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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 Jul 2008
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Small bikes, that I can get various of.

Hey there, (first post)

Been reading through the forum and haven't seen anything similar to my question so I'll just go ahead and ask it.

I'm currently planning for next summer. Have a vision of a mondo enduro/italian job (small vehicles which all match). In essence a team of brits riding small bikes, ... wearing union jack boxers, socks and sandals, and doing the unthinkable ... not sure if the fun of it is being conveyed but anyhoow... that's not for you to worry about.


I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a particular brand/model that i could get a bunch of (in the UK)... that are already used.

The trip is planned for roughly next summer, however, I need to know what bike to go for from the start. I've been looking at DR-Z 400 and WR450 F... but that's just looking at the technical data not having ridden either. Also from what I've seen, neither are plentiful in the used market.

Anyone with any bright ideas where I could get 3-5 similar bikes from?

Also recommendations, prefferably anything under 500cc and less than 150KG.

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  #2  
Old 7 Jul 2008
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Hey Neil great topic.

Out of your 2 choices I would say the DRZ is better suited to a trip. easier to work on and a better all rounder. There are loads available on biketrader.
The WR is a good bike but more enduro focused and more likely to have been raced.

Try contacting some of the trail tour companies both UK and Europe as you may be able to score a good deal buying up there old stock.

There is loads of info on the drz other bikes to consider would be Honda XR 400 (not so great on road). Yam XT 600 (heavier but bulletproof). Yam TTR 250 is also a great bike but not as easy to come by as most owners know the secret.

whatever you decide on keep us all posted as I am looking forward to reading of your great adventure.
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  #3  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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This mini is my current commuter bike and it's awesome

However I don't think you could get one in the UK...

Maybe try a few CT110's, they're very slow but cheap as chips and extremely reliable!

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  #4  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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Cheers guys

Thanks for the feedback stuxtttr, very encouraging. PocketHead, not entirely sure I want to go for the CT110; We will covering quite a few different surfaces on our travels.

Been looking on the autotrader site (not exactly commendable but it's a start). I see that the Honda CRF 450 is quite plentiful, and looking at the specs on the bike I see it's dry weight is just over 100KG. Obviously, engine size, and overall weight aren't the be-all and end-all of my decision making. Anyone ever tried one?

Also by the looks of it, Aqualine Safari make oversize tanks for them.


Cheers for whatever you suggest. I'll take it all on board.
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  #5  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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I would choose a DRZ over the CRF. I have enduro'd and trail ridden a DRZ400E for the last four years and it's been great. OK, it's too heavy to race competitively but it always finishes and that normally beats about 100 bikes in a four hour race.

It will go through a ford with water up to the petrol tank and if you throw it off a Welsh mountain it will lay at the bottom ticking over, waiting for you to pick it up.

Your quite welcome to test ride mine
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  #6  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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Hey there Big Yellow Tractor, I went on a test ride today on an '04 S (with 12k miles on it). It handled fantastically, was in quite good condition despite a bit of rusting around the edges i flagged it up to the salesman aswell as the tyres, chain and sprockets and got it down to £2,350 from £2,600, after much umming and arring.. I tried £2k to start with and mildly worked it up.

He gave me the keys and half an hour and enough fuel to get me out into the sticks so I did... and I flung it over a cattle grid at 60+ mph and I hardly noticed it (except for it was raining and the rear slipped out a little). Lovely little bike. I need to speak to the others and see how they feel about it. To me, I'm sold.

Obviously, the seat is like a razor, which needs changing for our tour.

Do any mods to yours?
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  #7  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Thanks for the feedback stuxtttr, very encouraging. PocketHead, not entirely sure I want to go for the CT110; We will covering quite a few different surfaces on our travels.

Been looking on the autotrader site (not exactly commendable but it's a start). I see that the Honda CRF 450 is quite plentiful, and looking at the specs on the bike I see it's dry weight is just over 100KG. Obviously, engine size, and overall weight aren't the be-all and end-all of my decision making. Anyone ever tried one?

