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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 Sep 2000
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RTW On A Yamaha Serow 225WE: Against Conventional Wisdom?

Conventional wisdom suggests bikes of 650 cc as the mean size for undertaking a RTW trip. This size category proliferates with bikes produced by all the major bike manufacturers. A few riders ignore this advice and opt for a lighter bike - you name it, 400, 350, 250, 125 and as low as 90! You've even heard of some geek on a 50? That takes the cake! You can't go lower than that.

If enough experienced/thoughtful riders/readers out there tell me I would be crazy to choose the Yamaha Serow 225WE (available in Japanese market only) for my proposed RTW trip in late 2001 or early 2002, then I'll scurry back to my original choice of either the F650GS or Dakar or the new Honda Transalp XL650V.

I just might ignore your advice though! The Serow's power ratio is only 20PS/19Nm with a top cruising speed of only, say, 110 kph (someone correct me if I'm wrong), its tank is only 10 liters, but it is light, nimble, and a delight to ride.
If your riding plan does not include the super highways of the world, why, the little Serow is just the right size and weight for treading the fragile planet.
I know some long distance travelers have ridden Honda XL250's and even Yamaha's more powerful TT250R (30PS/28Nm) BUT is there anyone out there, apart from John Hutchinson, who has actually done long distances, not necessarily having circled the whole planet, astride a Serow?
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  #2  
Old 4 Sep 2000
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Zaharan,

I think the Serow is a brilliant bike for around the world - SOLO.

But aren't you planning on a sidecar and the wife and kids???

In that case, I think you'd have to be a masochist! The bike will break and won't last under that much of a load. A bigger bike will be more reliable, in all respects.




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  #3  
Old 4 Sep 2000
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Hi Zaharan

Any bike can go RTW but how fast or slow you're covering the distance is an important factor.Such journey are meant to to be covered slow & steady to genuinely experience the numerous beautiful sights,sound,people & culture.Therefore,XT225 is indeed a good choice for solo.Personally,I would ride my Djebel 250 instead of my Africa Twin,if I can afford such a journey.It's less tiring to ride due to it's light weight,much cheaper & easier to service & repair too.

Even the Honda C90 or C110 Cub is a good choice.Save a bomb for the CDP & if it's stolen or abandoned,wouldn't cost much more than your air ticket back home.What's more,you'll have no trouble getting parts as it's a popular bike in virtually every country.

Alternatively,have you thought about one of the new generation of 250s,like Honda Baja,Suzuki Djebel XC & Yamaha TT250R-Raid.All these are accessorised in stock form for long distance,with larger tank/headlight,electric start & carrier rack.The Djebel XC even come with a kickstarter & oil cooler!

These 250s are only about 10kg heavier than the XT225 but significantly more power & torque.

Have a safe & enjoyable journey.
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Old 5 Sep 2000
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I concur - if riding alone and you aren't going to be riding a lot of highway a 200-250 bike should be okay, though you won't be able to pack as much gear as a 650+.

I met a Japanese rider going around Oz on an old beater CB175, and have read of an English guy riding around the world on a C90 Cub. Personally I like small bikes, and would do a RTW trip on something in the 250-400 range.
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  #5  
Old 18 Sep 2000
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Thanks all. In so many words you're telling me my idea of serowing around the planet is not so crazy after all. But now the plot thickens. The 250 - 400 cc category seems to be just as crowded as the 650 cc category whe n it comes to making a choice of a bike for a distance trip.

Our generation is really spoilt for choices compared to the pioneer RTW bikers. Theirs were limited to two - the BSA or none. What? Awright, there were also the early bmvees, jawas, etc. I was only thinking of Fulton.

I will now go back to the drawing board - in terms of choices - and consider the raft of other bikes in the 250 - 400 range - the Djebel, etc. I'm rather fond of the Serow though. If only Yamaha would up its power and torque a bit ...

An aside to Grant: No, I'm not thinking of the Serow to power a sidecar. Only if I decide not to take my family, i.e. go solo, would I choose a bike from the 250 - 400 range.

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  #6  
Old 19 Sep 2000
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When Fulton rode around the world in the early 30s, he used a 600cc Douglas flat twin. It had only about 6 HP but that was a pretty powerful bike back then. Today's roads are a lot more developed and hectic, and you really need something that can cruise along at 100 kph all day.

You can find out more about Fulton here:
http://www.whitehorsepress.com/onlin...dData/FULT.HTM
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  #7  
Old 26 Sep 2000
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Factual correction on the actual bike ridden by Fulton is accepted. I didn't have Fulton's book propped open in front of me when I mentioned him. I mentioned BSA not so much in a literal or factual sense but meant it to be generic representing the bikes of the era. I haven't read his book nor other "must reads" such as Chris Scott's yet but I will as the departure date of my own trip looms up! Meanwhile reading the info on this site and others like it on the Net assuages my travel itch.
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  #8  
Old 18 May 2003
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Hello,
I don't know if you took the trip or not but if you did take it on the XT225 please describe the experience.

I have an xt225 that I have fitted with road tires (continental Conti-Tour). I recently took it on a 240 mile day trip. I had no problem running at 70mph (112 kph) but the bike does run more comfortably at 65mph (104kph). I didn't take the bike off-road at all.
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