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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 3 May 2009
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Price of performance?

yes, that's right, another which bike to buy...

So, (me and my girlfriend) are planning a three week trip to Algeria and do not have suitable bikes yet. (our TW125 or CBR 900 streetfighter don't really work for several reasons )

Bikes will be transported to the Ferry, so almost all riding will be on African soil.
We are looking to spend under 3000 euros per bike (mods and all)
After a lot of reading (here and elsewhere) on the list at the moment:

XT600E (Cheap, simple, but relatively heavy, sh*t suspension)
[EDIT]TTR250 (Cheap, simple, lightweight, reasonable suspension, pretty much unobtainable in Holland)[EDIT]
DRZ400S (lightweight, reasonably powerful, but more expensive and watercooled, so more complicated/more stuff to break)

Aargh, how bad is an XT really at offroading?
Do we really need a light (ish) bike that much?
Is 5000k in three weeks too much on a DRZ?
We do not have that much Offroad experience, would an XT be too hard?
Should I (more experience, stronger) get an XT and let my girlfriend ride a lighter bike? (easier to ride/pickup)
If we get an XT, should we consider the (old) XTZ660?



Edit: added TTR250, added budget

Last edited by AadmanZ; 5 May 2009 at 21:10.
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  #2  
Old 4 May 2009
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Its horses for courses really the difference is 15kilos tops in weight difference..

There are other issues to consider, quality of fuel (XT wins hands down on poor fuel running ability with its 8.2:1 compression compared to the DRZ400s 11:1 or 12.1:1 for the E version).

Height , the DRZ is MUCH taller,

Cargo carrying capacity , the XT can take alot more the DRZ needs bracing on the rear frame.

Both also need mods , the DR and XT have poor bash plates,

Also watercooling = more power and longer engine life, at worse you seize the piston.

But aircooling = simplier and its harder to overheat the bike (at worse you increase the engine wear and rebuild time).

Also unless you are bringing spare sprockets the DR400 will be running at higher revs on the road bit through Europe high revs for long periods = bad , while the XT I think is about 3-4500 rpm (at a guess no tachometer) for 65mph.
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  #3  
Old 4 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
Its horses for courses really the difference is 15kilos tops in weight difference..

There are other issues to consider, quality of fuel (XT wins hands down on poor fuel running ability with its 8.2:1 compression compared to the DRZ400s 11:1 or 12.1:1 for the E version).

Height , the DRZ is MUCH taller,

Cargo carrying capacity , the XT can take alot more the DRZ needs bracing on the rear frame.

Both also need mods , the DR and XT have poor bash plates,

Also watercooling = more power and longer engine life, at worse you seize the piston.

But aircooling = simplier and its harder to overheat the bike (at worse you increase the engine wear and rebuild time).

Also unless you are bringing spare sprockets the DR400 will be running at higher revs on the road bit through Europe high revs for long periods = bad , while the XT I think is about 3-4500 rpm (at a guess no tachometer) for 65mph.
Thanks, great..

15 kilos only? I thought those DRZ were so extremely light.
For time and luggage reasons (not wanting to have to bring two sets of riding gear), we plan to do the Harley thing and trailer or ship the bikes to the Ferry, so road miles are not an issue.
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  #4  
Old 4 May 2009
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But suzi claim the dry weight at 134 which is unrealistic , ie no engine oil , no coolant, no fuel no battery acid no fork oil etc.

Start adding those things you get to about 155 kilos at the very least, an example is Mondo Enduro they got to Magadan for the weigh in for the Aeroflot flight to Alaska and tipped the scales at 151 kilos ie + 21 kilos on the dry weight.

The Suzi DRZ400 is 134 kilos claimed , add in 21 kilos for wet weight and the radiator and coolant and I'd say it comes in wet at about 158 kilos at the very least.

The XT is a claimed dry 154 kilos wet comes in at 170 kilos , mine is slightly heavier due to bigger tank , a bigger bash plate etc.

Also add in that fact that DR350s (at least not sure about the DRZ400) need the sub frame bracing in several places and the weight difference isn't massive. the XT produces its power via CCs, the DRZ produces its power via compression.

