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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 11 Nov 2010
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Location: England but currently brisbane
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Just wondered am i insane?

Hey hubbers,

I was wondering whether i am completely mad? Im going to purchase a Yamaha 125YBR and travel about 20'000km through the amazing landscape of South America.

Ill be tackling 4000m high passes and camping along the route. taking it nice and easy to soak it all in.

The reason is simple. Im a cheap backpacker and can only afford a japanese 125 or chinese 200. So im going with the japanese for reliability.

P.S if you see me pushing my yamaha up a mountain pass, honk your horn or if your really polite go fetch me a coffee! Ha ha ha
Me and my suzuki EN125 will be travelling 20'000km through South America - who said life was dull!!!!!
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Old 11 Nov 2010
Grant Johnson's Avatar
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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Nope, not insane.

125 is perfectly adequate, just not fast. Take your time and you'll be fine.

Simon Gandolfi rode a 125 from the USA to Ushuaia and back, no problem. Someone else rode a 50cc scooter from Alaska to Ushuaia, no major problems, and he had NO clue mechanically (it kept seizing the piston 'cause he ran it way too hard and then had it poorly repaired) - but he made it.

So have a great trip! And be sure to post your trip report in the Ride Tales forum as you go!
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 12 Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by eddiep View Post
Hey hubbers,

I was wondering whether i am completely mad? Im going to purchase a Yamaha 125YBR and travel about 20'000km through the amazing landscape of South America.
You are on the right track. If the going gets tough, remember these old saws, and you'll be a-ok.

Small is beautiful

Less is more

The bigger they are, the harder they fall ...


Paul (about to buy Yammie TW200 for trip to Mozambique - 2-up!)
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Old 12 Nov 2010
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Not insane. Quite an economical bike with a great record for reliability. Fuel injected motor should do fine in the Andes. Great fuel economy, easy lane splitting in the cities, and easy to wheel into your room at night. I'll be heading down to South America in two months time and hope to see you down the road. I'm thinking I'll get a Honda CG125. Another gutless 125 thumper. If I see you in the Andes I'll race ya! Ring-ding-ding-ding. Might sound like a Latin flight of the bumble bees.

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 12 Nov 2010
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Thumbs up

Hello eddiep,
ofcouse you are a bit mad......but arent we all?
I life in ecuador (amazonica) and all of us are ridding small bikes
125cc till 250cc and its a lot of fun,
also fun for big trips ,and ride with the locals!
When i lived in Holland i had a lot of big bikes 600 till 1500cc and really
enjoyed them a lot,but here i do not mis them.
Small bikes here are a lot easyer to fix here.
also good bike to buy are (But maybe you just want the ybr!)
Yamaha xtz 125
Suzuki gn125
suzuki en 125
honda nxr125
qingqi 200cc
all of them are avalible all over south america.

If you travel in ecuador ,i would like to invite you for a tequilla in
my Cabana/Bar "Aguano" here in Puyo Ecuador.
And if you like put a tent up in the garden.
(sent a message if you are in Ecuador)
Good travels e saludos
Freedom is all i need!
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Old 12 Nov 2010
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It's not the size, it's what you do with it.......as the actress said to the bishop.
Travel light and enjoy.
Anything can happen in the next half hour
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Old 12 Nov 2010
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We rented a couple of 125YBR this summer in Vietnam. They had over 60,000 kms on the clock. The bikes were in quite a state and had been smashed and crashed probably all their life. We had no problem whatsoever with them. They are an excellent choice. And they use very little fuel!
Have fun with one of those!


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Old 12 Nov 2010
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Go for it! Great choice I would say. Once you get started post so we can see your progress.
To those who say it can't be done - stand aside for those who are already doing it.
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Old 12 Nov 2010
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I endorse small bore bikes! They have a lot of pros over larger bikes actually.

Let's name a few:

Higher fuel efficiency
Less wear on tyres, sprockets, chain
Use less oil
Weigh significantly less
Easier to fix
Easier to load into a truck, canoe etc
Cheaper to freight
Better off-road (applies to dirt bikes only of course)
Gives the ability to blend in with the locals of 2nd and 3rd world countries
Easier for local mechanics to fix and acquire spare parts for
Easier to enter hostels/hotels and store in lobby or courtyard etc
Easier to remove from bad situations, such as stuck in mud or bogged in sand
Easier to maneuver with your feet, and smaller to park, easy to lift to front wheel for horizontal parking
I imagine they're safer in a crash as you would usually be moving slower etc

and I'm sure I could think of more if I had to
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Old 17 Nov 2010
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Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 82
The crazy thing would be to not go. Its not the equipment thats makes the adventure after all, and a bigger shame would be not to go because of feelings of inadequacies. The bike you have (and/or can afford) is much better than the bike you don't!

PS I think thats a pretty cool little bike!
2008 Yamaha WR250R
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Old 18 Nov 2010
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Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Posts: 85
I have never been in South America but I have rode Yamaha YBR125 few times. I was suprised how this little bike performs, and seat is comfortable enough for longer rides.
Also these little bikes have advantage on makadam trails when bike is packed with stuff.
Because the ground is not so far... when you need to balance...
Only check first is a rear frame strong enough for carrying a lot of stuff, and reinforce it if needed.
Maybe the bigest advantage of the small bike is that your can dress more natural. Personaly I really don't like to look like a spaceman, and most of moto equipment these days look really silly and out of place when you find yourself among people which in a one year earn the same amount of money as some earn in just a few weeks in more developed countries.

Take care, and good luck...
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Old 30 Nov 2010
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Light is good.....

This is really good for me to read…
I was having exactly the same idea, but I want to do it on a Suzuki Yes 125!
I am currently in Brazil and motorbikes are pretty expensive here. I don’t want to spend my whole budget on the bike!
That was before everybody was telling me it was difficult, not handy, stupid, and impossible to cross the Andes.

I thought it was a nice idea to pack light and take a small bike, easy to fix and they are the workhorses of the world!!!
If you can pack two pigs or 4 bamboo tables on it, or sometimes the whole family (azia) you can sorely pack 4 boxershort, two t shirts and a fancy bar shirt!!

I was looking for bigger bikes the past two weeks, but after reading this, I am sticking with my original plan again!!

Maybe I’ll be seeing you on the road, I’ll be the guy pushing up the Suzuki!!
Have a good trip!!
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