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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 26 Jun 2012
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I'm looking for a bike that doesn't exist..need help!!

I'm new to adventure motorcycling but I'm really looking forward to it, this is where I need some help/advice from the experienced..
I am 5ft 4 & weight around stone 9.5. I've been riding bikes for 15years Honda CBR400 & my beloved Honda C90ZZ around the UK & Isle of man on standard roads,

I'm looking for a bike that is light, will cope with road,some off road and be OK for parts & have a some power.This will be my first trip on my own to South America with a motorbike. I'd like a bike I can be confident with & be able to ride it to it's full extent rather that it take me for a ride.
These are some of the bikes looked at and sat on & my feelings about them.
I'd love and suggestions.

Bikes I've tested:-
BMW650G / GS & Honda Trans alp
Too tall & too much weight for me..I wasn't happy.
Weight OK, too tall I could just get one foot down leaning the bike at an angle.
Yamaha TW125
Great leg height, light, not great build so the write up's say, fiddly to fix, could do with it being a 250.

These are bikes I've seen but not tested:-
Royal En field 350 bullet - but believe the Honda CG125 has the same power. Could do with some more power
Beta Alp 350 - like the general look, not sure how reliable these are?
Honda XR250 - there not been one in any showroom to sit on yet!

I've got around £2000 to spend & I'm looking at a used bike that I will store in South America to go back to for the following years.

I'd really appreciate all the help an suggestions welcome.

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Old 26 Jun 2012
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Hi Jo. Welcome.

Not sure which BMW you tried. Was it the G650GS? The G650X-country has a fairly low seat, especially the 2009 model which has the yellow tank and a steel subframe. It is also a fair bit lighter than the GS model and the engine is well proven.

The Beta Alp 350 would definitely be worth considering, should be reasonably light and definitely has a low seat. If I remember right it is an air cooled suzuki engine, the same one that was fitted to the DR350. Considering the abuse the Mondo Enduro bikes endured, I would say that you could do a lot worse. You will probably find that, although the bike itself isn't that common, the consumable parts are all from a parts bin and will fairly easy to get hold of. The trick will be to find out what other bikes the parts are compatible with before you go.

There are different models of XR250. Plastic tanked models are kick only (I think) enduro models and may be quite tall for you. There are also some electric start bikes around with steel tanks and lower suspension. I believe that these were mainly imported as used bikes from japan. Either engine is generally reliable but don't carry much oil so regular oil changes are very important.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 26 Jun 2012
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It does exist...

...Yamaha Serow: the older xt225 or the newer xt250.

It ain't got big power, but it has enough. You want to go to South America to see the sights, meet the people, sample the culture I presume. It's fast enough for that. And reliable.

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Old 26 Jun 2012
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I second Chris's suggestion. A nice used XT225 or XT250 would be an excellent bike to cruise around South America.

Similar to the Kawasaki 250 Super Sherpa that I rode to Panama and back. Relatively low seat height, mechanically reliable, easy to find tires for plus there are scads of small Yams in Latin America so easy for local folks to work on.

Or you could fly to Santiago Chile and buy a new Honda CG125 for 1000 and use the savings in gas and purchase price to travel more.

Best luck!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 27 Jun 2012
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I've seen a Yamaha Tricker the other day... it looked really light and nimble. I guess you would need a jerry can as it had a small tank. Might be worth a try. Otherwise I would take the Honda 90 if I was you.
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Old 27 Jun 2012
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If you are looking for a bike that doesn't exist , I have one that I can sell you .
I accept paypal or money orders .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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Old 27 Jun 2012
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you like to bring the bike from your country or buy it in South America?
That makes a big difference in choice.

Good luck and enjoy!
Freedom is all i need!
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Old 27 Jun 2012
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Hi All,

Thanks so much for all the suggestions it's really helped!!
To answer some of your question

Rossi I tried the older 2005/2006 BMW 650G which was too much from then I went to the brand new BMW650 G which was a lot better but well over the old budget. I then did try the more cross country version, but with my legs & an angle on the seat ouch no long distance on that for me.

Anaconda moto I've decided to buy in the UK & ship the bike over I can work on the bike here & ride it to make sure I'm happy, plan my kit and sort the weight placement out so I'm not stressing when I get there, just for my peace of mind for me really.

Chris, John, Barothi All the suggestions of bikes are great, they really what I'm looking for I'd rather ride with a grin than struggle. I'll be looking at these over the weekend.

Mr Dodger, the name say it all :-)

Thanks a lot guy's..I'm loving this forum

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Old 28 Jun 2012
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Your definitely looking for a very rare bike! have you tried a Honda SLR 650? Torquey motor, comfy low seat, reliable motor, will take knobbliest and has just about enough suspension travel. Small tank but you can strap a can on. And you'll get one in good nick for less than 2K
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