Or if you don't like the XT600 why not try the Yam TT600R or TTR600 , in that it uses the same engine as the XT600E for reliability but kick only no battery and Maiceik's came in at 156kilos wet, its seriously tall though. It uses alloy all over to save weight and has joke pillion foot rests. It does have a weakness in that the generator only makes 135watts, while the XT makes close to 300watts.

The red version of the Belguarda TT600R kickstart only , not the TT600RE (electric start) came with front and rear Ohlins suspension also, also you can save weight on the XT600 TT600 bikes by replacing the zorst which is a monster of a thing which turns to rust if you look at it too hard.
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  #5  
Old 5 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
But suzi claim the dry weight at 134 which is unrealistic , ie no engine oil , no coolant, no fuel no battery acid no fork oil etc.

Start adding those things you get to about 155 kilos at the very least, an example is Mondo Enduro they got to Magadan for the weigh in for the Aeroflot flight to Alaska and tipped the scales at 151 kilos ie + 21 kilos on the dry weight.

The Suzi DRZ400 is 134 kilos claimed , add in 21 kilos for wet weight and the radiator and coolant and I'd say it comes in wet at about 158 kilos at the very least.

The XT is a claimed dry 154 kilos wet comes in at 170 kilos , mine is slightly heavier due to bigger tank , a bigger bash plate etc.

Also add in that fact that DR350s (at least not sure about the DRZ400) need the sub frame bracing in several places and the weight difference isn't massive. the XT produces its power via CCs, the DRZ produces its power via compression.

Or if you don't like the XT600 why not try the Yam TT600R or TTR600 , in that it uses the same engine as the XT600E for reliability but kick only no battery and Maiceik's came in at 156kilos wet, its seriously tall though. It uses alloy all over to save weight and has joke pillion foot rests. It does have a weakness in that the generator only makes 135watts, while the XT makes close to 300watts.

The red version of the Belguarda TT600R kickstart only , not the TT600RE (electric start) came with front and rear Ohlins suspension also, also you can save weight on the XT600 TT600 bikes by replacing the zorst which is a monster of a thing which turns to rust if you look at it too hard.
No problem with the XT, just wondering if it is the right bike for this kind of trip.

I used to own one, but never offroaded it, just wondering about the off roadability, but I guess our own skills will be the limiting factor.

I think you are probably right with the weight difference being limited. I can probably get my hands on some decent parts (exhaust, skidplate etc.) through some connections, reducing the weight of the XT.
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  #6  
Old 5 May 2009
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It's no MX bike, but I managed the XT OK on mud and sand.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 5 May 2009
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Dunno why you don't just get the TT600R in that its an XT600E but Yamaha has done all the weight reduction work for you as well as upgraded the suspension to Ohlins front and rear. Its capable , in that Maciek went from Egypt to South Africa on one with his wingman they have a video on youtube lookup motosyberia and its under one of his videos motoafryca.

Its the R you want not the RE. Wet fully loaded it comes in at 156 kilos , thats with a full acerbis tank, has 43bhp and uses lower compression and is a DRZ400 beater. But they are rare and very very very tall so tall I can't actually get on it without stepping up on the pegs.

As said the trade off on the TTR is that you get joke pillion foot pegs , a joke headlight (a candle would be more effective) also the seat is slightly narrower.
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  #8  
Old 5 May 2009
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Having ridden the XT600E off road, I've say it was SHITE ! AWFUL suspension and just never felt planted.

DRZ is obviously going to work better off road. Its lighter & better sprung but very tall so not for everyone. It's very popular for green laning.

I wouldn't worry about water cooling. Theres no reason it should fail as long as you use suitable guards on the radiators and keep a tube of chemical metal handy in case of holes.

Whatever you're doing.. If you want it to work offroad then you have to keep the weight down and keep it balanced.
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  #9  
Old 5 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Having ridden the XT600E off road, I've say it was SHITE ! AWFUL suspension and just never felt planted.

DRZ is obviously going to work better off road. Its lighter & better sprung but very tall so not for everyone. It's very popular for green laning.

