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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 23 Nov 2010
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Comparing Different Bikes in Kenya

Hi,

I'm working for an NGO north of Mombasa in Kenya and am buying my first bike to use to get around to rural farmers and then plan on making a cross continent trip. There is a very limited selection here and I have limited money.

I am comparing the following

The new Zongshen 200gy (Chinese made) for about $USD 1,250

A used 98 Suzuki Djebel 200 for about $USD 1,750 (a friend of mine looked at it and said I would need to replace the rear sproket soon)

A used Yamaha 225 Serrow with 3500 km that is booked in kenya as 2003 (but probably older) for about $USD 2,125 (if you have time to take a look it is in the top right of the "bike list" found here joypopimport -- can anyone tell how old it is? see also attachments)

Also a Yamaha AG200 used, not sure of the price yet.

And finally a new (RED) Honda 200XL for about USD$ 3,600 (this would be the obvious choice but it would be about 50% of my total net worth.. ugggg)

So considerations are the obvious:

-durability
-long distance comfort
-resale value

I am only about 150 pounds and will pack very light.

Also, anyone know any other bike dealers in the area I should be talking to?

Thanks for all of the input!
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  #2  
Old 23 Nov 2010
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Avoid the Chinese one if you can, the Serrow, AG200 and Suzuki are all good choices if mechanically sound. I am not sure if you are anywhere near nairobi but perhaps you could ask Chris at jungle junction for an opinion.
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  #3  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Update

Thanks for the tips Mark. I have gotten Chris' number and will contact him. Hopefully he will have some contacts in Mombasa because Nairobi is a little far for me unless it was a sure shot (then I would also get me first test of the bike on the 10 hour return trip!)...

Anyways, the update on the Serow is that it is "around 2000, but not listed in the Japanese Log"

Based on my experience with cars, buying a 10 year old vehicle is generally not a good idea. However, should I be shifting my mindset? I am gathering from posts etc. that a well cared for quality bike can last well beyond 10 years? Any thoughts in general on old bikes or a few quick checks for "mechanically sound-ness"?

Thanks for the help!

John
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  #4  
Old 24 Nov 2010
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Hi,

I had the Honda version of the ag bike, a '95 AG200CT, with automatic clutch. Apart from its lack of puff, thanks to the clutch and not changing sprockets, it was the perfect bike: bulletproof, unbreakable, cheap to run and light, and I toured far and wide on it. I guess the Yamaha AG200 will be the same, but with the benefit of a manual shift.

It's also got a fat, padded seat - good for many hours in the saddle.

The age of the bike is much less of an issue. What counts is how it's been looked after. My other bikes have been long in the tooth - a '78 XT500 and a '74 BMW R60/6. The XT had been used hard but after some minor fettling it took me all over SA and Zimbabwe without a single breakdown. The BMW had had two owners and felt like a brand new bike ...

Just do a thorough check of the bike before you buy, take it for a test ride, then bargain hard!

cheers,

Paul
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  #5  
Old 26 Nov 2010
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Thanks for the thoughts PK!...

Good point about the seat, it does seem comfy. If I am thinking about reselling the bike, my hunch is that a new honda might retain its value (and thus actually end up being cheaper) more than a 3-4 year old AG or a 10 year old Serow. I am not sure... The AG is in Nairobi, they are asking about $USD 2400 for it and will ship it for free, but unless I trek to Nairobi to look at it, I have to commit before I see it I am going to see the Serow tomorrow and give it a good once over. Again, does it at all seem weird that there are no decals?... Ok, well, thanks to all for the help, I will keep you posted.

John
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  #6  
Old 28 Nov 2010
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If it is possible for you to get there, somebody I know has just bought a brand new Honda XR125 in South Africa for just under $US2,100 and is touring Africa on it. I am not sure where they expect to end up but it might have to be sold in SA as well but it is a lot cheaper than Kenya.
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  #7  
Old 14 Jan 2011
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Ryce motors in Nairobi sells new honda xl125's. Ask them for a price
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