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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 18 Dec 2006
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small cc suitabilty

dont think i'll ever do a rtw or lwr but i do like the thought of being prepared for any sort of terraine should i come up against it on my travels.
thing i'm considering is how suitable are the smaller cc bikes when it comes to trips of 2 to 3k miles.
I tend to live my life on a budget so would be looking at xr250/400's, dr350/drz400..etc
would they be upto dealing with the neccersary lugage and while people say xr's are bulletproof i wonder will they hold up to occasional long days (10-12 hours) of just cruising on tarmac.
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  #2  
Old 18 Dec 2006
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in my opinion you couldnt beat the trusty dr350. better than the 400 as a lot simpler to maintain and repair. no radiators to break or silly output shaft seals to blow, cam chain tensioners failing e ct ect. 100's about and still able to pick up a mint low mileage one on ebay for under £1750. spares a plenty at breakers and ebay.

i would suggest the estarter and retro fit a kick start. shaft, gear, seal and kick lever, bilt straight on and easilly available from breakers. large tanks are cheap second hand, and as the terra circa and mondo enduro boys will tell you they're well up for even the longest trip.

ive had mine for 7 years and toured europe and all over the uk. welsh bogs and mountains, cornish three stage trials, rolling isle of white byways. great off road,even got a few class victories in rallys and enduros on it despite being up against newer drz's and ktm's and xrs. i have thrashed mine to within an inch of its life for about 30000 miles and appart from a cam chain and rebore at about 20000miles (routine strip down, not break down) it hasnt missed a beat. the only things ever gone wrone are the ignition switch wore out due to mud and dirt ingression and the speedo drive stripped its worm drive due to being ridden whilst frozen solid with ice. incidently both were fixeed under the warrenty by suzuki.

these are of course just my opinion but im sure there are 100s out there who will agree the dr350 is one of the best TRAIL bikes ever made.
xr400 likewise are bullet proof but with the absence of an e start not for me.
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  #3  
Old 19 Dec 2006
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Thanks guys, basically my situation is this.
After riding road bikes for 27 years i finally got round to doing a few
euro trips on my road bike and while i enjoyed the experiance of independant travel i felt there was probably more to see than was available to me on a road bike.
I've always fancied trying some off road riding particularly enduro or green lane stuff but as i've had to either use my bikes for transport or two up riding with the wife its never really been an option till now. (bought the wife her own bike .)
Anyway, dont want to be the next Ewan mcgregor but i want to get off the beaten track and see whats out there.
The reason for the smaller cc or less expensive option is that as a "beginer" i dont want to fall into the "all the gear and no idea" catergory, i would prefere to start at the bottom on something i feel i would be able to handle properly, learn and develop my off road abilties and progress from there.
I must admit i do prefere the DR to the DRZ so maybe i'm on the right road.
any other suggestions are welcome.
next stop the route planning forum.
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  #4  
Old 19 Dec 2006
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Colsan,
your along the right track definitely, you do not need a large capacity bike to travel, you just have to realise its going to take you longer and you will ride slower on good roads - where the larger bikes can open the throttle.
Also high altitude passes are taken a little slower !!!

I rode a TTR 250 all over Europe over several summers - and winters on it, did trail riding in the UK, Pyrenees and Alps, used it to commute for a few years and racked up over 75,000 km with no problems apart from routine maintenance. As for long days in the saddle, once I rode from Perpignon to Cherbourg (to catch a ferry) -1100 km in about 14 hours - averaging 80kmh ish, + quick fuel (and coffee!!!) stops.

These are great bikes and already have a combo kick/electric start, you can get a 22 litre tank for them fom acerbis giving a good range, theres plenty of them around - and you can buy one 2-3 years old with low kms for 2 grand in the UK

DR's will do the job - not much difference in power, but finding a good late, low km one is getting a bit harder these days.

