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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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  #61  
Old 14 Dec 2010
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Hey that XT250 looks brilliant.

But it doesn't look like any of the XT250s I've looked at up till now - has it had a lot of modifications (seat lowered, etc etc...)? It does look really ride-able and I could see myself riding round Africa on it, for sure!

Jeanie
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  #62  
Old 14 Dec 2010
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hi Jeannie. My wife rides KL250 super sherpa and she 4foot 9 I slip forks in clamp 35mm.add 20cm in her boots. the other bike we had was lowered f650gs. the KL did 45000 km before we trached the motor. New oil put in around 2000 to 3000km. good luck in find a bike Regards Stuart
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  #63  
Old 15 Dec 2010
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Xt 250

Jeanie,
It's Jan here, as for the modifications I don't think there is to many, but I will
list what I have. Barkbusters are a must (fell off on Mayole rode about 5 times and they saved both levers everytime.) I have that engine guard thing and Paul had Hi-way Pegs welded on (I broke both these off tho, first one went in Egypt when a stupid idiot walked out in front of me, and the second one in the Simien Mountains (Ethiopia) I took a spill on a gravel road. I also bought Andy Strap expedition panniers (pain at first but sorted out now) I have a Air Hawk seat which was really good. I took the seat to a motor trimmers and they cut it back for me, which made a fair bit of difference as I am only 5'2".
The mechanic pulled the front forks thru a little, and did something at the back to even it out (not sure what tho, but if you end up getting one I'll find out for you. I also had a light frame welded on the back to hold my extra fuel container up right (It worked out really well as we had our Dual Fuel Stove hooked on as well and then put a Lid Safe bag which fitted perfectly over both, and was lockable then.) The frames that hold my Panniers came from America (The engine guard, Pannier Racks and Fuel Container all came from the one place) I use a roll bag which I lay across the back and fasten with those Andy Straps. The Bike was white with blue decals when I bought it, but we own a Graphics Company (Visual Graphics - create.develop) so Paul wanted something Australian so we did a make over of the 2 bikes.
Let me know if you you need any more info on Timone (My bikes name, Pauls is called Pumba they make a good pair)
I have attached a couple of my photos of it here. I was going to sell it in Capetown when I reached there and ride my F650gs from South America onwards, but after this trip there is no ways will I part with it. !!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Which bike for a petite learner with dreams of riding across Africa?-img_6631.jpg  

Which bike for a petite learner with dreams of riding across Africa?-p1000794.jpg  

Which bike for a petite learner with dreams of riding across Africa?-img_0584.jpg  

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  #64  
Old 15 Dec 2010
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Do you have any close-ups of the fuel container and it's frame for us to look at?
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  #65  
Old 15 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuart little View Post
hi Jeannie. My wife rides KL250 super sherpa and she 4foot 9 I slip forks in clamp 35mm...
I was just going to suggest the Sherpa too if it is available in OZ - it is infinitely better than a Serow (and I've ridden both) - it feels like a small big bike, rather than just a small bike. The only limiting factor with the Sherpa is the size of the stock fuel tank - you should get around 100 miles from it, but I don't think there is anything larger on the aftermarket that is a ready fit.

Certainly if you are shorter and not particularly strong, I'd forget about anything over 400cc - the weight and physical size of any of the 650cc bikes will just make life a misery for you if you stray off the highway/dirt roads...

Personally, I would look at a DRZ 400 SM (the supermoto version), which has slightly shorter suspension travel and is lower than the Trail version by virtue of having 17 inch wheels. They are also typically cheaper than the Trail version, as people buy them and then realise they are not a rootin' tootin' hardcore supermoto, but a trail bike with fatter tyres... so sell them cheap and buy a Husaburg or something mental!

Fortunately all the aftermarket bits you might want for the Trail DRZ also fit the SM (lowering links, larger fuel tanks and skid-plates, luggage racks, comfort seats etc.) - are all readily available, and if you get a 19 inch rim laced onto the front, the bike will still be low, but you can run all-terrain tyres such as the TKC80, which I'd say is a great tyre for the sort of trip you're planning.

The DRZ engine is very reliable, easy to maintain, and as others have said previously - get a good/new one and make sure all the consumable parts are fresh, and you shouldn't have any real 'parts' issues on your trip anyway...

And even if you did end up with a problem, you can get anything shipped anywhere in the world these days, you might just have to wait a while somewhere - but then that's usually when the best adventures happen anyway...

