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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 7 Mar 2011
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Parts availability in Africa: Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki?

Hi,
I've been looking through the posts for a while, but have only found a partial answer to my question:

I'm pretty sure I'd like a 250CC dual purpose bike for travel through Africa/Asia and street jaunts in the US. Without even starting to look at the pros and cons of the specific offerings, is there any reason I should prefer one manufacturer over the other? For example, for overlanding with cars/4wds, I understand that Africa is broadly speaking been more Land Rover territory, while Toyota Land Cruisers are more common in Asia. So at the time I looked into this it was argued that Land Rovers would be easier to fix in Africa than a Land Cruiser and vice versa. Do similar distinctions hold for 250CC machines, and do they matter? Which manufacturer has the largest retail/repair network in Africa/Asia? Are some brands easier to fix than others? Does one manufacturer have unusually short service-intervals, etc?

I know these are fairly broad distinctions, and the differences might be only marginal. But since I'm still on the market for a bike, I figure I should take them into account.

More specifically, I'm looking at a fairly standard list of suspects. In no particular order:

TTR250
Djebel 250XC
XT250
XR250L

While I like the added punch of the TTR250 and the Djebel, at least the TTR250 has street-legality issues in the US. If you had to choose for a trip to Africa, which would it be?

Thanks, fab
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  #2  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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As far as I could tell, there were not many Suzukis around once you left Morocco... but you could get spares if you really looked. Mostly seen Yamaha and Honda. I don't know about south from Mali.
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  #3  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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There's quite a few used Djebels in Ghana. Seem them in Takoradi and Accra.
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  #4  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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All of the bike you list are pretty reliable and should be suitable for an African trip and as long as you carry a few service parts, oil filters, plugs, cables perhaps a spare set of chain and sprockets with servicing and a bit of luck you shouldn't need anything else. The tyres are probably the same size throughout all these bikes so that is not an issue, just take the one you like best or can get a particularly good example of. One thing to look out for is the condition of the rear shock, if in doubt fit a new one, the makers original should be good enough, nothing fancy needed.
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  #5  
Old 16 Apr 2011
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the larger xt's are common in west africa and there are a few ktm dealers too. im a yam convert so would stick with them...
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  #6  
Old 19 May 2011
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It ain't easy!

we just bought an XR250 and an XLR200 (hondas) in Tanzania. 250 parts are quite common through southern and eastern africa, but you have to be careful; models vary between the US and africa.

I'd go for hondas. whatever you get and whatever parts you need, they'll be found definitely in SA and probably in Kenya, so could always be shipped (+++ cost & delay!)

p.s. africa is full of land cruisers! it may be easier/cheaper to fix of a land rover but that's because your doing it so often!
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