realize this is a quite subjective question...)

From what I can tell - the Raid has an electric start, bigger tank. While the Baja is known for it's reliability and simplicity.

Any advice, insight would be appreciated.
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Old 21 Oct 2009
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Personally I'd take the honda every time but as you say it's subjective. I know hondas so would feel happier on one.

Do you see either of these bikes on the road there? If so go for the one you think local mechanics are most likely to be familiar with. Everywhere I've been hondas are more common.

Otherwise a good example of one would be better than a bad example of the other. If you can find a bike that has been well maintained i.e. has reasonably clean oil, no bad rattles and a decent chain and sprocket set then that would suggest the owner has looked after it reasonably well..
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Old 22 Oct 2009
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My wife and I took our XR250's from London to Cape Town a year or so ago. XR is a great bike but adjusting those bloody valve clearances every 2000km got a bit annoying after a while. For that reason we would take the TTR's next time. Shims are the way to go. They are much of a muchness. Both very reliable.

250 is the lay to go absolutely.
If there's a will there's a way so I will anyway!
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Old 25 Oct 2009
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How strange the easiest vave check should be a pain most people I know rarely have to check their valve clearance. My XR4 has done 7k kms and valves have never needed adjusting, stopped bothering to check now, will do it when it becomes hard to start
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Old 25 Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by Wide Phil View Post
How strange the easiest vave check should be a pain most people I know rarely have to check their valve clearance. My XR4 has done 7k kms and valves have never needed adjusting, stopped bothering to check now, will do it when it becomes hard to start
If the valves get tight (which is usually the case, due to recession) this can burn the valve & seat out

Best to check regularly if you want to be safe.
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Old 30 Oct 2009
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Which ever one is easiest to make work better at high altitude.

For everyone reading the Altitude range is from Sea Level to 9000ft over a two days ride. Personally I would look for something that has Fuel injection in that cc capacity, or go for a larger bike, 350/400cc Suzuki's

If you are taking a GPS, please keepa copy of the route you took, I am looking for a few remote paths, particularly Southern Tanzania, and Eastern Kenya

Enjoy. Regards Graham

P.S. I got the Juju's in Southern Uganda - camped one night in the forest, not gonna do that again.
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Old 1 Nov 2009
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If a bike needs adjusting for altitude variance, a carb will be more flexible - easy to change the main jet.

Injection systems vary - some may cope OK, but generally they have limited capacity to allow for large variations (such a old Triumph models) and cannot be changed with basic tools!
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Old 5 Nov 2009
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I would definately take the XR. Easy to work on, lots of parts interchange between models and a good bike to ride. Reguarding tappets/shims. Alot easier to set tappets than changing shims especially if on the side of the road.
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