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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 11 Mar 2009
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Puzey XTR 250

Is anyone from Australia or South Africa (or anywhere they are carried) familiar with this bike? Not for a RTW, but more for regional riding (i.e.-Mexico/Central America); is this bike worth a look?
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  #2  
Old 30 Mar 2009
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Hope you don't mind a response that is 3 years late. I'm from South Africa and Puzeys are now fully available here. I went to a Puzey shop this past weekend 28 Mar 2009. I own a CR 250 2 stroke, but over the last five years I have not aged well (big belly/super unfit) and can no longer cope with a 250 cc 2 stroke MX bike. I went looking for something mellow round about the R30k mark (i.e. $3k in USD). Considered an old DRZ 400, new CFR 230, old XR 400, old KDX 200 etc etc etc. It finaly came down to a choice between a Honda CRF 230 and the PUZEY 250 as I did want something brand new. I visited the honda dealership and was just not happy with the ancient technology on the CRF 230 (air cooled, snail chain adjusters, skinny forks, rear drum etc etc etc). I was super sceptical about the Puzey bike and thought it would be a piece of chinese crap. Anyway, I decided to go to the Puzey dealership to have a look. What then impressed me is that the puzey is not a pure "chinese" bike. The components are manufactured by many different engineering outfits in china, and assembled under the watchfull eye of Mike Puzey (ex Aircraft Technician) from South Africa. When you see the bike and notice all the machined parts you can tell immediately that it is not a chinese design. Then the best part was they let me test drive the PUZEY in the parking lot. Could not get all the way into top gear, but up to 3rd was enough to have me sold on this bike. It is not nearly as fast as a jap 250, but then neither am I anymore. The motor is like an old tractor type feel. In the parking lot it felt slow, but I know climbing a steep hill that tractor engine is going to be great. This ex Aircraft Engineer really did his home work on this project. I'm sure he has copied the geometry of the jap bikes, cause it immediately felt familiar. As soon as I can get my CR 250 sold I will be getting one of these as I just can't handle all that power any more (can't open more than half throttle then it starts to hurt). This Puzey will probably be one of the best learner bikes in the world. If you want silver wear and trophies on the cupboard and champoinships to your name then this won't be the bike for you. It is not aimed at that. But to go have a fun ride on an easy to handle piece of equipment then this is it in my opinion.
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Old 31 Mar 2009
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Thanks for the report! I had only been able to find a review from an Australian magazine in which they put one of the off-road MX versions through its paces on a dirt track, and the riders were seasoned pros. They all wrote that the bike was low on power (as compared to an all out top brand racer) but these bikes aren't necessarily made to be all-out racers, but rather training bikes, or for people like you and I--too old/out of shape to be racing. The testers gave it rave reviews for quality, as far as its Chinese origins--way above par as compared to the old crop of Chinese bikes.

A guy on a Chinese forum I belong to who lives in the UK went to see the CCM version, and was impressed with it as far as seeing it in person, and sitting on it, but was not given the privilege to ride it like you were.

The liquid-cooled 250cc engines are supplied by Loncin--not sure where the air-cooled 230cc engines come from, but the CCM's of the UK and the Pitster Pro of the US versions only come with the higher-powered liquid-cooled engine.

I am not sure which version to get, but do want it to be street legal, so it's either the motard or the enduro version to decide between. Glad to hear you had a positive experience, as I have read some good things about it here and there, but too far and few between. I just wonder how reliable the Loncin engine is?
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Old 31 Mar 2009
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As far as I know these engines should be pretty good. From what I understand most of these chinese, korean, indian motor manufacturers are just continuing the production of tried and tested designs from japan, usa, and western europe. For example the factory that built the old XR 200 motor from Honda in japan was broken down piece by piece, packed into containers, and shipped over to korea where they reasemble the factory, and continue producing the same motor from the same moulds, and just use their own name. Apparently the 230cc aircooled motor used by Honda themselves in the current CFR 230, as well as a vast number of other chinese and indian bikes are all purchasing the motor from the same old factory. As for the liquid cooled 250 motor Puzey is using, I can only guess that Loncin is using a tried and tested design out of europe from say the mid 80's for instance. I think the reliability will be in the simplicity. These motors will not be stressed or revving to the moon. And even when the redline is reached it is not all that much. The motor seems about as stressed as a lawnmower. At only 23hp from 250cc i don't think it is any special or risky feat of engineering to get that hp out of this motor. It's when you start trying to get more than this out of a motor that the reliability starts spiralling out of control at an exponential rate. "Delivery bikes" (used by couriers all over africa) like suzuki's B120 can make a similar reliable hp for thousands and thousands of kilometers. I'm not sure if you know what a B120 is, but there are millions of these things in every 3rd world country and they never brake. They aren't stressed so they just keep going and going. My guess is the loncin engine was chosen because of this type of philosophy.
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Old 31 Mar 2009
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I was just looking at another forum, and apparently Loncin is the manufacturer for the BMW 650 single. Not that the liquid-cooled 250 is a BMW by any means, but the fact that they liquid-cooled a Chinese engine, and are getting over 20 hp out of one might be from this connection? It does give me hope that these bikes would make ok regional bikes for jaunts into Mexico and around the US southwest.
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  #6  
Old 1 Apr 2009
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Indeed, I agree. I'm expecting it to be one of those bikes that I don't really have to work on. I want to go and ride in the bush, come back home and park it. Then do the same weekend after weekend and not have to do anything to it. In 1999 i met a guy on an outride who had an old honda XR 200. After chatting about his bike i discovered that his mechanical knowledge was so limited, he did not know what an "oil change" was. Turns out his dad had bought the bike new in 1983 and had never had the bike serviced. He then inherited it when he went to high school and just continued riding it (this is no joke). That is the kind of bike I'm after, although I would on principal be doing an oil change every 6 months, I want something with that sort of understressed motor. I think the puzey will be great for just riding around and looking for new trails and stuff like that. And the big appeal for me is it will be half the price of a jap 250.
I checked up on Loncin, and they make over 3 million engines (various models) a year. That is more than 8000 units every day. Certainly if you are making that many engines you would have learnt enough about engines to know what you're doing. Also interresting to note is that the high performance engine that BMW is using in their new 450 dirt bike is made in the KYMCO factory in Korea.
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