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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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  #1  
Old 3 Aug 2008
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Bike for a farmer

Hello everyone!

I need help to pick a new motorcycle.

I now use a Honda 200 for commuting to work, also using it at work, and in the weekends I travel in the desert on the desert roads. Here is the bike: http://bp1.blogger.com/_vwP-E-Xna0U/RkPIeGEwEnI/AAAAAAAAAPo/6ZurJvgCxdA/s1600-h/motorsykkel.jpg

I feel it is time go get a new bike that can have a greater top speed on the asphalted highway. Some times I travel far, up to 600 km in one day, and that 200 ccm that I have has problems keeping it up with the traffic on the highway. The “tooth wheel”(?) on the hind tire is larger than the original so I can’t go faster than 100-105 km/h.

I have been thinking about getting a 250 ccm but I am not sure how much more top speed that is going to give me on the asphalted highway. So I have even started thinking about bikes in the size of 650 ccm. I would like to be able to keep a top speed on asphalt of 140-160 km/h.

The bike has to be able to perform on dirt conditions. I use my current bike on job and that includes tasks as for example: riding on a newly harrowed field, ringing in escaped horses in the river so I have to ride in a 50 cm deep river full of round rocks and keep it up with the horses, riding on very bumpy desert roads and some times going a bit off-road in the desert itself.

So what kind of bike can do this and also take me on long travels on asphalt going quite fast doing perhaps 140-160 km/h?

I am 1,78 meters tall and weigh 82 kilos. I am 33 years old farmer. I live in Chile, South America. In the northern region Atacama where there is basically just desert.

Thank you all for input.
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  #2  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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No Contest, - the venerable Yamaha XT6OOE!

You won't find a better "bang for bucks" bike anywhere and that's a FACT. It will do all the things you mention above apart from 100 mph all day bit. It will do the ton quite easily but is probably happier doing no more than 70mph for any length of time.

It will come as no surprise to know that the XT500/600/660 family of motorcycles are the No1 overland adventure bike when it comes to African tours etc...

And you can still find a good one (low mileage & clean) for £1,500 in the UK.
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  #3  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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That was an interesting bike. I never knew about it. It has very good reviews!

But it seems that they don't sell it in Chile. They sell a Yamaha XT-660R. I suppose that is basically the same bike?

And how about the Suzuki DR 650?
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  #4  
Old 4 Aug 2008
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You won't see much There are a few threads here on the bike:
Why The more other riders yet still handle rough off road conditions and be ridable .... and fun.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:48.
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  #5  
Old 5 Aug 2008
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A 650cc is much harder to drive off road, and the spares are much more expensive and hard to find!

Why dont you get a pickup truck and load the 200cc onto it for highway driving? Cheaper and more effective.
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  #6  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter-denmark View Post
A 650cc is much harder to drive off road, and the spares are much more expensive and hard to find!

Why dont you get a pickup truck and load the 200cc onto it for highway driving? Cheaper and more effective.
Well, in a country like Chile that would limit my travel ability. I have planned places to go here and I know that a combination like that would not suffice.

Harder to drive off road, as in heavier?

Last edited by Horses; 6 Aug 2008 at 13:19.
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  #7  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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DR350, DRZ 400, DR650 would all be good choices. For higher top speed on tarmac try a larger front sprocket
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  #8  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
You won't see much about the DR650 Suzuki here on HUBB. They don't sell the DR650 in England and since HUBB is primarily a UK based site, most members have no idea about the DR650 since they stopped importing it to the UK maybe 6 or 7 years ago?

There are a few threads here on the bike:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ong-haul-23847

This bike has been for sale in the USA for 25 years and has a great reputation ...... and the really amazing thing is that sales in the last two years in the USA have broken all previous records for this bike
So the bike is growing in popularity selling out here. Why?

The more other riders come off Hondas, Kawasaki's, and BMW (XR650-L, KLR, F650) and try out the DR650, the more riders switch over to Suzuki. Its a great compromise bike that is stone simple and tough .... and inexpensive.

Having said all that .... for the use you describe I would get a 250cc or a 400cc bike.

