XTZ250 Lander recommendation
I realise this thread is rather old but I wanted to write about my own experience of the Yamaha XTZ250 "Lander". I lived in Brazil for a couple of years and bought one of these (vs the Honda Tornado that was also mentioned or the Honda 150cc "Bros"). The Lander engine is SOHC Fuel Injected with just 2 valves and I made no modifications to the bike except an alarm and luggage rack for a top-box.
In short, I would love to buy this bike in the UK if it were imported. It's quite simple in design but the build quality was very good and the engine was an absolute peach. Great acceleration and smoothness on road, even when climbing twisty mountain roads with a pillion. Off-road, the engine gives plenty of power with nice semi-knobbly tyres that operate in mud. My only complaint being that gearing is a little long for very steep sections, leaving you hunting for a gear between 1st and 2nd.
If you are planning to go to Brazil, I would never try to import a vehicle (it's illegal to import a used car or motorcycle) but registering a vehicle is a real PITA. The easiest solution IMHO is that you ask someone local you trust to buy it in their name and get the licence plate and documents in their name, then you can "borrow" it for a few weeks/months. As long as you have the bike document, you are fine. You can then resell it as you leave.
Anyway, as I said about the bike, it's fantastic and makes trips so much fun. It also never skipped a beat in torrential tropical downpours. The only weak point is an underpowered front headlamp but I wouldn't fit a higher output bulb for fear of burning out a loom or switch (not sure if it's on a relay) in the system.
Hope this was useful for someone out there,
P.S. Brazil, for the sheer size and variety, has to be one of the most amazing places to ride a motorcycle in the world.