I wouldn't worry about water cooling. Theres no reason it should fail as long as you use suitable guards on the radiators and keep a tube of chemical metal handy in case of holes.

Whatever you're doing.. If you want it to work offroad then you have to keep the weight down and keep it balanced.
Shit off road riding is what I am worried about.. Especially since we do not have that much experience.
We are not looking to travel the world in three years time, easy going on bad roads.. It will be three weeks mainly on desert roads/pistes and we need to be able get some decent mileage in a day.
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  #10  
Old 5 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
Dunno why you don't just get the TT600R in that its an XT600E but Yamaha has done all the weight reduction work for you as well as upgraded the suspension to Ohlins front and rear. Its capable , in that Maciek went from Egypt to South Africa on one with his wingman they have a video on youtube lookup motosyberia and its under one of his videos motoafryca.

Its the R you want not the RE. Wet fully loaded it comes in at 156 kilos , thats with a full acerbis tank, has 43bhp and uses lower compression and is a DRZ400 beater. But they are rare and very very very tall so tall I can't actually get on it without stepping up on the pegs.

As said the trade off on the TTR is that you get joke pillion foot pegs , a joke headlight (a candle would be more effective) also the seat is slightly narrower.
TTR is similar priced to a DRZ.. and the R does not have the magic button
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  #11  
Old 5 May 2009
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Originally Posted by AadmanZ View Post
Shit off road riding is what I am worried about.. Especially since we do not have that much experience.
We are not looking to travel the world in three years time, easy going on bad roads.. It will be three weeks mainly on desert roads/pistes and we need to be able get some decent mileage in a day.
Oh well, we will need to spend money on prepping whatever bike we get anyway, might just as well get a cheaper bike and make it decent. Millions of people have travelled through Africa on XT's why would we need to spend twice the money for a three week trip?
Ghenghis Khan conquered half the world on an XT, they used to ride the Dakar on them..

Can you hear me convincing myself?
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  #12  
Old 5 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AadmanZ View Post
Oh well, we will need to spend money on prepping whatever bike we get anyway, might just as well get a cheaper bike and make it decent. Millions of people have travelled through Africa on XT's why would we need to spend twice the money for a three week trip?
Ghenghis Khan conquered half the world on an XT, they used to ride the Dakar on them..

Can you hear me convincing myself?
Don't get me wrong, the XT is VERY capable of doing the job.. It will just take more skill and strength. There will be more sweat and tears but there is always going to have to be a compromise somewhere..

I rode light off road on my XT and I never felt like I was in control, it was too heavy and the suspension did me no favours... I've then done some very technical and fast offroading on a unloaded WR450 and I've felt like I could win the Paris dakar on it.. Full of confidence and control. I've had a similar experience on a DRZ400S.

I did South America on my XT600E and although it never ever let me down (even when I crashed it twice - OFFROAD), I wouldnt use one again.

I , like yourself am planning a trip from Liverpool-Capetown and im looking for a bike to do it. I currently have an Africa Twin which I know I wont enjoy riding offroad at all...

I'm probably going for a DR650SE or a DRZ400S.. It all depends on my route. The DR650 for a more tarmac based route or the DRZ400 for the offroad route..

If your route is going to be more offroad, then I would go for the DRZ400 or a Yamaha 250 Serrow if the DRZ is too tall for your missis.

The Serrow is very under rated... Nice and light, reliable and will cruise at 65mph. Lois Pryce used one for her Africa Trip.

Seeing as you're taking your girlfriend, she has to be just as happy as you are or your trip will be MISERABLE !!
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  #13  
Old 5 May 2009
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Hey ted did I buy a footpeg off you recently for an XT , I saw the name tedmagnum on my credit card statement.
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  #14  
Old 5 May 2009
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Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
Hey ted did I buy a footpeg off you recently for an XT , I saw the name tedmagnum on my credit card statement.
I did recently sell one on Ebay yes.

I vaguely remember it going for 99p or something similar LOL..

Hope its ok ?
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Old 5 May 2009
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It went on the bike for about 4 hours , put it on for the MOT , it passed then went home to take it off , can't complain about 99p !.
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