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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 17 Jun 2012
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My Chinese bike to cross South America..too late now!

I Just bought a chinese 'Star Amazonas 250' in Paraguay to ride as far as it will take me, or to Chile, or until I run out of cash, whichever comes first.



I plan to update this thread when I get more bits of information about the bike and build up a better feel for it as I go on, I guess the purpose of this thread is for anyone thinking about chinese bikes can have a look at what I've found about this one, my research will continue but right now here are some specs:

128KG dry weight
229cc air cooled OHV Pushrod engine.
5 speed
9.0:1 compression ratio
10.1L fuel tank
1.1L oil capacity.
Claimed HP, 16 @7,000RPM.
Claimed carrying weight 150KG incl. rider.
Also the manual claims the top speed to be 100kph, which after feeling how low geared it is, I believe.

Apparently the engine is an old honda design, but I'm not sure.
It cost me $2,000.

I also recently discovered it's more or less the same as the self destructing 'ronco demolition 250' belonging to another guy on this forum.
I've been telling myself everything will be ok, it's probably not as bad as some people say it will be and the bike will be better than the english in it's manal, but it didn't take long too long to dispell that hope.
I got about 4KM from the dealer's place and it started getting super hot, the plug looked lean and I richened the mix as much as I could but still needed to stop 5x on the usually 15 minute ride back to the backpackers' hostel! I've changed the oil, the plug and richened it further (plug still says lean but it's maxed out) and it does seem to run cooler although possibly warmer than normal.
The idea of taking something like this gets some excited and makes other cringe, but It's paid for, the handle is pulled and the dice is thrown. Best case scenario I get to Chile without any major catastrophies, worst case scenario it blows up but I still write a good blog about it.

Questions? Comments? Tell me if you think it can, or can't make it!
Or follow the trip on www.makingituponamotorbike.wordpress.com
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  #2  
Old 17 Jun 2012
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Thumbs up

Good luck. I hope your trip goes well. I will check out your web page...

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  #3  
Old 18 Jun 2012
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How bad can it be with such a great name!!! the Star of the Amazon!



When I was operating Panama Passage we had riders coming from Costa Rica with Chinese bikes. Not sure how far they made it but they had a blast!
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  #4  
Old 19 Jun 2012
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Hola,

Just go to a local bike repair shop,i and try to explain what is the problem,
they can help you out.There are more chineese bikes around then other bikes.
.....so do not panic, and have a great trip.
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  #5  
Old 19 Jun 2012
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Hi Man,

You will make it!!! Wors starting storys allways have a happy end

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

Travel save...i love the funny way you are writing, Tobi
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  #6  
Old 19 Jun 2012
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Cheers you guys! It seems to be behaving itself with temperature wise now, just a few more mods and bits of paperwork then I'm ready to go!
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  #7  
Old 22 Jun 2012
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Hilarious blog, or 'collection of experiences, conclusions and information' as you call it! I had the exact same thoughts as you have described in your 'But what for?' section when I went 'backpacking' in South America a couple years back. Completely disillusioned I then met a couple of Canadians in La Paz who had ridden down on their bikes. That was it for me. Went home immediately (only lasted 2 months (I will return!)), saved hard then in 2 weeks I'm going to (attempt to) ride to NZ from the UK.

Back onto the subject of the bike - you're a braver man than me but from reading your blog it seems like you have the most important thing to make it work for you - the right attitude! You'll make it. Good luck and keep the updates coming.
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Old 22 Jun 2012
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the mixture screw you're adjusting only adjusts the fuel at low rpm, with such a low top speed I'm guessing your riding with the throttle pretty open, to increase the fuel you need to upjet the main jet.

If you've only just bought it, surely you can take it back and say "Hang on, this is total S#*T, sort it out" I know its not the same the other side of the world, but any mechanic would realise how wrong this is
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  #9  
Old 22 Jun 2012
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He Russel,
you got a really good and funny writing style!!!!!!!
I love it!!
www.makingituponamotorbike.wordpress.com

Have a good trip man.
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  #10  
Old 4 Aug 2012
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Ha thanks guys,
and update for you following,
it's now at 3800KM and the bike's still going, no broken pistons yet.
I've had some minor issues though, chain rubbing on the tire for unknown reason, had to set wheel alignment crooked to compensate.
I'm currently in Potosi, 4,000M above sea level and she was really feeling the lack of O2, running super rich, just not enoug O2 to burn this cheap bolivian gasoline. the main jet was a 110, so today I changed it way down to an 85 and it's close to getting back to how it was down at 1,000M. Stoked!!
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  #11  
Old 7 Aug 2012
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When buy chinesse bikes in SA, allways look for CV carburator, i have riding a Loncin 230 from my house at sea level to 4600 m with no problem with a CV carb.
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2012
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Russell, I like your writing. I've bookmarked your blog and will link to it on mine when I get a minute. Great stuff - looking forward to the next episode.
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  #13  
Old 2 Sep 2012
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Hey Russel, hope the bike is still going strong. Waiting in anticipation for the next update.
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  #14  
Old 5 Sep 2012
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Hey,

Hope your bikes running okay! If it's any consolation, for my first bike experience, I did the Indian Himalayas on a 1984 Royal Enfield. The bike was supposed to be a 350 but felt more like 50. Chronic overheating plagued me every hour or so, or even less on the passes. Often at high altitude, I was forced to 'paddle' the bike with my feet, otherwise it couldn't get going in first gear, like Fred Flintstone. On the second day of owning it, and after completing "the highest road in the world", the outlet road punctured a hole in the head gasket the size of a 1p coin! After that it was just downhill for that machine. The engine eventually imploded going up the hill to Dharmasla, so I just rolled it back down and got scrap for it from a mechanic.

Last edited by 7055; 5 Sep 2012 at 03:05.
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  #15  
Old 6 Sep 2012
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Loved the "Fred Flintstone" part, can just picture it!
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