Cheers
Grif
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Last edited by Gipper; 19 Dec 2006 at 21:45.
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  #5  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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i have read on another site that the klx300 has reliability issues.
I'm booking a day at an offroad school in the peak district here in the uk for the new year.
they use drz's and offer begginers courses, 1-2-1 with instructors and guided offroad tours. cant wait
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  #6  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Little Bikes, Big Fun

Hi Colsan,
I am currently riding across Africa on a TTR250 (has about 13000 miles on the clock at the moment) and I have to say I am really impressed with it. It copes with everything and it's super tough. I have only had to do routine maintenance so far. I made a few mods for the trip such as making the seat more comfy and fitting the big Acerbis tank. You can see more details about the bike and the kit etc on my website www.loisontheloose.com
I rode a Yamaha Serow from Alaska to Argentina few years ago which is also a great little trail bike, but probably a bit small for most men. So I would heartily reccomend the TTR - brilliant bike!
Good luck with your future adventures.
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  #7  
Old 30 Dec 2006
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Well thank you to everyone who replied and offered advice.

I am now the proud owner of this 98 xr400 .
its got a wiesco 440 kit and it comes with a trailer.
(thing is i aint got a towbar )
gotta get some training and tours booked now


Last edited by colsan1; 30 Dec 2006 at 17:20.
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  #8  
Old 30 Dec 2006
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+ 1 for the TTR250,
I ave been baging aroudn on mine for 18 months now, aside frmo head winds it will go any were its pointed, touch under 50k and has been smooth... best of luck on the trip with which every bike..
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small cc suitabilty-ttr250-42k.jpg  

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  #9  
Old 31 Dec 2006
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Good choice. If you can afford it I'd recommend an electric start kit from www.xrstuff.co.uk
I have them fitted to all my six XRs and they are a very good piece of kit. Also a heavy duty bash plate if you are going seriously off-road.
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  #10  
Old 1 Jan 2007
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Hi There,

I have a 2005 Yamaha XT250 Serow and have covered 28,000kms over the last 15 months. I really rate the bike and have had no problems with it at all. It'll cruise all day at 95km/h and still give fuel economy around 88mpg. Is very lightweight and easy to take off road.

The only problems are that as it's such a new bike that there's no cheap bits knocking about and the after market people have yet to catch on.

If you're doing very heavy off roading then I'd suggest the TTR250 would be the better option, where as if you're road riding and trail riding then the superior suspension of the new Yam shines through and the seats far kinder to the butt!

as I'm only 5ft 5inch then the standard low seat is invaluable and far easier to manage than my previous bike (R1200GS).

Regards

Reggie AKA The Cameraman
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  #11  
Old 16 Jan 2007
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My wife and I are taking our two XR250's through Africa at the end of this year. Started with the F650's but went to the smaller bikes and are so grateful we did. You also ride a lot slower so can stop to smell the roses instead of blasting past all the good stuff.

Just still need to get my seat (instrument of torture) gelled and widened.
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  #12  
Old 16 Jan 2007
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I much prefer small bikes too for touring off the beaten track. Didn't Mondo Enduro ride DR350's? I know they had a few problems but they always seemed to get them fixed. I'd happily use my ex-army 350 on a long trip. I'd also rather be riding something fairly cheap and doesn't attract too much attention when in poorer countries.
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  #13  
Old 17 Jan 2007
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well the xr is going quite well upto now, shame the same cant be said for my off road skills
I'm thinking i'll keep the xr for a while to learn the ropes on then trade it for
an something like an xt660.
of course like all my plans,that one may go out the window if i start having too much fun on it.
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  #14  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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200cc works for me

I have a '00 TW200 Yamaha with Vetter saddle bags. The bike has nearly 19,000 miles on the clock and just keeps running. The longest trip I been on has totaled 1,570 miles in 5 days from Texas to Tennessee and was one of the best rides I ever undertaken. Cheep to travel, cheep to buy, cheep to maintain. During the mentioned trip I did 2-500 mile days in the saddle and survived...somehow. And the bike has been thrashed through the woods and mountains numerous times. Handles the Tail-of-the-Dragon and the Skyway fine as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Crusing speed is 60MPH and tops out at 68.
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  #15  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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+1 for the ttr250, I have a little over 50k on the clock and going well, 120kg dry weight is good for lifting and moving and stuff like that when solo and it goes a little wrong... sits on 110kph all day with gear (95kph much better for fuel use).. lots of stuff to pu on, not much needed to be done to it, will go most places.. although when i go riding it is more about the rider and experiance than the bike.. although i have used lots from my spare parts kit i carry to mend a load off other bikes/brands..
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