Jx
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  #66  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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Fuel Rack

Deana/Jeanie,
(Paul here this time) I have not got any close up photos of the rack we made but I can draw
what we did if you want. The back rack is a Borrego Rack, for the panniers we used a Denali Rack, and the fuel was a Kolpin Fuel Storage. These are 2 web sites that you can see these products Kolpin Fuel Pack Jr with Bracket - ATV - Motorcycle Superstore
and also TCI Products I must add everthing we did worked extremely well as we wanted the bike to be as lights as possible. I also put Heidanau 60s for the tyres which are not even showing signs of wear yet.

Thanks
Paul
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  #67  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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small tank on the Sherpa i get around 28 km per litre that give me but 225km, the worst ever was 24 km per litre was two up with camping, food and water for 4 days. On the open road siting on 90 km per hour.
You can fit 30-litre DR650 Safari tank. In the 01/07 twowheels mag there write up & pic with Sherpa with 30 tank.
Regards Stuart
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  #68  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuart little View Post
In the 01/07 twowheels mag there write up & pic with Sherpa with 30 tank.
Regards Stuart
Can you actually see the bike under all that tank?!

Good to know there is an option - I reckon that would make it an excellent lightweight travel bike!





Jx
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  #69  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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[quote=stuart little;316057
You can fit 30-litre DR650 Safari tank. In the 01/07 twowheels mag there write up & pic with Sherpa with 30 tank.
Regards Stuart[/quote



Anyone got a picture of it???
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  #70  
Old 17 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
Jeanie,
It's Jan here, as for the modifications I don't think there is to many, but I will
list what I have. Barkbusters are a must (fell off on Mayole rode about 5 times and they saved both levers everytime.) I have that engine guard thing and Paul had Hi-way Pegs welded on (I broke both these off tho, first one went in Egypt when a stupid idiot walked out in front of me, and the second one in the Simien Mountains (Ethiopia) I took a spill on a gravel road. I also bought Andy Strap expedition panniers (pain at first but sorted out now) I have a Air Hawk seat which was really good. I took the seat to a motor trimmers and they cut it back for me, which made a fair bit of difference as I am only 5'2".
The mechanic pulled the front forks thru a little, and did something at the back to even it out (not sure what tho, but if you end up getting one I'll find out for you. I also had a light frame welded on the back to hold my extra fuel container up right (It worked out really well as we had our Dual Fuel Stove hooked on as well and then put a Lid Safe bag which fitted perfectly over both, and was lockable then.) The frames that hold my Panniers came from America (The engine guard, Pannier Racks and Fuel Container all came from the one place) I use a roll bag which I lay across the back and fasten with those Andy Straps. The Bike was white with blue decals when I bought it, but we own a Graphics Company (Visual Graphics - create.develop) so Paul wanted something Australian so we did a make over of the 2 bikes.
Let me know if you you need any more info on Timone (My bikes name, Pauls is called Pumba they make a good pair)
I have attached a couple of my photos of it here. I was going to sell it in Capetown when I reached there and ride my F650gs from South America onwards, but after this trip there is no ways will I part with it. !!!!
Hey Jan,

Thanks for the info and pix of your bike - it really does look great and the sort of bike/set-up that I could handle. As a fairly new rider, it looks manageable compared to some of the "adventure bikes" I've seen - and it really looks the part, as well as being functional for the varying terrain of Africa!

I'm flying out to Cape Town at the end of next week and am thinking about trying to hire a bike for a few weeks to tour South Africa. (It's kind of a recce trip for the bigger one I'll do across Africa later in the year!). But I'm having trouble finding anywhere that will hire bikes this small - ie 250cc. So if anyone's get any tip-offs about where I might go to hire a smaller bike, that would be great!

Jeanie
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  #71  
Old 18 Dec 2010
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Bikes you can get in Asia that fit the bill...

Kawasaki D-Tracker 250, Yamaha XT225 Serow, Honda SL230 are stand outs, the D-Tracker is fairly new on the scene but people are raving about. The Honda is an old design so parts are AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE!!

5'2" Is short so the other option is to get a "touring"bike like a Honda Night Hawk or CB and do some mods so it can get off road... you won't get down'n'dirty but you will handle most trails and also have an option for up to 400cc that way (more luggage/pillion). I've seen a couple done up quite well.

My pick is the D-Tracker though...
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