Also by the looks of it, Aqualine Safari make oversize tanks for them.


Cheers for whatever you suggest. I'll take it all on board.
CT110's can go anywhere, they are an amazing little bike built for riding on farms originally but if you're after something bigger then definitely the DRZ400, that crf450 would be a pain in the ass and more suited for racing.
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  #8  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Neil,

No touring mods as yet. Just green lane / race. i.e. bash-plate, rad guards, hand guards, renthalls, etc.

I did replace the cam-chain tensioner with the up-dated version as soon as I bought the bike. I think anything after 2003 is OK but I can check for you.

I'm in the proccess of designing and fabricating luggage rack at the moment. Might be able to sort you out in the near future.

Have fun with your Dr Zed.
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  #9  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Hi,

How about the Yamaha Serow or the newer version with the 250cc engine, they seem a very capable machine. My son did another 6 hour stint on the offroad rideout at the hubb meet this weekend returning with the 2 other remaining riders on their DRZ400 and XR400.

Picture below from last years hubb meet with my son completing the rideout again in very boggy conditions




Regards

Robin
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  #10  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Hey Robin, thanks for the suggestion. I have heard good things about the Serow. My greatest concern is that the 250cc wont offer us enough power, we each weigh about 13 stone and plus our kit. I should go and take a serow for a ride before I dismiss the idea, but I have my doubts.

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  #11  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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If you're going to fly-the-flag it has to be CCM or Triumph. Which probably means CCM if you really have to have small capacity bikes.
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  #12  
Old 9 Jul 2008
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Hey Bronze, I literally just got back ... not been back a week from my last tour, and rode a Tiger 955i around northern Europe and Scandinavia. It was the bike that let me down, I hated it.

I bought it for the trip (big mistake), and hated it throughout. It was too high, too heavy, too clumsy, too thirsty and in essence it made me feel like I was a 50-something trying to be a Ewan McGegor. The bike had no spirit/soul at all, and had no sense of adventure.

When I bought it, I was thinking, wave the flag and blah blah blah. To be honest a piece of cloth says it clearer than a lumox of a bike that was only made to "look" the part.

For the record Triumph have really gone down in my estimation of things. Although, in fairness it's a subjective thing. I'm sure there are plenty of Tiger riders that love them. Maybe I'm the wrong demographic to be owning one.

I'm more interested in Suzuki, or any other jap bike because wherever you go you'll be able to get parts for it without being some specialist.
[/rant]

I apologise for ranting, got a bit carried away. Anyone want to buy my triumph off me?
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  #13  
Old 10 Jul 2008
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I vote for the CT110 as well, if you can get them in the UK that is. They are used in Aus as a postal delivery bike.

There is a "Postie Bike" Challenge once a year in Australia:
Postie Bike Challenge - Home

They have some tips on doing long distances on this bike.

and also this trip report:
Charge Of The Midgets_Cape York Posties Pt.1 - AusTouring.com

I think they upgraded to a larger tank for this trip
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  #14  
Old 10 Jul 2008
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toasthall after reading those links, I'm intruiged, and would do it. Although, not sure the others would be up for it. Not seen the CT110 for sale here but we have the c90 and the zoomer. Maybe when I get back next year after doing it on dr-z i may be more open minded.

I have every intention of keeping the route next year on B or C roads and not excessing 100km/h. We'll just have to see how it all goes.
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  #15  
Old 10 Jul 2008
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Hi Neil,

here's another vote for the Serow.

Just a quick question though, are you both going to be riding the bike or one each? If both then a Serow, or anything else under 400cc won't be much use. If you're having one each then the little Yam's are fabulous. Mine's passed 50,000 miles in just over 2 1/2 years, gets abuse trail riding, does serious mileages (yesterday was just over 900kms) and never lets me down. They weigh in at 129kgs, fully fuelled and are a joy to ride. Flat out they manage to break 80mph but are happiest whilst cruising at around 55-60mph, where they give 85-90mpg.
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