Yam TTR250, Suzuki DR250, Suzuki DRZ400S, KLR250, Honda XR400, XR250. In Chile these bikes may have different names and configurations but this size range should work out.

The 650's are great (I own a DR650) but crossing fields you could be challenged. If its muddy or really soft or sandy, you will struggle aboard the heavy 650's.

Todays modern 250's and 450's have so much power they can cruise at 120 kph yet still handle rough off road conditions and be ridable .... and fun.

Patrick
Thanks :-)

It seems then that I should take care about the weight of the bike. Lighter is better for going across loose soil and other softer grounds. Good point. So then basically the 650ies and such are not for me.

So then the choice is in between 250ies and up to 400 perhaps.

I am now going to check through all the bikes that you and Henryuk have recommended me. Hold on some days and I'll be back.

I had a Suzuki TS 50X when I was a kid. There was nothing to fix on it for 7 years. I like Suzukis.

Thank you all. :-)
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  #9  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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for riding in the dirt in really difficult trails, ditches and deserts, there's probably no better bike than yours.

The extra weight of the 400-660cc enduro's becomes only a problem when you fall or get stuck in deep sand, mud, etc many times a day.
If such things often occur to you with your 200cc in your working environment, then they will occur much more often with heavier bikes, and will require a lot more energy to get going again.
If they don't occur now, they won't be there with the bigger bike neither.
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  #10  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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My 200cc has managed fine in all conditions except for in sand dunes and in the river marshland. But I am not going to get into those conditions again. Those things are not what I want a bike for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uganduro View Post
for riding in the dirt in really difficult trails, ditches and deserts, there's probably no better bike than yours.
Yes actually it is a really good bike. It has power for anything off road, it is manouverable and light enough for me to give it a short lift if needed. The only thing it lacks is higher top speed on the highway. If I can cruise at 140 km/h on the highway I'll be a happy man. :-)
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  #11  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Thumbs up Klr 650

Horses, I'm a farmer too. My situation is differant from yours as I don't have to ride through 50 cm deep rivers on a normal basis.
I use a KLR 650 Kawasaki as daily transport,parts hauler, cow herder,etc. It's kind of a big tall pig in mud or technical stuff. And it's too heavy to ever be called a lightweight, but for 99% of what I do it's near enough. I'll carry any thing on the seat and rack that weighs no more than a fat girl.
This year I've had- A 15" wheel and tire, 30 lbs. of hydorlic lines plus a 5 gallon bucket of hydrolic fluid, Boxes of mower and baler parts and plenty of other stuff. I don't know if the KLR is sold in Chile, but if so consider it also. I've ridden a DR 650 and liked it. and the fact that there's no radiator is a plus. The rack is too small for some things but easy too enlarge. I expanded my KLR rack by 90% by making it wider and longer.
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post

Yam TTR250, Suzuki DR250, Suzuki DRZ400S, KLR250, Honda XR400, XR250. In Chile these bikes may have different names and configurations but this size range should work out.

Patrick
Hi there

After some research I have now fallen a bit for the Suzuki DRZ 400S. It seems light enough for my use and has very positive reviews. My final question would be if anyone knows it's top speed on the highway?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 9 Aug 2008
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speed

A bunch of us ride to the AMA hillclimb in Oregonia ,Ohio every year . Last year Brad went along on his DRZ400. The other bikes were 91 KLR .2000 KLR with a Big Gun pipe and jetting, a 08 KLR and a XRL 650 Honda. We all rolled on with the DRZ we all lost. Full disclosure compells me to add that said DRZ pilot weighs about 60 lbs. less than me, but he had top end no mater how far we ran.
My KLR will indicate 100 mph ,but subtract 10% for speedo error and you get 90. Probably closer to the truth. I'd guess the DRZ would do an honest 95mph.
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  #14  
Old 9 Aug 2008
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Good luck with this bike, you will like it.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:49.
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  #15  
Old 9 Aug 2008
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Stick with the small bike

All I want to say Horses is "you lucky bastard" having a job like that!

Anyway, I don't suppose you are going to import a bike from a continent, or further, away so tell us what choices you have available in your neck of the woods.
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